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Old 04-08-2011, 11:31 AM   #1
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Which options make sense?

Hi, we just placed a downpayment on a new Puma 31DBTS. I'm looking over the available options, and wondering what your opinion is on what is good to get from the factory and what might be cheaper to do/replace on our own.

Some i am thinking about are:

Upgrade Mattress (Serta) $185 - i can only imagine this will be better than the standard, what do they come with standard? Checking with dealer also.

Bath Skylight - $133 - this is something we can't add later, lol, but do you know if there are any leak issues with skylights installed at the factory?

Outside Shower - $126 - figured it would be nice to hose off the happily filthy kids after playing outside enjoying the dirt and fresh air all day. This is one i was wondering if i could do myself for less.

Diamond Plate - $75 - Is this worth it? We are going to keep it at a seasonal site for at least the first year while we figure out what the heck we are doing, but may travel with it after that.

Heated Tanks - $407 - what is this?? Is this insulated water tanks? Could we just wrap some insulation around them ourselves, and is this necessary? We don't anticipate winter use, but maybe early spring or late fall use.

Enclosed Underbelly - $170 - i have seen arguments both ways on this one - A) they are flimsy, barely there to meet code requirements, and give critters a warm place to nest in or B) Helps with gas mileage

On that note, and call me crazy if necessary, but my main concern is critters getting into the trailer from underneath (mice especially, as it will be at a seasonal campground). Is it feasible for my husband to attach sheetmetal to the underneath frame part? I was thinking critters wouldn't be able to chew through that, but i also haven't actually seen the underneath of a trailer, so i don't know what all that would involve, or if it is even remotely possible.

Anything that you don't see here that i should find out about from the dealer? I realize a lot of it is personal taste, but wondering if those more experienced might have any 'been there, done that' experience.

Thanks, look forward to getting to know everyone.

Jodie
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:36 AM   #2
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I would get all of those options except the diamond plate since you won't be towing it. Heated tanks will only be necessary if it gets cold below freezing and you will be using the tanks. Since you won't be towing it, why do you not consider getting a park model ? More space and cheaper ...

Covering it with sheet metal will be difficult and painful. Not worth the money.

As for mice, you will have to find each and every hole at the floor and seal them ....No other way around it. The enclosed underbelly will help as at least with mine, it really seals the belly of the trailer very well.


Welcome to the board, and good luck with your trailer !
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:09 PM   #3
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I would go for the Serta upgrade (we have it and like it, we also put on memory foam topper)
the outside shower we use ours for the dogs
the bath sky lite is nice ours is above the shower.
can't comment on the diamond plate
we have the heated tanks and I think ours are only for the black and grey tanks we have never used them, but you never know. I would look into this option more and make sure it is something that YOU want or need
I read on the spec sheet in the brochure the trailer came standard with
"Wrapped Darco Underbelly"
http://www.palominorv.com/site/brochures/puma2011.pdf
thats my 2 cents!!
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:24 PM   #4
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I'd go for all those options. My dealer told me that prior to model year 2012, the underbellies are only partially enclosed and it's an upgrade fee to have them fully enclosed. Starting with model year 2012, it's a standard option to have the fully enclosed underbelly. Our 2012 has the fully enclosed underbelly. Critters getting in will ALWAYS be a problem. No matter how well you seal it, they will always find a way in. Just be sure not to give them any extra reasons to come in (i.e. food left in it for long periods when it's not used, etc) The sheet metal idea will weigh your trailer down, even a super thin sheet of metal, weighs a lot. Get aluminum sheets and it gets expensive and they still weigh a bit. I don't think that will make much of a difference on critters getting in either.
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:15 PM   #5
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Hi, thanks for the input! My husband is planning on towing the trailer around showing the kids the country, maybe next year, which is why we didn't go the park trailer route. I think i will take your advice, and get all those options except the heated tanks (actually in the brochure i checked, it says that is included also - going to double check). I checked with the dealer, and we are getting a 2012, so it should include the enclosed underbelly, thanks for letting me know.

What do you use to seal the holes underneath the trailer?

Thanks again,
jodie
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:33 PM   #6
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Upgrade Mattress (Serta) $185 - i can only imagine this will be better than the standard, what do they come with standard? Rocks!!! A memory foam topper usually solves the problem.
Outside Shower - $126 - figured it would be nice to hose off the happily filthy kids after playing outside enjoying the dirt and fresh air all day. This is one i was wondering if i could do myself for less. They have been around for years. Can't say I've ever seen anyone use one. A spare hose, a water splitter and a nozzle can be quite handy.
Diamond Plate - $75 - Is this worth it? We are going to keep it at a seasonal site for at least the first year while we figure out what the heck we are doing, but may travel with it after that. Where? On gravel roads??
Bath Skylight - $133 - this is something we can't add later, lol, but do you know if there are any leak issues with skylights installed at the factory? Any hole in the roof is a potential leak. But it does provide light and makes the shower less cramped, especially for tall people.
I'd go with the the heated tanks and enclosed underbelly for late fall camping.
CRITTERS HAPPEN!!!
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrosales2000 View Post

Upgrade Mattress (Serta) $185 - i can only imagine this will be better than the standard, what do they come with standard? Checking with dealer also.
probably a good choice to upgrade the mattress. you know it's the one thing you'll use every day in teh camper no matter what!

Bath Skylight - $133 - this is something we can't add later, lol, but do you know if there are any leak issues with skylights installed at the factory?

We have one and I love it - looked at trailers with and without and IMO this is a must have. and adding it later is difficult at best.

Outside Shower - $126 - figured it would be nice to hose off the happily filthy kids after playing outside enjoying the dirt and fresh air all day. This is one i was wondering if i could do myself for less.

I don't see a big need for this myself. If maybe we camped a beach, ran out dog in the mud, had kids that rolled in the mud, maybe. I'm not showering outside and I'm pretty sure my wife has no interest in it. If I really needed water for something like this I could use the water hookup or the campground bathroom. And as you say, it shouldn't be all that hard to add. YMMV.

Diamond Plate - $75 - Is this worth it? We are going to keep it at a seasonal site for at least the first year while we figure out what the heck we are doing, but may travel with it after that.

We have this and just about every trailer we've looked at has as well. It's thin stuff, but will help protect the trailer from road debris. For the price how an you pass it up?

Heated Tanks - $407 - what is this?? Is this insulated water tanks? Could we just wrap some insulation around them ourselves, and is this necessary? We don't anticipate winter use, but maybe early spring or late fall use.

Yes, these are in-tank (or undertank) heaters. You have to be hooked to shore power and only need them if you're camping in the cold. My FIL would love them. Me? If the air temp is colder than my beer I'm not camping. It also seems expensive. You can retrofit this if you really need to later.

Enclosed Underbelly - $170 - i have seen arguments both ways on this one - A) they are flimsy, barely there to meet code requirements, and give critters a warm place to nest in or B) Helps with gas mileage

Can't help here. If you never have to do any maintenance under there or need to inspect anything than perhaps it's a good thing, but once you have to tear into it for some reason I doubt you'll ever get it back to factory condition, sealing wise. I'd like to have access to check things out underneath myself. YMMV.



Jodie
Our trailer has a rear carrier rack on the back (we bought it off the lot - i'm guessing someone ordered it and changed their minds based on some of the options, like this one). I think it will come in handy when we have to take the kids bikes with us. I'd like a ladder to the roof so I can inspect up there.
We also have ducted AC and Heat which I'm glad of, but not having had a TT before i"ve nothing to compare it to.
We have a sink and stove cover and I'd want that.
We don't have an oven...that didn't bother me till I saw a thread here on the uses for one while camping. Never had one, don't now either - so we'll not 'miss' it.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:21 PM   #8
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upgrade the mattress for sure.
outside shower is more like a wash station, great if hands get dirty. That's about it.
Enclosed underbelly makes it look good, that's it. mice still find a way in and now it's a nice home for them. We took ours off and spray foamed the entire underbelly. heated tanks are nice for extended camp seasons. Ours are heat pads that run on the 12 volt. diamond plating is nice, we don't have it and I wish we did. We drive a lot of gravel road, just extra protection.
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