What’s the best RV for a family of 6?

Last updated on February 28th, 2022 at 01:46 pm. Originally published on September 13th, 2020

As a parent of four children (making us a family of six), I know there are some considerations that have to be made for larger families! Some arrangements that work great for a family of four don’t always fit a family of six. Along with considering the size of your family when choosing a motorhome or planning a vacation, you also have to think about the ages of the kids, what kinds of things you like to do for fun, and your schedule as a family.

Does everyone go to bed around the same time, or are you going to need space to put early birds down to bed before the night owls want to sleep? Will you need to plan outings during the day that make it easy to corral a baby and a toddler, or do you have older children that don’t require constant supervision? Most parents of large families make these decisions constantly, sometimes without even realizing it. But when you’re planning a family RV trip, it’s good to think about these things ahead of time.

RVs lined up and camping at the beach

What’s the Best RV for a Family of Six?

When you’re looking at RVs for larger families, of course you’ll begin by making sure everyone has a place to sleep! Again, this can depend on your children’s ages – younger kids can sometimes share a bed, or snuggle up in smaller spaces, but if you have a 6-foot tall teenager you’ll need to make sure there’s a space to accommodate him. Having two bedrooms in the RV is even more ideal! Once you have sleeping space for everyone, you’ll want to look at a few other amenities as well. It is possible to survive on the road with six people and one bathroom, but if you have the option to have two that’s certainly preferable. You’ll also want to look at seating in the dining area, and if there’s an entertainment area you’ll want to make sure there’s space for everyone there as well. Definitely take advantage of picnic tables and outdoor spaces when you’re set up to camp, but you’ll want to have space inside in case of rainy, hot, or otherwise unpleasant weather.

Renting an RV for Six

If you’re planning an RV trip for a party of 6, then you’re in luck! Though not all RVs are necessarily designed to sleep 6 passengers, there are a wide variety of excellent RVs equipped to comfortably sleep a group of this size. What you choose will largely depend on how you balance your particular rental priorities–for example, if you’re on a limited budget, you may want to rent a lower-end travel trailer or Class C motorhome with fewer luxury amenities–though on the RVshare platform, it’s not unlikely to find significantly discounted rates on some full-featured RVs.

It’s certainly possible to “have your cake and eat it, too” – some owners will put up listings at deep discounts to incentivize rentals.

Suitable RVs to Sleep 6 People

When renting an RV for 6 people, bear in mind that many RVs can be modified to sleep a family of that size, though not necessarily in a comfortable manner. Generally speaking, you should avoid renting an RV that is too small for your group. If you are on a more limited budget, it is recommended that you take other cost-cutting measures rather than sacrificing on space.

Motorized RVs

Among motorized RVs, there are two classes of vehicles that are naturally well-suited for sleeping 6 passengers: Class A and Class C motorhomes.

Class A Motorhome

Class A motorhomes are the largest type of motorized RV available, and they generally feature luxurious interiors and amenities as well. Unfortunately, they tend to be quite expensive (and have a horrible fuel economy!), but if you’re willing to spend and would like to have a more pampered experience, this is a great choice for a family of 6.

Do keep in mind, however, that the large size profile of Class A motorhomes makes them quite a bit less maneuverable than other options. It may also limit your campground and RV parking options. Make sure you research and plan your trip ahead of time so that you are able to navigate accordingly.

Class C Motorhome

Class C motorhomes are a great mid-sized option, and most – like Class A motorhomes – are well-equipped on the amenities front, so you and your family can enjoy a full-sized bathroom, flatscreen televisions, kitchen equipment, and quality furnishings while on your road trip. You can sleep 6 people fairly comfortably in a Class C motorhome, though there will be less space and less privacy than a Class A motorhome, of course.

Class C motorhomes are an excellent option if you aren’t willing to spend more on a Class A RV, or if you’re looking for something a bit smaller and therefore more maneuverable/convenient.

Towable Trailers

Towable trailers do not have an engine or driving controls built into the same space as the living area – instead, they are towed behind a separate vehicle. Towable trailers tend to be cheaper to rent than similarly equipped motorized RVs, but you’ll have to consider the towing capabilities of your existing vehicle (or be willing to swallow the additional cost of renting a capable tow vehicle). There are two classes of trailers that are naturally well-suited for sleeping 6 passengers: Fifth Wheel Trailers and Travel Trailers.

Fifth Wheel Trailer

Fifth wheel towable trailers are the non-motorized equivalent of Class A motorhomes, in the sense that they are the largest of their category, are generally well-equipped with luxury amenities, and lead to poor fuel economy. They tend to be more expensive than other towable trailer types.

Bear in mind that a fifth wheel trailer requires a pickup truck with sufficient towing capacity. As such, you may have to rent a truck just to pull it.

One benefit of a fifth wheel trailer is that they are very stable when hitched to a proper tow vehicle. This means that it can be more comfortable to travel in the trailer while in motion, as it will not sway too much.

Travel Trailer

Travel trailers are available in a wide range of configurations, from 14 feet in length to as much as 40 feet. For you budget conscious RVers, you’ll also be able to find lower-end travel trailers with minimal amenities and furnishings.

