best rv for full time living

The Ultimate Guide to the Best RV for Full Time Living

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So, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and live in an RV. Congratulations! Now all that’s left is figuring out which one of these “home on wheels” could be your permanent home. Lucky for you, we’re here to help with our ultimate guide to choosing the best RV for full time living.

In the past decade or so, hundreds and thousands of people have given up their house for a life on the open road. And why wouldn’t they? The freedom to go where you want, when you want is an exhilarating feeling that not many can resist. But what makes the best motorhome for full time living?

best rv for full time living

The Best RV for Full Time Living: Top 7 Names

If you’re thinking about buying an RV for permanent living, then you should give priority to having the features and amenities that will make your life on the road easier.

Some people may not want a large RV because they don’t want their home to feel too big or intimidating while others may need lots of storage space so they can live out of their vehicle all year long. Whatever your preference is, we compiled a list of the best RVs to live in with family and alone.

Best RVs for full-time living:

  • Keystone Montana: Best Full-time 5th Wheel
  • Northwood Arctic Fox: Best Full-time Travel Trailer
  • Newmar Dutch Star: Best Class A Motorhome
  • Airstream Interstate: Best Class B RV
  • Thor Four Winds: Best Class C RV
  • Grand Design Reflection
  • Roadtrek CS Adventurous

1. Best 5th Wheel for Full Time Living: Keystone Montana

This beautiful fifth wheel RV is perfect for full time living with all the features that make life easy, comfortable, and fun! The Four Season Living Package will finally end your quest of chasing the warmer climates. The package includes amenities like AC and furnace, insulated water lines, dump valves, and more that help you survive cold seasons.

The Montana fifth wheel offers plenty of storage space with its two large closets in the master bedroom; a separate shower and toilet room so you don’t have to share with your partner; and a large kitchen that will make all your home-cooked meals. This will definitely make this RV the best choice when it come to finding the best fifth wheels for full time living.

rv for permanent living
Montana is perfect for a family adventure. (Credit: Trailer Life)

There are 23 floor plans to choose from but go with the 3921FB plan if you are on the hunt for the best RV for full time family living. It comes with an optional king-size bed and a hide-a-bed sofa to solve the accommodation problem. The 41-foot motorhome also has a fireplace, theater setting, a big-size refrigerator, and many other amenities.

2. Best Travel Trailer for Full Time Living: Northwood Arctic Fox

If you want a luxury travel trailer for full time living, then the Arctic Fox is a perfect choice. Equipped with plenty of high-end features, it will never let you miss your home. All-weather flexibility makes it the first choice for year-round travel.

best rv for long term living
Good for all-weather conditions. (Credit: Northwood Manufacturing)

The RV has all-season insulation for walls, the roof, ducts, and other parts. It means that you never need to worry about the weather at your next destination. Whether it’s ice-cold winter or blazing hot summer, you will stay comfortable inside the travel trailer.

If you choose the 25Y floor plan, you will get double entryways. There is a separate entry to the master bedroom for privacy and convenience. You will also enjoy the full-size master bathroom and a residential kitchen. The kitchenette is complete with high-quality countertops, stainless appliances, and all the amenities you would expect in your own home.

You can take this travel trailer anywhere you want, thanks to the strong and durable chassis along with shocks on all wheels. To survive challenging conditions year after year, the RV has a special BackRoad Armor coating.

3. Best Class A Motorhome for Full Time Living: Newmar Dutch Star

If you want to settle down in a Class A RV, then this is the perfect choice for you. Newmar’s Dutch Star has an aluminum frame that offers solid protection despite being lightweight. Whether it’s hot or cold outside, staying comfortable inside the RV will never be a problem because of the heat/air controls onboard. It also has excellent ventilation to keep any bad smells at bay.

The Newmar Dutch Star is the best RV for long term living in a luxurious style on the open road. The new year models of this RV line (2019-2022) offer several furniture options to make your caravan feel more like home. From a residential refrigerator to a home theater, ceramic countertops, and bunk beds, this motorhome has everything you need and more!

