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    Transporting a travel trailer can be a complex and costly endeavor. This comprehensive guide delves into the various facets of travel trailer transport, including the costs involved, factors affecting these costs, and different methods of transport. It serves as an invaluable resource for RV owners looking to move their trailers safely and economically.

    How much does it cost to transport a travel trailer?

    The average cost to transport a travel trailer is often calculated on a per-mile basis. This can range significantly depending on various factors discussed later. However, a general ballpark figure can be anywhere from $1.50 to $2.50 per mile, varying with the distance, size of the trailer, and other specific requirements.

    What Determines the Cost of Transporting a Travel Trailer?

    When it comes to transporting a travel trailer, you might wonder why prices vary so significantly. Understanding these cost determinants is crucial for making an informed decision that aligns with your budget and requirements. Let’s dive into the factors that play a pivotal role in shaping the transport costs of your recreational vehicle (RV).

    Distance of Transport

    The distance your travel trailer needs to be moved is a primary factor in determining the cost. Generally, the further the distance, the higher the total cost.

    However, it’s interesting to note that while long distances do increase the overall price, the cost per mile might actually decrease, making longer trips somewhat more economical in terms of distance cost ratio. This aspect is particularly important if you’re considering cross-country transportation for your RV.

    Size and Weight of the Travel Trailer

    The dimensions and weight of your travel trailer significantly impact the RV transport cost. Here’s why:

    • Larger Trailers: They require more space on the transport vehicle, potentially limiting the number of trailers that can be transported simultaneously.

    • Heavier Trailers: These demand more fuel for transportation, thereby increasing the cost.

    • Length and Height: The size of your trailer might necessitate special transport arrangements, further adding to the RV shipping cost.

    Type of Transport Service

    The choice of transport service for your RV also influences the cost. Each service, from tow away RV services to flatbed transport, comes with its own set of pricing structures. For instance, a professional RV shipping company might charge differently compared to a tow dolly service. The choice depends on your specific needs, such as the level of care required and the distance to be covered.

    Pick-up and Delivery Locations

    The locations for pick-up and delivery play a crucial role in determining the cost. For example:

    • Remote Locations: If your travel trailer is located in or needs to be delivered to a remote area, the additional travel time and fuel consumption can hike up the cost.

    • Accessibility: Hard-to-access areas might require special equipment or vehicles, further increasing the transport price.

    Time of Year

    The time of year plays a pivotal role in determining the cost of transporting your travel trailer. Like many industries, RV transportation experiences its own peaks and valleys in demand, which directly impacts pricing:

    • Peak Seasons: Typically, summer and early fall are considered peak travel seasons. During these months, you might notice a spike in prices due to heightened demand. Families are more likely to move or vacation with their RVs during this period, putting a strain on transport resources.

    • Off-Peak Times: Conversely, during the off-peak seasons, such as late fall or winter, you might find more favorable pricing. This is a time when demand drops, and transport companies might offer lower rates to attract business.

    Fuel Costs

    Fuel costs are a dynamic and often unpredictable element in the equation of RV transport costs. As these costs fluctuate, so does the price of transporting your travel trailer:

    • High Fuel Prices: When fuel prices rise, RV transport companies face increased operational costs, which are often passed down to you as the customer.

    • Fuel Efficiency: The type of transport method used can also affect fuel consumption, influencing the overall cost.

    Insurance and Additional Services

    Insurance coverage and additional services offered by shipping companies can significantly affect the total cost:

    • Insurance Coverage: Opting for comprehensive insurance coverage offers peace of mind but can also add to the expense. It’s essential to balance the need for protection with the cost implications.

    • Additional Services: Services like door-to-door delivery or special handling for luxury or vintage recreational vehicles will also add to the total bill.

    Tolls and Route Specific Charges

    The route taken to transport your RV can incur various charges:

    • Toll Roads: Some routes may involve toll roads, which add to the transport cost.

    • Route Challenges: Difficult terrain or routes that require special navigation can increase costs due to the extra time and resources needed.+

    Urgency and Speed of Delivery

    The urgency with which you need your rv transported plays a significant role in determining the cost. Here’s how:

    • Expedited Services: If you require your RV to be moved quickly, transport companies may charge a premium for expedited services. The need for rapid transportation requires adjustments in logistics, often leading to increased costs.

