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Why the Keystone Premier 30 RIPR?
We purchased the 2016 Keystone Premier 30 RIPR in the spring of 2016. Initially we were going to go with the Sunset Trail but when I went to put money down Anna suggested we look at the 3 units we had narrowed the list to. The list consisted of the Keystone Premier 30 RIPR, Sunset Trail, and a Wildcat. The Wildcat had some quality issues we were concerned about but mostly we were turned off by the attitude of the local dealer so we passed.
So why did we pick the Keystone Premier 30 RIPR? There were some key features we were looking for. The frameless radius windows, slam latch hatches, and an outdoor kitchen. We also wanted solid surface countertops and were not a fan of carpet in the rear living area but the Premier met most of our wants. As fate has it the next year added these two features but that’s the way it goes.
One really big selling point was the layout of this floorplan. We will never buy a trailer where we cannot get to certain things with the slides in. With the Keystone Premier 30 RIPR, we can access the refrigerator, front pantry, bathroom, and bedroom without moving a slide. I like this as I feel that opening and closing slides is just added wear and tear and will avoid if possible.
Keystone Premier 30 RIPR Towing
The Keystone Premier 30 RIPR weighed 6850 lbs. dry with a dry tongue weight of 1350 lbs. The overall length is 35′ 4″ with freshwater capacity at 43 gallons, black capacity at 30 gallons, and grey at 60 gallons. In the beginning we towed it with a 2016 F150 4×4 CC with the 3.5 ecoboost. The power of the truck was very impressive and it was never an issue. Wind and engine breaking were less desirable and we decided after two years with the F150 to upgrade to a heavy duty truck. We now tow with a 2021 F350 Diesel Dually which is overkill but I like to have the extra headroom should we find that fifth wheel we just want to take home.
Towing has been stable and I believe the wide stance axles plays a big role in controlling sway. That coupled with the Husky Centerline 2 weight distributing hitch seems to be the right combination. The wind issues we had with the F150 wasn’t causing the trailer to sway but instead you could really feel the sideload on the camper in the wind and it would take some effort to keep it straight in the lane. Later on we towed in South Dakota with a dually in high winds without issue. I know I don’t need it but I love driving a dually pickup.
Keystone Premier 30 RIPR Features
Anna fell in love with the floorplan on this trailer. She loves the open space as both the rear living slides are out and the center island which give us a ton of additional storage space. We had to compromise on the outdoor kitchen as this model has cabinets, a TV, and an outdoor refrigerator but no cook top. We did opt for the grill option that swings out on a mount from the rear bumper. The rear living area is equipped with a sofa and a pair of reclining seats. We don’t want to spend our time inside the trailer much but it is nice to have this space should you end up with a couple of rainy days.
There is plenty of counterspace if needed. Cabinets are everywhere. On our sixth year we still have only used about half of the cabinet space available. The refrigerator is typical for this year at 8 cu. ft. An awesome feature is the pullout drawers under the dinette seats on roller bearing guides. This is much easier to access than units where you have to lift the seats or access the space through a door and try to reach everything.
The A/C is a single 15k BTU and only once did we notice it was struggling to keep the area at 72 degrees but other than that we have been satisfied with just the single unit. The angled shower is adequate. I am a big guy and I shower in it all the time without issue. The bedroom has a queen bed with it advertised as an upgraded mattress which I question.
Keystone Premier 30 RIPR Quality Issues
Again, nothing came up under warranty and I have never had to have a shop do any repairs beyond maintenance. The issues below have developed over the last five years.
- Nail pops on ceiling – I would almost say this was from the build. The nails only popped on the ceiling on one side of the trailer so I assume this is from the difference in operators on each side that day when it was built. This has only been aesthetic nothing major.
- Rock chips on front cap – Mostly our fault. I did not have mud flaps on our truck in the beginning which added to the issue. Newer units have a rubberized coating extending so far up on the cap to stop this from happening.
- Decals on cap starting to crack/discolor. This is mostly because the unit is out during the summer and the nose gets the majority of the sunlight. The trailer is stored inside six months of the year. The unit gets a wax job for almost every trip out.
- We just noticed cracking in two of the slide out wiper seals. I fixed in 30 minutes for $89. I don’t think they should have failed this soon but I was glad it did not have to go in for a repair. Click here to see a quick overview of the repair.
- The rubber bumps on the slides that go around the cables. They fell off after the first year. This is something you can’t ignore because now you have the steel brackets rubbing on the slide out frame. It will start to wear a groove into the metal and eventually fail the frame. I did replace with a thicker rubber that I installed with rubber cement on the frame. These hold up for a couple of years before needing replaced. To replace the factory ones you would have to undo the cables on the slide to fish the cable through them. No thanks. Click here to see my latest test on their replacement.
- Painted front wrap around cap – more aerodynamic, stylish, and believe less prone for leaks
- Frameless tinted windows – just like the looks of them, open outwards so you can have open without rain coming in, seals behind glass protected from UV rays
- Laundry chute in bedroom – what I though was a waste actually became one of the features I will miss most if we trade the unit. With the chute you can load your laundry basket into the cargo area then open the hatch and put your dirties out of site while camping.
- Stor-mor Dinette Drawers under dinette – makes it much easier to utilize this space under the seats
- Center Island – adds three cabinet doors and three drawers for additional storage space
- Outdoor kitchen – I will never own a trailer again without having a small refrigerator outside to keep those cold drinks
- Slam latch storage doors – eliminates the key to latch on one side plus the magnetic holds mean no plastic brackets on the side to break off
- Access to important items while slides are in – This is a great feature but I will say with the center island you will not be able to access the rear of the trailer without taking at least one slide out
- Tri-fold sofa – much more room than the jack knife sofas you find in a lot of models
- Build quality – you read horror stories from every manufacturer. I had some friend tell me bad things about Keystone. We had 0 warranty issues with only one recall on the A/C wiring in the first year. We did experience a few nail pops in the ceiling, a couple pieces of trim that came loose, and our bathroom faucet was leaking on the second year (I replaced because we wanted to upgrade it to brushed nickel)
- Laminated countertops with trimmed edges – we have not experienced any issues with them but I did on a previous travel trailer and would have preferred solid surface countertops
- Carpet in rear living area – has not been an issue but didn’t want. Shoes always come off in our trailer
- Plastic toilet – it has not broken but the sounds these things make when you sit on them makes you wonder sometimes.
- Dometic A/C – cools great but a little on the noisy side. I have listened to units with the Coleman Mach series and there is a significant difference. I did just add the RV Silencer to the unit and the difference was worth the money. We will be posting a review on it soon.
I would highly recommend the Keystone Premier 30 RIPR to anyone. Did I get lucky or are they all built like this? Not sure but I am very happy so far and if we don’t have a unit we see that we just have to have, we will keep using this trailer as long as we can. Please leave a comment on your experiences with your RV. We would love to get feedback on other models.
It is now the start of our 8th year with the Premier 30 RIPR. We have truly loved this trailer but decided we want to try a fifth wheel as we have always heard how well they pull. At first we were going to step up to the Alliance Paradigm but have decided we would be just as happy with a smaller unit that doesn’t break the bank so we purchased a 2023 Rockwood 2662RK and will be picking it up the end of April 2023. We will be posting an article soon reviewing the buying process as well as our first impressions after our first trip out.