6 Spacious and Modern 5th Wheels for Full-Time Living

Living full-time in an RV or trailer is a great way to reduce your run rate while exploring new places. But whether you move around a lot or enjoy stationary RV living, fifth wheels are the best choice for full-time living because they offer more spacious interiors than small RVs or travel trailers.

a 5th wheel trailer parked outdoors

Whether you’re retired and ready to see parts of the country you’ve never visited or you’re living frugally to save up for a bigger place down the road, living full-time in a 5th wheel is the way to go. 

Many boast residential-sized appliances and luxurious amenities that make them feel more like living in a residential home. Experienced RVers also insist fifth wheels are easier to tow than traditional pull-behind trailers.

Plus, you’ll have the freedom of unhitching your tow vehicle when you arrive at camp. That gives you the ability to explore your new destination much more easily than if you chose a motorhome or camper van.

That said, not all luxury fifth wheels are well-suited for full-time living. So we’ve compiled our choices for the best fifth wheels for full-time living to help you narrow down your options.

What is The Best 5th Wheel For Full-Time Living?

When we get into our tips for picking the best 5th wheel for your preferences, we’ll talk about the most important factors to look at when evaluating different RV floorplans. Each of the models we chose offers numerous floorplan layouts. We’ve kept our list intentionally broad, but you should explore the many floorplans offered for each of these 5th wheel models.

Best Overall: The Keystone Cougar

photo of a 5th wheel showing its exterior
Photo: Keystone

5th Wheel Specs

  • Length: 30’11” up to 39’3”
  • Dry Weight: 9,725 up to 11,847 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,621 up to 2,365 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: 5-10

The Keystone Cougar 5th Wheel is our #1 choice for the best 5th wheel for full-time living. This rig offers the most luxurious amenities to make it feel as close to home as possible.

In addition to having residential-sized appliances that come standard on every rig, the Cougar features industry-leading water tank sizes so you don’t have to waste extra time refilling every other day.

There are a total of nine different floor plans to choose from with the Cougar, but the 260MLE stands out to me because of the open rear kitchen and living area design.

interior of a 5th wheel trailer showing the kitchen area
Photo: Keystone Cougar 260mle

This best 5th wheel for full-time living has a length of just over 37 feet and a rated hitch weight of 2,095 pounds. It also has a large, 13-foot power retractable awning on the passenger side to give you a shaded outdoor living area. 

The L-shaped kitchen features tons of counterspace, an item that many new RVers overlook and that you’ll love for full-time living if you do any food prep daily. When I walk into this floorplan, my eyes are drawn to the living area that includes an entertainment center, fireplace, and a pull-out table with folding chair storage behind it. 

Ideally, this floorplan is best for full-time RV couples because there’s a queen bed in the main sleeping area and a tri-fold sleeper sofa in the middle living area. The sofa can be upgraded to theater seating if you want more comfortable seating for enjoying your favorite movies and shows.

Best For Remote Work: The Grand Design Solitude

a 5th wheel trailer with open interior lightings parked outdoors
Photo: Grand Design

5th Wheel Specs

  • Length: 34’1” up to 42’5”
  • Dry Weight: 11,442 up to 15,494 pounds
  • GVWR: 15,000 up to 18,000
  • Sleeping Capacity: 4-8

The Grand Design Solitude comes in a close second on our list for the best 5th wheel for full-time RVing. It stands out for its luxury amenities, residential appliances, and Grand Design’s sterling reputation for high-quality RV construction. 

It’s a perfect selection if you’re new to full-time trailer living. This fifth wheel offers several essential and luxury features and there are a whopping 18 floorplans to choose from – although some are available from dealerships only. 

My personal favorite Solitude floorplan recently debuted at the Tampa RV Show – the Solitude 417KB

5th wheel showing its interior
Photo: Solitude 417KB

The huge rear kitchen is at the same level as the living area, so your only steps are getting in and out as well as up into the main sleeping area. The kitchen has some genius new storage solutions that maximize the space for your cooking essentials. 

And as a full-time RVer, this is the coup de gras – the new Solitude (and Influence) 5th wheels are equipped with the TravlFi XTR Wi-Fi hotspot as a standard feature. This equipment requires a subscription plan, but you can pay as you go depending on your location and how frequently you travel. 

