Becoming An RV Transporter: Is It Worth It Or Not?

rvs-on-the-dealers-lot.jpg The last time you went looking at new RV’s at the dealer’s lot, did you ever wonder just how all those new rigs get from the factory to the dealer?  Transporters, thousands of men and women, actually drive or tow new motorhomes and trailers across the country from their point of manufacture to the dealers who sell them.

Fleetwood, Country Coach, no matter the brand, they all must be driven or pulled from the factory to the dealership. 

I worked for an RV transport company in Tucson for about 6 months. During that time, I transported everything from small travel trailers to $400,000 luxury motorhomes all over the country for hire.

Here are some interesting things I’ve learned firsthand about the business of transporting RVs…

If you’ve been thinking about becoming an RV transporter, there are a few things you might want to consider before you sign up to transport motorhomes or RV trailers for the first time.

 

Little-Known Facts About Transporting RVs

  • With a wide variety of RV transport opportunities, chances are good that you can find just the right position to match up with your particular needs.  Qualified careful drivers are a valuable asset to any organization. Most reputable companies will gladly work with you to ensure that your needs are well taken care of.

  • When you’re transporting RVs, you can sign on to drive full time, or you might just want to earn some extra money to supplement your current income. 

  • Some companies only require one trip a month to maintain good status on their driver board.  How much you want to be on the road, or what level of income you require is pretty much up to you. 

  • As a fulltime RV’er, you might like to work between a couple of different terminals.  Work the southern dealerships in the winter when they are the busiest.  Then, when the weather changes, move your portable home up north and haul rigs to northern dealerships all summer, avoiding the extreme heat of the south.

There are a few things to take into consideration before you head for the phone to sign up, though.

What’s Expected Of RV Transport Drivers

  • You must supply your own truck and all hitch components when delivering trailers.

  • Each company will have their own requirements as to what size of truck they will accept.  It’s to your advantage that your rig be set up to pull any possible trailer combination, as the more types you can pull, the more loads you will get.

  • Some transport drivers even purchase gooseneck flatbeds so they can haul multiple smaller travel trailers all at once.  Your freight is figured on each individual rig, so by hauling 2 or 3 at a time, your profit margin will increase by leaps and bounds.
  • When delivering motorhomes, you’re responsible for finding your own way home.  Most motorhome transporters have a small economy car with a tow bar that they use for the return trip.  Again, you are responsible for all hook-up gear, as the motor home will probably only have a 2” receiver.

  • Usually a CDL (Commercial Drivers License) will be required for transporting motorhomes or RV trailers.  You will be running under transporter tags, and will be considered the same as over-the-road trucks when it comes to paperwork and permits.

 

How Much Money Do RV Transporters Make?
You can expect to make reasonable money.  By that I mean what you are paid for total freight will cover all the expenses of the trip.  So, as long as your return trip home is planned economically, and you don’t go crazy at restaurants, you will usually finish the trip with a reasonable profit.

Have I finished a same day, out and back with a profit after expenses of $100?  Absolutely.  Though I’ve also been on the road for 3 days, to finish up with only $50 left as profit for my efforts.  Published high figures of profit might be gross income, but after expenses that you can’t get away from, the profit is dramatically reduced.  I’ve never lost money on a delivery, but without watching your expenses it’s easily possible.

So, Is Transporting RVs Worth It Or Not?
All in all, I’d say that transporting RVs is a good way to travel with someone else picking up the tab. But it isn’t a way to get rich quick, or support a family.  There just isn’t enough money in it, in my opinion.

Is it a good way for a person (or couple) looking to supplement an existing income while traveling the country at someone else’s expense?  Absolutely.  There’s nothing better than experiencing the open highway in a brand new motorhome, even if you don’t own it.

Curtis Carper

I’ve been involved in RVing for over 40 yrs -- including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking at home, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller, you've got a good idea of who I am.

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  • Doug Avery
  • Dan

    darlhuck@localnet.com   Dan.  I been toying with idea of transporting Rv’s. I have My own travel trailer which, I have pull all over the USA. Plus I’m a retired Truck Driver, with 35years of pulling all kinds of trailers, including doubles. I have a Class A license. I have  2005 Ford  F-250 Super Duty 25000 miles.
    My wife would be going along.

    • Bernie Pere

      we pull Rv’s but a 250 won’t do it up the hills believe me.

  • Redheadotek

    Why did you not make much money doing it? My husband does it full time and makes great money.

    • Curtis

      Redheadotek, You must never see him if that’s the case.  Unless you have your own DOT authority and have established your own accounts with manufacturers the odds are working through a drive away company you will make your expenses plus a little extra.  One particular trip I made had me driving my car from Tucson to Riverside CA to pickup a motorhome.  I then drove said motorhome to Colorado Springs CO and returned to Tucson in my Ford Festiva (40 mpg).  At the end of this three day trip I had $50 profit after expenses which included eating at McDonald’s and sleeping in my car.  Hardly a money maker in my book.

    • rick

      where you from and is your truck paid for?

  • Wiebedarcy

    I enjoyed your post about is it worth it or not. I hauled RVs with a haul n tow 7 or 8 years ago and found if I kept the wheels turning and drove till the log book was maxed out with a little cheating I could almost feed my family. I was away so much I didn’t know them anymore and felt like a visitor in my own home when I did get there. I did enjoy seeing north america(except Quebec, those people in that province are screwed up). I don’t understand why the companies that are having these RVs hauled think they have to screw the guy doing the hauling. Would it really make any difference to the buyer of an RV who is paying 50, 75, 100-500 grand to pay an extra 500 - 1000. bucks. After the reading Ive done here and around the web tonight I guess I still have to stick with my day job, it still pays better then minimum wage

  • It’s a Girl

    I use to run big trucks east coast and it cost money to make money. You have to eat, take showers and that’s with somebody else keeping the rig running and buying the fuel. I’m not in the business of going into business at age 60 and back into debt and both me and my husband have great driving records ad Class A Licences. If he goes back to driving we’re going to make enough to survive in some style not be stuck somewhere with no way back and $50 bucks in our pocket for the “privilege” of being allowed to use our hard earned CDL to drive their nice rig. Phooey on them. They are making money and can afford to pay better than that or they ought to go under.

  • Lynn Bartolotta

    Looking for a good driver ! Well here i am. 26 years Motor Coach and done some VIP for bands..All U.S.A.And all Canada..@0a678f14feb9ac6853230ff49d77afc8:disqus .E-Mail …jusmee1950@yahoo.com. Lynn B.