Not all RVs are created equal. We’re not talking about the quality or the price. We are talking about who they are designed for. Some motorhomes are designed specifically for solo travelers. Other motorhomes are designed for a family of 5.
But what are the best RV options for a family? From personal sleeping spaces to ample storage, a family of five needs unique features to enjoy their camping adventures. Let’s explore.
First, there are drivable RVs and towable RVs. Even within these two distinctions, there are more specific classifications. In the case of mobile homes, there are Class A, Class B and Class C options.
Class A motorhomes are the largest RVs, usually between 35 and 40 feet long. They have a large windshield and can also pull the most weight. This is important for families who need to pull a minivan or larger SUV.
They also offer the most luxurious amenities. So if you want to camp in style, a Class A is for you.
However, because of their size, they can be more difficult to maneuver. They also have a limited
floor plan for extra sleeping space.
Class Bs are motorhomes. This is the least ideal option among mobile homes for a family of five because they are the smallest. Class B motorhomes usually only sleep one or two people and sometimes do not have a bathroom. This is simply not practical for families with children.
Class Cs are mobile homes with a bed above the cab. This creates an additional sleeping space that is very suitable for families.
Class C motorhomes can also tow a vehicle, but generally have a lower towing capacity than Class A motorhomes. Generally, these motorhomes are smaller, but also less expensive than Class A motorhomes.
Towable RVs include
travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes. The rear bumper of a vehicle is connected to a travel trailer to tow it. Semi trailers use a special hitch on the rear of the bed of a truck.
Both travel trailers and
fifth wheels are good choices for families because of their different floor plans. There are front living areas where sofas become beds. You can find bunkhouses that offer a separate space for the kids.
Toy Haulers can be travel trailers or fifth wheels. These trailer-mobiles have a rear garage to transport outdoor toys such as a golf cart, e-bike, motorcycle or ATV. However, families who choose Toy Haulers usually convert the garage space into a nursery.
Toy Haulers also often have an additional half bath in the garage, which is great for
What do most families travel in?
Most families opt for a towable motorhome. There are many reasons for this, but a key one is the ability to install child seats in the
tow vehicle. Motorhomes do not always offer safety restraints for children.
As a result, many parents opt for a large SUV or four-door truck that is equipped with seat belts and undergoes rigorous safety inspections during manufacturing. RVs are required to meet safety standards only in the cab area, not in the rear living area.
Another important consideration is cost. Most traveling families do not have a budget of $250,000 or more for a drivable RV. Instead, they opt for a towable RV, which is much more affordable. Even if they have to buy a heavy truck to tow the RV, they can usually stay within their budget.
Finally, the floor plans of towable RVs are more family friendly. They offer the best floor plans for families that need separate sleeping quarters. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a Class A with bunk beds, but the choices are limited.
What to look for in a motorhome for a family of 5
If you’re looking for an RV for a family of 5, there are a few things to consider. Sleeping space should be at the top of the list, but there are other important factors like
storage space and fuel tank size that will affect the quality of your trip. Let’s take a look at them!
When looking for a motorhome for a family of 5, beds are one of the most important criteria. You want each person to feel like they have their own space. This doesn’t have to be a room of their own, but everyone should have a place to call their own.
You should also consider whether you are willing to change the multi-functional furniture every night and every morning. If someone sleeps on the folding sofa, do you want to take it off and put it away every day?
If you’re only camping a few weekends a year, it’s probably not a big deal. But if you’re traveling across the country for two or three months, it might get boring.
Also, keep in mind how big your kids are and what type of bed is best for them. How long will your teen be able to sleep comfortably in an RV bunk bed? Some models offer double bunk beds, which are better for older children who need more space.
When traveling with a family of 5, storage space is essential. A couple doesn’t need as much stuff as a family. You will probably have five camping chairs instead of two.
They may have a pavilion tent where one parent can work. You’ll have a lot more clothes, toys, and dishes. Everything is enlarged when you include more people.
Make sure the indoor and outdoor storage spaces make camping convenient for your family. Can you fit five fishing rods in the walk-through storage space? Is there a closet or drawer for each child in the bunk bed? Are there enough cabinets in the kitchen for food, dishes and kitchen utensils?
