Industry Partners


Transporting a boat or RV

You’ve bought a boat or RV and it’s become your pride and joy. Whether you’re sailing on gorgeous lakes or driving down the open road, your vessel of choice has brought you hours of fun and laughter.

Naturally, you want to protect it.

And if you’re moving across the country, you need to find a way to transport your boat or RV safely so it’s good to go when you arrive at your destination. With these tips, you’ll be able to do just that.

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Tips for Transporting a Boat

Truck pulling a boat on the road

Transporting a boat is tricky because you’re moving a marine vessel across land. Before we dig into the specific tips, it’s important to note that a professional service will handle this process safely. Check out A1 Auto Transport’s boat transportation service at to learn more. With that said, here are five things to do before transporting a boat.

Tip No. 1 – Secure All Items

Anything that can open or roll loose in your boat needs to be secured. For example, cabinet doors should be secured shut with tough tape to prevent them from flapping around and breaking during transit. Shut all your cabin doors, secure the hatches, and lock the boat’s doors and windows. Remove any loose items that you can’t secure.

Tip No. 2 – Get Insurance

A professional boat transportation company will offer that provides some coverage if your boat is involved in an accident or gets damaged during transit. However, it’s a good idea to get third-party insurance on top of this to achieve comprehensive protection.

Tip No. 3 – Inspect and Clean the Boat

If you don’t know the condition of your boat before it’s transported, you won’t be able to report any issues that result from the journey itself. Start by cleaning your boat using hot water. This gets rid of grime that might obscure marks or dents.

After that, take photographs of the boat both inside and out. Document any pre-existing damage or issues. Maintain a copy of this inventory and provide another copy to your transportation company. You’ll use these documents to check the condition of the boat when it arrives compared to its condition when it left.

Tip No. 4 – Remove Personal and Restricted Items

Most boat transportation companies don’t provide insurance for loss or damage that occurs to personal items left in vehicles. If there’s something in the boat that you want to keep safe, remove it and transport it separately.

Keeping restricted items on your boat could create problems, especially if you need to pass through a customs checkpoint. Examine U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s list of restricted items so you can remove anything that may cause problems.

Tip No. 5 – Empty the Tanks

Emptying your tanks makes your boat lighter, which could lead to paying smaller fees for transportation. Heavier boats require more fuel for hauling, which usually gets added to your bill. It’s also a good idea to unplug any batteries and power down the boat’s internal systems so you’re not wasting energy during transit.

Tips for Transporting an RV

Truck pulling a boat on the road

As with transporting boats, transporting an RV is best done with the help of a professional service. You can find out more about A1 Auto Transport’s RV transportation service by visiting Assuming you have a transportation company in mind, these five tips to prepare your RV for transportation.

Tip No. 1 – Treat It Like a Camping Trip

When you set out for a camping trip in your RV, you take certain steps to protect the vehicle’s interior when driving. These include locking, taping, or latching its windows, doors, and cargo compartments shut. Do the same things when preparing to ship your RV across the country. The vehicle is still being transported on the road, even if it’s secured in a trailer. As a result, it’s subject to the same bumps and vibrations that you’d face if you were actually driving the RV.

Tip No. 2 – Make Sure It’s Roadworthy

This tip is especially important if your RV is going to be towed. In these situations, you must confirm that its brake lights are working and that the tires are in good condition. Many shipping companies will refuse to tow RVs that are in poor condition. Inform your shipping company about any issues before they head out.

Even if your RV is going to be loaded into a trailer, you still need to ensure it’s drivable. The transportation company needs to load and unload the vehicle, which they may not be able to do if they can’t drive it. Shipping a broken RV tends to cost more because the shipping company needs to use cranes to load it onto a trailer.

Tip No. 3 – Check the Hitch and Tow Bar

Your vehicle’s hitch and tow bar need to be fastened securely so it can be towed. Loose hitching equipment could lead to the RV swaying more during transit, which causes problems for the vehicle and other road users. If the hitch and tow bar disconnect, your RV will experience extensive damage.

Tip No. 4 – Look for Fluid Leaks

Check the RV’s oil, transmission, and coolant levels about a week before shipping. Examine them again the day before to ensure they’re still at the same levels. If the levels have decreased, that’s a sign that your RV has a leak and you need to inform your shipping company.

Tip No. 5 – Document the Vehicle’s Condition

Just as you would with a boat, you also need to document your RV’s condition before transportation. Take photos of the interior and exterior and create a written list that highlights existing issues. It usually helps to clean your RV beforehand so you can spot scuffs and marks that would otherwise be hidden under dirt. You can use this documentation if you need to claim damages from your transportation company.

Transport a Boat or RV Safely

Boats and RVs are high-cost vehicles that require a lot of care to maintain. By following the tips in this article, you can prepare both types of vehicles for transportation so you don’t have to worry about damage occurring because you missed something important.

Beyond these checks, you need to find the right transportation company that can do the job properly. Look for one with experience and knowledge, as well as appropriate licenses, when selecting a shipping company. Even the best preparations mean little if you choose an unsafe transportation provider.