What Is the Best RV for Beginners?

Contributor

Tucker Ballister

Favorite Trip

5 Months Solo on the Road

Home Base

Hendersonville, NC

Favorite RV

2008 Fleetwood Bounder

About Contributor

Tucker Ballister is our Technical Content Writer. He’s a lover of the open road and the proud owner of a 2021 Sunlite Classic travel trailer (his 3rd RV to date). Check out more of his RV adventures, gear reviews, and outdoor advice at thebackpackguide.com.

Camping is much easier with the right camper. But today’s RVs have so many bells and whistles that can distract or intimidate a new buyer. The best RV for beginners should be simple and easy to use, regardless of how many amenities are included. Most beginners want to upgrade from an uncomfortable tent without too much extra expense or hassle with maintenance, anyway.

Now, RVs require maintenance and upkeep. Keeping track of maintenance records and staying up-to-date on seasonal, annual, and pre-trip checks is simply a part of learning how to RV. That said, we’ve picked several RV models that offer two important factors: simplicity and affordability. So, what is the best RV for beginners? Here are a few choices you’ll enjoy.

Family Travel Trailers for Beginners

These family-friendly travel trailers make camping much easier than dealing with tents and sleeping bags. Plus, they’re easy to tow and easy to set up, allowing you to maximize what family camping is all about – relaxation, quality time, and fun.

Coleman Lantern LT 17B

Easily one of Coleman’s lightest bunkhouse travel trailers, the Lantern LT 17B offers everything you need to upgrade your camping experiences without any unnecessary frills. Rear bunks offer a comfortable sleeping space for the kids, leaving the main queen bed free for the parents. Plus, the dinette converts to a third sleeping area if needed. 

The 5,000-BTU electric fireplace is the trailer’s only heat source, meaning you’ll need to camp where you can plug into a 30-amp power source. However, that comes with the benefit of having full use of the trailer’s air conditioner to keep you cool on hot summer days. The learning curve doesn’t get much easier for beginners than with the 17B, but over time you might find yourself interested in these must-have upgrades for the Coleman Lantern LT 17B.  

Discover our nationwide collection of Coleman Lantern travel trailers.

RV Specs

  • Length: 21’5”
  • Dry Weight: 2,985 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 864 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 5

Jayco Jay Flight SLX 260BH

You won’t find a beginner-friendly travel trailer with more sleeping capacity than the Jayco Jay Flight SLX 260BH. With double over double rear bunks, a convertible dinette, a jackknife sofa, and a 60” x 75” queen bed in the main sleeping area, you can snuggly sleep up to 10 people in this trailer.

For a trailer under 30 feet, that’s quite an accomplishment, and that shorter floorplan will help you fit in more campgrounds with length restrictions. Plus, the shorter length makes for easy maneuvering into campsites and won’t require as much storage space at home as other trailers with similar sleeping capacities. 

Check the pricing and availability of the Jay Flight SLX trailer or explore Jayco’s entire RV lineup.

RV Specs

  • Length: 29’5”
  • Dry Weight: 4,580 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,420 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 10

Keystone Bullet Crossfire 2200BH

The floorplan of the Keystone Bullet Crossfire 2200BH is all about maximizing the living space during the day while offering comfortable places to rest at night. That begins with the Murphy bed to the front when you enter the door. It easily converts to a sofa during the day, providing more floor space and an additional sitting area. 

In the rear, double over double bunks measure 51” x 74”, but the upper bunk flips up and out of the way if you want to use that space for storage. A rear cargo door provides easy loading access for gear like e-bikes, paddleboards, and more. If you’re looking for versatility, don’t worry about getting caught in the Crossfire!

Shop for Keystone Bullet Crossfire trailers near you.

RV Specs

  • Length: 25’4”
  • Dry Weight: 4,728 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 2,272 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 8

Couples Travel Trailers for Beginners

For those getting into RV camping without kids, the ideal floorplan is all about comfort and simplicity. These couple-friendly travel trailers keep RVing easy so you can spend more time adventuring and enjoying each other’s company.

