Palomino RV reveals a new type of pop-up truck camper designed for medium and mid-size short bed trucks. Introducing a fresh angle on the truck camper market; the 2020 Palomino Rogue EB-1 and EB-2.
Without question, Palomino RV had the most interesting truck camper debuts at the Elkhart Open House this past September. Their all-new Rogue EB-1 (for full-size trucks) and EB-2 (for mid-size trucks) were immediately different than any other truck campers on the market, and a radical departure from Palomino’s traditional pop-up models.
Above: The new Rogue models by Palomino RV
From the exterior, the Rogue’s signature hinged and cantilevered roof looked like it would be cramped inside. When we entered both campers, the pop-up soft-wall windows actually created a shockingly open presentation.
Above: Inside the Rogue EB-1
As long as you were in the first half of the unit, both Rogue models felt surprisingly spacious and comfortable.
Above: Inside the Rogue EB-2
The roof line tapers sharply into the front cabover nose. Palomino has cleverly installed a large dome skylight in this area, but it’s hard to imagine many folks being comfortable sleeping with their heads at the cabover front.
We turned around with our feet at the front nose, and were golden. You really have to experience the Rogue design in person to fully appreciate it.
Above: Rogue EB-1 from the cabover bed to the door
The big question about the new Rogue models is who it appeals to. Will this radical re-imagining simply cannibalize sales from Palomino’s traditional pop-up line, or will it attract entirely new customers?
Above: Rogue EB-2 from the cabover bed to the door
One interesting possibility for the Rogue is capturing the attention of the Overland market. Related but decidedly separate from the general truck camper marketplace, the Overland market prioritizes low weight, small size, overall durability and reliable function. Palomino has not been on the radar of the Overland market before, but Palomino has also never had a product like the Rogue.
Another marketplace opportunity for the Rogue is the entry-level market; traditionally younger people who need something lighter, more affordable, and with a touch of fun and attitude. The Rogue seems destined to tap on a millennial’s shoulder or two. Heck, where was this when I was in high school?
To find out more about the 2020 Palomino Rogue EB-1 and EB-2, we talked to Pat Hines, Regional Sales Manager for Palomino RV.
Palomino Rogue EB-1 Specifications
The 2020 Palomino Rogue EB-1 is a pop-up truck camper for full size short bed trucks. The interior floor length of the Palomino Rogue EB-1 is 6’11” and the interior height at its highest point is 7’8”. Palomino RV is reporting the standard build dry weight of the Rogue EB-1 at 1,383-pounds.
The Rogue EB-1 has a 16-gallon fresh tank, an optional on-demand water heater, no grey tank, and no black tank. The camper accommodates one battery and one vertical 20-pound propane tank. The MSRP for a standard build 2020 Palomino Rogue is $12,249.
Palomino Rogue EB-2 Specifications
The 2020 Palomino Rogue EB-2 is a pop-up truck camper for mid-size trucks like the Colorado Canyon, Ford Ranger, and Nissan Frontier. The interior floor length of the Palomino Rogue EB-2 is 6’6” and the interior height at its highest point is 7’2”. Palomino RV is reporting the standard build dry weight of the Rogue EB-2 at 1,224-pounds.
The Rogue EB-2 has a 16-gallon fresh tank, an optional on-demand water heater, no grey tank, and no black tank. The camper accommodates one battery and one vertical 20-pound propane tank. The MSRP for a standard build 2020 Palomino Rogue is $11,620.
Palomino brought an early prototype of the Rogue to the Elkhart Open House in late 2018. That concept appeared to be nearly ready for production. What happened after that initial prototype was revealed?
The first prototype we took to the Elkhart Open House last year was a prototype idea that we had been kicking around. We took it to get feedback from dealers.
From that show, we got a lot of feedback. They liked the concept and the look, but the execution wasn’t there. The floor plan lacked sufficient space, the bed was east-west, and there was not enough room in the cabover.
With that feedback, we put the Rogue back on the drawing board. Then we built more prototypes, played with those, and came up with the final Rogue. It’s now an exciting new addition to our product line.
Above: Inside the Rogue EB-1. As a result of dealer feedback, the EB-1 and EB-2 are now north-south cabovers as pictured above. Any east-west cabovers in this article of the EB-2 are taken at the Elkhart show and are now in a north-south configuration
What specifically did you change from the first prototype to the production models?
We raised the sidewalls by 4-inches. We changed both Rogue models to north-south cabovers, meaning that you can sleep with your feet towards the front or sleep opposite with your head under the skylight. With the east-west there was plenty of room for one person but, with two, one person would get raw end of the deal with the slanted pop-up nose.
Above: The Rogue EB and EA models at the Elkhart Open House last September. Note the roof in the camping position (left) and travel position (right). Click here to get a free Palomino brochure.
There are actually four different Rogue products, but only two models. Can you explain this?
We are announcing the Rogue EB-1 and Rogue EB-2, and the Rogue EA-1 and EA-2.
