How Much Does RV Transport Cost?

Adaeze Nwakaeze Adaeze Nwakaeze · Updated February 23, 2024

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A blurry image of an RV driving down a mountain road.

So, you’ve just purchased your dream RV, and you can’t wait to hit the road and explore the United States’ stunning landscapes. Before you embark on the adventure, you need to figure out the logistics of getting your camper from one place to another — and more importantly, how much RV transport will cost.

The cost of RV transport can be a real buzzkill. But worry not! There are ways to save on these costs. Whether you’re a retiree living your best life on the road or a blue-collar worker looking to get away for the weekend, RV transport is something to consider. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of RV transport costs and how to save on them.

Importance of Saving on RV Transport Costs

RV transport costs can sometimes be high. But here are some reasons why you should save some bucks on it.

#1. More Money for Road Trips

When saving on RV transport, more money means cash for other expenses — gas, campground fees and activities. You can even make your road trips more enjoyable by extending your trip or visiting more destinations while staying within your budget.

#2. Splurge on Extras

Saving on transport costs can also allow you to splurge on extras during your travels. You may want to treat yourself to a fancy meal, a luxurious hotel room or a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can make those dreams a reality with more money in your pocket.

#3. Continued Adventure

For many RV owners, travel is a way of life. But high transport costs can damper your ability to explore new destinations. Savings from RV costs can help you continue to explore new destinations and make unforgettable memories without worrying about breaking the bank.

#4. Upgrades and Maintenance

You can put that extra cash towards upgrades for your RV, such as new technology or a more comfortable interior. And ensuring it stays in top condition for your next adventure. After all, who doesn’t want a fancier rig to travel in?

#5. Sustainability

Transporting an RV requires a lot of fuel and resources and saving on transport costs can help reduce impacts like carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable way of life.

Factors That Affect RV Transport Cost

#1. Distance

The further you need to transport your motor home, the higher the cost is likely to be. That’s because the transport company has to factor in things like fuel costs, driver compensation and wear and tear on the equipment.

But here’s a pro tip — if you’re willing to be flexible with your transport schedule, you may be able to save some cash. Transport companies may offer lower rates for longer lead times.

#2. Type of RV

A larger and more cumbersome camper will require more specialized equipment, which can drive up the cost. On the flip side, a smaller, lightweight trailer may be easier to transport and less expensive.

Let’s be real — nobody wants to pay more than they have to. So, downsizing may be worth considering if you want to save some cash. Plus, a smaller RV means you’ll have an easier time maneuvering on the road and fitting into tight camping spots.

#3. Time of Year

Are you planning your transport during summer? Then you might be signing up to pay more. That’s because demand is higher and transport companies know they can charge a premium. But don’t despair!

If you’re flexible, consider scheduling your transport for the off-season when prices may be lower. Traveling during the off-season can be a great way to beat the crowds and experience the beauty of the great outdoors without the hustle and bustle of peak season.

#4. Delivery Time Frame

If you need your RV transported quickly, be prepared to pay heavily. After all, the transport company must ensure they can accommodate your timeline while still juggling other deliveries. Be prepared to pay a premium. It’s simple supply and demand. But you can score a better deal if you have some flexibility in your delivery timeline.

#5. Insurance Coverage

While insurance coverage isn’t strictly necessary, it can provide peace of mind and protect your investment in case of damage or loss during transport. Your camp trailer is a significant investment; you want to protect it during transport.

Keep in mind that insurance coverage may add to the overall cost of your transport. Shop around and compare rates to find the best deal for you. Read the fine print and understand precisely what your insurance policy covers. But trust me, it’s all worth it.

How Much Does RV Transport Cost

It is important to get a detailed cost breakdown from transport companies to understand all fees. Here are a few things to keep in mind about your camper transport cost:

#1. Average Cost

The average cost of RV transport is around $3 per mile, but this can vary depending on factors such as distance, type of camper, the time of year and delivery time frame.

Transporting a Class A motorhome for over 1,000 miles can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000. Get quotes from multiple transport companies to compare prices and ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

#2. Cost Range

Your actual price can depend on several factors, including your RV type. A smaller, lightweight motorhome may be less expensive to transport than larger, heavier models.

