Full-time RVing has so many benefits and is also a lot of fun. But with so many products on the market, finding the best RVs for full-time living can be a challenge.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve put together this handy guide to help you narrow down the choices and find the best RV for your needs and budget. You’ll find a list of the best RVs for full-time living in different categories, as well as what you should look for in an RV, and some tips to help decide which product is right for you.
Are you ready? Let’s get started.
How to Decide Which RV Is Best for Full-Time Living
Whether you’re just getting started with the process or you’ve already spent some time looking, you probably know what a daunting task shopping for an RV can be!
What makes things extra tricky is that the best RV for one person may not be the best RV for another. It all depends on your own personal situation and what you’re looking for.
Factors to Consider
Budget is one of the biggest factors to consider when choosing an RV for full-time living. Setting a budget narrows down your choices and helps you know what you can afford.
RVs come in a wide range of price ranges and more expensive doesn’t always mean you’re getting a better product. There are high-quality products in every price range so don’t push your budget beyond what you can afford.
Size is an important consideration both in terms of RV length and how spacious the interior is.
Compact RVs are easier to drive and can fit into more campsites. On the other hand, large RVs have more spacious interiors and can sleep more people.
Features and Amenities
What features are important to you? Size of the engine, fuel economy, or other specs? A large kitchen, comfortable sleeping area, or maybe multiple bathrooms? Deciding what features are must-haves and which you can go without will help you narrow down the choices.
Rent Before You Buy
Renting an RV is the perfect way to get a feel for what you like and don’t like before taking the plunge into living in an RV full-time.
Websites like RVshare and Outdoorsy offer rentals at affordable rates that let you try out different products before you buy.
If you’d like to take an RV for an extended test drive both of these companies offer long term rentals for a few weeks or even a few months at a time.
Understanding the Different Types of RVs
The best RVs for full-time living come in several different types. Here are the main types of RVs to help you decide which one is right for your needs.
Class A RVs are the big ones. When you picture an RV, a class A is probably what comes to mind first.
They’re built using large, sturdy frames, much like a bus. Inside, Class A RVs are spacious and comfortable. Many include all the features and amenities of a traditional home (albeit smaller) like a kitchen, bathroom, and separate bedroom.
Class B RVs are sometimes called camper vans because that’s essentially what they are. From the outside, this type of RV looks like a big van, and it drives like one too.
With its compact size, a Class B RV is arguably the easiest type of RV to drive. They’re also some of the most affordable in both the price of the RV and in fuel economy.
That small exterior also comes with a small interior. Class B RVs don’t typically have any slideouts or over-the-cab storage so space inside is somewhat limited.
Class C RVs are a happy medium between the large Class A and compact Class B. These RVs have a separate driving area, usually with a section above the cab for a bed or storage.
The interior is comfortable and spacious, though more compact than most Class A models.
Other Types of RVS
A travel trailer is an RV without a motor. It’s towed behind your vehicle using a hitch attached to the bumper. These come in all different sizes from large to small.
A fifth wheel is like a large travel trailer. This type of trailer is attached to a truck with a large jaw hitch in the center of the truck bed, rather than a hitch attached to the bumper.
A toy hauler is an RV or camper specially designed with space for your toys like a snowmobile, golf cart, or ATV.
The Best RVs for Full-Time Living
Now that we’ve gone over some factors to consider, here are my picks for the best RVs for full-time living.
1. Best Overall – Tiffin Open Road Allegro
First on the list we have the Tiffin Open Road Allegro. This RV has a ton of great features and comes with a reasonable price tag. In fact, it’s one of the best RVs you can get for the price. Plus it’s energy and water efficient to help you save money even after you buy it.
Tiffin is well known for making top quality RVs and the Allegro is no exception. With high-quality materials inside and out, you can feel good about your investment.
The Allegro comes in a variety of floor plans so you can choose the model that works best for your needs. Looking for lots of sleeping space? Check out the 36UA which features a set of bunk beds. Want a washer and dryer? Several models have that option. Prefer a large fridge? Take a look at the 34 PA floor plan.
Learn more about the Tiffin Open Road Allegro.
2. Best Budget Option – Jayco Jay Feather Micro
The Jayco Jay Feather Micro is an ultra-light travel trailer. With a weight of under 5,000 pounds, it can easily be towed by most mid-size towing vehicles. And with its small price tag, this model is a practical option for the budget-minded shopper.
Considering its small size, the interior of the Jay Feather Micro feels surprisingly spacious. The trailer is thoughtfully designed to make the most of the limited space.
Off-road tires come standard so you can take this trailer just about anywhere. The kitchen is small but includes all the basics. A large outdoor griddle gives you plenty of room to cook outdoors when you need more space.
Learn more about the Jayco Jay Feather Micro.
3. Best RV for Maximum Space – Tiffin Zephyr
If space is a priority, you’ll love the Tiffin Zephyr. With a large kitchen, spacious bedroom, and plenty of seating, this model is ideal for a large family or someone who likes to entertain.
