Today’s review is of the 2023 Grand Design Imagine 2600RB, a very standard couple’s camper. So why are we looking at this? A few reasons.
Recently, someone said that I took a look at an RV because I was running out of models to look at. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but there do seem to be only a limited number of floor plans. So I’ve been focusing on what makes one different from the other. In other words, looking at a specific floor plan, why would you buy a specific brand over its competition?
I know the RV business is slow to adopt change. Many of the people I work with in the RV space really haven’t seen things differently from their forebears. This was true in the automobile business, too. And then came Tesla. And while you could argue about the way they treat their customers and their proprietary nature on parts, they have engendered quite a loyal following.
Grand Design is sort of like that, too. I think the brand that most stands out from the crowd in terms of market position is Airstream. People who have an Airstream never say they have a travel trailer. They have an Airstream.
I’m finding this with Grand Design owners more and more. Somehow Grand Design has cultivated their brand through their messaging, and the products, such that the owners aren’t just happy campers. They’re happy Grand Design owners.
Think of the success of other brands that have managed to cultivate this kind of image. Harley Davidson. Airstream. Porsche. Tesla. Apple. Frankly, I’m in the Apple camp, so I understand this brand love.
There are brands of cars, computers, motorcycles and RVs that provide a better product but haven’t done as good a job with the brand image. That brand image has a lot of value. It’s a good thing to have when things are great, but even better when they’re not. Being an aspirational brand means that there may always be a demand for your product even when it’s dried up for others.
What’s hot in the Grand Design Imagine 2600RB
As mentioned, we’ve seen this floor plan before. But there are a few things that are really clever in this model.
Surprisingly, the dinette is the first place to look for one of those innovations. In essence, this is a booth dinette with a freestanding table. No biggie, right?
But then there’s an ottoman that forms seats against the road-side wall. This ottoman can make the dinette into a U-shaped affair if you like. But it can also be pulled out and used as additional seating, perhaps making seating where the campers in the theater seats face someone on the ottoman.
Of course, there’s storage in the ottoman—which is also nice. As to that freestanding table, that also makes it so fluffy and/or slender campers can sit at the table and enjoy one another’s company.
But I’m sure many of us know one of those people who like to cook and chat. The ottoman and freestanding table can serve them, too, enabling them to pop up and down into the kitchen and use the table as extra prep space.
In the kitchen there is a swing-up counter extension and a decent amount of storage. In particular, there’s a gigantic drawer at the bottom of the cabinetry—so you can bring those larger pots and pans, if that’s your thing.
There are also two drawers under the refrigerator: one with a plastic insert for wine bottles (though we have a drawer of olive oil) and another with a plastic insert that has two bowls, assumably for pets.
Though how you feed your children is up to you, of course.
I know this poor, dead horse keeps getting whipped but, with all the good things Grand Design has done with this kitchen, the 16” oven is a true fail point, in my opinion.
As I’ve been repeating this in almost every darned review I write, I’m getting more and more feedback from you, which I appreciate. Many people say they don’t even bother using the oven because it’s so small, so that means you paid for something that you didn’t get.
Bathroom in the Grand Design Imagine 2600RB
One of the highlights of this floor plan is the bathroom, which takes up the entire span of the rear of this trailer. If you value space in a bathroom, this is a good floor plan to consider.
I also really like the Nautilus shower door which incorporates a built-in squeegee, but also isn’t a huge piece of glass.
A large counter and oodles of space around the toilet are further benefits of a bathroom of this size.
Speaking of size, the awning on this trailer is absolutely huge. I know there are some who love their awnings, others who don’t. If you’re an awning person, as I am, this is a nice choice. The awning is pretty long, at 21 feet.
Boondocking and travel access
Solar has become a part of the picture at Grand Design. This model is standard with a 165-watt solar panel and 25-amp charge controller. This incorporates a 12-volt Furrion fridge, and that’s your only choice. So if you’re planning on boondocking, I can’t more strongly recommend getting more solar and at least one, if not two, lithium batteries.
My current personal experience is limited to the GE 12-volt fridge. They are much more power-hungry than I had anticipated, particularly in hot weather. On a very warm day, I can easily blow through all the reserves equivalent of a single 100 amp-hour lithium battery with this fridge. On cooler days, the fridge consumes less power. But this is more than I had assumed the fridge would take.
As for travel access, you aren’t getting into the bedroom with the slide room closed. Otherwise, you’re good.
Grand Design is smart in the consistency and logic of its model ranges. There are four different lines of travel trailers with a clear distinction among them, marketed clearly and understandably. This also creates an aspirational chain such that, if you buy the least-expensive model and are pleased, you will likely consider moving up through the range.
I can also see the views on these reviews and brands like Grand Design, Airstream and Newmar all really get a lot of eye traffic. That means there are campers who are curious.
The little details and consistent aspects of this design will earn it a lot of happy fans. With just a few touches, it could be even better. But, still, a pretty nifty trailer overall.
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 RVtravel.com 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.
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