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How Wide Are Travel Trailers and Motorhomes?

Written by Philip Lopez

Fact checked by Paul Lemaire

how wide are travel trailers

For safety reasons, you need to know how wide are travel trailers. Failure to do so may create a series of hazards. Some tunnels or roads might be too narrow for your RV, or worse, you have surpassed the acceptable RV width limit.

Many travel trailers or motorhomes are 8-8.5 feet wide to follow federal regulations. Compact RVs are utmost 7 feet wide, while large motorhomes push the limit to 9 feet with the inclusion of side mirrors and other safety devices.

RV widths can increase by 1-3 feet of space when equipped with slide-outs.

Learn more about RV width standards below.

State RV Width Restrictions

average-rv-width

Most federal interstates require a maximum camper width of 8.5 feet.

Arkansas and California can allow more than 8.5 feet wide when appurtenances are included, but the vehicle should not extend over six inches.

On the other hand, Alaska already includes the mirror and other safety accessories in the motorhome width limit of 8.5 feet.

Hawaii is the most lenient among all other states in this regard because it allows a standard RV width limit of nine feet.

Theoretically, RVs should follow the maximum width limit of federal interstates. However, you can push the width up to nine inches as most states allow an additional extension for mirrors and other accessories deemed necessary for safety.

Smaller roads might be a different case. For example, the Needles Highway in the Blackhills has a 9-feet wide tunnel that only fits smaller cars.

How Big Is an RV

  • Generally, RVs are built with an average RV length and width of 45 feet and 8.5 feet, respectively.

These RV dimensions don’t include accessories like safety devices, mirrors, and signals. When you add such components, the camper can extend up to nine feet wide and 65 feet long.

The average width is around 8.5 feet because it gives enough wiggle room for an RV to move on 10-12 feet inner-city lanes and highway roads. A 9-feet wide RV offers more space, but it can’t go through a 10-feet wide road with ease.

  • The ideal length of RVs is 32 feet because this size can fit in almost all national parks.

Anything longer than 32 feet can be a problem for accessing the road and parking on small campgrounds. You have to steer hard against the winds, which can put a toll on the tires.

  • Except for travel trailers, the height of RVs goes around 8-10 feet. The fifth wheel can go as low as eight feet, while travel trailers can be as high as 11 feet.
  • If you like to know the exact measurement of your RV, here are some careful steps to follow.
  1. To measure the length, measure the side from the front bumper to the rear bumper. Include any extra equipment at the back to get the total RV length.
  2. Measure the widest point of your RV to get the width. Take time to include the protruding mirror or other accessories at the sides because some states may exclude or include these items in the width restrictions.
  3. For the height, measure from the RV roof to the ground.

Do RV Widths Change With RV Type?

camper-width

They sure do!

RVs come in various sizes, so the width of an RV may change. The variation is only a little, though, as manufacturers and owners have to abide by the legal restrictions of 8.5 feet.

  • Class A

These motorhomes are considered a luxurious type of RV with plenty of layout options and comfortable amenities.

The large bus style provides an average RV width that can span up to nine feet when you include the side mirror. Without a mirror, the width can be about eight feet and four inches.

  • Class B

A class B motorhome is the smallest type of RV with a typical RV width of seven feet. Also known as camper vans, these motorhomes are easy to drive and park with their compact build.

If you like a larger camper van, you can opt for a Class B+ design, which offers extra features like slides to provide extra space.

  • Class C

How wide is a class C motorhome? It falls between class A and class B RVs, which is about eight feet. This type of RV offers the best of both worlds – ample space and maneuverability.

Thanks to its van chassis body, maintenance or repair is easy to do at any regular automotive shop.

  • Travel Trailers

The average travel trailer width ranges from 6-8 feet. Travel trailers with 6-7 width dimensions are considered compact.

Note that these numbers can still increase if your travel trailer is equipped with a safety device, slide-out, or other extensions.

Compared to motorhomes, travel trailers are easier to maintain with only a hitch to consider.

  • 5th Wheels

A 5th wheel RV is as large as a class C motorhome, yet more stable than a standard travel trailer. It won’t sway at high speeds, for example. The width goes around 8-8.5 feet, which suits all interstate regulations.

How Wide Is an RV With Its Slides-Out?

average-travel-trailer-width

A slide-out feature helps increase the space of your RV while parking. When fully extended, this feature normally adds 1-3 feet of width to your RV space. The extra room allows for another bed or seat for a more comfortable experience.

You can choose from three types of slide-outs: electric, tip-out, or hydraulic. The electric models are easy to operate with a switch or button. The tip-out model literally tips out with a hinge, while hydraulic ones use a pump to extend a slide-out.

A class A motorhome can have 1-2 slide-outs. If you have a 9-inch RV of this type, expect it to increase up to 12 feet wide with a single slide-out and 15 feet wide with two slides.

A 5th wheel travel trailer can have as many as five slides. Imagine the extra room that you can get in total.

Meanwhile, a more compact 7-inch wide travel trailer with slide out will have a total width of 10 feet. Using two slide-outs makes it wider up to 13 feet.

Conclusion

Now that you know how wide are travel trailers, you can traverse on roads or tunnels more safely. Make sure that you follow the width restrictions of the state that you’re planning to travel to. Also, know beforehand whether such restrictions exclude accessories or not.

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