Top 5 Best RV Ladders for Maintenance & Easy Access
An RV (recreational vehicle) is like a house on wheels. It has all the amenities you need for comfortable living in a compact space that can be easily moved from one location to another.
Furthermore, RVs are a godsend for campers who enjoy the outdoors but don’t like breaking their back in a tent and cooking in the forest. After all, an RV comes with a kitchen, a bedroom, and even a bathroom area, so you can enjoy camping from the comfort of a home!
But, given that the space is not generous, producers are forced to use clever shortcuts to make room for comfort. As such, the sleeping area may be placed at the top of the RV, and there is a lot of development on the vertical plane. Also, your RV will need maintenance and cleaning, and this includes the roof and laterals.
Now, if you’re not 6 feet tall, you will need a ladder to reach all these areas. And while most RVs have a fixed ladder on the outside, the best RV ladders are foldable, flexible, and easy to use in any kind of space.
Given that the offer is quite diverse, we did some research and managed to find the best five products that will make camping life a lot easier.
If you want an ultra-compact ladder, the Xtend & Climb 770P is the perfect option. The product features a retractable design, where the rails and steps collapse on top of each other. When collapsed, the ladder measures 32 inches in height and is 20 inches wide, so it easily fits in the tightest compartments and spaces.
It is ANSI and OSHA rated and can be integrated in the Type II ANSI Duty rating (supports up to 225 pounds).
Due to the revolutionary telescoping system that extends and locks by the foot, you can adjust the height of the ladder according to your needs. When fully extended, it measures 12.5 feet, and it can be placed on any surface due to the non-slip end caps that cover the feet.
The ladder is made from an aluminum alloy of air-grade quality for increased durability and comes with several safety systems that put your mind at ease. However, you will have to lean it against something, so it lacks a bit of stability in comparison to any type A frames.
- Ladder retracts compactly
- Extends and locks by the foot with easy, no-pinch closure system
- Integrated carrying handle with heavy-duty closure strap
- Feet have non-slip end caps
- ANSI/OSHA Rated
This ladder comes completely assembled, ready to use out of the box, and only weighs 22 pounds due to its aluminum build. There are some steel parts (hardware and hinges), to increase durability in time, and anti-skid feet covered with a rubber coating that can be replaced.
The ladder measures 6-feet in height, and it can be folded to a compact package (75”x4.5”x3.5”). This feature makes it perfect for transportation inside the RV or in one of the side compartments. While it is too short to get you on the roof of the RV, it is ideal for reaching the windows and using it inside. Furthermore, because it features a double-sided design or A-frame, you can climb using wither side. So, there’s no need to maneuver it around to make sure it is secure.
- Completely Assembled- Easy to use - Compact Storage
- Light wieght - Only 22 pounds
- Made of light weight aluminum with steel parts and replaceable rubberized anti-skid feet; weighs only 22 lbs
- Type II 225 lb Commercial Rating
- Meets or Exceeds Applicable Type II ANSI and OSHA Standards
While it may not fold or collapse into a more compact design, this is the ideal ladder to have in your RV if the bedroom area is upstairs (so to speak) or if you have bunk beds. The ladder has a maximum capacity of 250 pounds and comes with two styles of attachments (hooks and extrusions).
It has a height of 60 inches and is made from 1-inch ladder tubing for increased durability. It also features padded rubber treads on the steps to avoid any accidental slipping and to increase comfort if you’re using it barefoot.
Finally, if it is too long for your RV, you can easily trim it down. Just make sure to measure twice and cut once, because it can’t be re-pieced.
Keep in mind that it should be installed at an angle (the steps are angled), so the steps will be level, and the ladder leans against the top points of contact. This was not designed to be used (or mounted) in a vertical position.
- Stromberg Carlson Bunk Ladder, 60 inch
- Bunk ladder includes padded rubber treads, and two styles of attachment for safety (hooks and extrusions)
- 250 pound maximum weight capacity
- aluminum bunk ladder tubing.
- Stromberg Carlson Bunk Ladder, 60 inch , 1inch diameter ladder tubing , 11inch on center spacing between ladder uprights
For those of you who want a heavy-duty ladder that can be used in a wide range of situations, this Little Giant model could do the trick. It is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and is rated as a Type 1 (250 pounds weight capacity).
It is extremely versatile and can be used in a series of configurations such as an A-frame, an extension, or a 90-degree ladder. It may take a while to learn how to adjust all the pins and knobs to get to the desired configuration, but it is useful for people who need more than one type of ladder.
It’s also a bit on the heavy side (44 pounds) but has the biggest climbing height (22 feet). As such, it’s best suited for large RVs and use around the house. It has rounded feet (for increased stability) made from hardened rubber, which means it can be placed on a wide array of surfaces.
Overall, the Little Giant 14016-001 Alta One is a wonderful choice for people who only want to buy one ladder for all the chores around the house and the RV.
- Enjoy unmatched feeling of stability in any configuration thanks to aircraft-grade aluminum, and the new wide-flared legs
- Use the model 22 in up to 33 configurations, including A-frame, extension, 90-Degree ladders and three
- Use the right ladder for the right job every time and avoid 95 percent of al ladder-related safety issues
- Reach some of the toughest areas such as the space above the staircase, vaulted ceilings, and use your ladder over and around obstacles
Designed for professional use, the Telesteps 1800EP is Type A rated (supports up to 300 pounds) and can extend from 33 inches (when collapsed) to 14.5 feet (fully extended).
The ladder is made from an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, to maintain its durability but remain light (30.5 pounds), and has a fully automatic telescopic operation. The producer calls it the one-touch release system because it extends or retracts at the push of a button (due to a spring-loaded design).
Furthermore, the ladder features adjustable silicone feet (better resistance to cold weather) and serrated climbing grips for a safer, more comfortable climb. Also, there are safety indicators that let you know if the ladder is locked in place and safe to use.
Overall, this is an affordable telescoping design that can be stored under a bed or at the side of a closet. It is OSHA and ANSI compliant, and it can come in handy in a wide range of situations, not just for your RV.
- Fully Automatic Telescoping Ladder, with Patented One-Touch Release
- Your Ladder Solution !
- Type 1A 300 lb rated; Weighs 30.5 lbs; May provide up to 18 ft reach; Retracts to 34 inches
- Multi-Functional Ladder Open to Full Extension or One Foot Increments
- 100% Silicone Anti-Slip Pivoting Feet
Features for the Best RV Ladders
RVs come in different sizes, heights, and internal structures, so it is natural to want a ladder that will adapt to your needs. So, before you make an impulse decision, have a look at our buying guide, where we explain the features that matter when buying such a product.
As you can see from the reviews above, different ladders have different climbing heights. To make sure you get the right one, measure the height of your RV (roof included) and consider other situations where the ladder may come in handy (cleaning the gutters, for instance).
Also, keep in mind that the total climbing height is affected by the type of ladder. For instance, a model that needs to lean against the RV won’t get you as high as an A-frame design. Furthermore, keep in mind that the top two steps are not extremely stable or safe (on any ladder), so plan accordingly.
The weight of your ladder matters in two different scenarios. First, you should be able to carry it without breaking your back, and second, it matters for the total weight of your RV. When you buy a fifth wheel hitch or a weight distribution hitch (depending on your needs), it is important to know the total weight of your trailer. This also includes the items you have as extra, including the ladder.
Overall, if you have the option, it’s best to choose the lighter product. It is easier to carry, and it doesn’t add too much weight to the trailer.
When it comes to ladders that can be used in an RV, there are several types of products to consider:
- Exterior – attached to the side of your RV, these usually come ready installed. They are fixed, rust-resistant, and designed to resist weather conditions. However, these can’t be used on the inside and aren’t too much help when you want to reach the sides of the trailer.
- Bunk – Ideal for RVs that have bunk beds or where the sleeping area is at the top. They are also fixed but are not built for outdoor use.
- Step – Their main purpose is to help reach top cupboards (they’re only a few steps high) and can be easily stored away until you need them.
- Rack – If you want to take your bike(s), you’ll need a rack ladder. This model is mounted on the back of the RV and varies in size and capacity.
- Multipurpose – Finally, the ladders we discussed in today’s article are multipurpose and can be used to reach a variety of heights. Some can even be folded in different frames, to fulfill more than one purpose.
Telescoping vs. Foldable
Depending on the storage space you have available on the RV, you can choose between a model that folds and one that collapses onto itself (telescoping designs). The advantage of a telescoping design is that it occupies less space, and it’s easier to carry around. However, these are not double-sided, so they need to lean against a wall or the RV to be used.
As you can see from our reviews, all the products we mentioned respect the ANSI and OSHA standards. But you should consider other safety aspects, such as non-skid feet, replaceable rubber soles for the feet, a proper locking mechanism, and sturdy hinges.
These add to the ease of use of the ladder and put your mind at ease.
Before you go ladder shopping, make sure to know the height of your RV and the maximum weight you can add to it. You should also know if you want to use the ladder around the house for various DIY projects.
If you do your homework and follow our instructions, we’re sure you’ll be able to find a product that’s both affordable and fits your needs.