Transporting Recreational Vehicles

While it may seem slightly ironic to ship an RV, there are instances where it needs to be done. Maybe you just purchased an RV that is on the other side of the country and you need to have it brought to your current location. Or, because of a variety of reasons, you may need to meet your RV somewhere. Regardless of the purpose, when you’re ready to transport your recreational vehicle, Ship Vehicles is here to guide you through the entire process.

We understand the value that you place on your recreational vehicle. Aside from actual price value, RVs carry a lot of sentimental value as they are quite literally a “home on wheels.” When you need to transport your recreational vehicle, we know you require the most trusted services. At Ship Vehicles, we make it simple by guiding you on how to ship an RV, offer general tips along the way and always guarantee excellent service. Whether you’re buying, selling or transporting, where here to offer the safety and security that your RV deserves.

We’ll outline all the various details when it comes to transporting recreational vehicles and offer some tips and tricks to ensure that you have the best RV transport experience.

How Are RVs Transported?

There are essentially three methods to transport a recreational vehicle: tow-away, drive-away and via flatbed.

  • Tow-away service: With this method, the RV is required to be hauled to its intended destination. Tow-away services necessitate specialized trucks and equipment to guarantee safe loading, unloading and transport. The type of truck and equipment will vary depending on the type and size of the recreational vehicle that is being transported.
  • Drive-away service: Drive-away services involve a professional driver physically driving your RV to the desired destination. The RV transportation company will dispatch the driver and then they will be responsible for its transport. This method does not require any supplementary transport vehicles or equipment.
  • Flatbed service: Transporting an RV via flatbed involves the use of larger transport trucks and flatbed trailers. With this option, multiple recreational vehicles can be hauled at a time and they can cover much longer distances.

How Do You Prepare a Recreational Vehicle for Transport?

As opposed to more conventional vehicles, RVs require more time and effort to guarantee that they are properly prepared for transport. Appropriate preparation not only ensures safety of the vehicle, it will also help you to avoid any possible difficulties or violations of transport code. As you long as you follow the list outlined below, your RV will be ready for transport!

  • Detach and secure any hanging items, such as posters, pictures, hanging plants etc.
  • Remove any loose items that could shift during transport.
  • Disconnect the power supply and gas lines and make sure that all appliances are completely shut off.
  • Verify that any doors, cabinets and windows are closed, latched and will not open during the transport.
  • Clear out the refrigerator and defrost the freezer to avoid possible leakage.
  • Turn on the RV to confirm that all of the lights are functioning as expected, including turn signal, brake, indicator and parking lights.
  • Secure any and all slide-outs.
  • Fasten all cargo doors, chains and pop-ups.
  • Check all of the RV’s fluid levels for leaks. These include the coolant, transmission fluid, engine oil, and power steering fluid.
  • Inspect the RV’s battery to verify that the volt/amp gauge is within the required range.
  • Make sure that the tires are in good working order and have the necessary air pressure.
  • Check the parking and service brakes to ensure that they are operational and working as expected.
  • Confirm that the hitch and tow bar are in the correct place and are fastened securely.

In addition to this list, it’s always beneficial to make sure that you provide all the necessary materials to your auto transport company. Give them a complete set of keys, the RV manual and any special instructions to help them operate the vehicle.

Always make sure to check with your RV transporter for any specific requirements in regards to preparation. Our team of shipping experts can help you with this part of the process and will work with you to double check that everything is completed.

How Much Does It Cost to Transport a Recreational Vehicle?

The price you can expect to pay for the transportation of an RV will depend on the size of the vehicle and the overall distance it needs to travel. On average, to transport an RV less than 100 miles it costs $3.32 per mile. Whereas, transporting an RV less than 1000 miles costs $1.05 per mile. The “per-mile” rate goes up as the distance increases but you will still end up paying more, in total, for longer distance transports.

However, depending on a variety of other factors, you could end up paying more than the average rate for transporting recreational vehicles. Factors such as demand, time of year, gas prices and vehicle condition have a huge impact on the cost to ship an RV.

How Does RV Transport Insurance Works?

When you partner with Ship Vehicles, you can trust that your recreational vehicle is in good hands and will arrive safely, securely and on time to your intended destination. However, although unlikely, damage to your RV remains a possibility. It is essential that you understand RV transport insurance so that you know what to do in the rare case that your recreational vehicle experiences damage during transport.

All transporters that are registered with the Department of Transportation (DOT) are legally required to offer a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance. Generally, this amount is enough to cover latent damage to your vehicle. You can verify your RV transport company’s insurance coverage by doing the following:

  • Ask for a copy of their insurance policy. To ensure that you receive an original document, request this directly from the transporter’s insurance firm.
  • Verify the MC and DOT numbers. You can often find these located on their website or request this information from a representative. A quick search online will determine whether or not the transporter is properly authorized and insured.

If the insurance provided by your RV transport is not sufficient for your situation, you can always purchase additional coverage from a third-party company. When you drop off and pick up your RV, make sure that you thoroughly inspect the vehicle with the service provider. Notate any pre-existing damage and take plenty of photos to be compared at the end of the RVs journey. This will allow you and the service provider to accurately determine if any damage occurred during transport. If you’ve determined that you need to make a claim, contact your RV transport company with 24 to 48 hours.

How to Book RV Transportation?

We are your reliable solution for the transportation of your recreational vehicle, camper trailer, motor home, or travel trailer. The first step in booking transport of one of these vehicles is to gather a quote. You can do this by filling out our online request form or reaching one of our dedicated shipping experts directly at (888) 231-0113. In order for us to offer you an accurate quote for our RV transport services, you’ll need to provide one of our representatives with the following information:


  • The type of RV. Provide any details in regards to the type of recreational vehicle that you are shipping. Is it a Toy-Hauler, 5th Wheel, Double-Decker, Cargo Trailer etc.?
  • Condition of the RV. Is your recreational vehicle in operable condition?
  • Pickup location. The desired location for us to retrieve the RV. The only requirement is that the area has ample enough space to safely load the vehicle.
  • Delivery location. What is the intended destination for your recreational vehicle? The same space requirements apply as the pickup location.
  • This will help us to avoid any possible road restrictions that could prohibit your recreational vehicle.

All of these details will directly influence the cost to transport your RV and will also aid us in the booking process.