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How Tall are 5th Wheel Campers?

Updated on January 28, 2024

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RV traveling is an unmatchable experience but can also become a nightmare if you haven’t planned it properly. 

If you don’t understand the height of your RV well, you can encounter several problems during your trip, including lower clearance tunnels, overpasses, and low-hanging tree limbs, which can all cause serious issues during your journey.

how tall are 5th wheel campers

In this article, we will look at the heights of different 5th wheel campers and understand why they matter so much.

What is the Average Height of a Fifth Wheel?

The usual height of a fifth-wheel camper is 10 to 12 feet, but it can vary depending on different RV models and brands. The RV height also depends on other factors, such as the hitch’s height and the towing truck. Most states have a limit of 13.5 feet, where traveling with a larger camper is illegal.

Fifth wheel heights have classes called Class A, Class B, and Class C.

Class A

Class A RVs are from 12 to 13 feet and 6 inches. However, they don’t go beyond 13 feet 6 inches, so you can take them anywhere and can easily pass under bridges.

Class C

Class C is shorter than Class A campers and ranges from 10 to 12 feet in height.

Class B

These are the shortest campers and range from 8 to 10 feet. Class B campers are the most suitable option for those who want minimum hindrances during their travels.

How to Measure a Camper’s Height?

The best way to know about the height of your 5th wheel is to measure it yourself. Whether you have bought it new or already have one, measuring it yourself is always good. 

Measure the height of your 5th wheel when it’s unhitched and hooked up because adding a hitch increases the camper’s size.

Keep your camper on a flat, stationary surface so your measurement is not distorted. You don’t need fancy gear to take this measurement, as the standard tape measure is good enough. Ask a friend to hold the other end, and you’re good to go.

Measuring the camper’s height is simple. You start from the roof’s tallest point to the camper’s lowest point, where its tires touch the ground. Some people take measurements from the inside of the trailer, but it’s the wrong approach.

Measuring the height from the inside would only tell you about the standing room, not the actual height. Height is usually an issue only when planning to travel through an area with many tunnels, bridges, wires, tree limbs, etc. Length and width are usually harder to measure than height.

Why Should You Know Your RV’s Height?

While traveling in an RV, you will encounter different kinds of roads, many of which would be unfamiliar. Here are some reasons why you should be aware of your RV’s height:

Increase Weight

The taller your 5th wheel, the heavier it will be, which will determine the size of the truck required to move the camper. While moving your 5th wheel without a truck is possible, you’ll want to ensure you have the right equipment and rig to handle your situation.

Underpasses & Bridges

Bridges and underpasses are the most tricky obstacles that fifth-wheel drivers face. However, most of the bridges you encounter on the road will be higher than 13 feet 6 inches, so you can easily pass through them.

You will sometimes encounter shorter bridges than the standard height because those bridges were constructed before standard height requirements were commonplace. Such bridges are primarily in the northeast, but you can also come across them elsewhere.

Campsites

Arriving at the campsite isn’t enough, as you have to stay beware of the awnings. Sometimes travelers are not sure where to go after arriving at the campsite. Campsites usually have a special entrance for larger, more expensive 5th wheels and RVs. However, sometimes people use the wrong entrance, resulting in damage.

Garages

People do not usually park their RVs in garages, but it is still better to know about them. Most city parking garages do not go beyond 6 or 7 feet in height, so it is impossible to park your RV inside them. So, if you want to park your RV inside a garage, look for a suitable one.

Foliage

The tree foliage is a severe challenge to any RV driver since travelers often visit the countryside with thick tree coverage. Another reason why it is challenging to avoid tree limbs is because there are no signboards to warn you about them. So, you have to be proactive and look out for them yourself.

Interstate travel isn’t that problematic, but once you get near the campsites, you will find more and more tree limbs blocking your way. Sometimes they can go on for miles and extensively damage your vehicle’s front and sides.

How to Avoid Mishaps Due to Your Camper’s Height?

You need to be cautious while traveling to avoid damage to your 5th wheel due to its height. 

Use a Proper GPS

You should always have reliable GPS services while traveling on your camper. Multiple options are available, but the best one, in this case, is the RV GPS. 

Many travelers use Waze, but it is not a suitable option. It does not consider the height of your campers and can take you towards roads with tricky bridges and underpasses. Your trailer can easily get damaged on those routes.

A proper RV GPS takes the size of your camper into account and suggests a route accordingly. So, with a reliable RV GPS, you can enjoy your adventure without any hindrances.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead of your trip is crucial to prevent any mishaps during your journey. Traveling on every road with your trailer isn’t possible, so planning routes already comes in handy. Going without a plan for your destination might force you to double back. 

Include the AC Unit in the Measurements

Measuring the height of your 5th wheel is crucial because it prevents crashes and damage when you pass through tunnels and bridges. Some people mistakenly don’t include the height of the air conditioning unit in the overall measurement.

Usually, the AC unit measures one foot in height, so adding it to your calculation is crucial. Not including it means your unit might clip the tunnel or bridge and incur costly damages.

Manage Your Speed under Bridges

You should always slow down when moving under bridges to avoid any accidents. Sometimes the clearances under bridges are tight, so you should always slow down to minimize the effects of bumps. 5th wheel campers move up and down on bumps due to suspension and can clip the bridge if you go too fast.

Height Limits in the US

American states have different rules & regulations for 5th wheel campers to ensure everyone’s safety. Those who want to enjoy interstate travel should keep these rules in mind to enjoy a smooth journey. 

Here’s a detailed list of states with their regulations for 5th wheel height.

Alabama

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches. 

Alaska

Height Limit: 15 feet

Arizona

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Arkansas

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

California

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Colorado

Height Limit: 14 feet 6 inches

Connecticut

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Delaware

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

District of Columbia

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Florida

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Georgia

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Hawaii

Height Limit: 14 feet

Idaho

Height Limit: 14 feet

Illinois

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Indiana

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Iowa 

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Kansas

Height Limit: 14 feet

Kentucky

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Louisiana 

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Maryland

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Maine

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Massachusetts

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Michigan

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Minnesota

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Mississippi

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Missouri

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches (14 feet on some roads)

Montana

Height Limit: 14 feet

Nebraska

Height Limit: 14 feet 6 inches

Nevada

Height Limit: 14 feet

New Hampshire

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

New Jersey

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

New Mexico

Height Limit: 14 feet

New York

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

North Carolina

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

North Dakota

Height Limit: 14 feet

Ohio

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Oklahoma

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Oregon 

Height Limit: 14 feet

Pennsylvania

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Rhode Island

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

South Carolina

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

South Dakota

Height Limit: 14 feet

Tennessee

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Texas

Height Limit: 14 feet

Utah

Height Limit: 14 feet

Vermont

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Virginia 

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Washington 

Height Limit: 14 feet

West Virginia

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Wisconsin 

Height Limit: 13 feet 6 inches

Wyoming

Height Limit: 14 feet

Conclusion

Getting a 5th wheel camper is exciting, as you want to hit the road right away. Before you do that, it is essential to measure its height. It will help you plan your trip better and seamlessly pass through tunnels and bridges.

 Always use a reliable GPS as your guide. Once these things are set, you’re ready for a thrilling journey.

This YouTube video will help you learn more about this topic. 

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<span style="color: #01343d">About</span> Editorial Staff

About Editorial Staff

We’re passionate about all things RV and camper, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your camping experience a success!

<span style="color: #01343d">About</span> Editorial Staff

About Editorial Staff

We’re passionate about all things RV and camper, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your camping experience a success!

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