Palomino RV has a large selection of travel trailers and fifth wheels, with its Puma line a top seller. But is Puma a quality product that offers functional floorplans and the necessary features campers demand?
I wanted to answer that question and put all the details in this guide. Inside, I talk about:
- Palomino Puma’s history
- What models Puma offers
- Top Puma features
- Pros and cons of Puma floor plans and construction
- Best models for solo, couple, or family RV trips
Shopping for an RV can be challenging with so many RV makes and models on the market, so check out this deep dive on the Puma by Palomino to see what it offers!
History of Palomino Puma RVs
The Palomino Camping Trailer brand of recreational vehicles was started in 1968 by Vern Landey, who felt he could build a lighter and more durable camper than those for sale at that time. His Palomino parent company, Vanguard Industries, included supporting businesses in the RV industry, such as metal fabrication and cold storage facilities.
The first Palomino camping trailers were made in Minnesota. As the company grew, it moved to facilities in Michigan to have easier access to the quality Amish craftsman and RV technicians in nearby Elkhart, Indiana.
Palomino kept growing its customer base and RV production through the 70s, 80s, and 90s before being sold to Forest River, Inc. in 2002. After the transition, Forest River introduces two new towable camping trailer lines – the Puma and the Sabre by Palomino, with manufacturing in Goshen, Indiana.
By 2005, Berkshire Hathaway had acquired Forest River and all its subsidiaries, including Palomino. The company continues to produce the Palomino Puma line of travel trailers and fifth wheels under the Forest River division of RVs to the present day.
Palomino Puma Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels
The Puma line of recreational vehicles includes:
- Puma Travel Trailer (24 models)
- Puma Toy Hauler (1 model)
- Puma Fifth Wheel (7 models)
- Puma Destination (8 models)
- Puma Ultra Lite (6 models)
- Puma Ultra Lite Toy Hauler (1 model)
- Puma Unleashed Fifth Wheel Toy Hauler (2 models)
- Puma XLE Lite (11 models)
- Puma XLE Lite Toy Hauler (5 models)
In total, Palomino Puma currently offers 65 different types and floorplans of camping trailers, possibly one of the largest selections for a single RV brand line.
I love the vast amount of choices in the Puma line, which is well-known for its lightweight, durable, well-designed, and constructed travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers. No matter what your camping needs, there is a Puma model to match.
Not having to upgrade your truck to pull your new RV is a great way to save money; luckily, most Puma travel trailers and over half of their fifth wheels are 1/2-ton towable.
Puma Travel Trailer Specs:
- Length: 29′ 7″ to 42′ 4″
- Dry Weight: 6,033 lbs. to 9,608 lbs.
- Sleeping Capacity: 4 to 9
Puma Fifth Wheel and Toy Hauler Specs:
- Length: 28′ to 39′ 10″
- Dry Weight: 6,754 lbs. to 10,758 lbs.
- Sleeping Capacity: 4 to 8
Puma Destination Specs:
- Length: 39′ 9″ to 42′ 4″
- Dry Weight: 9,468 lbs. to 10,709 lbs.
- Sleeping Capacity: 4 to 10
Puma Ultra Lite and Toy Hauler Specs:
- Length: 18′ 6″ to 23′ 2″
- Dry Weight: 2,839 lbs. to 4,074 lbs.
- Sleeping Capacity: 3 to 5
Puma Unleashed Fifth Wheel Toy Hauler Specs:
- Length: 39′ 10″
- Dry Weight: 13,895 lbs. to 13,900 lbs.
- Sleeping Capacity: 4 to 8
Puma XLE Lite and Toy Hauler Specs:
- Length: 24′ 10″ to 35′ 6″
- Dry Weight: 4,208 lbs. to 7,946 lbs.
- Sleeping Capacity: 4 to 9
For a complete list of all Puma models and specifications, please visit the Palomino website at palominorv.com.
Palomino Puma Standard Features
The Puma camping trailers offer a nice array of standard features on all their models, which include:
A Modern Kitchen
The modern appeal of the kitchen includes cabinetry in shades of creamy white, cafe latte, driftwood, or oak, with the Puma signature black hardware. The special touches in the kitchen, like the spice rack, built-in knife holder, and the large under mount sink with a high-rise faucet, make the space feel residential.
13,500 Btu Ducted AC
Not all RVs come with an air conditioner standard, but the Puma offers customers a ducted unit that does an excellent job cooling the camper down evenly and quickly. In addition, if you want to upgrade from the 13,500 BTU AC, there is an option to install a 15,000 BTU AC instead.
Ducted Floor Heating
Another nice feature, typically an additional cost in other RV brands, is the ducted floor heating system that keeps you warm on chilly days or nights. Having a way to stay comfortable in cold weather allows you to extend your camping season several months each year.
A bathroom skylight is wonderful inside any RV, but the Puma models go a step further and add it above the tub or shower unit. The skylight’s natural light and extra headroom (a boon for taller guests) make washing up feel luxurious.
Comfortable, Durable Furniture
Puma has some of the comfiest and most well-built sofas, chairs, and dinette cushions I have tried in a standard-feature RV. The conversion of the jack-knife sofa or dinette to a bed is simple and provides excellent support for a good night’s rest.
I can’t express how nice it is not to replace poor-quality RV furniture or upholstery immediately after purchase with something more comfortable, which saves both time and money you can spend on camping trips.
Power Awning with Led Lights
After having a manual RV awning for years, I can appreciate the ease of a power awning that opens and shuts with the push of a button and eliminates the annoying support legs that get in the way when moving around the patio.
Integrating an LED light strip into the awning edge increases convenience and safety outside your camper and provides a pleasant ambiance when entertaining or relaxing.
