Interested in venturing out camping but don’t want the headaches of a pull behind trailer or tent? Trying to figure out what to purchase? Considering a truck camper? This article provides you with a real world Palomino Rogue truck camper review.
I own the Rogue truck camper, I rent it out locally in Colorado on Outdoorsy, and I have no affiliation with Palomino nor any company that sells this product.
My Full Review of the Palomino Rogue Truck Camper
I’ve had several people rent the Tundra Rogue and most have come back saying the same thing: when we fill up gas or are parked at a campsite, we get so many compliments about the setup.
I too can confirm, people love seeing it. There’s something about a lifted Tundra, 35s, custom bumper, and this truck camper that just fits.
As far as looks go, the Palomino Rogue truck camper and the 6″ lifted Toyota Tundra setup is gonna be hard to beat (especially considering the cost). About cost… have you even seen how much Earth Roamers are going for?
Not to mention goofy looking camper vans that look like they’ll blow over in a strong wind. For those camper vans, you can expect a price tag well over $100,000, that’s insane!
With a truck camper like the Rogue by Palomino, you get the convenience of having a spot to go lay down after a hike or long hours of travel without the need of raising the roof (like you would when camping). It’s not perfect, I have to lean over a little (I’m 6′ tall) to maneuver around but I can comfortably sit at the table or lay down on the bench with the top closed.
Let’s take a look a few different features and considerations of this camping option.
I hope this Palomino Rogue Truck Camper Review helps you make an informed decision. We’ll start on the outside.
Truck Camper Jacks
In the picture above you can see the truck camper jacks attached to the frame of the camper. You can leave them on for travel or take them off. I would assume most people leave them on, which is totally fine. I take em off. I take them off because it’s less weight and I rarely remove the camper.
If there’s an instance where I need to remove the camper, I re-attach the bolts and jacks (in about 10 minutes). The jacks are not hard to use. However, in a standard package from the manufacturer, it’s a manual system. Meaning: you need to use the included crank or attachment that works with a standard drill.
Also note: With a truck lifted this high, I’m near maxing out on the height of the jacks when I remove the camper from the truck.
Exterior Styling, Size, MPG, and Maneuverability
The exterior design looks solid. The lower roof profile of the camper probably lends itself to slightly better gas milage than some alternatives. However, don’t be surprised at how much worse your gas milage is when you add a truck camper.
Miles per Gallon
Expect about 11 to 13 MPG with a 2012 Toyota Tundra and Palomino truck camper setup.
Some other truck campers don’t have a roof that raises and lowers which means a larger surface area for wind resistance which most likely leads to a lower MPG rating.
Ease of Travel
When traveling rough mountain roads in Colorado there could be hanging trees that’ll scrape on taller vehicles. The lower profile of the Rogue EB in comparison to larger truck campers makes backcountry camper travel a little better.
Couple the low(ish) profile of the roof height and the high profile of underside (6″ lifted 4×4) truck and you’ve just expanded your ability to get in to more difficult locations in comparison to most c class campers or vans.
I noticed after having a few renters use the Tundra Rogue that the decal has been slightly torn where the ladder meets the sides for camp setup and takedown. While this isn’t a big deal, it is one exterior gripe I thought should be mentioned. Rubber stoppers on the ladder posts may resolve the issue?
Overall, the exterior is impressive, stylish, fairly compact for what it is, and the unit fits really well on a Toyota Tundra.
The driver side exterior of the camper includes a few convenience items.
Exterior Camp Shower
The Palomino Rogue does not include a bathroom. This means there’s no shower or toilet inside the camper. Personally, I like this “lack-of-a-feature” as it provides more room and less cleanup (or things to go bad). Especially when you’re renting it out (like I do).
I’ve got extensive posts on dispersed camping and camping essentials that’ll show you how to plan ahead when it comes to number 2. And if you’re staying at a designated campsite, you’ll most likely have access to a vault toilet or full bathroom setup.
The camper comes standard with an exterior shower.
The included shower is mounted on the exterior behind a small locked compartment door on the driver’s side. This little handheld shower allows use of both the standard direct tank water, water diverted through a heating system, or a combination of the two to help you get the right temp.
The camper comes standard with an 8 gallon, internal tank.
Water System Nozzles
This truck camper does not include a gray water tank for the kitchen sink drain. This means all of the water going through the drain in the sink will spill out the side of the camper. You’ll want to attach a hose to direct the drained water to a desired location.
The only water going out on to the ground is water you’re using in the sink which should be relatively clean in comparison to what you’d find in a black holding tank (poo water – which this truck camper doesn’t have).
Above the discharge hose attachment point you have the city water and tank fill options.
City water = the ability to screw on a hose so you don’t need to use the water pump. And the tank fill option allows you to fill via a garden hose. When using city water, make sure to include a regulator in case there’s too much water pressure.
30AMP Shore Power
You can plugin at a campsite and use the provided power hookup. There’s not really a lot of uses for this like other camping units may have (air conditioning, TV, appliances, etc). However, if you want to use the outlets you’ll need to be plugged in.
You’ll typically just be using your battery for most activities (lights, USB charger, water pump, roof system).
You also have 2 great options for keeping the battery charged (especially if you have the Badlands package that includes a solar panel to help recharge your camper’s battery). In addition to the solar panel helping to charge your battery, the camper is also connected to the truck which allows the battery to recharge while traveling.
Electric Roof System
The lift system for the roof (to raise and lower) is automatic with a push of a button (and the use of a remote). I’ve not had any issues with this and it’s worked as you’d hope it would time and time again.
