Rolling ladder pictured in this Tumbleweed Elm

Ladder vs. Staircase. This is a huge topic in the Tiny House RV world. How will I access my loft? A staircase will take up room, but a ladder seems difficult and dangerous to climb. How can I decide? Don’t worry, I’m here to help! Let’s look at some photo examples and discuss the pros and cons of each.



    1. Space Saving. A ladder will save you valuable floorspace. 
    2. Tuck it Away. Tuck your ladder behind a bookshelf or into a hidden slot. You could also use a rope ladder, which can be rolled up when not in use.
    3. Versatility. Ladders can be used in any tiny home. Stairs are not possible is all tiny homes, especially those without dormers.
    4. Lightweight. Ladders are usually very lightweight, unlike stairs.
    5. Mobility. Simply move your ladder to access your front storage loft.
    6. Can be used on a slope. You can build your ladder to function on a slight slope instead of straight up and down. This will make it easier to climb and more secure. Use flat footed rungs. Rounded rungs can be uncomfortable underfoot, avoid these.
Chris’s Rolling Library Ladder. More photos here


  1. Can be difficult / dangerous to climb. This is the biggest “con” of ladders.
  2. Pets cannot climb. If you plan on allowing your dog or cat into the loft, most likely they will not be able to climb a ladder (or at least not descend). If you have a pet monkey, disregard this con.