RVs for Cozy Couples
Compact and Convenient RVs Make Getting Away from it all Easier Than Ever
Sleeping under the stars or in a small tent is a wonderful way to experience the great outdoors firsthand—the sky above, the twigs and leaves beneath, the soft wind stirring mighty boughs.
Ah yes, it’s difficult to describe how amazing camping is to someone who’s never experienced it—how soul-stirring, wonderous, and satisfying it can be to get away from the hustle and bustle, and just enjoy Mother Nature’s greatest gifts—or simply reunite with old friends around a roaring fire. We’re getting nostalgic just thinking about it. And lucky for us, there are so many ways to get to our favorite places and enjoy them to their fullest at every stage of our lives.
That’s what this is all about. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about moving up from those sleeping bags and trusty tent to something a little more convenient and comfortable, but you’re not sure where to start, or what might be best for your needs and lifestyle. Indeed, there are a wide range of RVs available, from tiny trailers to massive motorhomes, each designed to elevate your camping and travel experiences in new and exciting ways.
So to keep things simple, we’re going to focus on the types of RVs we think are ideal choices for couples and small families—models that are easy to use, don’t require a lot of special equipment and can be stored at home. Let’s get started, shall we?
Folding Trailers or Pop Ups
- Advantages: Lower initial cost, lightweight, aerodynamic, easier to store.
- Considerations: May not have a bathroom or fully-equipped kitchen, set-up/takedown time.
A folding trailer or pop up is a great entry-level RV for a few good reasons. First and foremost, they’re not a big jump from tent camping, as the most common choices have fabric side walls and plastic windows that zip down, so you can enjoy the breeze. Integrated screens (also similar to a tent) keep the bugs out.
Most have a large bed at either end that pulls out like a drawer, so there’s usually more than enough room for two adults and two kids. Set up and takedown can usually be performed in just a few minutes—and if you’re used to setting up a tent in the dark, it’ll be a snap for you.
Folding trailers come in a wide range of sizes, some of which have complete kitchens and even a small toilet area—but as the list of amenities increases, so does the price.
If you want a little more protection from the elements, you may choose a hard-sided folding trailer with interlocking exterior panels and actual windows, or a “clamshell” design with a roof that collapses over the lower half during travel or storage.
Folding trailers offer several key advantages over other trailer types. Smaller models are very lightweight, which makes them easy to tow with a small SUV or even a passenger car. The low travel height means better aerodynamics when towing, and you can load active lifestyle gear like bikes or kayaks on the roof. They’re easy to store, too. If you’ve got a space in your garage or in your driveway, a folding trailer will usually fit right in (no storage fees!).
A folding trailer is also an affordable alternative, with most new models costing less than a small car, and many used models available for $10,000 or less.
- Advantages: Practically limitless models to choose from, plus a wide range of standard and available options.
- Considerations: They can get expensive, and larger models may require a full-size SUV or truck to tow.
This is the RV segment offering the most choices by far. Travel trailers are available in sizes small enough to fit in your driveway or side yard, and the vast majority of them have a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom, which make travel convenient. Bathroom visits and snack breaks are as close as the nearest off-ramp or rest area!
There are a wide range of models that can be towed by a small SUV, but if you’ve got a full-size SUV or pickup, there are even more trailers to choose from—and more features, too. Slideout rooms, which store inside the trailer during transit but “slide-out” of the living space like large drawers when set up, provide roomier living/bedroom spaces.
So-called “bunkhouse” models equipped with a dedicated bunk area are a great option if you have, or plan to have, children that will camp with you. And many trailers are equipped with outdoor kitchens and entertainment systems that let you take full advantage of sunny days and warm nights.
All travel trailers have furnaces to keep you warm at night, but most models are also available with air conditioning to keep things comfortable during the summer months. Island kitchens, Bluetooth-equipped indoor/outdoor audio systems, king-sized beds, and even fireplaces are all on offer in today’s travel trailers. As such, prices range from small-car to luxury-car territory, so it’s a good idea to decide on what you really want and need before you go shopping.
- Advantages: Easy to drive and park, can be used as a second family vehicle, lots of options.
- Considerations: Smaller living space, not as much storage as other RVs, can be expensive.
Also known as Class B motorhomes or camper vans, these are full-size vans that have been up-fitted with most (if not all) of the comforts of home, albeit in a smaller space. Class B motorhomes are typically a larger initial investment than trailers, with new, well-equipped models stretching into the six-figure range.
However, because they are based on a full-size van, they are small enough to be used as a second family vehicle, so you can potentially get more uses out of them than a trailer. For example, many RVers use Class B motorhomes for weekend trips to the beach, hikes, or mountain bike trails—just pack what you need, hop in, and go. Imagine taking the kids to their little league or soccer games in a Class B motorhome so they’ll always have a place to take a break, have a snack, and use the restroom. Class B vans are also a good choice if you love touring and only plan short stays at each spot along your journey.