    • Standard Delivery: Conversely, if you’re flexible with your delivery timeline, you can benefit from standard rates, which are generally more economical.

    Market Demand

    Like many industries, the RV transport sector is influenced by market demand, which can fluctuate seasonally and regionally:

    • Peak Demand: During peak seasons, when many people are moving or vacationing with their RVs, the demand for transport services increases. This heightened demand can lead to higher prices.

    • Off-Peak Periods: In contrast, during slower periods, transport companies might offer more competitive pricing to attract customers.

    Condition of the Travel Trailer

    The state of your travel trailer is another critical factor:

    • Well-Maintained RVs: Trailers in good condition, requiring no additional handling or precautions, generally cost less to transport.

    • Special Needs: Older or delicate trailers may need special accommodations during transport, such as additional securing measures or slower travel speeds, leading to increased costs.

    Legal and Regulatory Fees

    Transporting an RV involves adhering to various legal and regulatory standards, which can also affect the cost:

    • Permits and Licenses: Certain routes or regions may require special permits or licenses, especially for oversized trailers.

    • Compliance Costs: Ensuring compliance with state and federal transportation regulations might involve additional fees.

    Understanding the Pricing Structure of Travel Trailer Transport

    Navigating the cost of transporting a travel trailer can often feel like decoding a complex puzzle. To simplify this process, it’s essential to understand the pricing structure that RV transport services and companies employ.

    The pricing for transporting a travel trailer is not a flat rate but a combination of several factors, each contributing to the final cost. Let’s break down these components:

    1. Distance: The most significant factor is the distance between the pick-up and delivery locations. Transport costs are often calculated on a per-mile basis, with long distances typically resulting in a higher overall cost.

    2. Trailer Size and Weight: Larger and heavier travel trailers require more resources, like fuel and labor, to transport. This means that transporting larger RVs, such as fifth wheel trailers, often incurs a higher cost than smaller models.

    3. Type of Transport Service: Whether you choose a flatbed, tow dolly, or a driveaway service, each comes with its own pricing structure. For instance, a specialized RV transport company might offer a comprehensive package that includes additional services, affecting the overall cost.

    4. Seasonal Demand: Prices can fluctuate based on the time of year. During peak travel seasons, like summer or major holidays, you might encounter higher prices due to increased demand.

    5. Fuel Prices: Current fuel costs directly impact transport costs. Higher fuel prices mean higher expenses for the transport service, which are often passed on to the customer.

    6. Insurance and Additional Services: Opting for extra insurance coverage or additional services like door-to-door delivery can increase the total cost.

    7. Route-Specific Charges: Certain routes may incur additional costs due to tolls, permits, or specific regulatory fees.

    8. Urgency: If you need expedited delivery, expect to pay more for the quick turnaround.

    Understanding this pricing structure is crucial for you as an RV owner, especially when comparing quotes from different transport companies.

    Each component of the cost should be transparent, allowing you to see exactly what you’re paying for.

    Remember, the cheapest option may not always be the best. It’s important to consider the reliability and reputation of the transport service, ensuring that your travel trailer is in safe hands.

    What is the Average Cost of Different Types of Travel Trailer Transport?


    Choosing the right transport method for your travel trailer is crucial, not just for safety and convenience, but also for cost-effectiveness. Let’s explore the average costs and the pros and cons of different transport methods, providing you with a comprehensive understanding to make an informed decision.

    Flatbed Trailer Transport

    Flatbed trailer transport is a popular method for moving larger RVs and travel trailers.

    Average Cost Range: The cost for flatbed trailer transport can vary significantly based on distance, size of the trailer, and specific route requirements. Typically, the average cost ranges from $1.00 to $1.50 per mile, but it’s essential to get a customized quote based on your specific needs.


    • Suitability for Large Trailers: Ideal for transporting large or oversized travel trailers.

    • Safety and Security: Offers a high level of safety, as the trailer is securely fastened onto the flatbed.

    • Ease of Loading and Unloading: The open nature of a flatbed trailer simplifies the loading and unloading process.


    • Cost: Can be more expensive than other methods, especially for long distances.

    • Weather Exposure: The trailer is exposed to weather elements during transport, which might not be ideal for some types of RVs.

    Tow Dolly Transport

    Tow dolly transport involves towing the travel trailer behind another vehicle using a dolly.

    Average Cost Range: This method is generally more affordable, with costs ranging from $0.50 to $1.00 per mile. However, the price can fluctuate based on the distance and the specific needs of the trailer.


    • Cost-Effectiveness: Often a more budget-friendly option compared to other methods.

    • Availability: Widely available and can be a convenient option for short distances.

    • Flexibility: Suitable for a wide range of travel trailer sizes and types.


    • Limited by Size and Weight: Not ideal for very large or heavy travel trailers.

    • Wear and Tear: Can cause additional wear and tear on the trailer’s wheels and axles.

    • Weather Exposure: Similar to flatbed transport, the trailer is exposed to the elements.

    Driveaway Service

    Driveaway services involve a professional driver transporting your travel trailer by driving it to the destination.

    Average Cost Range: The cost typically ranges from $1.25 to $2.00 per mile, but it can vary based on factors like the season, route, and driver availability.


    • Convenience: This method offers the convenience of having your RV delivered right to your desired location.

    • No Additional Equipment Required: Unlike other methods, you don’t need extra equipment like a dolly or flatbed.

    • Professional Handling: Your trailer is handled by a professional driver, ensuring safety and expertise.


    • Higher Cost: Often more expensive than other methods due to the personalized service.

    • Dependent on Driver Availability: You are reliant on the availability of a qualified driver.

    • Wear and Tear: This method can add mileage and wear to your RV.

    Conventional Towing

    Conventional towing involves using a tow vehicle to pull your travel trailer.

    Average Cost Range: The cost can range from $0.70 to $1.50 per mile, depending on factors like the towing vehicle and distance.


    • Flexibility: Offers the flexibility to tow with a variety of vehicles, provided they have adequate towing capacity.

    • Accessibility: Widely available and can be arranged with local towing services.

    • Cost-Effective: Generally more affordable than specialized transport services.


    • Suitability: Not suitable for very large or heavy trailers.

    • Dependent on Tow Vehicle: Requires a vehicle with sufficient towing capacity and proper setup.

    • Additional Strain: Adds strain to both the tow vehicle and the trailer.

    Enclosed Trailer Transport

    Enclosed trailer transport involves transporting your RV inside an enclosed trailer, offering protection from the elements.

    Average Cost Range: This method is usually more expensive, with costs ranging from $1.50 to $2.50 per mile.


    • Protection from Elements: Provides excellent protection from weather and road debris.

    • Added Security: Offers increased security against theft and vandalism during transit.

    • Ideal for Valuable RVs: Best suited for high-value, luxury, or vintage trailers that require extra care.


    • Higher Cost: More expensive than open transport options.

    • Availability: May not be as readily available as other transport methods.

    Self-Drive (or Self-Towing)

    Self-drive or self-towing is when you transport the travel trailer yourself using your own vehicle.

    Average Cost Range: This method’s cost is largely dependent on fuel prices, wear and tear on your vehicle, and any additional expenses like tolls. The average cost can vary greatly but is typically the cost of gas plus an additional 20-30% for vehicle wear and maintenance.


    • Control and Flexibility: You have complete control over the timing and route of your journey.

    • Cost-Effective: Often the most economical option, especially for shorter distances.

    • Familiarity: Using your own vehicle can offer comfort and familiarity, which can be reassuring.


    • Physical and Mental Demand: Requires confidence in your driving and towing abilities.

    • Vehicle Wear and Tear: Adds mileage and potential wear to your vehicle.

    • Limited by Vehicle Capability: You are restricted by the towing capacity and condition of your own vehicle.

    Shipping via Boat or Ferry


    Shipping a travel trailer via boat or ferry is another option, especially for overseas destinations.

    Average Cost Range: This method can be costly, with prices varying widely depending on the destination, size of the trailer, and specific shipping company. Costs can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.


    • Ideal for Overseas Transport: A viable option for transporting trailers to destinations not accessible by road.

    • Safe and Secure: The trailer is secured and protected during the journey.

    • Less Wear and Tear: No additional mileage or wear on the trailer.


    • High Cost: Typically more expensive than road transportation.

    • Longer Transit Times: Shipping can take significantly longer than road transport.

    • Limited Availability: Dependent on shipping routes and schedules.

    Rail Transport

    Transporting a travel trailer by rail involves loading it onto a train.

    Average Cost Range: This option varies in price but is generally in the mid-range, costing less than shipping but more than self-driving. Expect costs to be around $0.75 to $1.50 per mile.


    • Efficient for Long Distances: Can be a cost-effective option for cross-country transportation.

    • Less Wear and Tear: Like shipping, it reduces wear and tear on your trailer.

    • Environmentally Friendly: Rail transport can be more environmentally friendly than road transport.


    • Limited Flexibility: Rail schedules and routes are fixed and may not align with your needs.

    • Access to Rail Service: Limited by the availability of rail services in your area and your destination.

    • Additional Transportation Required: You may need to arrange for transportation to and from the train terminals.

    Professional RV Transport Companies


    Professional RV transport companies specialize in the transportation of recreational vehicles, offering a range of services to accommodate different needs.

    Average Cost Range: The cost can vary widely, typically ranging from $1.50 to $2.50 per mile. This price is influenced by factors such as distance, trailer size, transport type, and additional services.


    • Expert Handling: Your travel trailer is handled by professionals experienced in RV transportation.

    • Comprehensive Services: These companies often offer a range of services, including door-to-door delivery and specialized transport options.

    • Insurance Coverage: Most professional transporters provide insurance coverage, offering peace of mind.


    • Higher Cost: Generally more expensive than self-drive or other methods due to the professional service.

    • Less Flexibility: You may have to work around the company’s schedule and availability.

    • Preparation Requirements: Specific preparations may be required for your trailer before transport.

    Air Freight

    Air freight involves transporting your travel trailer via an airplane, suitable for long distances or international transport.

    Average Cost Range: This is the most expensive option, with costs dependent on the size of the trailer and the destination. Prices can range significantly, often going into several thousand dollars.


    • Speed: Ideal for quick transportation over long distances.

    • Global Reach: Can transport your trailer to almost any destination worldwide.

    • Security: Air freight offers high security for your travel trailer during transit.


    • Prohibitive Cost: Much more expensive than other transport methods.

    • Size Limitations: Large trailers may not be suitable for air freight due to size restrictions.

    • Complex Logistics: Involves complex arrangements and potential additional transportation to and from airports.

    International Travel Trailer Transport Cost


    International travel trailer transport requires careful planning and consideration of various logistical and regulatory aspects.

    It’s essential to work with experienced transport companies that specialize in international shipments to navigate these complexities effectively.

    • Mode of Transport: Options include sea freight, air freight, and sometimes rail, each with different cost structures.

    • Customs and Duties: International transport involves customs clearance, duties, and taxes, which can significantly affect the overall cost.

    • Insurance: Adequate insurance coverage is essential for international transport, adding to the cost.

    • Logistical Challenges: Handling international logistics, such as port fees, storage, and inland transportation, can influence the total cost.

    How to Save Money on Travel Trailer Transport

    Transporting a travel trailer doesn’t have to break the bank. There are several strategies you can employ to reduce costs while still ensuring your trailer’s safe and timely arrival. Let’s explore some effective cost-saving tips.

    • Plan Ahead: Advance planning can provide more transport options and often better deals. Last-minute arrangements typically carry a premium, so it’s wise to organize your transport well in advance.

    • Compare Quotes: Obtaining quotes from multiple RV transport companies allows you to compare prices and services. This step is crucial in finding the best deal that meets your needs without compromising on quality.

    • Choose the Right Transport Method: Different transport methods come with varying costs. Assess which method offers the best balance of cost and safety for your trailer. For shorter distances or less valuable trailers, less expensive options like conventional towing or using a tow dolly might be adequate.

    • Be Flexible with Timing: Transport costs can vary depending on the season and overall demand. Being flexible with your transport dates can lead to cost savings, especially if you avoid peak seasons when prices are typically higher.

    • Pack Your Trailer Efficiently: The weight of your trailer can impact transport costs, particularly if the pricing is based on weight. Reducing the weight by removing unnecessary items can lower these costs.