The letters A and B are actually two different product lines, similar to our Real Lite and Palomino lines. Dealers won’t have both the EA and EB lines. They’ll have one or the other. To help distinguish the two lines, the EB campers are orange, and the EAs are blue.
The main difference between the 1 and 2 models are the wheel well width and exterior width. For example, the EB-1 is made for a full-size 48-inch wheel well width truck bed like the Ford F-150. The EB-1 is heavier than the EB-2, but lighter than most campers for a half-ton full-size trucks.
The Rogue EB-2 is for mid-size trucks like the Colorado Canyon, Ford Ranger, and Nissan Frontier. It is designed for a 39-inch wheel well width. It is a little lighter making it a good fit for mid-size trucks.
Above: The Rogue EB-1 with the dinette made into the bed
Above: The Rogue EB-2 with the dinette made into the bed
When will we see Rogue models at Palomino dealerships?
They are going on line next week. They will be on dealer lots by the end of 2019.
Where did the concept for the Rogue come from?
We got the Rogue design concept from our experience with A-frame tent campers. The hinged roof design was something we did with our A-frame style tent campers. It was a solid roof that hinged on the roof. One side went up and made a peak.
We thought, “Why not try this on a truck camper?” Just utilize two posts in the back with a cantilever style. The idea started with that and we started playing with it.
Above: Rogue EB-1 back door to cabover
Taking a step back, what is the idea behind the Rogue product concept? Why are you bringing these models to market?
It’s progressive thinking, but also a back-to-basics camper. That’s how we approached it. We wanted to have an entry-level pop-up camper. In order to achieve that, it had to have less moving parts, be a smaller size, a lighter weight, and accommodate multiple truck bed sizes.
What are the main things people want in conventional pop-ups? They want them to be paired down, have fresh water, and a queen size bed all in an entry-level pop-up style camper.
We feel this camper will be more of an impulse buy. A single guy who wants to go fishing on the weekends and happens upon a dealership with the Rogue. It’s exactly what he’s looking for. It’s affordable. He says, “I’ll take it”.
Above: Rogue EB-2 back door to cabover
What is the MSRP of the Rogue EB-1 and Rogue EB-2?
The base Rogue EB-1 is $12,249. The base Rogue EB-2 $11,620.
When talking to dealers they see it as being a loss leader. It introduces people to the truck camper lifestyle. Then they can get a bigger conventional soft side, then into a hard side, and then into our slide-outs. It’s another retail avenue.
We understand the RV progression. This is intended as a first camper for someone. This isn’t really for families, but for a single adventure-minded younger person.
Above: Both Rogue models feature a Dometic refrigerator
If those are the base prices, what options can you add to the Rogue?
The Badlands package includes solar, a second battery, and a Thule roof rack. You could also add electric jacks, stereo, entry step and a water heater with outside shower.
That stated, most of our dealers are ordering the Rogue as base models with the mentality of offering an entry-level back-to-the-basics camper.
Do you see the Rogue competing with your traditional Palomino pop-up campers, or bringing in a completely new market?
I think there’s going to be a little cross-over. It may compete with our existing soft-sides because of the price spread, but it’s still close enough where people will be looking at both. It’s going to bring more people into truck camping because of its uniqueness.
Talking with dealer partners, it’s going to give them a little different customer base, and it’s going to generate excitement at the RV shows and at dealer lots. When they bring a new product or style product into their inventory, it generates excitement.
People who may drive by a dealership every day will see something new. We wanted to give another offering and we wanted to create excitement for our dealer’s customers.
What’s the story behind the name?
The Rogue is geared towards adventure-minded customers. It’s geared towards someone going off the beaten path and getting out into the wilderness. They might bring along a quad side-by-side or mountain bike. The rugged-style graphics aim at that lifestyle.
Above: The Rogue EB-1’s sink and stove with the Mesa Maple decor
Why did you decide not to include a bathroom with these new models?
That’s all part of the back-to-the-basics concept and keeping the Rogue focused on adventure-minded people. There are no worries about dumping tanks, winterizing plumbing lines or cassettes.
It’s a weekend type camper versus an extended stay camper where you would need a toilet and shower. We see the Rogue as perfect for a single person who heads out to camp for the weekend.
Above: The Rogue EB-2’s sink and stove with the Graystone Maple decor
You do get the option of a tankless water heater so that you can have hot and cold water at the kitchen sink. There’s also a stove for cooking. The outside shower and water heater are optional on both models.
The grey water goes to a bucket outside because the only grey you would generate would be from the kitchen sink. For folks who want a grey tank, check out all the amazing grey tank auxiliary tanks Truck Camper Magazine readers have entered into the mod contest over the years.
Were there any other compromises to reduce weight?
We eliminated everything that wasn’t needed. The new roof design is saving some weight. The lifter post is different saving more weight. Also, not having as many cabinets in the unit saves weight.
Now we have hanging pantries that you can unclip, take them inside to load them up in your house, let them sit for a day or two as you pack, or throw stuff in throughout the week. Then, on Friday you grab them and go.
The top cabinets in the conventional soft sides have changed as well. Before the hanging pantry design, some people would need a step stool to get to the upper cabinets.
