With the vast amount of different RV types out there, sometimes it can be a minefield to figure out which is the best size RV to own.
If you’re searching for a new RV then you want to make sure that you get one that’s the perfect size for you and your needs.
You want to find the perfect size motorhome for you but you also need it to easily fit into the campgrounds and state parks.
The most popular motorhomes are between 16 and 35ft. This is a wide range though and you will want to pick the best size for you, in this article we will run through the best size RVs for different situations so you can pick which one best suits your needs.
The Best Size RV to Own for State and National Park Campgrounds
In America we are lucky to have so many amazing State and National parks across the country. But, a lot of these sites have size limits when it comes to RVs.
State and National parks offer a fantastic camping experience in amazing locations and are affordable. You don’t want to miss out on these gems of a stay because you got an RV that’s too big.
The biggest mistake most new RV owners make is buying the biggest rig they can afford, this can end up limiting them from where they can stay and sometimes which route they can take.
The best size motorhome for National Parks is 35ft or under, this will mean that you can stay at over 73% of all National parks in the US.
If you exceed 35ft with your motorhome then your choice of National parks will become more limited.
Make sure that you check the length requirements when booking to ensure that you can fit. You will also need to tell them if you have a motorhome or a trailer, because they will have to also accommodate the towing vehicle if you have a trailer.
If you get an RV that’s 12ft or shorter then you will be able to fit in every State and National park in the US. However a motorhome that small might not be ideal for your situation.
Motorhomes at 35ft are large and spacious enough to accommodate families and multiple people so are likely to be a good choice.
Motorhomes up to 40ft and above will be quite limited when it comes to State and National parks, so if you plan on camping in them make sure that you get something shorter.
The Best Size RV to Own for Private Campgrounds
Private campgrounds tend to be a little less restrictive when it comes to RV length, and most of them will be able to accommodate all sizes of RVs.
However, there will be a few that will have restrictions in place. These restrictions primarily target RVs over 40ft, some private campgrounds are strictly for RVs under 20ft but these are not common.
The best size RV for private campgrounds is anything under 40ft as they can cater for a wider range of vehicles. Private campgrounds are less restrictive than State and National parks.
As time goes on RVs are becoming bigger and bigger so newer campgrounds are set up to accept larger RVs.
How to Find the Best Size RV to Own
The best size RV for State and National parks is under 35ft and for private campgrounds is under 40ft. That still leaves a huge range of RV sizes to choose from, so how do you know which is the best size for you?
Here are some considerations and questions to ask yourself to get a better idea of the perfect size motorhome for you.
How often are you going to use your RV?
This is a key question to ask yourself. Are you buying a motorhome for weekends and vacations or will you be spending more time in it, possibly even living in the RV full time.
The more often you’re going to use the RV the more space you are going to want to have. You’ll need more storage space, not necessarily more beds, so make sure you look at the floorplan for storage space as you will need somewhere to store your clothes and things.
Smaller RVs are great for weekend trips, not only will they fit into more campgrounds they are easier to drive and manenouver so taking off for the weekend isn’t as much of an ordeal.
Think about where you’ll be using your motorhome as well, if the climate is prone to rain then you might want a bigger one as you’ll probably be spending more time in it rather than out of it.
Who will be using the RV?
Obviously the more people and pets in your RV then the bigger space you will need, so you will need to know who will be traveling with you.
Will you be meeting up with friends and family that will stay with you regularly? If so you might want to consider a larger rig to accommodate them. One or two nights ‘making do’ is fine but it will end in tears for extended periods of time.
You’ll also have to consider pets you are traveling with too, they take up more space (and make more mess) than you would think.
How much time will you be spending outdoors?
With an outdoor rug and awning, you can quickly double the living space of your motorhome. You will have to think about how much time you will be spending outside.
Will you spend the majority of your time outside eating, relaxing, watching TV and cooking? If so you can consider a smaller RV that has a screen room set up.
Do you have a towing vehicle?
If you are thinking about a travel trailer then you will also need to consider the towing vehicle. If you already have a truck then you’ll need to know the towing capacity which will affect the size of RV you can get.
If not then you’ll have to factor the price and towing capacity of the towing vehicle and make sure that it can safely tow the trailer.
How confident are you at driving an RV?
You will want to buy an RV that you and anyone who will be driving it feels confident to do so. Especially if you are driving long distances, you want to make sure that both drivers feel comfortable.
This may mean that you opt for a smaller RV that’s easier to drive and maneuver. I know this played an important part in my decision, as I didn’t feel comfortable driving the larger models, especially when trying to park in busy areas.
It’s really important that you take your potential RV for a test drive and everyone who will be driving has a go and they feel at ease doing so.
What is your budget?
Your budget is probably the biggest factor in determining the size of the motorhome you’ll buy.
Typically the bigger and newer the RV the more expensive it is. Always stick within your budget, if you don’t find one at first then keep looking. It’s always better to be patient and wait for the right motorhome for you than to stretch yourself financially.
Once you have answered the questions above for yourself you will have a good idea of the size that will suit your needs.
It’s a good idea to make a list of important features that you want from your new motorhome, like how many beds, shower, toilet etc. These features will help you to determine the sizes suitable for you.
TOP TIP – If you are still unsure about the best size motorhome for you, try renting. Take a few different size rentals for weekend trips. This will give you a great idea about the practicalities of them and help make up your mind before you purchase.
Best Size RV to Own Final Thoughts
When it comes to finding the best size RV to own, only you can answer that. However, after asking yourself the questions detailed in the article you will have a pretty good idea of the size you will need.
Remember that to get into State and National parks an RV under 35ft is ideal, so from there, it’s just a matter of preference and budget as the size you settle with.
You can also ask yourself – does buying an RV make sense? Sometimes you might be better off renting or at least testing out different sizes with rented RVs to find the best one for you.