Top 10 RV Ladders for Easy Access and Safety

As RV enthusiasts, we’re always seeking new horizons, traversing landscapes, and exploring the world’s wonders. But to fully embrace these adventures, we need reliable and sturdy companions – RV ladders. These essential tools provide access to rooftops, storage compartments, and elevated areas, enabling maintenance, exploration, and the sheer joy of taking in panoramic views.

Choosing the best RV ladder isn’t just about convenience; it’s about safety and dependability. The right ladder should seamlessly integrate with your RV’s design, offering stability, ease of use, and the ability to withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of RV ladders, exploring their various types, features, and considerations to help you make an informed decision. Whether you’re seeking a sturdy rear ladder for rooftop access or a versatile telescoping ladder for reaching those hard-to-access spots, we’ll guide you through the selection process.

Common RV Ladder Types

RV Bunk Ladders

In the world of RVs, where space is often a precious commodity, bunk beds emerge as a clever solution to maximize sleeping arrangements. However, accessing the upper bunk without a proper means of ascent can be both inconvenient and potentially hazardous. This is where RV bunk ladders step in, providing a safe and efficient way to climb up and down the bunk beds within the confines of an RV.

These ladders are thoughtfully crafted with the unique demands of RV living in mind. They are typically compact, lightweight, and made of sturdy yet lightweight materials like aluminum or lightweight steel. This construction ensures that they are easy to handle, store, and transport within the limited space of an RV. Moreover, the size and height of the ladders are carefully tailored to the specifications of RV bunk beds, ensuring they reach the desired height comfortably.

RV bunk ladders are characterized by evenly spaced rungs or steps, allowing individuals to ascend or descend with stability and confidence. The rungs often feature an anti-slip design, prioritizing safety during use and providing a secure foothold even in dimly lit RV interiors.

Installation is usually straightforward, with the ladder being securely mounted to the RV’s bunk bed frame. To enhance safety further, these ladders come with features such as hooks or straps that help anchor the ladder in place, minimizing the risk of slippage or instability while climbing.

Here are 2 top-rated RV bunk ladders for the money:

  • Quick Products QP-LA-460B Bunk Ladder
  • Stromberg Carlson LA-460B Bunk Ladder

RV Exterior Ladders

camper ladder
Photo: Getty Images

As RV enthusiasts, we’re familiar with the rooftop realm, a haven for essential equipment like air conditioning units, satellite dishes, solar panels, and vents. But to access this elevated domain, we need a trusty companion – the RV exterior ladder.

Unlike their interior counterparts, which primarily provide access to bunk beds or other living areas within the RV, exterior ladders are specifically designed to grant us a pathway to the RV’s roof and elevated storage compartments. They serve as a bridge between the ground and the rooftop, enabling us to perform routine maintenance tasks, access storage areas, and even enjoy panoramic views from our mobile abode.

The importance of RV exterior ladders extends beyond mere convenience. They play a crucial role in ensuring the proper upkeep of our RVs. With easy access to the roof, we can regularly clean and inspect essential equipment, address any potential issues promptly, and keep our RVs in tip-top shape.

Furthermore, some exterior ladders provide access to rear storage compartments or elevated racks, expanding our RV’s carrying capacity and allowing us to bring along extra gear for those off-grid adventures.

RV exterior ladders aren’t just ordinary climbing tools; they’re engineered to withstand the rigors of outdoor life. Their design and construction reflect a careful balance between durability and weight considerations, ensuring they can handle the demands of RV travel without compromising the vehicle’s overall weight.

These ladders are typically crafted from lightweight yet robust materials like aluminum or lightweight steel, materials known for their strength and resistance to corrosion. This combination ensures that the ladder can withstand exposure to sunlight, rain, wind, and other outdoor elements without compromising its integrity.

The installation process involves securely mounting the ladder to the exterior of the RV, commonly at the rear or sides. This mounting is conducted with precision, ensuring the ladder remains firmly attached to the RV’s frame, providing unwavering stability during use.

The rungs or steps of the ladder are evenly spaced, allowing for a safe and steady climbing experience. They typically feature an anti-slip design, providing a secure foothold even in varying weather conditions, whether you’re ascending to perform maintenance tasks or accessing elevated storage compartments.

With their thoughtful design and construction, RV exterior ladders serve as reliable companions, enabling us to safely navigate the rooftop realm and maximize our RV’s versatility, all while enduring the challenges of the open road.

