Worth the Investment
While America's most luxury RVs compete for consumers' attention by offering a whirlwind of fancy features, in reality, many features are distractions, such as gigantic TVs, plush leather loungers, and slide-outs. These options sizzle but offer little substance for the dollars spent to achieve the desired outcome. In this article, I'll cut through the smoke and mirrors and share timeless, real-world-tested advice for what truly matters when looking at luxury travel trailers.
Freedom is the #1 lifestyle value for discriminating travel trailer investors. Time spent doing what you want, where you want to do it, is the most luxurious value. This is precisely why a luxury RV purchase should provide features that deliver quality experiences that allow one to embrace the environment one wishes to explore fully. So how does a savvy buyer cut through the noise to focus on which features are important in luxury features? The answer lies in focusing on the most important lifestyle values and locating the product that can deliver them.
To meet this goal, there are 5 features every luxury travel trailer should be equipped with. They are:
- A well-designed floorplan for superior traffic flow and sleeping space
- High-Quality: floors, walls, doors, and cabinetry materials
- The latest tech for energy management and mobile connectivity
- Enhanced indoor-outdoor connections with large doors, windows, and decks
- All-season design with robust insulation for maximum comfort
What Are You Looking for in Luxury RVs?
A few years ago, I asked a middle-aged couple why they purchased a high-end luxury travel trailer that cost upwards of $350,000. The husband said, "I like camping in the Great Outdoors under the stars; unfortunately, my wife hates camping and prefers a 4 Seasons hotel -- so this was our compromise!" Who doesn't appreciate the 4 Seasons hotel experience? Count me in! However, these luxuries often remove you from the authentically-local, sense-of-place experience. High-end hotels are also built in very limiting environments.
What if you want to visit Joshua Tree or a remote lake in Montana? And what if you want privacy? You may not want to share your getaway with hundreds of other vacationers. The interior design should exude an exquisite home with all the comforts of a 5-star hotel while delivering an endless variety of natural experiences. Instead of searching for the best luxury travel trailers, think about finding the best smart home on wheels.
Luxury RVs Defined
Luxury used to mean unnecessary extravagance reserved for royalty and celebrities. Today, it's defined by detailed craftsmanship and premium quality without compromise available to anyone, with one caveat -- it comes at a price. At a minimum, the best luxury travel trailers should offer active or passively heated floors, continuous hot water, a double-door refrigerator, and handcrafted solid surface countertops, but this is just a start.
When it comes to purchasing the right high-end luxury travel trailer, one needs to ask themselves several questions:
- Is disconnecting from city power and water important?
- What are your time, health, comfort, and safety worth?
- Are you an eco-conscious consumer?
- Do you expect top-shelf service?
Full-Time Living in a Luxury RV
Full-time living in a modern luxury RV looks nothing like camping or glamping. Today's luxury travel trailers offer architectural styling and top-of-the-line appliances with the convenience of home. Luxury for you may mean a spacious shower, plush home theater seating, solid surface countertops, stainless steel sink, stainless steel countertops, and exotic wood accents. Top-of-the-line coaches, like Grand Design Reflection or Prevost, cater to traveling entertainers with many road crews and have multiple bunk beds and two twin beds. These products absolutely meet the needs of a segment of the market. But they're not intended for the full-time luxury nomad family seeking a wanderlust life.
On the other hand, these aren't just recreational vehicles that support off-grid experiences for a weekend or week at most. They're living vehicles that allow one to live for weeks, months, and unlimited time off the grid. And, with all the tech-savvy devices, your home might be best described as a smart home on wheels. An eco-conscious consumer also cares about the materials that go into their home. It must be void of unwelcome VOCSs and unsustainable materials that add to the world's waste when its useful life is over. This means it needs to be a net zero vehicle with low carbon footprint capabilities and high-quality components that are earth-friendly.
Another meaningful component should be an interior design that connects you with the Great Outdoors via large panoramic windows. Mobile luxury also means off-grid energy production, LED lights, fresh water treatment, indoor air quality purifiers, continuous hot water, a spacious bathroom, and a chef's kitchen. All of these characteristics offer off-grid independence. The luxury experience we're describing delivers something not made by human hands at the Pottery Barn. As an adventure-seeker, I aspire to the pursuit of brilliant sunrises, golden sunsets, star gazing, wilderness sounds, fresh air, and priceless views!
The final factor of a luxury travel trailer I'll mention is one that's often overlooked, and that is personalized professional service. The reality is things won't always go perfectly. Accidents will happen, and things will break. When they do, you want the best concierge service support that connects you with someone who knows your situation and how to handle it. If you're going to make a purchase on one of the most expensive travel trailers, you better have a great service team to support you along the way!
What to Look for in Luxury RVs
When considering a luxury trailer purchase, the most essential quality is its off-grid capability because a luxurious adventure does not mean plugging into shore power or sewer systems and parking five feet away from a noisy neighbor at an RV park. The ability to produce clean solar energy to power all appliances and systems is essential in providing a luxurious exclusively-yours experience. Living Vehicle has responded to the limitation of solar roof surfaces on an RV by creating power awnings that extend out, doubling or even tripling solar power generation capacity.
I guarantee once you get a taste of the tranquility of nature without city life distractions, you'll never park in a congested RV park again. So, naturally, a key aspect is the trailer's off-road capabilities. Does your trailer have the proper clearance to go off-highway or boondocking, as it's known? I'm not talking about forging rivers or gnarly rock-hopping, but the ability to travel securely on a dirt road, through snow, mud, or all three at once is another key feature. Not every camping experience is on paved roads -- in a National Park, for example. Sometimes, the best adventures will take you off the beaten path to venture down a country road that winds through a forest or through a desert landscape.
While we're going off-grid, let's talk about water. The plumbing system is a vital component that is often overlooked. Most RVs come with less than 20 gallons of fresh water, so having 100 gallons of freshwater onboard or the ability to draw water from a stream or lake and purify it is a must. One of the newest innovations in water production provided is the ability to create more than 5 gallons of potable water daily from the air. Fresh potable water has been the single limiting factor in sustained off-grid living. Now, your water generation system can be topping off your freshwater tank while you're out discovering your next adventure.
Most luxury travel trailers incorporate on-demand hot water systems, so you’ll always have endless hot water available. In addition, most trailers with a higher price tag often have outdoor showers to wash off your mountain bike or pets after exploring the wildest places. Generous work and play spaces are another luxury that's often overlooked. Large, convertible workstations, open food-prep counter space, a three-burner stove, and a shower that allows for plenty of elbow room is what luxury is all about.
How Many Should Your Travel Trailer Comfortably Sleep?
The question of sleeping spaces is similar to the number of beds and bedrooms needed in a traditional home. Of course, a travel trailer's space is limited, so it's vital to have quick and customizable spaces easily converted into more than one use.
Is it just the two of you, with a periodic guest? Are you a family of three or more with youngsters that need a quiet, cozy, dark place?
Will you have occasional guests needing a place to sleep? Are one of you an early bird who needs to crawl into bed while the other is a night owl working or watching a movie? These are important questions to answer.
Dedicated sleeping spaces, such as a master bedroom, are essential to privacy and comfort. Sometimes a convertible sofa is needed for additional sleeping space, but are you okay with transforming the dining table or workspace into a bed each morning and night? These are all tradeoffs that will lead you to the right decision.
What features are found in Luxury RVs?
As a licensed Architect, I've been trained to understand how emotional health is closely connected to interior design -- layout, colors, and materials should be integrated seamlessly into a harmonious blend. Ideally, floor plans that allow for privacy with separate sleeping spaces are best.
This means you'll want at least one dedicated master bedroom, so you don’t need to convert a dining table into a sleeping area every night. And how about a bed that lowers and raises from the ceiling? Push a button, and you have an instant bed! Since many couples have different sleeping patterns, one person's a night owl, and the other's an early bird, a separate work/sleeping space is essential. And a full-sized queen or king size bed in the master suite is a must.
Many travel trailers tend to put the bathroom at the far ends of the interior living space, which will be a problem when you need to walk through a bedroom where someone's sleeping to use the facilities.
The living area should also be open and spacious with lots of natural light. Finally, don't skimp on the most essential room: a spacious spa-style bathroom and walk-in shower with a multi-head sprayer. Other luxurious features can be found in the kitchen area. A residential refrigerator is required, especially if full-time rv living is being considered. Other kitchen features like massive storage compartments and a functional dining area will make day-to-day living an absolute enjoyment.
Every time your travel trailer is pulled down the highway, it's like a 7.0 seismic earthquake. The doors and cabinetry must be solid and secure.
Today's luxury RVs feature laminate wood cabinetry, which may look nice, but it's not ideal for a travel trailer. It's heavy and not very durable over time, with the hinges needing constant adjustment.
The most harmful detail is the off-gassing from the laminate glue and resin finish. Subfloors should be lightweight aluminum covered with thin vinyl flooring that withstands damage. I don't recommend using carpet anywhere because it's a dust magnate, stains, and off-gasses.
Walls should also be constructed from aluminum, again, for lightweight durability. And the walls should be bright and light-colored to create a visual sense of openness, creating a blank canvas for personalizing the space with your accent design pieces. The finest luxury RV interior elements should incorporate skylights, stainless steel appliances, vessel sinks, and air conditioning/heating vents or multi-splits in each room.
There's a good reason why the world is going all-electric: it's cleaner and earth friendly. A solar array, Lithium batteries, and a touchscreen control system are exceptional solutions to power with no limits.
Your power should be able to operate two air conditioners and radiant floor or ceiling heaters. Even better, look at the Living Vehicle heating and cooling system for 2024: the European-Style Mini-Split HVAC System. The efficiency of a Mini-Split HVAC system is unmatched and is unmatched for the most luxurious travel trailers. Thanks to Starlink, there's no excuse not to be wired to the internet from any remote location. Every electronic device in the rig should have the capability to be securely connected to the network. An external WiFi booster is another convenience that allows your connected devices to be accessed indoors or out. Another often-overlooked detail is not using marine grade breakers instead of fuses. The reliability and ease of flipping a breaker are far superior to replacing a fuse.
After investing in a mobile space intended to unite you and your loved ones with the Great Outdoors, why not have a space that succeeds in connecting you with it? Windows should be large for views and open to outdoor fresh air. Slide-outs are great until they don't work, then you're stuck with a home you can't use. A better alternative is a cantilevered patio that is automatically raised and lowered.
The interior living space should be designed by someone who knows the difference between high-end campers and toy haulers. Just because it has sparkling solid surface countertops doesn't mean it's been designed right.
Hallways and doors should be wide enough to allow for easy access. When you're moving about, do you really want to bump into corners and squeeze past another person? A luxury RV should have an easy flow and allow unencumbered movement throughout. The indoor ceiling height should also be high enough to create a feeling of openness. It's also practical if you're +6'5" like I am.
Many offer an outdoor entertainment center, but I'm not convinced I'd ever use it. I have a perfectly good HiDef projection screen in the master suite and a big screen TV in the lounge. Do I really need one outside, too? No video can compete with the grandeur and awe of nature. Watching an eagle soar in a brilliant blue sky is enough of an outdoor entertainment center for me.
The best luxury travel trailers in the world share one vital quality -- they seal you comfortably from adverse outdoor temperatures. At the end of a long day gliding down the snowy slopes, the last thing you'll want is to be cold at night while boondocking at the mountain's base.
The key to maintaining a comfortable interior is robust thermal insulation and a thermal barrier between structural components. If you have ever been in a travel trailer in freezing temperatures, you'll notice that the walls are very cold.
The principle is like using pot holders when removing a cookie tray from the oven. The cloth acts as a barrier between you and the 350˚ metal tray. The wall studs should have barriers between the structural components and the outdoor and indoor skin.
Outdoor material must have finishes that will take abuse to even the most demanding climates and travel conditions. Stainless steel and aluminum details are what luxury RVs are built, similar to high-end yachts.
A passive radiant warm floor made of aluminum protects vital electrical and water systems in the basement while keeping the living space comfortable in any extreme environment. Finally, a digital wall thermostat with multiple independent zones for heating and cooling allows for independent temperature control.
What Are the Best Luxury RV Features in Luxury Travel Trailers?
The 2024 Living Vehicle's HD PRO is the new high-end luxury travel trailer standard. Nothing else compares to the capabilities, functionality, and raw quality behind it. Here are the top-selling features of the HD PRO. Here is what's included in an LV that's missing in many of the best luxury travel trailers.
