You've probably seen Recreational Vehicle (RV) Transporters before and didn't now it. We all see pickup trucks pulling campers. And sometimes we get mad at them for "stealing" our parking places. Some of them aren't Mom and Pop on vacation, but hard working owner-operators driving all over the U.S. and Canada.
Over 80% of global RV production takes place in and around Elkhart, IN. Three men got together in the 1930s and decided to launch their travel trailer business in their own Indiana backyard. They were correct in believing that the northern Indiana workforce, which was very capable in building automobiles, could pivot over to building RVs. You can read more about it here.
From my research and experience ( I transported fifth wheel camper trailers for a dealer), RV transport is a nice hobby that will pay your travel expenses and let you see the U.S. and Canada. You can't make good money at it because of the constant deadheads. Sure, you can score a 1700 mile trip outbound from Indiana, but more than likely, you're going to come back empty.
The major RV Transporters are Horizon Transport, Star Fleet, and CWRV Transport. Click on any company name to go to their website. CWRV Transport is the official carrier of Camping World. The truck requirements to lease on to either of them are very similar. They include:
- Trucks must be 3/4 ton or larger
- Class IV or V receiver hitch rated at 10,000+ lbs
- 5th wheel rated for at least 18,000 pounds
- Mud flaps
- Fuel tank (direct feed) & toolboxes can be no more than 2" above the top of the bed rails
- Electric brake control
- Extended Mirrors
- Truck to be home state plated at 26,000 pounds
It appears that most RVs pay around $1.30 per mile to transport. That's an approximate figure based on my internet research. Once you deliver your load, more than likely you will have to deadhead all the way back for another load. So that $1.30 per mile just turned into .65 per mile. You will be getting better fuel mileage, but once you factor in meals, motels, etc... you'll be lucky to have any money in your wallet. However, if the idea of buying a pickup truck and getting paid to see North America sounds good to you, go give it a try!