By Tony Barthel
We recently looked at the 2021 Wildwood FSX 178BHSK, which is a nifty little package that’s highly affordable and compatible with a lot more vehicles by virtue of being under 4,000 pounds dry. I always appreciate the input of RVTravel’s readers, and a few people wrote to tell me they liked the concept, but it just was too small.
Fortunately, for every floor plan in the RV world there is a comparable floor plan at another manufacturer. Sometimes that means larger or wider or having some sort of aspect that makes it more appealing to some.
You could almost argue that the Wildwood’s floor plan is nearly identical to the one in the 2021 Surveyor Legend 240BHLE with a few nuances. But it’s those nuances that really make the difference. And whether you like one over the other may be due to those nuances.
Surveyor Legend 240BHLE
One of the things that will absolutely resonate with buyers is how the two different trailers are built. The Wildwood is what is considered a traditional “stick and tin” trailer – which means wood framing with an aluminum skin. Yes, you can get a fiberglass skin upgrade, but it’s still wood framing. The Surveyor is built using a welded aluminum cage with a fiberglass outer layer and an Azdel (man-made) substrate. Block foam insulation is used between the aluminum ribs and then there’s an inner layer. All this is glued together and then vacuum bonded.
The result is a lightweight wall structure. So, which is better, wood or aluminum framing? I did a podcast episode all about this which you can hear here if you’re curious.
This trailer is also significantly larger, being both wider and longer. That additional length takes away one of the aspects of the Wildwood that I didn’t like, the “Jiffy bed.” That bed is essentially in a corner forcing one sleeper to crawl over the other if they have to get up first. Instead, this trailer features a more traditional Murphy bed. But it’s important to know that not all Murphy beds are created equally.
In this case, the Murphy bed flips up as you would expect, but the mattress is split near the top. The advantage of this type of Murphy bed is that you get full pass-through storage. The disadvantage is that I would think it was more difficult to accommodate a foam pad on top of the mattress. My expectation is that this mattress is no better than any other RV mattress, so the foam pad would be a must.
Why I chose a Murphy bed
Regular readers will know that I own a Rockwood Mini Lite travel trailer. Mine has a Murphy bed – which was one of the principal reasons I bought it. That bed is on a solid platform that hinges near the headboard, but the whole mattress is one piece. That makes it easy for me to add a foam pad on top and then an RVSuperbag as the cover. A similar floor plan is in the Rockwood Mini Lite 2514 that we looked at in the past.
I realize this is a lot of discussion about one feature, but I think these are the things that make this column helpful. I try to point out things I see based on years in the RV space.
An advantage of the Murphy bed in this floor plan as with others is that you get a couch during the time you’re not using the bed. This is a huge plus. Surveyor did a good thing by putting a curtain between the bedroom space and the main living space so you can close off this section if you choose.
More space in the Surveyor Legend 240BHLE
There’s also a U-shaped dinette in a slide room on this model. It is 84” X 42” when it is converted for sleeping, if that’s something you want to do. The whole trailer is still usable with the slide room in. However, it’ll be tight getting past the kitchen counter extension, but at least it’s doable.
Speaking of the kitchen, it is in an “L” shape with the sink on the peninsula of the counter. The whole surface is a sealed material. The three-burner stove has a glass top that’s flush with the rest of the counter. This is pretty customary, but this and the sink cover mean there’s a decent amount of counter space when needed.
Keeping things cold is a 12-volt compressor-based refrigerator, which is a new feature for 2021.
At the back of the trailer are the bunks, which are 45” x 74”.
Details of the Surveyor Legend 240BHLE
One of the things that stands out to me is that there is a lot of attention to detail in this trailer. For example, in the bathroom Surveyor has put the control panel to operate the water heater and water pump as well as the display for the tank monitors. That means you can literally be sitting on the king decision-making seat and turn on the water pump and check the level of the black tank. I can’t imagine a better place for this functionality.
If we go outside we can see more things I like. These include magnetic hold backs on the baggage doors, which also incorporate slam latches. The company also includes a nut to drive the stabilizer jacks with an electric drill. This is something many of us do, but it’s cool that it’s included and even has a slick little holder.
The outside kitchen is really nifty, by my take. There’s a slide-out mechanism which has a flat-top griddle on the top. To the left there’s a drawer-style mechanism that has a “dog bowl” sink. This is a sink that doesn’t have a drain but you just tip over to dump out like a dog bowl. There’s a spray port above the dog bowl sink.
On the right is another drawer-style mechanism that slides out and has a table top. It’s made of the same metal as the rest of this structure. There’s also a 120-volt bar-style refrigerator here.
There are a lot of things I really like about the floor plan of the Surveyor Legend 240BHLE in general. And I think Surveyor, in particular, has really done a super job with their implementation.
There are a few minor things that may or may not even matter but are worth noting. The first is the Murphy bed, which we’ve already shared. But part of that is that there are little storage cubbies behind the upright cabinets. These would be great for putting the devices you’re not supposed to be looking at right before bed away.
Something I think is odd with this model and the Rockwood-Flagstaff models that have a Murphy bed is the windshield, which is useless unless the bed is down. When the bed is down you are more likely to want to block the light from the windshield.
Still, with the various examples of attention to detail I think this could be a good choice for campers either looking for a bunkhouse model or just a trailer that has good use of space, day and night.
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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