Best RV Ladders For Big Rigs & Small Campers (VIDEO)

We found the best RV ladders! Before you can find your favorite, you need to consider the type of rig you have and the different tasks you want to perform while using it. We can always help you find the best camping gear.

Best RV Ladder by CampingForFoodies features a collage of images including a retractable ladder that’s fully extended and leaning against the back wall of an RV on a sunny day, a man climbing an A-frame positioned ladder and inspecting an exterior RV window, a man removing a folded ladder from an RV storage compartment and a man closing a multi-position ladder for transportation.

Psst we’re compensated…see our disclosures.

Purchasing Considerations

If you’re replacing your permanently attached traditional ladder, or adding a permanently mounted ladder to an RV that doesn’t currently have one, we’ll talk about those later in the post. First, we’re talking about non-attached styles.

During our research phase, we were well aware of the limitations of our storage space to be able to accommodate a portable ladder. Things are especially tight on longer road trips when we are packed with lots of gear.

So, we evaluated based on two situations:

  1. When the ladder is in use
  2. When the ladder is in storage

In Use

Even though our RV has a built-in ladder on the back, it doesn’t allow us to access all of the high spaces for necessary inspections, routine maintenance, cleaning and repairs.

For example, we were staying in the open desert campsite on a REALLY WINDY day and could feel significant airflow inside our trailer around our newly installed refrigerator. My husband needed to inspect the vents outside. He could not see the vents from our RV’s roof so our permanent installation, rear-mounted exterior ladder was insufficient to handle the task.

We had to borrow our campmate’s portable folding ladder to be able to see what we needed to inspect. That’s when we learned our lesson about our need for a free-standing good collapsible ladder. The other lesson we learned was that you shouldn’t forget to install insulation when you replace a dual-fuel refrigerator with an electric refrigerator … ooops.

Your needs

RV owners should assess their specific needs. You may need to have access to:

  • The walls of the exterior of your RV (reaching vents and exterior windows for cleaning and inspection can be especially challenging with motorhomes, 5th wheel and larger travel trailers)
  • Equipment that is mounted on the roof of your RV (like solar panels and antennas)
  • The RV roof itself (especially in wet weather conditions to check for leaks)
  • The awnings (both the underside and the top side)
  • Slide outs (particularly when cleaning debris, like fallen leaves and pine needles, prior to retraction)
  • Interior spaces (accessing high cabinets/storage spaces, changing a light bulb, and manually operating ceiling vent shades and insulators is challenging, especially in fifth wheels)
  • High obstacles around the outside of your RV (you may want to hang camping string lights from nearby trees in especially dark campsites)

The ladder’s functionality

Does a particular model have the ability to do what you want it to do?

Functionality, does it function to meet your needs

Single-purpose or multi-purpose ladders may be able to:

  • Operate like wall ladders that must rest against a wall or other structure
  • Operate like a standard A-frame ladder that can stand on its own
  • Operate like scaffolds so you don’t have to keep moving the ladder during a project

Weight capacity, will it hold the weight you’ll be putting on it

How much weight do you need it to support?

  • Do you need a heavy-duty ladder with a high weight limit?
  • What is the maximum weight capacity (don’t forget you need to consider the entire load capacity including your body weight as well as any additional equipment/supplies it will be supporting)?

Height capacity, is it tall enough to meet your needs

What is the maximum height you’ll need to reach with this type of ladder?

  • Most RVers want their equipment to be used at different heights (you may want a 12 ft ladder for an 8 ft job)
  • If a step ladder is sufficient, there are plenty of options on the market today
  • For higher tasks, telescoping RV ladders can be extended or retracted to become the perfect size for each project.

Safety standards & ease of use

The best ladders are safe, easy to use and convenient to transport. Design features that make a difference include:

  • Locking mechanisms (telescopic ladders require extra safety features to prevent unintentional collapses)
  • Wide-flared legs and rungs (provide greater stability and are easier to use than narrow styles)
  • Rubber feet (offer better traction especially on wet pavement)
  • Rubber treads (really nice if using in bare feet)


Aluminum alloy construction is the most common material for camping ladders because it is:

kim cooking outdoors
Send me FREE camping tips!

I want "5 Secrets To Successful Camping Trips" plus weekly camping tips & recipes.

  • Lightweight but still strong enough to support a considerable amount of weight
  • Rust-resistant

For Storage

Determine where you will store it and how much space you are willing to devote to it.

It’s storage requirements

How much space does a particular model need for storage and how much does it weigh?

  • Collapsible models are lighter and smaller, but, not as sturdy.
  • Rigid models are more sturdy, but, heavier and larger.

Your storage limitations

Even a lightweight ladder may exceed the maximum weight allowance for a particular cargo area in your RV when combined with the other gear you are storing in that location.

