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Family-Friendly RV: Grand Design Transcend Xplor 243BH

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Grand Design’s midsize bunkhouse offers solid construction and upgraded features at a competitive price, along with the company’s reputation for quality and customer service.

When Grand Design entered the RV market in 2012, the company focused on producing high-quality travel trailers and fifth-wheels, and soon gained a reputation that matched its initial mission. Unfortunately, buyers looking for a more modest trailer couldn’t find that option from Grand Design. That changed in 2018 with the introduction of the Transcend Xplor. For the 2020 model year, the Transcend Xplor lineup features six floorplans designed for the entry-level market. Among them, the 243BH is a family-friendly bunkhouse with the quality expected of a Grand Design trailer but at a competitive price.

The master bedroom showing a bed with a patterned bedspread and cabinets above. Bunk beds with gray covers next to storage cabinet, shelve and drawers.

Up front, a solid 36-inch door gives the master bedroom privacy. At the back, plush bunks provide a cozy sleeping space.

Separate Sleeping Spaces

While some parents are fine sacrificing privacy when camping with the family, others desire a little more separation. The 243BH offers a bedroom with a solid door up front, instead of the accordion doors or curtains often found in entry-level trailers. Parents will also appreciate the generous storage space and 60-by-80-inch bed in this master suite.

For the kids, a pair of bunks runs east to west along the rear wall, a somewhat unique design. The foot of each bed is open to the living space, while the rest is tucked behind the kitchen wall. Each bunk has its own power outlet, a feature sure to please young travelers. A nice storage closet and drawers are near the bunks.

Decked-Out Kitchen

The kitchen of the Transcend Xplor 243BH showing the counter and appliances and TV.

A surprising amount of countertop surrounds the kitchen sink and three-burner range, with TV and cable prep above.

Grand Design elevates the 243BH’s L-shaped kitchen with some knockout features. Counter space is plentiful, a microwave and three-burner range simplify cooking chores, and the high-rise faucet with a pullout sprayer is a nice touch.

Above one end of the counter, a dedicated space for a large television is across from the bench-style dinette, housed in the single slideout. Even Fido will love the kitchen, thanks to the pet drawer that slides out to reveal a pair of feeding dishes below the fridge.

Looking toward the rear of the trailer toward the bunks, showing the kitchen and dinette.

The booth dinette and refrigerator are housed in the side slideout, which opens up the living area. The dinette folds down to make a bed, giving the 243BH room to sleep five.

Exterior Impressions

The walk-in shower with a shower curtain next to the sink and medicine cabinet.

The full bath has a walk-in shower and power vent fan. A mirrored medicine cabinet, drawers and cupboards supply ample storage.

While Grand Design got its start building fiberglass travel trailers and fifth-wheels, the Transcend line features aluminum construction. To ensure quality, Grand Design uses four layers of protection: mylar tape, two layers of PVC foam and a silicone cap. A heated, enclosed underbelly comes standard, as do ample black and gray tanks. The pass-through storage is an industry leader with 43 cubic feet of space for stowing supplies. Even the tongue jack is upgraded, with a unique quick-drop feature.

Just shy of 30 feet, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,495 pounds, the Transcend Xplor 243BH is a midsize bunkhouse at an affordable price and a manageable size for families looking for their first RV, without sacrificing quality and features.

Manufacturer’s Specifications

2020 Grand Design Transcend Xplor 243BH
Exterior Length: 29’11”
Exterior Width: 8’
Interior Height: 6’ 6”
Exterior Height: 11’
Freshwater Cap.: 62 gal.
Black-Water Cap.: 39 gal.
Gray-Water Cap.: 68 gal. (29 gal./kitchen sink, 39 gal./bathroom)
LP-Gas Cap.: 10 gal.
UVW: 5,991 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 597 lbs.
GVWR: 7,495 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $22,400

Floorplan of Grand Design Transcend Xplor 243BH showing one slideout and pass-through storage.

Author, blogger and photographer Kerri Cox.With her small bunkhouse travel trailer in tow, Kerri Cox has traveled near and far with her husband and two teenage sons, documenting their adventures on her blog, Travels with Birdy. When not on the road, she spends her time teaching and writing. Her words and photographs can be found in print and digital publications, including Trailer Life and the Good Sam Club Blog.

bunkhouse RVsFamily-Friendly RVsGrand DesignKerri Coxlightweight travel trailersNew RVsNew RVs for 2020RV NewsTravel Trailers

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