A motorhome for a
family of five must also have a large cargo capacity. This is the amount of weight you can safely load into the motorhome.
Check this number in your RV search. It is usually on a yellow sticker on the inside of the front door. For full-time traveling families, 500 pounds per person is a good rule of thumb.
Driveable vs. towable
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether or not to buy a drivable or towable RV. As mentioned earlier, towable RVs are more popular with families, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find good drivable options.
If you have younger children, you may prefer to strap them into a regular vehicle rather than an RV. But if you want to save yourself the hassle of hitching and unhitching, opt for a drivable RV.
While this may not seem like a big deal if you’re mainly staying at full hookup campgrounds, it’s important to think about your RV’s tank sizes. You don’t want to go outside every day to worry about the gray or
Also, you don’t want your limited tank sizes to prevent you from
staying outside for a weekend. If you don’t have tank sizes that can get you through the weekend, you’re likely to have a lesser camping adventure.
So when choosing an RV for a family of five, look for both gray and empty tank sizes, as well as fresh water tank sizes.
Most new RV owners don’t think about this when choosing an RV. But seasoned veterans know how important it is to have access to the interior of your RV on
What can you accomplish when you’re traveling with kids and the sliding doors are retracted? Can you butter sandwiches and access the refrigerator? Can a small child reach a bed for a nap? Think about the space you need to move around when you stop in a parking lot.
Also consider the space the extendable elements provide when they are extended. A motorhome for a family of five should have enough room inside for a weekend camping trip.
Opposite slide-outs in the living area create plenty of space for a movie night or game night. A slide or two in bunk bed can provide more space for multiple children to feel like they have some privacy.
Do you have a list of must-haves? Maybe you’re dying for a washer and dryer hookup, an
outdoor kitchen, or a freestanding dining area. Make a list of some of your “must-haves,” and don’t delay if you’re looking for an RV for your family.
This will help you narrow down your choices and give the dealer an idea of your needs. Remember that no RV is perfect. So don’t let your must-have list get out of control.
The 7 best RVs for a family of 5
Are you ready to look at the best RVs for a family of 5? Below, we’ve rounded up six towable RVs and one motorhome that are great for families. We hope you find a vehicle you like that fits your budget and that you won’t want to miss.
1. Alliance Valor 36V11
Length: 39 feet 8 inches
GVWR: 16,950 lbs.
Features: This Toy Hauler fifth wheel has a front bedroom with washer and dryer hookups. The large living area includes a kitchen island with bar seating, a 17 cubic foot refrigerator, a large sofa and plenty of pantry storage.
The rear garage is 11 feet long and has washer and dryer hookups. It has a Happijac rollaway sofa with a 60 x 80-inch mattress and a half bath in the garage.
Why it’s good for a family of 5: This motorhome is great for a family of 5 because it has plenty of sleeping space. The garage already has sleeping for at least four people and you can renovate it according to your needs.
In addition, the attic offers additional sleeping space. In addition to the numerous sleeping places, you can use the large sofa for movie nights with the family. And the sitting bar offers space for the little ones who should not eat on the couch.
Finally, it has a cargo capacity of about 3,000 pounds, which means plenty of weight for everyone to bring what they need.
2. Grand Design Solitude 3950BH
Length: 40 feet 4 inches
GVWR: 16,800 lbs.
Features: This floor plan features a front bedroom with washer and dryer hookups. The kitchen island offers plenty of space for meal preparation, and the 12-volt, 20-cubic-foot refrigerator provides ample food storage for a family of five.
The rear bunk room has three bunk beds, a sofa, and a second bathroom with a separate entrance.
Why it’s good for a family of 5: The cargo capacity is nearly 2,800 pounds, which means over 500 pounds per person. It has sleeping accommodations for everyone, and with two full bathrooms, you have less chance of someone waiting in line.
This Solitude is unique with the second entrance door to the rear bathroom, which also helps clean up after an outdoor exploration without getting the whole RV dirty.
Please note: If you think these RVs are huge, then you need to see the five biggest RVs of all time!
