How Much Weight Can an RV Ladder Hold?

How much weight can my camper ladder hold?

Asking how much weight can an RV ladder hold is essential before climbing. There are a few places to locate this specific number instead of assuming it is based on height or material.

An RV ladder can hold 200 to 300 pounds on average. This number varies depending on the ladder’s materials and design, and you need to find its specific duty rating to use the ladder safely.

Keep reading as we look at the different ladder duty ratings, what they can hold, and what to expect from different types of ladders. We also explain how to identify a ladder with a compromised weight capacity.

Determining How Much Weight Can an RV Ladder Hold

To determine how much weight an RV ladder holds, you should reference its ladder duty rating. Regardless of the style of the ladder you work with; the duty rating explains the maximum weight capacity that the ladder can safely 

RV Ladder Duty RatingWeight Capacity
Type IAA Extra Heavy Duty375 lbs
Type IA Extra Heavy Duty300 lbs
Type I Heavy Duty250 lbs
Type II Medium Duty225 lbs
Type III Light Duty200 lbs

The duty rating can be found:

  • On the ladder label
  • Etched into the top rung
  • In the RV specifications (for installed ladders)
  • In the ladder’s manual, under the specifications

You can find manuals on the manufacturer’s website, or you can contact their customer service team by phone or email.

You cannot determine how much weight an RV ladder can hold based on appearance alone. While details such as material and design affect the load capacity, countless variables affect the final number.

Determining Load Weight

Keep in mind that the duty rating of a ladder refers to the maximum weight that the ladder can hold safely. While your body makes up the bulk of the weight, you should also consider the weight of

  • Your clothing and protective equipment.
  • Carried tools and supplies.
  • Tools and supplies are stored on the ladder.

The total weight should come in under the weight capacity of the duty rating of your ladder.

Type I Ladders for RVs

Type I ladders include IAA and IA extra heavy-duty ladders and heavy-duty ladders for a total range of 250 lbs to 375 lbs. Consequently, these ladders are most often used for professional use in fields such as:

  • Contracting
  • Public Utilities
  • General construction

There is no material requirement for Type I ladders, which may range from 3 feet to 20 feet. Additionally, you may also see them color coded as such:

  • Blue or light blue – Type I Heavy Duty
  • Red-orange or orange – Type IA Extra Heavy Duty
  • Yellow-Type IAA Extra Heavy Duty

It’s not as easy to notice a color-coded duty rating on older ladders if they have it at all.

Type II Ladders for RVs

Ladders with a Type II Medium Duty rating are most often used by those in commercial careers, such as:

  • Painters
  • Interior decorators
  • Maintenance workers
  • Electricians

This reflects a less-intensive workload, so ladders do not need to bear as much weight. They are the middle ground between Type I and Type III and may be manufactured in wood, fiberglass, or aluminum.

Type II Medium Duty RV ladders may be color-coded green or light green.

Type III Ladders for RVs

Your Type III Light Duty RV ladders may be color-coded pink or peach, and they fit in the range of 3 to 6 feet. These ladders are the most common type used for household applications, and you’ll see them often with step ladders and other easy-to-store options in your RV.

Light-duty ladders are not great for maintaining your RV because they have a lower load capacity. They typically cannot handle the additional weight of materials and may not be sturdy enough to handle maneuvers while making repairs.

Different Ladder Styles and Uses in RVs

The type of ladder, its location in or on your RV, and its use all dictate a general capacity range that you can expect.

Exterior RV Ladders

Not every RV has an exterior ladder. You see these more often with taller RVs or those that allow roof access.

The exterior RV ladder should be strong enough to hold your weight and any materials needed to repair the roof, wash, or maintain your rig.

An exterior RV ladder should also be strong enough to hold up against rust and weather. They need to hold you securely while you maneuver to unfurl awnings or clean away dirt and debris.

Most exterior RV ladders hold 250 to 300 lbs. If you cannot determine the weight capacity of your external RV ladder, look at the roof weight capacity. The two are often related.

