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Thread: Grand Design Imagine vs Lance for heavy use and 4 season camping

  1. #11
    Member WackyPup's Avatar
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    We are full time in a grand design imagine XLS 19 RLE. Yes, you can definitely be full-time in a small trailer. This trailer is actually larger than the other one we were discussing timing in LOL

    We have only had this trailer for about a month, and it did have some issues but nothing major. Grand Design has amazing customer service and everyone from the dealer to the manufacturer was extremely responsive.

    The design and and amount of storage in our trailer is amazing. I think we will probably have a little bit of a heat issue with all the windows in the back by the dinette, but it is totally worth it for me. Sitting back there in my dinette surrounded by windows looking out into the state parks, or national parks, or federal lands, this is why I am in my camper!

    This camper seems to me very well built and everything is beautiful and well-designed. I hope it holds up well

    Liz

  2. #12
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    I would recommend you check out you tube...specifically ďkeep your day dreamĒ...they live in one full time and have tones of videos on it. Give you good idea of how they hold up. That is how i have done a lot of the research myself for what we are looking for.

  3. #13
    Site Sponsor chemist308's Avatar
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    An Artic Fox travel trailer is going to be more comparable towards Reflection than Imagine in terms on insulation. Something tells me Lance is to, but they donít seem to publish R values.
    2018 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
    2019 Ram 3500 DRW
    old: 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
    https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7803/4...56f2161a_m.jpg

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    Sorry for butting into the conversation, but I've been told by someone on another forum that an Imagine is NOT suitable for use in sustained freezing weather. Is that true in your experience?

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulag1955 View Post
    Sorry for butting into the conversation, but I've been told by someone on another forum that an Imagine is NOT suitable for use in sustained freezing weather. Is that true in your experience?
    We have a 2017 model which is has an "Extended Season" certification. What sustained temperatures does this correlate to? I do not know. We have camped comfortably where temperatures dipped to freezing but this was not sustained. Since the gray tank drain (exposed from kitchen to back drain) and low point drains are exposed I would think this trailer would need some additional plumbing insulation and maybe a skirt to be able to handle sustained temps in the teens. I believe the newer models have enclosed low point drains which would help. I was impressed in how the floors were not too cold during this trip and how comfortable the trailer was over all.
    MidwestCamper

    Jim & Dawn
    Near Milford, Michigan
    2017 Imagine 2600RB
    2015 GMC Sierra 1500 Double Cab 4x4

  6. #16
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    Sarah,

    My wife and I purchased a GD 2250RK last summer and even though its advertised as a 4 season rig it really won't hold up to really cold weather unless you do some serious modification. First you will notice that the underbelly cover is not very well attached and there are many gaps where cold air can get in. That's going to be one of my projects this coming summer, my plan is to attach aluminum strips along the frame to hold all the sagging up tight to the frame. Then, unless you paid additional to have them installed, the 2250RK does not have tank heater mats glued to them to keep the tanks warm. THEN, there is only one duct from the heater that is routed to the belly. That's not enough to keep you from freezing up. You would also want to put a small heater in your storage/plumbing area to keep that area above 32 degrees, or an incandescent work light that will give off some heat. Go to YouTube and search RV Living and you'll find a bunch of information out there. Winter camping can be done, but you need to plan well for it.

    Rick

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    Oh, BTW Grand Design is a great company to work with as long as you understand they are in business to make money. They always try to go the extra mile if you have issues and need to contact them. BUT, some dealers are different. We got ours at General RV in Illinois and had a very good experience.

