By Tony Barthel
Selling RVs is interesting because you get to deal with people and their RVing vision and own personal experiences. Everybody sees the world through their own eyes – and what works for some is not even a consideration for others.
I had many, many people who would come back over and over and look at our inventory and ask questions. Lots of questions. There were others who would just walk in and buy something that suited them.
One of the RVs that I remember very well is an expandable, convertible travel trailer, the Palomino SolAire eXpandable 147X. It starts life as a small, single-axle trailer that offers everything one could need for a camping adventure. From there it can be expanded to sleep up to eight people with a bed that folds down from each end of the trailer.
A lot of value
The value proposition on these is terrific. While the MSRP is under $30,000, there are all the features you expect to find in a well-equipped RV. There’s a power awning, sleeping for eight, stove, gas-electric refrigerator, full dry bathroom, couch and even a dinette.
Each end has a folding bed platform that makes a full queen bed and the transition from “closed” to “open” is really simple. Just unlatch the door and drop down the opening. The canvas comes with it and overlaps the base. You shove a metal roof bow in and use an included rod for tension and you’re set.
There’s even a light and a fan at each canvas bed to give the occupants a little more air or light.
Let’s be honest, the mattresses aren’t great but can be made more so with a foam pad, although that’s true of a lot of RV mattresses.
There’s a bit of storage space under both front and rear beds. This would be a good thing for something like an RVSuperbag or that foam mattress pad.
What else is inside the Palomino SolAire?
Even with both mattress rooms closed you still walk inside to a full dry bathroom with a shower and tub. Immediately to the right of the entrance is a two-burner stove with a microwave above it, and a sink. It’s a simple kitchen but, again, look at the value.
Beyond that is a jackknife sofa and opposite that is a four-place dinette. Both sofa and dinette can do double duty as beds. But if the sofa is opened to allow for sleeping, it’s going to be almost impossible to get out of the bed on that side.
Accessibility in the SolAire
I always like to look at any RV for how it can be utilized in a campground but also how it can be used on the way to the campground. This one does really well in that regard as the entire kitchen, dinette, couch and bathroom are fully accessible.
In fact, you could theoretically just use the dinette and couch as beds and leave the tent room beds in the upright travel position, although those beds are likely nicer than the ones that come as a result of folding the dinette or sofa.
But the fact that it’s possible to sleep four people, albeit in smaller quarters, without even activating either of the beds shows how practical this trailer can be.
Who is the buyer of the Palomino SolAire?
Back to selling RVs for a moment… The person I remember who was the customer for one of these was a meter maid in a tourist town, believe it or not. I remember it being her first RV. She said she wanted to escape her surroundings and enjoy the RV life, but she had a smaller tow vehicle and wanted a couch.
This shopper spent probably a year coming in now and then from two hours away and looking at what all we had. She finally went with this and shared a number of photos of being a very happy camper.
Few smaller trailers offer both a dinette and a sofa. Also, there are a lot of little trailers that also only feature a wet bath.
Some parks prohibit RVs with canvas
One thing to absolutely know before buying any RV with canvas portions is that some parks prohibit these, particularly in bear country. So it’s a good idea to know where you might be camping. You don’t want to get turned away from a place you’re excited to visit.
While the canvas of today is certainly easier to maintain than the canvas of our grandparents’ day, it’s still canvas. So it’s good to make sure not to close up this trailer when it’s wet lest you find mold the next time you open it. Of course, if it’s raining when you leave camp, you’ll want to open up and air out the trailer when you get back. That could be aided by the little fans that are included in the canvas rooms.
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.
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