Heavy Haulers Daily Blog

Shipping a Class A Motorhome on a lowboy trailer.

How to Ship an RV On a Trailer

Why Do You Need To Ship an RV on a Trailer?

You need expert RV—also known as a recreational vehicle—shipping services. This could be for a variety of reasons. You just traveled across the country and had countless adventures, but now it’s time to fly home. Maybe you just sold your RV and need transport to its new owner. Worst case, your RV just broke down, and you need someone to haul it to the mechanic shop. 

Regardless of the reason, preparing for cross-country RV transport or a local haul is essential. The more you know, the less likely you are to work with a less-than-reputable company. Plus, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect before, during, and after RV transport. 

Types of Trailers Used to Transport RVs On The Road

The type of trailer used depends on the type of recreational vehicle you’re transporting. People ship new and used RVs across the country year-round. Plus, they ship all types, including, but not limited to: 

  • Motorhomes (Class A, B, and C)
  • Travel Trailers
  • Campers
  • Toy Haulers
  • Towables
  • And More!

Because there are so many types, there are many trailer transport options as well. Some of the most common trailers for shipping an RV include: 

  • Flatbed Trailers
  • Removable Gooseneck (RGN) Trailers
  • Step Deck Trailers
  • Lowboy Trailers
  • Hotshot Trailers
  • And More!

But how do you know which trailer is best suited to ship your RV?

Choosing The Best Trailer To Ship Your RV

Generally, you won’t have to. When you ship an RV, ideally, you’ll work with a logistics company. That’s because a logistics company like Heavy Haulers can handle the details. That includes finding the best driver, trailer, and transport route for your RV.

But let’s learn a little about what goes into choosing the best trailer to ship your RV. 

A lowboy trailer is the most common for shipping a Class A motorhome because of its height. Like its name, a lowboy trailer lowers the motorhome, bringing it as close to the ground as possible for better clearance under bridges and powerlines. This also helps keep the motorhome out of overheight territory, but it still may be an oversize load. 

A teardrop camper RV is small and can be considered an LTL or less than truckload transport, which means it may be shipped with over freight. This can save you money. It also offers a variety of trailer types, including standard flatbed trailers, RGN trailers, step decks, and more. 

So, what actually determines the best trailer to ship your RV? 

  • Dimensions: length, width, and height.
  • Weight
  • If it’s running or broken down. (Can it drive up a ramp, or does it need a crane to load?)
  • If you want an enclosed trailer (generally for smaller RVs like the teardrop camper) or open-air trailer transport. 

When you speak with an experienced logistics agent, they’ll determine the best trailer and find the best cost for transporting your RV based on the specifications above. 

Shipping a Class A Motorhome on a lowboy trailer.

How to Prepare Your RV For Transport

You’ve secured the best trailer transport option for your RV. Now it’s time to get it ready for transport. 

Yes! You want to ensure certain things are handled before the driver loads the recreational vehicle onto the trailer. Prepping your RV reduces the risk of damage during transport. 

So what do you need to do? 

Preparing The Interior RV for Transport:

  • Secure or remove any loose items because you don’t want them flying around during the drive. 
  • Secure or remove any items hanging on the walls because you don’t want them breaking off. 
  • Unplug all appliances and electronics. 
  • Disconnect any gas lines. 
  • Latch and secure all windows, doors, and cabinets. (Tape is an excellent option if they don’t latch properly or don’t have latches at all.)

Okay, great! You’ve prepped inside the RV. Now, it’s time to get the outside of the recreational vehicle ready for hauling. 

Preparing The Exterior RV for Transport: 

  • Check your lights. This includes turn signals and indicator lights. 
  • Check your tires. Make sure they are properly inflated (if possible.)
  • Secure all cargo doors, chains, and pop-ups. 
  • Make sure you wash the outside so you can clearly see any markings. 

Why do you want to see the markings? 

Because, before transport and after loading the RV, you want to take pictures. Then, once the RV is delivered, you want to take more pictures. 

That’s because you want to make sure that your RV arrives in the same condition you shipped it in. Taking pictures before and after documents whether the RV arrived safely or whether damage occurred during transport.

Safely Loading Your RV Onto a Trailer for Transport

The driver arrives, and it’s time to get your prepared RV onto the trailer. This happens in one of two ways. 

  1. The RV is driven onto the trailer using ramps. 
  2. The RV is lifted onto the trailer using a forklift or crane. 

Some trailers, like removable goosenecks, are lowered to the ground, and the RV is driven right on. 

Other trailers may require ramps. 

If your RV is inoperable, then a forklift or crane is needed to lift it onto the trailer. Make sure to let your transport agent know ahead of time if this is the case. That way, they can secure the top experts in the area to load your RV onto the trailer safely. 

Once on the trailer, the crew will use the best tie-downs, such as wheel chocks, straps, and chains, to safely secure the RV to the trailer. 

Does RV Transport Require Permits? 

Recreational vehicles that are oversize load shipments may require permits for transport. Permit and DOT regulations vary by state, so your logistics agent handles those details for you. 

Oversize loads that require permits require an extra fee. Your RV shipping agent should let you know about those fees upfront. 

Transporting a Class B Motorhome

So, How Much Does It Cost to Ship an RV?

The simplest answer? It depends. But it’s going to cost at least a few hundred dollars for even the shortest RV haul. It can go for several thousand for cross-country or international transport.

Factors That Determine An RV Shipping Rate: 

  • The size of your RV. 
  • The distance it’s transported. 
  • Oversize load permits. 
  • Loading assistance. 
  • Tolls
  • Gas prices
  • Seasonality
  • And more. 

Because so many factors go into the cost of shipping an RV, it’s crucial to speak with an expert RV transport agent who can find you the best rate.

What To Do When Your RV Is Delivered

When your RV is delivered, make sure to take pictures. Generally, your RV is delivered in the same condition it was picked up in. And even if it is, take pictures. 

If there is damage to the RV, also take pictures. And make sure that it’s documented on the BOL (Bill of Lading) before you sign it. This is crucial. If you sign the bill of lading without documenting damage, it can cause issues with the claim. 

Assuming your RV is delivered safely and on time, the driver and team will unload it safely for you. 

Knowing How to Transport Your RV on A Trailer Helps Avoid Scams

Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who try to take advantage of those who need to ship RVs and other equipment. Knowing how to ship an RV and what to look out for can help you avoid these scams. 

Always check that the logistics company is reputable. They should be licensed, bonded, and insured. Plus, you should receive a free, no-obligation RV shipping quote. Make sure there are no hidden fees. 

When you’re ready to ship your RV, call Heavy Haulers. We provide the best RV transport services in the industry.

Get an RV Transport Quote Now!

Step 1: Fill Out Quote Form

Fill out the short & easy quote form.

Step 2: Speak With An Agent

We’ll pick up your heavy equipment or vehicle.

Step 3: Get Transported On Time

We deliver on time so you can get back to work.

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