Thinking about finally pulling the trigger and buying that 5th Wheel? That’s great! But the process of selecting one becomes a scary prospect. So today, we’ll look at the best 5th wheel to live in.
The best overall 5th wheel to live in is the Grand Design Solitude. This is one of the most spacious fifth-wheel luxury RVs. It features kitchen islands, and full-size residential refrigerators, but is renowned for its longevity and outstanding customer support.
But what if the living room is smaller, what if you need a bigger master bedroom, what if the entertainment center isn’t great to catch a ball game? All are valid questions and need to be addressed before you finally get yourself a 5th wheel for full-time living.
This guide is all about finding the best 5th Wheel RV for your personal needs.
Have a large family and want to move the kids with you? There’s a 5th wheel with a big living room for that. Or is it going to be just you and your partner enjoying the road after retirement? You’ll appreciate luxury features and maybe a king-sized bed.
I tried to answer all the questions in great detail, so you can make the best choice that is perfect for your living situation. Read on ahead, so we can determine what kind of 5th Wheel for full-time living in 2022 is the best one for you.
The Momentum Fifth Wheel Toy Hauler is the point where absolute luxury meets mobile garage!
Grand Design RV has completely raised the Toy Hauler bar.
Image may contain: sky and outdoor pic.twitter.com/Kkts07csQA
— Youngblood’s RV Center (@YoungbloodsRV) September 10, 2019
Who Makes the Highest Quality 5th Wheel?
Grand Design is the highest quality 5th Wheel manufacturer. Both the Grand Design Reflection and Grand Design Solitude are outstanding and extremely spacious, long-lasting, and high-quality.
While both are amazing, the Grand Design Reflection impressed me with its premium build and quality materials. The Grand Design Reflection offers 9 different floor plans, so you have plenty of customization options to make the 5th wheel your own.
Grand Design also offers floor plans that have separate bedrooms and bathrooms.
This makes it easier to do the plan that is compatible with either your full family or just you and your partner. If you plan on taking a ton of gear with you, they also have a spacious exterior pass-through storage area.
Speaking of storage, there is also a lot of overhead storage throughout the cabin.
If you’re going to be living full-time inside your 5th wheel, storage space is something you’ll need consistently. Having the option of keeping a lot of clothes with you and still having space to store multiple shoes is awesome.
There’s also a washer/dryer prep in every floor plan that also includes a mighty 80-gallon freshwater tank.
So, you won’t have to worry about showering on the road. What I like most about the Grand Design Reflection is the inclusion of the roof-mounted solar prep. This allows you to easily install solar panels and recharge batteries without the need to hunt for an RV Park all the time.
Grand Design designed their 5th wheel with care and attention to detail, which will surely come in handy when you start living full-time in their product.
Despite the luxurious design, the Grand Design Reflection also features durable craftsmanship.
This, in turn, drops the maintenance costs over the years and ends up saving you time and money. The only downside is that because of the premium materials used, Grand Design Reflection is a bit on the heavier side.
Years ago, Julie taught me the difference between homeless and nomadic. She is a full-time RVer. Julie raised her two sons living in an RV. We were just chatting on Facebook and Julie sent me this wonderful photo. I need to visit her again soon. Julie parks near San Jose! pic.twitter.com/HDXqDHxKv0
— Invisible People ➤ Imagine Everyone With a Home (@invisiblepeople) April 18, 2021
Is Full-Time RV Living Worth It?
For many, full-time RV living is absolutely worth it.
The feeling of freedom, liberty, and adventure is unparalleled when you’re living full-time in a 5th Wheel. But it is also easy to move for better weather seasonally, and it is a great way to see the country while saving money.
But as with everything, it’s not as simple as one would think. There are several questions you need to ask before pulling the trigger and making an expensive and life-altering change.
If you own a home, would you be able to sell it or rent it? Maybe a friend or family member can live there while you are having the time of your life.
5th Wheels usually have limited storage spaces. So, you’ll need to downsize your possessions if you want to move in a 5th Wheel. I suggest renting out a storage space and storing large possessions there.
Thankfully, you don’t need to lug your huge fridge because you’ll have various compact options that are just as great.
You also need to sort out your expenses.
If you are traveling, keeping a steady day job is going to be tough. Of course, you can also work remotely as many people are these days and enjoy your time adventuring. The thing is, your obligations are not going to evaporate, and you’ll still need to pay taxes, have vehicle registration done, and have insurance.
Of course, if you have kids that need to go to school, it can be tricky living full-time in an RV and traveling.
If you have everything sorted out, then yes, full-time RV living is worth it. It’s an exciting thing to do, being on the move, camping, wonderful destinations, and even living closer to your best friend.
