The 5 Best RVs For Full-Time Living

Chase Maser
April 20, 2021
Find Self-Storage

There’s a nomad living in all of us, so why not make a change, ditch the house, and hit the open road?

RV living has become a phenomenon with tons of benefits compared to the stress of being a traditional homeowner. In fact, over 1 million people live in RVs full-time, and it’s estimated that over 9 million U.S. homeowners own an RV and use it several times throughout the year.

Even if you only travel part of the year, you can cut down your expenses by up to 45% buying an RV to live in as opposed to staying in a hotel. Plus, it’s the perfect way to travel with kids and create some lasting memories. Regardless of what your long-term plans are, you’ll need a ride that’s reliable and flexible enough to accommodate your lifestyle.


The Best RVs For Full-Time Living

If you are still committed to full-time motorhome living, here are the 5 best RVs for full-time living that you should consider:

1. Newmar Dutch Star

For a truly luxurious ride, the Newmar 2019 Dutch Star is like a hotel on wheels (sort of).

Rather than choosing an RV with generic or limited furnishings, the Newmar offers several furniture options to make your caravan feel more like home. The inside can be outfitted with a fold-out sofa, ceramic counter tops, a home theater, even bunk beds. Another useful feature of the mobile home is a durable outer shell and aluminum frame that offers solid protection against any elements. Whether the season’s hot or cold, you can enjoy heat and air controls, too, with excellent ventilation to stay comfortable and remove odors from the bathroom or kitchen.

Other benefits include:

  • Multiple USB ports throughout the vehicle
  • Huge fresh water reservoir and large shower
  • Comes with a convection microwave, gas cook top, high-end dishwasher and refrigerator
  • Easy to drive with cruise control, back-up camera, and adjustable power seats

Possible cons include:

  • Costly repairs and maintenance
  • Poor gas mileage and sub-par tank size

2. Airstream Classic

Nothing’s more American than the Airstream Classic, the biggest travel trailer in the company’s fleet.

Not only does it showcase a contemporary style reminiscent of the 1930’s, but it offers a modern environment replete with versatility. For instance, the Airstream Classic comes in four different models that each emphasizes a certain level of comfort. The most spacious option is the 33FB version that extends the trailer’s length by three additional feet, along with being equipped with a large memory-foam mattress, pull-out sofa, and luxurious shower. Also, the RV comes pre-installed with a top-of-the-line satellite radio, tons of USB ports, and a 65″ projection TV. However, if you’re on a budget, you can also find older models at an affordable cost with similar qualities.

Other benefits include:

  • Bluetooth capabilities to stream music or videos from your smartphone
  • Remote control access for lighting and vehicle maintenance updates
  • Residential-style kitchen with full appliances
  • Rear-view monitoring and power-controlled retractable awning

Possible cons include:

  • Requires a vehicle to tow the trailer (fifth wheel)
  • Expensive to maintain and repair
  • May be tough to maneuver due to size and weight

3. Roadtrek CS Adventurous

If bulk isn’t your style, then the Roadtrek CS Adventurous is a sleek alternative with plenty of perks.

First of all, this class B camper van is made for the person (or family) that loves to go the distance. With towing power up to 7,000 pounds and a 188 horsepower engine, pulling an additional trailer for more space or an extra car for small excursions is no big deal. The mobile home also comes with a bevy of amenities, such as solar battery technology from EcoTrek, propane hookups, and 9-passenger seating. Some people may be turned off to the idea that the CS runs on diesel fuel, but it actually prolongs the mileage, getting you up to 19 MPG. Anyway, it’s a Mercedes after all: what more could you want?

Other benefits include:

  • Large windows with natural light
  • Heated floors and walls throughout the camper
  • Comfortably sleep three people, while seating up to six
  • filtered drinking water and hot water spout

Possible cons include:

  • Refrigeration problems with cooling during long road trips
  • Heat buildup under the RV’s sofa may be unpleasant
  • Storage options are limited

4. Grand Design Reflection

It may not seem possible to live in excess in an RV, but the Grand Design Reflection offers a spacious experience with an air of opulence.

For starters, this fifth wheel monster stretches to 41 feet in length with the 367BHS model. Inside the unit, travelers can enjoy a fully operational fireplace, two fold-out sofas, a king-size bed, and a full kitchen with an island. On the outside, there are two motorized awnings that expand your living space even more, which is great for making extra shade in the summer months. With that in mind, one of the best qualities of the Grand Design is that it’s an all-weather vehicle. Whether you’re blazing across the Mojave or trekking through the Yukon, you can add the Arctic 4-season protection plan that gives you a heavy-duty furnace, reinforced roof and wall insulation, and a heating system that circulates throughout the entire floorplan.