RV tires are not cheap, and having a full-size spare included in the base purchase price is a nice touch. Knowing you’re prepared if a tire blows or incurs damage provides peace of mind when traveling, especially in remote locations.
Puma Features (Video)
Palomino Puma Pros
Puma has lots to boast about in their travel trailers, toy haulers, and fifth wheels. Here are the top features that customers rave about:
Puma construction is top-of-the-line, using over-engineering on components and stress points to ensure years of carefree use without structural failure.
Puma continually upgrades the camper to the latest technology, listens to what campers want, and works to implement it into the design.
Each Puma RV undergoes a rigorous quality-control examination before being shipped to dealerships or customers. This testing system ensures buyers can avoid dealing with many of the “little glitches” other RV brands let slide until the customer brings it back for a warranty repair.
Stunning Interior Design
The Puma interior design has a classy look that also functions beautifully. I love the solid-surface countertops, the USB ports, the basketweave-pattern faux-wood flooring, and the fold-down cup holders on the sofa.
The wood tones on the cabinetry make the camper feel more custom, right down to the distressed wood wall that creates a rustic headboard in the main bedroom. In addition, some of the larger Puma models with a walk-in pantry feature a cool slatted door, which adds to the design’s unique charm.
The shower surrounds detailing looks high-end, and there is plenty of storage throughout the camper. In addition, the Puma designers put a lot of thought into the slide-out placement to provide the most functionality and openness of the space.
Overall, I have to say that the Puma is one of the rare RVs that I don’t feel needs any “redecorating” and only requires you to add your personal touches or mementos from your travels to make it feel like home.
Great Bunkhouse Options
Palomino Puma RVs offer many more bunkhouse options than other brands. You can find private rooms with two to four berths for sleeping and some with a separate entertainment center and desk to keep the kids happy.
Puma installs the widest awnings possible on each recreational vehicle model to give the buyer more protection when spending time outdoors and to improve the camping experience.
Most Pumas will have a pass-thru storage bay or large storage compartments, and windows are clad in tinted safety glass. The units also feature powder-coated frames and super-lube axles for longevity.
When you walk into a Puma travel trailer or fifth wheel, you may immediately think, “Oh, this is going to have a big price tag!”
However, Palomino Puma models are surprisingly affordable because the parent company deals in such high volume they receive discounts on parts and name-brand furniture, which they then pass on to the consumer.
Prices for Puma camping trailers range from $18,500 for the Puma Ultra Lite to $74,280 for the Puma Destination. The average price of any Puma travel trailer is $32,000.
Palomino Complimentary Roadside Assistance
When you buy a Puma, you’ll also become a member of Palomino’s roadside assistance program for free, which significantly reduces travel stress.
Palomino Puma Cons
Palomino Puma has a few problems customers point out on RV forums and through dealership reports.
Buyers find the roof finish could be neater. Also, poorly done caulking around the air conditioner or vents can lead to leaks, so always inspect the roof before towing your Puma off the lot.
Leaky plumbing is common in all RVs, and the Puma is no exception. Check for leaks regularly and tighten the fittings, especially after freezing weather or long road trips that cause the connections to loosen.
Freshwater Tank Clearance
The freshwater tank hangs below the trailer and could hit objects as you tow it around. I suggest you install a tank guard if your fresh or waste water tanks are in danger of damage.
Top Puma RV Model Picks
There is a lot to choose from when selecting a few of the best floor plans that are ideal for camping, whether you’re a single traveler or have a large family.
These Puma models stand out for the layout and amenities that work well in real-life camping situations:
Palomino Puma 30RKQS
The Puma 30RKQS is a great option for a single, couple, or small family. The 36′ 1″ unit sleeps up to five, and the dual slides and large rear kitchen make the trailer feel very spacious.
The main bedroom has a large closet for clothes and a closet prepped for a washer and dryer. The bathroom is roomy and has a convenient seat in the shower.
Lastly, storage is everywhere in this model, from the walk-in pantry and plentiful cabinets to the three large exterior storage compartments.
Palomino Puma 30RKQS (Video)
Palomino Puma 32DBTS
The Puma 32DBTS features a rear bunkhouse with two slide-outs and a separate entertainment center perfect for a large family. With a sleeping capacity of up to eight, there’s more than enough room to camp in comfort in this 38′ 8″ travel trailer.
This floor plan is also perfect if you want to convert the bunkhouse into a mobile office or hobby space.
The bathroom has convenient access from the interior and exterior of the RV, and the third slide-out holds the U-shaped dinette and sofa to expand the living area for family gatherings. Outside, the 20′ awning provides a huge shady or rain-free area to hang out.
The kitchen is compact but fully functional, and it is a great trade-off to give the kids their own room so that the adults can enjoy some privacy in their bedroom or living area at the front of the camper.
Palomino Puma 32DBTS (Video)
Palomino Puma Ultra Lite 16QBX
The Puma Ultra Lite 16QBX is 21′ 6″ long, 9′ 11″ tall, and only seven feet wide, making it a cozy retreat for a single or couple traveler. In addition, the unit is easy to tow, lightweight, and fuel-efficient, so it’s less stressful to pull, park, and store.
I love the full bathroom that stretches across the rear of the camper, as many units of this size often omit the sink. Everything inch of space is useful, from the overhead cabinets and shirt closets to the kitchen with a microwave, fridge, stove, and sink.
If you like being able to travel without the worry of size restrictions at campgrounds, I like the feel of this unit which is simple but provides everything you need to enjoy great camping trips.
Palomino Puma Ultra Lite 16QBX (Video)
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Finding the perfect RV when there are hundreds of makes and models to wade through can get tiring. I hope this in-depth guide to the Palomino Puma travel trailers and fifth wheels helps you narrow down which brand of RV is best for you!
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