Last Updated on 04/07/2024 by Glynn Willard

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Does Length Of Travel Trailer Include Hitch?

There’s no measurement standard for the length of your RV (towable RV) to make this a simple answer.

Each RV manufacturer uses their own methodology.

In some instances, the model number corresponds to the box length.

In other instances, the model number corresponds to the total length.

And of course, some model numbers do not correlate with the RV length at all.

Regardless, most manufacturers are savvy to this and list both the length of living space and the length from the rear bumper to the ball hitch coupler.

Let’s explore what was one of my first questions when I started towing my bumper pull travel trailer.


Travel Trailer Manufacturers Measurements

Again, there is no standard procedure for how manufacturerss market the length of production travel trailers.

Fortunately, the specifications list for most travel trailers list both the body length and the actual length from the back bumper to the front of the hitch.

Make sure you know these numbers when you’re shopping for a trailer that fits within a specific length limit.

It would also be wise to learn the height of the trailer from the top of the air conditioner to the ground.

How To Measure The Length Of Your Travel Trailer


You should be concerned with the following three measurements:

  • Trailer length tongue to bumper.

  • Total length of the trailer and tow vehicle combined.

  • Total height of your trailer from the highest object on the roof to the ground.

It’s also nice to know the width measurements, but you’ll likely never need to use that measurement as a reference.

When you have your trailer connected to the ball mount of your truck, use a tape measure to measure from the back of the trailer bumper to the front of the truck bumper.

Do the same thing again, but only from the trailer’s rear bumper to the front of the tongue.

Lastly, (if you can) get on the roof and measure the total height of the tallest object on the roof.

Then measure from the ground to the tallest part of the roof. Add the two numbers to get the total clearance height.

  • Toy Haulers

    If you have a toy hauler, treat it like a regular travel trailer for the campground’s sake.

    But, if you need to lower the ramp to use as a patio or unload gear, I suggest a pull-through site, long enough to accommodate the total length of the tow vehicle and the trailer with the rear gate lowered.

  • Pop-Up Campers

    Treat a pop-up camper like a regular travel trailer when taking measurements.

    Being a shorter trailer, you will not run into any length restrictions.

  • What About A Fifth Wheel?

    If you have a fifth-wheel trailer, measure the total length of the truck and trailer with the kingpin attached to the truck bed hitch.

    If you want to know the length of just the 5th wheel to disclose to a campground, measure from the rear bumper to the kingpin.

  • Class B Motorhomes

    I mention this because we switched from an Outdoors RV travel trailer to a Roadtrek Zion campervan.

    A campervan is measured from the front bumper to the rear bumper.

  • Truck Campers

    Truck campers are measured from the front bumper of the truck to the rear bumper of either the truck or the camper box.

    Some truck camper boxes exceed the length of the truck bed and hang over. So measure whichever is longer.


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How Does The Tow Vehicle Fit Into The Equation?


Your tow vehicle doesn’t have to fit into your campsite, but it’s inconvenient if you have to move it elsewhere to different parking areas.

Also, some mountain roads in the United States limit the total length of a vehicle that may pass.

If your truck and trailer combo exceeds that length, you cannot use that road.

Do Travel Trailer Accessories Count In The Measurement?

Accessories attached to your camper such as a spare tire, bike racks, cargo boxes or a ladder do not count in the total length of your recreational vehicle.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore the additional length.

Keep it in mind when you’re booking campsites and backing it into tight spaces.

How Do Campgrounds Measure The Length Of The Trailer?


RV parks and campgrounds are only concerned with the total length of the travel trailer from the rear bumper to the front of the trailer tongue.

Almost all RV campgrounds will disclose the campsite length (pad length), which you should use as a reference for the usable space for both your trailer and tow vehicle.

For example, if the total length of your pickup truck and trailer is 55′ and the length of the campsite spot is 60′, you can safely fit in the spot.

If your trailer is 30′ tongue to bumper and the space is 32′, you can book it, but you’ll have to park your truck in one of the alternative parking spaces.

I always tried to book sites (when we didn’t boondock) that were just a little longer than the total length of the truck and camper together.

Pro tip: Call the campground and ask if there are any low overhangs or narrow roads if you have a longer trailer before booking the site.

National Parks & Travel Trailer Length

National park campgrounds and many state parks were built a long time ago before the dawn of giant, palatial RV’s.

So they were initially designed for small travel trailers. Although there are a few that can accommodate a bigger trailer (not many).

If you’re visiting a particular national park, their website will generally state the maximum size RV that can use the campground.

Or you can do what we always do and boondock somewhere outside of the park.


Wrapping Up Overall Length Of A Travel Trailer

The most important takeaways (and the questions I always asked when we started full-time RV living) are:

  • Measure the length of the travel trailer from the back of the rear bumper to the front of the tongue.

  • Measure the total length of the trailer and tow vehicle combined.

  • Know the height of your RV to the highest point on the roof.

How do you measure the exterior length of your RV?
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