A residential-sized refrigerator gives you plenty of space to store food and drinks for your family or guests. Luxurious features like reclining theater seating, large windows with shades, and heated tile floors make the Zephyr extra comfortable.
This large RV comes with multiple furniture options, allowing you to customize the RV to suit your living style. Want a U-shaped dinette or an office desk? You can have it. Prefer bar-style dining? That’s an option as well.
Learn more about the Tiffin Zephyr.
4. Best Luxury RV – Entegra Coach Anthem
When it comes to luxury, one of the best RVs for full-time living is the Entegra Coach Anthem luxury diesel RV.
This model features premium leather furniture, heated front seats, solid wood cabinets, and porcelain tile floors.
The luxurious features aren’t only for the interior, the Anthem also has a quiet engine and EZ steer adjustable power steering for smooth handling and a comfortable ride on the road. Ultra power window awnings and two-stage patio awnings give you shade and keep you comfortable while resting at the campsite.
The Anthem comes in six customizable floor plans to help you get the best fit for your needs. Every floorplan includes a large shower, king sized bed, and a washer and dryer.
Learn more about the Entegra Coach Anthem.
5. Best RV for Families – Thor Four Winds 27R
The Thor Four Winds comes in over a dozen different floor plans so there’s sure to be one that suits your needs. The 27R is great for families for several reasons.
Sleeping space is provided for up to seven people. A separate bedroom allows for some privacy while multiple closets give you places to store everyone’s stuff. The dinette has plenty of seating for meals and seatbelts are included on both the sofa and the dinette to keep everyone safely buckled in while on the road.
The 84 inch ceiling height makes the RV feel extra spacious, which is a great feature when you have a full vehicle. The exterior includes a large awning to prove ample shade at the campsite.
Learn more about the Thor Fourwinds 27R.
6. Best Compact RV – Winnebago EKKO
The Winnebago EKKO takes the crown for the best RV for full-time living in a compact size. The EKKO is unique, in that its like a cross between a class C and a class B model RV.
The compact size of the coach makes it easy to maneuver while the interior still feels spacious.
Even though it’s small, several key features help to make the most of the space. A pivoting bathroom wall makes the bathroom feel extra spacious. Optional table extenders give you plenty of space for working and cooking. Swiveling captain’s chairs allow you to maximize seating space when you’re not driving.
Learn more about the Winnebago EKKO.
7. Best 5th Wheel RV – Keystone Cougar 320 RDS
Cougar Premium fifth wheels are both stylish and affordable. The interior of the 320 RDS model is modern, attractive, and functional with very comfortable living spaces.
A large entertainment center and an L-shaped sofa give you the perfect place to rest and relax after a long day on the road or out and about. The bedroom is spacious and includes a full-height wardrobe.
What’s great bout 5th wheels and other types of trailers is you can unhitch them and leave them at the campground while you explore the area. There’s no need to drive a large RV everywhere you want to go.
Learn more about the Keystone Cougar 320 RDS.
Best RVs for Full-Time Living FAQs
Which RV is best for full-time living?
That really depends on your budget and preferences. Use this guide to help you narrow down your options and consider renting an RV to try out some products before you make a final decision.
Is it financially smart to live in an RV?
Yes, it certainly can be. For many people, living in an RV eliminates the need for rent, lawn care, and other expenses. Keep in mind though that you’ll still have expenses for campgrounds, gas, etc. and these can really add up.
Much like living in a house or an apartment, full-time RV living can be as cheap or expensive as you want to make it. It all depends on your travel and budgeting style.
Can you realistically live in an RV?
Certainly! The best RVs for full-time living are both comfortable and practical for full-time RVing. You won’t be able to bring as much stuff as if you were living in a house, but many RVs have ample storage space to keep the necessities.
Many RVs are also built to keep you comfortable year-round, with insulation, heating, and air conditioning so there’s no reason you can’t live in one full-time.
What is the best size RV to live in?
Each size has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Large RVs give you more space, but they also may be too big to fit in certain campgrounds or campsites.
A small RV is easier to drive and gives you the most options as far as campsites go, but it may not be ideal for a large family.
Should I buy a new or used RV for full-time living?
Much like buying a new or used car, this really depends on your budget and preference.
Buying used can help you save some money while still getting a quality RV. If your favorite model is out of your price range, buying used is a great way to get what you want at a lower price.
New RVs may cost more, but you usually have the option to customize the product to meet your specific needs. Newer models also come with the latest features which can be really fun, as long as it’s within your budget.
Time to Try Out One of the Best RVs for Full-Time Living
Whether you’re looking for a large trailer, a compact model or something in between, shopping for the best RVs for full-time living doesn’t have to be overwhelming! This list of recommendations is a great place to start.
If you’re still not sure what you want, renting an RV is a great way to see what models work well for your traveling style and needs.
For more information on making the switch to living in an RV full-time, check out How to Prepare for Full-Time RV Living.