The RVing life is a fun life — you get to explore the world over the open road, chart your own journey, and venture deep into parts unknown.
But RVing also brings with it its own set of challenges.
Like when you need to move your camper just a few feet but either don’t have a truck at the moment or don’t want to deal with hooking up for such a small move.
Or when you need to move a camper long distances but don’t have a truck readily at your disposal.
Or when you purchase a new trailer but are currently without a truck to go get it.
And lastly, maybe you bought your trailer on the other side of the country and going round trip to get it doesn’t make economical sense for you.
All of this begs the question of: how to move part or transport a travel trailer without a truck?
You can move a travel trailer without a truck in a few key ways: with a trailer dolly, with a rented truck, by using a delivery service, or — in the case of some small campers — with a small wheel (called a trailer valet) that you put on the front hitch to roll the camper around.
In this article, we’ll unpack 8 different ways you can move a travel trailer without a without using a vehicle.
We’ll talk about tools that allow you to move it short distances without using a truck at all and other ways to move trailers long distances when you’re without a truck.
8 Ways To Move A Travel Trailer Without A Truck
Moving a travel trailer without a truck is something that people need to do more often than you might think.
Because of this, there are several good ways to move a travel trailer without a truck.
Here’s 8 main ways of moving a RV trailer without a tow vehicle.
1. With a trailer dolly
These beasts are capable of hooking onto some pretty heavy trailers and moving them fairly long distances.
A trailer dolly is basically a strong set of wheels combined with an electric motor to assist you as you move your camper around.
The dolly has a ball that hooks onto your hitch and features handles that stick out so you can control and steer the dolly as you move your travel trailer around.
For example, let’s say you have your travel trailer in a large storage lot and want to move it from one end to the other without a truck. A trailer dolly would be your ticket.
Even if you have a truck, this can be a better option because you don’t have to mess with backing a truck up, hooking it up, and dealing with the added length of the truck when trying to turn and back around tight spaces.
ALWAYS check the weight capacities before using any trailer dolly to ensure that its weight capacity is more than what your travel trailer weighs.
2. With a trailer valet
This is essentially just a wheel that attaches onto the front of your hitch to help you more easily move your travel trailer.
NOTE: This is only for very light travel trailers like teardrops and popups!
Because trailer valets are non-motorized and often have low weight ratings, they are not designed to move heavier travel trailers.
Rather, a trailer valet is a great option if you have an ultra-light travel trailer that you just need to move around your yard or other small area without having to hook up your truck.
ALWAYS check the weight capacities before using any trailer valet to ensure that its weight capacity is more than what your travel trailer weighs.
3. With a bunch of friends
While this is a method we’d almost never recommend, we can’t deny that it’s a commonly used way to move a very lightweight travel trailer without a truck.
For example, if you have a small teardrop or popup camper, it’s possible to get a group of people on the front end to lift the hitch up and push it around.
It’s much easier if you use a trailer valet for this purpose, but, in a pinch, a few neighbors can help you move your travel trailer without a truck or a trailer valet if your trailer is very lightweight.
4. Borrow a friend’s truck
This tried and true method has helped just as many people get moved into a new house as it has helped others to move a travel trailer without a truck of their own.
While you might be a bit nervous to ask your neighbor to provide such a service, bear a few things in mind — First, many truck owners are very proud of their trucks and would love to show this off by helping you move your travel trailer without a truck of your own.
Second, you can find great ways to pay your neighbor for the use of their truck either by inviting them over for dinner, paying them cash, or some other service you could offer in exchange for their help.
And finally, this can save you a bunch of money over renting a truck if you don’t have one of your own to move your travel trailer just yet.
5. Hire an RV Transport Service
Because many people purchase RVs that are long distances form where they live, there are companies out there but Horizon Transport is one of largest RV transporters that’ll pick up and deliver a travel trailer for you.
This means that even without a truck of your own, you can still purchase the travel trailer you want and have it delivered to you.
Or even if you have a truck of your own, you might not want to put that many miles on it.
There are generally two ways that an RV delivery company will move your travel trailer:
Traditional towing: Someone will come, either with a company truck or their own personal truck that a company has paid them to use, and hook to your travel trailer to tow it cross country or cross-state to bring it to you.
This way, you can move your travel trailer without a truck of your own.
Flatbed towing: In this case, a delivery company will go to pick up your travel trailer with a large flatbed.
They’ll load your travel trailer on the flatbed and bring it to you. By transporting your travel trailer without a truck attached to it, the moving company will bring your travel trailer to you without putting miles on it.
This can be a beneficial item especially when you purchase a travel trailer that’s a very long way from home because the travel trailer will still arrive in the condition in which you purchased it.
When using an RV delivery company, it is vital that you ensure the company takes steps to secure all windows, doors, and to transport your travel trailer in the way that is least likely to damage it.
6. Use an RV shipping marketplace
When you need to move a travel trailer without a truck, there are many shipping marketplaces out there that offer peer-to-peer options for moving your travel trailer.
This means that when you’re without a truck to move your travel trailer, these platforms will connect you with a vetted person with a truck who will move your travel trailer for a fee.
These platforms also help ensure that the trip is covered by the right insurance for the trip.
7. Rent a truck
One way to move a travel trailer without a truck of your own is to simply rent a truck.
But beware, most rental companies won’t simply let you rent a truck off their lot and then use it for towing.
Instead,you need to be sure to find a company like Enterprise Truck or Budget Truck Rental to have the possibility of renting a truck for towing.
Even with these companies, however, you need to be up front about what you’re doing, where you’ll be towing the travel trailer, and how much your travel trailer weighs to be sure that you can do that within their policies.
8. Dealer transport
When you buy a travel trailer from a dealership and want to move it without a truck of your own, one negotiating tool you can use is to ask the dealership if they can transport your travel trailer for you.
The dealership will charge an extra fee for this service, but you can use it as part of your negotiating tactics when buying your travel trailer without a truck of your own.
When you find yourself wondering how to move a travel trailer without a truck, you’ll quickly discover that there are a variety of options for making this happen.
Whether you’re trying to move a small travel trailer or a very large one, the fact that you have many options for moving a travel trailer without a truck is a huge relief.
1 thought on “8 Ways To Move or Transport A RV Trailer Without A Truck”
Thank you for the info! I have a small camper to move into a backyard, and the truck will not clear the turn in the alleyway. So I am going to try and rent a trailer dolly! What about using tow straps to wench it into place? We could not find adequate poles to attach the strap to! Peace!