The brand or model of the van the up-fitter chooses is one of the major factors that influences cost. A smaller, gasoline-powered motorhome based on the RAM ProMaster van, for example, can cost tens of thousands less than a larger, diesel-powered motorhome that uses the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as its platform. In any case, you’ll likely be amazed at what engineers are able to fit into these models. Where early designs had little more than a couch bed and a refrigerator, today’s Class B’s are available fully self-contained, with a kitchen, small bathroom, sleeping area, furnace/air conditioning, and a built-in generator.
If you feel comfortable driving a van, then you’ll get used to a Class B motorhome quickly. They’re easy to drive and maneuver, and they can be parked just about anywhere you could park a car. That means no special parking considerations when pulling off the highway to get fuel, shop or go sightseeing.
Which RV to choose is a very personal decision based on what you need or want, where and how you plan to travel, and what you’d like to do when you get there. But no matter what you choose, you’ll find that an RV will enrich your outdoor experiences, providing greater comfort and convenience than just about any other form of travel. And if you ever feel nostalgic, you can always break out the tent and sleeping bags again!
Some RVs to Consider
Flagstaff Hard Side trailer
If you’d like a trailer you can store in your garage (space permitting, of course) but would like the added security of hard walls, look no further than the Flagstaff Hard Side pop-up trailer line from Forest River. Available in seven floorplans, each less than 3,000 pounds, these Flagstaff Hard Side trailers can be towed by nearly any small SUV or truck and can be set-up in just minutes.
Flagstaff Sports Enthusiast Package
Camping off the beaten path offers all kinds of opportunities, like that perfect single track or secluded riverfront. The Flagstaff Sports Enthusiast line was made for the backcountry, with its distinctive fender flairs, chunky fifteen-inch Mud Rover radial tires, and a ProRac Systems cargo rack to secure stuff like mountain bikes, a canoe, or stand-up paddleboards. Six floorplans are available, most weighing less than 3,000 pounds.
Travel Trailer, Infinite Choices
Jayco Jay Flight
The Jay Flight is a great example of a popular travel trailer line—in fact, it’s been America’s best-selling RV for more than fifteen years now. There’s good reason for this—the Jay Flight is available in thirteen different floorplans to suit a wide variety of needs and budget. It also hits the “sweet spot” for full-size SUVs and trucks, with weights that range from 5,560 pounds to 8,330 pounds, and lengths from twenty-eight feet to forty feet plus.
Starcraft Autumn Ridge
Autumn Ridge is another example of why travel trailers are so popular: choice. The 172FB is a fully self-contained travel trailer with a bathroom, kitchen, and bed yet weighs a little more than 3,000 pounds and can sleep up to four. At the other end of the spectrum is the 32BHS, which weighs 7,400 pounds and can sleep up to ten.
Outdoors RV Black Stone
Specifically designed for four-season camping in the chilly Pacific Northwest, ORV trailers feature thermal-pane windows, additional insulation, and enclosed/heated holding tanks to prevent freezing. They’re offered in a range of floorplans and “Classes” designed for the way you plan to camp (in state parks or off-grid, for example).
Most of us think about motorhomes when we hear the word “Winnebago,” but the company offers a ton of Winnebago travel trailers, from the small but adventurous Hike to the Micro Minnie, mid-size Minnie, and the new Voyage—a full-size, full-featured travel trailer designed to be towed by half-ton pickup trucks.
Camper Vans that Can
The IROK has the sleek appearance and luxury features you’d expect from a reputable brand like Fleetwood, in a smaller footprint and at a lower price. Standard features include a generous twenty-eight-gallon freshwater tank, generator, and rooftop solar panels. Inside, you’ll find a full-featured kitchen, full bath, and conveniences like an LED TV and Wi-Fi prep.
Thor Motor Coach Tellaro
Blending retro features like a pop-up “Sky Bunk” (ala VW vans from the 1970s) with name brands like Thule and modern conveniences like a standard generator, air conditioner, and Euro-style cabinetry, the Tellaro is available in three twenty-foot floorplans, each of which come in under $100K.
Airstream Touring Coach
Yep, the same people who make those iconic silver-skinned trailers also offer an extensive line of high-end Class B motorhomes, all based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van platform. The Airstream Touring Coach comes in five different models sleep two and can seat up to nine for those times when you get selected for the van-pool.
Feeling adventurous? Perhaps even a little rebellious? Consider the Revel. It’s based on the popular Mercedes-Benz Sprinter platform, with diesel power and four-wheel drive so you can take it nearly anywhere. A rear power lift bed transforms the sleeping space into cargo space when needed for added versatility.