Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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RV review: 2022 Palomino 2912 pickup camper; deck surprise

Forest River’s Palomino brand has been known for a number of innovations over the years but I think they just scored the grand prize in this department with their new Palomino 2912 pickup camper. This is the first of this type of rig that has two doors but, more importantly, has a back patio deck. Yep. In a pickup camper. 

The Palomino 2912 is a large non-slide wet-bath pickup camper that is designed for higher capability trucks and features a large rear deck with its own entrance along with an outdoor entertainment function that includes a TV and bar-sized fridge. 

While many larger campers incorporate slide rooms Ben Meloche, General Manager of Palomino, indicated that the 6’ 7” patio deck is intended to provide additional living space. Furthermore, there is a patio awning above this deck making it more comfortable under more conditions. 

Access to and from that patio is through a large glass door which also really opens up the interior of the camper when the patio deck is down. With that deck up it also serves to protect the glass door. 

That patio is rated to hold 1,500 pounds and while the patio structure itself might be stronger than that, beyond that weight you actually risk tipping the camper if it’s not on a truck bed. 

In fact, that’s one of the many advantages of a pickup camper. You have almost all the functional of a Class C RV but with a pickup truck that can be serviced at just about any corner repair shop out there. 

There are campgrounds that I frequent and RVs with patios back-up to a stream. I can see backing this camper up to that stream, dropping off the camper and fishing or just hanging out by the stream. It’s one of the reasons I’ve wanted a toy hauler with a rear patio deck and this appeals to a lot of local campers who enjoy bass fishing in this body of water. 

According to Palomino deploying the patio should take fewer than five minutes. 

Another thing that’s different about this camper is the use of a Moreryde StepAbove step system on the side entrance. While these steps have become commonplace in travel trailers this is actually the first use of them in a pickup camper. 

But I wonder if this is a good idea after all? Since the camper can be up high in the truck or lower when off the truck it makes me curious about these steps and, frankly, I’m not a huge fan of them for a number of reasons. 

Once that patio deck is deployed there are two larger rear doors on this camper – the top one hides a 32” TV and a bar-sized refrigerator. The lower door is simply storage but is large enough for a small inverter generator. However, of course, you can’t open either door unless the patio is deployed. 

Another thing that comes standard with the Palomino campers is a Girard tankless water heater system. According to the company customers love this but it also is more compact which helps space efficiency but also offers the benefit of “endless” hot water. 

The interior of the camper is very similar to Palomino’s 2910 in most respects, although that model has a slide. 

This one substitutes that space for a jackknife sofa on the camp side. Otherwise it shares the wet bath with that model along with the kitchen and upper deck. For dining the sofa has two small tables that fit into ports on the armrests of the sofa. 

For 2022 that kitchen gets a better (to me) sink in the form of a large single-bowl stainless steel model instead of the two-bowl sink that some owners complained made it difficult to wash larger pots and dishes in. 

That upper deck consists of a true 60” X 80” queen bed. I like that Palomino puts a high-performance vent fan right over the bed. 

Depending on transport and supplier issues, the word is that these will begin to show-up in dealers late this year or early next. 

I’m curious what you all think of this, especially if you already own or are interested in a pickup camper. Do you think a no-slide model makes sense with this patio? Do you like the patio? 

This camper certainly appeals to me on a variety of levels but I’m not necessarily the customer who would buy this only because I just don’t have the truck to haul it, plus the bed of my own truck is full of silly stuff like eBikes and a portable washing machine. 

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Rear patio deck
Open interior feel
Wet bath

SUMMARY

Palomino's 2912 pickup camper sets a new precedent in the field by employing a large rear deck and rear awning that makes this a great and unusual model.

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