Friday, September 17, 2021
Friday, September 17, 2021

RV review: 2021 Palomino Revolve EV1 – All-electric travel trailer

Electric cars are in the news a lot and part of that includes the potential for electric pickup trucks. Tesla and Ford are the two top contenders in the race for potential electric trucks, with Rivian bringing up the rear. Then there’s Nikola being in the news for fiddling with their prototypes and the founder’s alleged securities fraud. But what about an all-electric RV? 

They exist. Today. As in, right now you can go to a dealership and get one. Well, after waiting a long, long time as is the case with anything in the RV space. But Palomino has stepped up to the plate, swung and hit with their first line of all-electric travel trailers. And they’re in production now. 

Forest River’s Palomino division actually has four different travel trailers that are completely and totally electric. Dubbed the Revolve line, each of these is a smallish trailer that has no propane whatsoever aboard. 

The Palomino Revolve is electric

Let’s start with what really sets the Palomino Revolve trailers apart: They’re completely electric. On board are four lithium batteries along with four 100-watt solar panels on the roof. There’s a Renogy 3,000-watt inverter to power the whole thing. 

There are multiple ways to charge those batteries, including the aforementioned solar, of course. You could also just plug in to a 30-amp power pedestal at an RV park. There’s also a charging cable that you can attach to your vehicle if you want. That way you could either get a small amount of power from the battery or use the vehicle’s alternator to charge the system. However, you should know your vehicle’s charging system if you’re going to do this. Running the engine at idle with a significant load can overwork and kill the alternator. 

In addition to the 400 watts of solar on the roof, there are high-quality connectors at the very back of the trailer. There you can attach up to an additional 300 watts of solar. External solar panels are an option, or you could obviously just bring your own. 

Monitoring the whole enchilada can be done in multiple places in the Palomino Revolve. The first is inside the entry door of the trailer. Palomino has fitted an Intellitronix monitoring panel where you can see how much consumption or production is going on with the battery systems. 

There is also a Renogy panel above the bed in the Palomino Revolve where you can monitor the inverter. There is also a monitor panel right on the inverter if you choose to go outside and check it out. 

Hot topic

Since there is no propane aboard this trailer whatsoever, your first question might be how do they heat the thing? Palomino has provided an electric fireplace for that which will heat the coach. The fireplace’s “lights” or fireplace look can be disabled such that it’s just running as a heater – so this wouldn’t be a distraction at night. 

The 13,500 BTU air conditioner also has a heat strip built into it so you can use that as a heater as well. 

But, again, since there’s no propane aboard, that means the water heater, too, is electric. And the fridge is electric. And there’s an induction cooktop. 

Lithium batteries do have the advantage that you can run them almost completely to their reserve. So batteries that claim 400 amp-hours of power will deliver almost all of that, depending on the battery. Your typical lead-acid deep-cycle marine battery may say it provides 80 amp-hours of power. But you really only get about half of that in the real world before you start damaging the battery. 

The trailer itself

All four of the Palomino Revolve models are single-axle trailers that feature some quality component usage like Dexter TorFlex suspensions, frameless windows and more. One of the first things I noticed was the appearance of the wood trim and hardware in these. I absolutely love it. It reminds me somewhat of a log cabin on a beach vacation. 

Another thing I first noticed is that these trailers feature a couch in the front which also has a Murphy bed. But the weird thing is how that bed is activated. While Forest River’s Rockwood and Flagstaff brands have a really first-rate Murphy bed system, this incorporates the couch as part of the base that the bed sits on. This means a folding mattress. If ever there were a bed that needed an RVSuperbag, this is it.

Because the large battery occupies the space under the bed, it couldn’t operate like the ones in the Rockwood/Flagstaff line. The space the nose of the bed occupies in those trailers is taken up by the large battery. So you get a folding mattress that rests on the back of the couch when it’s sleepy time. 

The base of the couch does feature two pull-out drawers. You can use these to store that RVSuperbag or whatever. 

The dinette is in the single slide of the Palomino Revolve

There is a single slide on the road side of the trailer in which there is a dinette. It features a table sitting on two knee-knocker poles. This can also serve as another bed for someone tagging along. You can use the table to bridge the gap between the seats and form a third bed. The base of the dinette also has cabinet doors for storage. 

On the wall behind the slide is where the electric fireplace resides. There’s a pantry beyond that. 

The bathroom on this trailer takes up the entire rear of the coach. That means it’s a very spacious bathroom, considering the overall size of the trailer. There’s more storage in there in a linen closet. 

