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Old 08-24-2016, 04:01 PM   #1
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First RV -- Palomini?

My wife and I are considering purchasing our first RV and are trying to approach the purchase with as much information as we can. We are also likely buying a smaller, lighter unit that should hold its value well in our area. one that represent a minimal investment, as we are not sure how much use it will get.

So, I have a few questions.

First, our local market is VERY hot (sales-wise, that is) so we are considering buying in a neighboring state. We live in Colorado, and the dealers we've visited all want quite a bit more money for the same units that I can find in Kansas, Nebraska, etc. Any advice on buying out of state? Is it a bad idea? I know Forest River adds a little plea to "buy local" on all their brochures, but I cannot see spending an additional 3-4 thousand unless there are compelling reasons.

Next, the trailers we have narrowed our search to are all units that sleep 3-4, with fiberglass roofs and siding, a front queen walkaround bed and a full bathroom (as opposed to a "wet closet". The Palomini 180FB and 181FS seem to check all the boxes -- but a number of complaints about quality I've seen online concern me. Anyone care to comment on the general quality of the Palomini line?

Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-24-2016, 04:14 PM   #2
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One advantage of buying outside of local area could be price. One disadvantage is the lack of service from local dealerships as many tend to service their customers first or only.
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:59 PM   #3
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Can't comment on the Palomini but we drove 4000 miles RT to pick up our Roo 23SS.
FR found us local dealers that would do the warranty work.
Never regretted it since we saved over $4000 even after trip costs.

We would do it again if we ever get another RV.
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Old 08-26-2016, 05:50 PM   #4
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We've had a Palomoni 142CK for a couple of years now. I would say the quality isn't any better or worse than you will see with any other RV. In general RV quality is pretty poor. Now that we have the initial stuff fixed and I've upgraded a few things the trailer has been pretty painless as far as upkeep. I get up on the roof a couple of times of year to check the sealant, adjust/inspect the brakes as needed, grease the bearings, etc. Basically normal maintenance.

This was our first trailer. The 180FB and 181FS are larger than what we have but here are some things we've learned:

- The wall mounted AC unit is barely sufficient to cool the trailer to around 80 when
temps are in the mid to high 90's and trailer is in some shade. If we knew it had
been framed for a higher capacity roof unit we would have upgraded.

- While the trailer is ok space wise for the two of us, we would like to get a slide out
in our next one for a bit more kitchen space.

- Next trailer will have a larger bath. The wet bath works but is very tight and too
small to add a ceiling vent to exhaust moisture and odors.

So between the two you are looking at we would tends towards the 181FS due to the slide out. This is even though we prefer a dinette over a couch/table dining area.

Lastly the chance for no local service is very real. We had trouble finding a local dealer to handle warranty work after our selling dealer messed up some pre-delivery repairs (not to mention they were 200 miles away). Fortunately after contacting Palomino they were able to help get a local FR dealer to handle our warranty problems even though they do not carry the Palomini line (nobody does the closest dealer is about 150 miles from our house).
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:01 AM   #5
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Info on FR Palomini

Thanks to everyone who responded.

I have learned a TON about this line and RVs in general during the last week or two. Your candid assessment is precisely the kind of info I was looking for.

I have sent the dealer (in a neighboring state) a deposit, so we are committed to buying the 180FB. We've been told we could "upgrade" (for an additional 500 bucks) to a 181 if we are unhappy with it when we arrive at the dealer's lot on Tuesday 9/30.

Just so you know -- I did visit our local (25 miles) Palomino dealer and while he had hundreds of units in stock -- he only had 2 Palominis (neither of which fit our needs). To be honest, he seemed uninterested in selling us one.

While the local dealer did not berate the Palomini, he kept steering me toward his Jayco line -- which are considerably more expensive (but did have a nicer finish level than the Palominis).

The fact is, none of the dealers in our state had either Palomini model we wanted in stock. So I had to look at a couple of units that did not meet my needs -- but were representative of the line in terms of fit and finish.

I specifically asked the local dealer what would happen if I were on the road, 1500 miles away, and had a warrantied-item failure. He said that I could call them, and they'd put me in touch with Forest River, who'd in turn contact a dealer nearby to service the unit. Not as simple as an auto warranty repair, but acceptable.

Anyway, it sounds like I can count on having some small failures during the warranty period. While I'd prefer not to resign myself to that -- it sounds like that is the reality with RVs these days.

Thanks again to all who gave me their thoughts.
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:00 PM   #6
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Well I first got my Palomino I drove 2500 miles to Iowa to pick it up. I live in Washington State. There was no dealer within a thousand Miles here at the time. Forest River was glad to pay any local RV service shop for warranty work. I've had mine for 3 years and love it. Good luck with yours.
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Old 08-27-2016, 02:54 PM   #7
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we have a 2016 palomini 180fb and recently traveled from Michigan thu the bad lands mount Rushmore, and Yellowstone park and on to Oregon. Approximately 7,000 miles with no problems
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:11 PM   #8
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I don't have a Palomini but do have a Palomino Solaire 201SS. We too looked at the mini but went with the 201SS which was not much more money but offered a lot more room in our opinion. It was manufactured in March of 2015 and was labeled as a 2015. We purchased it new in July of 2015.

