RVs are a whole lot of fun, and can take you to places you previously only dreamed of going. They’re a great way to vacation, and allow you to bring the comforts of home along with you as you travel the country.
But as part of all that traveling and adventuring, you need to spend some time on maintaining your motorhome.
You need a ladder for your RV. Several, probably.
You may find you need a few RV ladders to perform various functions around your motorhome. Depending on the size of your rig and whether any ladders or steps are already built in to the motorhome, you might want to consider one – or several – of the following ladders to bring with you on road trips.
Also, a word of caution and safety – if you’re traveling with young children, make sure you never leave ladders open or accessible where curious kids could climb them without supervision. To keep yourself safe, make sure you only use your ladder according to manufacturer guidelines and have someone nearby to spot you if you’re climbing a tall ladder.
Types of RV Ladders
Indoor RV ladders are useful if you have high storage spaces you find difficult to reach. If your RV doesn’t have a built-in ladder on the outside of your rig, you’ll need to purchase outdoor RV ladders for washing and maintaining your motorhome. You may also need bunk ladders for your RV.
1.) Multi-purpose ladders
A multi-purpose ladder can be adjusted, depending on the job you need it to do. Multi-purpose ladders are usually extendable, and you can use them as step-ladders, scaffolds, wall ladders, or stairway ladders. You could find yourself using a multi-purpose ladder while on road trips in a variety of different situations, and it can be a valuable asset.
2.) Exterior RV ladders
Exterior ladders are used on the outside of your RV, to help you wash or perform maintenance on your rig and access your roof. You’ll want to make sure any exterior ladder you use is rust-resistant and able to withstand bad weather.
3.) Bunk ladders
RV bunk ladders can’t really be repurposed to use in other situations, but if you have bunk beds that are used frequently, especially by kids who need help climbing up, they’re going to be a useful addition to your motorhome.
4.) Step ladders
Step ladders will be helpful when you need to reach high storage in your RV or to help kids reach sinks and other areas that are out of their reach. Most step ladders also fold and can be easily tucked away and stored for when they’re needed.
Pros of RV Ladders
Ladders for RVs can be useful in a variety of situations. They’ll help you get to areas to fix things in hard-to-reach areas like the roof or your canopy or awning, and be able to reach high storage areas. Ladders made specifically for RVs are great because they’re designed to be stored in small areas, usually by collapsing down. They’re also easy to move around so you can use them in a variety of situations.
Cons of RV Ladders
Of course, if you’re going to use a ladder, the biggest concern is going to be your safety. Don’t try to lean too far or reach too high on your ladder, or try to reposition your ladder while you’re still on it. Be careful of carrying things on a ladder, and don’t step higher than the rungs allow. You should also have someone on the ground to spot you and help you see any safety issues that could arrive. Be sure to take down and store ladders when not in use so children can’t find them to climb, and so others don’t trip.
Since you’re traveling in an RV, you’ll also want to keep an eye on your ladder’s weight. Lightweight ladders won’t overload your rig, and will be easier on you to carry around when you need them.
How do I choose what RV Ladder is right for me?
If you have a rounded trailer like an Airstream, a telescoping ladder will work better for you. If you have a more squared-off motorhome, an A-frame ladder will work nicely to reach outside parts of your motorhome. If your RV doesn’t have one, you may also want to install an exterior RV ladder so you have a quick, permanent way to access your roof.
A-frame and telescoping ladders to consider
This A-frame ladder is lightweight but nice and strong. It can hold up to 225 pounds when in use. The rungs collapse and the entire ladder breaks down for very compact storing when it’s not in use. GP Logistics makes both single-sided and double-sided RV folding ladders, depending on which you need.
This A-frame ladder has aircraft-grade aluminum construction and works as an A-frame, staircase, extension, or scaffolding ladder. It holds up to 250 pounds and is very lightweight and portable. The wide legs and rubber feet are great safety features.
This telescoping ladder is lightweight and strong – perfect for RV life! The no-pinch design is a great feature, and the various ladders are rated for up to 300 pounds, depending on the model you choose. There are also a variety of lengths available. The ladder collapses down to a very manageable size for storing and transporting in a motorhome.
This telescoping ladder holds up to 330 pounds and is made of a premium aluminum alloy. It has a stabilizer bar and non-slip mat for safety, and the one-button retraction means you’re not in danger of pinching your fingers when folding the ladder up afterward. It folds down for compact storage, and has a heavy-duty strap for carrying or hanging it to store.
Bunk ladders to consider
Bunk ladders are a huge help to anyone trying to awkwardly haul themselves up onto the top bunk in an RV! They’re also helpful for kids. When they’re not in use, bunk ladders should slide into a small space to be stored while you travel. Here are a few to consider for your motorhome.
This ladder is simple and basic, with rubber feet to keep it from slipping on the floor. It also has rubber treads to keep people climbing the ladder from slipping on the rungs. The basic black means it will go with any RV decor, and it has two methods to attach it to the bunk. The thin style means it’s easy to store when it’s not in use.
This bunk ladder mounts over your existing bed frame, or you can use the mounting brackets provided to attach the ladder. The rubber foot pads mean your ladder won’t slip while people are trying to use it, and it’s easy to install and remove when you travel.
This high-strength aluminum alloy can support up to 300 pounds. The steps on the ladder are padded for safety and comfort. This ladder is on the taller side, so it’s great for a bunk mounted over the cab, or for other high bunk beds.
This lightweight step stool is handy for reaching objects in your RV that are in high storage areas, or for helping kids to reach the sink to brush teeth or other tasks. The rubber feet mean it won’t slip, nor will it mark up your floors. The ladder stores flat when not in use.
This ladder gets great reviews, although many people advised that it takes a while to install properly. With it, you’ll be able to access hard-to-reach areas on the roof of your RV, so you can clean and fix things up high. It’s sturdy and well-built.
Why do RVs have ladders?
RV ladders are essential for many things you’ll find yourself tasked with while you maintain your RV. Exterior ladders will help you get to the roof, A-frame and telescoping ladders can help you reach the tops of the front and sides to wash, wax, and maintain your motorhome, and step ladders help you access high spaces inside your RV so you can make the most of every inch of your storage space in your traveling home.
How do you hook up a ladder to an RV?
Always install your RV ladder according to the instructions provided by the ladder manufacturer. You may also want at least one other person for safety purposes and to help you with your installation. In general, to install an exterior RV ladder, you’ll want to do the following:
- Place your ladder where you plan to install it, almost always on the back. If you plan to place it somewhere that is not indicated on your installation instructions, contact the manufacturer first to be sure that will work.
- Mark where your ladder will connect to the frame of your RV, and drill holes that correspond to the holes on your ladder meant for installation.
- Coat the underside of the mounting tabs with caulk or silicone
- Attach the ladder with the screws provided, through the caulked mounting tabs. Screw in any remaining screws and wipe off any excess sealant or caulk. Allow to dry.
- Carefully test ladder to be sure it’s properly attached
How much weight can an RV ladder hold?
Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for your ladder to see the maximum weight it can hold. Most exterior RV ladders can hold between 250-300 pounds. If you’re getting onto the roof of your RV itself, you’ll also want to check your vehicle owner’s manual to see how much your roof can hold.
Telescoping and A-frame ladders often hold about the same amount of weight – between 250-300 pounds, depending on the model. Step ladders and extension ladders all have ratings that indicate how much weight they can support. Type I ladders are for heavy-duty industrial use and can hold up to 250 pounds. Type III ladders are meant for light household use and can support 200 pounds, and Type II ladders are in-between. Check the type of ladder and weight limit before you purchase one so you can be sure you have what you need.
This post contains affiliate links.