  • Where will you be storing it when it’s not in use?
  • Is there a weight restriction for your storage area?
  • How much weight are you already carrying in that location?

Our Top Picks

Unattached and attached (mounted) recreational vehicle ladder styles:

  • Multifunctional
  • Telescoping
  • Rack
  • Bunk Beds


Multi-position ladders are a good option for RVers who want to be able to use their ladder anywhere without needing a wall (or roof) to support it. The stand-alone feature makes them handy for heavy duty use, but, they’re much more cumbersome to transport and require a larger storage area.

17 Ft. Little Giant Ladders, Velocity With Wheels

 Little Giant LaddersLittle Giant Ladders 17 Ft Velocity Multi-Position Ladder17 Ft Velocity Multi-Position Ladder 300 lbs Weight Rating300 lbs Weight Rating Aluminum With WheelsAluminum With Wheels



  • In Use Size: 204″ height x 5″ depth when fully extended
  • Storage Size: 55″ height x 9″ depth when fully retracted
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Material: Aerospace-grade premium aluminum alloy

The high-quality materials and aluminum construction make Little Giant Ladders a top choice for RV owners who want an extremely sturdy self-standing ladder with solid stiles (rails) in the great outdoors. Multi-position ladders are the best option for:

  • Tasks in wide, open-air areas requiring an A-frame, self-supporting ladder
  • Tall RVs requiring a long extension ladder
  • Sloped ground/staircase execution
  • 90-degree ladder positioning

Additional features:

  • Rock locks allow you to quickly change to different configurations and they are much more robust compared to the locking mechanisms in telescoping ladders.
  • Tip-and-glide wheels, great way to move it around rather than carrying it
  • The weight is surprisingly light considering the drastically different stability this style has over retractable models.


  • Amount of space required for storage is tough for any rig. It is usually only an option for 5th wheels or motorhomes with large basements.
  • The price

Gorilla Ladders 18ft ladder is a very similar design that typically costs 15-20% less than the Little Giant Ladders brand.

This is the ladder we used to find our insulation problem around our refrigerator. So thankful it was available because that was a really chilly trip and we needed to close the open gaps!

6 Ft. Little Giant Flip-N-Lite Slim Stepladder

 Little Giant 6 Ft. Flip N Lite, 300 Pound CapacityLittle Giant 6 Ft. Flip N Lite, 300 Pound Capacity Aluminum Lightweight Slim Stepladder LadderAluminum Lightweight Slim Stepladder Ladder



  • In Use Size: 75″ height x 21″ width
  • Storage Size: 75″ height x 21″ width x 5.25″ depth when closed for storage
  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum

For smaller rigs that don’t require super-tall ladders, we love the Little Giant stepladders.

They are available in 4-, 5- and 6-foot sizes with 1, 2 and 3 steps.

The stability of this stepladder is great, and, when collapsed for storage it is only about 4 or 5 inches deep.


The retractable nature of collapsible ladders is a great feature because they are so convenient to transport and store, but it is also the biggest risk because:

  • Telescoping ladders can accidentally retract
  • Fingers/hands may get pinched during normal retraction
  • Many RV owners understand the trade-off and choose retracting models because they want easy storage in a limited space. We have two different models we like, one is leaning-only, the other is leaning or hanging.

12.5 Ft. Ohuhu Aluminum Telescoping Ladder

 Ohuhu 12.5 FT Premium Aluminum Telescoping LadderOhuhu 12.5 FT Premium Aluminum Telescoping Ladder ONE-Button Retraction, 330 Pound CapacityONE-Button Retraction, 330 Pound Capacity



  • In Use Size: 33″ width x 150″ height when fully extended
  • Storage Size: 33″ width x 35″ height when fully retracted
  • Weight: 31.2 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum alloy & Nylon Plastic

If you don’t need hooks and only plan to use it as a leaning ladder, the Ohuhu Telescoping Ladder is the best choice because:

  • It is one of the best telescoping ladders with one-button retraction. Each rung retracts slowly.
  • Locking mechanism pins hold the sections in place, colored indicators at each step visually alert you when locked, red (ok to step), yellow (don’t step).

Additional features:

  • Non-slip end caps help to keep the ladder from sliding on the ground
  • 360° rotating anti-skid stabilizer bar footpads add a bit of stability (but they can also get in the way)


  • Some users have reported not being able to close the ladder all the way, that has not been our personal experience but like any product, some are defective.

12.5 Ft. LUISLADDERS Wider Step Telescoping Ladder

 LUISLADDERS 12.5 FT Aluminum, Extension, Removable Hooks, 330lbs CapacityLUISLADDERS 12.5 FT Aluminum, Extension, Removable Hooks, 330lbs Capacity Telescoping, One-Button RetractionTelescoping, One-Button Retraction



  • In Use Size: 19.3″ width x 149.6″ height x 4.1′ depth when fully extended
  • Storage Size: 19.3″ width x 33.3″ height x 4.1′ depth when fully retracted
  • Weight: 24.7 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
  • Material: Aerospace-grade premium aluminum alloy

There are lots of telescoping RV ladders on the market. If you need the functionality of a ladder that leans and hangs, this LUISLADDERS telescopic extension ladder model is the perfect choice because:

  • It’s steps are larger than similar extension ladders, typically twice as deep as the competitors. That provides improved footing and feels more like the flat step on conventional ladders rather than a tube of aluminum where the soles of your feet are “searching for stability” while you’re working.
  • The 2 detachable hooks allow you to use it like an attached sturdy RV ladder by hanging the ladder in the groove of the roof gutter. The hooks can be removed to use it as a leaning ladder.
  • The tubes are larger (about 20% thicker on average) than competitors for improved stability.

Additional features:

  • A heavy-duty strap secures the ladder for storage and doubles as a grip handle for carrying.
  • The aluminum alloy material is corrosion-resistant.
  • Rungs are formed with slight ridges creating slip-resistant rungs.
  • Latches allow for rung-by-rung adjustments in one-foot increments so it can be used at the desired height for the task.


  • The pads on the bottom of the legs don’t grip the ground as well as other designs because of limited surface contact points.
  • You need to be careful not to pinch your fingers when collapsing it.

Rack Ladder

Most RV’s come with a permanently-mounted, exterior rack ladder so the owner can easily climb up to the roof. If a rig doesn’t have one or the existing one needs to be replaced, Stromberg Carlson makes a great universal exterior RV ladder.

Stromberg Carlson LA-401 Exterior RV Ladder

 Stromberg Carlson LA-401 Universal Exterior RV LadderStromberg Carlson LA-401 Universal Exterior RV Ladder Stromberg Carlson LA-102 1-Inch Bike Rack For Universal LadderStromberg Carlson LA-102 1-Inch Bike Rack For Universal Ladder



  • Mounted Size: 15″ width x 54″ height x 4″ depth when mounted
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum

This installation requires drilling into the RV. Some owners do the work themselves, others hire a professional.

You want to make sure the attachment points for the mounting brackets are in the correct position, according to the RV manufacturers instructions. The correct positioning is critical to ensure there is ample structural support for the ladder so it is used safely and without causing damage to the RV.

It’s also important to properly seal around all attachment points prevent leaks and water damage during wet weather conditions.

It’s nice to use installed exterior ladders for a dual purpose. They are great for carrying bikes during transit.

The Stromberg Carlson Bike Rack is designed to be used with the Universal Ladder. The carrier weighs 5 pounds and is designed to hold two bikes with a maximum load capacity of 50 pounds.

Bunk Ladders

Stromberg Carlson LA-460 60″ Bunk Ladder

 Stromberg Carlson LA-460 60-Inch Bunk LadderStromberg Carlson LA-460 60-Inch Bunk Ladder May Be Cut To Fit Shorter BunksMay Be Cut To Fit Shorter Bunks



  • Size: 13″ width x 60″ height
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum

Climbing into the top bunk when sleeping in RV bunk beds is not easy. Using a nice compact ladder makes the process much safer and less difficult.

It’s nice when the rungs are padded with rubber treads, especially when using barefooted.

Hooks and extrusions can both be used for attachment as a safety precaution.

The standard 60″ RV bunk ladder can be trimmed to fit with shorter bunks.

FREE Trip Planner

Make your next trip stress-free with a little pre-planning. Get your copy of our FREE printable camping trip planner template!

Camping Trip Planner Template Free Printable by CampingForFoodies is a whimsical illustration of a cute old orange car towing a blue and white vintage camper trailer down a road in a landscape of green trees, light green grass and brown mountains with fluffy clouds in a blue sky; thumbnail images of multiple pages of a camping trip planner under the text that reads camping free trip planner.

If you’re looking for awesome ideas for yummy camping food, you’re in the right place! Here’s our entire camping recipes list.

Get FREE camping tips and meal ideas emailed to you!

What do you think?

Leave me a comment, question or suggestion below. I’d love to hear from you so let’s chat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Ricky Joe says:

    Great article and thoughts on which ladder to use. They’re not the most convenient tool to carry, but a must have. Thanks for the great summary and pros and cons to help us choose.

    1. Kim Hanna says:

      Hi Ricky Joe! Thanks for stopping by! I’m totally with you on the necessity to have a good ladder for your RV. As you do your research, please let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to help in any way I can. Happy Camping, Kim