Other benefits include:

  • Split baggage doors for additional undercarriage storage space
  • Stainless steel deep sink in the kitchen
  • Outdoor shower and speaker system
  • Large panoramic windows

Possible cons include:

  • Too much space to maintain
  • Hard to maneuver due to over-sized design
  • Top-of-the-line amenities are hard to upkeep
  • Costly repairs

5. Casita Spirit

Most of the above options are heavy on the pocketbook, but the Casita Spirit is an essential RV with just enough flair to make it feel like home.

Marketed as a lightweight travel trailer, the standard version of the Casita Spirit comes with all the features you’d expect to find in a cozy class C motorhome. You have a roomy double bed at one end, a bunk bed at the other, a full range stove along the side wall, a kitchen sink, and a refrigerator. On the opposite wall is a fold-out table with booth style seating that doubles as more storage underneath. A roof vent allows for steady airflow throughout the RV, and the entire fifth wheel extends to about 16 ft long. For a family of four or an adventurous couple, it’s the perfect little getaway while you’re taking in the countryside. Not to mention, the price point is much cheaper than RV options that stretch into the six-figure range.

Other benefits include:

  • Small toilet and stand-up shower
  • Lightweight design that allows for easy towing on a variety of vehicles
  • The Deluxe model offers a larger bathroom and shower area

Possible cons include:

  • May be too cramped for families exceeding four people
  • Not great for extreme weather conditions of hot or cold
  • Limited power supply options or upgraded features


Life on the Road

Living in a motorhome full time is a major decision. You might think life on the road is a free-wheeling lifestyle, but it actually requires a lot of careful planning and preparation. You’ll need a plan for everything, from where to stay every night and how to secure food.  Here are just a few RV lifestyle changes you’ll have to adapt to.


Most places will require reservations, so don’t expect to always easily find a place to park your RV and sleep. There are also limits of how long you can stay in most campsites. That means you will have to plan your journeys at least a few weeks in advance so you aren’t scrambling to find overnight RV parking at the last minute. Also, remember most public parks charge nightly fees for camping. Most parks don’t allow RVs to camp for more than 14 consecutive days.

Your choices of accommodations include:

  • National parks
  • State parks
  • RV parks and RV resorts
  • Wal-Mart parking lots. Wal-Mart allows overnight RV parking for travelers. With locations flung across the country, dry camping in a Wal-Mart parking lot offers a well-lit spot to spend the night between camp sites.
  • Boondocking – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offers RV campers free camping on public land through out the country. However, this is completely unimproved land without any access to utilities.

Source of Income

Full-timing isn’t cheap. Between camping fees, gas, maintenance and RV storage—expenses add up quickly. Then there is the big initial investment of buying an RV for full-time living. That makes full-time RV living one that requires significant savings or regular income. Retirees often have the savings to live comfortable on the road full-time. Otherwise many full-time RVers are engaged in Internet-based remote work to fund their lifestyle, or they have some other source of passive income. Some even fund their RV lifestyle by becoming bloggers and promoting their adventures. Other full-time RVers work in trades that allow them to travel, such as construction.

Connecting to Wi-Fi

Speaking of working from the road, you’ll need a reliable cell phone with the best data plan available. Access to Wi-Fi will be limited to the few campsites that have it, so you’ll need a mobile hotspot to stay connected. Without a regular post office box you can access, e-mail will become even more important for receiving bills and conducting business.

Choosing a Domicile

You’ll need a mail forwarding address. If you are living in a motorhome, you’ll need to register the vehicle with a state. You may also need to claim a state for taxation and employment purposes. Choose a home base, whether it is a PO Box in a town in your travel area or your parents’ house.

Health insurance

Access to affordable healthcare is a major hurdle for full-time RV living. Enrolling in a health insurance plan is another reason you need a domicile address. Freelancers without employer-based insurance might have trouble accessing an affordable plan. Many full-timers have little choice but to forgo coverage.

Home is Where You Make It

Full-time RV living is made a lot easier with choices that embody the traditional lifestyle, and why shouldn’t it be? Just because you crave a life unencumbered by trivial tasks and responsibilities doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself along the way?

Even if you don’t go with an RV of mainstream caliber, you can buy an old VW bus, convert an old pickup truck, or buy a van and customize it yourself! RV living is less about maintaining the same standards at home and more about adapting to life as it happens each day.

It doesn’t matter if you’re moving from one house to another or selling all your things before hitting the highway, your home is where you make it, so find what’s best for you and enjoy the freedom wherever you end up. And if you need to store your RV before you are ready to hit the road, SpareFoot can help you find a deal on an RV storage facility near you.


Search for Storage Near You

About the SpareFoot Blog

The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
Contact the editor: [email protected]

We are a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to affiliated sites.

Recent Posts