RV Portable ladders (Telescoping)

Portable RV ladders, often of the telescoping variety, are indispensable tools to provide easy access to various parts of recreational vehicles (RVs) while offering the convenience of compact storage and transportation.

Telescoping ladders are characterized by their ingenious collapsible and extendable design, making them a boon for RV owners who prioritize portability and functionality. This innovative mechanism allows the ladder to transform from its compact storage size to its full extended length when needed, and back again when the task is complete.

This feature makes telescoping ladders incredibly space-efficient, a crucial factor in the limited confines of an RV. When collapsed, they are typically small enough to fit into storage compartments or the RV’s interior, taking up minimal space and ensuring easy mobility.

One of the key advantages of telescoping ladders is their adjustability. Users can extend them to the desired height, often in increments of inches, allowing for flexible usage based on the task at hand. Whether it’s reaching the RV roof for maintenance, adjusting awnings, or accessing elevated storage areas within the RV, these ladders provide the necessary height with precision and safety.

Commonly crafted from lightweight yet durable materials such as aluminum, telescoping ladders strike a balance between portability and strength. They are easy to carry and maneuver, yet robust enough to handle the demands of RV life.

Best RV Exterior Ladders

1. Stromberg Carlson 139.21 LA-401 Universal Exterior RV Ladder

stromberg carlson 139.21 la-401 universal exterior rv ladder

After shopping around for the best RV ladder to use with our camper, we decided to give the Stromberg Carlson a try. Overall, we’ve been pretty satisfied with it. While the aluminum construction feels a little lightweight, it’s held up well for us over the last few months and gets the job done when we need access to the roof.

As a universal fit ladder, it was easy to install on our camper by joining it to the existing lower section. The modular design lets you configure it in different ways, which we appreciated since our setup was a bit unconventional. Mounting it directly to the roof does provide a sturdier base compared to free-standing ladders.

That said, we weren’t huge fans of the standard roof foot that only uses two screws. It didn’t feel very stable when in use. A few trips to the hardware store fixed that issue though, as we could beef it up with some metal plates for extra reinforcement.

Overall, while not the most heavy-duty ladder for the money, its universal fit and adjustable configuration make it a good ladder for camper

Pros

  • Universal design allows for flexible installations
  • Modular parts can be configured for various setups
  • Affordable option for basic roof access

Cons

  • Lightweight aluminum construction feels flimsy
  • Standard roof foot mounting is unstable
  • May require reinforcement of certain parts

2. Surco 502L Universal Motorhome Straight Ladder

surco | rv motorhome exterior ladder | universal | made in the usa

We recently purchased the Surco 502L ladder to use on our RV, and after installing and using it for a few trips, we can say it’s one of the best RV ladder products available. 

Made of sturdy aluminum, it feels tough enough to hold up to regular use. And as an adjustable universal ladder, it can be cut down to fit virtually any camper size and roofline. However, the instructions could have been more detailed, as figuring out some parts took a bit of trial and error. 

Installation also requires some engineering know-how, as you need to find strong mounting points on your vehicle. An experienced RV technician would make the process smoother.

Once up, though, we felt very secure climbing this ladder, thanks to its wide non-slip steps. It holds up to heavier users without any flexing. The bright polished finish looks nice on our camper too. 

Pros

  • Adjustable design allows for custom fit 
  • Sturdy aluminum construction 
  • Non-slip wide steps provide secure footing
  • Polished finish looks nice on campers

Cons

  • Instructions lack detail, some assembly required
  • Installation expertise recommended for secure mounting

3. Universal Motorhome Straight Ladder Exterior RV

universal motorhome straight ladder exterior rv 250lbs

We recently purchased the Universal Motorhome Straight Ladder for our new RV, and have found it to be a worthwhile investment overall. As RV owners, having reliable access to the roof is important, and this best RV ladder has served us well so far.

The aluminum construction feels durable and has held up to frequent use over the last few months. Assembling it did require some care and trimming to fit our specific motorhome, but the instructions made the process straightforward. 

While assembly took a bit of fine-tuning, setting it up only needed to be done once. On trips since, we’ve had an easy time accessing our roof for cleaning or repairs. It’s also come in handy for occasional stargazing at night. 

That said, those with non-standard RV shapes may find more modification necessary than expected. Still, for ease and peace of mind, we feel the ladder is worth the effort. 