But as a full-timer, I can tell you that relying on campground Wi-Fi is a dicey proposition, especially if you work remotely. So the ability to pull from the strongest signal provided by the five major carriers in an area will allow you to enjoy reliable Wi-Fi without using your phone’s hotspot or constantly battling for space at local coffee shops.

Best Four-Season 5th Wheel: The Northwood Arctic Fox Fox Mountain

a 5th wheel trailer parked outdoors
Photo: Northwood

5th Wheel Specs

  • Length: 27’10” up to 29’10”
  • Dry Weight: 6,831 up to 6,885 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 2,785 up to 3,239 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: 5-6

Our third choice for the best 5th wheel for full-time living is the Northwood Arctic Fox Fox Mountain because it’s arguably the most insulated choice for camping in colder climates.

As its name suggests, the Arctic Fox is one of the best choices for full-time 5th wheelers encountering freezing temperatures during the winter months. But it’s also more compact, lightweight, and affordable for first-timers. 

There are only two floorplans available in this model – the 235RLS and the 265RDS. Each comes with standard features like heated holding tanks, electric stabilizing jacks, a six-gallon gas/electric water heater, and frameless thermal pane windows. 

an interior of a 5th wheel trailer showing its windows and couches
Photo: Fox Mountain 235rls

In my experience, Arctic Fox has one of the industry’s best reputations when it comes to four-season campers, in general. So while I’d highly recommend rolling your fifth wheel south into a warmer climate during the winter months, the Fox Mountain fifth wheels are likely your best choice if you do plan to stay anywhere that might experience freezing temperatures for any sustained amount of time. 

Inside both Arctic Fox Fox Mountain models, you’ll enjoy an open floorplan that provides an abundance of interior living space. You’ll also have the option to install 200 or 400 watts of solar panels to be installed on the roof for off-grid living or greater energy efficiency. 

Choosing a 5th wheel with a solar panel installation can help you save a significant amount on your annual energy bill and can also increase the amount of time you can spend outside of traditional RV parks and campgrounds. 

Best Luxury Full-Time 5th Wheel: Brinkley Model Z

photo of a 5th wheel trailer showing its exterior
Photo: Brinkley Model Z

5th Wheel Specs

  • Length: 32’11” up to 41’9”
  • Dry Weight: 11,674 up to 14,695 pounds
  • GVWR: 14,495 up to 17,695 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: 4-6

Brinkley is one of the newest manufacturers to enter the luxury 5th wheel market since 2021. They focus on high-end, luxury construction and the quality of their craftsmanship is immediately apparent when you step into one of their fifth wheels. 

As you might imagine, their pricing is a bit higher than some of the competition, but you’re getting what you pay for in many respects. Everything is what you might call “a touch above” when inspecting the details of a Brinkley fifth wheel. 

Sure, you get tall interior ceilings and residential appliances, but thoughtful additions like spice racks, dedicated shoe storage, pull-out trays for pet bowls, and dual trash bins do set Brinkley fifth wheels apart from the competition. 

The Model Z currently has three floorplans available, but Brinkley plans to introduce two more very soon (if they haven’t already by the time you read this!). My favorite is the 3610, which is an ideal floorplan for full-time RV living as a family because of the central bunkroom. 

a 5th wheel interior showing the kitchen area
Photo: Brinkley Model Z interior

That bunkroom is about as multi-purpose as I’ve seen in any 5th wheel camper. The sofa converts to a trundle bed and there’s a flip-up bunk above it to create a fourth sleeping area. Across from the sofa, there’s a pull-out desk in case you just want to use this room as your remote office. 

There’s no shortage of features to love in the kitchen and living areas either, including a massive central island, a sliding dining table that converts to a second desk space, a tri-fold sleeper sofa, and 62” theater seating. 

Best for Large Families: Keystone Sprinter Limited

photo of white 5th wheel
Photo: Keystone Sprinter Limited

5th Wheel Specs

  • Length: 35’9” up to 43’6”
  • Dry Weight: 10,755 up to 13,969 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,764 up to 3,650 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: 6-12

I added the Keystone Sprinter Limited to this list because the lineup includes one of the more unique floorplans I’ve recently seen at RV shows. But the entire lineup is an excellent choice for full-time living because each model is built in a wide-body chassis. 

What does that mean?

Most standard fifth wheels are built on a 96” (8’) wide chassis. The Sprinter Limited series is built on a 101” (8’5”) chassis that still adheres to all major traffic regulations. While five inches might not seem like much, it dramatically increases your interior living space, especially if you’re full-time RV living with a family. 

In total, the Sprinter Limited lineup features eight floorplans, but my favorite (and one of the newest!) is the 3810QBS. If you need the most sleeping capacity possible or you have larger kids who don’t mind sharing a bunkroom, this is the full-time 5th wheel for you. 

keystone sprinter limited showing the bed area
Photo: Sprinter 3810QBS Bunkroom

The rear bunkroom features four 51” x 74” bunks, a private bathroom, and loads of storage in drawers, a wardrobe, and space under the flip-up bottom bunks. And because it’s at the rear of the layout, you can enjoy plenty of privacy up in the main sleeping area, which features a king-sized bed, a massive wardrobe, and a closet prepped for a stackable washer and dryer. 

If you plan to take your fifth wheel to any accessible boondocking areas, be sure to research Keystone’s solar power system offerings before you choose this 5th wheel. The Protect 220 standard solar system includes the following components: 

  • Future Solutions 220-Watt Solar Panel (upgraded for 2024!)
  • 30A Solar Roof Port with MC4 Connectors & 10 AWG MPPT Solar Charging Circuit
  • 30A 12V Only Victron SmartSolar MPPT Controller with Bluetooth app (upgraded for 2024!)
  • Inverted 110V Loop Prep with Up to 7 Outlets (inverter not included)
  • Zamp Solar Sidewall Charge Port with 15A Solar Charging Circuit
  • Batteries not included

Best for Couples/Most Affordable: Keystone Cougar Sport

photo of a white 5th wheel trailer
Photo: Keystone Cougar Sport

5th Wheel Specs

  • Length: 26’3” up to 32’3”
  • Dry Weight: 6,815 up to 13,969 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,685 up to 1,920 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: 6-10

Because I started this list with the Keystone Cougar, ending with the more compact, lightweight, and affordable Cougar Sport only seems fitting. In response to Cougar owners who wanted to see something lighter, easier to tow, and simpler to maintain, Keystone launched their Cougar Sport lineup and it has been a hit since the prototype rolled off the production line. 

The lightweight of these fifth wheels makes them easier to tow without needing a massive, dual-axle tow vehicle. But they don’t lack for comfort and functionality inside, including thoughtfully designed kitchens that full-time RV couples will love. 

There are a total of three floorplans currently available, but my current favorite is the 2100RK. The kitchen runs along the entire length of the rear wall, leaving tons of room for the dinette and the tri-fold sleeper sofa in the main living area. 

interior of a 5th wheel trailer showing the kitchen area
Photo: Cougar Sport 2100RK

Three steps take you up to the main sleeping area, which boasts a queen bed and plenty of clothing storage. The bathroom is roomy for a fifth wheel of this size too. But what sets the Cougar Sport apart in its class is affordability. 

Like all Keystone models, you’ll have the choice to upgrade to a larger solar power system if you desire more off-grid capability. The Cougar Sport comes standard with a Winegard AIR 360+ rooftop antenna, which can be upgraded with a Wingard Wi-Fi booster if you work remotely.  

How to Choose The Best 5th Wheel For Full-Time Living

small 5th wheel trailer attached to a pickup truck

Selecting the best 5th wheel for you requires an honest assessment of your lifestyle and your intended method of use.

Only you can determine which exact specifications and features are your highest priority, but you should be careful to consider these factors when picking the best 5th wheel for full-time living. 

Length and Weight

Length should be one of the first factors you consider when you begin the process of narrowing down your options for a new 5th wheel. More length will equate to more living space, but it also means a heavier 5th wheel that requires a heavy-duty truck with a larger towing capacity.

