Can You Ship an RV?

Ship an RV

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As an RV owner, often, you’ve had to travel to another city or had reasons to relocate to another country. And you have been pondering the question— Is it possible to ship an RV?

Yes, although it seems like an impossible feat. The recreational vehicle itself is like a mini-vacation home on its own. It contains sleeping quarters, basic cooking facilities, and luxurious features like televisions, air conditioning, etc. 

There are a lot of factors to be considered to make the shipping successful. In this article, we’ll take you around all you need to know concerning shipping an RV.

Is Shipping My RV Worth It?

Anyone who wants to get their RV shipped needs to ask themselves this question. 

There are so many issues that may arise in the logistics of shipping your RV. Shipping a vehicle, its size with all its features might raise an eyebrow. If not done correctly, you can cause damage to your favorite camp/motor house. If this happens, it will surely leave regrets like, “I shouldn’t have done it…”. So it’s essential to consider this and ask the big question— Is shipping my RV worth it?

Aside from the safety of your favorite vehicle, do you know shipping an RV sometimes can cost a hundred percent of what it’s worth? So, is shipping your RV worth paying the price enough to get you another?

In most cases, some consider the most brilliant option is selling the RV itself. But we’d recommend you make that a last resort. First, ask yourself these questions:

  • How much will it cost me to get a new RV in my new location?
  • What would be the cost if I decide to store my RV while I’m away ( If you’re traveling temporarily).
  • Can I trust this shipping company with the safety of my vehicle?
  • Should I lease out my RV on rent?
  • Would it cost less to use an RV rental service?

These are the questions you should ask yourself. Your answer to these questions will help you decide what to do with your RV.

What Is The Cost of Shipping an RV?

Shipping an RV involves various costs, influenced by a range of factors including distance, RV size, weight, and the choice of shipping service. Understanding these variables is key to estimating your shipping expenses accurately.

Cost Dynamics Based on Distance and RV Size

The cost of RV transport fluctuates primarily with distance and the RV’s dimensions. For shorter distances, typically less than 100 miles, the average cost hovers around $3.32 per mile. However, as the journey extends, say to around 1000 miles, this rate decreases significantly, averaging about $1.05 per mile. These figures are general estimates and can vary based on specific circumstances such as the type of camper, seasonal demand, and required delivery time frames.

Pricing for Different Mileage Ranges

For journeys covering around 100 miles, expect to pay between $3 to $4 per mile. This rate is a baseline and tends to decrease for longer distances. For example, shipping over approximately 1000 miles may cost around $1.5 per mile. Again, it’s important to note that these are average costs and the actual rate can vary.

Additional Factors Affecting Cost

The size and weight of your RV play a significant role in determining the cost. Larger and heavier RVs generally incur higher shipping charges due to the extra resources needed for transportation. The time of year can also impact the cost, with peak seasons potentially commanding higher rates due to increased demand.

Real-World Cost Examples

To put these rates into perspective, let’s consider some real-world examples. Shipping a Class A motorhome from Los Angeles to New York could set you back between $3,500 and $10,500. Meanwhile, transporting a fifth-wheel trailer from Miami to Denver might cost between $2,000 and $3,000. These examples illustrate the variability in cost based on the type of RV and the shipping distance involved.

Overall,, while a general ballpark figure can be estimated for RV shipping costs, the final price will largely depend on the unique details of each shipping scenario. It’s advisable to get a personalized quote from your chosen shipping service for the most accurate cost estimate.

How Do I Ship an RV?

Transport an RV

The next question we’ll be addressing is how you can ship your RV. There are two primary means to get your vehicle shipped anywhere you want.

Ship Your RV by a Shipping Company

Shipping companies are highly recommended. And if you’d go for one, make sure you choose a reputable company. But the downside to this is that it is more expensive.

However, smaller companies will charge or give you a lower price, but we’d not recommend you go for them. These companies lower your prices, but they have more hidden fees. And in the end, you’ll find out you paid more than expected.

If you are going for the shipping companies option, you can pay part of the fee upfront to lessen the burden when your vehicle is delivered. Yet another reason to go for a reputable company that assures the security of your money and your vehicle.

Ship Your RV by train

Shipping your RV by train is relatively cheaper compared to using shipping companies.

The price can be reduced further based on your location and where you want the vehicle delivered. There are two options you can choose from if you want to use the train shipping method— The Open and Closed Train Cart.

For maximum RV safety, we recommend the closed train cart option. However, this is relatively more expensive than the open cart option. It guarantees the safety of your RV from the weather and other likely harms when transporting.

The only limitation to shipping by train is that they only deliver to their regular stops. So, if your location is a bit distant from the closest station, nothing can be done to help you out. You’ll need to find a way to get your RV to your home from the stop.

Preparing Your RV for Shipping

Transport a recreational vehicle

It takes about 8-11 days to get your RV shipped to anywhere you are. Shipping companies have limited and restricted areas or routes they can take while shipping your RV. 

