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Delivering RVs for pay


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#1 Sentimental Journey

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:46 AM

Have you ever delivered RVs for pay. We're thinking of looking into this as a way to supplement our income during the summer months. We own an RV lot outside of Chicago, near the major interstates and many RV dealers. It would seem to me that it would be work that wouldn't lock us into a 9-5 daily schedule (we are only interested in working part-time) and we could just do it during the summer. Fred used to drive truck and we have an F550 so we could haul just about any RV that would be necessary, but we are trying to come up with a list of the pros and cons. We're wondering, if you have done this:
1. How were you paid and what about mileage
2. How did you or the company you work for handle the business insurance on the truck.
3. What kind of licensing were you required to have
4. What other things do we need to take into consideration.
5. In the end, was/is it worth it.
Pam and Fred + Mollie the guard cat.

'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.'

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#2 moisheh

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 06:30 AM

Some of the Hauler outfits have a web site that explains the process. You live close to Indiana and it MIGHT work for you. When I did a calculation a Wal Mart greeter would make more $$. Personally I think it is a big rip off. You will wear out your truck in no time. You are responsible for everything. You not only have to insure your truck but carry insurance on the towed units as well. Unlike freight haulers there is no back haul. If your load is going to California that is a long expensive haul. We watch some of the haulers when we boondock at the Flying J's. They sleep in their trucks as you do not get paid enough to use motels. Lots of rules. The pay is about 60% of what would be required to make it viable.

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#3 wingerphil

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 06:49 AM

DW's Uncle is also a fulltimer and tried this. The company he worked for required he have a reserve fuel tank in the bed of his truck and all had to be DOT Certified. He spent (according to him) over $2k to get everything done on his truck.
They (him and his dw) did two trips and quit. They could use the RV they were hauling for overnight stops but none of the utilities in the RV. No propane in the tanks = no heat when it's cold, no cooking etc. basicly just use the bed for sleeping and truck stops for showers and bathroom.

There is rarely, if ever, a back haul and you are only paid for loaded miles so the return trip is on your dime as well as any motels if you decide to use them.

Be prepared to put lots of miles on your tow vehicle if you go this route.
While hauling for hire you are considered a commercial vehicle and subject to the Commercial Motor Vehicle Laws which your husband would be very familier with as a professional driver. There are a lot of people doing it up in the Elkhart In. area so some money can be made but not sure the trade off's would be worth it for us.

Hopefully someone will be along that can give you some first hand experience.

Phil
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#4 KU9L

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 08:16 AM

In many cases you had to buy their hitch even if yours had a higher rating. Your pickup truck had to be within 10 years old and nothing larger than a F-450/4500. You log miles professionally and positively cannot sleep in the units you are hauling. If you add a sleeper to your truck, in some states the weight gain required a Class A CDL instead of a B. They pay you mileage + a fuel surcharge, you buy all of your own fuel round trip at your own expense. A lot of guys were illegally covering their DOT numbers so they didn't have to log on the way back home to Indiana (sleeping in your truck until another unit is ready to pickup) to pickup a new unit even sooner than the time logging limitations present. In the end I put a HUGE amount of miles on my truck and when it came to tax time was able to record a very nice loss due to this depreciation and my IRS refund came from the last three years as a result. One positive, I did see 36 states and 2 provinces, gosh I wish I could have remembered them more as working 11-14 hour days (hitching, changing tires, fueling up in subzero weather) kind of took the fun out of it all. The guys making money where the ones driving certain specialty trucks, showering at free Turnpike Rest Stops, then sleeping on Amtrak on the way back. They lived with their parents but only came home on holidays .... and they dressed like they were homeless. As a married couple we decided it wasn't for us. I had a friend who drove out Class C rental trucks to the Seattle, then drove his Geo Metro tow car with 360K miles to Oregon where he picked up a Class A to drive to Ohio, then drove his Geo back to Indiana to pickup another Class C ... he did confirm that a Walmart Greeter made more money than him, but he liked working outside!!!

Dave
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'93 Fleetwood Oak Park seasonally in SW FL.

#5 TheDuke

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 08:35 AM

I am glad that a driver has responded because I only have info as I asked drivers what they did.
I talked to two that might have a way to earn money doing this.
1. Lives in Mpls MN and drove for Winnebago. He only took jobs that were in Minnesota or close by. So his return time was hardly anything.
2. Second one, took his 5er to Ind and somehow was able to park and live in it for free. His wife stayed there when he was on the road. As soon as he got back, he took another job. Did this for 2 or 3 years about and somehow was able to pay of the truck.
I think a lot of it depends on how you look at money.
Is some money better than no money? Is working at Walmart better than driving on the road?

