Looking for the best RV for tall people? Here’s what to look for, what to avoid, and what you can customize…
It’s hard to find RVs tall people can fit in, let alone be comfortable in. There are certain features that are particularly challenging, like the bed and shower.
Despite the challenges, tall people can enjoy the RV lifestyle! They just need to know what to look for, what to avoid when buying an RV, and what they can customize to make it more comfortable for them.
That’s what we cover in this article. We share 10 tips on buying and customizing an RV for tall people.
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10 Tips for Tall RVers
This article was prompted by a recent post in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group. The member asked the community for suggestions for finding a travel trailer for her tall husband.
Many tall RVers and spouses of tall RVers responded with excellent insight and advice. They proved that RVing is possible and can be comfortable for tall people. We’re going to share their advice and more.
But first, let’s quickly clarify what we mean by “tall.” Most people up to 6 feet tall can comfortably use most RVs. People that are 6’3” start to feel more cramped, and 6’5” and above face the most challenges.
However tall you or your travel companion is, the following tips will help make the RV lifestyle more comfortable.
1. Look at 5th Wheels & Class A Motorhomes
Logic dictates that bigger RVs have more headroom, and it’s mostly true. However, just because an RV is longer doesn’t mean it’s taller!
Travel trailers, for instance, can be dozens of feet long with a relatively short ceiling height.
Very tall people (over 6’5”) should start their RV search with 5th wheels. They tend to have the tallest ceiling heights (often up to 8’ tall) in the living areas.
However, remember that the sleeping area is often shorter since it usually sits above the bed of the tow truck. But the vertical height doesn’t matter as much since you’re lying down most of the time.
Tall people can also consider Class A motorhomes, which usually have ceilings around 7 feet tall. 6’ to 6’5” people usually find this ceiling height comfortable enough.
2. Look for King Bed Option
Most RVs come with queen beds or twin beds, but king beds do exist in the RV world! So, you can filter your search for king beds, which may be an upgrade.
However, pay close attention to the dimensions! RV bed dimensions are different than residential bed dimensions. They’re usually shorter.
So, be sure you check the RV king bed’s actual dimensions before committing. But don’t worry, we share some tips on extending bed length below.
3. Look for Residential Queen Bed, Not RV Queen
If you can’t find an RV you like with a King bed, try to at least find one with a residential queen bed. Remember, an RV queen mattress is not the same size as your home queen mattress!
A residential queen bed may be long enough to accommodate your tall frame without your feet hanging over. Or, long enough to where you can use a clever hack to extend it.
That brings us to our next tip…
4. Extend or Replace the Bed
Fellow RVers shared some clever hacks to make their RV beds long enough to where their feet didn’t hang over.
Tip #1: Stuff a body pillow, foam block, or mattress extender between the headboard and the top of the mattress. This pushes the mattress down a few inches without having to replace the mattress.
Tip #2: Remove the headboard and put a body pillow, foam block, or mattress extender between the wall and mattress. Keep in mind, the finish behind the headboard might be ugly.
Tip #3: Replace the mattress with a larger mattress. This is a win-win because you can upgrade the size and the comfort level. Here’s How to Replace Your RV Mattress.
5. Look for Walk-Around Bed
Another bed-related feature tall people should consider is if they can walk around the bed to get in and out.
It’s easier for short people to climb over and slide around smaller beds. Some can even scootch across the bottom without disturbing their companion.
But tall people need more space to navigate tight spaces. A walk-around bed makes it easier and more comfortable for taller RVers and their spouses to get in and out.
6. Replace Dinette with Sofa & Trays
The next problematic space for tall people is the built-in dinette sets. These spaces don’t accommodate long legs very well.
As we learned from the Facebook post, many tall RVers replace their dinette sets and use trays for dining. This is a two-fold benefit as they create a space to stretch their legs while eating and create an additional lounging space.
7. Check for a Shower Skylight & Consider Shower Alternatives
When tall people shop for an RV, the shower is one of the first interior spaces they should check. But interestingly, you shouldn’t look only at the ceiling and shower head heights.
While it’s not ideal, many tall RVers found they can use an RV shower if it has a skylight. The skylight gives them just enough headspace to stand up straight.
If making that compromise, it'll help to read How to Take a GOOD Shower in an RV (Is It Even Possible?!).
8. Shower Japanese Style
In Japan, it’s very common to sit on a short stool while showering, using a handheld shower head. So, RVers can learn from their culture and shower similarly.
Look for a shower that has a built-in seat or enough room to place a stool to sit on. You'll have plenty of headroom, but make sure your knees will fit, too.
You may discover that you like this way of showering more than standing up!
9. Don’t Use Your RV Shower
Another thing to consider is not having to use your RV’s shower all the time. Many campgrounds have shower facilities that you can plan around.
When we first started RVing, we actually didn’t use our campervan shower at all. We used campground and truck stop showers, but we also had another trick!
We had a membership to a national gym chain. So, we could get our workouts in and use the gym showers whenever one was nearby.
So, you can squeeze into an RV shower when necessary but use full-sized facilities when available. Here are 5 Tips for Using a Campground Shower.
10. Do a Custom Build
If all else fails, you can consider a custom-built RV. This is an extreme and more expensive option, but we wanted to cover all the bases in this article.
Plus, it’s not always as expensive as you think, especially if you’re only customizing certain parts. It’s the fully custom builds that have astronomical price tags.
Some manufacturers work off a set floorplan or shell that you can then tweak to fit your individual needs. This can include a larger bed or shower, alternative dining setup, or whatever you want really. The sky is the limit… or, rather, your budget limit.
Instant Hot Showers!
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Until we got our Leisure Travel Vans Unity FX, we seldom, if ever, took showers in the RV. All that changed now that we have instant hot water. In this video, we show you how that is possible and tour the North American Headquarters of Truma, which is setting the standard for water heaters in recreational vehicles.
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