Maximum Square Foot Size of a Travel Trailer
State law defining the maximum square foot size for a travel trailer is inconsistent. Some states limit a travel trailer to 320 square feet while others set the maximum at 400 square feet. The maximum size of a travel trailer in the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 1192 Standard on Recreational Vehicles is 400 square feet. The older 320 sq. ft. definition used in some states is outdated and inadequate.
The RV Industry Association supports amending state laws to consistently describe the maximum size of a travel trailer as 400 square feet in the set-up mode.
Maximum Length and Width for RVs
RVs are built to be road-worthy and comply with applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) as well as NFPA 1192 or ANSI A119.5 for park model RVs. RVs have a special exception for “appurtenances” on the width of an RV, such as retracted side awnings or mirrors situated to provide a safe view for the driver along the sides of the RV. These federal exemptions have been adopted by almost every state. Universal laws of this type mean that manufacturers can build to the industry standard and they and consumers will comply with highway laws as they travel across the U.S.
For several years, RVs have been built up to 45 feet long and 8.5 feet (102 inches) wide in travel mode, not including appurtenances (side-view mirrors, retracted awnings, or truck camper tie downs for example), in response to consumer demand for roomier RVs. These longer RVs have not had any impact on RV accident statistics, which continue to bear out the fact that RV owners are among the safest drivers on the road.
The RV Industry Association supports a maximum length of 45 feet for a motorhome, a maximum allowable width of 102 inches plus up to six inches additional for appurtenances for all RVs and a maximum RV combination length of 65 feet.