Keystone RV has enhanced its popular fifth-wheel for 2021, unveiling a refreshed interior and new floor plans, including this three-slideout model.
By Robbin Gould, Editor
Peruse specifications and construction information for the Keystone Cougar, and it’s evident that company designers have focused on engineering these towable RVs for performance and durability. They’ve also created feature-filled interiors.
Since the brand debuted in 1998, Cougar fifth-wheels and travel trailers have become the go-to for many RVers. As the 2021 models roll out, customers have even more choices. One is the new 316RLS, a fifth-wheel floor plan with three flush-floor slideouts that sleeps up to six. This RV measures under 36 feet long, weighs in at 10,436 pounds, and offers 1,864 pounds of carrying capacity.
The Cougar’s structural components include a rolled, one-piece I-beam frame with stamped steel cross members and outriggers that run the full width of the unit. The outriggers support the laminated sidewalls, which incorporate a five-sided aluminum superstructure. The one-piece underbelly, made of polypropylene, is insulated with Astrofoil, a multilayer reflective product, in place of conventional radiant foil. The seamless subfloor is constructed with 5/8-inch one-piece Dyna Span, an oriented strand board (OSB) product known for its strength and stability. A flexible membrane is used for the roof.
The RV rides on heavy-duty axles with Nev-R-Adjust brakes and 10-ply E-rated tires. Patented Road Armor suspension dampens road shock and vibration; it includes a shock-absorbing hitch pin. When owners stop to set up camp, the Ground Control four-point automatic leveling system can be put into action.
The Cougar’s Climate Guard protection package helps to keep the interior comfortable when outside temperatures soar up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit or plummet to zero. This is achieved in part by a double-insulated, laminated rear wall and other insulated components. Slideout floors also receive two layers of Astrofoil reflective insulation.
The pass-through storage area is heated. Rotocast holding tanks are kept warm as well via 12-volt electric pads. Tank capacities in the 316RLS are 81, 76, and 38 gallons for the fresh-, gray-, and black-water tanks, respectively.
The Cougar is outfitted with a 15,000-Btu Quiet Cool air-conditioning unit and a 35,000-Btu furnace; both are ducted. A 13,500-Btu Quiet Cool A/C unit can be added to the bedroom as an option. A new Keystone feature, the Blade air handling system, is said to amplify cooling performance with re-engineered ductwork. The Cougar comes with 50-amp electrical service.
Two electric awnings provide shade when it’s time to relax outdoors: a 10-foot version above the rear slideout, and an adjacent 13-footer that shields the MORryde steps and friction-hinged entry door. Full pass-through storage areas are accessible via slam-latch baggage doors. The 316RLS also features a 2-inch accessory hitch receiver with a 3,000-pound towing capacity. Other standard items include an outside shower, a battery disconnect, and prep for rear and side cameras.
The Cougar includes another Keystone design: MaxTurn technology, designed to increase towing maneuverability when making tight turns. The front cap features a patented cutaway and a form-fitted frame; together, they create an 83-degree turning radius when the RV is paired to a short-bed truck with a standard fifth-wheel hitch. If the truck is equipped with a slider hitch for towing, the turning radius increases to up to 95 degrees. This eliminates the need for a swivel hitch pin.
Another Keystone feature is HitchVision — a mirror above the hitch — which facilitates the hookup process. The driver can look in the rearview mirror and see where to back up and align the pin to the hitch in the back of the truck.
The front cap features Keystone’s KeyShield automotive-style paint and clear coat, which is resistant to fading and chipping, along with amber LED lighting.
Travelers who enjoy going off the grid will appreciate the Cougar’s OTG solar/inverter setup. The unit comes prepped for dual-port solar access, a solar charger, and an inverter. The optional solar package includes a 170-watt roof-mounted solar panel, a 30-amp solar charger, and a 2,000-watt pure sine wave inverter. A sidewall port provides access for portable solar panels.
For model year 2021, Cougar RVs showcase the new Amy Gray Signature Series Driftwood interior, created by Keystone designer Amy Gray. This contemporary yet rustic décor includes antique-white raised-panel cabinetry, which is blended with midtone wood cabinetry. Satin-nickel hardware, smoked-glass panels, rough-hewn wood accents, decorative crown molding, and light-colored flooring and wall coverings add to the look.
The 316RLS boasts an expansive area for cooking and relaxing when the opposing rear slideouts are extended. White cabinetry runs throughout the kitchen. This light and bright space includes a center island, which houses an undermount sink and a high-rise faucet. Solid-surface countertops with decorative edging are accented by a herring-bone-patterned backsplash.
Buyers can opt for a 12-cubic-foot propane-electric refrigerator or a 16-cubic-foot residential model. The galley also contains a 1.6-cubic-foot microwave oven and a 21-inch range with glass cover.
Theater seating and a booth dinette in warm brown tones sit side-by-side in the curbside slideout. If RVers prefer, an optional freestanding dinette table and chairs can be selected instead. A tri-fold sleeper sofa, flanked by end tables, fills the back wall. The entertainment center, on the street side, houses a 50-inch 4K television, with a 5,500-Btu fireplace below.
Bathroom access is convenient in the 316RLS, allowing RVers to use the facilities when traveling without having to extend any slideouts. The bath is situated in the midsection, near the entry door. Its porcelain toilet comes with a foot flush. A double-vanity sink adds a residential feel, as does the 30-inch-by-50-inch shower, which comes with a seat, a skylight, and a glass door.
The front master bedroom holds a 60-inch-by-80-inch queen-size bed, with storage below; an optional king bed is available. A particularly striking feature is the barnwood-style accent wall behind the bed. On the front wall, a full-size wardrobe is concealed behind sliding mirrored doors. This area is also prepped for a washer-dryer. Outlets and USB ports are placed on both sides of the bed; in fact, outlets are plentiful throughout the Cougar. Several outlets are powered by the inverter, if so equipped.
To manage and monitor the Cougar’s multitude of systems, RVers can utilize the In-Command control system. This all-in-one powerhouse can be accessed via a wall-mounted touch screen or a smartphone app. It enables users to control slideouts, lights, heating and air-conditioning units, and many other items.
The base manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the 2021 Cougar 316RLS is $58,133.
The 316RLS joins an already extensive fifth-wheel lineup filled with customer-driven features. The Cougar’s refreshed interior décor and newest technology may inspire RVers familiar with this model to check out its 2021 offerings.
SPECS | KEYSTONE COUGAR 361RLS FIFTH-WHEEL
Keystone RV Company, 2642 Hackberry Drive, P.O. Box 2000, Goshen, IN 46527-2000; (866) 425-4369; www.keystonerv.com
35 feet 9 inches
12 feet 11 inches with one A/C; 13 feet 4 inches with optional A/C
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
SHIPPING WEIGHT (DRY WEIGHT)
CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY (CCC)
Astrofoil multilayer reflective foil
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 76 gallons;
black water — 38 gallons
60 pounds (2 30-pound cylinders)
6-gallon 12,000-Btu quick-recovery propane-electric
35,000-Btu furnace, ducted
(1) 15,000-Btu ducted, standard; (1) additional 13,500-Btu, optional
12-cubic-foot propane-electric or 16-cubic-foot residential
porcelain with foot flush
1 year limited base;
3 years limited structural;
18 years roof membrane
MANUFACTURER’S BASE SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE