By Tony Barthel
When I was selling RVs, I remember eagerly awaiting our delivery of Cruiser RVs. These were great choices for taller travelers due to a vaulted 6’11” interior ceiling and a king-sized bed being standard. Where I worked, we had a lot of folks in the logging industry and, indeed, many of them were more Paul Bunyan than Tom Thumb.
There were a lot of features about these trailers that appealed to people, including the above dimensions. But they also featured slam-latch cargo doors with magnetic catches, solid surface countertops, and hardwood cabinets with hidden hinges. The company even laminated the back walls and slide room walls. The specs, at the price point we were selling them, were impressive.
Recently, RVtravel.com reader Barbara Scruggs asked me to take a look at Cruiser’s “Embrace” trailers – which took me back to those days. She asked what I thought of these and the price point. There is a lot of value here.
Spacious Cruiser Embrace EL 260 trailers
Like the Cruiser trailers we carried, the Cruiser Embrace EL 260 trailers have a larger feel due to the higher ceilings.
I liked the Cruiser Embrace EL 260 because of the arrangement of the living area where there’s a tri-fold couch on the forward-facing wall that looks at the whole living area. That couch faces an electric fireplace and TV to the left. Unfortunately, it’s not direct-facing so there will be some neck-craning going on there.
There is also a large U-shaped dinette in a slide room which also has a view of the TV. So, I’m thinking that was the idea – to put the TV in such a place that it could be swiveled for enjoyment by either the couch or dinette occupants. It can even be viewed by both if it’s not extended and swiveled, so to speak.
Of course, the couch makes into a bed, as does the dinette.
Beyond the dinette in the slide is the refrigerator. I wasn’t able to get word back on what type of refrigerator is offered as standard or optional by press time.
Across from the slide room in the Cruiser Embrace EL 260 is a decent kitchen featuring a typical RV three-burner stove with a 17” oven. There’s a large solid-surface countertop with an under-mount stainless steel sink. Above that in the cabinets is a respectable amount of storage space along with the microwave.
Roomy bathroom in the Cruiser Embrace
If you like a larger bathroom this would be a unit to look at, as this one certainly has that. On the camp side of the bathroom is a solid surface counter with two sinks in it. The toilet is in the middle along the back wall and there’s a shower that occupies the road side of the bathroom.
I remember selling a trailer with a similar floor plan to a gentleman who had significant mobility issues. One of the things that appealed to him was the sheer amount of space in the bathroom. He was able to actually use the trailer with his wheelchair. It’s important to note that the door on this is a full 30” wide, though this trailer isn’t wheelchair accessible per se. It just worked for him.
As mentioned, all Embrace models feature a king-size bed as standard equipment – with this one being no exception. That means the space on either side of the bed is a bit tight. But the payoff is that big bed, and I didn’t think it was unreasonably tight.
The Cruiser Embrace EL 260 is ready for two air conditioners
One of the unusual things about these trailers is that they’re wired for 50-amp service. That means they’re ready for two air conditioners. Since this isn’t an extraordinarily large trailer, I would imagine with two air conditioners you could almost achieve meat-locker temperatures inside.
Outside on the Cruiser Embrace EL 260 there is a pretty decent kitchen featuring a two-burner stovetop on a drawer slide. There’s also a plumbed sink and a relatively large 110vac refrigerator. There are also two drawers and quite a sizable amount of cabinet space. This would be a good choice if an outdoor kitchen were high on your checklist. The very large door acts as a roof over your head. Of course, there’s a power awning as well.
There were a few other things I liked about the Cruiser trailers, including the fact that there’s a battery shut off right at the control panel. If you’re going to store your trailer for any length of time this will prevent parasitic loads (little draws like the CO detector, etc.) from killing the battery.
When I was selling these, I was surprised at the lackluster reaction to the king-sized beds. But that could have just been the specific customers whom I showed them to.
We also had these trailers during a transition time for Cruiser, as they were being acquired by Thor at the time. Unfortunately, that meant that there were a number of things in transition including their warranty service to us. That was terrible enough that we dropped the brand entirely.
Good structural and axle warranty
That being said though, the company does have a three-year structural warranty and a five-year warranty on the Dexter axles. They have also since employed their dedicated pre-delivery. I hope that the transitionary troubles are over and the company is producing products that they’re proud of. This would be a question I would ask any selling dealer about the products they’re representing, i.e., how the manufacturer supports them with warranty claims.
All things being equal, this is a decent floor plan with a lot of features that I think would prove useful over time. I can see how this can be less expensive than, say, a Rockwood or Jayco product with a less elaborate suspension and more price-focused tires and that sort of thing. But, all in all, there’s a lot to like about this line and I wouldn’t cross it off my list.
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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