Coleman Lantern LT 17R

From the outside, the Coleman Lantern LT 17R looks very similar to its cousin, the LT 17B. Inside, though, you’ll find a few important floorplan features that differentiate them. It starts with removing the bunks you likely don’t need if you travel as a couple. In their place, you have a more spacious bathroom with a larger shower, more room around the toilet, and loads of extra storage for clothing and linens. 

Throughout the rest of the trailer, you get the simplicity of a gas cooktop, a convertible dinette, and a comfortable queen bed. This lightweight trailer is easy to tow and perfect for couples starting their RV journey. See what these folks thought about their first experience taking the 17R down the California coast on a Big Sur road trip.

Discover the simplicity of the Coleman Lantern LT 17R.

RV Specs

  • Length: 21’5”
  • Dry Weight: 2,970 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,387 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 3

Keystone Springdale Classic 200RLC

Keystone Springdale Classic 200RLC
Photo by Keystone RV

Bringing an all-new floorplan to this iconic line, the Keystone Springdale Classic 200RLC features a rear living area with a booth dinette and a sofa, providing versatile lounge options and a comfortable place to enjoy camp meals. Plus, the dinette can double as a workspace if you work remotely during your travels. 

At the front, a queen-sized bed can be separated from the rest of the coach with a privacy curtain if you happen to have guests spending the night. And for the camp foodies out there, this trailer boasts a full-height pantry and a 10-cubic-foot refrigerator, providing ample storage space for perishables and dry goods.

Learn more about this Springdale travel trailer.

Image by Keystone RV

RV Specs

  • Length: 25’4”
  • Dry Weight: 4,535 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 3,015 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 6

Forest River Cherokee Grey Wolf 24JS

Photo by Forest River

For those looking for a few more amenities without a massive price increase, take a closer look at the Forest River Cherokee Grey Wolf 24JS. This floorplan stays under that 30-foot length, ensuring you can enjoy a wider selection of campgrounds without worrying about length restrictions. 

Still, it has many useful amenities like an outside kitchen, a spacious rear bath with a mirrored vanity, an outside TV mount, an under-mounted stainless steel sink, and a high-rise faucet with a sprayer. It’s also equipped with an exterior LP connection if you want to acquire an upgraded outdoor griddle like this Blackstone we recently reviewed.

Find more photos and a walkthrough of the Grey Wolf trailer.

RV Specs

  • Length: 27’3”
  • Dry Weight: 4,443 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 3,027 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4

Pop-Up Campers and Teardrops for Beginners

Pop-up trailers and teardrop campers are a natural fit for many first-time RVers because they’re easy to tow and don’t require much storage space at home. They’re also comparatively among the most affordable RV options when you’re learning if the RV lifestyle is right for you.

Forest River Rockwood Limited 1940LTD

It doesn’t get much more affordable and easy to use than the Forest River Rockwood Limited 1940LTD. This floorplan continues to be one of the best-selling models in this category because it can be towed by smaller vehicles, offers two separate sleeping areas when expanded, and comes with all the amenities you’ll need for comfortable three-season camping. 

That includes a 20,000 BTU furnace, a small 12-volt refrigerator, a two-burner cooktop, and a convertible dinette for dining or remote work. Forest River’s optional upgrades, such as a 15,000 BTU air conditioning unit, a portable solar panel, heated mattresses, and more, make this unit even more enticing. 

Find your Rockwood Freedom pop-up camper today.

RV Specs

  • Length (open): 20’2”
  • Length (closed): 13’9”
  • Dry Weight: 1,685 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 637 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4

Coachmen Clipper Escape 9.0 TD

Photo by Coachmen

That extra bed in most pop-up campers is great for families. But what about couples? That can seem like a lot of wasted space, but that’s why the Coachmen Clipper Escape 9.0 TD reimagines what a pop-up camper could look like and how it can function. 

This hybrid pop-up camper is ideal for couples or solo travelers, and it boasts a rugged storage rack mounted on the roof for your more durable gear. It also comes with an off-road package as a standard construction feature, which includes 15” tires with a full-sized spare and a flipped axle for improved ground clearance.

Explore our inventory of Coachmen Clipper campers.