Thanks to their conventional shape and smaller size profile, you do not necessarily need a pickup truck to pull a travel trailer. Do be sure to check your vehicle owner’s manual to see if your existing or rented vehicle is capable of towing it, however.

Though it’s certainly possible to rent a smaller travel trailer and squeeze in a larger group of passengers, we caution against skimping on space when renting an RV for a group of 6.

Consider a Slideout

Some RVs you’ll find on the RVshare marketplace will be equipped with slideout portions. These sections of the RV can be re-structured to expand the living area of the RV, opening up sleeping berths and making the entire space more comfortable for everyone.

If you are looking for a more spacious experience, we definitely recommend that you rent an RV with slideouts. Slideouts are occasionally maligned by RV owners as they increase the mechanical complexity of the vehicle, but if you’re renting for a short-term period, these mechanical issues are less likely to be a problem.

Great RVs for large families

Here are a few RVs that work well for larger families. If you’re considering purchasing one, you may want to rent using RVshare first to see if it suits your family.

1.) Newmar Bay Star Class A Motorhome

With seven different floor plans to choose from, and models that sleep up to 8 people, you’re sure to find a motorhome model that suits your family’s size and lifestyle. You can have up to three slideouts to provide even more room for your family. The Bay Stars doesn’t compromise luxury for space, either – it comes with vinyl ceiling panels, wall art, a soundbar system, and more entertainment options and decor choices. You can choose to have a fireplace and other amenities, and there’s a spacious kitchen for cooking indoors.

2.) Thor Miramar Class A Motorhome

The Miramar offers five different floorplans and sleeps up to 10 people. Several of the floorplans include outdoor entertainment or kitchens, which can free up space indoors while you’re working outside. A stowaway coffee table offers you the option of more space when you’re not using it. Solid surface kitchen counters and vinyl ceilings give the motorhome a classy look to accompany it’s room.

3.) Holiday Rambler Admiral Class A Motorhome

This RV has five different floor plans and sleeps up to nine people. It’s an affordable motorhome for families, and some models offer outdoor entertainment so you can move some of your activities outside and free up space indoors. The kitchen has great storage and a large fridge so you have plenty of space for cooking for a big family.

4.) Fleetwood Bounder Class A Motorhome

The Bounder has seven floorplans and can sleep up to 8 people. Some of the floorplans include outdoor entertainment, and one includes two full bathrooms which is a great advantage with six people! You can also get solid surface countertops, vinyl ceilings and floors, and beautiful interior decor.

5.) Newmar Mountain Aire Class A Motorhome

The Mountain Aire has nine floorplans and sleeps up to six people. The spacious interior gives everyone plenty of room to spread out, and the three slideouts mean even more space. Design features include maple cabinets, feature ceilings, tile flooring, and hardwood window frames.

There are some great fifth-wheel options for families as well.

6.) Coachmen Chaparral 373MBRB

The Chaparral is almost 42 feet long, giving everyone plenty of room. This fifth wheel has three bedrooms for extra privacy, and has sleeping space for two adults and up to five kids, along with a foldout couch that could sleep two more. It also has two full bathrooms, one of which has a bathtub. It also has an outdoor entertainment system, allowing you to move outside and free up room inside the RV.

7.) Grand Design Solitude 3740BH

This fifth wheel has a bunkroom that can sleep up to six kids, with a large storage area for all of the toys, clothes, books, and other things that six kids require! There is a half-bath attached to the bunkroom as well. In the living space, you can opt for a table and chairs, or a super sofa which is a great choice for a large family. The sofa seats four adults and folds out into a bed for more sleeping space. You can add a washer and dryer in the master bedroom, which can save a lot of hassle (and coins!) in a family with a lot of kids. There’s also a large closet and space for a king bed.

Can a family of 6 live in an RV?

A family of six can definitely live in an RV! You’ll want to plan some things out ahead of time – do you have young children who need a daily nap? If you have kids in a variety of ages, what will the older ones do during that time and where will they be? If this will be your permanent living situation (at least for a month or more), you’ll also want to divide up chores and establish ground rules. It will be more important than ever to have everyone pick up after themselves in a small space, and kids are capable of helping with a lot of the daily procedures that need to be done in order to keep things humming on the road.

You may also want to include them in travel and other decisions. Kids are often much more interested in activities when they’ve had a hand in the planning, and it helps them build valuable skills as well.

For tips on homeschooling while on the road (also called “roadschooling”) check out our “Roadschooling 101” article to help you get started. For more tips on RVing fulltime with a family, check out our helpful article here.

Parents of large families know that it can be a lot of work to take their crew on the road – but it’s a rewarding and exhilarating experience when you do!

Use RVshare to Secure a Competitive Rate

RVshare is a peer-to-peer platform that connects RV owners with renters directly. Owners post their RVs for rent on the platform, and renters are able to browse through and compare listings at their leisure. Because owners have their own varied reasons for putting their RV up for rent, you’ll find that some owners will significantly discount their RVs – you can find some amazing deals if you look hard enough!

Further, as renters on the RVshare platform are able to easily compare RVs, you’ll also find that the rental rates tend to be more competitive in general. You may also find that by connecting to an owner directly, you are able to negotiate a better overall deal.

Good luck!

Looking for more tips and information for your next RV trip or purchase? Check out these articles:

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