So, you should reserve your RV shipping for one to two weeks before sending in your vehicle. Within this period, you need to get your RV prepared for the journey. Here is a list of some things you need to check out:

  • Latches on all cabinets, windows, and doors should be secured.
  • Take down all items hanging on the wall of your RV.
  • Make sure you disconnect gas lines and all power supplies.
  • Switch off all appliances and electronics.
  • Make a check to tighten all loose items in your RV.
  • You want to check that all indicator lights, i.e., parking, brake, and turning lights are functional.
  • If there are side-outs in your RV, make sure you lock them.
  • Secure and latch all cargo doors, chains, etc.
  • Make sure you check fluid level and ensure there are no leaks.
  • Check tire pressure ( do a visual inspection for cracks, wear and tear if you’d be using the driveway option)
  • Check the condition of the battery
  • Make sure your parking brakes function as expected.
  • Make sure you take out anything that can move while your vehicle is being shipped

This is just a suggested list of everything you need to check before sending in your vehicle for shipping. Many companies will send a list of what they want you to do while preparing your vehicle for transport.

You need to disable anti-theft software if you installed one in your car. And, if you’d be using the train option, prepare your car’s radiator for new climates.

All these are to ensure the safety of your vehicle and seamless transport.

Things You Need to Know About RV Shipping

There are some things you need to know generally about RV shipping. These may vary from company to company. We’ll list a few

The RoRo Method is Used for Your RV shipping

Regular vehicles can be shipped in open or closed container transport, but it’s different for your RV. Due to the size of the vehicle, the RoRo method is the only option available.

RoRo is short for Roll-on, Roll-off. RoRo ships are used to ship your RV because they are built for shipping large wheeled cargo. It means your vehicle is driven onto the ship via a ramp.

This method is highly efficient and reduces costs. Your RV is tied to a spot below deck for protection against all external elements while shipping.

You Have to Take Your RV to the Shipping Company

Most shipping companies offer home pick-up services for smaller vehicles. But due to the size of RVs, you may need to drive down your RV to the port.

Your shipping company handles Customs clearance
When it comes to customs clearance, you should leave it to your shipping company to handle. They are more knowledgeable in dealing with customs requirements, so you can safely get your RV transported internationally.

You Don’t Have to Pay Immediately to Ship Your RV

The time of payment varies from company to company. While some companies will demand upfront payment, some get your job done before requesting payment from you. However, you’ll get a mail invoice of your order, but you can decide to pay when you want.

You will need the correct paperwork
Shipping your RV to another country requires a lot of perks, and one of these is having the correct paperwork.

No shipping company will accept shipping your car without the correct paperwork. Your name needs to be on the title of the paperwork if you bought the RV new. And if there’s an exchange of ownership, the new and previous owner must sign the title.

What Should I Be Worried About While Shipping an RV?

There’s only one main thing everyone worries about, and that is, “What if my RV gets damaged?”

In this case, you need to take preventive measures against these. That’s another reason you need to review the insurance policy of the company you’ll be using.

While reviewing the insurance policy, you need to ask questions like:

  • How much damage to your RV does the insurance cover?
  • What are the things covered and the things not covered in the insurance policy?

We’d recommend you take current pictures of your vehicle’s condition before getting it shipped. It will be your evidence when you need claim insurance if anything happens to your vehicle.

When your vehicle gets delivered, carefully inspect the RV as soon as possible. You’ll be able to spot damages and thread wear. The pictures you’ve taken and other documents are enough to be submitted when you contact the shipping company’s insurance company.

Generally, most shipping companies try to ensure you get satisfied with their service. However, if anything goes wrong, this will be your solace— Knowing your car is covered by the company’s insurance. 

RV Storage Considerations

Suppose you do not wish to ship your RV while away; some companies offer long and short-term RV storage services. However, storing RVs can be expensive, especially in the long term. You should be expecting quotes anywhere from 50 to 500 dollars per month.

But with a good storage company, you are assured your RV is safe and in good hands while away.

It’s Easy to Ship an RV

Ship an recreational vehicle

Yes, you can ship an RV. There are a few perks and things to check out. Through this article, you have a clear idea of the cost and what it takes to ship your RV locally and internationally.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shipping An RV

Can I ship my RV to another country?

Yes, you can ship your RV to another country, but it involves navigating international shipping regulations, customs duties, and potentially higher costs due to the size and requirements of international transport.

Is it legal to live in an RV in the US?

Living in an RV is legal in the US, but it’s subject to various local laws and regulations, including zoning laws and restrictions on where you can park and reside in your RV.

Is it financially smart to live in an RV?

Living in an RV can be financially smart, offering lower living costs compared to traditional housing, but it depends on your lifestyle, RV maintenance costs, and how often you travel.

How much money do you need to live full time in an RV?

The amount needed to live full-time in an RV varies greatly, typically ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 per month, covering expenses like campsite fees, fuel, maintenance, insurance, and utilities.

Is RV travel cheaper than flying?

RV travel can be cheaper than flying for long-term travel, especially for families or groups, as it saves on accommodation and allows for cooking meals, but initial costs and fuel can be high.

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Transport Vehicle FROM
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We will never share or sell your information with any affiliated marketing or 3rd party. We value your privacy. Please see our Privacy Policy to learn more.

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