When shipping an RV, there are numerous factors that you must consider. It isn’t simply about finding a
company to transport your RV. Everyone must take time to research who the right shipper will be for
each specific RV, how much it will cost, average time before delivery, how to prepare the RV for
transport, and additional items like insurance.
Cost is a big concern to many when shipping an RV. It is important to shop around and look at several
options. While one may save you money upfront, there may be a reason for this. That company may
have less insurance coverage that will require you to add more to protect your RV properly during
transport. Pricing will vary based on the location of the RV, it’s size, weight, and the type. The bigger the
RV, the more it will generally cost. It’s also important to investigate travel restrictions for each RV. Some
may not be able to go in tunnels or spaces on bridges. Check reviews from the Better Business Bureau
where customers may share whether unexpected costs cropped up when they used a specific company.
Finding the Right Transport
When you begin the process of transporting your RV, one of the biggest decisions is which company will
be shipping it to the final destination. Checking some of these critical items ahead of time will ensure a
smooth process that will not have hidden surprises like cost or additional time to ship.
One of the first questions to ask a hauling company is whether they are registered with the Department
of Transportation and how much insurance they have. Any transport company registered with the
Department of Transportation has a minimum of $750,000 of liability insurance. Contact their insurance
company to ask for a copy of their policy. An original document is best so you will be able to see what is
included in the coverage for RVs being transported. Not all damage that could happen will be covered by
Obtain the company DOT number. With this number, you will be able to confirm whether or not the
company is authorized to transport your RV. This can be done by going to the safety website run by the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. All motor vehicle transporters must be permitted to
transport RVs. By using their DOT and Motor Carrier numbers that are on file, you will be able to make
sure the information they provide to you matches what is on the SaferSys website tool. When you look
the Auth For Hire should be checked under the operation classification section. In addition to this, Motor
Vehicles should also be checked under the cargo carried area.
Additional Insurance and Inspecting RV
When doing research on a company’s insurance, it’s important to make sure you clearly know what is or
isn’t covered in case of an emergency. Often times, you will find that there are exclusions in the
company’s insurance. Terms of coverage will be on the Bill of Lading and RV shipping contract. Should
there be limitations or exclusions that do not work it doesn’t mean you need to look at another
company. If this is the case, you may want to obtain supplemental insurance at an additional cost
It’s also important to make sure that someone representing you inspects your RV with the driver prior to
transport. This is the time to photograph and document any pre-existing damage that is visible. After
transport, it’s important once again to go around the RV to look for any new damage with the driver so
it can be compared to the pre-transport report and sent to insurance. Claims should be made quickly.
Preparing Your RV for Shipping
Once you select a transport company for your RV, it’s important to get your RV ready for the trip it will
be taking. Check in with the company to make sure they do not have any specific items that are required
before the RV is transported. All of the steps they require and others will help to protect your RV.
Breaking down the process will help it go more smoothly. There are things that must be done inside and
outside of the RV.
Within the RV be sure that all doors, windows, and cabinets are shut. If they will not latch, tape them so
they will not fly open while being shipped. If there are any decorations within the RV, take them down
or secure them. Make sure that any appliances are turned off. Disconnect all power supplies and gas
lines to electronics. Any cargo should be stored appropriately so it does not move around within the RV.
For the outside, check all latches. Make sure doors, chains, and pop-ups are secure. Lock any slide-outs
that may be on the RV. Take a moment to make sure all turn signals, outside indicator lights, and parking
brakes are functioning. If the RV has air brakes, confirm that the air pressure if set. Check the pressure
of all tires to make sure they are at the proper level. Tires should not have cracks or tread wear for
In addition to this, be sure to inspect all fluid levels. This would include engine oil, transmission fluid,
coolant, and power steering fluid. Check RV battery and make sure the gauge is in the proper range. It’s
also important to secure the tow bar and hitch. Make sure that they are installed and latched properly.
If the weather may not be good during transport, include antifreeze within the water tanks.
Last but not least, make sure you write down any special instructions for your specific RV. Each RV is
different and it may be new to the person shipping your vehicle. This list should include emergency
procedures in case they are needed. Where are shut-off locations for things like the batteries,
generator, LP/propane tanks, and manual overrides should there be a need for them.
When shipping your RV to another location be sure to make lists of what you need to do before, during
transport, and once your RV arrives to the final destination. The more you are prepared ahead of time,
the less likely you are to be overwhelmed with the process along the way. Others may have information
that will guide you in this process.