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2017 Thor Palazzo 33.2

An In-Depth Review of the Thor Palazzo
Article Date: December, 2016


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Thor Motor Coach has really outdone themselves with this coach. The Palazzo is a compact diesel pusher that is priced in the realm of many gasoline powered class A coaches. Yet the Palazzo has features that puts it well above any gas class A in the market. Available in five distinct floorplans there is enough selection to guarantee that anyone will find a coach that meets their unique requirements. The Palazzo is well appointed but places considerable emphasis and usability and offers an amazing amount of storage space for a coach of this size. I recently had the opportunity to review this coach while at the Grand Opening of the new Atlanta facility at National Indoor RV Centers.

Exterior

Our 33 series Palazzo was built on a Freightliner XC-S straight rail rear engine diesel pusher chassis, featuring full air-ride suspension and anti-lock air brakes. Power is supplied by a 6.7 liter Cummins ISB engine with 300 HP and 660 lb-ft of torque, although the longer 36 series coaches get an upgraded 340 HP engine with 700 lb-ft of torque. A six speed Allison MH-2500 automatic transmission delivers the power to the ground via 255/70R22.5 tires. The GVWR rating is 26,000 lbs while the GCWR is 30,000 lbs with a trailer hitch capacity of 10,000 lbs. A Cargo Carrying capacity of 3,312 lbs. is adequate for a coach of this size, even with the amount of storage space present. A 90 gallon fuel tank is supplemented by a driver's side 13 gallon DEF tank that allows for easy refills at truck stop DEF pumps.

Our Palazzo was finished in the Riverbank full body paint scheme, one of four available paint options. Stainless steel wheel trim, LED lighting, slide out toppers, and a power awning with LED lighting complete the exterior decor.

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The Palazzo is equipped with an Onan 6.0 KW Quiet Diesel generator that is mounted in the front of the coach and easily accessed via a hinged access panel that lifts up out of the way.
 

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An exterior entertainment center holds a 32" LED TV for patio area entertainment.
 

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The 13 gallon DEF tank is located on the driver's side of the coach to make it easy to refill from DEF pumps at truck stop fuel islands.
 

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The main basement storage areas straddle the frame rails with a lower pass-through section as well as an upper section with a storage platform above the frame rails. This patio side view also shows the dual doors that don't stick out quite as far into the patio area for this wide cargo opening.

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The upper storage platform is mounted on slide rails so that it can be accessed from either side of the coach, as this driver side view shows.

The Palazzo's rear view looks good when going down the road. From the full body paint scheme to the LED rear lighting and recessed rear view camera everything looks stylish, modern and attractive. A rear ladder is mounted securely to the rear cap to allow easy access to the roof when needed.

Access to the engine service points, such as coolant, engine oil and transmission fluid is available via a hinged engine access grill. The Palazzo's 10,000 lb. towing hitch is equipped with a 7 pin lighting connector for trailer or towed vehicle lighting.

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Onboard 104 lb. propane tank.

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Twist-lock removable 50 amp power cord.

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Magnum inverter/charger.

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Chassis and coach batteries.

The on-board LP tank holds 104 lbs. of propane and is located in a vented driver-side compartment. Electrical needs are handled by a 50 amp shore power connection via a twist-lock removable 30' power cord that feeds to an automatic transfer switch along with the Onan 6.0 KW Quiet Diesel generator. A 2,000 watt modified sine wave Magnum inverter/charger handles various items inside the coach, such as the entertainment system and various electrical receptacles. The house 12 volt needs are met by a bank of four deep cycle batteries as well as a pair of chassis batteries to start the engine and power the vehicle's accessories when driving. All of these batteries are located in a dedicated battery compartment on the curb side of the coach.
 

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33.2 Floorplan

The 33.2 is one of five available floorplans, three in a 34' overall length and two in a 37' overall length. The 33.2 is a comfortable central bath design that can sleep seven. It's a two slide design with a large full wall slide on the driver side and a small bedroom slide on the patio side, without any slideouts intruding into the patio area when entertaining or accessing the basement storage.
 

