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Does RV Length Include the Hitch?

The length of your RV is an important factor that can make or break the decision of whether or not to purchase. Motor vehicle length affects the places that you’re able to take it, so it’s essential to know the measurement.

If you’re wondering whether the hitch is factored into length, there is no one set answer. Different companies measure the length of RVs in their own ways, so the measurement only sometimes includes the hitch. Therefore, it’s important to ask any relevant companies what they mean by the length value.

What Is A Hitch?

A hitch is a device that attaches to the end of your RV.

A receiver hitch is the most common type of trailer hitch. It attaches to the end of a motor vehicle in the underneath portion. Its function is to provide a place for a ball mount or other hitch accessory to connect.

The design of this hitch will be suited specifically for your vehicle.

How Are RV Lengths Measured?

There are two ways the length of a travel trailer will be measured.

First, it can be measured by starting at the end of the hitch and ending at the back bumper, essentially factoring in all parts on the exterior of the RV. However, other manufacturers list the advertised length as that of the floor plan, so only the space on the interior of the RV is considered. In these cases, the hitch and rear bumper will not be included in the length measurement, making the described length shorter than the official overall length.

Because of the variance in how an RV can be measured, there is no universal method for finding length. Therefore, when talking to a salesperson, the best practice is to ask them what is meant by the listed measurement: floor plan length or overall length. Their response will let you know if a trailer hitch is included in their motor vehicle description.

Why Does RV Length Matter?

While this value may seem inconsequential, the length of the RV you purchase does have an effect on where your RV will be allowed and be accommodated.

Park Size Limits

Many people who own RVs like to park or drive their vehicles in parks designated for large motor vehicles. Campsites are a great way to enjoy the scenery while parked or traveling. However, many of these parks have a limit on the length of the RVs that can enter based on their size.

RVs can also be driven at national parks, at which size limits vary depending on each individual location; therefore you’ll want to do research on a park before arriving with your trailer to make sure they’ll have room for you and an available spot for your RV.

If you’re not entirely sure of the ideal length for national parks near you and would like to play it safe, some of the most optimal sizes are RVs between 20 and 30 feet in length, as the majority of national parks can and will accommodate RVs that fit within this range.

Almost 100% of national park campgrounds will take RVs that are 19 feet or less long.


RV length is more than just a regular measurement and is important to your RV endeavors. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you have an accurate grasp on this value.

The meaning of the length measurement, however, varies depending on the manufacturer or company, so it’s important to inquire whether it is based on internal or external length.

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