Full-time RV living is a lifestyle, an educational and adventurous one.
RV living is the perfect scenario for those who do work remotely. Because you’re able to maintain an internet connection, thanks to great internet plans from Nomad Internet, you’ll be able to work from home. pic.twitter.com/ho2rElGQhF
— Nomad Internet (@NomadInternetUS) January 8, 2022
What Are the Negatives of Living in an RV?
There are a couple of negatives of living in an RV, and here are the things which I found the most painful to negotiate:
Fatigue – You move quite often, and you’ll need to drive yourself. So, while the master bedroom inside the 5th wheel is great, you’ll still feel a bit tired. Even the bunk beds are great in 5th wheels, but sometimes the fatigue just gets to you.
Internet – This is a big one, especially if you plan on working remotely online. Sure, you can use 4G or 5G if available, but generally speaking, the Wi-Fi connectivity isn’t stellar. But if you love being in nature and exploring off the beaten path, you can forget about reliable Internet connections.
Routine – Personally, it takes a lot of effort to get into a routine because you can be disturbed by numerous unexpected issues that can arise.
Cost – Making a budget that’s realistic and then sticking to it is the best way to avoid any financial issues. Sure, it can be a bit less inexpensive than maintaining a full house, but when you’re on the move, you want to experience everything.
But is full-time RVing really cheaper than owning a home?
Here’s a recent article that discusses how RV living is cheaper than owning a house. Limiting dining out and expenditures is the best way to live a healthy and cost-effective lifestyle.
Distance – The distance to reliable healthcare centers, mailboxes, grocery stores, supermarkets, and laundry varies a lot depending on where you are. You’re not going to find everything at a convenient distance while traveling.
Kate Salazar ready to enjoy her Keystone Cougar 318 fifth wheel. Get ready for making memories! pic.twitter.com/Q3gNMGm5dD
— Floyd RV’s Oklahoma (@FloydsRVs) August 19, 2016
What Is the Best Luxury 5th Wheel for Full-Time Living?
The Keystone Cougar is the best luxury 5th Wheel for full-time living. It costs approximately $50,000, but it provides the most luxurious amenities such as full-sized appliances and oversized water tanks.
The Keystone Cougar comes with full-sized appliances that will make you forget that you’re not living in a full-fledged home. In addition to that, the rigs also have huge water tank sizes, so you won’t be stopping to refill the water a lot.
You can choose from 11 different floor plans, but I recommend the 338RLK, simply because of its open kitchen and a bigger living area.
And yes, you can even have a kitchen island. The bedroom also comes fitted with a standard queen-sized bed, but there’s an option to upgrade to a king-sized one as well.
The key features in a 5th Wheel all depend on your personal preference.
Some require plenty of storage space, some require a half-bath, some want a king-size bed, and some need a kitchen island. There are some luxury features that are exclusive to premium 5th Wheels as well.
However, there can’t be just one king of the hill here because features that I like might not be great for you.
We just purchased this beautiful Cougar 27SGS fifth wheel at Simi RV today. Next… a 6″ lift to match the Titan XD lifted truck. Aerodynamics is the goal. pic.twitter.com/eLu0pt0M3d
— Jim McGillis (@jimmcgillis) January 25, 2020
Which 5th Wheels Are Rated for Full-Time Living?
The best 5th wheels for full-time living will have large living and kitchen areas and at least 2 bedroom areas. 2 bathrooms are ideal for a family. Also, look for a full-sized refrigerator and a 5th wheel with plenty of storage.
But there is no official rating system for 5th Wheels. But there are some general guidelines that make a 5th Wheel RV great for full-time living.
I highly recommend getting a 5th Wheel trailer that’s less than 36 feet long.
Not only are longer trailers hard to manage, but some places have regulations that restrict trailers longer than 36 feet. A trailer that’s smaller than 36 feet will also be easier to drive around with an average pickup truck.
For the height, a trailer that is lower than 13.6 feet is the general recommendation.
I suggest that you rent a 5th Wheel and try it out for a few days before purchasing one. This will allow you to get a feel of the 5th Wheel and get intimate information about what works and what doesn’t.
While the dealer is unlikely to rent out RVs, there are numerous local and nationwide chains that do RV rentals. But my favorite is RV Share. Just click that link and see what’s available near you.
Check out the Dibble family with their new 2015 Jayco pinnacle front living fifth wheel! #Jayco pic.twitter.com/TTmQdj4mHY
— Joe anderson (@JoeAndersonRVs) October 1, 2015
What Are the Top 5 5th-Wheel RVs for Full-Time Living?
