What Is The Best Telescoping Ladder For An RV?
One thing all RVs have in common is they are tall and they often need to be worked on. Whether you need to get to the walls or the roof of your RV, having a telescopic or folding ladder on hand is never a bad idea.
Some RVs have a ladder already attached to the back you can use to get onto the roof but if you need to reseal a window or take care of the awning the factory RV roof ladder won’t do you much good.
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So what is the best lightweight extendable ladder for an RV?
In recent years telescoping ladders have become very popular for RV use. They can extend to different lengths for different needs and they collapse down to a very small size you can normally fit in the under storage.
We used a telescopic ladder like the one in this review for years. Our travel trailer didn’t come with a factory RV ladder so we needed something we could use to safely get on the roof to adjust our roof solar panels.
But not every camper needs a super long RV ladder. Sometimes a telescopic A-frame ladder or just a really tall step stool will do the trick.
In this review, I’m going to go over some of the best folding and telescopic ladder options for RV use. Some are for getting onto the roof and others are for being able to work on the sides safely and securely.
If you have any questions about what length of folding RV ladder you should get or anything else check out the FAQ section at the end of this review.
Best Step Ladder
This style of lightweight telescoping ladder is probably the most popular among RVers. It’s also the one we used with our travel trailer.
The biggest pro to this RV ladder is its ability to collapse down to a very small compact size and the different height options depending on how many rungs you choose to release.
Since many RVs are around 11 to 12 feet tall a good length option to be able to safely get on the roof is 15 feet.
The extra feet allow you to extend the ladder past the roof which is safer. And you aren’t ever going to need to use the top rung which is never recommended by any ladder manufacturer.
The Archom telescopic ladder is made with a strong aluminum alloy that is rust resistant and lightweight.
The entire thing weighs only 27 lbs and it collapses down to a very small and manageable size that is 3.2 feet tall, 1.6 feet wide, and only around 4 inches thick.
The max weight capacity is 330 lbs.
When we had our travel trailer we stored the telescopic ladder in the front under storage on top of a couple of plastic tubs so it was easy to get to.
Each ladder rung has a pattern running on the top to help your feet get a grip. The large feet also have non-slip feet covers to help secure it to the ground.
The way the telescopic part works is by using two secure latches on each rung. To extend the ladder simply undo the velcro strap that holds everything in place and starting with the lowest rung start extending each rung.
It extends 1 foot at a time so with the 15 foot ladder option you can have a ladder that is any size from 4 feet to 15.
Always start with the lower rungs and not the top ones for a more stable ladder.
When you are done using it you press the two tabs inward to collapse one rung at a time. I always started with the top and worked my way down.
The Archom Telescopic Ladder is a fantastic choice for RVers who don’t have a factory installed ladder on their camper.
It will get you safely onto the roof and also be a great smaller ladder you can use when cleaning windows or working on the awning.
It’s easy to store, extend and collapse, and it’s made of lightweight durable aluminum.
- Very Tall
- Small Storage Size
- Adjustable Length
- Fast Set Up
- Not As Stable As A-Frame
- Can Bow Slightly Under Heavy Weight
If you aren’t a fan of the way telescoping ladders feel under your feet then another fantastic lightweight option is folding ladders like the Little Giant.
Folding ladders of this style tend to feel more sturdy under higher weights and they can be both standard ladders and A-frame ladders.
The Little Giant is made with strong aluminum alloy and it has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.
There are a few different length options but because this ladder can’t fold down to a super small size my recommendation is the 13 foot option. If you have an extra tall RV you can always go longer.
The 13 foot Little Giant weighs only 25 lbs and the folded size is 3 feet 7 inches tall, 2 feet wide, and 8 inches thick. That’s actually pretty manageable, especially if you have a cargo rack or a large under storage.
When being used as a sturdy A-frame ladder the maximum height is 5 foot 1 inch. That’s enough height to work on the sides of your RV without having to lean the ladder against it. It’s also a more stable form.
When completely folded out and being used as a long standard straight ladder it can be safely used up to 11 feet even though it’s technically a 13 foot ladder.
That’s a good length to get you safely onto the roof of a standard height camper which is normally around 11 feet.
To convert from an A-frame to a standard ladder the Little Giant uses large dual-pin hinges that automatically lock into place for the different configurations.
