Friday, March 24, 2023


RV review: Grand Design Transcend Xplor 260RB

Today’s review is of the Grand Design Transcend Xplor 260RB, a couple’s trailer that has a floor plan that solves a lot of issues with couple’s campers in a really smart way.  


There are a number of things I look for in any RV design. The first of those is how open the floor plan feels. There are plenty of trailers like the Cherokee Grey Wolf 29TE where it seems that windows aren’t a priority at all. That’s not true here, where there are a good number of camp-side windows. It really does add to the open feel of this floor plan. 

But what really opens it up is a road-side super slide in which almost the entire kitchen exists along with the entertainment center. 

On the subject of the kitchen, the sink is at the front bulkhead wall of the main living space—which delivers a lot of counter space. Typically, Grand Design also includes cabinet and drawers in this space. 

The kitchen features a pantry and a bit more counter space between the fridge and the stove. 

Huge rear bathroom in the Grand Design Transcend Xplor 260RB

But the biggest story to tell is about the rear bathroom—which is huge by travel trailer standards. Further, Grand Design avoided the lure of two sinks and, instead, put a corner cabinet in with the sink at the corner. There are three medicine cabinets and a large walk-in shower with a nautilus shower door. 

This bathroom and the sheer amount of open space in this trailer makes me think it might be a very good model to consider if there is a traveler among your tribe that has some mobility issues. I could easily see this accommodating a walker and it might even be able to let someone in a wheelchair move around with relative ease. There’s so much space around the toilet you could almost get the Bob’s Big Boy model a good seat here. 


Lots of people on social media have been complaining about the overwhelmingly brown feel to RV interiors. To their credit, the RV industry has been listening and really changing things, often for the better. 

Apparently whoever was in charge of this interior missed that memo—it just feels very, very brown. But that’s OK, as you can always add your own color choices in pillows and other decorative highlights. 

One thing that’s not here is any sort of backsplash. But the interior of this trailer is so very brown that you’ll be doing yourself a favor by adding any sort of color, including a backsplash. Trust me. 

Boondocking and Travel Access

Despite the super slide, travel access to this is perfect. In fact, Grand Design could offer this trailer with the slide as an option and it would likely be fine. You can quite literally get to every single thing in the trailer whether the slide room is open or closed. 

Also, there is a lot of liquid storage aboard this rig, with 62 gallons of fresh water storage and 78 gallons of gray water storage. So you could spend a decent amount of time off the grid in this rig. Add a few additional solar panels and some lithium batteries and you’re out there for a good long while. 

Solar now standard in the Grand Design Transcend Xplor 260RB

The RV world is competitive, so the lead here is that you will now find these models standard with 165 watts of solar on the roof. 

I think Keystone RV really shook the industry up when they announced their SolarFlex™ package. It puts a minimum of 200 watts of solar on the roof of every one of their products. I’m almost certain that you’ll see more and more solar from more and more companies just so they remain competitive in the marketplace, frankly. 

This means that, with more big companies buying lots of solar panels, potentially the price of these will come down so that, for those who want solar, it may become cheaper more quickly. That would be the biggest benefit to some campers. 

In addition to 165 watts of rooftop solar, this model also has roof-mounted quick-connect plugs to add more solar for those for whom solar is the right choice. There is also a solar charge controller. The refrigerators are all eight-cubic-foot 12-volt models. You can, however, still get the traditional propane-electric absorption-style RV fridge if you prefer. 

Cheaper but not cheaper

Traditionally wood-framed aluminum-skinned trailers are the least expensive type to build. But that doesn’t mean they have to be poorly made or built cheaply. 

Building trailers in this configuration is less expensive just because there are fewer forms and processes involved in the build. There are also advantages to this type of construction including the fact that, if there has been damage to the outer shell, it’s easy for just about anybody with even moderate carpenter skills to effect a repair. 

The disadvantages include the fact that the uneven surface is slightly more difficult to seal. Owners really should pay attention to all the places where there are holes in the wall, including windows and baggage doors and that sort of thing. But these are maintenance points on all RVs. 

In fact, this is one of the areas where Grand Design makes a lot of noise by using a four-step process to seal places where two major structures come together. In the side walls where they join the back and the roof, Grand Design has a four-step seal process that the company claims reduces the need for re-sealing. 

In fact, the company states that this is a reason they offer a three-year structural warranty on these models. Cool.

There’s also a fully enclosed and heated underbelly which extends the time you can camp in this trailer by minimizing cold on the unit’s plumbing. Basically, if the tanks are heated, they’re far less likely to freeze unless you get to where it’s ridiculously cold. 

Other details

Speaking of heat, the ducts for the furnace of this unit are up on the cabinets instead of in the floor. I absolutely prefer this, particularly in a bunk model, as it means the kiddos won’t be dropping skittles into the floor vents all year and Fido won’t be tracking dog hair so the first time the furnace kicks in you get “that smell.”

In summary

While some people might eschew a stick-and-tin trailer due to many of them being poorly made, this could be a good consideration on its own merits. Grand Design does a good job building their Transcend Xplor line enough that they could easily compete with many laminated offerings in terms of build quality. 

But they would win the value proposition argument hands down. However, being the more affordable variant in the company’s portfolio, there are some fancier touches that aren’t present—like electric fireplaces and that sort of thing. But nothing that would really be a deal breaker. 

Further, Grand Design also does a better job insulating these than some who build stick-and-tin trailers. So if you camp more in the shoulder season, that might also be a good reason to look here. 

The Grand Design Transcend Xplor 260RB is a top choice

I would say this would definitely be a top choice in my mind for someone looking for a mid-sized couple’s camper that offers great mid-trip usability and high build quality at a price that puts it squarely in the middle of the market. 

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.

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 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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11 months ago

What happened to oak (lasts forever), light ash (straight grain), honey maple (beautiful golden color and durable), and other light-colored wood in RVs? On older RVs, these woods lightened interiors, adding visual space, and could be paired with any color fabrics from desert hues to blues, greens, even reds. Are interior designers so depressed that they have to infect us with their depression by only producing prison gray, black and white, and darkest brown RV woodwork and flooring? What happened to RVing being an exciting, happy, fulfilling experience for families?

How about some sea green, sky blue, even red and white gingham curtains in some new RVs (and not just retro ones)? It’s time for some interior designer in the copy-cat RV industry to step up and be different. If he or she has to copy something, go back to the interiors of 1953-1967 American cars, find one that grabs them, and copy it exactly in an RV interior! “Corinthian leather”, anyone?

11 months ago

The lack of doors on cabinets and drawers under the dinette make most of the Transcend line a no go for me. Other than that they have a some great floor plans that I have considered, this one included. But, I do not want to reach my destination and find my belongings scattered about.

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