We have had minor issues. I had to take it to the original dealer where I purchased it at 2+ hrs each way because no one local would work on the trailer. I had the awning repaired as it was making a horrible noise when opening and closing. They eventually replaced the struts. It was quiet for 1 trip and then the noise returned. The awning never stopped working. Next, the Antenna for the FM was not working. I had that replaced. The Fire extinguisher came off the wall that I fixed myself. I have already started to replace some of the seals. I check them every 6-8 months and reseal as necessary (as part of the PM process, not because of an issue).

Other then those minor issues to date, no bad issues that has kept us from using it. We really love this trailer. It's perfect for the two of us. Very easy to tow and a good size (23') and lightweight at 3900 lbs. dry. Camp ready its 4300 or so.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:31 PM   #9
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We have a 2014 150RBS Palomini that we purchased in October 2014. We had delamination on the back, and had the entire back replaced at the dealer last winter. Other than that it has been a good little TT for the two of us. It's easy to tow with our SUV. We are glad we got a model with the slide out for just a little more space. What I think you will like about a 180 model is that the bed will be easier to make. Here in Michigan, the size of the air conditioner has not been a problem. We ran it most of the time at the Goshen rally, and the temperature was pleasant at night. (We were busy and on the go during the day.) Especially last year, we needed to run the furnace in the mornings to get the chill out. The little furnace has worked great.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:13 PM   #10
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We have a 180FB. We had a few problems that were fixed under warranty. Most dealers here do warranty work on units they didn't sale. You may have to wait if they have units they sold to work on. Were happy with our TT.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:27 AM   #11
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Thanks. That's concerning....While I was at the Wolf Pup dealer (another Forest River brand) last week, the salesman pointed out a brand x trailer that was there for service and pointed out delamination on the front of it. He said that exposure to strong sunlight and heat causes that.
He told me this sort of thing doesn't happen to the WP trailers because of a special construction used. Is it possible that Forest River uses and inferior design (compared to their WP brand) with the Palomini units?
The sunlight is very strong here because of our elevation, but the weather is also cooler. I do plan on keeping the unit outdoors -- but it will be under a cover.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mrgem View Post
Thanks. That's concerning....While I was at the Wolf Pup dealer (another Forest River brand) last week, the salesman pointed out a brand x trailer that was there for service and pointed out delamination on the front of it. He said that exposure to strong sunlight and heat causes that.
He told me this sort of thing doesn't happen to the WP trailers because of a special construction used. Is it possible that Forest River uses and inferior design (compared to their WP brand) with the Palomini units?
The sunlight is very strong here because of our elevation, but the weather is also cooler. I do plan on keeping the unit outdoors -- but it will be under a cover.

When we noticed the delamination, it was very slight and difficult to see unless standing at the right angle. We decided to get it taken care of right away while the TT was still under warranty. The explanation our dealer gave us for the cause really didn't make sense - that there was a problem with the installation of the LED lights. The new back came with traditional incandescent tail and running lights. Our TT is in the shade most of the day and we covered it in the off season. We have not noticed any other delamination- thank goodness!
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mrgem View Post
He told me this sort of thing doesn't happen to the WP trailers because of a special construction used. Is it possible that Forest River uses and inferior design (compared to their WP brand) with the Palomini units?
Total BS!

Typical sales speak.

NEVER believe what a RV salesperson says.
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:45 AM   #14
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I've owned my 177BH almost a year. I still really like it. Things that I've had to do to it in the last year:

- Redo the plumbing. My water lines hung off the frame. $50 to tighten and tuck everything up and insulate. Much better now

- Add backsplash around the stove (can be seen in another thread) $100

- Re-glue some saggy trim on the inside $0

- Add a 12v plug on the entertainment center for my TV $10

- Warranty claim on the front corner trim, it was coming off. Turns out the adhesive tape covering wasn't pulled off on one side. Simple fix $0

- Add a mirror and towel rack to the bathroom $50

The quality isn't any worse than any other camper in this price range. I'm pretty happy still. It's been a good unit for the wife, dog, and me.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:20 AM   #15
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I've owned my 177BH almost a year. I still really like it...
The quality isn't any worse than any other camper in this price range. I'm pretty happy still. It's been a good unit for the wife, dog, and me.
Thanks. That is exactly the kind of real-world experience I am looking for. The only "defect" I've found so far is that one of the faucet handles in the bathroom had the handle cross threaded on the nylon valve. They tightened the handle so tight it cracked the threaded part of handle The handle came off in my hand the first time I turned the water on Not sure if I want to make a claim or just fix it. I may just fix it myself -- since I've already winterized the trailer.


Thanks again.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:47 AM   #16
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Thanks. That is exactly the kind of real-world experience I am looking for. The only "defect" I've found so far is that one of the faucet handles in the bathroom had the handle cross threaded on the nylon valve. They tightened the handle so tight it cracked the threaded part of handle The handle came off in my hand the first time I turned the water on Not sure if I want to make a claim or just fix it. I may just fix it myself -- since I've already winterized the trailer.


Thanks again.
No problem!

I forgot to add that I also upgraded the shower head with a high efficiency oxygenics shower head. That also made all the difference.
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