I have already recommended the Grand Design Reflection as the Highest Quality 5th Wheel. I also recommended the Keystone Cougar as the Best Luxury 5th wheel. Here are my top picks for 5th-wheel RVs for full-time living, excluding those I already recommended:
1. Grand Design Solitude
- Length: 34′ 11″
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 15,000 LB
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 12,100 LB
- Cargo Carrying Capacity: 2,900 LB
If you’re just moving to the RV life, you can’t go to extreme minimalism.
The Grand Design Solitude is probably the best transition 5th Wheel I’ve ever been inside. Think of it as a starter 5th Wheel just to get you into the lifestyle without disrupting your day-to-day life. That’s one of the best fifth Wheels to live in without missing your home.
This RV has ample storage space, tall ceilings, an island kitchen, and enough space to move around.
- 30 floor plans
- Highly spacious
- Whether Tech Insulation
- Congoleum flooring
2. Northwood Arctic Fox
- Length: 37′ 7″
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 15,500 LB
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 10,876 LB
- Cargo Carrying Capacity: 3,202 LB
If you are looking for a compact 5th Wheel, the Northwood Arctic Fox has a classic design. The simplistic design is pleasing to the eyes and yet, still manages to pack a lot of luxury features. It is a full-blown 5th Wheel and has all the amenities you would need. One of the best features of the Northwood Arctic Fox is the inclusion of solar panels.
It also has a huge amount of storage space and weight capacity.
The thermal pane windows take the pain out of winterizing your RV. Here’s a recent article that talks about further making your 5th Wheel winter-proof.
- Highly functioning yet compact design
- Comes with solar panels
- Thermal pane windows are included
- The roof rack has an access ladder
3. Forest River Wildcat
- Length: 31′ 3″ – 42′ 4″
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 8,450 LB
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 9,364 – 12,785 LB
- Cargo Carrying Capacity: 1,958 – 4,165 LB
Apart from having an awesome name, the Forest River Wildcat also happens to have the most versatile design.
It is one of the best 5th Wheel RVs that doesn’t need a huge pickup truck to move around.
A great option if you are looking for a customizable 5th Wheel with unique features that make it stand apart. The standard design has plenty of space and seating to host several people.
You can actually have 4 to 10 people sleep inside with the right design.
It also has a sporty swoosh design outside. If you’re wondering why RVs usually have swirly decals/stickers, a recent article explores that. Believe it or not, there IS a reason.
- 23 different floor plans
- Slide-out rooms have openable windows
- Stand guard carpeting is installed
- Ample space for 4 to 10 people
4. Jayco Pinnacle
- Length: 40′ 9″
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 16,500 LB
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 13,275 LB
- Cargo Carrying Capacity: 3,335 LB
The Jayco Pinnacle is great for families, thanks to its wider space and a full bath.
There is also a half-bath, so the kids won’t have to fight in the morning. Moving around the interior is easy, even when the side pull-out sections are closed in. The kitchen also has ample space, thanks to the island.
It’s one of the best 5th Wheels to live in when it comes to storage space. There is a ton of cargo-carrying capacity on this unit.
- 6 floor plans to select
- Everything is usable when the slide-outs are closed
- AC vents are directional
- Amazing outdoor kitchen set up
5. Gulf Stream Sedona
- Length: 29’1″
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 14,310 LB
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 10,310 LB
- Cargo Carrying Capacity: 3,410 LB
In the market for the lightest 5th Wheel RV? The Gulf Stream Sedona might be the one you’re looking for. So, if you have a weaker truck, you’ll be easily able to handle this 5th Wheel.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be lacking in features because it can actually house up to 10 people. The only downside is that it has a rather smaller refrigerator and no washer dryer hookups. It’s one of the best 5th Wheels to live in, thanks to its lights design and comfortable seating.
- Bunk beds for additional sleeping arrangement
- Skylight inside the shower
- Has bathroom access on the outside
- Flip-up counter
Check out this 2011 Keystone Montana Fifth Wheel for $26,477.00! This triple slide offers you and your family lots of living space! pic.twitter.com/SJlWGTmVOf
— TravelcampBV (@TravelcampB) April 23, 2020
What Is the Most Popular RV for Full-Time Living?
There isn’t just one RV that’s popular. There are several great 5th Wheel RVs that constantly rank high.
I highly recommend not going with popularity on this purchase because what’s great for others might not be awesome for you.
However, there are several great picks like:
- Keystone Montana
- Jayco North Point
- Heartland Big Horn
- Northwood Arctic Fox
- Gulfstream Sedona
These consistently rank a lot higher than the rest.
Of course, I might be missing a few rockstar 5th Wheel RVs here, but generally speaking, get the 5th Wheel you feel is best for you. After all, I won’t be the one spending a lot of time inside it; it will be you and your family.
