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Take life on the road or escape to a weekend away.
RVs, or recreational vehicles, are more than just a means to a destination; in some cases, they are the destination or the highlight of your next adventure. Whether you're looking for alternative housing or a way to explore the outdoors with some homey comforts like A/C and a decently sized bed, the RVs on this list are top of the line.
There are three classifications of motorized RVs:
Towable RVs are a different type entirely and consist of folding trailers, travel trailers, and fifth-wheel trailers. They need to be attached to a vehicle capable of towing them.
Here are the best RVs for camping, adventure, and more, suited to every budget and need.
Coachmen RV has been making RVs for nearly 60 years and has carved out a reputation for reliability. The Pursuit is one of its most popular Class A motorhome types, and the smallest version (27XPS) comes with a sofa, thermofoil countertops, linoleum throughout, and a dinette.
This RV also is well-connected, with an LED TV, pre-wiring for a satellite dish, a charging station for your phone and other electronics, and a 10-inch touchscreen radio enabled with Bluetooth Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Link.
The bedroom has shelving and a floor-level bed. Just next to it is a bathroom area with a foot flush toilet and sink and a separate shower with a skylight over it.
More: 3D Tour of a Pursuit 27XPS (Ozark Decor/White Velvet Woodgrain)
This light travel trailer RV can be towed by most midsized vehicles and has a farmhouse-like interior. You can swap that out for a vintage washed grey if you'd prefer. There's LED lighting throughout, cold crack-resistant vinyl flooring, a three-burner cooktop with a glass cover, a microwave, and screwed and glued cabinetry. The bathroom has a plastic foot flush toilet and a skylight and a roof vent.
Jayco offers solar prep, or solar panels, on all of its RV models. You easily can install solar panels for your next camping adventure.
The exterior is durable, including a Magnum Truss roof, which can withstand up to 4,500 pounds, and stronghold vacuum-bond lamination walls that use vacuum bonding to combine fiberglass and aluminum. The RV has LED lighting, rear and side camera prep, steel wheel wells, and 16-inch tires.
Despite the low weight, this RV comes with a 14,500 BTU A/C.
More: 3D Tour of the 2021 model of the Jay Feather 166FBS
The Thor Four Winds is a range of Class C motorhomes that are perfect for family camping. The 22E model starts at $118,350. All models come with a fiberglass exterior, a vacuum-bond laminated roof, walls and floors with block foam insulation, and an 8,000-pound trailer hitch. The dashboard inside is modern, with a 7-inch touchscreen radio with a backup monitor. You can plug-and-play for smaller models, or use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for the 31-foot models.
The inside has 84-inch high ceilings, vinyl flooring found in residences, a hard vinyl ceiling, a ceiling ducted A/C system, a cab-over sleeping area, wireless charging on the dinette table top, USB charging, and LED lighting throughout. The child-specific features include a single child safety tether in the dinette and a cab-over child safety net.
The bedroom has more charging outlets and the bathroom has a skylight and a foot flush toilet. For entertainment, these motorhomes are cable TV ready, with a satellite mounting backer on the roof.
Smaller models lose out on desirable perks, like Apple CarPlay
This diesel class A RV is a cut above the rest in both price and features. The diesel engine allows for up to 400 horsepower. Every model comes with adaptive steering as the standard option. The foundation is made of steel, which ensures a stable, quiet ride. There are driver and passenger seats with lumbar support, six-way power, and footrests. If you want to work from the road, the passenger seat comes with a workstation. This is an extremely livable option that includes for a washer/dryer with a corresponding cabinet. The 5.6-inch dash radio comes with a Harman/JBL 180 watt sound system, and next to the seats are wireless charging ports.
The living room has a 50-inch Samsung LED 4K TV, and there's a desk with a chair, too. The Ventana has a cargo liner, ⅝-inch floor decking, and ⅝-inch bead foam. It's covered by a fiberglass roof with an integrated gutter rail. The dimensions above are specific to the 4326 model, but you can go shorter, lighter, and cheaper if you like.
This luxury fifth-wheeler model can sleep eight people for under $100k, depending on which model you choose. The cheapest option, the 281CK, sleeps up to four and is well suited for full-time living. The standard comes with a king bed, a fireplace, a hide-a-bed sofa, a range with a glass top, a shower, a toilet and a sink, washer/dryer prep, wardrobes, dressers, and plenty of storage.
If you're in a cold location, be sure to add the four-season package. Including it means that the RV can withstand zero-degree weather for a minimum of 48 hours – and it can withstand hotter temperatures with a quiet A/C and air filtration system.
My favorite feature of the Keystone Montana is the living room – with a fireplace and TV above it and the sofa across from it. It looks like the perfect place to unwind. There's also ample storage space located everywhere from underneath the bed to beneath the sofa to the dressers and wardrobes.
This is a fifth-wheel RV, so it needs to be pulled behind a truck, which could be an added expense
The key distinguishing factors are type, length, the height of the exterior, GVWR rating, sleeping capacity, and, of course, price.
RV / camper / motorhome
Coachmen RV Pursuit
Jay Feather Micro
Thor Four Winds
24'1" - 32'8"
12,500 lbs. - 14,500 lbs.
Keystone Montana High Country
Each of these RV options shines for a different need. Choose whichever one suits your use case.
Choose this RV / camper / motorhome…
If you want…
Coachmen RV Pursuit
a reliable, standout RV
Jay Feather Micro
an affordable RV
Thor Four Winds
the best RV for a family of four
a luxurious RV for glam camping
Keystone Montana High Country
to live in an RV full time
Reliability was top of mind for all of these, as well as the specific need that each RV addressed. For example, with the Keystone Montana High Country RV, the amenities included made it a prime candidate for full-time living. The Newmar Ventana was clearly a luxury product, with its high price point, and its features, like the passenger seat with a workstation, set it apart from the rest. The question I asked was not only What is the best RV? but more specifically What is the best RV for this particular need or interest? That way, each of the options on this list can stand alone if need be.
About 20 years, or if you're always on the road, about 200,000 miles. The lifespan of an RV depends on its class, the care you give it, and other variables.
Your initial costs might be lower with an RV because it generally costs less to buy one than to buy a home, but your actual cost of living depends on the prices of everything else in your area, too, and how much you consume.
The main one I've heard is that RVs follow the car principle and depreciate in value the second you drive them off the lot. In contrast, a home generally goes up in value, and significantly too, depending on the market. An old home can still fetch an attractive resale value, which might not be true for RVs.
Water damage can affect most RVs over time, so try to look out for signs of it before it becomes a problem. You also can apply a sealant every year to the roof as a preventative measure.
Of course. Even though the following alternatives didn't make it on to the top five list, they're worth considering.