Best RVs for Full Time Living: Classes, Models, and Floor Plans

Searching for the best RV to live full-time? There are more than a dozen types of recreational vehicles to consider. From towable behemoths, diesel-guzzling coaches, and nimble vans to rugged truck campers. 

With such a large range of choices, deciding exactly what trailer or motorhome to choose can be tricky. But you’re in luck. In this guide, we will walk you through the best types of RV for full-time living so you can shop with confidence, make a more informed choice, and prevent buyer’s remorse.

We will highlight the pros and cons of each category of RVs suitable for year-round living, mention which type of RVer will benefit the most from each class, and reveal the best models in every category. 

Buckle up!

First, What are the Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best RV to Live Full Time?

Choosing an RV to live in full time is very different from picking a camper that you’ll only use a few times a year. Your RV will be your actual home, so you’ll be relying on it for everything. The following factors may help you narrow down your options:

  • Travel Style – Do you plan to stay in one spot year-round? Will you be traveling frequently? Larger RVs are great for stationary living since you don’t have to tow or drive often. While smaller ones are more convenient for constant travel and accessing narrow national park roads.
  • Camping Style – Do you plan to glamp in developed RV parks and resorts? Or do you prefer to boondock and explore off-beat places? A boondocking RV needs to be more self-reliant and maneuverable. Consider features like bigger tanks, a powerful solar system, and high ground clearance. 
  • Family Size – Do you have kids or pets? Are you a big family, a couple, or solo traveler? Generally, the more family members, the more beds and square footage you’ll need. Floor Plan – The interior layout plays a massive role in your overall comfort. Put a lot of thought into the floor plan configuration that will fit your travel party. Do you need separate sleeping spaces? Will you be working on the road? Is a spacious lounging area a top priority? What size bathroom do you need, and where do you want it to be?
  • Budget – Consider the ownership costs of the RV you want to own. From fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, custom upgrades to power demands. Larger and more luxurious rigs will have more ownership expenses.
  • Brand – Some brands are popular for producing quality RVs, while others are known for their unreliability. RV Insider is a great resource for gathering real RV owner feedback. 
  • Model that’s Rated for Full-Time Living – While a brand may have rave reviews, some of its RVs may not be intended for full-time living. Look for an RV model that is rated for full-time living. Although more expensive, such rigs have excellent construction quality, so they hold up better to year-round use. Not to mention more convenient layouts. 
  • Climate – Will you be traveling to cold places? If yes, you’ll need a true 4-season camper.
  • Motorhome or Towable – Do you prefer an RV you can drive or tow? Each has its pros and cons. Motorhomes aren’t ideal for stationary living as their engines start to deteriorate. But they are great for frequent travelers. Trailers, on the other hand, require less maintenance and are ideal for both permanent dwelling and constant travel.

Now, let’s explore the main RV classes and the best model and floor plan for full-time living.

Motorhomes

Motorhomes or motorized RVs are self-propelled recreational vehicles. Meaning they have an engine that allows you to drive it. There are 3 main types of motorhomes: 

Class A Motorhome

  • Who it Suits: A family or couple that wants to travel in luxury and live in developed campgrounds.
  • Who it Doesn’t Suit: Anyone on a budget, minimalists, or travelers who want to boondock frequently.
  • Exterior Size(LXWXH): 26’ to 45’X7’ to 81/2’X 11’ to 14’
  • GVWR: 13,000 lbs to 50,000 lbs
  • No. of Sleepers: 4 to 8
  • Average Price: $170,000 to $1M+

Class A RVs are bus-like rigs and are the largest of all motorhomes. They are built on a commercial bus chassis and are the most luxurious types of RVs. They come in either a diesel or gas engine. Diesel pushers have a higher price tag but are more powerful and last longer. If you are willing to break the bank, they are the most comfortable motorhomes for full-time RVing.

Pros of a Class A RV for Full Time Living

  • Most are built with higher quality materials and have a sturdier chassis.
  • Super comfortable to live in—all amenities you can imagine.
  • Plenty of room for guests.
  • They have tremendous towing capacity.
  • Large storage space.
  • There are smaller and medium options that can camp off-the-grid.

