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How far can an RV be transported?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. How Much Does It Cost to Ship an RV Per Mile?
  2. Choosing RV Shipping Companies for Cross-Country Transport
  3. Comparing Different RV Shipping Methods
  4. How Many Miles Can an RV Travel?
  5. Preparing for RV Transport Across Country
  6. What Is the Longest RV Allowed on the Road?
  7. Conclusion
How far can an RV be transported?

Transporting an RV across the country can be approached in two primary ways: driving it directly to your destination or opting for a professional RV shipping company to handle the delivery. The choice largely depends on the RV's type and condition. RVs that are not road-ready for long distances due to mechanical issues or other concerns may require RV transport services that utilize flatbeds or trailers. The decision also hinges on the distance and destination; navigating through urban versus rural areas and managing terrain challenges can significantly affect the logistics. Additionally, it's crucial to consider state and federal regulations that govern the transport of oversized vehicles such as RVs. Lastly, RV shipping costs play a significant role, with costs varying among service providers who offer different levels of service for RV delivery, from basic haulage to comprehensive RV cross country transport packages.


How Much Does It Cost to Ship an RV Per Mile?

The base shipping cost for an RV is influenced by per-mile rates that typically range from $1 to $4. These rates depend on several factors including the type of RV, the total distance of the journey, and the complexity of the route. RV trailers and larger travel trailers often incur higher rates due to their size and the special handling they require. Additional costs can accrue from state permits, tolls on certain routes, and any expedited service fees if the RV needs to be transported swiftly. Furthermore, insurance premiums are essential to consider as they protect against potential damages during transit. The overall cost is also affected by the chosen shipping method, whether you opt for a drive away service, which involves someone driving your RV to its destination, or a flatbed service, which is typically used to haul multiple RVs simultaneously, enhancing cost-efficiency for the shipping company and the RV owners.

Each approach offers different benefits, but all ensure that your RV reaches its destination safely and efficiently, handled by experienced professionals in international RV shipping and domestic transfers.

Choosing RV Shipping Companies for Cross-Country Transport

  • Reputation and Experience: When selecting RV shipping companies for your RV cross-country journey, it's crucial to prioritize those with proven reputations and strong recommendations. Seek out customer reviews and ratings to gauge their experience in handling RV shipping tasks. Most RV owners benefit significantly from companies that can efficiently safely transport various models and configurations. Choosing reputable shipping companies guarantees quality service, punctuality, and proper handling.
  • Licensing and Certification: Ensure your chosen shipping company holds valid DOT and MC numbers, indicating proper licensing and certification. Transport companies compliant with federal regulations are authorized to operate legally. This authorization reassures clients that their recreational vehicle will be in safe, professional hands.
  • Insurance Coverage: A reputable transport company should offer comprehensive insurance coverage to protect your RV from potential damages during transit. Whether your RV is driven by a driver or shipped on a flatbed trailer, appropriate insurance is vital to cover damages that might arise due to unforeseen accidents.
  • Customer Support: Shipping an RV can raise many concerns, especially for travel trailer owners. Choose RV shipping companies that offer transparent communication and responsive customer support. This ensures any queries you have will be promptly addressed.

Comparing Different RV Shipping Methods

Drive Away: The Drive Away option involves an experienced driver directly driving the RV to its destination. This method works best if your RV is in road-ready condition and equipped with functional indicator lights, a tow bar, and a secure power supply. Parking brakes function should also be verified before the journey. Despite gas prices fluctuations, it can be a convenient option.

Flatbed/Trailer Transport: Non-drivable RVs or those requiring extra protection can be loaded onto cargo trailers or flatbed trucks for longer distances. Travel trailers and RVs that are not mechanically sound can be secured on a flatbed trailer and hauled to their destination. This method offers added safety and minimizes wear and tear.

Container Shipping (International): For international shipping, transport companies place RVs inside specialized containers for ocean voyages. This is ideal for those relocating to a new continent and needing to safely transport their RV while ensuring no gas lines remain active. Container shipping is crucial for protecting RVs from saltwater exposure and environmental risks.

How Many Miles Can an RV Travel?

Mechanical Limitations: The distance an RV can travel largely depends on its age, condition, and regular maintenance. Newer RV models, especially those built in the past decade, can easily cover thousands of miles with routine servicing. Older models, on the other hand, may have mechanical wear and tear that limits their ability to travel long distances. Issues like engine inefficiencies, tire degradation, and drivetrain problems could mean unexpected repairs on the road, so it's essential to have them inspected regularly before embarking on a long journey.

Fuel Efficiency: Class A RVs, being the largest type, usually have a range of around 500-700 miles per tank. Their size and weight significantly affect fuel consumption, and refueling frequently is common on long trips. Class B and C RVs, being more compact and lightweight, can achieve higher fuel efficiency. Some models can travel even longer distances per tank, thanks to efficient designs and smaller engines. It’s crucial to plan refueling stops well in advance.

Preparing for RV Transport Across Country

Mechanical Check-Up: Before engaging in RV shipping or embarking on an extended road trip, it is vital to inspect your RV's brakes, tires, and fluid levels to ensure it's ready for RV transport. This will minimize breakdown risks and enhance safety, especially for long hauls.

Securing Interior Items: The journey can be bumpy, so secure loose interior items like kitchenware, electronics, and furniture to prevent damage. Use straps, storage bins, or remove valuables altogether to ensure nothing moves or breaks.

Paperwork and Documentation: Make sure all relevant paperwork, such as updated registration, title, and permits, is available. Proper documentation is crucial, especially if you are transporting your RV across state lines or opting for RV shipping.

Cleaning and Inventory: Clean the RV exterior thoroughly and inventory the existing condition. Document any existing damage with photos so you can track changes during transit. Keeping an organized inventory will simplify filing a claim if needed.

What Is the Longest RV Allowed on the Road?

Federal and State Regulations: Federal regulations generally limit RVs to 40-45 feet in length for travel trailers and motorhomes on the road. Each state may impose additional rules, with some states allowing longer RVs with specific permits. It’s crucial to check local laws to avoid fines and transportation delays.

Weight and Height Restrictions: In addition to length, RVs often have weight and height restrictions, typically requiring permits if they're oversized. Certain roads, bridges, and tunnels may have limitations for weight or clearance. Before RV transport, verify your route and obtain the necessary permits if your RV exceeds the standard limits.



Transporting an RV across the country demands thoughtful planning around the transport method, costs, and preparation to ensure a smooth journey. Whether you're driving your RV directly or relying on specialized shipping services, prioritizing factors like regulations, documentation, and choosing a reputable company is crucial. For accurate quotes, reliable service, and seamless long-distance RV shipping, contact A1 Auto Transport. Their expert team will handle your RV's transport with care, providing comprehensive support for any route or destination. Trust A1 Auto Transport to make your cross-country RV shipping experience worry-free and efficient.

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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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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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