Interior

The Palazzo is one of the most user-friendly coaches that I've reviewed. Thor did a great job of maximizing storage space and creating a useful arrangement of interior furnishings and features.
 

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All Palazzos feature a mid-door entry. The entry door is laced close to the front so that only a recliner separates it from the back of the copilot's seat, maximizing the available patio-side wall space. The step well is carpeted and a small storage cavity is located behind a sliding door in the side of the step well. Rubber treads protect the steps and offer a sure footing.
 

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The cockpit area is very efficient and everything you need for driving is readily at hand. All instrumentation is easy to view and the transmission and exhaust brake controls are up front at he driver's left side where they are easy to see as well as reach when driving. A large 10" touch-screen display serves as the rear camera monitor as well as the dash radio and CD/DVD player with Bluetooth capability.
 

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The co-pilot's area has a flip-out workstation that is very solid and doesn't shake or wiggle like many do. This area is also equipped with 120 volt AC and 12 volt DC power receptacles to power any accessories.
 

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A large 74" x 54" overhead bunk is mounted on power rails to lower it down from the ceiling, where it is normally stowed during travel. The Hide-Away overhead bunk is fitted with a Cotton Cloud mattress and bunk ladder.
 

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The Palazzo's interior features high gloss cabinetry with solid wood raised panel cabinet doors and nickel finish hardware. Solar and privacy shades are manual roller shades with a power windshield shade in the cockpit. Durable Beauflor residential grade vinyl flooring and Leatherette furniture is used throughout the coach, including the 80" sofa-bed, which includes an air mattress that makes into a 54" x 74" sleeping area. LED lighting is recessed into the soft-touch vinyl ceiling.
 

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The Dream Dinette is a booth style dinette with pull-out storage drawers beneath the booths. The dinette table lowers to convert the dinette into a 36" x 62" sleeping area if desired. A 40" LED TV is permanently mounted on the wall above the dinette table and is flanked by a pair of windows above each booth.
 

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The galley area features a work area with a tile backsplash and solid surface countertop that contains a dual basin stainless steel sink. A 30" Whirlpool convection microwave oven is located in the overhead cabinetry while a 3 burner gas cooktop is fitted into the lower galley and equipped with removable solid surface covers that affords more workspace when not using the cooktop. There are lots of drawers and cabinet doors to provide plenty of storage space. A 16 cu. ft. stainless steel residential refrigerator is located right next to the galley and flanked by a pair of large pull-out pantries.
 

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A large closet is located to the left of the laundry center and completes the large full-wall slideout.

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A laundry center featuring a Whirlpool stackable washer and dryer ensemble is located just aft of the pantry.

The bath area makes for good use of space. An oversize 30" x 36" shower is equipped with a glass door with rain glass. An overhead Fantastic-Vent fan is fitted with a hood to allow use of the fan when raining. The solid surface vanity holds a stainless steel sink bowl and a large mirrored medicine cabinet provides plenty of storage space.

The pedal flush toilet has a porcelain bowl and backs against an additional storage cabinet with solid surface top. Flush mount LED lighting is recessed into the ceiling to provide plenty of illumination in every corner of the bath.

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The bedroom area contains a 60" x 80" queen bed that is mounted on the rear wall of the coach and surrounded by closets on each side of the bed as well as a row of large overhead cabinets above the headboard. A curb-side slideout expands to offer more floor space and contains a dresser and full height mirrored wardrobe closet. A 26" LED TV is located across from the bed for viewing while in bed. USB charging outlets are located in the bedroom nightstands to keep cell phones and tablets charged.
 

Final Impressions

The Palazzo offers an amazing amount of value for a coach of this size. It brings you the benefits of a diesel pusher chassis with a smooth air-ride suspension, plenty of hill climbing torque, good cargo carrying capacity and a selection of features and amenities typically found in coaches at a much higher price point and everything is standard, which will help at resale time when options are not considered during resale value. When comparing this coach to a number of gasoline powered class A coaches it's obvious that you can get a lot more for your money with the Palazzo. This particular coach had a sticker price of $213,150 but was being offered at $153,460 at National Indoor RV Centers, which puts it squarely into the price range of lesser quality gasoline powered class A coaches. The fit and finish was also impressive and a huge improvement over products built as recent as 5 years back. Thor's commitment to improving the brand is obvious once you take a good hard look at this coach.

The Palazzo drives smoothly and handles twisty roads with ease. The 300 HP Cummins moves this 26,000 lb. coach with ease while delivering decent fuel economy, making this an affordable coach to operate. The handling was crisp and predictable and didn't have the sloppiness commonly found in the leaf spring chassis found under the gasoline powered coaches. The 10,000 lb. trailer hitch is a bit overkill for this coach but it is nice to know that the hitch is heavy duty enough rather than just meeting the minimal standards. The 34' size makes this a great choice for those RV owners who want to stay in some of the smaller campground spaces at state or national parks.

The interior is comfortable and with the slides retracted there is plenty of room to move through the aisle and access the various areas of the coach when traveling. Pulling into a rest area for lunch can be a challenge to access the refrigerator and dinette on some coaches when traveling but this floorplan makes it a non-issue. Storage space is prevalent in the Palazzo and one of the things that kept surfacing during my review of the coach. The basement storage space is better than average for a straight frame rail coach of this size and the interior was just as impressive. Every available space was utilized as storage. With a wide selection of floorplans, the Palazzo is going to be a popular choice with many RV owners.

I also wish to thank National Indoor RV Centers for supplying this coach for me to review.

Specifications

2017 Thor Palazzo 33.2

Base Price: $213,150

Standard Features:

  • Solid surface countertops
  • Riverbank full body paint
  • Desert Dune interior with High Gloss Glazed Pacific Cherry woodwork
  • Manual roller shades, privacy and sun screen (power windshield shades)
  • Automatic hydraulic leveling jacks
  • Power patio awning with LED lighting
  • 50 amp power cord
  • Onan 6,000 watt Quiet Diesel generator with Automatic Transfer Switch
  • Automatic generator start
  • Four deep cycle house batteries
  • Magnum 2,000 watt modified sine wave inverter
  • Two 13,500 BTU low profile air conditioners
  • 16 cubic inch residential refrigerator
  • 40" LED TV
  • 6 way power driver's seat
  • Surround Sound System with Blu-Ray Player
  • 26" LED bedroom TV
  • 32" exterior LED TV
  • Heated rear view mirrors with integrated side cameras
  • Three burner gas cooktop with convection microwave oven
  • Solar Panel Prep
  • In-dash entertainment system with CD/DVD player and Bluetooth capability
  • 10 gallon gas/electric hot water heater
  • 35,000 BTU LP Furnace
  • Queen bed with Denver mattress
  • Whirlpool stackable washer/dryer
  • Power drop-down Hide-Away overhead bunk

Options:

  • None

Price as Tested $213,150 (MSRP)

Specifications:

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): 26,000 lbs.
Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR): 30,000 lbs.
Net Cargo Carrying Capacity (NCC): 3,312 lbs.
Trailer Hitch Capacity: 10,000 lbs.
Wheelbase: 208 inches
Overall Length: 34' - 9"
Overall Width: 101 inches
Overall Height: 11 feet 10 inches
Fresh Water: 95 gallons
Gray Water: 43 gallons
Black Water: 43 gallons
Chassis: Freightliner XC-S rear engine diesel
Front Axle: 10,500 lb solid I-beam, Air-ride
Drive Axle: 17,500 lb V-Ride
Brakes: Anti-lock drum brakes
Fuel Tank Capacity: 90 gallons
DEF Tank Capacity: 13 gallons
Engine: Cummins ISB6.7 with exhaust brake
Horsepower: 300 HP at 2,600 RPM
Torque: 660 lb-ft at 1,600 RPM
Transmission: Allison 2100 series 6 speed automatic

Source

Thor Motor Coach
(800) 860-5658
www.thormotorcoach.com/palazzo/

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