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Old 02-20-2017, 02:44 AM   #1
Palomini User
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Santa Fe County, NM
Posts: 3
2016 Palomini 132FD Off Road Edition - experience

I've had this since last summer. It has had its share of quality problems. I have slowly fixed them and added some improvements, and it is now almost what I originally wanted. Never was able to get any support from Palomini/FR phone in, they don't return calls - period. The manual is for a Palomino, so it covers many features that this TT doesn't have.

It spent the first 6 weeks last summer at Camping World in Albuquerque where the furnace was replaced, due to a broken/unbalanced fan. This was a major hassle as priority for them was not warranty on this tiny TT (bought from a different CW in Colorado Springs). After three trips there, they finally finished it, although they left the windows open and it was dusty, plus they left the heater on the floor uninstalled on the final visit. Eventually I got it done, and never want to go there again for service.

A/C unit vibrates excessively, so I shimmed around it with aluminum strips with some success. I won't be taking it to CW for warranty work for this...

Initially it would blow the 15 amp DC fuse out of the internal AC charger everytime I docked it to 120 Volts. CW replaced the fuse but didn't fix anything. Factory never responded to my request for help and it repeatedly occured. I studied online forums to find that this particular charger is known for blowing the fuse if the batteries are discharged a bit. Raised the fuse size (!) to the next rating and issue solved. Why didn't anyone mention this in the Palomino manual.

I installed 12V Samsung TV on the wall above the bed but found that there was no reception from the TV antenna jack. None. Radio was also dead. After pulling out the wall plate, i found that the factory had miswired it and had connected the antenna cable to the jack marked Satellite. The cable input from the side of the trailer was going to the preamp and the jack marked TV. Of course, this was not working at all. I'm glad to have found it as taking it to CW was not going to happen! Imagine how long they would have it before they ripped the wall out. I shudder to think about that.

The fire extinguisher fell off the thin paneling. The factory had missed drilling into the backing plate of particle board so the screws stripped out. Fixed this.

Under each cover or behind appliances, sawdust and drilling debris was everywhere from the factory. Don't they take any pride in their workmanship? I guess not.

A hole in the top of a lower storage cabinet was found to daylight, under the refrig. It was where wires had been installed to the outside access panel for the refrig. A can of expanding foam fixed this air hole, to prevent mice from getting in as well as weather.

One window blind ripped out of the wall, two sheet metal screws into thin laminate. I will have to figure out a solution.

Improvements:
I added a Sony BDP-S1700 Blue Ray player and it fitted exactly into the opening where the radio was. I moved the radio into the upper opening that had a blank sheet of paneling over it. This Blue Ray has 12V input.

Added a second parallel battery and box on the front. This gives me 140 AH at least.

Added a Votronic (German) battery monitor/gauge, just below the sink next to the thermostat and pump switches. The shunt for this is in the battery box. Without having a monitor, this TT runs down batteries too easily. Now I can keep an eye on consumption and charge state.

Added ZAMP folding 120W solar panel, plugged right into batter box near new shunt. It is portable, not bolted to TT.

Next summer I plan to rework the DC electrical distribution box under the chassis as it is nothing more than a 120V J box for in walls, not water tight.
I have an aluminum Bud box with a gasket that I will use. The shunt will probably move from the battery box to this location.

Summary:
The Palomini 132FD is a fun lightweight camper, but the build quality is rough, factory QC lacking. There is little support from factory. Expect some warranty issues as well as need to fix things yourself. But it was inexpensive, so I can't complain too much. I took it off road last weekend in southern NM and it was a lot of fun. Drove through dry creekbeds with gravel and several rough rocky roads on BLM land, without problems.
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jtml is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2017, 09:17 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 643
Hate to say this but what you are seeing is typical for the industry as far as delivered quality and dealer service support. The only way I see that changing is if a major disruption comes such as hit the US auto industry in the 70's that forced them to change. One thing about Palomino is the service manager used to be and likely still is part time. I found the best way to reach him was to keep calling when he was in the office. Eventually he would answer.

For the screws that fell out. The way I handle this is to use plastic wall anchors that I epoxy into the hole. The exterior walls have a foam core and the epoxy stabilizes it while the anchor gives the screws something to bite into. Depending upon the screw size the hole might need to be enlarged. That being said there is supposed to be a metal backer for heavy items mounted to the exterior walls. I have found them misplaced, missing or plain ignored on our trailer. A stud finder should help you locate them. I would not have a dealer try to fix it as around here they will just grab a bigger screw and hope it works.
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:42 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtml View Post
I've had this since last summer. It has had its share of quality problems. I have slowly fixed them and added some improvements, and it is now almost what I originally wanted. Never was able to get any support from Palomini/FR phone in, they don't return calls - period. The manual is for a Palomino, so it covers many features that this TT doesn't have.

It spent the first 6 weeks last summer at Camping World in Albuquerque where the furnace was replaced, due to a broken/unbalanced fan. This was a major hassle as priority for them was not warranty on this tiny TT (bought from a different CW in Colorado Springs). After three trips there, they finally finished it, although they left the windows open and it was dusty, plus they left the heater on the floor uninstalled on the final visit. Eventually I got it done, and never want to go there again for service.

A/C unit vibrates excessively, so I shimmed around it with aluminum strips with some success. I won't be taking it to CW for warranty work for this...

Initially it would blow the 15 amp DC fuse out of the internal AC charger everytime I docked it to 120 Volts. CW replaced the fuse but didn't fix anything. Factory never responded to my request for help and it repeatedly occured. I studied online forums to find that this particular charger is known for blowing the fuse if the batteries are discharged a bit. Raised the fuse size (!) to the next rating and issue solved. Why didn't anyone mention this in the Palomino manual.

I installed 12V Samsung TV on the wall above the bed but found that there was no reception from the TV antenna jack. None. Radio was also dead. After pulling out the wall plate, i found that the factory had miswired it and had connected the antenna cable to the jack marked Satellite. The cable input from the side of the trailer was going to the preamp and the jack marked TV. Of course, this was not working at all. I'm glad to have found it as taking it to CW was not going to happen! Imagine how long they would have it before they ripped the wall out. I shudder to think about that.

The fire extinguisher fell off the thin paneling. The factory had missed drilling into the backing plate of particle board so the screws stripped out. Fixed this.

Under each cover or behind appliances, sawdust and drilling debris was everywhere from the factory. Don't they take any pride in their workmanship? I guess not.

A hole in the top of a lower storage cabinet was found to daylight, under the refrig. It was where wires had been installed to the outside access panel for the refrig. A can of expanding foam fixed this air hole, to prevent mice from getting in as well as weather.

One window blind ripped out of the wall, two sheet metal screws into thin laminate. I will have to figure out a solution.

Improvements:
I added a Sony BDP-S1700 Blue Ray player and it fitted exactly into the opening where the radio was. I moved the radio into the upper opening that had a blank sheet of paneling over it. This Blue Ray has 12V input.

Added a second parallel battery and box on the front. This gives me 140 AH at least.

Added a Votronic (German) battery monitor/gauge, just below the sink next to the thermostat and pump switches. The shunt for this is in the battery box. Without having a monitor, this TT runs down batteries too easily. Now I can keep an eye on consumption and charge state.

Added ZAMP folding 120W solar panel, plugged right into batter box near new shunt. It is portable, not bolted to TT.

Next summer I plan to rework the DC electrical distribution box under the chassis as it is nothing more than a 120V J box for in walls, not water tight.
I have an aluminum Bud box with a gasket that I will use. The shunt will probably move from the battery box to this location.

Summary:
The Palomini 132FD is a fun lightweight camper, but the build quality is rough, factory QC lacking. There is little support from factory. Expect some warranty issues as well as need to fix things yourself. But it was inexpensive, so I can't complain too much. I took it off road last weekend in southern NM and it was a lot of fun. Drove through dry creekbeds with gravel and several rough rocky roads on BLM land, without problems.


Wondering how things are going with the rv? Still have it? Any major issues?
410Trailrunner is offline   Reply With Quote
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