Does RV height include air conditioner? That’s the question right there, isn’t it? That’s the question that so many RV owners and RV enthusiasts seem to have. It’s more than certainly a fair question to ask because when it comes to owning an RV, knowing the height is very important.

Every inch can make a difference too, so accounting for an air conditioner on the top of an RV shouldn’t be avoided. In addition to answering the million-dollar question, we’ll also address some other critical pieces of information you should know such as why it’s important to know the height of your RV.

Let’s get this show on the road, boys and girls.

Does RV height include the air conditioner?

To err on the side of caution, it’s best to assume that the owner’s manual of your RV isn’t going to account for the air conditioner on top of it. Now, if the RV you purchased originally was designed with an air conditioner inside, the owner’s manual may have included it as the tallest point of the RV.

However, if an air conditioning unit was ever added on after the fact, there’s no doubt that the height in the owner’s manual (while not technically wrong) won’t be accurate due to the extra height the air conditioner will add.

Basically, just to play it safe, it’s probably best to just get a tape measure out and probably have a friend or family member assist you in measuring your RV to get the true height of it.

How do you measure your RV?

Having a helping hand will be ideal as you’ll have to measure your RV from the ground to the highest point. Also, for accurate results, find the levelest ground you can to measure your RV. Okay, now with the level ground in play, here’s how we recommend measuring:

  1. On top of your RV, run your tape measure down your RV and have someone else on the ground place the beginning of the tape measure on the ground.
  2. You then find where the tape measure meets the top of the roof. Record this measurement.
  3. After that, take the tape and measure just the air conditioner from the roof (or whatever else is the highest point of the RV).
  4. Add these two values together and you’ll get the true height of your RV.

In general, how tall are RV AC units?

It may not seem like much, but even low-profile AC units can add enough height to an RV for potential problems to arise. In general, AC units can be anywhere from 9 to 12 inches in height (and possibly even more). That extra foot can make a big deal.

How tall can RVs be?

Does RV height include air conditioner? Very possibly not…and this can mean trouble if the air conditioner was an add-on or something. Depending on where you are in the world, there may be stricter regulations when it comes to the allowed height of your RV. For most people, height restrictions of 13.5 and 14 feet will more than likely be enforced.

Now, another piece of information that’s interesting to know is that the Federal Highway Administration has bridge clearances set, typically, at 14 to 16 feet. One can easily see where an extra foot of height could then be possibly problematic.

Why would you need to know the true height of your RV?

For bridges and underpasses

Okay, so this one was a dead giveaway after what we just got done talking about. It’s hard to think of a worse nightmare for RVers than approaching an underpass or a bridge that’s not tall enough to pass through. This is also a reason why it’s critical to not just blindly drive a really tall RV in an area that you’re not familiar with.

When going to campsites

If you plan on going to a campground in your RV that you’ve never been to before, things can get stressful if you don’t know exactly what your RV can safely drive through and whatnot. For example, there will be special entrances for taller rigs in certain campgrounds.

Here are some ways to avoid potential issues

Okay, so besides the obvious of knowing the true height of your RV, there are also a few other helpful tips and devices that can help you avoid certain disasters on the road with your extremely tall rig.

Invest in a GPS that’s specifically designed for RVs

Yep, they think of everything, don’t they? A regular GPS probably isn’t going to cut it when you’re driving an RV, as the system won’t take into account you’re driving a much larger vehicle. An RV-specific GPS will do a much better job of accounting for more space on the road. However, it’s still wise to know the height of overpasses and bridges in the areas you’ll be visiting to ensure no issues will arise.

Drive slowly and cautiously under bridges and overpasses

If you know you’ll be cutting it a little close under a certain bridge or overpass, drive slowly enough for the situation to prevent the RV from moving up and down as much as possible.

Final thoughts

Does RV height include air conditioner? It’s all come full circle to this question. The owner’s manual of your RV may actually have included the height of the RV plus the air conditioner. It’s just best to take the measurement yourself if you do have an AC unit on top of your rig.

If you want to, you could then compare the true height to the height listed in the owner’s manual. If they match up, then the manufacturer did take the AC into account. On the topic of height for an RV, something else that’s very important to know is the height a garage door needs to be if you want to store an RV inside.

In other words, how tall is a garage door for an RV? If you had a good time with this post, you’ll surely be able to get something out of that one. Cheers!