How Much Does It Cost To Tow An RV?Anthony Day
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When your RV breaks down on you during a road trip, the most common way to get yourself out of the situation is to call a tow truck, but how much does it cost?
The last position that you want to find yourself in having maintenance issues with your camper during a vacation, but it does happen to the best of us. If you look up the cost of towing an RV with a tow service, you may be shocked by the prices that you see.
It can cost anywhere from $125 - $450+ to tow an RV. These costs can fluctuate based on the size of your RV, the towing distance, as well as the condition of the vehicle. Most RV towing services will charge you a flat rate of $75 - $125 and then $2 to $7 per mile - depending on the company.
RVs are the ultimate way to travel, which is why more people are buying motorhomes and trailers than ever before. These vehicles enable you to hit the open road in your very own home on wheels, but you need to ensure that you maintain your camper to avoid trouble during your trip. While RVs are built to last, they will break down from time to time - with engine issues being the most common problem. You can do a lot to prevent these events from happening by taking care of your RV, which is always advisable if you want to avoid unnecessary repairs. With that said, breakdowns tend to happen when we least expect them to and if you are not an experienced mechanic, you probably have no other option than to call a town truck. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at the costs of towing an RV in more detail.
After extensively researching RV breakdowns, I have been able to gather enough information to determine the cost of towing a recreational vehicle. My research has indicated that there are a number of different factors that contribute to the cost of towing an RV and that each person’s experience is different based on their location, the size of their camper, and how far the vehicle needs to be towed.
RV Towing Costs Explained
The bottom line is that towing an RV is not cheap. Tow trucks in general will charge a hefty price for their labor, but handling an RV makes the process all the more complicated.
Most towing services deal with standard vehicles and RVs can be an anomaly within their routine. You need to keep in mind that each towing service has a different rate for their work, which is why the estimated costs can vary across the board.
You should expect to pay anywhere from $125 to $450+ to have your RV towed. While this may already seem like a lot, it is just the minimum of what a towing service could charge you. With that said, it is important to understand that there are a lot of factors that need to be considered when calculating towing fees for RVs.
The size of your camper can make all of the difference in how much you pay to have your vehicle towed. Naturally, the larger your RV, the more you will have to pay to have it towed.
Larger vehicles are more complicated to handle and may require an expert towing service or a specialized truck. This factor alone can result in a higher bill when the towing is done, which is especially common for the following RV types and classifications:
- Class A, B, & C
With Fifth-Wheels and Class A RVs being the biggest options on the market, they are the most challenging and expensive to tow. One of these RVs can weigh anywhere from 16,000 to 30,000lbs and be as long as 45ft.
This is not your average sedan and handling a vehicle this large is no easy feat. Often times a tow truck with a full ramp is required to transport a large RV, which may require you to call a service that is further away from your location.
While smaller RVs can cost less to tow, that does not mean that they will be cheap. The towing service may still charge you the same flat fee or dollar per mile rate. The good news is that smaller motorhomes and trailers are less complicated and can be moved by virtually any tow truck.
Towing Distance & Time
While virtually every towing company charges a flat rate to be called out to service a vehicle, these costs will start to build up based on the amount of time that is spent hooking up the RV, as well as the number of miles required to transport it.
If the process of hooking up your RV was complex and extra time was spent on the tow, there are often additional fees that can pile up on top of the charges.
The initial fee can start at $75 to $125+, but you will likely need to pay anywhere from $2 to $7 per mile afterward. If your towing destination is nearby, you can avoid a lot of the costs associated with towing an RV.
RV towing fees can become extremely high if your vehicle breaks down in the middle of nowhere. This may require a tow truck to pull your vehicle 50 to 100 miles, which can ultimately result in a $300 to $700+ tow.
If your RV is in good shape and the process of attaching it to the tow truck runs smoothly, your costs should be close to the quote that the service gives you. However, each breakdown is different and your camper may be in bad shape.
Depending on the condition of your RV, you may have to pay extra if your vehicle is more complicated to tow. A very common factor that tends to make towing more challenging is whether the driveshaft of your RV has to be removed. This requires your tow truck driver to do additional work that will require a certain level of mechanical expertise.
If your tow truck driver cannot remove the driveshaft on their own, a mechanic will need to be called out on-site to assist. This implies that you will also have to pay the mechanic for their time and labor as well.
Another common issue that can make towing more expensive is if the tires have been removed from the RV. Most tow trucks are designed to pull vehicles such as hook and chain tow trucks and wheel lift tow trucks. If your RV’s tires are removed, trucks will not be able to tow your RV until new tires have been installed - requiring more time and labor for the process.
How to Avoid RV Towing Costs
If you are preparing for your next RV road trip, you are probably wondering how you can avoid the hefty fees that come with towing services. There is nothing worse than having your RV breakdown on you in the middle of a vacation only to be hit with a $500 towing charge on top of everything.
While some RV breakdowns are unavoidable and bound to happen sooner or later, there is a lot that you can do to prevent them or mitigate their costs. Let’s explore your options for how to avoid RV towing costs.
RV Roadside Assistance Services
Any prepared RVer will tell you how important it is to have RV roadside assistance. There are amazing services that specifically deal with RV roadside assistance that can be a huge time and money saver whenever anything goes wrong on your road trip.
Instead of having to call tow truck services to arrange your RV transport, all you need to do is contact your roadside assistance and they will take care of the rest. These are some great roadside assistance services to consider:
Paying for RV roadside assistance can cost a fraction of the price of what you would spend on just a single tow. Some services start at just $60 per year, which includes a bulk load of other perks and features that come with the package.
The great thing about sing up for roadside assistance is that you can often avoid unnecessary tows altogether, as a lot of services can take care of minor issues on location instead of having to drive you to the nearest mechanic.
Routine RV Maintenance
The best way to avoid the costs that come with towing an RV is to keep your vehicle from breaking down in the first place. By keeping your RV maintained, you will find that it rarely breaks down on you.
Take the time to repair and service your RV routinely, as this can save you a fortune on not only towing charges but also serious repairs down the line. While RV maintenance may seem like a laborious chore, it’s nothing compared to the headache that you get when your tow truck driver hands you the bill.