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Vic's new 2012 Puma build

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#1 Vic Harder

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 01:48 AM

Thought I would start this thread now, since I am starting my 4000 mile round trip trek down to New Mexico tomorrow morning to pick up the Puma.


camper 5
Album: Vic's Puma (Grandby) build
173 images


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#2 jimjxsn


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Posted 14 May 2019 - 02:48 PM

Looking forward to updates. Have a great trip!
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#3 carld


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Posted 21 May 2019 - 08:21 PM

Sounds like a good trip.  The Puma looks great.  I'm on number 3 too, 2011 Palomino Bronco (sold), 2015 ATC Ocelot (wrecked), and 2019 ATC Ocelot (new).   I'm going to NM Friday 5-24 for a couple of weeks, the weather is going to be good, going to be exploring around the badlands of NW New Mexico to NE Arizona. 

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#4 Vic Harder

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 10:17 PM

it’s been bucketing rain in idaho and utah today, with occasional snow too
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#5 Vic Harder

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 07:03 AM

First night with the PUMA, in Bandelier, NM.  Windy, but lovely campground with good neighbors!

In Bandelier, NM


We even managed to sneak in a day of hiking & site seeing in Bandelier.  

I wasn't sure from the description if this circular structure was the remains of a large building, or of an advanced gardening technique
IMG 0632
View down the main valley 
IMG 0652
Petroglyph in one of the many alcoves.  Looks like a horse with a bridle to me...
IMG 0619

When we got home, we had to shuffle campers around, since the PUMA will be parked until this winter, when I will have time to work on it.  This summer, we are still using the Hawk.

Shuffling campers around
We've discovered a few issues with this otherwise pristine camper:
1) The ceiling liner is damaged.  Looks like a bicycle was transported in the camper, and tore linear rips into the liner.  ;-(
2) In an absolute downpour at 80 mph plus a headwind, it leaked a bit at the top, passenger side
3) Roof is bent from an incident involving the clips coming undone, but we knew about that when we bought it.


Still a good deal, even with 4000 miles of driving to get it.

Edited by Vic Harder, 27 May 2019 - 07:12 AM.

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#6 Vic Harder

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 03:51 AM

Working on the build, but haven't posted... sorry!  Question for y'all ... I am redoing the insulation, and thinking of:


1) Making the loose fiberglass fill 1/2 as thick (it pulls apart easily) to fill in the uneven siding surfaces

2) Fitting the remaining space with 1/2" thick solid insulation

3) Taping the seams to block air flow

4) Adding a layer of Reflectix and taping that instead of doing #3


It is actually step 4 that I have the most questions about.  I understand it only adds about 1.3R value.  Will it make the thin 1/8" wall covering bow/warp too much?  I bet I'd be able to see it bend/flex wherever a screw attaches it to the framing.


Thanks for your wisdom!



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#7 klahanie


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Posted 07 January 2020 - 04:56 AM

Hey Vic, on #4 I agree with your concern and think I would prefer a more solid attachment of the panel than might occur with the reflex sandwiched in there. Also I'd first want to be sure of the suitability for the application. see the FAQ tab, Why are Air Spaces required (in every application)? on the mfr's website.


Reflex could act as a vapor barrier without all the taping, although I think I might use a poly roll instead. Btw for tape, I'm a big fan of Tuck tape.


You want to keep some fibre insulation to press out the siding ? Too bad 'cause I think if I was going to the trouble I'd get rid of it all and go 1" rigid IF it could be fitted tightly.


From previous post, did you fix the roof leak ?

Edited by klahanie, 07 January 2020 - 04:57 AM.

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#8 PokyBro


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Posted 07 January 2020 - 06:41 AM

Hey Vic,


i’m with Klahanie on going with one inch rigid insulation if you have all the inside paneling off. When I did my build, I cut each piece of rigid foam with a table saw, and ended up with a very tight fit all around. I also picked up a role of peel off backing aluminum tape at Home Depot (used for duct work), and further sealed all of the joints. 

I can’t tell you if it’s the best way, but my reasoning was that getting rid of the fiberglass batting, and going with rigid was less likely to hold moisture, is a tighter fit, and was just about as light weight. It’s also not a big expense. My wall seem pretty good at retaining heat in cold weather, and I’ve had no issues with moisture. I don’t think adding a layer of reflectix would have added much benefit.


Attached is a photo of how mine looked with the rigid foam.




Rigid insulation

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#9 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 02:39 PM

Thanks Vic for the posts.

Enjoy your new camper.


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#10 takesiteasy


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Posted 07 January 2020 - 03:42 PM

I agree with the comments above. Thermal bridging through the aluminum framing is a problem but most noticeable to us on the ceiling. Maybe some foam tape applied to the framing would help with that but probably marginal. Using full thickness foam sealed to the framing seems the best compromise to me. I have considered removing the paneling and adding a layer of foam insulation over the framing and then reinstalling the paneling but have not done that yet. It is not a major problem. If we did more winter camping, I would probably be more concerned about it.

Edited by takesiteasy, 07 January 2020 - 03:44 PM.

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