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What Size of RV Should You Get for a Family of 4? 5? 6?

A family of four beside an RV in camping site.

Whether you’re buying an RV for a small family or a large one, it’s important to make sure you have the space you need. Of course, you won’t want to overlook other factors, like fuel costs. The bigger the RV, the more you’ll be spending on gas.

On average, RV owners use their vehicle between 28 and 35 days each year. What kind of RV do you want to be spending that time in? If you learn more about the different RVs available, it’ll be easier to find the right option for you.

The Different Types of RVs

Before you can choose the right size of RV, you’ll have to take a look at the different classes of RV. Compare RV types so that you can find the best category for your needs.

1. Class A Motorhomes

A class A type of motorhome on camping site.

These are the largest and most luxurious RVs on the market, with room to sleep up to 10 people. Class A vehicles provide plenty of living and storage space, but they have poor gas mileage and can be difficult to drive. Due to their large size, these RVs also need extra space for parking.

2. Class B Motorhomes

A class B type of motorhome on mountain hill camping site.

These are the smallest RVs that are still drivable. Class Bs have space for two to four people, making them a good option for smaller families. While they’re small enough to fit into a standard-sized parking space, they’re still large enough to have kitchens and an indoor living area.

3. Class C Motorhomes

A class C type of motorhome on a mountain area.

These RVs are large enough to sleep seven people, but they’re still easy to drive, making them a popular option for families that want a little extra room. While amenities can vary, most Class Cs offer perks like a bedroom and a bathroom with shower. Most Class Cs have poor gas mileage, but they’re still compact enough to fit into a standard parking space.

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4. Travel Trailers

An SUV towing a travel trailer on road.

Travel trailers come in a wide range of lengths and sizes, making them one of the most versatile and popular RV types. Although these RVs can sleep up to 10 people, the amount of space a travel trailer offers can vary. They tend to be a budget-friendly option, and there’s a huge assortment of vehicles to choose from.

5. Fifth Wheel Travel Trailers

A fifth wheel travel trailer standby on parking space.

These large towable RVs can sleep up to seven people and are secured to vehicles with a fifth-wheel hitch. Even though fifth wheels are typically heavier and longer than travel trailers, they’re more stable and easier to transport. Fifth wheels can be hard to park, but they offer all kinds of features and amenities, like extendable patios and bunk beds.

6. Toy Haulers

A toy hauler standby on road side street.

This category of RV provides garage space, making it an ideal choice for families that want to bring boats, off-road vehicles, or bikes with them on the road. They can sleep up to seven people and are designed with off-grid camping in mind. If you opt for a smaller toy hauler, be aware that your garage space might overlap with your living space.

7. Pop-Up Campers

A pop-up camper on mountain area camping site.

These campers are essentially a hybrid between an RV and a tent. They’re a lightweight and affordable option that can sleep up to seven people. While pop-up campers won’t provide the full RV experience, they’re a fantastic choice for families that are transitioning away from tent camping.

Finding the Right RV Size for Your Family

It’s easy to assume that a big spacious RV will be your best option, but that isn’t necessarily true. “People compare the space to their houses,” says travel blogger Angela M. DiLoreto. “[We spend] little time inside the walls of an RV.”

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At the same time, an RV that’s too cramped can put a lot of stress on your family. “If you’re married and have kids, you want to start looking at a Class B or even something a little bit bigger, like a travel trailer or a Class A,” says RV expert Kina Pickett.

How can you stay away from RVs that are too big and too small and find something that’s just right? Focus on these factors to choose the perfect RV size.

RV Floor Plans

In addition to looking at the amount of space an RV provides, you’ll want to look at how it uses that space. For most families, a floor plan with lots of living space is likely to be your best bet.

Many RV models offer a range of layout options, allowing you to compare different floor plans. Find a floor plan that will help you take full advantage of the space you have.

Pets

Don’t forget to include pets in your headcount if you’re planning on traveling with your furry friends! It’s important to find an RV with enough space to keep your entire family comfortable.

Not only do you need room for your pet to stretch, but you’ll need space for your pet’s belongings, like its food and water dish. You may want your pet to have a dedicated sleeping area as well.

Storage Space

You’ll be bringing your family with you on your trip, but you’ll also be bringing a lot of stuff! While you may not need much storage for the occasional weekend trip, longer trips will require quite a bit of storage.

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A toy hauler is likely to be your best option if you’re bringing boats, ATVs, bicycles, or other vehicles with you. If you’re just bringing clothes and other essentials, it’s unlikely that you’ll need garage space.

Height

If there are members of your family that are on the taller side, you’ll want to look at the standing room an RV provides. It can be uncomfortable to have to crouch in an RV, especially if you’re in the RV for long stretches of time.

Class B RVs don’t provide much headroom, so you may want to cross them off your list if you have a family member that’s 6′ or taller. When you’re evaluating options, make sure you look at the height of the ceiling and the length of beds.

Flexibility

You may have a family of four right now, but that doesn’t mean your family will stay that size forever. A larger RV will give your family room to grow. Having extra space also means that you can bring guests along for the ride.

Budget

The RV sizes available to you will vary based on your budget. In addition to looking at the initial purchase price of different RV models, you’ll want to look at ongoing costs, like the cost of gas. Generally speaking, the bigger your RV is, the more you’ll be spending on fuel.

If you’re new to RVs, you may want to try renting before you buy. That way, you can get a better sense of what your family needs. Renting is an affordable way to figure out what’s right for you.