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Old 02-02-2014, 04:15 PM   #11
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Congrats on the new Puma !!!!!!!

We have had two Puma fivers & loved them both. The current one (2013) is a TH. Very Very few & minor issues with either. Very well built for the $....


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Old 02-02-2014, 09:14 PM   #12
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Thanks! Planning on taking it out on its maiden trip to northern coast of CA this coming weekend. Maybe raining but will be nice with all the extra space over our last trailer.

Last weekend I swapped out the stock WFCO for a Power Max Boondocker unit suggested by Randy at Bestconverters. Went in really easy. It will be teamed up with a pair of Trojan 6v and a Honda 2000i for charging duties.

Here are some pictures from the install.



Side by side.


Tadaaa!

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Old 02-24-2014, 01:20 AM   #13
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So finally got the Puma out on her maiden trip. We decided to go one night on the spur of the moment to a state recreation area (Brannon Island,CA) just 30 miles away from home. Its not are usual destination of the coast or alpine lake. Its set in the rural farmland around the delta waterways here in northern CA. It was our first time to this destination and i was pleasantly surprised. Our site was covered in green grass with tons of land separating our neighboring sites. Backed right up to a slough. The weather had been great lately (70° high and 45° low) so we wanted to do a little shake down cruise.

Some hick-ups. As said before this is our first fifth wheel and have little experience hooking up the trailer with fifth wheel hitch. We had some difficulties with engaging the king pin even at the slightest angle. We had plenty of room to move the truck in position to be straight on with trailer but we tried to hook up in the slightest angle we couldn't get the lock to activate. This is with a Pullrite Superglide 4100, it is said nothing greater than 20° when hitching. This worries me since the trips we got planned through summer are at CG with much less room and an angled approach to the kingpin is inevitable.

My wife and I also noticed a lot of suspension noise in the form of pops and creaks from the fifth wheel. There is also a little creaking from hitch itself but nothing significant compared to the suspension. Is this normal? Creaking does not bother me as much as popping.

Trailer is not completely level. The front of cap is about 8.5" clearance versus the rear of bed cap at about 8". When I initially started backing into a spot. I backing at a rather sharp angle. The Superglide hitch was doing its thing and automatically sliding king pin back. My wife points out that the fiberglass faring on the king pin was making contact this my plastic bed rail covers. I was surprised to see this since there wasn't much of a slope to the spot. No damage though thanks to the Mrs. That's where my luck ran out.

When I finally got settled in good in my spot. I jumped out and chocked up and lowered landing gear. Un latched the hitch and I was getting back in to pull the truck away. Well now the Mrs was tending to my youngest (1 year old) who was pissed off from being stuck in a car seat so I lost my spotter, and quite honestly I didn't think I need one at this moment. Well started pulling away and I noticed I was hung up on something. The TAILGATE!!

I felt so stupid. And just as the neighbors next to us sat and watched my novice mistake. Damage was minimal and you can't see it unless you drop the tailgate. Damage to my pride at that point was monumental.

We spent the next 20 hrs enjoying the trailer and getting to know it. Nothing too significant happened on the inside other than a bunch of missing stuff due to our hasten pre trip planning.

Well this afternoon we got everything packed up and pulled to the dumps. I have done this plenty with our old trailer so I didn't have any worries going into it. When I went to remove the cap to the sewer connection I noticed a large amount of water spewing out. Uh oh! Tightened the cap back and was confused. Then I saw that all three valves were open! The dealer left then open from the PDI and I was and idiot for not double checking. Well I shut the valves and allowed what ever was post valve flood out slowly as I held the cap. Yes I was wearing gloves! Wasn't too bad just had to hose down the washout area well and change my footwear out before reentering truck.

All in all we had a great time and I learned a lot. We go back out in two weeks to the coast for a two nighter. Glad we decided last minute yesterday to roll out even with the problems we ran into.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:36 AM   #14
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Here is the rig parked in the site. Right before my idiot moment.



In this pictures you can see the slough in the background. It's really quite wide. Maybe 150-200 yards across.


my damaged tailgate. And I tried so hard in the last year to keep my truck pristine.



Back home ready to drive the Puma back to the storage facility.

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Old 02-24-2014, 05:51 AM   #15
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Glad all went mostly well.

Not familiar with your hitch brand but ours does give a lot of creaks & pops & I can hitch at an slight angle but more care has to be taken (esp with the tailgate). The trailer does look nose high but I am sure others will be along with suggestions........

Sounds like most of your issues are learning experiences & we have all been there.
I'm very old school so when we ordered our Puma we did not get the hitch cover so no issues with it contacting the bed rails.

Good Luck
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:12 AM   #16
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Great photos thanks for sharing and congrats on your new rig. I'm glad your first trip went well with just the one hiccup. We've had fifth wheels for 11 years and have done a lot of traveling and we still use a checklist when hitching and unhitching to avoids those "DUH" moments. I learned that lesson very early on.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:05 AM   #17
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Keep an eye on the light shade above the table. We got ours last year, used it 10 times or so. The glass shade fell out on landed on the table in 1000's of pieces. It was only on by a thread or two. Other than a few miner things it has been a great get away home.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:19 AM   #18
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69' of fun mine sits a little up in the front also. As far as a fith wheel mishap. My dad was helping one time we were done for the season. I was unhooking, he wanted it back farther. So I backed up, I did not like it now so I pulled forward. That is when I heard a noise I never want to here again. I pull the pin on the plate and it came off. Now the camper was at rest on the top of my truck box. All in all go slow you will be fine
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minnranger View Post
69' of fun mine sits a little up in the front also. As far as a fith wheel mishap. My dad was helping one time we were done for the season. I was unhooking, he wanted it back farther. So I backed up, I did not like it now so I pulled forward. That is when I heard a noise I never want to here again. I pull the pin on the plate and it came off. Now the camper was at rest on the top of my truck box. All in all go slow you will be fine
That's a lot of rig there. Looks like fun! Come on summer!!

Not so much on the "nose plant". Bet that wont happen twice.

oops. forgot to check mark that stupid box again!
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:08 PM   #20
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That is a whole lot length. Did you have to reinforce the frame to tow the boat.

Got a trip to Doran beach in Bodega Bay California this coming weekend. It's been raining here so I'm crossing my fingers for dry weather. Going to try my luck at crabbing for the first time even though the Dungeness crab report is slow. I'll be happy with some decent size rock crab.

Will post pictures after the trip if we go.
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