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A Guide on How to Measure a Travel Trailer

A Guide on How to Measure a Travel Trailer

When traveling, knowing the length of your travel trailer is critical, especially when looking for a parking spot or a campground. However, determining the best travel trailer length might be difficult because you cannot simply depend on the length stated by the manufacturer. So, how do you determine the length of a travel trailer?

A travel trailer’s length can be assessed in two ways. Whether the “interior livable floor length” or the “campsite length,” which refers to the whole length of the vehicle from highest point of the ball hitch to the back bumper. Make important to clarify which method is being marketed with your salesman.

It’s critical to know the length of your travel trailers and travel trailer manufacturers too, because many RV campgrounds have length restrictions on RV slots and parking places. Sizing your travel trailer can be difficult if you’ve never done it before.

Is the trailer’s length inclusive of the front hitch length? What about hitch length for the tow truck? You’re in the market for a new trailer, and the advertised length appears to differ from the length in person. What’s the deal with that? You want to store your spare tires in your trailer for the winter, but the available space is limited.

Therefore, how do you size your travel trailer to ensure it fits?

To effectively determine the size of your travel trailer, it is recommended to use a lengthy and accurate measuring tape. Take multiple measurements, considering both the interior and exterior dimensions while accounting for additional storage used for accessories and additions such as the trailer tongue, hitch, and tow vehicles. It is also important to also measure the length and exterior height of your travel trailer measurements with the slides both extended and retracted.

Having some fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the relevant dimensions involved in measuring your travel trailer will assist you in reserving appropriate campgrounds and national parks, and ensuring the safe transportation of your trailer.

Things to Remember to Measure Travel Trailer Length

Things to Remember to Measure Travel Trailer Length

Measuring your travel trailer is not as difficult as this vocabulary list suggests. It’s equally as important that you grasp what these phrases mean before we walk you through how to accurately measure your travel trailer because it might become a little complicated otherwise.

Interior Dimension

The interior length of your trailer is the distance between the interior walls at the front and the interior walls at the back. It is basically the length of the interior living space. The interior width is the length of the wall inside your trailer from one side to the other; keep in mind that if you’re equipped with slideouts, this size can be challenging.

Exterior Dimension

The length of your travel trailer’s exterior refers to the measurement taken from the front to the back wall the rear bumper on the outer side of the trailer. Similarly, the overall width of of the travel trailers’ exterior pertains to the measurement spanning from one side of the travel trailer to the opposite side on the outer surface.

Total Length

Overall length and external length are often misunderstood, however, they are distinct metrics. If you are towing a travel trailer, the you simply measure the entire trailer and length includes any accessories as well as your truck or car. You should measure the overall length with the tow vehicle and without but with the hitch.

Usable Area

The “floor plan” length or functional space measurement is known to be practical space. The marketed length should equal the floor plan length, according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). This measurement excludes the tongue and rear bumper. As a result, the length dimension you see when you buy your travel trailer may not truly represent the amount of usable space that you have, especially when it comes to finding a parking spot.

However, keep in mind that state-run campgrounds calculate their length on the unit itself because the tow vehicle is normally parked separately. Finally, get as many measurements as possible so you have a clear picture of how much area you will require for just the trailer unit itself, in addition to the area required for all of the components. Because knowledge is power, the greater the amount you know, the better.

How To Measure A Travel Trailer

How To Measure A Travel Trailer

The essential concepts for measuring each aspect of your travel trailer will remain the same, but you must first ensure that you have a long and accurate tape to get all of the dimensions correct.

Keep in mind that you should write and record the measurement in writing or take a note of it on your phone, and then keep the details structured and labeled so you know just how much space is living space and what each dimension how much room is when you’re finished. Without any more delay, let’s look at how to properly measure the equipment you have.

Measuring the Interior Length

The inner space is significantly easier to measure than the outer space. This is because there are fewer variables to consider while taking measurements.

Your interior dimensions are useful for selling, renovating, and just having a general understanding of the area that you are in. Make sure you have a measuring tape long enough to reach from one side of the interior height your trailer to the front wall the other before you begin measuring. If the length of the tape doesn’t seem long enough, the procedure will be more challenging.

You ought to additionally have a piece of paper and a pen or the device’s notepad app prepared to go for noting your measurements. An additional set of hands can also be beneficial for writing down the figures or holding one end of the tape measure. Having said that, this job is definitely doable by one person. If you cannot find a lengthy adequate tape measure, we recommend using masking tape to denote where the tape ends as well as where it’s necessary to start measuring again. This will allow you to be as precise as possible.

The inner length is a very simple measurement to take. Carefully secure or have somebody grip the end of the measuring instrument at one end of your trailer and walk it to the other. Enter the number as precisely as possible. The interior length and the width measurements is slightly more complicated, but only if slideouts are used. I recommend collecting two measurements if you have slideouts. Half with them closed, the other completely extended.

Measuring the Exterior Length

It is critical to understand your travel trailer’s outside measurements. Campgrounds will have size limitations, and you’ll have to know whether or not you can fit in them. If you are unsure of the size of your travel trailer, it might make booking campsites and planning vacations difficult.

The length of your travel trailer’s exterior, excluding any extras or add-ons, is its outside length. The trailer tongue, hitches, and tow vehicles are not included in this measurement of the trailer’s exterior length; nevertheless, the total exterior length ought to incorporate the trailer tongue, hitch, and tow vehicles.

When inspecting the exterior, interior length, and total length measurements of your travel trailer, we suggest taking as many dimensions as possible. Carry it with merely the hitch, with both the camper hitch and the tow vehicle, or with the trailer tongue only. Get a measurement of the length of any extra space that you attach to your travel trailer. The more measures you have, the more ready you will be to find a campsite or even a parking spot.

The external width has two independent measures, as does the inside width. You ought to have one with the slides in and one without them. Both of these metrics are critical to understanding. When traveling, the width internal length of your travel trailer with the slides in comes in useful, and the width of the trailer with the slides out becomes really beneficial when camping. There are many videos on the internet that discusses and clarifies how the measurement of exterior length and width of your travel trailer might be perplexing.

Measuring the Height 

Measuring the height of your travel trailer will provide you with useful information. You must know the height of your trailer in order to securely drive under overpasses or park in basements; even navigating through drive-throughs can be difficult if you don’t know the height of your trailer.

The interior height faces many of the same difficulties as the inside and exterior width. You may need to take multiple measurements to get a complete picture of your interior height. The height of some travel trailers or larger RVs also differs based on where you are in the trailer. Take note of this and, if necessary, take several measurements.

You’ll need to take a few measures in addition to the external height measurement. The overall height of the camper, which includes ceiling-mounted air conditioning units, is the most important quantity to remember. You should also take a full exterior height estimate without the top air conditioning unit or equipment.

If you are thinking about buying a travel trailer, make sure to evaluate its height. You don’t want to be limited in your capacity to travel since you have a trailer that is simply too tall. In this post, we look at the average heights of RVs.

The Best Length for a Travel Trailer?

The ideal travel trailer length is 19 feet (5 meters), which allows you to use most campgrounds (which includes 98% of National Parks). Finally, the optimal length for a travel trailer will rely on how many individuals will be using the space and choosing the right trailer for your needs.

When it pertains to travel trailer size, you have numerous alternatives. These units can be 15 to 45 feet (4 to 13 meters) long, having an average length of 25 feet (7 meters). If you have a large group, your first instinct might be to buy or rent the longest travel trailer you can find, but storage and parking could become a problem if you go this route. Numerous national parks in the United States, for instance, have a maximum allowed trailer length of 27 feet (8 meters).

Almost 98% of national park campgrounds allow RVs up to 19 feet (5 meters) in length, and 90% allow RVs up to 25 feet (7 meters). Many of the larger parks include campsites that can accommodate larger groups. Yosemite, for instance, offers a campground that allows trailers up to 40 feet (12 meters), and Yellowstone has campgrounds that can accommodate cars up to 50 feet (12 meters).

Travel Trailer Length Restrictions

Here are some trailer length regulations to be aware of in major US locations:

  • Everglades National Park in Florida: The maximum length in Florida’s Everglades National Park is 45 feet (13 meters).
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee: Trailers can only be 35 feet (10 meters) long in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Mount Rainier National Park in Washington: Mount Rainier National Park in Washington has a trailer length limit of 27 feet (8 meters).
  • Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado: Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park may handle sets up to 40 feet (12 meters).
  • Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona: Two campgrounds can support trailer configurations up to 30 feet (9 meters), while one campground is capable of accepting a setup up to 50 feet (15 meters).
  • Acadia National Park in Maine: There are no length limitations at any of the campgrounds, so you may visit without worrying about your setup length!
  • Denali National Park in Alaska: Denali National Park in Alaska has a maximum setup length of 40 feet (12 meters).

The ideal length of your travel trailer is also determined by your towing vehicle. In general, the length of the trailer that your vehicle may tow cannot be more than 75% of the tow vehicle’s greatest loaded weight.

Is the Hitch Included in the Length of a Travel Trailer?

When evaluating the exterior of your travel trailer, take as many measures as possible, which includes the hitch, but don’t necessarily include it in your dimensions. As a general rule, your trailer must reach a particular length before the hitch is removed. If your trailer is less than 25 feet long, average height of the hitch is normally included in that measurement. If your trailer is longer than 25 feet, the height is most likely not included, and the length refers exclusively to the living space and area.

So, if that formula is applied and an overall length of 18 feet is specified, it will have 15 feet of living area and 3 feet of hitch space. This is a pretty broad rule, and you should not expect every trailer length to be calculated in this manner. It is usually a good idea to clarify the length with the dealer or manufacturer, as well as how they obtain that measurement, so you know exactly what you are getting. Others might give the overall length to make it appear as if you are receiving a larger trailer than you are.

How to Take Coverage Measurements for Your Travel Trailer

Many travel trailer owners require camper coverings. When the travel trailer is in storage for the winter, they assist protect it from the weather. However, a cover is only as effective as its fit, therefore correct measurement is essential.

You’ll want to gather the complete length and breadth of your camper, as well as the dimensions of the camper’s container without the trailer. You’ll need both of those measurements since certain covers only cover the camper while others include both the camper and the trailer.

You will also need your height dimensions to make the best possible purchase. As with the length and breadth measurements, you should take another with and one minus the air conditioner.

Ensuring that the cover is the correct size will help you protect what you’ve invested in your travel trailer. You want to safeguard it from the weather during the off-season so that you can enjoy it for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the length of the trailer include the hitch?

The length of a travel trailer may not necessarily include the hitch. However, understanding the length of your travel trailer, which includes the hitch, is critical. Even if it requires measuring your travel trailer yourself, you’re going to want to know the complete length, hitch included.

What Is the Average Travel Trailer Length?

There are many different lengths of travel trailers on the market. The majority of travel trailers range in size from 12 to 35 feet. The most popular lengths for travel trailers are 20 and 30 feet.

What Is the Average Travel Trailer Height?

Travel trailer height measurements might also vary. Some travel trailers, on the other hand, stand between 10 and 11 feet tall (outside).

What Is the Average Travel Trailer Width?

The breadth of a travel trailer, like its length and height, varies. The majority are roughly 8 feet broad. Extra broad variants are 8.5 feet wide, while compact models are 6 to 7 feet wide. Slideouts often add 2 to 3 feet to the travel trailer’s open width.

Do You Have to Measure the Camper’s Tongue Length?

Yes, you must know how long the camper’s tongue is. You must exactly know the length of your camper, such as the tongue. When deciding where to park your camper, consider the entire length.

Do You Need to Know a Travel Trailer’s Width?

Yes, you must also understand the width of a travel trailer. This is vital to consider while planning your journey, as narrow roads with a big trailer might be difficult to manage.

You should also know how wide the camper gets when the slide-outs are extended. You don’t intend to encroach on other people’s campsites.

How Do Campgrounds Determining Trailer Length?

The length of an RV is measured differently by different campgrounds. For example, some specify the tongue length whereas others do not. Take multiple measurements of certain length of your camper and keep them somewhere accessible for quick reference. Always check the website of a campground for its unique policies different measurements.

What is the ideal length for a travel trailer?

There is no ideal length for a travel trailer. Shorter travel trailers that are smaller and simpler to tow and store are preferred by some. Others may have limited space or have large families, in which case the extra space of a 35-foot travel trailer with a bunkhouse is ideal.

What is the maximum length of a travel trailer allowed in national parks?

Yellowstone National Park, among others, can handle a 40-foot boat. RV. Nearly all national parks can allow RVs of up to 19 feet in length. The average length of a national park campground is 27-30 ft. The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), passed in 2020, allocates cash to national park campgrounds until 2025 to upgrade several of them, notably lengthening the campsites.


To ensure you are a responsible owner of an RV, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the precise measurements of your travel trailer. While the specifications provided by the manufacturer may not offer all the required details, measuring your travel trailer is a straightforward process.

All you need to do is acquire a tape measure and seek the help of a friend, and you’ll quickly gather all the necessary information. Take measurements both inside and outside of the trailer, and be sure to account for any additional features such as bike racks or aftermarket accessories that you have installed. It’s essential to measure the slide-outs as well. Additionally, remember to include the height of the air conditioner when calculating the overall height.

Don’t underestimate the importance of measuring your travel trailer, as it is a simple task that shouldn’t be overlooked. Having the precise dimensions of your RV will prove invaluable when it comes to planning your travel routes or reserving a suitable campsite.

A Guide on How to Measure a Travel Trailer
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