Saturday, September 30, 2023


RV Review: 2023 Surveyor Legend 19RBLE

Today’s RV review is of the 2023 Surveyor Legend 19RBLE, a small, single-axle trailer that actually packs a decent amount of space into an RV that might actually be towable by some mid-size pickups and SUVs. One of the things I’ve noticed is that, as campers want more and more cargo carrying and features, even some of the smaller RVs are getting quite heavy. 

At the FROG (Forest River Owners’ Group) rally last week almost all the RVs were just a few years old. But there was one there that was an older version of one I’m pretty familiar with. I was surprised that it was more than 1,000 pounds lighter than the current version, but also lower in height. Another thing the older model didn’t have was as much cargo carrying capacity nor as much water holding capacity. 

We’re getting all demanding. 

This trailer is more akin to the older models I used to see in terms of size and weight. But the downside to that is that it’s pretty limited in how much you’re able to load into it. But not horribly so—with a cargo carrying capacity of about 932 pounds. 

I’ve criticized Class C RVs with this same number, so why is it okay here? You don’t have to accommodate a driver and passenger when shuttling down the road. This is quite literally just your food, clothing and stuff you have to account for. Once you’re parked, you can add more weight to the picture by stepping through the door, since you’re not moving. With a motorized rig you have to accommodate the people and their stuff. 

What’s inside the 2023 Surveyor Legend 19RBLE

With many smaller trailers you get a bed that’s smaller, too. But this one features an actual residential-sized queen bed, at 60” x 80”. That’s really saying something when you consider that this trailer is 88 inches wide overall, which is eight inches narrower than many. 

One of the changes made for the 2023 model year include adding power outlets to the convenient little cubbies by the bed. I really like these. 

That slightly narrower size is also going to make a difference if you’re towing with a smaller vehicle. Wind resistance is such a huge factor and a smaller vehicle just has less resistance, all things being equal. 

This model has a slide room and that space has a raised floor to accommodate the wheel. In the slide is a dinette with two knee-knocker poles. However, a few moments with a screw gun can eliminate those poles altogether. Most hardware stores sell folding table legs, so you can do what I wish Surveyor had done in the first place. 

I’m no fan of pole-mount tables. Give me a freestanding table with legs that would let me adjust it to counter height and you’ll be my RV hero. 

Something unique in this line from Surveyor is a dinette base where the top is hinged such that you can flip it up and access the storage in the dinette. You do have to take the cushions off, but they’re all proud of this. 

There is absolutely no carpet in this rig whatsoever. That’s a very good thing. 

New features in 2023 the Surveyor Legend 19RBLE

One of the biggest changes to the 2023 model is the design of the kitchen. This model now has a two-burner linear stove. The burners are front-to-back as opposed to the previous models where they consumed more counter space. 

Beneath that is a convection microwave, another new feature for 2023. 

The linear stove consumes less counter space, so the sink was enlarged in this model. Further, there’s now a wood cutting board included. 

Another change is that this model now comes with the Furrion 12-volt fridge only. There is no more propane-electric fridge in this. I saw the Furrion fridges when I was visiting Lippert and thought they had done a good job with these. 

I will say that the 80-watt solar panel available on this trailer is not going to compensate for the demand of that reefer. If you want to do that, you’re going to need at least 100 amp-hours of battery power available and 200 watts of solar at minimum. But I would think 400 would be better. You could easily accomplish this with portable panels such as the Go Power! DuraLite panels I carry around with me. 

One of the things about this floor plan that I like is that, typically, the entire rear of the trailer can be used for the bathroom. It sort of is here, with a shower on the road side and the toilet on the camp side. Surveyor put a rather substantial closet into this space, which is not a horrible thing. However, it really impedes on the space for the toilet. 

If you happen to be right-handed in your toilet operation, this could be quite a challenge for you. Otherwise this is a nice bathroom and uses a high-quality sink counter and a Nautilus-style shower door that incorporates a wiper seal. Yay to no glass shower door!

Boondocking and travel access

Even though this is a narrower trailer with a slide room, you can still access the entire thing with the slide room in. There is literally nothing blocked by the slide room. 

As mentioned a bit ago, if you plan to boondock you’re going to have to feed the beast that is the 12-volt compressor fridge. I have found most of these consume about 70-110 amp-hours of power in a 24-hour time span.

That means either a couple of larger flooded batteries or a lithium battery for the fridge’s use alone. If boondocking is your thing, this is absolutely a consideration. If not, you’ll be just fine with what your tow vehicle can provide along with power that would be available in campsites.

In summary

As towable RVs seem to be getting bigger and heavier, it’s nice to see something that doesn’t necessarily feel like a compromise but still offers what you’ll need to go camping. There were some nice design changes for 2023 to this that absolutely make it more useful. However, I would like to see the option of either more solar or a propane-electric fridge. 

Still, you can also accomplish this with portable panels—so it’s not that big of a deal. 

Overall this could be a nice choice for those with a mid-sized truck or some SUVs who might enjoy getting away without bringing it all with you, yet feeling like you’ve got it all going on. 


More from Tony

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

If you’re RV shopping here are some tips on RV shopping from a former RV salesperson—me!

Tony comes to having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. He also works closely with a number of RV manufacturers to get an inside look at how things are done and is a brand ambassador for Rockwood Mini Lite with his wife, Peggy.

You can also check out his RV podcast with his wife, Peggy. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. 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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!


Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.


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Bob M
1 year ago

If they don’t offer a gas elect fridge. They need to include adequate solar to operate the fridge. Not sure I’d want a DC fridge. I’ve also read that you have to pull the Furrion 12-volt fridge to get to a fuse in the back. Their web site didn’t show where the fuse was. Some people had trouble with the fuse blowing when new.

Steve H
1 year ago

You are right about new TTs getting heavier. The GVWR of this trailer is nearly identical to our 2012 Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S, which had a very similar floorplan, but was 96″ wide with a sofa slide. However, the 2109S was two feet shorter, so that accounts for the Surveyor’s ability to have a REAL queen bed. I also like the idea of a convection microwave, but with no inverter and too little solar, the only way to use it when dry camping is a generator. So, no California camping and no Wallydocking!

And we towed the Mini Lite with a Nissan Frontier.

Bob p
1 year ago

The bathroom can’t be any worse than my first travel trailer, a 1978 TEC Campmate 245BH. The bathroom was so small you literally had to get into position before closing the door as there wasn’t any room to move after closing the door. The tub was against your feet and the vanity was on your right side about 4” from the commode. You would never fit in there, Lol.

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