You’ll be able to find 5th wheels with lengths ranging from 22 feet up to 40 feet. The most common sizes, however, range from 32 to 36 feet. As someone who has lived in a 26-foot rig with another person, a dog, and all of our life’s belongings, I’d recommend looking for the best 5th wheel for full-time living with a minimum length of 30 feet. 

If you already have a truck you intend to use for towing your 5th wheel, check its maximum towing capacity before you start to explore the 5th wheel models. This will give you an idea of how heavy of a rig you can feasibly tow without having to upgrade your truck. 

As a good rule of thumb, try to keep your 5th wheel’s loaded weight below 75 to 80% of your truck’s rated towing capacity. This will ensure you don’t max out your truck’s capacity and cause unnecessary damage once all of your camping supplies, clothing, and other recreation equipment are loaded into your 5th wheel. 

Number of Beds

The number of beds in the best 5th wheel for full-time living is really important depending on the size of your family. And while a set of bunk beds can be ideal for younger kids, they might not continue to serve your family as your kids age. 

But if you’re just a couple traveling and living full-time in your 5th wheel, you might not need much more than the king or queen-sized bed in the master living suite. That is, of course, if you don’t ever expect to host guests or members of your extended family who will need a place to sleep. 

While you could always mandate that your guests set up their tents outside of your 5th wheel, it’s always nice to have an extra bed or two inside your rig.

So you’ll need to balance having a few extra beds (which can include a pull-out sofa or fold-down Murphy bed) with your need to maximize the interior living space in your rig when it’s just the two of you. 

Number and Location of Slideouts

a 5th wheel trailer parked outdoors
This Grand Design Solitude is available for rent on Outdoorsy.

The number of slideouts on a given 5th wheel is going to greatly influence the amount of interior living space you’ll be able to enjoy. As a general rule of thumb, more slideouts equals more living space! 

This is important for full-time RV living because there are undoubtedly going to be several colder months out of the year when you might not be able to enjoy the indoor-outdoor freedom of 5th wheel living as much as you would during the warmer months. 

Speaking from experience, it can be easy for your living space to start feeling cramped during the months when you don’t feel as comfortable spending time outside.

But a 5th wheel with more slideouts will give you additional living space and help to counter the lack of the outside living space so many of us come to rely upon when living full-time in an RV, travel trailer, or 5th wheel. 

That being said, the location of the slideouts can also come into play. Some 5th wheels have slideouts in the kitchen, living/dining room, or bedroom. Some of the best 5th wheels for full-time living offer slideouts in all three of those locations. 

What you’ll need to consider is where it’s most important to you to have extra space. While a bedroom slideout might sound good in theory, it might not serve you best if you only really use that space for sleeping and, instead, spend most of your free time in the living area. 

In our opinion, the living area and kitchen are the two spaces where it makes the most sense to have a slideout. For the majority of full-time 5th wheelers, these are the most frequented areas and the best spots to have a slideout so you don’t constantly feel cramped in your day-to-day living routine. 

Kitchen Design

friends preparing dinner inside a 5th wheel trailer
The Keystone Cougar offers a luxurious kitchen interior.

While there might be other factors you’d prioritize before the design of your 5th wheel’s kitchen, you have to remember we’re talking about full-time living here. And unless you’re going to be dining out or ordering take-out for 90% of your meals, your kitchen will need to be functional and (hopefully!) fun. 

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to how their kitchen is set up. But there are a few factors that can make the kitchen in your 5th wheel much more enjoyable to cook in. 

For starters, if the kitchen in your 5th wheel includes an island, this is a major plus.

One of the hard parts about cooking in an RV, 5th wheel, or travel trailer is counter space can be extremely limited. But an island gives you additional space for your sous chef (aka husband, wife, partner, kids, etc.) to help with food prep while you’re tending the gas range or oven. 

Additionally, you’ll need to consider the layout of the sink, range, and other kitchen appliances. How your kitchen appliances are laid out has a major impact on the functionality of your kitchen. 

For example, consider the benefits of a layout in which the refrigerator is next to the sink, which is then followed by a section of counter space before you get to the gas range/oven/microwave area. 