How are the Rogue models constructed? Are they aluminum or wood framed, vacuum bond laminated or hung wall?
The Rogue features the same construction process as our conventional pop-up campers. Vacuum-bonded lamination has been done here forever. Last year we changed to building all the soft-sides with aluminum frames which also helped the structure and rigidity.
We have fiberglass exteriors with two colors to pick from. White is standard with grey gel coat as an option on the Rogues as well. We believe that consistency breeds quality.
One of the main Rogue features is the new roof design. It’s more of a conventional RV style roof like our hard side roof than a pop-up style roof. It’s an EPDM roof material, which means that it’s lighter weight and looks better with aluminum extrusions on the side. It’s a lot easier for us to build and has less problems. It’s also a lot easier for RV dealers to work on because it’s so similar to other RV roofs.
Above: The new exterior lift system (left) and tankless water heater (right)
What’s the story behind the new exterior pop-up lift mechanism and motors?
The Rogue features our new roof lift system. It doesn’t take up any space on the inside of the camper. For our conventional pop-up campers the lift system makes it so that we have to design countertops and cabinets around the lift system. This new lift system allows us to free up room on the inside.
The question we kept hearing about the electric roof lift system is what happens if the motor burns out in the wilderness? Do you have a manual override? With an exterior lift system, you just back out the plug and use 3/8-inch socket to crank it up or down. This system is very user friendly.
Can you walk on the roof?
Technically, you can get up on the roof and walk around. It will support up to 300-pounds.
Tell us about the decor in the Rogue series. Is this a new decor specifically for the Rogue models, or do they feature the same interior as the other 2020 Palomino pop-up line?
The Rogue models feature Palomino’s new 2020 decor. We have new fabric as well as new cabinet colors.
Above: Graystone Maple decor
Graystone Maple cabinets are offered in the Rogue and all soft sides as standard. We also offer the Mesa Maple cabinets, which are lighter in color. We changed from the Dark Walnut that we’ve been using a few years now.
Above: Mesa Maple decor
Does the Palomino Rogue feature a fresh tank?
There is a 16-gallon fresh tank and we have an on-demand water heater, so there is no tank for that. The fresh tank is all the way forward under the step up to the cabover. There is no grey or black tank on the Rogue models.
Tell us about the battery size and location in the Palomino Rogue EB-1 and EB-2.
They are both in the same location, which is under the cabover step. A single Group-24 or Group-27 battery will fit there. We’ve seen a big increase in people ordering the Badlands package, which includes a second battery tray on the exterior of the unit. A second battery tray is an option you can add with or without the Badlands package.
How have people done loading their Palomino campers with the exterior battery tray?
We’re trying to perfect loading with the battery tray. We’re looking at a fold up style battery tray or a removable tray that can be taken off to get around the wheel well. Then you could drop it down without having to lift the camper 8 to 12-inches to get around the wheel wells.
We understand that if you order the optional Badlands package you want to harness that solar energy and utilize the two batteries. Pop-ups don’t use as much power, but having a second battery and solar panel is beneficial when you’re camping off-grid.
Tell us about propane tank size and location in the Palomino Rogue models.
The single 20-pound propane tank is in two different locations for the EB-1 and EB-2. We placed them where they fit best to be compliant with the RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association) codes.
What do the Rogue EB-1 and EB-2 weigh with standard build features?
The EB-1 weighs in at 1,383-pounds for a base camper. The EB-2 is 1,224-pounds.
Where is the center of gravity on these two campers?
The EB-1 is 29-inches. The EB-2 is 27.5-inches.
What is the warranty on the Palomino Rogue models?
On all Palomino truck campers we have a one year front-to-back warranty standard from the factory. Our roof has a five-year warranty. The pop-up’s soft wall has a five-year warranty. The lift has a three-year warranty. Each of the individual components, like the Fantastic Fan and refrigerator, have their own manufacturer’s warranty.
Are there any other new models we should be anticipating form Palomino?
Yes. We will have an announcement about the new HS-690 very soon in Truck Camper Magazine. There is nothing else specific on the drawing board except for the roof system improvements in beginning of 2020. We will keep you posted on them as well.
If these new campers are successful, will Palomino debut additional Rogue models in the future?
Absolutely! The most logical model would be a Rogue with a toilet or a complete wet bath. We’ll jump that hurdle when we get to it.
Are you increasing prices for 2020?
There has been a little price increase for 2020; less than 2 to 3-percent for everything.
How is Palomino RV doing? Until this announcement, it’s been some time since we had a new camper or model year update.
Palomino RV increased truck camper production about 30-percent over 2018. We feel good about 2019 and see no signs of truck camper sales slowing down. We’re looking forward to another year-over-year increase in 2020.
We’ve always had a dedicated production facility for truck campers. Last year we moved the truck camper production into one of our largest buildings on campus. We also completely redesigned that building to maximize quality and efficiency. Palomino truck campers are humming.
Right now we are focused on the Rogue roll-out. There’s a ton of excitement about this camper from our dealers. We can’t wait for our customers to see it.