How Good is Grand Design RV’s Build Quality?

With so many towable camper options it can be hard to narrow down which is best for you. There are pros and cons to every trailer, and that makes choosing the right one difficult. 

Grand Design towable RVs are very popular and known for their excellent construction. We want you to have the facts you need to understand how these RVs are built, so you can decide for yourself if a Grand Design camper is best for you.  

Bish’s RV has more than 30 years of experience helping RVers find their dream camper. Here we’ll share the pros and cons of these towable RVs so you can decide if Grand Design is the right RV manufacturer for your next adventure.

Table of Contents

5 High-Quality Construction Differences in Grand Design RVs

1 – Lamination

Laminate Exterior:

Grand Design laminates the rear walls, slide walls, slide tops, and even slide bottoms of their 5th wheels. They do the same with all of their travel trailers besides the Transcend Xplor – their only conventional, or “stick and tin” trailer.

Some campers prefer laminated side walls over aluminum because lamination protects your camper from water and weather damage. Laminated walls are also stronger and usually lighter than an aluminum sidewall. 

Quality Products & Processes

Grand Design uses the highest quality lamination material on their campers. They even pay their supplier a premium to get first pick of the best luan (a strong plywood) used to make laminated RV sidewalls. 

They also use a pinch roll lamination process to laminate their side walls. This process is done in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment to improve the quality control in materials, preparation, and execution.

Most manufacturers use regular glue during the lamination process. Grand Design takes the process a step further by using lavender dye in their glue. This dye allows the manufacturer to see if the luan is fully covered by the glue. Full coverage means a stronger wall.   

Once the pinch roll lamination process is complete and the camper is fully laminated, Grand Design RV does what they call a “drum and peel test,” to test how many pounds of pressure it would take to rip apart the wall.

It takes 120 pounds of pressure to rip apart the average laminated RV sidewall. But a Grand Design sidewall can withstand a whopping 550 pounds of pressure

If a wall fails to pass the drum and peel test, Grand Design will remake that entire batch of walls to ensure top-quality construction in every laminated RV. 

Extra quality control steps like this make Grand Design RVs some of the highest-quality campers on the market.

2 – Dual Seal Technology to Prevent Leaks

This is a piece of a Transcend Xplor side wall. You can see the dual-seal underneath the aluminum side wall.

Water is the biggest threat to a camper’s value and integrity. Grand Design’s sealing process is one of the main reasons their RVs tend to hold their value better than most campers.

Grand Design uses Titan dual-seal technology to help prevent water damage to your camper. The dual-seal is made with Mylar tape and PVC die-cut seals. 

Mylar tape is a gummy material that stays pliable and does not deteriorate. The tape is so sturdy that it usually outlasts the camper itself! 

Many RVs use butyl tape. Butyl tape contains very little rubber. Without the rubber, weather exposure can make this material start to break down within 6 months!

The PVC die-cut seals are cut the exact size of the component that needs to be sealed. This ensures the best possible protection from water getting into your camper.

Grand Design RV uses Mylar and PVC on all of the seams where leaks commonly occur (roof to side wall, floor to side wall, and back wall to side wall). 

3 – Extra Insulation for More Comfortable Camping

When you’re out camping, especially in a camper, being too hot or too cold is the last thing you need to deal with. After all, this is probably one of the reasons why you are considering or have already purchased an RV. 

Insulation quality makes a big difference in keeping you comfortable while RV camping.

Each of Grand Design’s RVs, from the stick and tin starter travel trailer to the luxury fifth-wheel toy haulers, is built with a 4-seasons protection package so you can spend the most time possible camping each year.

This protection package includes insulated walls (lined with fiberglass insulation), a heated and enclosed underbelly, an insulated roof, and an insulated front wall/front cap. 

Your passthrough storage space is also heated and protected from the cold. This includes your universal water bay. You can also use a thermostat to control your tank heaters and run them on 12-volt power.

These features were all tested in zero-degree weather and are well above the 32 degree freezing mark throughout the camper’s coach and underbelly.

FYI: Grand Design’s Transcend Xplor does have less insulation compared to Grand Design’s other campers. But, compared to similar campers, the Transcend Xplor still stands out.  

A Cherokee Grey Wolf travel trailer, as an example, does have a heated and enclosed underbelly, a roof membrane with heat reflectivity, 13,500 BTU AC, and a fireplace (which isn’t available on all models). 

The Transcend Xplor has all of the insulation in a Grey Wolf, but it also has a heating system that evenly distributes the heat from the front to the rear without heated floor vents.

This heat comes from a 35,000 BTU furnace that runs through the underbelly, providing heat to your tanks that helps keep them from freezing as it gets colder outside.

4 – 300 Point PDI on 100% of Grand Design RVs

Grand Design RV’s inspection process

Every Grand Design RV goes through a 300 point PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection) before it ships out to the dealership. This inspection results in fewer issues, cleaner campers, and happier RVers. 

Grand Design has spent more than $3.8 million on this process since the company’s started in 2012. They are the only RV manufacturer that has done this inspection consistently on each and every camper for the past 10 years.

Some manufacturers don’t even do a walkthrough of their campers before they ship them out to the dealerships. Fortunately other manufacturers are beginning to follow Grand Design’s example. Jayco, for example, also opened a PDI center in 2022

Grand Design’s PDI process shows they are a manufacturer invested in building an RV you can trust from the very start. Of course, every RV can’t be perfect and may still have some problems. Grand Design RVs come with a 1-year limited and 3 year structural warranty to cover defects missed in inspections.