One of the tiny screws that holds the safety pin broke off from the camper after one of our renters returned the Tundra Rogue. This safety pin secures the closing/locking hardware on the roof. I replaced it with a new screw near the same hole. I do not now how it happened but something to be aware of.
Roof, Shade, and Screens
The roof setup when extended provides a lot of space in the dining area. The tallest point in the camper is at the rear and on the EB-1 it’s 7’8″ tall. Very nice.
However, the inside height is slightly frustrating over the bed. Not enough to be a major complaint. The height doesn’t impact sleep, it just seems close when you’re relaxing.
The shades and zipper mechanism including the screen keep water out nicely and allow for an incredible cross breeze when open. All in all, great design.
Not only that but you’ve got 2 vents (I love the way they open – not a crank) and one of those vents includes a fan.
Closest to the front of the camper, on the ceiling you’ve got a skylight with a retractable shade.
Truck Camper Interior
The interior is so much more spacious than you’d think by looking at the exterior. I’m often surprised at how all that space fits on top of a 6ft, half ton truck bed.
If you’re traveling and need a place to get out of the rain or cold and have lunch, you’re covered. It’s also great at the trailhead after a long hike.
When the roof is raised into the camping position, you’ve got loads of headroom and space making it perfectly comfortable for 2 people and all your stuff.
Add a few kids, you’re okay but that’s not what this thing is meant for.
Included on the interior is a fridge that works off of either power (the battery / your shore power connection) or propane. This is true for nearly all campers now (very convenient).
You’ll also have a cooktop with 2 burners. You’ll need a fire source to get things going (matches, a lighter).
A perfectly capable sink that allows for a range of temperatures thanks to the water heater. The water tank is under that carpeted area on the right oft he picture above.
And the button to turn the water pump on is located under that carpeted, step area too.
Propane Powered Heater
And then your heating controls. The heater in this thing is bonkers hot. Incredible heat source for such a small space. You control the heat source with a thermostat.
Even though there’s no insulation around the window areas of the camper (it’s just screens, a waterproof zip up, and cloth privacy shades) you still can enjoy a warm night in this camper thanks to the powerful heater.
A small, open storage compartment right by the door. We keep a small garbage can and a mini broom and dustpan there.
I also like the countertop area above the fridge, very convenient to store all your food, right where you need it.
There’s also a storage area with a countertop near the bed.
And a storage nook under the bed facing the camper door.
All of the lights are SUPER bright and are turned on one by one (you don’t need to have them all on at once if you don’t want, which is nice).
And if you look over to the right, that little dark square under the mattress, that’s 2 standard USB chargers that work off of the battery power (no need to be plugged in).
The table can be removed and under the mattress you’ll find a wood base to allow you to create another sleeping area in place of the dinette. Cushions position to create a sleeping area for a third person.
The interior of this truck bed camper is larger than it looks from the outside and it’s nicely equipped to be very comfortable while camping.
What’s the difference between the Palomino Rogue EB1 and EB2?
There are two available models with different layouts. The EB1 is for the half ton sized truck like the Tundra and the EB2 is for smaller trucks like the Toyota Tacoma.
This review is for the Palomino Rogue EB-1.
- Weight 1,383lbs
- Length 12′ 5″
- Interior Height 7′ 8″
- Floor Length 6′ 11″
- Weight 1,224lbs
- Length 12′ 2″
- Interior Height 7′ 2″
- Floor Length 6′ 6″
How well does the Rogue truck camper fit on a Toyota Tundra?
It’s unlikely that you’ll find many truck camper options that fit as well as the Palomino Rogue on the Toyota Tundra.
I opted to take off the tailgate which makes the camper just slightly larger than the bed. All in all, a really great fit.
I did remove the plastic buffer pieces attached to the camper that separate the front of the camper against the wall of the bed on the truck. This allowed me to get a tighter fit. I attached a section of a horse stall mat as the buffer between the carb and the truck camper.
The bottom horse stall mat is for a buffer and added support.
There’s the right amount of space between the bottom of the side walls and the bed rail. This allows there to be a little flex on rough roads where the camper may slight sway.
The bottom of the sleeping area and the top of the cab are also far enough apart so you’re not going to experience in scraping or position issues during travel even with the flex and bend on rough terrain.
You could even add a light-bar on the top of the cab above the windshield and you’d still have the right amount of clearance.
Rear Hitch Mounted Step
This is a tall setup (lifted truck) which makes entry in the back slightly more difficult. To remedy this we purchased a really well built hitch step that locks in (very tight).
Securing the Camper in the Bed
You’re going to need to purchase Frame Mounted Camper Tie Downs + Locking Turnbuckles to properly attach your truck camper to the truck.
After I took the Tundra Rogue out on fairly rough road conditions I noticed the position of the camper shifted slightly in the bed (even though we had the tie downs properly secured). I grabbed whatever scrap wood and decking materials I had and positioned them on both sides between the wheel well and the camper sides. they fit perfectly and this is what it looks like:
I’ve taken this rig out on pretty rough roads and everything has stayed perfectly fit and snuggly.
Here’s a picture from a reader on how they created a buffer for the wheel well (one for each side)
Would I buy the Palomino Truck Camper Again?
Yes. The cost, the look, and the functionality are exactly what I expected and I would buy one again if needed.
*** IMPORTANT ***
What other modifications were needed for the truck setup?
You won’t be able to go out and just set the truck camper in your bed and drive off.
Interested in details and how to plan for the right truck camper setup? Take a look at what you’ll need and how to prepare prior to making a purchase: