Do RV heights include the rooftop Air Conditioner? What is the average exterior height of a travel trailer? These are some of the questions we receive from new RVers. It is an important and valid question as the exterior height of your RV will come into play for many reasons.
First, if you plan to store your RV either in your garage or a covered storage facility, you will want to your RV’s total height – from a flat road surface to the highest point on your RV.
Second, when you hit the open road on your camping and RV journeys, and depending where you plan to travel, you will want to know the maximum height of your travel trailer in the event there are:
- Low road, highway, or railroad bridges
- Roads with low hanging tree limbs
- Campgrounds with low overhead entry signs
- Gas station roofs over the pumps
- Car wash stalls – for cleaning your RV at a self-wash location
The average exterior height range of travel trailers is between 9′ – 13′ tall with the average interior height ranging between 7′ – 8′ in height.
Typically, the RV manufacturer’s exterior height – as listed on your RV’s specifications – does include the rooftop air conditioning unit. However, it is in your best interest and good practice to personally validate your travel trailer’s actual exterior height since the rooftop air conditioner may not be the highest point on your trailer.
Tips Regarding Your RV Height
While it is great to use your travel trailer’s or RV manufacturer’s provided exterior height measurement, we suggest you validate your actual RV’s exterior height for multiple reasons.
Measuring Your Travel Trailer Height
For this exercise you will need a tall ladder, a measuring tape, and a carpenters level (preferably 3 – 4 feet long). We suggest having two people for this effort – one person on the ladder with the level holding the tape measure at the top and a second person at the bottom holding the tape measure on the flat, hard surface pulling the tap measure taught for an accurate reading.
Park your travel trailer or RV on a flat hard surface (concrete or asphalt). With one person on a ladder place the carpenters level on the highest point of your RV. Extend the level straight out perpendicular to the length of the trailer.
While keeping the level straight, the person on the ladder can then drop the tape measure down to the second person standing on the ground. The person on the ground can gently pull the tape measure taught to reduce any slack in the tape, then confirm the height measurement.
Take multiple measurements, 2 or 3, to confirm the height of your RV. This will ensure your measurements are the same or similar each time for a more accurate height.
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Note Your Travel Trailer Height
Once you have confirmed the maximum exterior height of your RV, we suggest writing down this number and placing it in the cab of your tow vehicle in a location that is easily viewable or can be referenced visually from the driver’s and passenger’s seat.
As you know, when you’re driving down the road at highway or even city street speeds and you see a caution sign for a low bridge or overpass, you want to be able to reference your RV or travel trailer’s height quickly, without hesitation.
Travel Trailer Exterior Heights
For reference, here are the manufacturer’s travel trailer exterior heights of some of the more popular and well-known RV’s.