    • Opt for Open Transport: If opting for professional services, open transport is generally less expensive than enclosed transport, albeit with less protection from the elements.

    • Negotiate Rates: Don’t hesitate to negotiate with transport companies, especially for simpler or more flexible jobs. Many are willing to work with you on pricing, especially if you’re considering their services for regular transport.

    • Check for Discounts and Offers: Some transport companies offer discounts for return customers, referrals, or during off-peak seasons. Always inquire about potential discounts.

    • Use a Tow Dolly for Short Distances: For shorter distances, renting a tow dolly can be more economical than hiring a full RV transport service.

    • Self-Transport: If you have a suitable towing vehicle and experience, towing the travel trailer yourself can significantly reduce costs.

    • Group Shipping: Coordinate with others moving trailers in the same direction. Transport companies often offer discounts for transporting multiple trailers to the same location.

    • Regular Maintenance: Ensuring your trailer is in good condition before transport can prevent additional costs associated with delays or damages from existing issues.

    • Avoid Additional Services: Unnecessary add-ons like expedited service or extra insurance, if not needed, can inflate costs.

    • Use Broker Services Wisely: While brokers can facilitate good deals, be aware of their fees. Direct contact with transport companies can sometimes result in better rates.

    • Review Insurance Options: Understand your current insurance coverage and what the transporter’s insurance covers to avoid paying for overlapping coverage.

    How to Prepare Your Travel Trailer (RV) for Shipping?

    Preparing your travel trailer for shipping is crucial for ensuring a smooth and safe transport process. Here are some practical tips to help you get your RV ready:

    1. Secure All Doors and Windows: Ensure that all doors, including cabinets and interior doors, as well as windows, are securely closed and locked to prevent them from opening during transport.

    2. Turn Off Gas and Electrical Systems: Disconnect all gas lines and turn off electrical systems. This includes appliances, lights, and any battery-operated devices.

    3. Check Fluid Levels: Ensure all fluid levels are appropriate, and there are no leaks. This includes engine oil, coolant, and hydraulic fluids.

    4. Inspect Tires and Brakes: Make sure the tires are properly inflated and in good condition. Check the brakes to ensure they are functioning correctly.

    5. Remove Personal Belongings: Take out any personal items and valuables from the RV. Loose items can move around and cause damage during transport.

    6. Lock the Trailer: Once everything is secured inside, lock the trailer itself to prevent theft or tampering during transit.

    7. Document the RV’s Condition: Take photos and document the current state of your RV for insurance purposes. Note any existing damage.

    8. Check Lights and Signals: Ensure that all lights, including brake lights and turn signals, are working in case the RV needs to be towed.

    9. Retract Slides and Awnings: Make sure all slides are retracted and awnings are securely fastened.

    10. Licensing and Registration: Ensure that your RV’s licensing and registration are up-to-date, as this may be required for transport.

    How To Find an RV Transport Service In Your Area?


    Finding a reliable RV shipping service in your area requires some research and due diligence. Here’s how you can start:

    • Online Search: Use search engines to find RV transport services in your vicinity. Look for companies with good reviews and ratings.

    • Check with Local RV Dealers: RV dealers often have contacts with transport services and can recommend reputable companies.

    • Ask for Recommendations: Reach out to fellow RV owners or RV community groups for personal recommendations.

    • Verify Credentials: Ensure that the companies you are considering are licensed and insured. Check their USDOT and MC numbers for legitimacy.

    • Get Multiple Quotes: Contact several companies to compare services and prices.

    • Read Reviews: Look for customer feedback online to gauge the reliability and quality of the service.


    We have explored various aspects of travel trailer transport, from understanding different transport methods and their costs to preparing your RV for shipping.

    By considering factors such as cost, safety, and convenience, and by taking the right preparatory steps, you can ensure a smooth transport experience for your travel trailer.


    What is the most cost-effective way to transport an RV?

    The most cost-effective way to transport an RV depends on several factors, including distance, size of the RV, and personal preferences. Generally, self-towing or using a tow dolly for shorter distances can be more economical.

    For longer distances, using professional RV transport services might offer a good balance of cost, convenience, and safety. Always compare quotes and services to find the best option for your specific needs.