Having a sturdy RV ladder isn’t just for convenience. It’s about safety. As an RVer, you’ll have to climb up to the roof more often than you might think. That’s why it’s essential to make sure your ladder is up to the task. The last thing anyone wants is to fall off their roof!
Why Do You Need an RV Ladder?
RV ladders serve a functional purpose to get you up to your roof and reach other high points safely. It’s critical to regularly maintain your RV roof and exterior to prevent damage and the need for costly repairs or replacement.
You might need to get to your roof for air conditioning or skylight maintenance. Another reason is to sweep off and clean the top to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime. And sometimes, if you are having awning issues, it may be easier to troubleshoot from above.
You might also need an RV ladder for other rig maintenance. Things like washing the windows, repairing seals, and sweeping off slides will require a moveable ladder.
Some are better than others, and we’re here to guide you in the right direction!
Types of RV Ladders
There are two main types of RV ladders. One is the built-in ladder that attaches directly to your rig so you can climb onto the roof. The other is a portable ladder, which comes in folding or telescoping models.
A regular home ladder isn’t ideal for RVing. They’re large and heavy! Portable or built-in RV ladders, on the other hand, are lightweight and moveable. They also break down for more accessible storage.
How to Choose the Right RV Ladder
Deciding what ladder to get for your RV is overwhelming. Surprisingly, there are so many options out there. But there are a few things you should keep in mind when making your choice.
First, you’ll want to consider the weight of the ladder. Lighter is almost always better in the RV world as long as you aren’t sacrificing other features. The less weight in your rig, the less strain on your tires. It also helps improve your gas mileage.
You will also want to consider portability and storage. Smaller, more compact ladders will make your life easier. It’s easier to store these ladders in the RV garage if they fold or telescope down.
Another thing to consider when choosing an RV ladder is weight capacity. This measure will tell you how much weight your ladder can support. When you’re climbing 15 feet to reach your roof, you want to know your ladder can hold you!
Having a ladder that supports your weight is just one safety component. We also recommend an RV ladder with no-skid feet. This keeps the ladder from sliding out while you’re climbing. You’ll also want a locking mechanism on folding or A-frame ladders.
And, of course, buy something that’s solidly built. Lightweight shouldn’t mean cheap materials.
Best RV Ladders to Reach Your Roof and Keep You Safe
If you still don’t know what to purchase, keep reading for our favorite RV ladders!
Best Overall: Wolfwise 12.5 Ft Telescoping Ladder
- Smart-Close system: Due to the upgrading of the internal structure, each step falls slowly and smoothly when retracting,...
- One-Button Retraction: It takes only 5-8 seconds to retract the ladder from its full extension, convenient and safe.
If you’re looking for a ladder for your RV that can do it all, you want the Wolfwise. This telescoping ladder extends to 12.5 feet so that you can reach the top of even some of the tallest RVs. But it collapses to just 35 inches for easy storage. Pretty impressive!
The Wolfwise ladder is made of solid aluminum, making it sturdy enough to support up to 330 pounds but light enough (just 24.5 pounds) that you can move it around easily. If you need a slightly taller ladder, you can also upgrade to the 15.5-foot model.
The Wolfwise ladder has a stabilizer bar and non-skid base to prevent slippage or tilting. It also has wide sides, perfect for getting a good grip. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about bending in the middle of the ladder even when fully extended.
Best Fixed Ladder: Stromberg Carlson Universal Exterior Ladder
- 1″ diameter ladder tubing.
- All screws connecting the ladder to the RV must be fastened to the RV’s sub frame or backing. It is unsafe to use a...
If you need a fixed ladder, look no further. The Stromberg Carlon is our favorite, and its universal design means it can work with any RV. Depending on your rig size, you might have to cut off a portion of the ladder to ensure a proper fit.
They make this ladder of lightweight aluminum, and it weighs just 10 pounds. It has 12 inches of spacing between each rung, which makes it easy to ascend and descend. With a weight capacity of 250 pounds, it can also handle a lot, despite being a lightweight ladder.
Surco Universal RV Ladder
- Manufactured from heavy gauge 1 inch aluminum
- Bright dipped polished finish
If you haven’t quite found what you’re looking for, the Surco Universal motorhome ladder is another fabulous option. It’s one of the lightest fixed ladders out there, weighing just 5 pounds.
Another thing we love about this ladder is the non-slip steps, which are nice and wide. This means no more worrying about your foot missing the rung on the way up (or down).
It’s also simple to install this RV ladder on any rig. It has adjustable hinges to match your RV’s contour. The Surco RV ladder is shorter than the others we’ve mentioned, making it a superb choice for smaller rigs or campervans.
How to Safely Climb an RV Ladder
We wouldn’t be doing you any favors if we skipped the safety lecture! After all, no ladder will be safe if you don’t know how to climb it! There are a few simple steps you can take for less risky RV maintenance.
First, always face the ladder when going up or down. You should also keep your body centered between the side rails–no leaning off to one side or the other. If you feel the need to lean, climb down and move the ladder over instead.
Our next tip is to keep a tight grip on the rungs and keep three points of contact at all times. That means you move only one hand or one foot. Don’t move your hand and foot simultaneously or have a higher chance of falling off. Not good!
Finally, do yourself a favor and wear solid tennis shoes or work boots for climbing ladders. No flip-flops, we beg you!
Stay Safe on Your RV Roof
Having an RV ladder is vital! Without one, your rig’s maintenance will surely suffer. Because we’re constantly on the road as RVers, having something lightweight, portable, and easy to store is essential. So don’t take the risk! Buy yourself a sturdy RV ladder before your next rooftop adventure.
Speaking of safety, we highly recommend you check out our article on How To Create The Best RV Emergency Kit To Handle Any Disastrous Situation next.
Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API