Does RV Trailer Length Include Hitch? [Masseur Trailer In 3 Steps]




Key takeaways:

  • RV  tow vehicle length includes a hitch in some cases, but not always.
  • For trailers under 25 feet, a feet of hitch space is typically included in the length.
  • Different manufacturers and owners may measure length differently.
  • Consider local rules and storage usable space when choosing hitch length.

Knowing the right RV length is crucial because this info will be needed in many cases. For instance, if you want to park or while traveling safely and even in the license. That’s why measuring RV length is a must. But while measuring the RV, that hitch confused me. I didn’t know before, does RV trailer length include hitch or not.

RV trailer length include hitch

It is kind of confusing because there isn’t a clear answer to whether trailer length include hitch or not.  

In short, some owners like to include a hitch in the RV trailer length, whereas some don’t. But the rule of thumb is if your trailer length is under 25 feet, then the hitch can be included in the length.

I know it’s still kind of confusing to you. That’s why you need to keep reading to clear out doubt more clearly.

So, Does RV Trailer Length Include Hitch?

 So, here’s the scoop of does RV trailer length include hitch? It’s a bit of a yes-and-no situation. Let me break it down for you easily.

Does RV Trailer Length Include Hitch

As far as you know, answering about, does length of travel trailer include hitch isn’t an easy case.  Because the answer isn’t that straightforward. If your RV is in the under-25-foot league, then yes, that hitch must be included. 

For instance, when they say shorter trailer and it’s 20 feet, you’re looking at 17 feet of chill usable space and a sweet 3 feet of hitch swagger. Now, when we’re talking trailers that stretch out to a solid 25 feet or more, that hitch tends to sit on the sidelines. They measure just the feet of living space – the cozy part. But if you went somewhere to clean your RV canvas, then they will measure your whole RV with the hitch.

But here’s where it gets funky. Not everyone’s following the same playbook. Companies like Jayco, Escape, and Bigfoot are doing their own thing. They’re leaving the hitch out of the length when they measure. Private owners might join the idea, too, skipping the hitch in their trailer length.

Long story short,

When it comes to trailers, trailer sizes matter, and so does who’s doing the measuring. So, keep a close idea of what your locals are doing. And it is better to follow in their footsteps.

Why Do Some Exclude Hitch Length In RV Trailer Length?

Now you know, do RV lengths include the hitch or not. Some don’t want to like it. Whereas some campgrounds have rules and care more about your living space than the hitch. So, chopping off the hitch length gives you the real deal on how much usable space that trailer’s hogging in the campground.

Then there’s the towing vehicle and storage space. Maneuvering these bad boys ain’t a walk in the park, especially in tight parking spots. So, by minus the hitch from the length convo, you get the scoop on the real estate needed for parking and turning this beast around.

And guess what? Legal stuff plays a role, too. Some places have rules that don’t count the hitch in the length of the game. So, when you’re chatting about staying on the right side of the law, ditching the hitch length just makes sense.

But let’s get real – 

When you’re sizing up an RV for your next adventure, who really cares about the hitch? It’s all about those sweet interior living spaces. You want comfy vibes, not hitch vibes. Just a heads up, though rules can be all over the place. So maybe double-check with the RV pros or peek at some guidelines when you’re figuring out how much room your dream trailer needs.

How Does The Length Of The Hitch Affect The Overall Length Of An RV Trailer?

Although some people like not to include hitch in RV trailers, hitch still plays a part in length and in pulling. Just like you need a bumper hitch to pull a gooseneck trailer. You need hitches to pull the other trailer, too.

Knowing the whole length won’t hurt but advantage you in some cases. So here’s the deal with the hitch: It’s that front bit of the trailer hooking up with the towing machine. Measure the length of an RV from the hitch to the farthest point at the back.

When you're sizing up an RV for your next adventure, who really cares about the hitch? It's all about those sweet interior living spaces. You want comfy vibes, not hitch vibes. Just a heads up, though rules can be all over the place. So maybe double-check with the RV pros or peek at some guidelines when you're figuring out how much room your dream trailer needs.

Now, get this–if your hitch is playing the long game, it’s throwing extra inches into the total length of your RV. And let’s be real, that extra length isn’t just for show; it messes with your parking turning radius. Also, if you ask, does the Airstream trailer length include the hitch? The answer is yes. So, you can’t ignore the hitch forever.

Along with that, maintaining hitch length means staying on the right side of the law. A sturdier hitch means you need more sway room for parking and storing this beast.

And hold up

Also, campgrounds and storage spots can be sticklers for length, and yeah, they count the hitch in. So, knowing the hitch length drill is key for when you’re hitting the road, finding a sweet spot at a national park, or just making sure you’re not breaking any size rules

What Is Included In The Length Of A Travel Trailer?

So, the hitch is a yes and no thing when it is about the length of the tow vehicle length. Now, you may hesitate while measuring the trailer, thinking about what you should do and what not. Here is an idea of what can be included in the trailer:

  1. Main Living Area: The interior space where you find the living, sleeping, kitchen, and bathroom areas contributes to the overall length.
  1. Front Hitch or Tongue: The length often includes the hitch or tongue at the front of the trailer. This is the part that connects to the towing vehicle.
  1. Rear Bumper: The length may extend to the rear bumper of the trailer. Some trailers may have additional features or storage at the back that contribute to the overall length.

Crucial Information:

When manufacturers or sellers specify the length of a travel trailer, they typically refer to the entire length, including the hitch and rear bumper. If you’re considering the space for parking or storage, you should account for the full length, including these components.

What Is Included In The Length Of A Travel Trailer?

How To Measure The Length Of An RV Trailer Hitch?

How To Measure The Length Of An RV Trailer Hitch?

So, RV wisdom from the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) says the length they throw at you when you’re buying is all about the floor plan. However, if you want to travel or go camping in an RV national park, you need to know the right length. To know the right length, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Interior Space

Get inside your trailer and grab a tape measure. Long enough to go from one side to the other. Don’t forget a pen and paper or your phone notes–you’re going to need them to take notes of tape measure. If your tape’s playing short, use some masking tape to mark where it ends and keep the measuring game accurate.

  • Interior Length: Stick that tape at one end, walk it to the other, and boom – that tape measure is your cozy living space size.
  • Interior Width: Now, if you have slideouts, it’s a bit of a dance. Measure with them closed and then again when they’re strutting their stuff. Two measurements double the fun.

Step 2: Exterior Domination

Time to step outside. State-run campgrounds and planning need this intel, trust me.

  • Exterior Length: Measure from back bumper to trailer tongue or kingpin on a fifth wheel. There are no accessories, just the raw trailer beauty.
  • Exterior Width: Corner to corner on the outside, including the rear bumper. RVs are usually 96 to 102 inches wide or 8 to 8.5 feet. Know your width, mirrors included. Most people miss this, but this has to be included, just like in trailer home sizes.
  • Exterior Height: Ground to the highest roof thing, usually the air conditioner. Check your owner’s manual if you’re feeling lost.

Step 3: Height of the Heights

No hitting overpasses or squeezing into low garages, alright?

  • Interior Height: Like width, it might need more than one shot. Different heights in different spots. Measure it out.
  • Exterior Height: Measure the beast with and without the ceiling bling (air conditioning unit). Don’t leave any part.

Final Note:

Take all the accurate measurements–hitch, tow vehicle, storage add-ons. The more, the merrier for finding that dream campsite.

Difference Between The Overall Length And The Box Length Of An RV Trailer

Okay, check it out–overall length is like the big shot, covering everything from the front to the back of your RV. Living space, slideouts, hitch the whole thing. It’s the full package, even throwing in accessories like bumpers at the back.

Now, the box length is more chill. It’s just the living space–no hitch, no extensions, no fancy accessories. It’s like zooming in on the inside of your RV, excluding all the external bling.

So, overall length is the full deal

Box length is just the cozy corner inside, where you’ll be living the RV dream. It’s like knowing the whole crew (overall length) and then focusing on the cool hangout spot (box length). Easy, right? 

Factors To Consider When Choosing An RV Trailer With The Right Hitch Length

Hitch plays a critical role in the RV trailer. So, choosing the right one means one step closer to safety. Here is what you need to consider.

Hitch Compatibility: You have got a match that hitch length with your vehicle specs. Different cars, different hitches. Find the right match for a secure RV connection.

Trailer Specs: Size matters! Longer trailers need longer hitches for stability. Heavier trailers? Get a hitch that can handle the load. No wobbles allowed.

Hitch Flavors: Hitches come in types like ball, fifth-wheel, and gooseneck. Pick the one that vibes with your RV design and size. It’s like choosing the right dance partner.

Tongue Weight Wisdom: Trailer tongue weight is the hitch ball’s BFF. Match your trailer tongue weight with a hitch that can handle it. Too little or too much in a towing vehicle no-no.

RV Swagger: RVs have personalities. Some are long and fancy. Some have cool features. Your hitch setup should match your RV’s style. It’s like a fashion statement for trailers.

Smooth Moves: Longer hitches might mean smoother turns. But it depends on the hitch type. Get the moves right for tight spots.

Rules of the Road: Check local rules. Campgrounds might have opinions on how long your RV and hitch can be. Stay on the right side of the law for stress-free travel.

Storage Sitch: Where’s your RV chilling when not on the road? Limited space? A shorter hitch might be your storage hero. Practicality is key.

Budget: Money talks, but safety is the boss. Hitches come at all prices. Find the sweet spot for your budget without compromising on safety. Don’t cheap out on your RV’s ride.

Manual: Read those manuals! RV, vehicle–they’re like the hitch encyclopedia. If in doubt, ask the pros or seasoned RV. Safety comes first, always.

How To Safely Store An RV Trailer With A Hitch?

You need the hitch to travel there with your RV, but it becomes a headache when it is time to store it. But if you know the right technique, then it won’t be a headache. So, let’s break down the storing process for you:

Clear Stuff Outta the Way

Before you park your RV in the park, make sure there’s no junk or obstacles in the storage spot. You don’t want to accidentally bang up your ride when you’re parking or grabbing it later.

Keep It Flat

Drop your RV on a level surface. It’s not into acrobatics. Keeping things flat takes the pressure off the hitch and the stabilizers. Your RV will thank you with better balance and stability while chilling in storage.

Lock It Down

Once you have done that, the next step is to lock it down. Toss some wheel chocks in there to keep your RV from rolling off on its own adventure. No one wants their trailer doing the tango on uneven ground.

Stop the Wiggle

Throw down those stabilizer jacks to stop your RV from rocking and rolling. It’s especially important if it’s just gonna chill in one spot for a while.

Wrap It Up

Give your RV or fifth-wheel trailers some style with a weather-resistant cover. It’s like a raincoat for your trailer, protecting it from sun, rain, and whatever else Mother Nature throws at it.

Check-Up Time

Every now and then, take a look at your hitch, trailer, and all the bits and pieces. If something looks off—like rust, wear, or damage—fix it up ASAP. Happy trailer, happy owner.

Oil it Up

Keep things slick by lubing up the moving parts, like the ball and coupler on your hitch. No one likes rusty bits. It’s like a spa day for your hitch.

Battery Break

If your RV’s got a battery, maybe give it a vacation during storage. Unplug it so it doesn’t drain away its energy. Or get a battery maintainer if you’re feeling fancy.

Empty the Tanks

Let it all out! Drain the water tanks, both the fresh water and the not-so-fresh water. No one wants frozen pipes or icky surprises later.

Tire Swag

Cover those tires up with some cool tire covers. It’s like sunglasses for your RV. Stops the sun from aging your tires too fast.

Lock and Load

Depending on where you’re storing your RV, maybe throw on some wheel locks or hitch locks. You know, just in case someone gets any ideas.

So, by doing these things and keeping an eye on your RV, you’re basically giving it a VIP treatment in storage. Ready for the next big adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does The Length Of The Hitch Affect The Towing Capacity Of An RV Trailer?

No, the length of a trailer hitch’s ball mount doesn’t affect the tongue weight applied to the hitch ball by the trailer. However, it does affect the amount of stress applied to the hitch’s receiver tube by the ball mount. 

Are There Any Restrictions On The Length Of An RV Trailer Hitch?

Yes, there can be restrictions on the length of an RV and fifth-wheel trailers hitch in certain locations. Some states, campgrounds, and local regulations may have limitations on the overall length of a trailer, including the hitch.

Is Trailer Length From Hitch To Bumper?

Yes, trailer length is measured from the hitch to the bumper. This is also known as the overall or exterior length. A trailer’s length is measured from hitch to bumper. A 31′ coach has a trailer of around 28′.

What Is The Standard Length Of A Camper Trailer?

The standard length of a camper trailer can vary, but a common range is between 16 to 25 feet. Smaller camper trailers can be around 10 to 12 feet in length, while larger models, including fifth-wheel trailers, can exceed 30 feet. 


So, the summary of RV trailer length includes the hitch. In some cases, you can, and in others, you can’t. You need to be aware of your RV length and what your local laws or travel trailer manufacturers are doing. Follow their footsteps if you want to play safe. Be with Trailer Homes to get more info like this.

John Little

Written by

John Little

Meet John Little, the Tiny Living Guru. With two decades of hands-on experience and an architecture degree, he’s a Sustainable Housing Innovator and Tiny Home Ambassador. John’s mission: inspire eco-conscious, mobile living. Join him on this transformative journey.

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