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 all of the time. They are important and valid questions because the exterior height of your RV will be important to know for many reasons.
First, if you plan to store your RV either in your garage or a covered storage facility, you will need to know your RV’s total height. This is the measurement from a flat road surface to the highest point on your RV.
Second, when you start driving your RV, you will need to know the maximum height of your travel trailer for many reasons, including:
- Low road, highway, or railroad bridges
- Roads with low hanging tree limbs
- Campgrounds with low overhead entry signs
- Gas station roofs over the pumps
- Some entrances to Walmart’s and shopping centers
- 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.
But you still need to know the exact measurement for your own rig.
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.
How to Measure Your RV Height
While it is great to use your travel trailer’s or RV manufacturer’s provided exterior height measurement, we suggest you measure your RV’s exterior height yourself for the most exact measurements.
Measuring Your Travel Trailer Height
One person will be on the ladder with the level holding the tape measure at the top of the RV and a second person at the bottom will hold the tape measure on the flat, hard surface.
Be sure to pull the tape 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 times at least, to confirm the height of your RV. This will ensure your measurements are the same or similar each time for a more accurate height.
If in doubt, always use the biggest measurement. It’s better to be safe than sorry when trying to pass under an overhang or bridge.
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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.
Knowing your travel trailer height is just one of the important things you need to do for safe travels. Be sure to see our other helpful guides: