Whenever you travel with your RV, it is always good to have a portable ladder on hand. It is useful for setting up your RV, getting to hard-to-reach places, and helping in emergencies. Of course, RVs have limited space, so we must also be wise in choosing the correct ladder.
There are several types that you can bring with you or install on your RV. To help you make a choice, we will explore 10 of the best ladders for RVs available on the market. We will discuss each product’s pros and cons and talk about what you need to know about the motorhome ladder in general.
- Material: The RV ladder’s material can determine its strength and durability. In this list, most of the ladders are made of aluminum to make them corrosion-resistant and incredibly lightweight for travel. Some of them are even reinforced with plastic fiber to increase longevity.
- Safety: A permanently fixed RV rear ladder seems to be safer than the telescopic types because they stay firm to walk on. Many of the ladders below have extra RV ladder accessories to increase safety, including locking pins, non-slip end caps, and a long handrail. To create a more stable platform, look for wide ladder rungs.
- Load Capacity: How would you know the amount of weight that the camper van ladder can handle? Look at the weight capacity of the ladder and ensure that it can support your weight. In our reviews below, the load capacity of the ladders ranges from 200 lbs to 330 lbs which is within an average adult human weight.
Before you choose, know what our experts are saying – this will help you find the best RV ladder that’s just right for you.
|Product name||Outstanding Features|
|Ohuhu Extension Ladder||
|Little Giant Flip-N-Lite Ladder||
|Yvan Telescoping Ladder||
Table of Contents
Top-Rated RV Ladder Reviews
1. Ohuhu 12.5 ft Extension Ladder
Space is at a premium when you have an RV. That is why the Ohuhu Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder is the ideal choice if you want a ladder to bring around the campgrounds.
I am thrilled to know that this model retracts to 2.9 ft when not in use, so I can easily store it in my RV. Furthermore, it also has a portable grip handle for easy carry when not in use.
My favorite feature of this telescoping RV ladder is its easy retraction feature. Just press down on the two thumb buttons, and it will retract smoothly. To customize the height, you have two options: individually retract each rung from full size or deploy each level singly to your desired length. It also comes with well-fitting rungs that provide air resistance for smooth ladder retraction.
The ladder, made from aluminum, weighs a little over 25 pounds. but supports up to 330 pounds. Its locking pins click securely in place, giving you an auditory confirmation that it is safe to use.
Compliant with EN131 and SGS Euro Safety Standards, you have confidence when using this ladder. Other safety features include strengthened steps and non slip end caps that will avoid any untoward incident.
2. Little Giant Flip-N-Lite 6 ft Ladder
As I need a proper full-support ladder, the Little Giant Flip-N-Lite 6 ft Aluminum Stepladder has features that I appreciate. In detail, it is equipped with a standing platform and a tall handrail with a built-in tool tray for extra safety.
While this travel trailer ladder is light and weighs less than 15 pounds, it is still sturdy. You can comfortably work on it without needing someone to hold the base. Remarkably, its steps are wider and deeper than other brands, giving you more stability. The top step folds out into a platform that you can completely stand on.
The stepladder is built to national standards and will support up to 300 pounds. It meets or exceeds all product criteria set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the American National Standards Institute.
What allows me to climb quickly is the release handle on the top platform. The feature makes it easy to deploy while also making sure that it won’t open up accidentally when you carry or store it.
3. Yvan 10.5 ft Telescoping Ladder
When you need a ladder to use in your RV and pack in the trunk of your car, you should take a look at the Yvan 10.5 ft Telescoping Ladder. It’s a portable ladder that reduces in size to less than 32 inches when packed.
This light ladder weighs only 20 pounds and is constructed from aluminum alloy and fiber-reinforced plastic. The oxidized aluminum surface resists corrosion and will extend the life of this lightweight folding ladder. Such technologies used by Yvan for their ladder can increase its usability and durability without adding extra weight.
Its capacity of 330 pounds will support most adults, and the wide 1.5-inch rungs on each step will give the user secure footing. Its stable build will provide you with confidence as you reach for higher areas around your RV.
Each level will give a loud, audible click when it locks, so you’re sure that it is safe to climb. To retract it, all you need is to press on the thumb buttons. The whole ladder will then slowly but safely fold into its original position.
4. Stromberg Carlson LA-460B Ladder
The Stromberg Carlson Black Bunk Ladder is an excellent option if you need access to a top bunk in your RV. It attaches via hooks on the edge of the bed or with the included brackets and retainers.
I prefer to install the aluminum RV ladder mounting brackets as they provide more stable support, which is very important when you’re on-board a moving vehicle. The retainers fit snugly on it, making them hard to remove. If you need to stow the ladder when not in use, I suggest that you file a bit off the bracket’s aluminum ribs for clearance. It’s easy to do and won’t take more than half an hour.
To my delight, the hook of the ladder easily fits over any interior door for storage. It is light and weighs only at 2.3 pounds. Anyone can quickly move this ladder about – even your kids.
If the 60-inch length of the ladder is too long, you could cut off the bottom to fit your desired height. Notably, cutting and filing the edges for a smooth finish of the aluminum ladder will take no time. The rubber feet will easily separate from the original legs and reattach on the newly cut ladder.
5. Luisladders 12.5 ft Ladder
This compact ladder is an excellent choice if you don’t have much space or don’t want something bulky and hard to store. The Luisladders 12.5 ft Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder folds down to less than three but extends up to 12.5 feet.
When you’re out on the road, owning a compact folding ladder for RVs will offer you a lot of conveniences. Its most common use is for you to climb the roof of your motorhome and make sure that there is no debris on your slider or awning when you’re retracting them.
Non slip end caps are added to cover their feet for enhanced safety. Meaning you can use it in your trailer without the risk of slipping. Besides, this unit has a grip handle and Velcro straps for easy transport and storage.
What I like best about this ladder is that you can customize its length to your needs. You can deploy it level-by-level to reach your desired height. And even if you overestimated the distance you need, you could retract it by rung making it simple to use.
6. Stromberg Carlson LA-401 RV Ladder
If you’re looking for something permanent to install on your RV, you should consider the Stromberg Carlson LA-401. It is a solidly-built ladder with twice as many fasteners as other factory models of the same size. Hence, you can rest assured that it is strong enough to support your weight.
I like that the side rails extend above the wall before bending down to secure on the top of your motorhome. It’s a good feature as it gives you something to hold on to when going up or down from the roof of your RV.
The ladder comes with a top and bottom part for ease of installation. The included stand offs can also be placed anywhere for support. These features, plus its flat design, allow it to fit most campers. Whether you have a large class C motorhome or a smaller class A RV, this universal ladder will work for you.
Take note that there might be some instances in that you need to customize the ladder. If that’s the case, it is easy to work on. The 1” diameter aluminum tubing can easily be cut using readily-available power tools. Also, the top and bottom pieces will slide smoothly and securely together – welding is not needed. Overall, it will take less than three hours to install, even if you need to modify its length.
7. RecPro 60-in RV Ladder
Many RVs do not provide camper bunk ladders with their products. That is why, for your safety, you should choose a sturdy ladder from a reputable company. The RecPro RV Bunk Ladder is one such ladder that you should consider.
Because of the limited space in motorhomes, it is wise that the ladder you’re going to install can be removed and stored when not in use. The RecPro ladder gives you two options for this: you can either hang it off the edge of the bunk or order the optional mounting brackets for a more secure position.
The rubber footpads give it a secure grip on the floor; you can be confident that it won’t slip as you go up the bed. Weighing less than 3 pounds but capable of supporting up to 200, both kids and adults can easily use and move it.
The solid construction gives the ladder a sleek profile while keeping it waterproof – making sure that it will last you a lifetime. If you need to customize the height, just saw off the unneeded length and replace the cut-off section’s footpads.
For storage, you can buy extra brackets and install them over an unused wall in your RV. You can then hang the ladder there when not in use.
8. Stromberg Carlson LA-460 Ladder
Not all ladders for motorhomes offer the exact features we need. If you only want it to access a top bunk or interior storage, you should opt for the Stromberg Carlson LA-640 60″ Bunk Ladder.
The ladder is made from aluminum, making it lightweight. Both adults and children can quickly move it, and you can hang it on the wall without fear of damage when not in use.
It’s designed to be used in your motorhome and comes with two attachment options. You could either use the small clips and extrusions so that the ladder will be secure in place. Or you could opt for the larger hooks so you can have the option to place it anywhere, especially if you have multiple bunks.
Its maximum capacity of 250 pounds means that it supports both children and adults. Its feet come with rubber treads to prevent slipping and ensure that it will provide stable support for its users. You can easily adjust the 60-inch length of the ladder by sawing the unneeded length. The pads on the feet can be replaced on the new cuts to retain their non slip safety feature.
9. Quick Products QP-LA-466B RV Ladder
It is dangerous if you have a top bunk in your RV, yet you do not have a ladder. You would not want to risk an accident, either with you or your kids, while on vacation. That’s why you should have the Quick Products 66-in RV Bunk Ladder installed.
It can support up to 250 pounds while just weighing less than 7 pounds. Since the unit is lightweight, it won’t be hard to move. As I do not have much space left in my RV, I bought extra brackets and installed them on an unused wall for ladder storage.
The ladder itself can be mounted over the bed frame on the top bunk. If you want a more secure fit, you can use the included mounting brackets so that the ladder won’t move around.
The built-in rubber foot pad protects the floor of your RV from scratches while providing extra grip. Due to this feature, you can rest assured that the ladder will not slide when you use it.
If it’s too long for your purpose, you could easily cut the lower part. When I customized the unit, I used a metal saw to remove the extra length, filed the edges for a smooth finish, and then replaced the rubbers for grip.
10. WolfWise 12.5 ft Extension Ladder
You should consider the Wolfwise 12.5 ft Aluminum Telescopic Extension Multi-Purpose Ladder if you need a ladder but don’t have much space.
When folded down, it measures less than 3 feet, so you can store it in the small nooks of your motorhome or even under your bed. Also, you can use the integrated carrying handle for ease of transport. Just hold this telescoping ladder by the handle, tuck it under your arm, and your good to go! There’s also an included strap to secure it when stored.
This collapsible RV roof ladder is made from aerospace quality aluminum – light yet strong enough to support more than 250 pounds. The aluminum tubes for each level of the ladder are constructed as one unit, making it extra strong. Furthermore, there’s an almost 6-inch overlap so that it will not bend when weight is applied.
I love this one’s sleek and long-lasting look due to its anodized finish. The coating gives it a clean look and also prevents corrosion.
What I like best about this ladder is its easy, one-button retraction. Just press the two buttons on the bottom rung, and each step will settle down slowly onto the other. This mechanism keeps you safe and prevents you from pinching your hand.
What To Know Before Buying RV Ladder
You might have already decided on which ladder camping ladder you will buy for your motorhome. But before pressing ‘Add to Cart,’ I still suggest that you read through this buyer’s guide.
I will discuss everything you need to know about ladders here. These insights will give you detailed information so that you know you’re making the top-tier choice for you when making that purchase.
The Different Types of Ladders
There are many different types of ladders that you can choose. They vary depending on their use and materials. For this guide, we will focus on the different ladders designed for motorhomes, camping, and outdoors.
- Exterior RV Ladder
This type of RV Ladder Installation is usually permanently fixed on motorhomes. Its primary purpose is to access the roof of the motorhome. However, it is not a flexible tool – you cannot use it elsewhere because it is bolted onto the wall.
But for that exact same reason, this is a very stable and safe platform. When you always access the roof of your motorhome, then this is the ladder for you.
- Telescopic Extension Ladder
If you’re looking for folding ladders for RVs that don’t take up much space, then the telescopic extension ladder is a good option for you. They’re usually between 10 to 15 feet long when fully extended but retract to less than 3 feet.
The significant advantage of this ladder over the exterior type is that you can use this pretty much anywhere. These are also easy to pack up, usually only requiring a single action and gravity to go down smoothly.
Take note, however, that they are not as secure nor sturdy as the exterior ladder. If you’re going to use this, make sure that you have a companion who will help keep you safe.
- Bunk Ladders
When you don’t usually need to reach heights outside, you won’t need an exterior RV ladder. Bunk ladders would suit your needs well if you only need help to access interior spaces, like a bunk bed or a tall cupboard.
These ladders are light and easy to carry around – even children can lift them easily. Most models also come with brackets so that you can hang them securely where you need them. If you install another set of brackets over an unused wall, you can attach the ladder there for storage – or you could just hang it over an interior door.
- Step Ladders
If you have plenty of space and want a stable folding exterior RV ladder, consider getting a step ladder instead. This traditionally-designed ladder does not need to lean on a wall. It can stand up on its own and is perfect for setting up awnings, tents, and other tall items.
Its design is inherently stable – the four padded feet and built-in spreaders will prevent you from tipping over. You also wouldn’t need an assistant to keep you steady.
The significant downside here is that these telescoping ladders are bulky. While advances in materials and metallurgy have kept their weight down, this ladder’s physical dimensions will always be huge.
Ladder Safety Standards
Another vital thing to consider when buying a ladder is safety standards. You have to make sure that the ladder you’re going to buy meets national standards and will not break when you use it.
- Duty Ratings
One of the basic standards that you should consider is the duty rating. It is the maximum weight capacity that a ladder can support. Remember, this is not just your weight; the weight of the items you’re carrying and the force that applies when working also impact here. There are the ratings that ladders follow:
- Type IAA / Extra Heavy Duty – 375 pounds
- Type IA / Extra Heavy Duty – 300 pounds
- Type I / Heavy Duty – 250 pounds
- Type II / Medium Duty – 225 pounds
- Type III / Light Duty – 200 pounds
It is wise to get at least a Type II when you use a ladder outside your RV. That way, you can be sure that it will not buckle under most circumstances.
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
Another sign of quality that ladders follow is the ANSI certificate. They are a non-government regulating body that monitors the quality of design and construction of all ladders. If ANSI certifies the ladder you chose, you can be sure that it will perform up to the standards labeled on the ladder.
- Occupation Health and Safety Administration (OHSA)
On the other hand, this one is a government agency tasked with keeping safety standards in all workplaces – this includes ladders. They consider different factors like spacing, safety features, weight, clearance, and other characteristics. They also release guidelines for the safe use and maintenance of equipment.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of RV Ladders
When you need to reach tall spaces, RV ladders are a must. Trying to set up an awning or tent using a four-legged chair will not give you the height you need. Plus, it could be extra dangerous as most chairs are not meant to be stood on.
Bunk ladders are still useful to have, even if you don’t use tents or awnings. These will let you reach tall interior spaces like bunks, cupboards, and cabinets. Just make sure that you have it securely anchored on a ledge or bracket when you use them so that you won’t slip and fall.
If there’s one drawback of all ladders, it’s that they consume a lot of space. Even the smallest ladders take up at least 3 feet of storage, while the longer ones could take up to 8 feet. Even the permanently installed ladders on the side of motorhomes add drag and slightly increase fuel consumption.
No matter their benefits and drawbacks, if you have a tent, awning, or slider, you are required to have a ladder. It is imperative so that you can avoid accidents while out on your vacation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do RV ladders work?
Because space is at a premium for most motorhomes, almost all RV ladders have some type of folding mechanism. These work two ways – either like a telescope where it retracts into the bottom level or like a collapsible ladder where it folds onto itself.
Bunk ladders, on the other hand, are pretty light and compact. Because of this, you can just lay it on a bed when not in use or hang it over an unused wall or door.
Exterior ladders are permanently attached to the wall of your RV. You wouldn’t need to store it, but you cannot use it elsewhere.
Who makes the most trusted RV ladder?
Stromberg Carlson is a renowned name in RV accessories. As such, their ladders are usually high-quality and are perfectly suited for most camper trailers. However, the Little Giant brand, which specializes in making all kinds of ladders, also has excellent offerings that can be used in RVs.
Why are there ladders on RVs?
The most common use of ladders when on the road is setting up and packing tents, awnings, and sliders. It is especially true for sliders because you cannot retract it if there is debris on the roof. You risk damaging the retraction mechanism if you do not clean the top beforehand. That is why many motorhomes with this feature will have a built-in exterior ladder.
You may also use the telescoping ladder to access the roof of your vehicle, but it is not as secure as the permanently installed ones. On the other hand, telescopic ladders can be used elsewhere as they’re not mounted and will pack up into a small size relative to the others on our list.
If you have an awning or an awning room, then you’ll probably have a stepladder with you. It is essential to hang the room panels entirely or get the awning in the right position. They’re also useful for putting up lights and other accessories under the canopy as these ladders can stand independently.
Bunk ladders are used mainly to access the top levels of bunks, but you can also use them for other interior areas. But I wouldn’t recommend them for any other application, especially outside the RV, as they are not designed for it and could pose a danger to the user.
How do you setup and use your RV ladder?
Since there are multiple types of RV ladders, we will focus on the two types which are not permanently attached or don’t have mounting brackets – the stepladder and the telescopic ladder.
- Choosing the Correct Option
If you are going to do a lot of work away from a wall, you will have to get the freestanding stepladder. It is because telescopic ladders require a surface for it to lean on. I do not recommend placing a telescopic ladder on a ledge or bar as it is not usually secure enough. You have to be sure that it will support your weight, else you risk falling.
- Ensure a stable base
Whatever ladder you are going to use, place its feet securely on the surface. If it slips or moves when there is a weight on the ladder, there is a chance for you to lose your balance and fall off.
Make sure that the RV ladder support, if included, is properly deployed and that you have someone who is assisting you or at least near you so that they can assist you in case of emergency.
- Holding On Securely
Whenever you are on a ladder, make sure that you have three points of contact on it. That means two feet and at least one hand. As much as possible, you must have at least one hand on the ladder so that you won’t lose balance. If you need to work with both hands, make sure that someone is at the bottom to support you and add stability to the ladder.
How do you clean and store RV ladders?
RV ladders, like all equipment, require some form of maintenance. While these items are not expensive to maintain, some simple things must be done to increase their lifespan and ensure safety.
- Always keep it clean. Do not use soaps or detergents on the ladder as they may negatively affect the surface. It’s better to use a clean cloth to wipe it down.
- Store it in a cool, dry place. While humidity will usually not affect aluminum, it is still better to have a proper storage location to keep your ladder like new.
- If the ladder is exposed outside, make sure that you wash it down regularly, especially if you travel in areas where there is a lot of salt – like beaches or highways during winter.
You should always read through the manufacturer’s recommendation when caring for your ladder. They will always have the best advice as they created them and know how to best take care of the material that they used.
How to repair RV ladders?
If the damage is not severe, RV ladder repair can be done by the user. Especially for Exterior RV Ladders, this is a viable solution. You just need to cut off the damaged part and then replace it with what you ordered.
However, for the rest of the ladder types, I highly discourage home repair. These ladders are built to a standard, and the manufacturer uses special building techniques to keep them safe. If you need to have it repaired, you should bring it to an authorized service center. Better yet, just replace it with a new one. You should never skimp on your safety.
Is steel ladder better than aluminum?
In terms of durability, steel ladders are better than aluminum because they’re more heavy-duty. They can support any weight, including the tools you carry.
However, steel isn’t as lightweight as aluminum. Ultimate ladders in the RV world use aluminum, making them easy to carry during travel. More importantly, they don’t develop rust even if you install the ladder outside.
How much does an RV ladder weigh?
The weight of the ladder may depend on its design. An RV roof access ladder made of aluminum has a weight of about 10 lbs. For telescoping ladders, the weight can be heavier, around 22-29 lbs. A bunk ladder is usually the most lightweight, about 5 lbs.
What is the safest type of ladder to use?
RV exterior ladders are the safest to use outdoors because they’re permanently fixed into the rear side of the camper home. No amount of wind can topple the ladder down when you climb into the roof of your rig.
If you want more portability, an RV step ladder is the safest because it has an extended frame for support. You can bring this ladder almost anywhere for important tasks like adjusting the awning.
Are extendable ladders any good?
A fold up ladder is good because it’s versatile to use anywhere in the rig. This removable ladder can be used outdoors and even indoors when changing lights. Once the task is done, you can easily store this ladder in any space.
Just keep in mind that these ladders can be heavy, so ask for an extra hand when extending or moving it to any area.
Where to buy RV ladders?
You can get many options for the best RV ladders on Amazon and other RV specialty stores. Another alternative is to purchase a used RV ladder in the marketplace. If you need RV roof ladder replacement parts, check the store of your RV roof manufacturer.
How to make a DIY RV bunk ladder?
If getting an RV replacement ladder for your bunk bed is too expensive, make your own. It’s actually easy to build your own RV bunk ladder. All you need are some PVC pipes, end caps, and tee connectors.
Simply cut the PVC pipes into desired lengths. Next, connect each pipe to the tee connector. Once you have assembled the ladder, attach the end caps at the top and bottom.
A tip. If you want to reinforce the connection of the tubes, spray the cavity with spray foam before you attach them to the tees.
There are many RV ladder types available on the market for every situation. These ladders are essential, especially if you have expansion rooms or areas that require setup in your RV. Also, they are a must if you have bunk beds and kids.
When you are going on a vacation, it is always better to be safe than sorry. RV ladders will allow you to experience a more convenient and much safer RV life. If you’re planning to install a slider or awning room, or already have one, then you must have a camper ladder as well.
Since you’ve read through our buyer’s guide and seen our reviews on the top products in the market, you can now make an informed choice. Choosing the best RV ladder for your purposes will now be a breeze.
Okay, so I’m Philip Lopez. I join Riverside Trailer as an editor, where I will be doing research for both content and reviews. I contribute to studies aimed at understanding the most typical problems encountered by RVers on the road. I also keep up with the newest RVing gadget innovations so that I can promptly evaluate and recommend the best options.