Pros

  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Anti-slip treads for safety
  • Fits variety of vehicle body styles
  • Provides convenient roof access

Cons

  • Some trimming/modifying may be needed for proper fit
  • Time consuming assembly process
  • Non-standard RV shapes more challenging to install

4. ECOTRIC Universal Exterior RV Motorhome Straight Ladder

ecotric universal exterior rv motorhome straight ladder

The ECOTRIC ladder to be the best RV ladder for your needs if you’re looking for something reliable. 

Made of sturdy aluminum, it feels tough enough to last through years of use. We especially appreciate the oxidation treatment, which should help prevent rust even with frequent outdoor exposure.

Installation was a breeze thanks to the included instructions. We were able to reuse all the original mounting points after cutting the ladder to fit, just as the description stated. It bolted into place securely and hasn’t budged since. The anti-slip treads give us confidence climbing up and down.

For the affordable price and quality construction, we feel the ECOTRIC ladder is a worthwhile investment for any RV owner. It might not be a perfect fit for every vehicle, but it’ll serve you well.

Pros

  • Sturdy aluminum construction
  • Rust-resistant oxidation treatment
  • Easy installation with included hardware
  • Fits range of RV sizes after trimming
  • Anti-slip treads for safe use

Cons

  • May require minor cutting for correct fitment
  • Bolt-on installation requires tools

Best RV Collapsible/Telescoping Ladders

5. Bowoshen Telescoping Ladder Aluminum DIY RV Extension Folding Ladder

14.5ft telescoping ladder aluminum diy rv extension folding ladder

Do you want the best collapsible ladder for RV? Buy the Bowoshen telescoping ladder. 

So, why do we rate it so highly? Well, for starters, it folds up incredibly small. You won’t believe something that extends to over 14 feet can compact down to just 3 feet. That means it easily fits in tight RV storage spaces like under beds or in closets. When expanded, each step locks securely into place so you can adjust the height step-by-step.

It also stays sturdy thanks to its wide aluminum construction and anti-slip feet. Now, we’ve found it does flex a bit under heavier weights. But overall the locking mechanisms work well and it feels safe for lighter individuals. Just be sure to securely affix the safety hooks when in use.

It’s definitely one of the best RV ladder options around for weekend warriors and reliable for occasional use. Just mind that flex and first step when climbing up!

Pros

  • Compact folding design for easy storage
  • Height adjustable with locking steps
  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • Wide platform provides stable footing
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Flexes under heavy weight
  • First step is high off the ground
  • Might be unsuitable for users over 200 lbs

6. PEAYLI Telescoping Extension Ladder 16.5 FT with Locking Mechanism

telescoping extension ladder 16.5 ft, aluminum alloy folding telescopic ladder with locking mechanism

We’ve found the PEAYLI RV Extension Ladder to be a handy tool for our camping life. We’re always looking for a compact ladder for RV that can access hard-to-reach areas, and this ladder fits the bill.

At just under 20 inches wide when folded up, the ladder collapses down small enough to easily store out of the way. Yet it extends to a full 16.5 feet, allowing us to change lights and do basic maintenance outside the RV. 

The independent locking mechanism works well for the most part, though some sections can be finicky and require a little extra effort to fully latch. Once extended, the ladder feels sturdy enough for light-duty work.

The rubber feet grip solidly on uneven surfaces like grass or gravel, giving us confidence to climb a few rungs high. There could be issues with the bottom steps slipping out, so we make sure another person holds onto the ladder for stability. 

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight for easy storage in an RV
  • Extends to 16.5 feet for good reach
  • Rubber feet grip surfaces securely

Cons

  • Locking mechanism can be finicky
  • Bottom steps may slip out on uneven surfaces

7. ALPURLAD Telescoping Ladder 12.5FT Aluminum Extension Ladders


alpurlad telescoping ladder 12.5ft aluminum extension ladders lightweight collapsible ladder telescopic ladders for rv

ALPURLAD brings the best telescoping ladder for RV in the market. At only 21 pounds, it’s lightweight enough for one person to easily carry and store, yet sturdy enough to support heavy weight without any wavering. Fully extended, it reaches an impressive 12.5 feet tall which allows access to the roof of our motorhome.

The steps feel secure underfoot thanks to the anti-slip treatment, and we appreciate the warning step near the top. It collapses down to a compact size that fits in various storage areas of our RV. 

It may feel a little flimsy when first extending the sections, but our weight causes it to tighten up nicely. The construction feels solid, and this best RV ladder outperforms ladders twice the price.

While the rungs could be a bit wider for big-footed folks, they haven’t given us any issues. The included tool bag is also a handy plus. Our only small complaint is the pins that hold the sections can be tricky to line up sometimes when unfolding. 

Pros

  • Lightweight yet sturdy construction
  • Compact storage size fits all RV storage areas
  • Reaches full 12.5ft height for roof access
  • Tool bag included for handy storage
  • Anti-slip steps for safer climbing

Cons

  • Narrow rungs may pinch wide feet
  • Sections can be tricky to line up
  • Slight initial wiggle when fully extended

8. Generies Telescoping Ladder, Collapsible Ladder

generies telescoping ladder

At just over 3 feet folded up, Generies telescoping ladder stores neatly out of the way but still extends a full 15 feet when you need it. That makes it perfect for checking out the roof of our rig or changing batteries in those hard-to-reach campsite security lights.

Despite having an aluminum construction, this RV telescoping ladder is heavy at 29 lbs. Also, it feels sturdy enough that I don’t worry about it tipping over. A big plus is that it doesn’t bow or bend even under my weight at the top. 

I will say the rungs are a bit wider than I’d like, so short folks might have to be a little careful, but it hasn’t been an issue for me. It’ll hold up great over several seasons of regular use.

It’s not without some downsides. If you’re a professional roofing contractor you’ll probably want something more heavy-duty. And on really windy days I don’t feel totally comfortable working way up top. But for occasional use, this ladder checks all the right boxes as the best RV ladder.

Pros

  • Folds up small but extends to 15 feet
  • Strong aluminum construction
  • Holds weight without bowing

Cons

  • Rungs are widely spaced
  • Not suitable for professional use
  • Unstable in very windy conditions

9. Augtarlion Aluminum Telescoping Ladder 10.5 FT

augtarlion aluminum telescoping ladder

A compact yet durable folding RV ladder is essential for accessing campers, roof racks, and other elevated spots. We recently tried out the Augtarlion Aluminum Telescoping Ladder and found it checks all the right boxes.

Made from thick, air-craft grade aluminum alloy, this ladder is impressively sturdy yet lightweight. It easily supports up to 330 pounds, giving us confidence for any task. Best of all, it folds down to a quarter of its 10.5 foot length. This makes it a breeze to store in our RV without hogging space.

The telescoping design allows easy one-handed height adjustment from 2.6 to 10.5 feet. Locking indicators at each step assure a secure footing. While the buttons to collapse it back down take some thumb pressure, it’s still simple to use with care. 

With its versatility and durability, this best RV ladder has become our go-to for campsite tasks. 

Pros

  • Sturdy aluminum construction
  • Folds down compact for storage/transport
  • Adjustable height from 2.6 to 10.5 feet
  • Integrated carry handle and strap for easy mobility

Cons

  • Thumb pressure required to collapse steps
  • Locks don’t always engage smoothly at full length

10. SocTone 12.5 FT Telescoping Aluminum Extension Ladder

soctone 12.5 ft telescoping aluminum extension ladder

The ladder extends to over 12 feet, yet folds down smaller than any ladder we’ve owned. Best of all, it’s made of sturdy aluminum, so it’s lightweight enough to carry into the camper.

Setting it up was a breeze. Just pull the levers and watch it extend itself into a steady A-frame ladder. Once at full height, this thing doesn’t budge. We loaded it up with buckets of supplies and climbed up confidently to change bulbs and patch the roof. 

The one downside is the accessory tray can struggle with heavy loads. And the assembly instructions could use some work, but otherwise it’s pretty foolproof.

Collapsing it back down is just as smooth. A few clicks of the levers and the whole thing gracefully lowers itself into a compact package. A strap secures it all neatly together for travel. It easily rolls into corners of the camper when not in use.

Pros

  • Extends to over 12 feet while compact when folded
  • Lightweight yet sturdy aluminum construction
  • Steady and secure for climbing even with loads
  • Easy to transport and store

Cons

  • Accessory tray struggles with heavy loads
  • Assembly instructions could be clearer
Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson is a seasoned RV traveler and professional mountain biker with a great sense of humor. After earning a Master's degree in Automotive Engineering from Columbia University, Scott spent years working as an RV technician at Camping World and Outdoorsy. Today, he enjoys exploring the US in his fifth wheel and truck with his wife. With over 15 years of RV living and road tripping experience, Scott now shares his knowledge and expertise as a travel blogger, helping others make the most of their RV adventures.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

1,357FansLike
1,235FollowersFollow
1,999SubscribersSubscribe

Related