Are you searching for the right RV for your family of 4? It can be a lot of fun shopping for an RV, but there are so many makes and models of RVs, the search can be overwhelming.
Start by defining how you will primarily use your RV. If you plan to be a weekend warrior, you can probably get away with a rig where the main living area also doubles as a sleeping space. People who intend to live more fulltime in their RV will prefer a floor plan that includes a separate bunkhouse for more privacy. The total length of the RV and overall interior space will also affect how your family travels.
Are you ready to dive deeper into RV models for a family of 4? We're going to highlight examples of 13 different types of RVs in this article. With each one, we'll focus specifically on overall living space, sleeping arrangements, and size considerations.
When you're done, you may also want to check out our post of RV's with two bathrooms. Definitely a consideration when choosing a family RV!
Not sure what a Class A motorhome or a 5th wheel are? Read our thorough illustrated guide on the 7 types of RV's here.
Class A Motorhomes
Class A motorhomes are a drivable RV, built on a heavy-duty frame, similar to a bus chassis. They have large wheels and the capacity to carry a heavy load. Class A motorhomes have two pilot chairs in the front and slide-outs to provide more space in the middle and rear of the RV. Their appearance is long, rectangular and boxy.
Families like motorhomes because there is usually plenty of storage space and the kitchen, bathroom and living area are accessible while driving down the road. While it isn't recommended to walk around a motorhome while it's in motion, it is possible to access items without pulling over to a complete stop.
Some of the drawbacks to motorhome are poor gas mileage and a higher price point to purchase and maintain than other RVs. Since a Class A is so large and bulky, many owners choose to tow a smaller vehicle behind their motorhome, to get around after the RV is parked at a campground.
Class A's have many different floor plans, some allowing for separate bedroom space and a lot of privacy.
Here are some Class A motorhomes we recommend taking a closer look at.
Coachmen Mirada 35BH
This Class A motorhome can sleep 8 people and is 37 feet in total length. It features a private master bedroom and a bunkhouse. Less private sleeping areas are sofa and dinette conversions, as well as a bunk above the driving cab. This model has a bath and a half-bath to accommodate a family of 4.
Thor Challenger 37TB
This motorhome is 38 feet, 3 inches long and sleeps up to 7 people. The master bedroom features a king size bed, and there are bunk beds. Like the Mirada model described above, this floor plan also has sleeping options in the living area. There are two bathrooms, a half-bath in the middle of the RV and a full bathroom behind the master bedroom.
Forest River Berkshire XLT 43C
This RV is almost 43 feet long, and has 3 slideouts. This floor plan does not have bunkbeds. Besides the private master bedroom, all additional sleeping space is on dinette or sofa conversions, or above the cab.
A nice feature of this motorhome is a spacious full bathroom in the back and a half bathroom central to the the RV.
Winnebago Forza 34T
The Forza 34T features sleeping for up to 7 people and is 35 and a half feet long. It has a queen-sized master bed and less private sleeping space where the dinette and loveseat are located. There is also a bunk over cab option.
Class C Motorhomes
Class C motorhomes are similar to Class A, but you can distinguish them by their overhead cabin that sits above the cab. For overall size, they tend to be shorter and less roomy than Class A motorhomes. Class C's are built on a truck or van chassis and the front cab resembles a truck.
Like Class A motorhomes, families can sit within the living area of a Class C while driving down the road. Class C motorhomes are not as spacious as a Class A, but they are not usually as expensive either. Gas mileage is somewhat more efficient than a Class A.
For privacy, a Class C is going to have fewer options than a Class A as more beds will be located in common living areas.
Here are a couple of Class C models that may interest you.
Coachmen Freelander 31BH
The Freelander 31BH is 33 feet long, and built on a Ford 450 chassis. This class C can sleep 2 in the private master bedroom and a flip-down upper bunk in a slideout. There are less private sleeping options on a dinette and sofa conversion, and a spacious bunk over the cab.
This model has one bathroom in the middle of the rig and would be a great choice for a family of 4 that doesn't mind some shared sleeping areas.
Forest River Forester 3041DS
This Class C motorhome is more compact, at just over 32 feet long. It features a master bedroom with pocket doors separating it from the rest of the RV. There is also one full bathroom and sleeping options for 3 more people in the living area. An option for a bunk mattress over the cab is available as well. If you don't mind using your sofa and/or dinette as a bed at night, this could be a great RV for you.
A Fifth wheel is a towable RV, which requires a heavy-duty truck to pull it. 5th wheels are cheaper than Class A or C motorhomes, but if you don't already own a one ton (or heavier) truck, then you have to account for the purchase of a truck to pull your 5th wheel.
5th wheel RVs attach to the truck by a kingpin and a hitch, which is located inside the bed of the truck. By extension, this hitch is the "fifth wheel" of the trailer. It is a very safe and sturdy hitch and allows the front of the fifth wheel to ride on top of the bed of the truck. Due to the weight distribution of a 5th wheel, there is less trailer sway when driving down the road. You can read more about what a Fifth Wheel is in this post here.
Another benefit to a family driving a 5th wheel is the living area is spacious. Tall ceilings make a 5th wheel seem roomier than other RVs. This extra space can lend itself to more storage space as well. The bi-level nature of a 5th wheel lends itself well to separate bedrooms and increased privacy.
Finally, there is no need to tow a smaller vehicle with a 5th wheel, as your truck can detach and serve as your get-around vehicle once the RV is parked.
Check out these four different 5th wheel models.
Coachmen Brookstone 395RL
This 5th wheel has a popular mid-bunk floorplan. There is a separate living room in the rear, master bedroom on the upper level, and a private bunk room in the middle of the RV. For older kids, there is a loft bed space above the bunk room.
With all the private sleeping areas, the overall length is extended, with this RV measuring almost 41 feet.
Coachmen Chaparral Lite 29BH
If you are looking for a shorter 5th wheel, this one is worth a look at just 35 feet long. It has two separate bedrooms, a master on the upper level and a private bunkroom with 4 individual bunks in the rear.
The dinette and sofa in the living area do make into beds, but for a family of four, the bunkhouse will nicely meet your sleeping needs without having to convert additional furniture into bedding.
Winnebago Minnie Plus 25 RKS
This 5th wheel is the shortest on our list, at only 27 feet long. The shorter length is great for families who want to camp in national parks or other places where campsites have length restrictions.
The downside is that the master bedroom is the only private sleeping area. Additional sleeping is a dinette booth conversion in the slideout or on the tri-fold sofa.
Keystone Montana High Country 384BR
This mid-bunk 5th wheel measures 40 feet, 8 inches and sleeps up to 10 people. The mid-bunk rooms and an overhead loft provides private sleeping areas outside of the master bedroom.
If needed, the living room area has sofas that can also convert to a sleeping area. This 5th wheel contains one full bathroom.
Finally, we come to travel trailers, which are a good option for families who are new to RVing. These RVs are towable and lighter than a 5th wheel. They can be pulled by lighter pick-up trucks and even some heavier SUVs.
If you are planning to live or fulltime in your RV, you might find a travel trailer limiting due to its smaller overall size and lower weight capacity.
Travel trailers are also less expensive than any of the previously mentioned RVs. They attach to the tow vehicle with a ball and hitch mechanism at the back end of the vehicle. Travel trailers will experience more sway than a 5th wheel when driving in windy conditions.
As with a 5th wheel, your truck or SUV can serve as your transportation once the trailer is parked at a campground.
Here are some examples of travel trailers we like.
Coachmen Freedom Express Liberty Edition 323BHDSLE
Measuring right at 37 feet, this travel trailer features double bunkbeds in a private mid-bunk room. This means it can sleep up to 6 people in private bedrooms.
The sofa and dinette in the spacious rear living area can also serve as additional beds.
Forest River Alpha Wolf 29QBL
This is a lightweight travel trailer at medium length for convenient towing. Measuring 36 feet, 8 inches this RV can sleep up to 7 people. With a private master bedroom and a bunkroom with 3 beds, it will easily accommodate a family of 4 on their adventures.
Gulf Stream Main Line Trailers Conquest 323TBR
Here is another travel trailer just under 37 feet long by Gulf Stream Coach. It has a master bedroom in the front of the trailer, and a bunk room in the rear. Up to 5 people can sleep in these private rooms.
The U-shaped dinette and sofa in the living area can also provide extra sleeping if needed.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you in the process of searching for your new RV. Soon, your family of 4 will be making memories in the RV that is just right for you!
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