This layout will allow you to take foods out of the refrigerator, wash them in the sink, chop them on a cutting board, and then toss them into your frying pan or preferred cooking instrument in a more logical order than if you had to keep walking back and forth across your kitchen to perform these various tasks.

While not everyone works in their kitchen in the same fashion, the point here is to take some time to consider your ideal cooking scenario before buying the best 5th wheel for full-time living.

This is one area where you’ll likely be spending a lot of time, so you’ll need to make sure the layout suits your lifestyle.  

Positives and Negatives of Living in a 5th Wheel

You do have many choices when it comes to moving your life into a mobile home. For starters, you’ll need to choose whether a motorhome, travel trailer, or 5th wheel is best suited to your lifestyle.

So let’s explore some of the positives and negatives of the best 5th wheel for full-time living to help you decide if this is the right type of mobile home for you.

The Negatives of a 5th Wheel

Let’s get the negatives out of the way first so we can finish by focusing on the positives!

You’ll Need a Bigger Tow Vehicle

Generally speaking, 5th wheels tend to weigh more than smaller travel trailers. This means you’ll need a truck with a larger towing capacity to safely tow them from campground to campground. 

You Won’t Be Able to Store Anything In Your Truck Bed

The design of a 5th wheel means they need to hook up to a very specific hitch. This hitch should be installed directly in the bed of your truck, rather than to the more traditional tow hitch below your rear bumper.

This hitch design means you won’t be able to store other camping gear or recreational equipment in the back of your truck when towing your 5th wheel. 

They Are More Expensive

Compared to travel trailers, most 5th wheels come with a higher price tag. While this is generally because they offer more features and amenities than a standard travel trailer, you need to consider your ideal budget when selecting the best 5th wheel for full-time living. 

The Positives of a 5th Wheel

a 5th wheel trailer attached to a pickup truck parked outdoors
This Northwood Arctic Fox is available for rent on Outdoorsy.

Now it’s time to focus on the reasons why 5th wheels make so much sense for full-time living!

They Offer More Living Space

Fifth wheels are exceptional for full-time living because they tend to offer much more living space than travel trailers or RVs. Their higher ceilings make them feel much more spacious and they also tend to include the most slideouts of these three types of mobile homes. 

You Can Use Your Tow Vehicle To Get Around

Once you reach your desired living destination, you’ll be able to detach your truck from your 5th wheel so you can still get around.

For full-time living, this is essential because you’ll need to restock groceries and you’ll probably want to explore off-the-beaten-path areas where you wouldn’t be able to tow your 5th wheel anyway. 

They Have More Full-Time Living Amenities

While you can certainly live in a motorhome or travel trailer full-time, a 5th wheel offers much more in the way of luxury living amenities for full-timers.

Some examples of these amenities include more robust home entertainment systems, fold-down decks for indoor/outdoor living space, more beds for guests or extended family, and larger kitchens for hosting dinner parties or casual get-togethers. 

Which Best 5th Wheel For Full-Time Living Is Your Favorite?

When you’re living in a mobile home full-time, having a smaller vehicle to help you get around is essential. Speaking from experience, there are no positives to commuting in a large recreational vehicle or trying to figure out where to park it when you’re just making a quick trip to the grocery store. 

That’s probably one of the best reasons to choose a 5th wheel for full-time living and we hope you’ve found some great options for your next full-time mobile home.

We appreciate you stopping by and wish you the best of luck on all of your upcoming 5th wheel adventures! 

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  1. Mike Hiler says:

    You are so wrong about the cougar. It is a total pos. We have a 2019 rls310 and are Constantly working on it. The tanks are big but because of the weight the break away from their cheap mounts. The tank cables are a joke. Don’t get into storage and see juat how cheap this camper is. Its a joke that you rated it #1

    1. I think any 2019 will be a pos lately. They’re mass producing for light tow and are using crap materials.

  2. You skip two very important items.

    #1 is the bathroom. Most are very cramped and have very low quality showers/tubs. Anytime you step into the shower/tub and it flexes a lot know that it will not hold up to full time use. How much storage is there for all your toiletries?

    #2 is a Washer Dryer. How much laundry are you going to be doing? Laundry mats get old rather quickly. Especially when the machines are not maintained.

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