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Old 06-27-2020, 08:14 PM   #1
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North Point/Pinnacle vs. Montana

Hi guys,

We're considering a fifth wheel and the brands we're considering are Jayco NorthPoint/Pinnacle and the Keystone Montana.

I was wondering if any of you who landed on a Northpoint/Pinnacle rather than a Montana what were to factors that played in the decision.

Thanks so much

Dave
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:48 PM   #2
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Well, back in 11 we went from a tent to an 04 34' Montana Mountaineer. What a great trailer. Built well, very few problems and they were easy to fix. In 15 we bought a Forest River Sierra Select and a month later sold the Montana. What a pile of junk that Sierra was. In 16 we traded in the Sierra for our Northpoint. We really love it. Our daughter is 16 and will most likely be camping with us for another year or two. I asked the wife if she wanted to keep it or sell/trade it for something different. Nope, we are keeping it, so I did a drum to disc brake conversion. IMO that should be standard on these size trailers. What a difference. Anyway, we go to the RV shows in the winter for something to do. We look at all the trailers. We went into a few Montana's and weren't real impressed. Honestly, one model has a rear bath and when we stepped into the shower it was really short. I would have to stick my head into the skylight just to shower. We also found the shower floor in that model had a flex to it something terrible.
Now I'm not saying that a Northpoint or Pinnacle will be a problem free build compared to the Montana, you're gonna have issues with all of them. It inevitable, but you'll probably have less issues. Compared to my 04 Montana, it seems like the build quality went down. The bling factor definitely went up though. I think Northpoint and Pinnacle need to slow down and step their game back up to where it should be for a luxury line of units. I think the new ones have slipped a little bit compared to my 17 and some of the years before. 2017, 2016 I think is right about where Thor took over.
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:05 PM   #3
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Well, back in 11 we went from a tent to an 04 34' Montana Mountaineer. What a great trailer. Built well, very few problems and they were easy to fix. In 15 we bought a Forest River Sierra Select and a month later sold the Montana. What a pile of junk that Sierra was. In 16 we traded in the Sierra for our Northpoint. We really love it. Our daughter is 16 and will most likely be camping with us for another year or two. I asked the wife if she wanted to keep it or sell/trade it for something different. Nope, we are keeping it, so I did a drum to disc brake conversion. IMO that should be standard on these size trailers. What a difference. Anyway, we go to the RV shows in the winter for something to do. We look at all the trailers. We went into a few Montana's and weren't real impressed. Honestly, one model has a rear bath and when we stepped into the shower it was really short. I would have to stick my head into the skylight just to shower. We also found the shower floor in that model had a flex to it something terrible.
Now I'm not saying that a Northpoint or Pinnacle will be a problem free build compared to the Montana, you're gonna have issues with all of them. It inevitable, but you'll probably have less issues. Compared to my 04 Montana, it seems like the build quality went down. The bling factor definitely went up though. I think Northpoint and Pinnacle need to slow down and step their game back up to where it should be for a luxury line of units. I think the new ones have slipped a little bit compared to my 17 and some of the years before. 2017, 2016 I think is right about where Thor took over.
Thanks for the input, ...

And I agree with you about Thor, ... I'm starting to see the influence in the 2021 models.

Yes they have the bling, (big fan of that), but i'm concerned with the quality.
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:13 PM   #4
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It's almost a crap shoot really. Best you can do is find the model you like and look it over the best you can. Take another set of eyes to pick it apart. BEFORE you sign anything, on the PDI check everything and test everything. Just because it works then doesn't always mean it's not going to fail either. Lol!
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by David Carver View Post
Hi guys,

We're considering a fifth wheel and the brands we're considering are Jayco NorthPoint/Pinnacle and the Keystone Montana.

I was wondering if any of you who landed on a Northpoint/Pinnacle rather than a Montana what were to factors that played in the decision.

Thanks so much

Dave
I have had dealers say that the Northpoint and Montana are in the same class and the Pinnacle is one class up
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:20 AM   #6
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We had a 2008 Montana 3485 until 2019 when we bought our Jayco. I wish we would have kept the Montana and upgraded the awnings, leveling, etc. We have had troubles with our Jayco. I talked to the techs and they like Grand Design.
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:47 AM   #7
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When we were considering an upgrade from a Carriage Cameo (the original Carriage Company), we were considering Grand Design. Wife really liked one in particular but it had a sliding door & after the Cameo was broken into 3 separate times, felt the sliding door was too much of an opportunity. We saw the Pinnacle 36FBTS at the RV Show & she really liked that one because of the front bathroom. We now have the Litter Robot for our 3 felines & it fits nicely up there. In the Cameo, the litter box was in our bedroom, on my side of the bed. We purchased our Pinnacle BEFORE Thor purchased them. We have had some issues, just like everyone else.
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Old 06-29-2020, 05:57 AM   #8
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After owning a Montana for 10 years with no real problems it was hard to part with or switch brands..however after looking at the new Montana’s just could not find the floor plan that we wanted until we found the Pinnacle.....major problem in Montana was the bathroom shower ...it seems to be about 6 inches thinner than the one in the Pinnacle and for me that was a major item....also after about 6 weeks of research and critical reviews of construction, etc I felt like the Jayco Pinnacle was better built overall....reading forums it also appears that the Pinnacle has a lot less problems than the Montana based on customer complaints....so far we are very happy with our Ponnacle, our dealer and Jayco.....
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:38 AM   #9
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The DW and I were seriously considering a 2020 Montana with the same floorplan as our new North Point (raised rear den with massive storage underneath).
These two brands are as closely competitive as any when it comes to higher end 5ers.