How does living in a 5th-wheel compare to a travel trailer?
While there are some travel trailers that might be considered luxury, generally speaking, most travel trailers are designed for the budget-co0nscious camper.
As such, they are usually smaller, have fewer luxury items, and will be much more basic.
But if you plan to live in your RV full-time, the amenities of a 5th wheel will probably be well worth the additional investment. Those extra features not usually found in trailers include:
- They are longer
- Taller ceilings (won’t feel as claustrophobic)
- Multiple levels
- Luxury couches or recliners in living areas
- Full-sized kitchen
- Often have granite countertops
- Usually have full-sized residential refrigerators (fewer trips to the grocery store)
- More than 1 bedroom with complete privacy
So again, if this is your home all the time, it’s a good idea to think about living space, storage, comfort, and the ability to get a little downtime when needed. And almost always, a 5th-wheel will meet those needs better than a trailer.
Are fifth wheels good for full-time living?
Of all the types of RVs on the market, 5th-wheels are probably the best choice for full-time living. A Class A, especially a higher-end one, would also be a good option.
Fifth wheels are among the largest RVs, so they offer plenty of room to stretch out and live in comfort and style.
And because they are towed, unlike motorhomes, you always have a smaller vehicle to make getting around town and running errands easier. But when buying a 5th-wheel for full-time living, it’s good to ask yourself the following questions and then shop with those answers in mind:
- How many people will be living in the RV?
- Will you be moving to warmer weather in winter?
- How much do you enjoy cooking and spending time outside the RV?
- Will you cook most of your meals or eat out?
- Are music and TV important to you?
- How much of the maintenance and minor repairs can you perform?
- Will you move frequently or stay in 1 place for a long period of time?
The answers will help you decide what features you need in the RV and what might be a waste of money.
Can you live in a fifth wheel in the winter?
Most RVs are just fine to live in during the winter months provided you have full hookups and propane.
Depending on your model, the propane may run both your refrigerator and also your furnace although electricity is also needed. So as long as you’re in a campground with full hookups and a propane refilling station, you’ll be just fine.
Do be aware though that WHERE you plan to live will be a factor in the comfort. After all, winter in Austin is quite a bit different than winter in Chicago. So consider some of the following depending on how cold it gets:
- Add throw rugs to the floors
- Add heavy curtains to the windows
- Consider adding space heaters to help keep the interior warm
- Get a heated freshwater hose to keep it from freezing
- RV skirt – This is basically a curtain that goes around the bottom of your RV on the outside. It keeps cold air out (a little), and helps protect the bottom of your RV from inclimate weather.
- Add heat tape to your sewer line (and freshwater hose if not heated)
- Get heaters for your water holding tanks to prevent freezing
- Pour RV antifreeze down the toilet and sink drains when temps fall below freezing
- An ice scraper and long-handled scrub brush to help remove ice and snow from the exterior as needed
Then of course, just as you would in a brick-and-mortar home. make sure to drip your faucets when temperatures get at or below freezing. And that includes any exterior faucets your RV might have.
What is the best fifth wheel for cold weather?
There are several fifth-wheel RVs that work well for living in cold climates. Those include:
- Forest River 391FSK
- Has residential insulation
- Plywood roof
- Fully-wrapped exterior roof skin
- Interior fireplace
- Optional heat pump and carpet
- Grand Design Solitude 310GK
- Gel coat exterior sidewalls
- Residential living package includes hardwood window treatments, premium roller shades
- Weather-Tek package includes high-capacity furnace, fully enclosed under-belly, heated tanks, high-capacity heat ducts,
- Northwood Arctic Fox Grande Ronde 29-5T
- Thick wall frame
- High-density block foam insulation
- Four-season insulation
- Semi-automatic winterization system
- Thermal pane windows
- Optional holding tank heat pads,
- Keystone Montana 3121RL
- Optional dual-pane insulated windows
- Optional 3rd HVAC unit for added heat and AC
- Optional four seasons package
The best fifth wheel to live in 2022 is the one that has everything you need.
Whatever make and model you choose, it should be comfortable to live in, has ample space for your hobbies, and good storage space. I’ve listed several 5th Wheel RVs that suit different needs.
Some people want to retire and drive around the whole country, while some only require a 5th Wheel for a couple of months a year. Thankfully, when it comes to floor plans and options, there are a lot of options to pick from, and I’m sure you’ll nail down the perfect 5th Wheel for your needs.
Do make sure that your truck has the horsepower to move the 5th Wheel RV before purchase, otherwise, you’ll be looking at another expenditure right after you buy an expensive 5th Wheel.
Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay