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An RV can be the best of both worlds. Traveling in an RV means you have the opportunity to visit a new place as often as you like. Living in an RV means you have all the comforts of home along with you. Today we’ll help you make an informed decision by looking at the best RVs to live in while you’re on the road.
What Are the Best RVs to Live In?
The answer isn’t quite as simple as it may seem. You’ve got a lot to consider, such as how many people will be living in the RV and how often you’ll travel. Let’s check out the options you have and weigh their pros and cons.
Living in a Class A RV
Class A RVs tend to have a reputation for only being for the retired crowd, but they can be great for all ages and family sizes. There are many significant advantages and, of course, some downfalls to living in a Class A RV.
Advantages of Class A RV Living
Class A RVs make their presence known. They’re large in almost every way. While there are various lengths available, even smaller Class A RVs feel big. The storage provided in the under-bay compartments is unmatched by any other RV. These RVs typically have large pass-through storage compartments from front to back.
Class A RVs are easy to set up at a campground. There’s no separate tow vehicle to unhitch from (though you can choose to tow a vehicle behind a Class A). They’re also easy to pack up and quickly move when it’s time to leave.
Disadvantages of Class A Living
Class A RVs are costly. You could spend upwards of $200,000 on a new model. The maintenance fees can also add up quickly. You’re not going to be pulling this into a standard car dealership for an oil change.
There are fewer layout options in Class A RVs than in other RV styles. Finding the right layout for a family can be difficult in Class A RVs. Additionally, if you want to have the option to explore but not take the whole RV with you, you’ll need to tow a vehicle or have someone drive behind you to the site.
Living in a Class C RV
Class C RVs are easy to overlook when it comes to choosing an RV. They’re not as massive as Class As or as compact as Class Cs. Still, there’s a lot to love.
Advantages of Class C RV Living
Class C RVs are more spacious than they may appear. The over-cab sleeping area is great for extra guests. They’re a great mix of Class A and B. They’re easy to maneuver but still provide plenty of living space.
Similar to Class A RVs, this type of RV is easy to set up at a campground. If it’s raining when you arrive, you can get to work setting up inside without ever stepping out into the rain. As with other motorized RVs without a tow vehicle, you can leave quickly, as you won’t need to hitch up.
Pro Tip: Read The Worst Things About Full-Time RV Living before you commit to RV life. It’s not always the easiest lifestyle!
Disadvantages of Class C Living
Class C RVs are a bit large to use for sightseeing adventures. Some Class C RVs are very large and are unsafe to take on some scenic routes. This may force you to travel on roads that are safer for large vehicles. You’ll need to have a second vehicle unless you want to tear down camp each time you leave the campground.
Class C RVs have limited layout options, especially for families. While there is usually enough space to sleep, there isn’t as much privacy as RVs with separate bedrooms.
Living in a Class B RV
Class B RVs are also known as camper vans. These versatile RVs can be an excellent fit for many travelers, but is it one of the best RVs to live in while traveling? Let’s find out.
Advantages of Class B RV Living
The most significant advantage of a Class B RV is its ability to fit almost anywhere. Typically, Class B RVs can fit into a standard parking space, making them easy to take anywhere. These RVs can easily serve as your living accommodations as well as the vessel to take you on your sightseeing adventures. Their size also guarantees that you’ll fit into any campsite.
Disadvantages of Class B Living
Class B RVs are small when it comes to living in them full-time. While some families live full-time in Class B RVs, it makes for extremely close quarters. There’s little to no privacy. While most Class B RVs have separate bathrooms, they’re usually (but not always) wet baths, meaning the toilet and shower space are the same. While there’s nothing wrong or unsanitary with wet bathrooms, they aren’t usually as desirable as standard bathrooms.
Living in a Travel Trailer
Travel trailers are well-loved by many, though they aren’t for everyone. Are the advantages greater than the disadvantages for you?
Advantages of Living in a Travel Trailer
Travel trailers come in just about every size imaginable. You can pull a tiny, lightweight travel trailer with limited features or tow a heavy and massive travel trailer with all the options. There are a variety of floor plans available across many manufacturers. Regardless of your truck size, you should be able to find a travel trailer you can pull. Travel trailers tend to be on the more budget-friendly side, making them more accessible.
Disadvantages of Travel Trailer Living
Travel trailers tend to be on the shorter side, which in turn means lower ceilings. Those who are tall may find themselves cramped. While some travel trailers do have adequate storage, many can’t offer much.
When it comes to towing, travel trailers are a bit more fragile, especially in bad weather. Wind tends to push travel trailers around a bit more, leading to trailer sway. This swaying feeling can also be an issue when a large semi passes you. Anti-sway hitches can help with stability, but it’s difficult to eliminate sway entirely.
Living in a Fifth Wheel RV
Living in a fifth wheel RV can be a great choice, but they do have a few flaws to consider.
Advantages of Living in a Fifth Wheel
Fifth wheels generally offer more of a residential feeling. The taller ceilings provide more breathing room. Fifth wheel storage is often substantially better than other RVs, even for larger families. These RVs are great options for those living full-time in their RVs.
Due to the way fifth wheels connect to tow vehicles, stability is of little concern. Many feel that fifth wheels are overall a better towing experience. Fifth wheels do well with following the path of the tow vehicle, making maneuvering easier.
Disadvantages of Fifth Wheel Living
One of the biggest complaints about fifth wheels is the loss of the truck bed. Except when towing via a gooseneck, the hitch will take up a good portion of the bed of your truck. Even when you’re not towing, the hitch can get in the way. Fifth wheel hitches are removable but are often very heavy and challenging.
That heaviness also means you’ll need a larger truck for towing. Some manufacturers make lightweight units compatible with smaller trucks, but it isn’t the norm. Typically, upgrading to a fifth wheel means upgrading your truck as well. Bigger trucks come with bigger payments.
Best RVs to Live in for Big Families
There’s a reason why fifth wheels and travel trailers with bunkhouses are popular among full-time RV families. These units offer the most space and options for families. These RVs often have two (and sometimes even three) separate bedrooms, giving both kids and parents privacy. Many bunkhouse models even have a second bathroom, which can be great when there are multiple kids.
Overall, there’s not a single RV that’s a perfect fit for every situation. It’s important to decide what matters most for your lifestyle. After you’ve narrowed down your must-haves, go to a dealership to walk through a variety of different RVs to further narrow your list. What do you think are the best RVs to live in? Has the answer to that question shifted over time?