Looking at Campers

April 12, 2017


When we entered the camper at the dealership, we really didn't know what to expect. Yes, we looked at floor plans before heading out and had an idea of what we were looking for. But prior to this, we only had experienced traveling with our pop-up camper in tow. We loved our pop-up; it had two king beds that would slide out on platforms in the front and back of the unit. There was also a rather large slide-out dinette on the side that could be converted into a bed, and a small fold-out indoor kitchen. There was no bathroom in the unit. Although this was definitely a step-up from tent camping, there was still much time spent setting up the camper upon arrival, and then packing up prior to departure only to do this all over again at the next campground. 

In planning this trip, we agreed that we wanted something a little more comfortable, with a little less work in set-up and tear-down, and a bathroom. Of course, this sounds great in theory, but with all of these extra amenities likely comes more work. Nonetheless, we were impressed with the two units with similar floor plans manufactured by Grand Design: the Imagine 2950RL and the Reflection 297RSTS. We loved the open feel in the rear living area generated by the massive slide-outs. In my experience, I have found furniture inside of campers difficult to sit on for long periods of time; however, this furniture was quite comfortable.  The cabinets seemed solid as they were assembled using plywood and screws instead of pressboard and staples. The heating duct-work ran through the undercarriage and vented out through the cabinets as opposed to the having vents on the floor. I didn't have to worry about headroom with the arched ceiling. Just an enjoyable living environment. 


Outside the unit, there were many features I have not seen on other campers. The front storage area had large doors held open with magnets. The storage area also contained a convenient box for connecting to utilities. I think one of my favorite amenities was the outdoor kitchen on the Reflection 297RSTS. I always thought it was an inconvenience to have to go in and out of the camper to get utensils, food, and other items needed when cooking outside. 

The downside to all of this is that the specifications for the trailer exceed what I was interested in hooking up to the tow vehicle. While I don't think it would be problematic if we didn't travel far from home, I am concerned about taking one of these beasts on the road cross-country for two-months. I suppose you have to start somewhere, after all, it is nice to dream. Plus the day wasn't a total wash. We had lunch at Cracker Barrel.

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