How are travel trailers measured?

To understand the measurement specifications of a travel trailer you first need to know how a travel trailer is measured.

Travel trailers are measured in the following manner

  1. A travel trailer can be measured starting at the ball mount and all the way to the back bumper. 
  2. According to the RVIA, the advertised length should be the usable “floor plan” length. In other words, the tongue or rear bumper should not be included in the length measurement. So a trailer described as 20 feet in length might be 23-24 feet overall.

However, when talking to a salesperson there might not be a standard from one to another. That’s why it’s important for you to ask what exactly the measurement means. Is it the usable box footage or the overall length including tongue and bumper.

Measurement for a campground

If you are pulling your travel trailer into a campground know that when the campground gives you a length of usable space available they typically mean from tongue to rear bumper. But in reality, there is usually a bit more space available. So if you are off 3-4 feet I wouldn’t worry.

How are travel trailers measured?

What is the width of most travel trailers?

Travel trailer width differs depending on the model and makes, for example, the Airstream Nest is not that wide at all.  however in order for the travel trailer not to exceed state allowed widths is shouldn’t be more than 8-feet 6-inches. You can get exact allowed highway dimension by visiting AAA driving laws.

What is the maximum trailer length for national parks?

The maximum trailer length for national parks varies depending on the park. Some parks have a maximum length of 40 feet for an RV though those a just a few of the national parks. Smaller campers will fit in a wider range of parks with RV’s up to 19 feet being allowed in the most number of parks. One of the best resources for this type of information is Best RV Length for National Parks by Camper Report.

How tall are most travel trailers?

Travel trailers differ in how tall they are depending on the model. On average you will find travel trailer heights of about 11 feet. But you also have to consider the roof-mounted A/C unit which adds another foot or so. 

Since manufacturers may or may not include the A/C unit in their measurements your best bet as to the actual height of your travel trailer is to use a tape measure to get precise height.

As far as what is the maximum height a travel trailer can be that will be 13 feet 6 inches tall. That’s the height of highway overpasses.

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Ray & Tammy Roman

Ray and Tammy Roman are the co-owner/authors of Go Travel Trailers. They have been featured in AARP, RV Today, and, among others. When not writing about RVs and the RV lifestyle, you'll find them fishing, vacationing in Red River, NM, and spending time with family and friends.