#6 LindaH

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 08:55 AM

They could use the RV they were hauling for overnight stops but none of the utilities in the RV.

I'm surprised to hear this! It was my understanding that the RV couldn't be used for *anything.* If I were buying a brand new rig, I'd be really pissed to learn that someone has been sleeping in the bed!

LindaH
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#7 KU9L

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 09:19 AM

This was how we started full-timing in May of 2008, in a 19' Aerolite Cub travel trailer ... it beat the bread line and was a way to get my mind off my aerospace employer outsourcing all of my former work to India. DW stayed at the KOA in Middlebury, IN as the Activities Directory working 20 hours per week for our FHU RV site, so it gave me a home base between runs. My most profitable money makers were driving new FEMA 5300 Box Trucks down to the Tampa Auto Auction for check-in (trip takes 2 days unless delayed by weather or traffic in Nashville/Atlanta), then a taxi ride back to the Clearwater airport, An Allegiant cheap flight back to South Bend, a cheap city bus ride about half way back to terminal to drop off paperwork, DW taking me to terminal and then home for the night until I could repeat the process again the next AM. I figure I had about $20 leftover after expenses. This is a business where you must have some other income to pay your cell phone bill, Internet, satellite, insurance (health & truck), food, RV repairs, oil changes, etc. No matter how many miles they pay you for, plan to spend an extra 10% of your own fueling up and taking off-ramps as there is no way you can drive the way the crow flies ... dispatch has the system down pat where they always win at that game! If there is a mistake on the paperwork (happens all of the time) and your drive an extra 20 miles (happens all of the time) to get to the correct drop-off point, you have to fight to get the extra mileage from them, etc. Also, in the case of box trucks, you have to arrive with the fuel tank empty the same way you pick it up ... any extra fuel left in the tank is your gift to the customer. Fortunately the computer on the International trucks is accurate enough to give close enough numbers for you to guess it within 2-3 gallons, I remember many times I was sweating bullets about five miles out with the yellow low fuel light & buzzer screaming at me for the last twenty miles, LOL. We drove both gas & diesel versions, but if you took a flight back home there was no practical way to bring a portable fuel tank with you. Also, be sure to stop at all weigh stations, they love for you to fly right on by so they can tailgate you for 100 miles, then make you go back and weigh ... didn't fall for that trick once. I did get pulled over for a DOT inspection once near Ocala, FL and my employer gave me a $25 reward check for passing the check with flying colors about six months later.

Now if all of the transport companies would go to digital logging like everyone else, can't remember all of the cross-outs I had because I had to remember to account for 3 time zones during a 4 day delivery to B.C.!!! Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

I would say I made 100x the money workamping at RV resorts over delivering RV's & specialty trucks commercially, but being on the back breaking end of things has its pros and cons too. Now that I am in the firewood business with my brother we are only going to be snowbirds to play for a couple months in winter and weekends in summer, but it pays 10x what workamping does and folks are glad to see you. When I was delivering RV's half the time no one wanted to call a cab for me and in Canada you couldn't afford to use your US cell phone unless you had a big fat pension to help out with expenses. I just turned 50 and it'll be a long spell before my micro-sized pension kicks in, LOL.

Dave

Edited by KU9L, 06 November 2011 - 09:24 AM.

David, Sheila, & Stella the Beagle
SKP#95866 - Full-timing since 2008
GPAA/LDMA and Colorado Prospectors Life Members, NRA Life Member
Amateur Ham callsigns: KU9L & KB9YYI, Life ARRL Members
'12 Lance 1181 truck camper "Redneck Motorhome"
'12 Ford F-350SD 4x4 DRW crew-cab "Sedona" w/Firestone airbags, Power Tank, PressurePro TPMS, Garmin GPS
'09 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon "Red Rocks" w/Blue Ox tow-bar
'93 Fleetwood Oak Park seasonally in SW FL.

#8 KU9L

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 09:30 AM

I'm surprised to hear this! It was my understanding that the RV couldn't be used for *anything.* If I were buying a brand new rig, I'd be really pissed to learn that someone has been sleeping in the bed!


It might depend on the company, with Classic Transport it was a NO, NO, NO. We weren't even supposed to sleep in the box trucks either, but a sleeping bag on the seat of floor of anything is better than nothing at all.

I know for sure no one slept in our Excel because I saw the transport driver with a sleeper added to his pickup truck. The owner of the dealership said he illegally took some of his units when his transport guy was broke down, but he said he stayed in motel rooms. No way could any regular driver afford motel rooms, the exception being when I could cash in bonus points on my CC card from buying all of the fuel.