Let’s eat

The kitchen features an Everchill 12-volt refrigerator. Recently in some RV publication I saw Everchill bragging about being the first to come out with these fridges and how they’re not just adaptations of 120-volt fridges. They say they’re designed specifically for a mobile environment. Clearly the ad was addressing some complaints from someone about these, but I count myself as a fan of 12-volt compressor-based fridges. 

Cooking is done with a two-burner induction cooktop. However, due to the length of this trailer, it’s set in “sideways” so the touch controls face the sink. There is that larger stainless steel sink. In the cabinetry below this there is a convection microwave so you can brown your buns. There’s a nice window here, too. You don’t need a vent hood to vent out the propane since there isn’t any. 

Two drawers round out the cabinet. Then there’s a cabinet overhead with a single door, and then your TV. 

What’s funny to me about the Revolve

There are a couple of things that made me chuckle when I saw the Revolve trailers, and they’re due to regulation being so far behind reality. 

The first of those things is that there’s a propane detector aboard. Now, it’s not a bad thing to have this. It’s just funny that it’s there – but that’s due to their being required by law. Honestly, if I had this trailer I might choose to use a small propane heater like a Mr. Buddy and, in that case, I’d be glad there was a propane and CO detector aboard. So there’s that. 

Behind the cooktop are metal mini-blinds which are there, again, because of regulation. Since there’s no open flame at all you don’t need venting, and you’re not going to worry about your curtains catching fire. But the law states that there shall be metal mini blinds, so there they are. 

Three vent fans

Speaking of vent fans, there are three in this little trailer. Each is of the pop-up variety, sort of like a shower stopper. But you can move a lot of air by running all three and, I believe, that’s the whole idea. You can open the windows and create quite a breeze in here. That means you won’t have to run the AC system unless it’s really hot outside. 

There’s also a standard 12-volt flooded battery on the tongue of the trailer. That is there for the braking system and that sort of thing – but it’s just odd, to me. 

On the subject of batteries, all those pricey lithium-iron phosphate batteries and that fancy inverter are well encapsulated in the trailer itself. So you don’t have them on the tongue where they can be easily removed.

My thoughts

I would think that you could very reasonably use this trailer in shoulder seasons where you don’t need the heat or air conditioner much, if at all. In that case you’ll probably be just fine and you may even be able to use it very effectively in colder or warmer conditions depending on how hot or cold things get. 

Of course if you spend your time in RV parks, then you’re totally fine. But why do that when you’ve spent a great deal of money on a really top-notch solar and battery system? 

I admire the fact that, finally, an RV company has provided a travel trailer that employs this kind of technology and truly embraces it. Clearly Palomino is dipping its toes in the water rather than going full cannonball with a long line of coaches. But this is a great start. 

I hope the Palomino Revolves are successful

I hope they’re tremendously successful with this as I see this as the way things could go if they are successful. 

Also, I admire the fact that they went all-in – no propane whatsoever. Honestly, this would be an easier thing to do if they heated the coach with propane and provided a propane-electric water heater. But nope, they’re all in. 

Be forewarned. Any time you change temperature with electricity, you’re consuming a lot of power doing so. 400 amp-hours of power may seem like a lot until you’re heating a coach in the winter time when the solar panels are only moderately effective. 

One last thing

I can see nerds like me spending quite a bit of time looking at this trailer. I think there’s an opportunity for Palomino to really provide a great deal of information or videos or content of any sort that tells the story of this model. But there is little. Even contacting Renogy for details about the solar and charging system got me nowhere. 

Oh, well. I still think this is a neat trailer with good basic functionality that makes a geek’s delight, assuming you’re an RV geek like me, with a really intriguing set of cutting edge systems. 

Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Battery/technology
Interior design
All-electric
Bed design

SUMMARY

Forest River's Palomino division has taken on the charge of creating a line of all-electric trailers with their Revolve series. But is electric ready for prime time? We have the story.

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Steve
1 month ago

Those extra 300 wats of portable solar would be very important during those shoulder seasons you mentioned. They can be aimed directly at the sun using an adjustable tilt mount. And having those lithium batteries inside the trailer and out of the cold will also help. So pretty well-designed solar system to my mind. But that lead-acid battery on the tongue would go away immediately. Then it becomes an effectvely maintenance-free electrical system.

Leslie Schofield
1 month ago

Apparently the designers of the trailer never considered how you change/make the bed. That alone would take the trailer of my list.

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