When we saw the Jayco were sold.
The DW really liked the Modern Farmhouse interior, and I liked the Polar white exterior.
There are many premium features that the North Point now offers including 6 pt hydraulic leveling and the JayCommand system among others.


After using it twice now, we believe we made the right choice.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:32 AM   #10
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I'm really not a fan of the "old man tan" exterior colors of the Pinnacle, no offense intended since I'm well past Medicare age. I wish they offered the white of the North Point, but we felt the interior was nicer than anything in the class we toured. We don't live on the outside so the tan is tolerated. We do like the interior mixture of the cherry colored cabinets, grayish walls and grey/beige floors. My daughter says it is known as greyge. We also felt the furniture was a little better quality.

Colors and bling are useless though without some semblance of quality construction. So far we have found very little wrong with ours and the few things that were took just a couple of minutes of my time to correct. Long term durability is something that will be decided a year or two down the road.

We looked at some Montana's when shopping but nothing stood out for us.
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Old 06-29-2020, 01:09 PM   #11
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If we were to look for a new FW, I would look at:
1st - Arctic Fox by Northwood
2nd - Grand Design - Solitude
3rd - Jayco - Northpoint/Pinnacle

Just my $0.02
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Old 06-29-2020, 01:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ROC-REQS View Post
If we were to look for a new FW, I would look at:
1st - Arctic Fox by Northwood
2nd - Grand Design - Solitude
3rd - Jayco - Northpoint/Pinnacle

Just my $0.02
We started with the Artic Fox 32-5M as our target and were ready to go to New Mexico to see one, a 550 mile one way trip. No doubt they are well made but they are not flexible in their options. The two top things on our requirement list were auto level and a residential fridge. Northwoods doesn't offer a residential fridge as an option. The dealer tried to work with them to build us an ordered unit and leave out the standard gas/electric fridge so they could install a residential for us. They would not do it. I quit after that and never asked but they do not mention auto level in the features list. They do say they have 6 point leveling so I'm not sure if that means it is auto or not.

We reversed your last two. We narrowed it down to the GD Solitude 310GK and the Pinnacle. The Pinnacle won but not by a whole lot. One of the things that made a small difference was the rear cap. In this price range I think a molded rear cap should be standard and in the ones we looked at Jayco and Redwood were the only 2 that did, if I remember right. Seems like Big Horn had it as an option. I also think disc brakes should be standard but no one asked me.
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Old 06-29-2020, 01:48 PM   #13
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We have been Rving since the mid 80s. Pop-up, travel trailer and three 5th wheels. 1st 5er was a 2001 Jayco Eagle that we kept until 2015. Had only a few minor issues with it over the years. After spending nine weeks in it we realized it was time for one with 3 slides and more room. Ordered a new 2016 Montana High Country and took delivery in spring of 2015. Nothing but problems right out of the gate. 1st trip out the facia board on the upper part of the kitchen fell off during travel. That was minor compared to the 4 slide failures that occurred during the time we had it. The unit was plagued with other problems as well. Ordered the Pinnacle in 2017 and are extremely happy with it. Spend about 5 months total in it each year. In my opinion the extra body width, solid wood cabinet frames and the other amenities make a world of difference. One thing I have always done to my 5th wheels is upgrade the suspension. I believe doing so greatly reduces the strain on the unit when towing because it reduces the impact from the bounces. Also saves wear on the tires. I would recommend the Pinnacle any day.
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:26 PM   #14
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Eharris205,
What was your suspension upgrade?
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:38 PM   #15
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I'm partial to the Pinnacle............looked real hard at the Montana and found it to be not as quite "finished" for us.
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:51 PM   #16
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We went to make a deal on a new North Point at a dealer a hundred miles from home. The salesman we talked to on the phone was busy with another customer so we had time to look it over. After a few moments I noticed some rust and corrosion on the connections to the hydraulic rams. Upon closer inspection I saw that the entire under carriage was rusty and corroded. I then looked at the units around it and found that it was the only one in that condition. We just sold our 2015 KZ and the under carriage on it was ten times better than that 2020. It was the only 310RLTS they had in stock. I was disgusted and told the wife we would just have to go somewhere else. Just make sure you look it over thoroughly before you commit!
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:24 PM   #17
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8K MorRyde Independent Suspension. Also have the Trailer Saver Hitch in the truck.
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:34 PM   #18
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David, I evaluated all fifth wheels for three years and bought a Jayco Pinnacle 36FBTS. We like the extra nice additions, the floor layout, the large master bath and kitchen. The basement is huge and you can store a lot of gear. We added a washer and dryer stacked pair and a 5500 watt Onan generator for boon docking. Truth be told we use our W/D all the time but have used the generator only once. I would forgo the generator if you really are not serious about camping without power. Also, the tankless water heater is the only way to go. Plenty of hot water to enjoy a nice relaxing shower. In the end, choose what you like the most comparing what you want as you camp. Best wishes!
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:36 PM   #19
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We were really considering an Alpine which is comparable to a Pinnacle as the higher quality full time fifth wheel from Keystone.
It had some really nice features but my biggest concern was the floors had too much flex in them brand new. I could stand next to the island and move back and forth causing the island to wiggle noticeably. We saw the same amount of flex in the Montana's we looked at as well, but not in our Pinnacle.
Good luck in your search.
Chris
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:22 AM   #20
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We owned both a Montana and now a pinnacle. Both can be good units and ALSO both can be bad. Do a full PDI before you leave the lot. Do not let them rush you. Tell them before you sign you will need about 3 hours and there are check lists on the web for you to use. You WILL find issues that need to be addressed.
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