    Rick

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    Problem with the Imagine line is that it's not really made for super cold stretches of weather. Low R values and thin compartment doors won't help the cause. Most any trailer built these days will work when the temps get down near freezing at night but then go up in the low to mid 40's or higher during the day. It takes a well insulated trailer to sustain temps in the upper 20's at night and low 30's during the day. You'll burn through a lot of propane trying to keep an Imagine warm in low temps. The lack of dual pane windows hurts as well. Even though they don't provide much more in R value over single pane windows they do keep the condensation away.
    Lance is built completely different than an Imagine. The roof on a Lance is lower inside which helps to make it easier to heat. The Lance roof is also all block foam, not wood rafters with R-7 insulation laying who knows where along with reflective foil thats worthless because it needs an air space to work correctly. If you walk into a lance you'll see they have tighter contact areas where the cabinets hang. Thats because they use CAD when building everything. All parts are exactly the same so fit is spot on every time. They also have thicker baggage doors. Lance also uses Azdel in the walls so delam is non existent. Lance also uses a high gloss exterior fiberglass thats thicker than the Imagines. You won't get any mold in a Lance since the products they use resist mold.
    Biggest issue with Lance IMO is the floor plans leave a lot to be desired. We prefer two separate seating areas. Only a couple Lance's offer that and the ones that do aren't very comfortable. The dinette seating in a Lance are way more comfortable than an Imagines. But the overall living layout in most Lances just doesn't blend well with our camping style. Plus you pay a premium price for a Lance.
    As the saying goes, 'You get what you pay for'. Sorta.
    Last edited by goducks14; 01-17-2020 at 09:25 AM.

  9. #19
    Site Sponsor Schiefswret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakerstirregular View Post
    Hi Grand Design owners!

    I've been reading this forum for a while now in doing research on rigs, and I know you're an extremely helpful group, so I'm hoping you can help with my question.

    We're looking to buy our second RV very soon, and we've got it narrowed down to Grand Design or Lance. Our current rig is a 2003 Keystone Cabana that we bought used. It's about 20 feet long but really doesn't have a good layout for our needs. (We're a couple in our mid-30s with two 50+ lb dogs.)

    We live in Colorado and like to do some winter camping, so Lance and Arctic Fox were the first manufacturers that caught my eye. Lance has some great floor plans in shorter lengths under 24 feet (the 1685 and 1995) that I think could work very well for us, and I've found some good prices on used ones a few years old. My preference is to buy used based on the horror stories I've heard about new TTs being in the shop for most of their first year of life to get warranty work done. Arctic Fox would probably honestly be our first choice, but our TV is a Tundra with about a 1200lb payload and 10,000lb towing capacity, which means I really don't want to actually tow more than 7k lbs with it, and the Arctic Foxes are heavy. Based on our TV towing capacity, payload and wheelbase, I figure we're limited to about a max of 5500lbs dry and 28 feet long. The shortest AF has a floor plan I just don't like, so that leaves Lance.

    But then .... there's Grand Design. My parents bought a Reflection fifth wheel and got me looking at the brand, and despite the fact that it doesn't seem as good for 4 season use as the Lance, I love the look and feel of the trailers and the fact that they really seem to stand behind their product. The specific floorplan I'm looking at for us is the Imagine 2250RK, since another of our requirements is that we must be able to access the fridge, bathroom and bedroom with the slide IN. Their shortest Imagine doesn't quite work for us, but the 2250RK does. Unfortunately we'd have to buy it new, because that floorplan was new in 2018, so there aren't any used ones on the market.

    My main questions, if you've made it this far, are these:

    1. For those who spend lots of time in their TTs, how important is more/less space? We love national and state parks and want to keep our length short enough that we can get into almost anywhere, so 28 feet for the 2250RK feels long. However, we're looking at spending 3+ months at a time in this rig for extended travel, so the floor plan of the GD does look very tempting. With different sleep schedules (DH is up later than I am, and I'm the early bird with the dogs) I can also really see the benefit.

    2. For towing, same question as above - how important is length? I want to be able to tow this rig myself when I travel solo, and I don't have a ton of towing experience. How much scarier is it to maneuver a 24 foot or 28 foot TT over a 20 foot? I'm less concerned with towing on roads and more with getting around gas stations and around tight corners, etc.