And, if you need your camper transported during peak season or on a tight deadline, you can expect to pay more. On average, moving a travel trailer can cost between $1.50 and $3.50 per mile, while a fifth-wheel trailer can cost between $2 and $3 per mile. On the other hand, transporting a Class A motorhome can cost anywhere from $4 to $6 per mile.

#3. Cost Breakdown Distance Transport

Shorter distances may cost less per mile, but additional fees for loading and unloading the camper may exist.

For long-distance transport, the cost per mile may be lower, but the overall cost may still be higher due to additional expenses like fuel.

If the short distance is within a local area, the cost can be as low as $150 to $300. But far distances, such as cross-country transport, can cost from $1,500 to $5,000 or more.

Types of RV Transport

When transporting your camper, there are several options to choose from depending on your needs and budget. Here are four common types of RV transport:

#1. Flatbed Trailer

It is a popular option for transporting large camp trailers, such as Class A motorhomes or fifth-wheel trailers. They are equipped with ramps for easy loading and unloading and can typically accommodate RVs up to 40 feet in length. Flatbed transport can be more expensive than other options but offers greater flexibility and protection from the elements.

#2. Tow Dolly

If you have a smaller travel trailer, a tow dolly may be more affordable. They can be a good option for smaller, lightweight RVs, but keep in mind that they can be more difficult to drive and may not be suitable for all types. This allows the trailer to be towed without putting additional strain on the transmission and can be a good option for shorter distances.

#3. Enclosed Trailer

An enclosed trailer may be the way to go for added protection and security. These trailers provide a fully enclosed space for your RV, protecting it from weather and road debris. They can be more expensive than open transport but may be worth the extra cost for more valuable or fragile RVs.

#4. Driveaway Service

A driveaway service may be the answer if you want a more cost-effective option. With this type of transport, a professional driver will drive your RV to its destination rather than towing or hauling it. While it can be a convenient option, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to factor in the cost of the driver’s time and expenses, which can drive up the overall cost. Their services can be a good option for shorter distances or road-ready campers and they are easy to drive.

Tips for Saving on RV Transport Cost

#1. Plan Ahead

Planning is one of the easiest ways to save on RV transport costs. Giving yourself ample time to research and compare transport options can help you find the best deal. When you give transport companies enough notice, they can plan accordingly and offer better rates. But waiting until the last minute may mean paying higher rates or not being able to find a transporter at all.

#2. Create a Budget

Before you start looking for a transporter, create a budget that includes all the costs associated with the transport. Narrow down your options to avoid surprises and negotiate better rates with transport companies. Factor in additional costs — insurance, delivery fees and special accommodations.

#3. Negotiate with Transport Companies

Don’t be afraid to negotiate with transport companies. Many will work with you to find a price that fits your budget. Be upfront about your budget and needs and see what they can offer. Likewise, be prepared to walk away if the price isn’t right.

#4. Use RV Transport Brokers

RV transport brokers can help you find the best rates and transporters for your needs. They also have access to a network of transporters and can negotiate on your behalf. They handle all the logistics, making the process much smoother. But just be sure to research and choose a reputable broker with a good track record.

#5. Compare Multiple Quotes

When you get quotes from transport companies, don’t just settle for the first one. Get quotes from multiple companies and compare them. This will help you find the best rates and avoid overpaying. Ask for discounts or special promotions, especially when transporting during an off-peak season.

#6. Negotiate with RV Transporters

When you’ve found a transporter, you may consider negotiating with them. If you’re working with an independent driver or small transport company, they may be willing to work with you on the price.

Communicate clearly and be respectful of their time and expertise. Ask if any discounts or promotions are available, and see if they can offer you a better rate. You will be surprised at how much you can save just by asking.

Conclusion

Finding the right RV transport solution for your needs requires careful research. Your camper is a valuable investment that deserves to be handled with care and respect. Remember to consider the factors involved in moving your camper— such as distance, type of camper, time of year, delivery time frame, and insurance coverage. These factors will help you make informed decisions.

Post a listing on CitizenShipper today to get the best RV transport company without breaking the bank.