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“A1 Auto Transport became synonymous with top-notch service delivery, unfailing punctuality and constantly preoccupied with customer satisfaction.

See Article— USA Today

How do I prepare my RV for transport?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Detailed Checklist for RV Preparation
  2. Exterior Preparations
  3. Interior Preparations
  4. Mechanical Preparations
  5. Documentation and Legal Requirements
  6. Tips for Working with Transport Companies
  7. Common Mistakes to Avoid
  8. Real-World Examples of RV Preparation
  9. Conclusion
How do I prepare my RV for transport?

Preparing your RV for transport involves a series of essential steps to ensure it arrives at its destination safely and securely. Begin by securing all interior items, such as furniture and appliances, to prevent movement and potential damage during transit. Check all fluid levels, including the power steering fluid, to ensure your RV operates smoothly upon arrival. It's crucial to lock all doors, windows, and access panels, and if your RV uses a tow bar, verify that it's attached securely. Choosing a reliable RV transport company is vital for a smooth and efficient shipping process, ensuring that your RV is handled with care throughout its journey.


Detailed Checklist for RV Preparation

Exterior Preparations:

Inspect and Inflate Tires: Ensure tires are inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure to avoid issues during transport. Proper tire pressure ensures safer handling and stability of the transport vehicles.

Secure Awnings, Slide-Outs, and Vents: Retract all awnings and slide-outs, and securely fasten vents to prevent damage from air drag and vibrations.

Lock External Compartments: Double-check that all cargo doors are securely locked to prevent them from opening during transit, safeguarding the contents inside.

Disconnect and Secure Power Sources: Ensure all external power sources, such as solar panels or external batteries, are disconnected and securely fastened to prevent any electrical issues.

Interior Preparations:

Secure Loose Items: Fasten all loose items within cabinets and on shelves to prevent movement that could cause damage. Use non-slip mats and straps for added security.

Appliances and Electronics: Turn off and secure all appliances and electronics. Disconnect power supplies to prevent accidental activation.

Latch Doors and Cabinets: Ensure all interior doors, cabinets, and drawers are closed and latched to avoid them swinging open during movement.

Remove Valuables: Remove or securely store all personal and valuable items from the RV to prevent theft or damage during the shipping process.

Mechanical Preparations:

Fluid Levels: Check and top up all necessary fluid levels, including oil, coolant, and gas lines, to ensure that the RV runs smoothly after transport if it needs to be driven.

Lights and Brake Systems: Test all lights and service and parking brakes for functionality. Ensuring your lights and brakes are working helps maintain safety in case the RV needs to be moved manually.

Engage Emergency Brake: Verify that the emergency brake is properly engaged to prevent the RV from moving once loaded onto the tow vehicle or transport trailer.


Organize Necessary Documentation: Gather and review essential documents such as registration, proof of adequate insurance coverage, and transport contracts. This preparation is crucial for a smooth rv transportation process.

Attach Transport Labels: Ensure any required labels or placards that detail handling instructions or destination info are visible and securely attached to the RV to assist the transport company.

Tips for Working with Transport Companies

Choosing the Right Company: Select a transport company that is experienced with RV shipping, especially for specific types like travel trailers or motorhomes. Check for credentials and customer reviews.

Effective Communication: Maintain clear and open communication with your chosen shipping company. Provide detailed information about your RV and discuss all aspects of the transport process.

Inspection Presence: Be present or have a representative at both pickup and delivery for a thorough inspection. This ensures any damage can be immediately noted and addressed, and helps verify that service terms are met.

These detailed steps ensure your RV is prepared safely and securely for transport, mitigating risks and providing peace of mind that your valuable asset is well cared for throughout its journey.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When preparing your RV for transport, certain oversights can lead to complications, potential damage, or delays. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Neglecting to Secure Loose Items: One of the most frequent errors is failing to secure all loose items inside the RV. Items that can move during transport can cause interior damage or become damaged themselves. Secure all belongings, from small kitchen items to larger pieces of furniture, using straps, nets, or padding.

Ignoring Fluid Leaks: Before transport, ensure that your RV does not have any fluid leaks. Leaks can not only cause damage to the RV but also create hazards on the transport vehicle, potentially leading to delays and additional charges.

Overlooking Exterior Preparations: Failing to retract awnings, secure slide-outs, or lock cargo door can lead to serious damage during transit. It’s crucial to walk around the RV to double-check that everything is tight and secure.

Inadequate Insurance Coverage: Not verifying that your transport company’s insurance coverage is adequate can lead to significant financial losses if damage occurs during transport.

Avoiding these mistakes by thorough preparation ensures a smoother rv transport process, reducing the risk of damage and delays, and promoting a successful delivery by the transport company.


Real-World Examples of RV Preparation

Real-world examples can provide valuable insights into successful RV preparations:

Case Study 1: Cross-Country Transport of a Fifth Wheel:

Scenario: A fifth wheel needed to be transported from Florida to California. The owner ensured that all loose items were secured with bungee cords and that all appliances were unplugged and strapped down. The exterior inspections confirmed that all cargo doors were locked and the secure tow bar was correctly attached.

Outcome: The fifth wheel arrived without any damage, and the timely preparations prevented any delays in the transport schedule.

Expert Tip: A seasoned RV owner recommends always taking photographs of the RV’s condition before it is handed over to the shipping company. This provides evidence in case any disputes over damage arise post-transport.

These anecdotes highlight how diligent preparation and attention to detail can contribute to effective and damage-free transportation of your RV. By following these expert practices, RV owners can ensure that their vehicle is well-prepared for a safe journey with the transport company.


Thorough preparation is crucial for ensuring a stress-free RV transport experience. By diligently preparing both the interior and exterior of your RV, securing all items, and ensuring that all mechanical aspects are in top condition, you safeguard not only the physical integrity of your RV but also the safety of its contents during transit. Proper preparation minimizes the risk of damage and delays, facilitating a smoother transportation process. Ready to transport your RV? Visit A1 Auto Transport for expert guidance and to secure top-tier RV transport services that prioritize the safety and integrity of your vehicle.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

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We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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