    3. For those who have bought Grand Design Imagines new, what's the experience like? I see a lot on here about Momentum, Solitude and Reflection, but almost nothing about the Imagines. Has the QC held up in that line as well? I want to be reasonably sure that our new TT won't be in the shop for the first year that we own it. We have lots of travel planned! Understanding of course that all manufacturers will have some defects - just want to minimize as much as we can.

    4. Has anyone owned both a Lance and a GD who can weigh in on quality and also suitability for 4 season use? I LOVE all the windows in the GD we're looking at, but they aren't dual-paned, and I'm guessing that makes a pretty big difference with noise and with heat/cold. I've also seen lots about the low point drains freezing up in the GD. Not sure if this is also an issue for Lance but I don't think so. I'm not sure how much this will impact our decision, since we could make some mods to the GD or just deal with not having running water when we winter camp, but having a comfortable inside temperature and propane use are definite considerations.

    5. Has anyone spent extended periods of time in an Imagine? If so, how have they held up? I don't see anything about people full timing in them necessarily, but I'd love to know how they do with heavy use. Have people needed to replace brakes/axles/springs to be more heavy duty?

    Thanks SO much to anyone who can weigh in on even a small portion of the above! There's so much information out there but my questions about Lance vs GD are so specific that I haven't really been able to find the answers I'm looking for yet.

    Sarah
    Weíve been ď3/4Ē timers for about two years and purchased our GD 2250RK six months ago, a new 2020 model. We could not be happier as this model is PERFECT for OUR needs. We pull with a 2019 F-150 5.0L Coyote 4x4, tow package, and Curt model 17500 WDH. I put Goodyear Endurance Tires on and the highly popular Dexter Easy-Flex suspension system (worth every penny) and the tow is effortless and easy to manage.

    I did more than my share of research and since the Imagine 2250RK has the two 3500lb axels and the printed GVWR is listed at 6995, Iím careful (and not shy to use a CAT scale frequently) not to tow at a weight higher than 6500 for safety and efficiency.

    We love the two sliding doors that make for tremendous flexibility of usage of the LR, Bathroom and Bedroom. I installed a 32í Visio in the bedroom so if the wifee and I want to watch different TV programming itís not a problem. We have taken the GD corporate tour in Elkhart and was very impressed.

    Because itís 27í 11Ē and 5690lbs empty I would imagine your Tundra would work but that should be up to you to be sure about.

    Iím particularly impressed with the insulation and ease of PM, set up and breaking camp. Iíve made some minor DIY upgrades that are probably more personal preference than anything else. Good luck with your decision.
    Dave and Sue Dion
    SCPO(SW), USN, (Ret)
    2020 GD Imagine 2250RK
    2019 F-150 XLT FX4 5.0L
    Tampa Bay Area, Ham N4XRV

  10. #20
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    I have imagine 2800 bh and I used it this winter for snowmobiling up in northern NE. I did not use water hook ups, the campground turns the water supply off.

    So with that, my experience was that the insulation was decent. All I did is get vent insulation from camco, and put plastic film on the windows for double pane effect. We had well below zero temperatures every time we were up there. I used the furnace to warm the camper and it kicked at night from time to time, and we used a 1500 watt tower heater for steady heat. The furnace is 35k BTU and pretty overpowered for a small live no area. The tower heater worked great. We had zero problems keeping warm. The trailer has 1 slideout which I thought would be drafty, and it was not an issue.

    So keeping warm: all good. Even the floor warmed up.

    But again, no hookups. No experience to share there.

    On towing, my TV is a 2500. Any 2500 is more stable. Once you tow a few times you get used to it and a few feet doesnt matter. My tow capacity is double than what I tow and thatís my comfort zone. We take whatever we want. We throw stuff in the back of the truck which makes the overall capacity really huge. You donít need a giant trailer if you use the pickup bed, but donít stretch the GVR. Thatís your limiting factor IMO.

    I donít think you can run the refer when it is that cold.

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