Monday, December 5, 2022

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RV Review: Game-changing Palomino Pause breaks the mold

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Today we’re looking at a new RV from Palomino, the Pause. This is one of the most out-of-character products I have ever seen. It is also an absolute game-changer for so many reasons. For anyone who has complained about the build quality of an RV or wanted something vastly different, your RV has come in. But it ain’t cheap. 

Game-changing

The Palomino Pause is actually a new line of trailers from Palomino that is absolutely game-changing in a lot of ways. 

Starting at the frame, this is an aluminum frame that is Huck® riveted together rather than welded. Many RVs have enclosed underbellies, but this one is enclosed with diamond plate metal. Typically a corrugated plastic material is what you’ll see used.

While we’re down here, let’s take a look at the suspension, which is a MORryde independent air suspension. Independent suspensions are becoming more common, with our first seeing them coming from Australian RVs and then migrating to the Ember RV line. 

Suspension animation

This air suspension goes to the next level, as the air suspension on this can be raised and lowered. At its top setting, the suspension provides up to 25 inches of ground clearance. But then you can lower the suspension once you’re at your destination so that you can get in and out more easily or take advantage of the outside kitchen. 

One of the reasons towable RVs are such an aerodynamic disaster is just that you’re pulling a huge box behind you. It just takes some power to overcome the wind resistance. You can also lower the suspension such that the trailer isn’t as high in the air—which may help with this wind resistance. But then you can raise the suspension as you go over a driveway apron or hit the trail.

For aerodynamic reasons alone, I bet this MORryde suspension is going to be popular in a year or two. 

Since there’s a provision for compressed air to operate the suspension, you can also use this to fill tires. 

On the subject of tires, there are four that touch the ground on the initial releases of the Pause, but they also include two spares. The assumption is that you’re going to go to places that are barely places and you may pop a tire. Or two. 

Material differences in the Palomino Pause

It’s not just the chassis and suspension where this model stands out. The walls are a new composite material from a company called Ridge Corporation in Ohio. Their TransCore™ walls are a different type of construction than you’ll typically find in RVs. Palomino had a sample of the wall at the RV dealer open house event. And a big, big sledge hammer. 

Dylan Risser of Palomino took the big sledge hammer and gave the wall all he had, and the wall was just fine. 

Not only is this a different type of wall material, but then the interiors of the walls are 3D printed onto the wall surface. Inside the Pause there are examples of subway tiles and other interiors. 

The advantage of this is that the walls are seamless, unlike in most RVs, but they also don’t use a wallpaper-like product. That means there are no seams on the interior, either. That is a place where the seam tape fails with great regularity on many RVs. 

Further, all the holes for the windows are cut with a CNC machine, so they’re very precise. While this isn’t typical in the RV industry, I know Lance uses the same process for holes in the wall. 

I have seen more than one RV factory where a worker with a router simply free-cuts the holes in the RV walls. Yikes. 

Another area where the materials are different is in the cabinetry, which is a powder-coated aluminum structure. There are soft-close hinges on the cabinets. But this is a bit more industrial feeling than some might be used to. However, it’s also more tank-like than most towables, so that’s a plus. 

Technology

One more area where these are different is in the technology behind them. Palomino has partnered with Garmin to provide a whole-RV monitoring system. 

Many RVers are already familiar with Garmin as they have made navigation systems for many years, but they actually do much more than that. In the marine industry they have full-house … er … full-boat control systems. That’s what you have here. 

Using an included Garmin tablet, you can operate just about any system on the Pause. 

With the tablet you can raise and lower the suspension including to levels pre-set by you, operate the lights, monitor tank levels and almost every other aspect of the RV. Further, you can employ your own phone and tablet to do this, as well. 

But the Garmin device, called ONE, that’s included, also incorporates navigation, of course. That navigation accommodates the length and height of your total vehicle so you won’t go where you won’t fit. 

The term ONE is actually an acronym meaning Operation, Navigation and Entertainment. 

I haven’t had a chance to fiddle with that system yet but I’m hoping to and will share a full review. I do know that it also incorporates things like customizable checklists, and that’s a good thing. 

What’s inside

The interior that I saw is a two-tone affair with the aforementioned printed wall surfaces. The cabinets are green and white, which may make Army veterans either happy or not. 

And thank you for your service. 

But the two models currently announced are the 20.2 and the 20.3. 

Both of these are similar but, for example, the 20.2 has the kitchen completely outside whereas the 20.3 has a 12-volt cooler outside but the kitchen is inside. 

There is a big movable wall. Behind that is a large storage spot, and it’s pretty well outfitted to tote fishing poles or guns. I can imagine this trailer would absolutely appeal to hunters and people who enjoy fishing. 

The two models I am sharing here both have Murphy beds in the front with a layout that is not dissimilar to the Ember RV offerings. That includes right down to the window above the bed that opens for air flow and incorporates both a screen and a full shade. 

Power

The standard solar and power package on these units is 700 watts of solar with dual 60-amp chargers along with 400 amp-hours of lithium power. Standard. 

You can also plug in portable panels up to 600 watts, giving you a total of 1300 watts of solar. There is also one option—a second 400 amp-hour lithium battery. 

This is one incredible package of power, but absolutely fits the nature of this beast. 

Conclusions

Even though I shared that I thought the Palomino Pause was out of character for the brand, which is not a terrible thing, Palomino’s not the only one who has stepped out of their normal space. Indeed, the Lance Enduro, too, is an example of a company totally starting with a clean slate and coming up with a strong contender. 

Okay, the price. When I spoke with Palomino, the price of the larger rig (20.2 and 20.3) was hovering around $140,000. 

When you think about this compared to many, many Class B RVs, there is an absolute case that can be made here. I’ve seen more than a few Class B RVs hovering around $200,000 that aren’t anywhere near as durably built nor as well-suited to off-road use. 



Now, at about 7,000 pounds dry weight, you’re going to want something like a three-quarter ton four-wheel-drive pickup to haul this around. But you can get a good four-wheel-drive three-quarter ton pickup for around $60,000 MSRP. So you’re still below the cost of some Class B RVs and have a much, much better package, in my opinion. 

I was also assured that this trailer is quite capable of hauling around the 76 gallons of fresh water and 30 gallons, each, of gray and black water it’s outfitted to handle. 

Considering how it’s built and the features aboard, I truly do believe this is a game-changer in a lot of ways. 

There will also be additional floor plans, including single-axle models that are more towable by things like Jeep Wranglers and that sort of thing. A very interesting package that truly shows that the RV industry is looking at innovation even at times of being in a strong position sales-wise. 

Now, for all of you who have complained about how RVs are built, let’s see how many are willing to step up with their checkbooks and recognize when one is truly built better. 

A note to my readers

I want to share with all of you who have been so supportive of this daily RV review column that I will be stepping back a wee bit. I will still have a new RV review here every Saturday and will try to highlight the best of what I see with that.

I’m going to change focus a bit and work on a project that’s significant to me – how selfish, eh? I will also be doing the regular gadget reviews and newsletter and some other pieces time-to-time.

I really appreciate all of you and how kind you have been in taking your time to read the things I share here. Thank you. And I look forward to continuing to share here, just not quite as frequently.

*****

If you’re RV shopping here are some tips on RV shopping from a former RV salesperson—me!

Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. He also works closely with a number of RV manufacturers to get an inside look at how things are done and is a brand ambassador for Rockwood Mini Lite with his wife, Peggy.

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. 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.

##RVT1074

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Nan Lindstrom
1 month ago

Good luck in your new endeavors! I am fairly new to this group, and wish I had joined earlier, as your articles are great!

Nathan Jones
1 month ago

There is no way you ever saw anyone free hand any kind of window opening. Not by the exact definition of freehand. It is simply impossible to do that with a router, or the window location would have to be physically drawn onto the wall to be able to follow the line with the router. Best in that is not even easy. It would never be a clean, cut, no matter how experienced the individual is. It was either with a jig marking the location where the window goes or they were cutting out a framed in window. I’ve done this for over five years. I’m not uninformed. Framed in/welded window frame is the way to go for traditional RV walls.

LaDonna Sullivan
1 month ago

Bummer that you’re cutting back on the reviews but understand completely. I LOVE to read about and see all the new rv floorplans no matter which class they belong to. Good luck in your next endeavor!

Lindalee
1 month ago

I totally agree with Bob M! You will be greatly missed, Tony! Your RV Reviews are the thing I read the most in these newsletters (I’m still trying to decide what RV I want/need). Good Luck in your future endeavors!

Bob M
1 month ago

Tony I am sorry to hear you’ll be stepping back. I always enjoy your rv reviews and looked forward to them every day. Unlike vehicles no one else writes rv reviews. Would be nice if rv travel gets someone to follow in your footsteps writing rv reviews and even post Josh the RV nerds videos when they he does them. Good Luck

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

Their ideas in building this trailer are right along with what I’d want. Unfortunately, the price will prevent me from probably ever even seeing one on the road (or off the road for that matter). Its empty weight is about the same as my 30′ Arctic Fox 25Y TT. More water, more solar, more battery power, pretty much more of everything that I’ve had to add to our trailer!

We paid about $30k for our trailer 10 years ago. I’d guess we’ve ‘invested’ (a loosely used term) about another $10k over the years in all sorts of cool upgrade stuff. So we’re into it for about $40k. Would I buy this Palomino for $100k more? Being polite in this family oriented newsletter, NO!

Steve H
1 month ago

Gee, Tony, I can’t understand why you are stepping back on reviews. All you are doing right now is selling everything in California including your vintage trailer, moving to a new life in New Mexico, doing podcasts from the Left Coast to the Right, running a website, writing product reviews from your campsites, modifying and enjoying your new trailer, and continuing to write a once-a-week RV review.

Just kidding, of course. And better you than me. After all, my signature on RV forums says “Retirement is the best job I ever had!”

Traveler
1 month ago

I hope it’s a mystery set traveling in your RV!
I’m an old fogey about change. I’ll miss the frequent articles, but look forward to Saturdays and wish you success.

Warren G
1 month ago

Great review! Now if the price was just significantly lower! Sorry to hear you’ll be doing few RV reviews, but I can certainly understand, Tony. Your reviews are one of my favorite parts of RV Travel.

Brad G. Hancock NH
1 month ago

Tony,

Sorry to read that you not be such a frequent contributor. I’ll really miss these Reviews.

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