Photo by Coachmen

RV Specs

  • Length (open): 13’
  • Length (closed): 14’2”
  • Dry Weight: 1,459 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 691 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 2

Coleman Rubicon 1200RK

With a rugged design and a stellar outdoor kitchen, the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK is an excellent choice for beginners looking to avoid the campground and explore off-grid camping. It’s light enough to be towed by some SUVs and smaller trucks, and the Outlander Package includes all-terrain tires on aluminum rims, a torsion axle for improved towing, and a solar port for attaching a portable solar panel. 

Inside, the main heat source is an electric fireplace, but it’s also equipped with a wall-mounted air conditioning unit for relief from the heat. The interior sofa easily converts to a bed, making it versatile for indoor/outdoor lounging and a much more comfortable place to sleep than on the ground in a tent. See what these brothers thought about the 1200RK on their Pacific Northwest road trip. 

Check the pricing and availability of the Coleman Rubicon camper.

RV Specs

  • Length: 13’5”
  • Dry Weight: 1,682 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 866 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 2

Class C Motorhomes for Beginners

Class C motorhomes aren’t as massive and tough to drive as Class A RVs and aren’t as expensive as van campers. Class Cs occupy a great middle-ground for new RVers interested in a motorized recreational vehicle.

Thor Freedom Elite 22HE

Built on a Ford or Chevrolet chassis with a 7.3-liter V8 engine, the Thor Freedom Elite 22HE is one of the most compact Class C motorhomes you’ll find, making it ideal for beginners because it won’t require a steep learning curve getting used to navigating roads, parking lots, and gas stations. 

The rear area gives you as close to a “master suite” as you’ll find in a motorhome of this size, with a full-size bed, a walk-in shower with a skylight, and a bathroom sink with accompanying vanity. The dream dinette is plenty large enough for four people to dine comfortably, and a TV swivels out from the cabover bunk area when you want to watch shows or movies.

Discover Thor Freedom Elite Class C RVs in your region.

RV Specs

  • Length: 24’1”
  • GVWR: 12,500 pounds
  • Fresh Water Capacity: 40 gallons
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4

Jayco Redhawk SE 27N

Your family will have plenty of space to move about, lounge comfortably, and sleep soundly in the Jayco Redhawk SE 27N. Your main sleeping area in the rear offers a 60” x 74” queen bed, and the other sleeping areas include the cabover bunk, a 60” jackknife sofa, and the convertible 42” x 70” dinette. 

Built on the Chevrolet 4500 chassis, this efficient class C motorhome includes heating holding tank pads, a black tank flush, a backup camera, an LED smart TV, and an electric patio awning. One of Jayco’s best optional upgrades is the addition of a roof-mounted 200-watt solar panel with a dual charge controller and a second house battery. 

Shop our nationwide inventory of Jayco Redhawk motorhomes.

RV Specs

  • Length: 25’
  • GVWR: 12,300 pounds
  • Fresh Water Capacity: 44 gallons
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 5

Forest River Forester 2351LE

Photo by Forest River

Built on the Chevrolet 3500 chassis, the Forest River Forester 2351LE is the lightest of the three class C motorhomes on this list. Its compact length makes it easy for beginners to learn how to drive, and its lighter weight provides improved fuel economy over larger, heavier motorhomes. It also offers a family-friendly floorplan with a massive camp-side awning for indoor-outdoor comfort. 

Inside, the functional kitchen space features a flip-up countertop for more counterspace, a 12-volt refrigerator, a three-burner cooktop, and a convection microwave. Both the bed in the main sleeping area and the cabover bunk measure 60” x 80”, and the bedroom is prepped for a second TV so everyone can enjoy their preferred entertainment as your camp nights wind down.

Find Forester motorhomes near you.

RV Specs

  • Length: 25’
  • GVWR: 12,300 pounds
  • Fresh Water Capacity: 44 gallons
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 5

We’ve selected these units because they offer the easiest learning curve for new RVers. If you’re interested in other RV types, here are a few articles that might be helpful: 

What’s the biggest factor holding you back from exploring the RV lifestyle? Let us know in the comments below.

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