The Ultimate Guide to RV Towing and RV Transporting
You’ve done all the research, found the perfect RV, hired an NRVIA certified Level 2 RV inspector to perform an unbiased, third-party RV inspection and are finally ready to hit the road to make memories and have adventures of a lifetime. But alas, you find yourself stuck on the side of the road. These unfortunate events happen more often that we’d like to admit. Since you may not be near home, you think to yourself… Who do I call for RV towing near me?
You searched high and low for an RV transport company to transport your RV to the next travel assignment or to move your RV to its next destination. Whatever the reason, you think to yourself… What are the best RV transport companies near me?
What are the differences between RV towing and RV transport services?
RV towing involves (in many cases) traveling shorter distances to repair shops and dealerships; whereas, RV transport services may cover much longer distances and serve RV owners, RV dealerships, and RV manufacturers.
RV transport companies may be hired to move RVs from a manufacturing facility to RV dealership lots. RV dealerships may also need to use RV delivery services to move RVs between different RV dealership locations across the United States. RV consumers may hire RV transporters for job relocations. If you need to promptly move across the country and can’t drive your RV due to illness, an RV transporting service might be required.
Types of RV Transport Services:
RVs being transported may travel in three unique ways: tow-away service, flatbed service, and drive away service. RV owners, RV dealerships and RV manufacturers decide which option to choose based on their needs.
Tow-away services use one truck for RV hauling. This is the most common method since almost 80% of all RVs being manufactured are towable. The type of RV will determine the size of the tow truck needed for this type of RV delivery. This option can either require a bumper tow hookup to pull a travel trailer or trucks with specialized hitches installed to haul fifth wheel RVs.
Flatbed services are available for RV shipping and this method involves larger trucks with flatbed trailers and specialized equipment to handle towing multiple RVs, usually travel trailers.
Drive-away services require an individual to get into your RV and personally drive it to the desired destination. This method doesn’t require additional trucks or flatbeds to tow recreational vehicles for RV delivery. Class A, Class B, or Class C motorhomes are driven short or long distances depending on your needs.
What should I ask an RV transport company when shopping around?
Anybody looking to hire a company for RV delivery should verify the legal permit of any potential RV transport company. Motor vehicle transporters are required to have license numbers from the Department of Transportation and Motor Carrier on file. Information is available to the public to verify licensing and authority information for RV transport services on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.
It’s extremely important that RV owners verify the insurance certificate held by RV transport services. Typically, licensed RV transporters are legally required to carry $750,000 at a minimum in both liability and property damage insurance, in addition to their proper licensing and authority.
Verifying an insurance certificate will assure RV owners that there is a level of insurance to cover certain types of damage that their recreational vehicle might potentially incur when being transported. Be sure to check the insurance terms carefully to note any exclusions or limitations. RV owners may consider purchasing supplementary insurance through a third-party policy if necessary.
Most transportation companies supply a condition report to the RV owner that compares the state of the recreational vehicle before and after shipping. Just as you would inspect your RV before and after traveling, you should also inspect the vehicle with the RV transportation service representative to see if any damage took place while in transit. In case an RV insurance claim needs to be filed, any damage should be noted in detail upon delivery and documented as fully as possible so long as the damage was not pre-existing.
RV Towing Services:
When contacting an RV towing company, be prepared to share specific details about the type of RV needing services. These details will help the towing provider determine what type of vehicle they will need to tow your RV. It will also affect pricing and timing.
The RV towing company will most likely ask the year, make, and model of your RV. When possible, provide the weight rating for your RV because that will determine which towing vehicle must be dispatched to your location. These details are critical so the appropriate tow truck will show up to help in your time of need, ultimately saving time.
While waiting for your RV tow truck to arrive, safety should be your number one concern. During the towing process hook-up, safety is also the main concern for your tow truck driver.
Tips for Successful RV Towing and RV Transport:
- Prepare the RV for safe transport (secure windows, drawers, cabinets, windows)
- Secure items that may shift during the transport (inside and outside your RV).
- Turn off all appliances and power sources.
- Ensure all signals and lights are operational.
- Check the air pressure in the tires, fluid levels, and battery.
- Provide the RV transporter with all the keys needed as well as operations manuals.
What are the average costs per mile for RV towing and RV transport?
As you can imagine, fees for towing and transporting an RV can range significantly from one another. These costs are based on towing or hauling within the continental United States and not shipping overseas or into Alaska.
RV transport can range from $1 per mile up to $5 per mile. Several factors impact these rates, such as the size of your RV, the distance the RV needs to travel, and the ability to tow the RV.
Generally, the lighter the RV weight, the cheaper it will be. The larger the RV, the larger the transport truck will need to be, causing additional fuel costs.
The costs associated with distance can be unique and potentially cheaper per mile for longer distances. The reasoning behind this is it takes the same amount of work to get an RV loaded and ready to go for a 20-mile trip versus a 2,000-mile journey.
Finally, the RV condition can have an impact on the cost. If your RV is readily available to be hooked up and towed, it might cost less. If the RV requires more time to move, the overall cost may increase.
Should I consider RV roadside assistance programs?
There are many roadside assistance programs to choose from that provide peace of mind with RV traveling. Many providers will offer different types of plans, as well as pricing. Here are some questions to ask your provider for a roadside program:
- Do you offer 24/7 towing service for any needs, day or night?
- How many miles of RV towing are included in these plans? You may need 500 miles to reach the nearest RV service center.
- Are their mileage restrictions?
- Does the plan include mobile RV mechanics or RV mobile technicians for repairs?
- Do you have access to independent RV towing and service providers, or do you have to wait for their providers?
- Do they offer lost key or locked key assistance?
- Do they offer travel interruption assistance?
This guide is intended to provide you the basics of understanding the differences between RV towing and RV transport. If you ever need help on the road, My RV Resource lists local RV towing and RV transport services as well as mobile RV technicians and RV repair shops across the United States and Canada.