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What are the costs associated with RV transport?

Published by Joe Webster.

What are the costs associated with RV transport?

When considering RV transport, it's essential to understand the various components that contribute to the overall expenses. What are the costs associated with RV transport? Primarily, these costs are influenced by the distance of the shipment, the size and type of the RV, the type of transport service chosen, and additional services such as insurance and expedited shipping options. Prices can vary significantly based on these factors, so it is beneficial to obtain quotes from multiple transport companies to find the most cost-effective and reliable RV transport service.

RV transport involves moving a recreational vehicle from one location to another, typically using specialized moving trucks or trailers. This service is offered by various transport companies that specialize in handling large vehicles. Understanding RV transport costs is crucial for RV owners, especially those who frequently relocate or wish to take their RVs on long-distance trips without driving them. Choosing a professional RV transport service ensures that the vehicle is transported safely, efficiently, and without the wear and tear that comes from long road trips.


Types of RV Transport Services

The choice of RV transport service significantly impacts the overall transport costs. Generally, there are two main types of services:

  • Open-air RV transport: This is the most common and cost-effective option, where the RV is transported on an open trailer. This method is less expensive but exposes the RV to the elements, which might not be ideal for high-value or delicate vehicles.
  • Enclosed RV transport: Offering more protection, enclosed transport involves shipping the RV within a covered trailer. This option is preferred for luxury, vintage, or particularly delicate RVs as it protects them from weather and road debris but comes at a higher cost.

Both options offer their own set of benefits, and the choice largely depends on the owner’s budget, the value of the RV, and personal preferences regarding security and exposure to potential damage. Selecting the right type of transport service from a reputable transport company can help ensure that the RV arrives at its destination in the best possible condition, aligning with the owner's expectations and requirements.

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Factors Affecting RV Transport Costs

Understanding RV transport costs is essential for anyone planning to transport an RV. Several factors directly influence these costs:

  • Distance: The further the pickup and delivery locations, the higher the cost. RV transport companies calculate prices primarily based on mileage.
  • RV Size and Weight: Larger and heavier RVs require more resources to transport safely and efficiently, leading to higher costs. This includes specialized equipment and additional fuel.
  • Route Accessibility: Remote or difficult-to-access locations may increase the cost due to additional time, fuel, and special equipment needed for safe transport.
  • Seasonal Demand: The cost to transport an RV can fluctuate based on the season. Peak times often see higher prices due to increased demand.

These factors combined dictate the overall pricing structure, helping clients anticipate the necessary budget for their RV's transportation.

Additional Costs in RV Transport

Beyond the basic service fee, several additional costs can accrue when you choose to transport an RV:

  • Insurance Coverage: Most RV transport companies offer basic insurance, but comprehensive coverage for full protection can increase costs. It’s wise to invest in good insurance to protect against potential damage during transit.
  • Permits and Tolls: Depending on the route, there may be tolls or special permits required, especially if crossing state lines or traveling on certain highways. These costs are usually passed on to the customer.
  • Storage Fees: If the RV needs to be stored at the transport facility before or after transport, additional fees may apply.
  • Pickup and Delivery Flexibility: Door-to-door service offers convenience but typically costs more than standard terminal-to-terminal services.

Being aware of these additional expenses can help you budget more accurately and avoid surprises.


Cost Comparison: DIY vs. Professional RV Shipping

When evaluating the cost to transport an RV, one should consider whether to opt for a DIY approach or hire a professional service. Here’s a breakdown of both options:

  • DIY Transport: The main appeal is perceived cost savings. However, when you factor in fuel costs, overnight stays, meals, and potential issues like mechanical breakdowns, the cost can add up quickly. Additionally, the wear and tear on both the driver and the RV can be considerable.
  • Professional RV Transport Service: While initially seeming more expensive, hiring a professional RV transport company offers benefits that can outweigh the costs. These include safe and efficient transport, expert handling, and the avoidance of personal stress and RV wear and tear. Multiple companies provide competitive rates, allowing for better budget management.

Understanding these options can guide RV owners to make financially sound decisions based on their specific circumstances and needs for RV transportation.

How to Save on RV Transport Costs

Reducing expenses associated with RV shipping can make the entire process more budget-friendly. Here are some practical tips for saving on RV transport costs:

  • Choose the Right Time of Year: Transporting an RV during the off-season can significantly reduce costs. Demand for RV transport services decreases in late fall and winter, leading to lower prices.
  • Compare Quotes: Always get quotes from multiple companies. This comparison not only ensures you find the most competitive rate but can also leverage one quote against another to negotiate better terms.
  • Prepare Your RV: Ensuring your RV is in good condition and properly prepared for transport can avoid delays and additional charges. This includes securing all loose items, checking tire pressures, and ensuring all lights and brakes are operational.
  • Flexible Pickup and Delivery Locations: If possible, choose more accessible locations for pickup and delivery. Remote locations can increase transport costs due to extra time and fuel consumption.
  • Terminal-to-Terminal Service: Opting for terminal-to-terminal shipping over door-to-door service can also reduce costs, as it saves the transport company time and resources.

By implementing these strategies, RV owners can manage their budgets more effectively while still ensuring their vehicle is transported safely and efficiently.



Understanding the various components that contribute to RV transport costs is crucial for anyone looking to ship their recreational vehicle. From choosing the right service type and preparing the RV for shipment to selecting the best time of year for transport, there are multiple ways to influence the overall cost. By considering both DIY and professional options, RV owners can make informed decisions that balance cost with convenience, safety, and efficiency. Remember, the cheapest option isn't always the best—sometimes, investing a little more in a professional service can save a lot of headaches and extra expenses down the line.

Ready to ship your RV with confidence? Choose A1 Auto Transport for reliable, efficient service at competitive rates. Contact us today to get a free quote and learn how we can make your RV transport stress-free. Trust the experts—trust A1 Auto Transport.

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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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It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★ choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

A1 Auto Transport... From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

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Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

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:

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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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