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How Much Does it Cost to Ship an RV?

Published on January 23rd, 2019 by Camper Report
This post was updated on April 19th, 2021

cost to ship an RV
RVs can be shipped just like other freight. Is it worth the cost?

When my family and I wanted to go RVing in another country, we tried to figure out how to get our RV there. We needed to know how much it costs to ship an RV, and is it even worth the hassle? This is what we learned.

How much does it cost to ship an RV?

To ship an RV it costs you per mile that it is shipped. For the first one hundred miles, it is about four dollars per mile. But the further you go the less it can cost you per mile. For about the next 900 miles it can cost anywhere from one dollar to three dollars per mile.

Moving across country or across the world with an RV can be hard on the typical traveler. But if you know what you are getting into you can decide if the cost to ship an RV is right for you and your family.

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Shipping an RV in the Continental U.S and Alaska

This is going to be the easiest if you are in the United States. You will be working within our borders, which eliminates international taxes, customs and the enormous price tag that comes with these things. The cost to ship an RV within the United States will depend on how long and heavy your vehicle is. This helps the shipper decide how to ship your RV. It may fit on a car rig but other ways are often needed.

  • It is important to look up how much the company you are working with is willing to insure your RV if something were to happen to it in the business of transporting it. Call and ask about specific instances and ask other questions.
  • Do not just trust banners on websites claiming that your vehicle will be insured 100,000 dollars. Know the facts.

Be aware of how they are ship RVs across the United States if they are just going to drive them. This the cheapest option, but adds countless miles onto your vehicle and other wear and tear. Will they ship your RV on a lowboy tow truck trailer to prevent damage? That seems like the best way, but it is also much more expensive.

The Cost to Ship an RV Internationally

Shipping RVs internationally is expensive, but it can be done. Be aware there may be international charges, customs fees, searches and more.

My advice is to start making phone calls now to learn what to expect when shipping your RV to another country. Have questions ready about:

  • Which method is used to ship RVs to different countries?
  • What borders will your RV cross? What route it will take to the destination

Call customs and ask about what you can have in your RV at transport and what to expect. Information is key when making large moves, especially to other countries.

How Do I Ship an RV?

There are two different ways to ship your motorhome, travel trailer, truck camper, van, or expedition vehicle. Shipping can be done with an RV shipping company, and we recommend choosing a more reputable company. Up front it may seem more expensive, but the smaller companies give you a cheaper price do tend to have more hidden fees at the end of your job. A little more money up front usually allows RV shipping to be less of a pain to you in the long run of things.

You can also ship your RV by train. This method can be cheaper, but depending on where you are and where you want it to be delivered can be less convenient. But they only deliver to their normal stops, and you will still need to pick it up at the closest train station.

When you choose the train option you can opt for either an open or closed train cart to ship your RV. We recommend closed to protect it more from the weather and maybe vandals at the other stops before it reaches you.

How to Prepare Your RV for Shipping

Due to the large sizes of RVs, shipping companies have restricted roads and areas where they can take your rig. You will need to reserve your RV shipping job a minimum of one to two weeks before handing over your vehicle. It usually takes 8-11 days to have an RV shipped, depending on the start and finish destinations.

To get your RV ready for shipping you need to make sure that every door, drawer, and cabinet is shut and taped down for security. Take down anything that can be removed, including pictures, shelves and more.

Take out any flammable items from your RV, such as external fuel to cleaning products. Anything that can move during transport should be taken out, to keep things safe in your vehicle while it is being moved.

Many companies also have a list of what they want you to do in preparations for transport. Including disabling anti-theft software while it is being transported. Prepare the radiator for new climates, especially if you chose to have it moved on a transporter/train.

What if My RV Gets Damaged in Shipping?

This is something that everyone worries about if the RV is shipped by boat, rocky terrain, or just careless drivers. Take preventive measures. Get RV shipping insurance. Always review the insurance policy of the company you use. Ask questions such as:

  • How much RV damage is covered by the policy?
  • What exactly is covered and not covered in the policy?

Take current pictures of your vehicle so you know what to claim when you get it back.

When you get the vehicle back from the transporter, thoroughly inspect the RV with your operator. The more you have documented the more prepared you will be if something does happen. If it does, contact the RV shipping insurance company immediately and have it written on their documents.

Most RV shipping companies try to ensure you have a good experience. Be kind but be persistent. If you are going to go through all the struggle of transporting your vehicle, you want it returned in one piece.

Is it Worth it to Ship My RV?

Sometime the cost to ship an RV is not worth the RV itself.

Anyone who wants to ship their RV has to ask this question. When it comes to shipping an RV to another country or even state, there are so many logistical issues as well as financial. Doing so can cause damage to your true and faithful friend, and it can just be a pain for you and your family.

Sometimes shipping an RV can cost 100% of what your RV is worth, especially if you are taking it overseas. The smartest option might end up being to sell it. Ask yourself:

  • How much does an RV cost where I’m going?
  • What would it cost to store my RV for the length of my trip? ‘
  • Would an RV rental service be cheaper?

Long Term RV Storage Considerations

Storing RVs can also be expensive, but with a good company, you get peace of mind. Long term RV storage can cost anywhere from 50 to 500 dollars a month. Be aware of any wintertime policy changes the RV storage company you choose.

What kind of area are you looking to leave it in? Do you know someone who can periodically check on it, and winterize it if needed?

Conclusion on RV Shipping Costs

The cost to ship an RV depends on so many factors, there is no one right answer for everyone. Do your homework to find out if the expense and headaches of RV shipping are worth it to keep your RV before you take that trip.

5 thoughts on “How Much Does it Cost to Ship an RV?”

  1. I have a 2019 Imagine 34’ camper.
    Weight 7,900.
    What will it cost to ship from Philadelphia PA to San Juan Puerto Rico?

  2. we have a new travel trailer, 2021 forest river cruise lite 273qb , it is in trenton oh , we would like for it to be delivery to rocky mount nc


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