3rd Keystone Cougar 364BHL
Length: 39 feet
GVWR: 14,000 lbs.
Features: This fifth wheel features a front bedroom with side closets and a pull out closet for more storage.
The kitchen island offers ample counter space like the Solitude, and the large pantry provides plenty of storage for dry goods. The rear bedroom has a 54-by-74-inch bed, a large loft, and a half bath.
Why it’s good for a family of 5: This Keystone Cougar is a great motorhome for a family of 5 because it has a bedroom in the rear. Plus, the large loft and bed provide comfortable sleeping for families with older children.
This space is also suitable for families with younger children who can sleep together. In addition, the rear storage door provides more storage space for camping chairs, inflatable paddle boards or fishing equipment.
4. Jayco White Hawk 32BH
Length: 38 feet
GVWR: 9,995 lbs.
Features: This Jayco White Hawk travel trailer features a front bedroom with side closets. The living area has a three seater sofa with a cabin dinette on the passenger side with large windows on the camp side.
The rear room has two upper bunk beds, an entertainment center, a sofa and a half bath. It also has an outdoor kitchen and two awnings for comfortable outdoor living space.
Why it’s good for a family of 5: The half bath in the bunk room provides a separate space for children to brush their teeth or use the toilet. This bunk room also has a wider bunk bed on the passenger side, which is ideal for an older child.
In addition, the three-seat sofa provides another bed for an older child or two younger children to sleep together.
5th Grand Design Reflection 312BHTS
Length: 37 feet 4 inches
GVWR: 11,295 lbs.
Features: Another option from Grand Design, this Reflection travel trailer features a front bedroom with side closets and an additional closet with washer and dryer hookups. The living area features a kitchen island, 16-cubic-foot refrigerator, hutch, theater seating and booth dinette.
The rear room has two upper bunk beds, an entertainment center and a triple pullout sofa. The Reflection also has an outdoor kitchen and an outdoor TV hookup.
Why it’s good for a family of 5: Like the Jayco White Hawk, the Reflection has a sofa in the bunk room that converts into a sleeping space for an older child or two younger children. It also has plenty of storage in the bunk room, so each child has their own drawer.
In addition, the outdoor kitchen is ideal if your family wants to keep the inside cool, but when it’s time to cook inside, the kitchen offers plenty of work space.
Pro Tip: How much should you spend on an RV? Click on the link to learn more about RV prices!
6. open area 321BHS
Length: 38 feet
GVWR: 9,995 lbs.
Features: The last towable camper on the list is this open range camper. It has a front bedroom with side closets and a separate closet with washer and dryer hookups like the Reflection.
The living area has a kitchen island, a booth dinette and theater seating. The main difference between the Reflection and the Open Range is the bunk room with three bunk beds instead of two.
Why it’s good for a family of 5: This camper makes it onto our list of best campers for a family of 5 because it has plenty of sleeping space and storage inside, so everyone has their own closet.
The outdoor kitchen and two awnings are great for outdoor play. You can put a playpen for toddlers and keep them in the shade on warm days.
7. Thor Quantum LF31
Length: 32 feet 8 inches
GVWR: 14,500 lbs.
Features: This Class C features a 52 x 96-inch sleeping area in the cab with a built-in skylight. The living area includes a 68-inch folding sofa and a booth dinette.
Although the kitchen is smaller than the other options on this list, this floorplan also features bunk beds in the hallway next to the rear bedroom.
Why it’s good for a family of 5: The only mobile home on this list is this Thor Quantum. The bunk and overcab beds provide multiple sleeping arrangements for a family of 5. And the 55-cubic-foot exterior storage compartments provide plenty of room for your camping gear.
There are also seat belts on the dinette and sofa for safe travel. Finally, the 8,000-pound trailer hitch lets you tow another vehicle to get around town once you arrive at the campground.
Choose an RV that fits your family’s style, 2023
When it’s time to find your RV, know what best suits your needs. Just because your colleague has a Class A motorhome with heated floors and granite countertops doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for your family.
Consider the factors that are important to a family, such as storage space and sleeping accommodations. These options are great RVs for a family of 5. But you need to choose the most suitable for you!
Which model will you drive in the future?