Cons of a Class A RV for Full Time Living

  • Super expensive.
  • Poor fuel economy.
  • With so many features and amenities, maintenance costs can add up quickly.
  • Most are incredibly large, so driving can be intimidating and finding parking is an issue.
  • Not ideal for driving in national parks and other narrow, winding roads.
  • You’ll have to tow a car behind you to run everyday errands.

Best Class A RV for Full-Time Living: Fleetwood Bounder 35GL

  • RV Insider Model Rating: 4 out of 5 stars from 144 buyer reviews.
  • GVWR: 26,000 lbs 
  • Dimensions(LXWXH): 36’3″X8’6”X12’10″
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Fuel: Gas
  • Holding Tanks Capacity in Gallons: Fresh Water: 100, Gray Tank: 58, Black Tank: 42 
  • MSRP: $276,000
  • Top Features:  2 slides, adaptable dinette, large tanks, and Power Platform Ford chassis construction, superior driving experience, enhanced safety features, and waterproof flooring. 

If you’re a small family, you may love Fleetwood’s “greatest-selling Class A RV in the world”. The Fleetwood Bounder 35GL is a dual slide coach with a layout that pampers you year-round. It has four distinct areas, including a rear bedroom in a slide, a slightly hidden kitchen, and a lounge that’s spacious enough to host a dinner party. You’ll appreciate the split bathroom when you need to get ready for the day.

Disclaimer About our “Best of” Lists

Admittedly, choosing the “best” RV of any type is very subjective, so take this as a starting point for your research. I highly encourage you to visit multiple dealerships to walk through various floor plans, touch and feel the quality of materials, and read and watch more reviews of any models that you are considering. 

The fact is, there is no such thing as a perfect RV. Each one has its limitations and cons, but we’ll be highlighting some fan favorites and why they are loved in this article.  

Class B Motorhome

  • Who it Suits: Couples, solo travelers, off-grid enthusiasts, van life enthusiasts, and minimalist travelers who want a smaller footprint.
  • Who it Doesn’t Suit: Large families and people who need more living space.
  • Exterior Size(LXWXH): 16’ to 24’X6.5’ to 8’X 8’ to 10’
  • GVWR: 7,000 lbs to 11,000 lbs
  • No. of Sleepers: 2 to 4
  • Average Price: $120,000 to $300,000

Commonly known as camper vans, Class B motorhomes are the most compact driveable RVs. They are popular for full-time living thanks to their mobility. You can buy a factory-fitted Class B or buy a van and build the living quarters.

Some campervans have a raised roof design, allowing you to stand upright. Others have a low roof, so you won’t have headroom. A few have a pop-up roof that raises, creating head space when you reach the campsite. Class Bs are a solid option for couples looking to be full-time van lifers.

Pros of a Class B RV for Full Time Living

  • Nimble and able to navigate tight roads and spaces, whether in cities or the wild.
  • Can fit in the smallest campsites.
  • Great fuel economy.
  • Easy to customize. 
  • Easy to set up and tear down at the campsite as they don’t have slides.
  • It’s easier to stealth camp in a van.
  • Many are capable of off-road travel.
  • Most auto shops can service them.
  • The body is of a better quality and more durable, unlike Class C RVs.
  • Best RV for full time living for two.

Cons of a Class B RV for Full Time Living

  • Tight living quarters.
  • Fewer amenities—some don’t have a bathroom.
  • Limited storage space.
  • Limited floor plans.
  • Small holding tanks.
  • Quite expensive for their size.

Best Class B RV to Live Full-Time: Winnebago Travato 54G

  • RV Insider Model Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars from 36 buyer reviews.
  • GVWR: 9,350 lbs 
  • Dimensions(LXWXH): 21’0″X6’9”X9’4″
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Fuel: Gas
  • Holding Tanks Capacity in Gallons: Fresh Water: 18, Gray Tank: 14, Black Tank: 11 
  • MSRP: $175,740
  • Top Features: Ram ProMaster® 280-hp, 3.6L V6 gas engine, separate living and sleeping areas, 2-door fridge, dedicated pantry, and lots of storage.

