We have had our 2021 Grand Design Transcend XPlor 261bh travel trailer for a little over a month now, and we love it. I wanted to tell you a little about why we decided to go with the Grand Design.
We chose Grand Design because we were looking for a company with a solid reputation in the industry. We wanted a quality product and a company that stands behind the work they do. Based on what we have seen and read, Grand Design does exactly this.
We completed hours of online research once we knew we were interested in Grand Design. We viewed different floor plans, trailer types, and trailer weights.
We shopped around different travel trailers and fifth wheels. We checked out baseline models, more expensive models; we researched them all. For the fun of it, we even checked out a few travel trailers that cost as much as a small house!
Once we had narrowed down our choices between a few models we liked, it was time to visit a few dealerships in person. We took a day trip one weekend to check out a few at Northgate RV in Ringgold, GA.
Northgate RV had a massive selection of Travel trailers and fifth wheels. What I really liked is they provide guests a golf cart to get around their lot! We ultimately purchased our rig elsewhere, but what experience I did have with Northgate was great.
Our decision to purchase the Transcend XPlor versus the higher price range Reflection model came down to the fact that this is:
a. Our first camper
b. Not one we are going to be living in, and
c. Something we would like to own outright.
We really liked several campers that cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 more than we spent on our Transcend, and boy did we have some of those bells and whistles calling our name! Some of the differences were things like how the window shades are. For example, the Grand Design Reflection has flat pulldown blackout shades, while the Transcend XPlor has black accordion-type shades. The Transcend shades are still great! They are built better than most campers I have seen with this type of shade.
Another difference between the Transcend and the Reflection is the insulation ratings (see the Grand Design website link below for specifics). The Transcend still has plenty of insulation for what we need; the Reflection is just rated to withstand much more. If we were planning to live in our camper, we might want to consider the Reflection for this reason, but we are not planning to live in it. We also avoid camping in TN when the temps fall below freezing.
A few other things that I noticed the Reflection models had that our Transcend XPlor does not have:
1. An outdoor shower- we do not have an external hose hookup outside of our Transcend to wash things outside like dirty boots, mud, etc. It seemed that most if not all of the Reflection models we looked at had this feature.
2. Inside, the storage area has exposed wood on the top side in the Transcend Xplor. On the Reflection Models we looked at, there was a covering over which the wood was not exposed.
3. Shower- I think the Reflection may have had an actual shower door. The shower door on the Transcend XPlor is a retractable flexible door, and we have not had much luck with it. You pull it and hook it to close, but we have had an issue that it retracts if we barely touch it. It’s not a deal-breaker for us, though.
What I love about our camper is that it’s simple. There’s not a ton of things to clean, which makes it easier to enjoy your trip. Even though it may not appear to have tons of cabinet space, I can fit all of our food and cooking supplies in and still have empty cabinets left.
Another thing to note: at the 2nd half of the 2021 model year, they began adding a stock solar panel, so our camper came equipped with a single solar panel on top.
In the end, we decided the Transcend Xplor by Grand Design has everything we need for right now, and we were able to purchase it without a big debt weighing over our heads.
We purchased our Grand Design RV with Cookeville RV and Marine in Cookeville, TN. These guys were great. They made us feel like they were there to sell us the right camper to suit our family and not just the most expensive camper they had.
I wanted to upgrade the bedding in the master bedroom, so I updated it soon after purchasing it!
Transcend XPlor is Grand Design’s introductory level travel trailer. This is still a high-quality product. I recommend the Transcend XPlor 261bh for a small-medium sized family with kids looking for a quality rig at a more affordable price.
See the link below for our bunkhouse walkthrough video!