Off-Grid Power House
Featuring perpetual power from natural resources, the HD PRO is the very definition of Luxury Unplugged. The HD PRO inspires ultimate freedom from the grid and offers the most powerful insurance policy, granting fierce independence for autonomous living and travel.
At 30 feet, the vehicle resembles a luxury motor yacht on the open sea. The HD-PRO features all the best luxuries and capabilities Living Vehicle® has to offer.
Conceived from the desires of customers who call Living Vehicle® home, we welcome a new era of the flagship Living Vehicle® model. Be sure your luxury RV purchase should allow you unlimited time spent off-grid.
Luxury RVs will have the most Solar Panels possible
The Living Vehicle for 2024 comes with a Power Awning completely covered with solar panels. An awning on both sides doubles the solar capacity and is an engineering marvel featuring the most solar installed on a travel trailer.
A 48” horizontal knife-edge aluminum plane extends to space on each side of the HD-PRO. This mechanical masterpiece is only possible by clearing the roof of all equipment and relocating it to the basement. When viewed from above and extended, the roof of the Living Vehicle® is covered with 4,400 watts of ultra-efficient, industry-leading solar panels. When closed, there is nothing but a sea of solar panels.
Couple this with deployable solar panels; the patio awning solar capacity will expand to 6,000 watts of total solar. This is an amount never seen on any high-end campers on the marketplace. Look at even the most expensive luxury campers with a high price tag, such as Newell coach, Marathon Coaches, or Anderson Mobile Estates, all lacking in the solar department. Living Vehicle stands alone -- nothing else even comes close.
Lithium Batteries and Marine Grade materials
Regarding premium materials, quality is the most essential of all luxury RV features.
As the foremost example of the Living Vehicle® lineup, the HD-PRO is our most innovative and technologically advanced offering. Living Vehicle® has designed the HD-PRO with unequaled performance and capabilities, at 72kWh of battery storage and 18kW raw inverter power.
The HD-PRO [LVenergy] system goes well beyond the required provision of necessary power for exemplary capability.
As an off-grid vehicle designed to venture to the great outdoors and get away from RV parks, there is nothing more important on the list of high-quality features than the energy system in self-sufficient travel trailers.
Mini-Split Air Conditioning
An electric fireplace won't cut it if you want to travel to 4-season environments. Luxury RVs demand robust systems that enable travel to the most challenging environments.
Living Vehicle is a clear front-runner regarding off-grid 4-Season capability. With tremendous efficiency, the SEER 21 system draws a fraction of the power of comparable traditional RV-style rooftop systems. Featuring heat and cooling capabilities, the combined 24K BTU conditioning power makes exploration to the hottest and coldest climates an off-grid reality, ultra-efficient, and completely electric. A capable heating system is important for luxury RVs and off-grid travel trailers.
From the Mojave Desert sun to the High Sierra snowpack, with the 4-Season package as standard equipment, the HD-PRO can travel from 0° to 110°.
Luxury RVs are best defined by the lack of limitations and how far you can travel before needing to turn around. Living Vehicle's heating and cooling performance is unmatched, coupled with the all-new Mini-Split HVAC system and double pane windows.
When living in a small space, oversized windows are even more critical to allow as much light as possible and bring views from the interior space to the outdoors.
Dual pane windows are a luxury package that increases an RV lifestyle's raw cold and hot weather capabilities.
240v Level 2 EV Charging
The energy stored in the LV Energy system may be transferred into an electric vehicle.
When depleted, the Luxurious Travel Trailer recharges completely off-grid using either Solar, Energy Integration, or generator power. With the HD-PRO, the 240V power inverter system provides Level-2 rapid charging.
Luxury amenities for an rv lifestyle will encourage you to use all that extra energy capacity and charge your favorite electric vehicle, electric bike, or anything else with an electric motor.
King Bedroom Suite
The innovative HD model comes with new and never-before-seen accommodations for the Living Vehicle®. For any luxury RV, the king-sized bed is genuinely luxurious and explicitly designed for those who enjoy the most luxurious sleeping space and unmatched for those who place a high value on gear storage.
Whether you prefer a king-size bed, twin beds, or a queen bed, The Living Vehicle has options for all sleeping needs.
Click to learn more about luxury travel trailers: 5 Reasons Luxury Travel Trailers Hold Their Value