5 – Customer Care After the Sale

Grand Design puts a lot of focus on customer care after the sale.

They have some regional traveling service technicians throughout the US. These technicians are equipped with everything they need to fix any sort of problem with a Grand Design camper. Their techs can even make immobile campers operational again. 

Grand Design takes extra steps to help RVers have a better RV experience and they are is particular about the types of dealers they work with so you can get the repairs you need.


My GDRV gives you access to all the info for your RV in one place. From length and other specs to owner’s manuals, repair manuals, maintenance tips, and troubleshooting ideas specific to your RV.

Grand Design: MyGDRV

Grand Design Dealer Care

Grand Design carefully selects the dealerships they work with. This allows Grand Design and the dealerships they partner with to put their best foot forward to provide quality care for customers.

They do not partner with any internet-only dealers. Internet-only dealers are usually wholesalers who look to quickly sell the RVs, but they don’t offer services after the sale. Grand Design is not involved with these businesses because they want to know their RVers will be taken care of beyond the sale. 

Looking after their customers is one of Grand Design’s greatest strengths. They love taking care of their customers and wants to turn a new customer into one who will own Grand Design RVs for years to come.

Grand Design RV Prices

New Grand Design Travel Trailer prices range from: $26,000 – $76,000

New Grand Design Fifth Wheel prices range from: $55,000 – $165,000

Why Is Grand Design Listed at MSRP Online?

If you have looked at a new Grand Design RV for sale, you may have noticed that all of their new RVs are listed at an MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail) price.

Grand Design requires dealers who sell their RVs to list them this way. 

Learn more about online RV prices and how to find the best deal on an RV listed at MSRP online.


Grand Design’s Company Pillars shape the way the company does business! @gdrv4life #granddesignrv #bishsrv #luxuryrv

♬ original sound – Bish’s RV

What are the Most Common Problems with Grand Design RVs?

Every RV, even a well-built one, has problems eventually. A camper travels up to 80 mph while bouncing down the road. Things shift and break and moving parts are jostled.

At Bish’s RV service departments we tend to see issues with refrigerators and slide out mechanisms on Grand Design RVs.

Do these problems occur all of the time? No. But, these are the most common problems that we have seen with Grand Design RVs.

There have been rumors about Grand Design 5th wheel models built after 2020 having a problem with frame flex or broken frames. Grand Design recently upped their warranty to show the confidence they have in their product.

One of a Kind Grand Design RV Warranty

Grand Design RVs now come with a 1-year limited warranty and a 3-year structural warranty for models released before 2020 and a 5-year structural warranty for 2020 and newer.

This makes Grand Design’s warranty the longest frame warranty of any RV builder.

grand design warranty with 5 year frame warranty

Grand Design 1-Year Limited Warranty

The limited warranty covers the entire RV against all defects caused by the manufacturer during the construction process.

Grand Design 3 Year Structural, 5-Year Frame Warranty

The structural warranty protects the owner from any defects in the structural material. The extended 5 year warranty covers defects in the frame.

FYI: These two warranties protect you from damage or mistakes that happened while the product is being made.

These warranties do not cover damages from misuse, commercial use, or lack of maintenance.

Is a Grand Design RV Right for You?

Maybe! Every travel trailer or 5th wheel is different. Every person is different. You have specific wants, needs, and requirements for your camper. 

If you’re looking for a high-quality towable camper that you know is going to last a while, then a Grand Design RV could very well be for you. 

If price is a big factor in your decision, then you may want to consider another quality option that may cost less. Jayco RV is another great option for a high-quality campers at a lower price. Learn more about the quality and price of a Jayco RV and compare Jayco vs Grand Design to decide if one is a better fit for you.

If you aren’t sure if a Grand Design RV is right for you, you may want to check out these other towable RV options:

Compare Other Quality RVs:

Don’t want to, or can’t tow an RV? Check out these top motorhomes, to see if one is a good fit for you.

Grand Design RV Brands

Now that you know more about Grand Design and its campers, you can decide for yourself if they are a good fit for you. Check out these 5 Grand Design brands to see if one of them is the RV you’re looking for. 

Grand Design Travel Trailers

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Grand Design 5th Wheel Campers

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Grand Design RVs are Available at Bish’s RV

At Bish’s we believe buying an RV should be the start of your adventure – not a stressful slog. You’ll find no hidden/surprise fees, free service benefits, and a one-of-a-kind 72-hour return guarantee to make sure you can feel confident you bought the right RV.

Read all about the difference of buying from Bish’s to decide for yourself if we’re a good fit for your next RV purchase.

Buy Your Grand Design RV

Now that you know how a Grand Design is built, the customer services offered, and the price of a Grand Design camper, you can decide if this manufacturer has the right towable RV for you.

Check out the Grand Design RVs available at Bish’s RV. Feel free to reach out to one of our RV experts to see an RV in person or ask any questions – our RV outfitters love to help!

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If Grand Design campers just aren’t for you, don’t worry! Bish’s RV has helped many customers find their perfect RV. We’d love to help you find another quality camper.

Not sure what you need? Ask these questions to find the best RV for you.

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Read More

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The 6 most popular Grand Design RV brands

► Grand Design’s Imagine is also a top-selling travel trailer. Find out if Imagine or Jay Feather is best for you.