RVtravel.com reader Jo Z. wrote in to request that we take a look at the Grand Design Imagine XLS 22RBE trailer. The first thing I noticed in it was a camp-side slide.
If you look at a lot of RVs there will be a slide room over on the roadside, but fewer are built with that slide on the camp side. But if you’re staying smaller, as might be the argument for this floor plan, that camp-side slide is a good idea.
Think about RVing in small spaces such as mooch-docking in your sister’s driveway, for example, which is what I’m doing as I write this. If you truly are in a small space, then typically you put your camper as close as possible to the outside edge of that space so that you maximize the zone right outside the entry door.
A slide room on this side makes sense in that it’s not much wider than the entry door, so the space is already available. The other side of this coin is that your slide room is occupying your camp space. Also, your awning space is partially consumed by the slide room. Everything is a trade-off, but this configuration makes sense in a smaller camper.
A lot of times if you have a smaller trailer you’re sacrificing cabinets and space inside. That is not the case here at all.
Starting in the bedroom, there are the usual wardrobes on either side of the bed. But Grand Design cut a little cubby at the back (toward the nose of the trailer) and outfitted these each with both USB 12 volt plugs and 120 volt Edison plugs. This is a nifty use of this space.
There are also drawers under each of these wardrobes, which is a plus. Further, while it’s no surprise that the bed lifts up, what is neat about this area is that there’s a sliding box inside here. That allows you to segregate some of the things you store under here. It’s a nice use of the space.
There’s a sliding door to keep the bedroom and its 60″ X 80” queen-sized bed from the rest of the interior.
Nifty kitchens in Grand Design’s smaller trailers, including the Imagine
Grand Design has been doing some nifty kitchens in their smaller trailers, and this is no exception. The kitchen occupies the entire road side of the camper in the main living space. It is an “L” shape, so you really get a good amount of counter space. There are also a lot of drawers and cabinets here.
Unless you have a rock collection like Lucille Ball in “The Long, Long Trailer,” I don’t think you’re going to find any shortage of storage in here.
The Imagine XLS series has moved to almost all Furrion appliances, including the vent fan, stove, refrigerator and air conditioners. That’s all just fine with me. With Lippert owning Furrion now, I’m sure their ability to supply parts will only improve. But I do wish Grand Design would order the 22-inch oven from Furrion instead of the lousy 17-inch model. There’s nothing grand about the design of an oven you can’t use for much.
The couch in this model is actually two recliners with heat and massage. The TV is mounted over the kitchen, so you do have a good vantage point.
The Imagine is a couple’s camper
Note, however, this is absolutely a couple’s camper as the only seating in here is that couch/recliner setup. You can opt in a dinette if you’d like, but then that’s the only seating. The couch models do come with a free-standing table that you can use inside and out.
One thing to note: Even with the slide in, everything in this model is fully accessible. This one gets an A+ on travel access, in my book. This means you could also use it with the slide in if the mooch-docking that you’re doing means it’s better not to put out the slide room.
The last place where we can enjoy even more storage is back in the back where the bathroom occupies the entire width of the camper. That means not only a large shower, but also more cabinetry and a full-width sink counter top as well.
One more thing
I just happened to be at a gathering with a whole bunch of Grand Design owners, including several Imagine owners. I’ve written before that I’m not a big fan of leaf spring suspensions. A couple of the people, all of whom were full-timers, had had trouble with their suspensions.
That did surprise me, as leaf spring suspensions are pretty durable, if well-maintained. However, they just don’t provide a great ride. I’d like to see Grand Design at least offer an upgraded suspension on this trailer. However, as one of the owners had done, you can always swap your suspension. But that seems like a lot of bother.
Notice I don’t usually mention this on more affordable trailers. But I put Grand Design in a better class and, thus, expect more.
Overall, I really like this floor plan, which is one of my favorites, for so many reasons. It’s not very big but offers a huge amount of interior storage. There’s a proper queen bed in its own room and a large bathroom, as well. There’s a great balance between towing size and interior space.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
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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