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How Much Does It Cost to Transport an RV?

How Much Does It Cost to Transport an RV?

Most of the time motorhomes are driven, and travel trailers towed, by their owners to their various destinations. But there are some circumstances that call for an RV to be transported from one place to another. So, today we’re looking at the question “How much does it cost to transport an RV?”

Of course, costs will differ depending on the details. But let’s take a general look at how much it costs to transport an RV from point A to point B, and how much it costs to ship an RV.

Why Would Someone Need to Have an RV Transported?

There are a number of reasons why an RV owner would want to have a rig transported. An RV transport company can move a rig short distances or long distances for a multitude of reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones:

Buying a New or Used RV Across the Country

The RV market is hot and it’s not always easy to find the type of rig you want close to home. Prospective RV owners frequently shop nationwide to find the right rig. 

But, rather than fly to the purchase destination and jump into (and drive or tow) an unfamiliar rig back home, some people elect to hire a company to ship or drive the RV to them instead.

Moving a Travel Trailer to a New Location

Some recreational vehicles remain in a static location for a long period of time. Towables, particularly large ones like fifth wheels, may need to be moved from one location to another or simply from the place of purchase to a permanent site where they will be used (often like a vacation home). 

If the RV owner doesn’t own a truck, or chooses not to self-transport for peace of mind, a transport service can be hired to move the rig. 

A fifth-wheel RV being transported by a truck

Some people need to move a large RV to a place where it will remain static for living purposes. If they don’t have a truck or are uncomfortable towing a large rig, they may choose to use an RV transportation service.

Most major RV transport companies offer drive-away RV services (for motorized RVs) and tow-away RV services (for towables) to re-locate an RV from one place to another.

Breakdown of the RV or Tow Vehicle

Another reason someone might hire a company to transport an RV is if the vehicle towing the RV breaks down. Obviously, this would pertain to fifth wheels, toy haulers, and any other type of travel trailer. If the truck towing the rig were to break down, the rig would need to be moved.

RV transport companies respond to situations like this as well.

And if an RV breaks down and needs to be transported to a mechanic or to the owner’s home, depending on the distance, an RV transport service may be used (whether hired privately by the owner or through an RV roadside assistance plan.

A flat bed truck carrying a vintage Class B camper van

RVs of all shapes and sizes need to be transported for multiple reasons, including an RV break-down far from home or a necessary repair shop. Depending on the distance to be traveled, an RV transport service may be used.

Medical Emergency

It could also become necessary to hire a company to transport an RV in the case of a medical emergency. This could occur for a couple of different reasons:

  1. If an RV owner has a medical emergency and is incapable of driving the RV, the rig may need to be transported to the owner’s home or elsewhere.
  2. The other situation that might require an RV to be transported is if someone close to the RV owner has a medical emergency. If an RVer is on a trip and needs to fly home suddenly, a company may be hired to transport the RV back to the owner’s home.

Foreign Travel

And finally, we should mention that some RVers actually ship their rigs outside the country. They do this so they can RV in another country with their own rig (rather than renting as we do).

How Much Does It Cost to Transport an RV?

RV transport costs will vary considerably based on a number of factors involved including the type of RV and the distance you need to move it. 

For transport within the continental United States, if you’re having your rig transported less than 100 miles, you’ll pay around $3.32 per mile… depending on the transport company you choose (we’ve seen $4.00 per mile quoted). However, if your rig will be transported between 100 and 1,000 miles, you’ll pay around $1.05 per mile (we’ve even seen $1.00/mile quoted).

Of course, larger RVs cost more to transport than smaller rigs. 

A large travel trailer being transported by truck

Cost varies based on a number of factors including the size of the RV.

To get a fair assessment of the cost to transport your particular RV the distance you need to move it, you can get a free quote from several different companies. These include:

There are many other RV transport and RV shipping companies from which to choose, but you’ll want to be sure to confirm that the transport includes sufficient insurance for any damage that may occur to your RV while being transported. 

