Based on our research of twenty 5th wheel campers we found the average height of a 5th wheel to be approximately 13 feet or 155 inches. The tallest one we found came in at 13′ 6″ and the shortest one we found measured 12′ 3″. The height is measured from the ground to the highest point of the camper.
You will find some that are much lower than our sample of twenty but for the most part, 13 feet seems to be the average. In most states, a 5th wheel camper cannot exceed 13′ 6″ inches in height.
See the table below where we documented the manufacturer, the floorplan and the height specification. It is assumed the height includes any roof-mounted A/C. However, it’s a good idea to check with the manufacturer.
|Model||Floor Plan||Exterior Height|
|Jayco North Point||383FKWS||13′ 5″|
|Jayco Pinnacle||38FLWS||13′ 6″|
|Forest River Riverstone||381FB||13′ 4″|
|Forest River Wildcat||290RL||12′ 6″|
|Flagstaff Classic||85291KSB||13′ 2″|
|Coachmen Brookstone||344FL||13′ 5″|
|Keystone Alpine||3321MK||13′ 4″|
|Keystone Montana||3120RL||13′ 4″|
|Dutchmen Astoria||2503REF||12′ 5″|
|Grand Design Reflection||29RS||12′ 3″|
|Northwood Fox Mountain||235RLS||12′ 9″|
|Northwood Arctic Fox||32-5Z||13′ 5″|
|Luxe Fifth Wheel||43MD||13′ 6″|
|Crossroads Cruiser||CR3311RD||12′ 8″|
|Heartland RV Big Horn||3375 SS||13′ 3″|
|K-Z Durango||D321RKT||12′ 9″|
|Open Range Highlander||HF327G||13′ 1″|
|Pacific Coachworks Sea Breeze||26FSB||11′ 8″|
|Palomino Columbus||328RLC||12′ 4″|
|Starcraft RV Telluride||251RES||12′ 5″|
One of the first things you should do when considering an RV is to take out a tape measure and actually measure the height of the camper. Make sure the RV is on level ground, the tires are inflated to manufacturer specification and it is hitched to your tow vehicle. If you even change the tires re-measure to make sure you have an accurate number.
Make sure you measure from the ground to the highest point on the RV. If there is a roof-mounted A/C or a digital antenna measure to the top of those. The last thing you want is to lose your A/C because you didn’t include the A/C unit, like the folks in the video below.
RV Height Clearance Tips
Let’s go over some tips that may help you avoid losing your newly installed RV roof A/C, satellite dish or those new solar panels you needed for boondocking.
- Each state is different as to whether or not they mark the height of bridges
- Each state is different as to the accuracy of the posted bridge height, some are accurate some are not
- Interstate bridges are designed to clear commercial semi-trucks (max height 13′ 6″)
- States, however, may have different requirements
- Re-paving can affect clearance height
- Print out a label of the height of your camper and stick it to your windshield.
Get more tips from this Roaming Times article.
Ways to Avoid Damage
Here is are some recommendations to avoid damage when towing your 5th wheel.
#1 Slow Down Under Bridges
When approaching an overpass especially of the clearance height is not posted drive slowly. You might think it’s clear but it might be a very tight pass and any bouncing of the camper will move the suspension up and down.
#2 Plan Your Route
Plan your route so you are driving on roads and highways where commercial truck traffic is bound to be present. Consider interstates since they are usually planned for semi-truck to traverse.
#3 Take Precautions
Some bridges and overpasses might be mislabeled, sometimes the stated clearance might be for the talked part of the bridge. It’s best to avoid anything that is within 1 foot of your camper overall height. Always proceed with caution.
#4 Consider an RV GPS
In order to help you choose a good route, you might consider the use of a GPS made specifically for RVers. The routes that are available on these types of GPS were developed for RVers. The routes offer plenty of room for your camper. Still, you need to be cautious and not always trust the GPS.
The Garmin RV 770 is an excellent RV GPS with an excellent rating on Amazon.
- RV routing¹ and road warnings help guide your RV or towable trailer
- Use the Smartphone Link app² to access live traffic, basic weather and more
- Hands-free features include Bluetooth® calling³, smart notifications, and voice-activated navigation
- RV Parks and Services Directory
- Built-in WiFi for easy map updating.
Summary of Average Height of a 5th Wheel
It goes without saying that you really need to know your camper and its dimension in order to ensure safe travel on the road. Drive with caution, stay vigilant, don’t assume markers and always correct, and if possible use an RV GPS to help plan your travel routes.