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Your Guide to Preparing for RV Transporting

What's in this article?
  1. 1 Decide Between Driving And Towing
  2. 2 Find The Best Rv Transport Company
  3. 3 Don’t Go With The Cheapest Option
  4. 4 Look Out For Common Red Flags
  5. 5 Think About Insurance
  6. 6 Examine Your Rv’s Exterior
  7. 7 Ensure Proper Weight Distribution
  8. 8 Prepare Your Rv’s Interior For The Move
  9. 9 Give The Transport Company All The Information They Need
  10. 10 Plan For The Worst
  11. Preparation Is Key
Your Guide to Preparing for RV Transporting

Many people buy an RV to live the dreamy nomad life. It’s your house on wheels, so you can make any place your home. Moreover, you can take countless road trips and make many memories.

Still, you may not always be able to drive your RV. Instead, you’ll need someone who knows about RVs transportation to move your RV to another location. If this is the case, you’ll need to do a good amount of prep work to ensure your RV reaches its destination without issues.

There are many things to consider when it comes to RV trailer transport. Check out these steps you can take to ensure you come prepared.

1. Decide Between Driving and Towing

Before you conclude that you need your RV transported, think about whether you can drive it to its destination. A motorized RV in solid driving condition might not need transporting. Instead, you can ask someone to drive it if you can’t do it yourself. This can be a friend, family member, or a professional driver you find online.

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It’s best to work with a licensed driver to ensure they know how to take proper care of your RV. Before you hire someone, make sure to check their credentials.

If you can’t find anyone to drive your RV, you can start exploring RV transport companies. There are many options to choose from, so we’ll dedicate a part of this guide to ensuring you find the best provider. Having your RV transported can involve high costs, so you’ll want to get the best service for your budget.

2. Find the Best RV Transport Company

When looking to find the best RV shipping company, start by asking if someone you know has experience with a company and can recommend it.

If you don’t get any recommendations, you can go online to start browsing different options. There are many ways to find a reliable company that will safely ship your RV.

The first step is to look at RV transport reviews. This includes Google reviews, dedicated review websites, forums, and online RV communities. See if you can identify some companies that have a high number of positive reviews. If so, you can shortlist them and dig deeper to find out if they’re the right fit.

A strange but effective way to find good companies is to look at RV transport jobs reviews. The best RV transport company to work for is usually the one that also provides excellent services to clients, as its employees are satisfied and engaged in their work.

Once you list prospective RV shipping companies, it’s time to shop for quotes. As you do, don’t forget a crucial piece of advice.

3. Don’t Go With the Cheapest Option

Unless you’re 100% certain the lowest quote you got comes from a reputable company that can do as good a job as a more expensive one, don’t make your decision based on the price. Your RV is valuable, so skimping on transport isn’t a good idea. While there are exceptions, price usually follows service quality, so find a balance.

This is where it pays to know what impacts the costs of RV transportation. The main factors are as follows.

  • RV size – Larger RVs require stronger towing trucks and equipment, which can increase costs.
  • Distance – RV transportation companies usually charge per mile, and the rate per mile drops as the distance increases.
  • Season – Rough weather can make your RV harder to transport and expose drivers to more risks, which is factored into the price.
  • Pickup and drop-off locations – If you’re transporting your RV from one urban area to another, it’ll cost you less than shipping it to or from remote areas.

Some companies might offer additional services that make your transportation more convenient, such as packing. Of course, you’ll pay for this convenience.

It’s better to spend a little extra on your RVs transportation if it means you’ll get everything you need. It surely pays more than having your RV damaged in transit and dealing with the associated costs. So when choosing a company, prioritize expertise and know-how over costs.

4. Look Out for Common Red Flags

Almost everyone can present their company in a positive light on their website. Don’t take everything you see for granted. Instead, be critical and scrutinize the company’s information to see if they can deliver on their promises.

Most of all, look out for signs that you’re dealing with an unprofessional company or even a scammer.

  • Extremely low price – Slightly below-average prices don’t mean a company isn’t genuine. But if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • No credentials – Licenses and certifications are crucial, and every reputable RV shipping company has them. If a company you’re considering isn’t willing to show theirs, look for another option.
  • Large deposits – It’s normal to pay something upfront with any service, and RV towing is no different. But if a company asks for the majority or all of the payment in advance, steer clear of them.
  • Poor reviews – If RV transport company reviews are consistently bad, it’s a tell-tale sign you shouldn’t trust them with your vehicle.

Don’t hesitate to contact some of the company’s actual clients if you can find their contact information or if the transport company has some clients willing to share their thoughts with you. Do this even if there are no red flags, as first-hand experience is the best indicator of a company’s service quality.

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5. Think About Insurance

There’s a high chance you already have some RV insurance. If not, you should get some as soon as possible. It’s not just your insurance that matters, but the transport company’s as well. Without proper insurance, it’s not safe to proceed with a carrier.

Most RVs logistics and transport companies have some liability insurance. The question is, is it enough to give you peace of mind knowing your RV will be covered?

This isn’t the case all the time, as many insurance policies only offer partial coverage. If your existing insurance doesn’t make up the difference, you’ll want to either find a company with a better policy or buy additional insurance if it makes financial sense.

You can work with an RV transport broker to examine different providers and their insurance policies. They should help you find the best solutions for your circumstances.

6. Examine Your RV’s Exterior

When you find the RV shipping company you’ll be working with, it’s time to start preparing your vehicle for the move.

Start by thoroughly washing it so you can easily identify any damage. It’s hard to inspect for cracks or similar smaller damage if your RV is all muddy. Hose it down, use a cleaning agent if needed, and you’ll be able to identify any issues more easily.

Pay special attention to the RV’s windows. This goes for both the side windows and the roof vent (if your RV has one). Look closely to see if there are any cracks or broken seals. Hosing the RV down might uncover some more obvious damage and result in major leaks, but the smaller cracks might be harder to spot.

This is important because the transport company will likely inspect the vehicle itself to assess its condition before shipping. That way, they can see if there is any existing damage to note before inspection after transport. You’ll also need this information if you have to make a claim in case of any damage caused by the company’s error or negligence.

Be sure to check your RV’s tires. Blowouts are among the leading causes of accidents, so both you and the shipping company will want to minimize that risk.

Examine all your tires, including the spares. Look for any signs of wear and tear on the sidewalls or in the tread. Finally, check the tires’ pressure and lug nuts to confirm they’re firmly secured.

7. Ensure Proper Weight Distribution

When you’ve inspected your RV’s exterior and ensured it’s good to go, it’s time to go inside. There are quite a few boxes to check here to ensure everything goes smoothly during the transport.

First and foremost, assess the RV’s weight distribution. This is a crucial step, and poor distribution can cause severe traffic accidents.

Your RV should be heavier in the front than the back. This is to prevent the swaying that causes the accidents mentioned above. If the trailer’s too heavy in the back, there’s a high chance it will sway, especially during and after turns. Your shipping company most likely won’t want to assume this kind of risk, so they might deny you the service unless you distribute the weight properly.

The good news is that most RVs come properly distributed in the first place. Most of the built-in components are spread out the right way. However, if you’ve added any furniture or heavy objects, you should ensure they’re not at the back.

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8. Prepare Your RV’s Interior for the Move

Other than weight distribution, there are a few other considerations regarding the RV’s interior.

Take out any loose items and all hanging objects (poster frames, pictures, décor, etc.). Otherwise, they might shift and fall during transit, most likely getting damaged.

Next, check all the cabinets, doors, and windows to ensure they’re properly closed. Secure the cabinet doors so they don’t open during the shipping to avoid damage. While you’re at it, check your fridge to see if it’s all cleaned out. Don’t forget to defrost it before shipping, or you risk leakage.

Lastly, disconnect all power supplies and gas lines. All appliances, like the fridge or stove, should be turned off.

9. Give the Transport Company All the Information They Need

A tricky thing about RV transporting is that if anything gets damaged during transport as a result of poor preparation, it’s your fault. That’s why you’ll want to leave no stone unturned and ensure the company you’re hiring has everything they need to do their part correctly.

If you’ve kept the RV instruction manual, make sure to give them a copy. It contains lots of helpful information they should keep in mind if anything goes wrong. You can also make a list of your own instructions if there’s anything in particular you need them to keep an eye on.

Ensure your RV is stacked with the necessary supplies. For instance, if you’re transporting it in freezing weather, have antifreeze on hand.

Finally, give the transport company copies of all the keys they might need during transport. This includes the keys to internal components like cabinets and rooms.

10. Plan for the Worst

Nobody likes to think about something bad happening to their RV while shipping. However, you don’t want to turn a blind eye toward potential issues either.

Before the company transports your RV, take as many pictures as possible of all the necessary interior and exterior components. That way, you’ll have proof of its condition that you can show the insurance company in case of any damage.

Once the RV arrives, inspect it as thoroughly as you did before it shipped. Check for any cracks, chipped paint, or damage to the interior or any items you left in the RV.

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Preparation Is Key

Just because you’re outsourcing RV shipping to a professional, you’re not letting go of the responsibility for it. It’s still your RV, so you must do everything you can to help the company transport it safely.

Your transport provider of choice can make or break the shipping experience. Take your time to browse all your options and be strict as you narrow them down. By the time you’re ready to choose the company, you should be 100% confident in your decision.

No matter how much you prepare, some things are simply out of your control. That’s why insurance can save you many headaches (and money, of course). Find a policy that offers enough coverage to give you peace of mind, and you’ll know you’ve done all you can do.

If you need any help preparing your RV for transport, feel free to reach out. Our expert team will give you all the information you need.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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

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
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
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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