Multi-Purpose Ladders

Multi-purpose ladders, such as telescoping or A-frame ladders, tend to hold the same weight. They need to have the capability to hold you up while you perform maintenance inside the RV, and it should be easy to find the duty rating on a sticker or etched into the top step.

Multi-purpose ladders used in an RV should be lightweight and easy to store, but this does not automatically disqualify them for a higher weight capacity.

Bunk Ladders

Bunk ladders don’t need a high weight capacity, and they’re most often used for children traveling in the RV. Because they’re often built into the RV, you need to look into the RV specifications in the owner’s manual. 

This is easier to do if you search for the digital version of the manual on the manufacturer’s website. When you download it to your device, you can search the text for certain terms, such as “bunk ladder weight capacity”.

You can also contact customer service through an online portal, email, or via telephone.

Step Ladders

Most step ladders have a Type III duty rating. They don’t need overwhelming stability, but they should be lightweight and easy to fold down.

Step ladders help you reach higher storage areas, and they help smaller individuals reach sinks and counters.

How RV Roof Weight Capacity Affects Ladder Use

It is doubtful that an exterior RV ladder will have a higher weight capacity than the roof’s weight capacity. This sets the RV, the owner, and the manufacturer up for disaster if they don’t verify respective duty ratings.

The RV roof weight capacity is usually listed on a weight limit sticker at the back of the RV. This sticker explains different details relevant to RV use.

If you cannot find the information here, consult your manual or contact customer support. The ladder duty rating should not be too far off if all else fails.

Factors that Affect Ladder Weight Capacity

Ladder weight capacity is first affected by its materials and design.

It’s important to realize that time breaks down all materials, and damage or wear to the ladder will diminish the weight capacity over time. This is why inspecting your RV ladder regularly and paying attention to issues while in use is important.


Ladders come in a variety of materials with different general weight capacities, such as:

  • 500 lbs for fiberglass
  • 200 lbs for metal
  • 100 lbs for plastic

While this has an impact, the material is not the main factor in determining how much an RV ladder can hold. You’ll notice that fiberglass can hold up to 500 lbs, but you’re unlikely to find a ladder rated to hold that weight.

Likewise, most RV ladder designs reinforce plastic to easily hold more than 100 lbs.

Ladder Type and Design

We went over different ladder styles and explained how their uses require different levels of stability.

Manufacturers achieve this by carefully crafting ladder designs. Cheaper ladders tend to have fewer design elements to reinforce materials, but more expensive or reputable brands use design to create a stronger ladder.

The more braces, rivets, and bolts you notice, the higher you can expect the RV ladder’s duty rating.

Condition and Age

There is no specific timeline in which ladders expire, but consider that plastic wears out faster, especially when under stress such as:

  • Higher heat,
  • Overloaded capacity
  • Oxygen exposure

Metal ladders dent easily, compromising the integrity of the structure.

Measuring or predicting how much weight capacity is lost over time and with damage is difficult, so you should proceed with caution.

What Happens If You Exceed the Weight an RV Ladder Holds

A ladder will not immediately fail and send you falling to your demise because you surpass the weight capacity. Instead, it will warn you that something is wrong by making strange noises such as creaking or clicking. These get louder the closer you get to ladder failure.

The ladder also shows visual signs of distress, such as:

  • Breaks
  • Cracks
  • Dents

If you notice any of these issues, you should opt to replace the ladder as soon as is convenient. Its duty rating is compromised, and you won’t be able to accurately determine how much weight it can hold in the future.

Final Thoughts

While the duty rating of a ladder answers how much weight can an RV ladder hold, it is important to maintain proper climbing precautions any time you use it. Sticking to safety guidelines is only the start, and it’s up to you to maintain safety beyond that point.

Never compromise on weight capacity; remember to factor in all your clothing and accessories before climbing a ladder. In most cases, you should have no problem climbing to new heights.

Don’t forget to check out our Recommended RV Equipment list!

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