The Dutch Star is perfect for anyone who wants to downsize because of its cozy and intimate feel. The only downside is its price tag. But with all the features this RV comes with, it’s worth every penny!

Read more: Best Class A Diesel Motorhomes For The Money

4. Best Class B RV for Full Time Living: Airstream Interstate

You can describe an Interstate with two words: comfort and luxury. Choose the 24GL Touring Coach model since it’s been one of the most-selling Class B diesel motorhomes for several years.

The Interstate comes with all the amenities of a luxury RV like air conditioning, heating, a sound system, and more. All Airstream models are 4-seasons campers, so Interstate is undoubtedly the best RV to live in year round. It means that they can protect you well whether it’s scorching hot or freezing cold outside.

Housed on a Mercedes-Benz 3500 Sprinter van chassis, the trailer offers the best safety and performance on road. Every interior feature, from the curved cabinetry to leather seating surfaces, exudes luxury. It has widescreen TVs, a powered sofa/bed, an air conditioner, a heating system, powered screens, and many other things.

The Airstream also has a sleek, modern design that will turn heads as you drive down the highway. It’s the best RV for full time living for couples or small families as it has two sleeping spaces. However, you can always host a party since there are 9 seating options.

5. Best Class C RV for Full Time Living: Thor Four Winds

Thor Four Winds is the best RV to live in full time if you are looking for a family-friendly trailer. It’s an impressive motorhome that offers 31-foot of living space. You can choose between 15 floor plans and all are suitable for family living, either small or big! If you want the best RV for full time living with luxury features, add the Premier Package to your model.

You will get a king- queen-size bed, depending on the floor plan, but each model has a cab-over bunk sleeping area. The MEGA-Storage compartment won’t let you leave anything behind.

The Class C camper comes with a spacious bathroom and a well-equipped kitchen. An impressive list of amenities includes a power charging center in the bedroom, theater seating, sofas, and TVs. Some models have a powered-patio awning with LED lighting complete with a Bluetooth soundbar, radio, and TV.

Related: The 10 Best Class C RVs For The Money

6. Grand Design Reflection

The Reflection from Grand Design is one of the best RVs to live in for those who like to live life on the go. It comes with an impressive list of features that are perfect for full-time living. It has spacious floorplans and focuses on an all-weather design.

The monstrous 367BHS model with its 41-foot living space is the best for a large family. The Reflection comes with an island kitchen that’s beautifully designed to give you enough space for cooking, cleaning, and baking your favorite desserts.

best RV for stationary living
The monstrous Grand Design Reflection. (Credit: RV Lifestyle Magazine)

The 21-foot long awning outside gives you more outdoor living space where the kids can play or grill out all year round. The cozy fireplace in the living room is a great way to relax after a long day. The spacious master bedroom comes with two large closets, and an optional king-size bed, full couch sleeper for guests or kids.

Is this the best RV for full time living, though? Well, if you want to make it your permanent home, add the Arctic 4-season protection to your model. It comes with a central heating system, advanced furnace, and insulated framework. With such protection, you can camp anywhere – whether it’s a desert or a snow-trodden area.

7. Roadtrek CS Adventurous

If you love the outdoors and want to explore nature, then this lightweight class B camper van is perfect for your next camping trip! It’s also the best RV for stationary living if you like to travel solo or with your partner. No need to worry if you have a kid because there are comfortable sleeping arrangements for three people. Also, you can always host guests as it has room for seating six people.

The camper comes with solar battery technology from EcoTrek, heated floors and walls, filtered fresh water, and many more amenities. The diesel engine is highly powerful and can pull up to 7000 pounds, so you can tow a car or extra trailer if needed. This is useful for carrying extra stuff because the van has limited storage options.

The sleek Roadtrek van is the best RV for full time living that helps you stay minimal on the road. However, it’s still flexible if you want to add more than the bare minimum. So, it’s perfect for everyone who wants to downsize without sacrificing too many of their creature comforts.

FAQs about RV Full-time Living

1. Is it legal to live in an RV full-time?

Yes, it is legal to live in an RV, but you have to follow the rules of the game. Local municipalities demand that you build a permanent place to live in, so it’s illegal to live full time in an RV, even on land that is yours.

To solve this problem, you have to have a mailing address. After you have chosen a state to domicile in, pay the taxes, get a driver’s license and a mailing address, you will be considered legal. Also follow the rules of RV parks, and if you are staying somewhere permanently, be sure to have all the necessary amenities working properly.

2. What kind of RV is best for full time living?

As discussed above, there are 4 types of RVs. There are certain pros and cons associated with each type: Travel trailers/Fifth wheel trailers are very affordable, but you must have another car to accompany it but these are the choice of many RV campers. Class Cs are my personal favorite, and so are the majority of RV owners’.

It is like an all-in-one vehicle, spacious, easy on your budget, cheap to maintain as well. Class As and Bs are expensive, but only type As have enough room for full-time living (in my opinion). Actually, one can effectively put type Bs out of the picture.

3. Is full-time RV living worth it?

Full-time RV lives are well worth it for many Americans who love being free as a bird. After all, what is so desirable about living in a camper? RVs provide both transportation and accommodation, but is that really it? Definitely not.

You “bring your houses with you” on every trip, with zero extra price. The only thing to keep you from going full RV mode is most probably society’s views of you and your family. Dream big, and get what you want regardless of what others think.    

4. What are the best full time RV living tips?

I have selected a few full-time RV living tips that you should take primary notice of: 

+ “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”
+ Be flexible: Have a malleable enough schedule to make your RV life more entertaining, as well as make the cost of living in an RV full time go down a bit.
+ Throw it away: RV space is very limited, so to prevent the utilities from piling up, when you buy something, try to find something else to throw away. Don’t be hasty, though, you just want your RV as spacious and comfortable as possible.
+ Your RV is your most prized possession: Keeping your RV out of harm’s way is nice, but it is unrealistic. Rather, when there are malfunctions, you should react immediately.
+ Be the best driver you can be: This is important in that it allows for the best experience on the road.
+ Enjoy the journey: RV living is supposed to be fun, but it’s okay if you don’t feel that way.
+ Try to live the best life you can: Hit the road whenever you can, go to different lands in your spare time. Above all, enjoy your life, as it is a journey, do what you want, buy what you want.
+ You don’t have to feel generous with your money, just live on the spur of the moment.  
+ Living in an RV full time’s cost is food for thought, but let the part of you that is adventurous (and a bit of a child) decide whether or not you want this life or not.

5. What are the best states for full time RV living?

Choosing a state to stay is a defining moment of your RV life for sure. It is never easy when legal paperwork is involved, examples include vehicle registration and tax filings.

The top three states for full-time RVers to domicile are Montana, Florida, South Dakota, and Texas. These states are income tax-free, and compared to the rest of the states, the vehicle licensing fees, and annual inspection requirements are reasonable. 

6. What is the cheapest state to buy and register an RV

With no sales, city or county tax, low registration fees, and many other advantages, Montana is definitely the best state to buy and register a camper/RV/motorhome or travel trailer. You don’t even need to have a permanent residency there to buy and register a vehicle.

Just create an LLC for the registration, and the whole procedure costs around $300. You can also exempt the registration fees once the trailer turns 11 years old. Learn the full list of cheapest states to buy an RV here.

7. When is the best time of the year to buy an RV?

To get the best deals, you should look to buy RVs during the seasons when the price drops, for examples:

+ At an RV trade show
+ At the end of the sales season
+ Before the release of new models
+ When fuel prices are high
+ Fall or winter

Check out our full guide on the best time to buy an RV here!

Conclusion

If you are looking for the best RV for full time living, we recommend going with one of these options. All of them offer unique features that make your life more comfortable than ever. After checking details about all entries, you should be able to make an informed decision about which RV is best for full time living.

Whether it’s Montana or Arctic Fox, one thing they all have in common is that each model offers high-end features and amenities designed to help ease your daily lives on the road.

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  1. Rick E. Kalscheur

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