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Canebreakcajun

Texas

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Posted: 05/21/20 08:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello,

I am looking at getting my first travel trailer and am pretty lost. I am having trouble finding information or comparisons on trailers that are not ads.

We are looking for something over 32 feet that can sleep 2 adults and 3 kids. I was looking at the Palamino Puma and really like its layout with two bedrooms, one in front and one in the back. But, I am not really sure it is well made or well regarded.

I am looking for well made trailer, with a great, well built frame and exterior that won’t look like junk in 5 years. I am looking to spend upwards of $35,000. I know the interior won’t be granite or anything, but a good interior is needed.

We will use it for family trips of course, but also tailgating.

Any suggestions?

opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 05/21/20 10:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Canebreakcajun, welcome to the forums. About your question I would say that in the price range most all of the trailers are built about the same.

Definitely all the built in pieces like water heater, range oven, air conditioner, refrigerator etc are sourced from the same vendors. So all the trailers have one of two different water heaters, one of two different refrigerators etc. So you are really reduced to looking at the build quality and fit and finish. The trailers are really slapped together as fast as the workers can go because they get to go home once they've completed x amount of builds.

So really you have to get out there and visit various dealers and walk through the units you are considering. Try sitting down with the kids and see if the table has enough room. Are the beds long enough. And most importantly, is the bathroom big enough. It is an unfortunate fact that the bathrooms are built small. So I would suggest going into the bathroom, close the door and sit on the toilet. Do you have enough room to do your business while in there?

Last thing, a 35 footer is a pretty big trailer. Do you already have an adequate tow vehicle for it or is that also int he plan? It's my opinion, but that's not a trailer you want to pull with a F150 of 1500 Chevy.


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rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 05/21/20 10:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

32+ feet is quite a trailer; have you towed trailers much? What will you be towing it with?

Some people think the Outdoors RV Mfg (ORV) units are a little better made, but they're way out in Oregon. Winnebago, Lance, and Northwood have some fans. Idle-Time is made in OK and might be a bit above average. Just about all the stuff out of Indiana is considered about equal (equally lousy) nowadays.

* This post was edited 05/21/20 10:57pm by rexlion *


Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. --Benjamin Franklin
photo: Yosemite Valley view from Taft Point


bikendan

Camano Island, Wash.

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Posted: 05/22/20 02:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Canebreakcajun wrote:

Hello,

I am looking at getting my first travel trailer and am pretty lost. I am having trouble finding information or comparisons on trailers that are not ads.

We are looking for something over 32 feet that can sleep 2 adults and 3 kids. I was looking at the Palamino Puma and really like its layout with two bedrooms, one in front and one in the back. But, I am not really sure it is well made or well regarded.



why don't you go to Forest River Forum's Palomino section and ask for other Puma owners for feedback.
It's a Stick and Tin trailer, so it's pretty much an entry-level TT.


Dan- Firefighter, Retired">, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur">, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP">), 2014 Ford F150 3.5 EcoboostMax Tow pkg, 2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255 w/4pt Equalizer and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes


wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 05/22/20 06:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trailers are like most things, you get what you pay for. That being said, many things are close to constants. Appliances, equipment such as converters, ac units, and furnaces tend to be the same across brands.
Look toward quality of materials in how its put together. In cabinets, particle board covered in shelf paper is the cheapest, and will show wear the soonest, plywood is better, real wood frames better still. Same goes for drawers and interior furnishings. Built in booth's and couches will follow the same build methods and materials, and generally are cheaper than stand alone units. Exteriors, most folks like the filon or solid fiberglass sided units better, but tin is cheaper, so both have market.
Frames, most use Lippert, a few (ORV was mentioned) build their own, but again will generally cost more.
Warranty and support can also be called an indicator. A company that gives longer coverage is likely to have a little better build quality, likewise a line that warranties "full time" usage can indicate a better product.
Many only warranty their product for one year, and put in exclusions for full time use. Some offer two and even three year coverages with no full time exclusions.
RV companies build many different lines under the same manufacturer, Keystone builds about 10 different 5th wheel lines alone.
Best option is likely to work on finding a size and floorplan that you believe will work, then start looking at lines that build that plan, then narrow to which ones have the quality and amenity levels you want at or near your price point. And discount the unit by 25-35% from stated MSRP.
As a generality mid price units such as you are looking at better grades with better customer support are probably,,,(order may vary by who you ask)
Outdoors RV, Arctic Fox, Grand Design, KZ, Winnebago, Jayco, Highland Ridge, Some Keystones, as well as some lines from FR and the others.

Mike134

Elgin

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Posted: 05/22/20 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you done much camping in a friends RV? if so you know what you like. If not I'd suggest renting from either a RV store or RVshare.com before paying 35K. When I bought mine I asked the salesman why someone would trade in a 1 year old camper, his answer was "happens all the time people find it's either to small or to big and trade them in for something different"


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ken56

Tennessee

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Posted: 05/22/20 06:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Find the floor plan that will suit you and the kids. Go to the dealer and sit in it, wander about in it for 30 min. to an hour or more if you like. See if the layout works for you. Quality does vary even with all the models made in Indiana and without having to spend 75K and up they are all earthquakes on wheels when you pull them down the road. Things get loose so really it will come down to care and maintenance.

I have a Keystone Laredo travel trailler, 37 feet, its a beast to pull and to find gas stations able to get in and out of, I have a gasser 2500, diesel is easier. The trailer itself is in my opinion good quality. We love it and it has been relatively problem free. I can keep it in my yard at my home so I am frequently out doing something on it even if its just checking for leaks, the no.1 enemy of an RV. Neglect will kill a trailer quicker than anything else.

Bottom line in my opinion is find something that will accommodate your family and when inspecting a trailer look at fit and finish, look underneath at the suspension, look at the roof for any scratches across it. There is no guarantee for anything really. As stated the water heater, refrigerator, furnace all have their own manufacturer warranty that will be longer than the dealer first year stuff. I would say be vigilant but there is only so much that you can spot on the surface. Good luck.

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 05/22/20 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Search the forum for warranty issues...you will find even top end RV's will have lots of issues when new. It's nothing to lose 2-3 months of your first year with the rig sitting at the dealer waiting for warranty work (guess what, warranty work typically comes after individuals willing to hand over cash).

A 2-3yr old unit often has those issues sorted out...or worst case, you can pay an RV tech to fix them and still come out cheaper.

Regardless new or used, since you don't know what you are looking for, once you find the rig you think you want, find a mobile RV tech and pay them a couple hundred to go over the rig looking for problems. On a new unit, you want them fixed BEFORE you make final payment and take possession. On a used one, you more likely will adjust the price...or possibly back out of a bad deal.

As mentioned, there usually isn't a big difference in quality. Biggest difference is usually in cabinetry. Look for solid wood frames but even then it's not a guarantee.


Tammy & Mike
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jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 05/22/20 09:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Type in "Palamino Puma problems". You'll come up with answers to the question you asked.

Like a few others said, 32 feet long is LOOOONG for a trailer.
$35,000? I might find a truck and really nice 30' 5th wheel for that.

troubledwaters

Potomac

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Posted: 05/22/20 10:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jdc1 wrote:

Type in "Palamino Puma problems". You'll come up with answers to the question you asked...
You'll get exactly the same answer no matter what name you type in - bar none.

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