You can also compare RV shipping costs and receive quotes from multiple companies by using the service Compare the Carrier.

However, it’s important to check any company’s credentials and make sure they’re registered as a Motor Carrier. (Registered companies will be designated with an “MC” which you can verify through the website of their local Department of Transportation.)

We also suggest reading independent reviews (not on the company’s website) on sites like Trust Pilot, Transport Reviews, and the Better Business Bureau.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship an RV to Hawaii?

Well, first we might be inclined to ask “Whatcha gonna do that for?”…but we’re sure you’ve got your reasons. Just be aware of a few things.

Despite the beauty of the area, and the many wondrous places to camp, there aren’t many places to camp in an RV. Hawaii isn’t a state where RVs are terribly common, and there are multiple reasons for that. 

Aerial view of one of the Hawaiian Islands

Many people wonder about the cost to ship an RV to Hawaii. But there are many other things to consider in addition to the cost. While the Islands of Hawaii are exquisite to be sure, Hawaii is not the most RV-friendly state, with good reason.

Multiple Islands

Hawaii is made up of 137 islands, though you’re most likely to visit one or several of the 8 largest. Still, RVing around 8 islands (while it sounds like fun to us!) may not be quite what you’re anticipating.

The Infrastructure

The roads of Hawaii weren’t designed/constructed with large vehicles like RVs in mind. For this reason, you’ll find many bridges with weight limits and, depending on the size of your rig, lots of roads that are too narrow to accommodate your RV.

Lack of RV Parks

There are very few RV parks in Hawaii and you can’t just park your rig anywhere (including parking lots). Hawaii has very strict laws and regulations that forbid living in RVs. So be sure to check the policies, laws, and regulations in the area where you intend to travel.

With all of that made clear, the average cost of transporting an RV to the Big Island of Hawaii is $3 to $4 per cubic foot. That’s just the cost of shipping your rig in a container and doesn’t cover the cost of a crane lifting the rig into or out of the container.

Prepare Your RV Prior to Shipping

Prior to shipping your RV anywhere, you’ll want to secure anything that might fall or fly around during transport: secure doors, windows, storage bays, and cabinets. 

Turn off all electronics and appliances and disconnect the power and gas supplies.

Provide the shipping company with all necessary information and a complete set of keys.

Have You Had an RV Transported or Shipped?

If you’ve ever had an RV transported, we’d love to hear about your experience. Drop us a note in the comments section!

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John S.

Saturday 30th of July 2022

". . . . the average cost of transporting an RV to the Big Island of Hawaii is $3 to $4 per cubic foot." First time I think you used that measurement. How many cu ft is your coach?

So I doubt there will be any other Newmar Dutch Star on the Big Island even if you do decide to check out the big container shipping idea.

P.S. We left our coach in Coachella and are driving north in the Jeep. Today is Day 1. Sure, we do save at the gas station but, yikes, hotels are sure not at all cheap. I am not going to save nearly what I though compared to the planned boondocking and a few RV parks on the trip north.

MICHAEL SAWICKI

Saturday 30th of July 2022

I bought a new 5th wheel from a dealer in Mississippi. Part of the deal was that it would be transported to the factory at my cost to have some of the furniture changed out. I hired Coyote Express Group LLC (headquartered in Arizona) to transport it. Its ad claims that it is "fully insured." Unfortunately, when the driver delivered it to the factory, he unhitched it without lowering the landing gear and the unit fell onto his truck, causing damages of about $1,400. After a lot of communication and claims with Coyote, its representative quit returning my calls, emails and correspondence. I was able to reverse shipping charges of about $700, but had to pay the remaining $700 for repairs myself.

Since I live in New York, it was not worth hiring a lawyer in Arizona to pursue this further.

TheRVgeeks

Sunday 31st of July 2022

Oh no, Michael! So sorry to hear about your experience... what a nightmare!

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