The legs are flared for more stability and they have plastic boots for been better grip. The rungs have non-slip patterns on each side so you can stand safely no matter how the lightweight folding ladder is set up.
The Little Giant Ladders Multi-Position Folding Ladder is an excellent choice for RVers who like to have a compact ladder that can be both an A-frame and standard ladder.
It’s lightweight, extremely sturdy, and very well made.
- A-Frame & Standard Ladder
- Super Sturdy
- Wide Feet For Support
- Doesn’t Fold Down To Super Compact Size
- Can Be Difficult To Manage
The Bowoshen telescoping A-frame ladder is for those who like the stability of an A-frame but want the compact size of a telescoping ladder.
Like most of the RV ladders in this review, it’s made of high quality aluminum and has a high weight capacity of 330 lbs.
The main downside is the weight. This is the heaviest collapsible ladder on this list weighing almost 40 lbs.
It’s heavy but when in the storage position it’s only 2.8 feet tall, around 2 feet wide, and just a few inches thick.
When fully extended it can be a maximum 16 feet 6 inches tall as a standard ladder or up to 8 feet tall when being used as an A-frame ladder.
One thing to note about a telescopic A-frame ladder is it won’t be as sturdy as a folding one. The telescopic style legs may bow slightly under weight and this will only be increased when put in the A-frame position.
The center hinge part is slightly lacking as well and could be more sturdy.
Though there are a few cons to this style of RV ladder you do get the best of both worlds all while having a super compact ladder.
The legs extend just like the first ladder in this review. Each rung shoots out 1 foot at a time and there are a lot of different height options.
I think the unstableness won’t be a big issue if you don’t need to have the ladder fully extended all of the time.
If you want a nice step ladder for cleaning windows that can also get you onto the roof of your RV this is a good option.
The Bowoshen Telescoping A Frame Ladder admittedly isn’t my first choice for an RV ladder but it does have some really nice features that may suit other RVers better.
It’s heavy, but this collapsible ladder can be used for a lot of things and will store easily in an RV storage compartment.
- A-Frame & Standard Ladder
- Tall A-Frame Height
- Very Small Storage Size
- Unstable When Fully Extended
- Hard To Set Up
Now that we’ve gone over the super tall RV ladders let’s talk about the smaller super lightweight extendable ladders.
These are for RVers who already have a roof ladder and need something for when working on the sides of the camper.
This option is a telescoping A-frame/step ladder that can still reach a decent height while being very stable and compact when folded down.
It’s also a lot easier to set up than traditional A-frame ladders which can be nice when you just need to do something quickly on the side of your camper.
It’s made of aluminum and weighs only 20.5 lbs. The weight limit is 330 lbs.
When in the storage position it’s only 26 inches tall, 24 inches wide, and 5.5 inches deep.
When fully extended, it’s 5 feet 4 inches tall but it’s not recommended to put your feet past the last rung that’s part of the A-frame design.
The upside to this style of step ladder is you can put your feet up to 3.5 feet in the air and still have some ladder to hang onto for stability.
It’s a fantastic design for washing windows, painting, or sealing the sides of an RV.
The feet have a cross bar on them making them an extra wide 24 inches. This not only helps increase stability but it helps with slipping.
Like the other lightweight telescopic ladders in this review, it can be shorter than 5 feet in 1 foot increments because of the design.
The Luis Ladders Telescoping Extending A Frame Ladder is great for RVers who don’t need a collapsible ladder to get on the roof but want something that can help them reach tall places on their camper.
It’s very lightweight, compact, and has a super sturdy design.
- Very Compact
- Easy To Set Up
- Max Height For Foot Rung 41 Inches
- Can’t Be Used To Get On RV Roof
The DICN telescoping step ladder is basically just a taller version of the Luis Ladder reviewed above.
Instead of being a max of 5 feet 4 inches tall, it’s 6 feet 7 inches tall. If you liked the ladder above but wanted something just slightly taller this might be just what you’re looking for.
This telescopic step ladder is also made of aluminum and is a lightweight 21.4 lbs. It has a max weight capacity of 330 lbs.
When collapsed down its measures 2.2 feet tall, 1.4 feet wide, and 6 inches deep.
When fully extended it’s 6 feet 7 inches tall, and because of the design, the last foot rung is 5 feet 6 inches.
It’s still not quite tall enough to get you safely onto your RV roof but it will really help when doing jobs that require some height.
Because it’s a telescopic ladder you can make it shorter in 1 foot increments. It might bow slightly when fully extended but that’s a pretty common thing for telescoping ladders due to the way the legs work.
The is another awesome choice for people who have built in roof ladders on their RVs but want a super tall step ladder for working on the sides.
This version is the tallest step ladder in this review but for height, you sacrifice a little bit of stability.
- Fast Set Up
- Less Stable Than Shorter Option
- Can’t Be Used To Get On RV Roof
For my final recommendation for the best telescoping RV ladder, I wanted to add something a little different to try and have an option for every kind of RVers.
The Delxo is a folding step ladder that is designed for super stability. It has wide steps instead of rungs and it’s the most secure option in this review.
With the extra stability, you lose some of the compactness. This step ladder can only fold in so no matter what it’s always going to be 56 inches tall.
It does get really flat when folded in measuring only 2 inches deep. If you have a large storage area you can slide this step ladder into it’s still a very portable option.
It’s the only ladder made of steel in this review and the weight limit is 330 lbs. It’s still lightweight weighing only 17.5 lbs.
There are 4 steps. The highest one is 37.8 inches tall.
Each step has a rubber mat for grip and they measure 12 inches wide and almost 8 inches long. That’s a lot of space for your feet.
Yet again this isn’t a folding ladder that will get you onto the roof of your RV but it will give you the height you need for working on the sides of your camper.
It’s also portable and small enough to be used inside an RV as well. If you have an extra tall 5th-wheel with high cabinets this could really come in handy.
The Delxo 4 Step Folding Ladder probably isn’t the typical choice for RV use but it may be all you need to keep things in tip-top shape.
It can be used inside and outside and it’s super fast to set up and take down.
- Super Fast Set Up
- Extra Big Steps
- Rubber Mats On Steps
- Most Stable Step Ladder In Review
- Not Very Tall
- Only Folds To Thinner Size Not Shorter
- Can’t Be Used To Get On RV Roof
Frequently Asked Questions About Collapsible RV Ladders
How Tall Of A Telescoping Ladder Should I Get For My RV?
Most RV’s are usually around 11 to 12 feet tall with a few exceptionally large Class A RV’s sometimes being 14 feet tall.
For the average RV, a ladder that can get around 11 to 15 feet long is going to be enough to safely get you onto the roof.
The best way to know exactly how tall of a ladder you need is to measure the distance from the roof of your camper to the ground and get a telescoping ladder that can get a few feet longer.
If you don’t need a ladder that can get you onto the roof of your RV because there’s one permanently installed then it really depends mostly on preference.
If you want a telescopic step ladder you can reach the top of your RV with and you can reach about 6 feet. Then getting one with the top standing step at about 5 feet should be enough.
Are Telescoping Ladders Safe?
The first thing you should do when you get any kind of equipment that’s supposed to be holding you up in the air is make sure nothing is damaged.
With telescoping ladders, you should check all of the latches to make sure they lock into place.
Telescoping ladders are safe when used correctly. Make sure you lean the ladder against your RV using the right angle. Also never go over the recommended weight limit.
When you can, have someone standing at the bottom holding the ladder so it doesn’t move.
Also, you can check to make sure the ladder is EN131 compliant.
What is an EN131 Certificate?
The EN131 is part of a European classification system that is specifically used for portable ladders like collapsible ladders and step ladders.
It mostly has to do with weight capacity ratings and ways the ladder is made stable once it goes over around 10 feet tall.
While being classified as EN131 isn’t everything, there can always be product failures, which is why you should always look over any ladder to make sure everything is working as it should before using it.
While being EN131 certified isn’t everything and it mostly applies to taller ladders it’s still something to look for when purchasing a collapsible ladder.
What is the 4 to 1 Ladder Rule?
While you should read the recommended distance for the base of the collapsible ladder to the RV or building you are leaning against. One rule you can follow even with telescoping ladders is the 4 to 1.
The 4 to 1 rule states that for every 4 feet of height the building or RV you are resting the ladder against is you should have the base of the ladder 1 foot away.
That means for a 12 foot RV you should have the feet of the ladder 3 feet away to get the proper angle.
This could be slightly different for the different kinds of collapsible ladders but it’s a good general rule to follow if you aren’t sure.
Have any more questions about collapsible and telescoping ladders for RV use? Leave a comment below.