The Winnebago Travato 54G is often seen as one of the best RV for couples full time living. It makes van living smoother with its independent bedroom and lounge areas. It has functional dinette seating, a full galley with a large 2-door fridge/freezer, and a spacious wet bath. You can swivel the cockpit seats around to create a workstation or a nice lounge/gathering spot.

Class C RV

  • Who it Suits: Small to big families that need a roomy and fully fitted interior.
  • Who it Doesn’t Suit: Solo travelers and off-road enthusiasts.
  • Exterior Size(LXWXH): 22’ to 40’X8’X10’ to 13’
  • GVWR: 10,000 lbs to 30,000 lbs
  • No. of Sleepers: 4 to 10
  • Average Price: $100,000 to $400,000

Class C RVs are a middle ground between the giant Class As and the nimble campervans. They are built on a pickup truck chassis. It’s easy to tell them apart from other RVs since they have an overhead bunk bed that extends above the driver’s cab. 

Class Cs come in a wide range of sizes. The biggest and most powerful are called Super C RVs. They are designed on a heavier-duty semi-truck chassis and have diesel engines, luxurious amenities, and huge towing capacities. Regular Class Cs appeal to families looking to travel full-time but don’t want to spend big initially. 

Pros of a Class C RV for Full Time Living

  • Spacious interiors.
  • Many amenities.
  • Relatively easy to drive and park.
  • Less expensive than Class A and campervans.

Cons of a Class C RV for Full Time Living

  • The body quality is often questionable, so maintenance costs can pile up.
  • The cab area is prone to leaks.
  • Not great for off-road adventures.
  • MPG isn’t great, especially for larger models.
  • The ride is quite rough due to poor suspensions.
  • Lacks many safety features found in campervans.

Best Class C RV for Full-Time Living: Winnebago Outlook 31N

  • RV Insider Model Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars from 19 buyer reviews.
  • GVWR: 14,500 lbs 
  • Dimensions(LXWXH): 31’11″X8’6”X11’
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Fuel: Gas
  • Holding Tanks Capacity in Gallons: Fresh Water: 34, Gray Tank: 40, Black Tank: 40
  • MSRP: $70,000
  • Top Features: Built on Ford’s proven V8-powered E350/E450 chassis, 2 slides, and private rear bedroom.  

If you’re a small family, the Winnebago Outlook 31N excels in all departments. It has a separate master bedroom at the rear, a bath with a separate shower, a dedicated dinette, sofa, and an overhead bed. Additionally, it sleeps 6, offers seating for 6, and has a kitchen with a residential double-door fridge.

Towables

These are the RVs that are pulled behind a vehicle. However, they can be as small as pop-ups and teardrops or as huge as fifth wheels and destination trailers. This section will only explore the towable options that are suitable for full time living.

Travel Trailer

  • Who it Suits: Families that are on a budget and want functional layouts.
  • Who it Doesn’t Suit: Travelers who don’t want to tow and those looking to camp stealthily.
  • Exterior Size(LXWXH): 10’ to 41’X5’ to 8’X4’ to 12’
  • Dry Weight: 1,000 lbs to 10,000 lbs
  • No. of Sleepers: 4 to 10
  • Average Price: $10,000 to $150,000

Also called bumper pull trailers, they are the most popular RVs for full-time living. These box-shaped trailers attach to the hitch ball receiver at the rear of your tow vehicle. Some are light enough to be towed by an SUV or van, but the best choices for full time living will require a truck.

Pros of a Travel Trailer RV for Full Time Living

  • Affordable.
  • Available in all sizes and layouts.
  • Lots of storage space.
  • Plenty of options with separate bedrooms.

Cons of a Travel Trailer RV for Full Time Living

  • Built quality is often questionable, which increases maintenance costs.
  • They don’t offer a stable towing experience.
  • Hitching, unhitching, towing, parking, and backing up can be stressful.
  • Towing bigger models to a remote location is difficult.
  • Many have basic amenities and are less comfortable than other RV types.

Best Full Time Living Travel Trailer: Northwood Arctic Fox 28F 

  • RV Insider Model Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars from 100 buyer reviews.
  • Dry Weight: 11,000 lbs 
  • Dimensions(LXWXH): 30”X8’X11’11”
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Holding Tanks Capacity in Gallons: Fresh Water: 58, Gray Tank: 40, Black Tank: 35 
  • MSRP: $61,000
  • Top Features: Heavy-duty off-road features, 4-season capabilities, separate sleeping and lounging, plus an outdoor kitchen with sink, fridge, and BBQ.

If you’re searching for a travel trailer that can withstand the rigors of constant travel, the Northwood Arctic Fox 28F is the way to go. This camper stands out from the crowd because the manufacturer builds a fully welded, thick-wall aluminum frame in-house. 

In addition, the walls are made of one-piece continuous fiberglass. Its heavy-duty suspensions will enable you to explore even the roughest terrain. Of course, the interior also impresses. It features a separate bedroom, island kitchen, dry bath, and generous lounging space.

Fifth Wheel

  • Who it Suits: Families that want a spacious interior with nice appointments.
  • Who it Doesn’t Suit: Travelers that don’t want to tow a large trailer.
  • Exterior Size(LXWXH): 20’ to 45’X8’ to 8.5’X11’ to 13.5’
  • Dry Weight: 8,000 lbs to 20,000 lbs
  • No. of Sleepers: 4 to 8
  • Average Price: $40,000 to $200,000

5th wheels are large trailers that connect to a pickup truck using a unique hitch mounted in the center of the truck bed. Without a doubt, fifth wheels are among the best RV to live full-time. They tick all boxes, from better build quality, ample living and storage space to boondocking capabilities. 

Pros of a Fifth Wheel RV for Full Time Living

  • Lots of living space.
  • Smooth and stable towing experience.
  • Tremendous storage space and more cargo carrying capacity.
  • Larger holding tanks for boondocking.
  • Versatile amenities.

Cons of a Fifth Wheel RV for Full Time Living

  • Require a powerful tow vehicle due to the weight.
  • Separate driving and living space.
  • Can’t access national parks with narrow roads and small campsites.
  • Are tall, so height clearance can be an issue.

Best Fifth Wheel RV for Full-Time Living: Brinkley RV Model Z3100

  • RV Insider Model Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars from 1 buyer review (this is a new RV manufacturer).
  • Dry Weight: 11,923 lbs 
  • Dimensions(LXWXH): 34′ 11”X8’X13′ 2″
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Holding Tanks Capacity in Gallons: Fresh Water: 75, Gray Tank: 90, Black Tank: 45 
  • MSRP: $104,881
  • Top Features: Rated for full-timing, residential interior w/ Brinkley’s CraftSense™ wood trim construction, automotive-grade sealant package, 370W solar panel, 3 slides, 100% carpet free, heavy-duty axles & leaf springs, H-rated tires

The Brinkley Model Z3100 is the stuff full-time-RVing dreams are made of. Of course, we may be a little biased, as this is the fifth wheel that we chose to purchase. We love the thoughtful and functional rear-living layout with a dreamy kitchen island and large sink. 

What’s more, this RV is the only one we could find with a beautiful and modern fit and finish that we didn’t feel the need to paint or renovate. From the king size bed to the huge closet and floor to ceiling pantry, Brinkley has maximized every inch of its 35 feet. Undoubtedly, Craig’s favorite thing about the RV is that there is no exterior sealing required! Brinkley has utilized a cutting-edge sealing method for RVs that does not require owners to apply new caulking every year. 

Wrapping Up: The Best RV to Live in Full Time

There are plenty of new RVs arriving at the dealership each day, but not every type is ideal for full-time living. Thankfully, this guide will help you understand the finer details associated with each Class of RVs so you can invest your money wisely and enjoy year-round travel.

Undoubtedly, the best RV for your family won’t be the best for the next. How much space you need, your travel style and lifestyle priorities will all determine which type of RV is best for you.

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