Thursday, August 11, 2022


RV Review: Forest River Surveyor Legend 276BHLE—tall ceilings and neat storage

Today’s chapter of the daily RV review is about the Forest River Surveyor Legend 276BHLE. This is a mid-sized bunkhouse trailer that’s surprisingly light for its size. There are some features that I really like about this model as well.

What’s hot

Let’s get right to the things I like, starting in the bedroom. I am seeing an increasing number of travel trailers where the closets don’t go all the way to the front wall and there’s space behind them for devices or whatnot. 

Sometimes there’s enough space for things like CPAP machines, as well. Many companies are also starting to put 120-volt power outlets and/or USB outlets there. But Surveyor nailed it with this design. 

There’s the space behind the cabinets, of course, but the top surface of the space also features a cup holder. This makes so much sense. But this isn’t the whole story. On the surface you might notice a little finger hole. 

Under the top is a cubby that may be perfect for some appliances, gadgets or whatnot. But there’s also a 120-volt outlet here, so you legitimately could use this for a CPAP. It’s potentially the best behind-the-closet space utilization I’ve seen. 

It’s funny how something this minor is worthy of this much attention. But I like when RV companies come up with places and spaces that could make for a better experience. 

Kitchen in the Surveyor Legend 276BHLE

There are other areas where Surveyor has done things differently in this floor plan. One of those is a breakfast bar right at the main entry door. This breakfast bar features two bar-height stools that are included. 

The TV is right above this breakfast bar. That actually puts it at the perfect viewing angle from the seating opposite it. This place for your hind end could be either a tri-fold sofa or theater seats. Surprisingly, if someone were at the breakfast bar, though, it doesn’t seem like they’d be in the way of the TV. 

The kitchen provides decent enough counter space and a few drawers and cabinets. And, fortunately, there’s additional storage under the dinette. This isn’t unusual, except when you look at how Surveyor provides access to it. 

The plywood under the seat cushions of the dinette is hinged along the wall so it tilts up from there. Further, a gas strut keeps it up. So, this is a good place to have relatively convenient access to some stuff you might not need regular access to. 

On a plus note, you have the option of either a 12-volt compressor fridge or a traditional gas-electric RV fridge. On the bummer side of things, you know where I’m going here, there’s a 16” (in height) RV oven. Bleh. 

More storage joy in the Surveyor Legend 276BHLE

Being a bunk model, you will expect the obvious bunks—which are on the road side of this trailer. The lower bunk flips up and there’s a half-height door at the very back of this trailer. You could conceivably put bicycles or eBikes back there for transit. I would like to see some cargo tie-downs there, though.

Having the bunks on the road side puts the bathroom on the camp side. Surveyor provides a door from the outside world directly into the bathroom. I like this configuration because you can get right to the bathroom.

Furthermore, there isn’t a window in the door—which is a plus. The steps that lead to this door are the more traditional folding metal travel trailer steps, but the stable steps are in use at the main entry door. This bathroom is pretty spacious.

Boondocking and travel access

You might suspect that travel access is limited in this rig with a super slide along with a breakfast bar and “L”-shaped kitchen, but it isn’t. That second door to the bathroom is the key to success. You can get in mid-trip and not only access the bathroom, but the entire kitchen as well.

If you do want to get to the bedroom, you are going to have to do so through the main entry. Unless you’re pretty skinny, the only way from the bedroom to the bathroom with the slide closed is out the main door and up through the bathroom door.

In summary

This floor plan is just different enough that it really fixes some of the issues with mid-sized bunk model trailers. Someone can be seated at the breakfast bar enjoying a meal while others can be seated on the couch watching TV. There’s also the dinette, of course. 

I will say that while the lousy ovens, particularly in bunk model trailers, have been a pet peeve of mine, I also see a trend toward fewer and fewer camp-side windows. This is not a good thing and this trailer is quite guilty of that. In fact, there are not even windows in either of the doors of this trailer. Tsk, tsk. 

On the options list is 50-amp service, which then means you can have a second air conditioner installed if you camp where this is necessary. Nice. 

This is also built with Azdel substrate both in the inner and outer walls. Oh, and the big news is that the ceiling height is seven feet!

Overall, it’s a good design in many ways, with some standout features that could make a difference to some. 

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. 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.

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1 month ago

Last weekend I camped next to a young family with a brand new TT on its maiden trip. The father was learning things he didn’t notice about his trailer before they bought it, like the rear door opening directly into the awning arms! Each time the kids ran in and out…BANG went the door into the awning support arms. In the floorplan of this one I see the same thing….they show it opening “wide” but when that awning is out, anything beyond 90 degrees will hit the supports. A couple rubber stops will stop the bang, but it should have been designed with the hinge on the other side.

One weak point will be the very short vertical support arms on the brackets for the bar top. I can imagine they only have a couple small wood screws into not much wood which will be loosening and pulling out from kids putting their weight on the counter edge, hanging on it, and just road vibrations.

Not a bad trailer, but these are the kinds of “quality” aspects RV designers miss.

Steve H
1 month ago

This is definitely a fair weather, weekend camper to be used in a FHU campground. It sleeps as many as 10, but with space for no more than 8 to eat, and only 40-gallon FW and GW tanks and a tiny 30-gallon BW tank. Not going to be doing any dry camping with that many people.

Then there are the deficiencies Tony noted, plus a useless 4″ bathroom vent fan in an obvious 14″ vent, the dirty solid steps directly adjacent to the kitchen counter, and the current fad of a window above the head of the bed. You can change the vent fan and, possibly the steps, but not that window. So you have few windows to view your camp and no windows to view the lake you backed up to, but a front window in that gives you a great view of your tow vehicle. Stupid design!

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