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By Tony Barthel
Considering that the half-ton truck is the most popular vehicle in the U.S., it’s no surprise that pickup campers are also a hot commodity. As such, I took a look at the Palomino HS-750. It has a usable floor plan that could work with some half-ton trucks, although you’d probably be better with a 3/4-ton pickup.
What I really like about this particular floor plan is that it forgoes the dinette for a jackknife sofa along the passenger-side wall, giving you a relatively spacious place to sit. In fact, that place to sit has a good view of the kitchen so if one camper is responsible for food prep and the other only handles the eating, then that eater can enjoy watching the food getting prepared. This would be better than any TV show, unless the eater is a back-seat chef, then the preparer might get tired of the inputs.
Add salt. Put in more spice. Yep. That would get old.
Maybe put that food critic upstairs in the cab-over bed, where there is a place for a TV. They could sit up there and watch that rather than commenting on what the chef’s doing.
That overhead space is made nicer by a front windshield, allowing you to loom over the campground and watch the goings-on. Overhead is a MaxxAir fan, which is a wonderful device if you’re like me and like having air moving when you’re sleeping. A MaxxAir fan will move a significant amount of air, so having it right there over the bed would be something I would really enjoy.
There’s a curtain to separate the bed area from the rest of the camper, which could also help with those cooking comments if they continue from on high.
“Hey, maybe you should add paprika.” Curtain closes.
For that person doing the cooking, there is a surprisingly decent amount of prep space in a kitchen that is well-configured. The countertop has an “L” shape that includes a rather decent-sized sink and faucet with a pull-out sprayer. There’s a two-burner stovetop and space for a coffee maker or crockpot on that counter. Plus there’s a 110vac plug where these devices could reasonably reach. This kitchen would work for me.
There is no oven, which may be okay since many RVers tell me they only use theirs for storage. But there is a cabinet below the two-burner cooktop that can be accessed from either in the kitchen or through an exterior door – almost like a pass-through. Heck, the cook could take food orders and pass them through this cabinet to the campers outside. Or not.
This camper does have a “wet” bathroom with a latching and gasketed cabinet in there to store things that shouldn’t get wet – like toilet paper. There is no sink in the bathroom, but you can use the kitchen sink for hand-washing. In a space this size, decisions have to be made. I don’t fault this decision, but I know there will be comments about the lack of a bathroom sink.
There is an on-demand water heater – which is a nice bonus. Still, if you’re off the grid there are only eight gallons of water storage in the gray tank so you’re going to fill that tank rather quickly.
Outside there are a few things to take note of, including the use of frameless windows which generally require less maintenance. All the exterior cabinets are slam latches
According to camper friends, this will fit on anything from an 8’ pickup box to even the shortie 5.5′ box. If your truck’s bed is sprayed with something like Line-X, it’ll match the portion of the exterior nose cap that is also sprayed with that product.
What appeals to me about pickup campers is that you have the profile of the pickup along with all the benefits of having an RV. Admittedly pickup campers are smaller than many RVs but certainly less expensive than some Class B’s, even when you consider the price of pickups nowadays. A pickup camper can offer as good an RV experience in many cases.
This camper includes four power jacks so you could easily take it on and off the truck in short order. There’s a wireless remote control for the four jacks right inside the door. You can lift the whole camper all at once or adjust each of the four legs individually to level it out.
I live in a community where there’s a terrific bass fishing lake. I see a lot of truck campers as fishermen tow their bass boats in to compete in the tournaments here. The campers themselves get left behind in the campgrounds and the trucks are then used to tow the boats to the launch ramps.
Another reason folks seem to like truck campers is that they don’t require any licensing. You have to license the pickup, of course, but that’s not as costly as licensing a Class B van and a diesel pickup.
Many people won’t consider truck campers, yet they make so much sense. They offer the full RV experience on a vehicle that is sold and serviced in any corner of this country. You don’t necessarily have to forgo trailer towing with one of these, and you can leave the camper behind and hooked to services while you go exploring with a pickup.
This particular floor plan is small enough to not be a huge burden on a truck, but offers a nice kitchen layout along with that jackknife sofa. Seems like a great series of compromises to make for a very usable package.
I love truck bed campers, they make so much sense. You only need one sink and you can get toaster ovens all day long for <$50 bucks. The table is very practical in this plan. Love the lay out. And, you can still pull your boat and have a place to stay!
I have a Travel Lite 625SL truck. camper and I love it. Being able to pull a car trailer without an extension hitch is huge for me going to car shows and swap meets. Love the flexibility of a truck camper.
Oooh – so you have a vintage/classic car that you’re pulling? What kind of car?
I’m a big vintage/classic car fan myself and never even considered this idea which is a really good one.
1924 Moon Series A Touring and hope to finish up a 1925 Moon Series A Roadster next year. I camp on site at shows and at car swap meets like AACA Hershey PA meet in October.
Too many necessities NOT here to make this unit viable.
Do you shave in the kitcheb sink? Eat on “Chinette” plates on your lap? No oven? Frameless windows – you mean the ones that only pop open a bit from the bottom, look cool, but offer almost no air circulation?
There’s a table that slots into a receiver so you can sit at the jackknife couch and eat a meal or get some work done.
What is meant by frameless windows?
I know that Washington state requires a truck camper to be registered/ licensed. Florida does not.