Dave
David, Sheila, & Stella the Beagle
SKP#95866 - Full-timing since 2008
GPAA/LDMA and Colorado Prospectors Life Members, NRA Life Member
Amateur Ham callsigns: KU9L & KB9YYI, Life ARRL Members
'12 Lance 1181 truck camper "Redneck Motorhome"
'12 Ford F-350SD 4x4 DRW crew-cab "Sedona" w/Firestone airbags, Power Tank, PressurePro TPMS, Garmin GPS
'09 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon "Red Rocks" w/Blue Ox tow-bar
'93 Fleetwood Oak Park seasonally in SW FL.

#9 wingerphil

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 10:11 AM

I'm surprised to hear this! It was my understanding that the RV couldn't be used for *anything.* If I were buying a brand new rig, I'd be really pissed to learn that someone has been sleeping in the bed!


Double checked with the DW to make sure I remembered her Uncles discription correctly and she confirmed that he told us they were allowed to sleep in the RV's and carried sleeping bags for this purpose, hopefully that practice has been stopped but who knows. Kind of creeped me out too when I heard this.

Edited by wingerphil, 06 November 2011 - 10:13 AM.

http://workinrvers.blogspot.com
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#10 moisheh

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 11:59 AM

The comment from one poster about haulers looking like Homeless persons sure is correct. The guys who do this a lot are part of a cult! Soem of them never shower! Here is a link to Horizon transport:
Horizon Payout

For a driver doing 1222 miles over 3 days they show a gross after one way fuel of $945. That figure sounds very good but do a little calculating Subtract return fuel of about $350.00. Tolls? You have to wash the vehicle before it is delivered. Showers (if you think hygiene is important). Cell phone. You are not eating at home so food will be more expensive at the choke and pukes. Your insurance costs will be higher as this is now a commercial vehicle. I will let someone else calculate the repair and maintenance costs( tires, oil changes, breakdowns, etc.) Your Coach Net is not valid with a commercial vehicle. I doubt you could earn $75.00 a day. Driving 1200 miles a week plus 1200 return miles would put 120,000 miles on your truck in one year. If you started with a new or one year old truck it would be worthless in 2 years.

#11 Sentimental Journey

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 03:37 PM

Thanks everyone. I think we'll be taking this idea off of our list of options for the summer. Fortunately we aren't in a position where we have to work. When the time is right, we'll hit on the right opportunity.
Pam and Fred + Mollie the guard cat.

'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.'

SKP107649
1998 Fleetwood Avion fifth wheel
2002 - Ford F550 Crew Cab with Classy Chassis conversion

#12 Sentimental Journey

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 03:38 PM

Thanks everyone. I think we'll be taking this idea off of our list of options for the summer. Fortunately we aren't in a position where we have to work. When the time is right, we'll hit on the right opportunity.
Pam and Fred + Mollie the guard cat.

'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.'

SKP107649
1998 Fleetwood Avion fifth wheel
2002 - Ford F550 Crew Cab with Classy Chassis conversion

#13 blizzardND

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 12:41 PM

Why would it be bad if a driver slept on the bed?

They all have their own sleeping bags, and very few units have bedding, most that I have seen still have the plastic wrap on the mattress.

So whats the big deal?
ever slept in a motel?
ever had a meal in a restaurant that didn't use plastic ware?

I think I'd rather have a well rested driver than one who slept in the front seat of "Motel Ford"

please explain if I'm missing something..?
-blizz
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#14 KU9L

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 01:24 PM

You & me would do just as you said, but a small percentage of the drivers abused the system to various degrees over the years, including using the potty & sleeping under the covers for 5+ days on a long haul delivery. One guy went AWOL, they found the Class C RV ~5 years later lived in like it was 30+ years old. When I asked I was told customers are paying $50K-$750K for new units, not used units and we had to sign a paper saying we wouldn't do more than sit in the driver's seats with frequent safety checks allowed. The very, very, very, very first thing a dealer would do was go look at the beds for wrinkles or depressions in them, they were that anal about it the same way they were anal about YOU finding your own car wash to clean the unit before you delivered it, despite the fact no local wash was big enough to accommodate you and despite the fact he wouldn't accept $20-$30 from you when his own wash station was perfectly sized to do the job. Sometimes after 10-20 deliveries they'd get to know you & soften up a bit, but mostly the drivers were treated like they stunk to high heaven and the said truth is that more than a few actually did to ruin the trade for everyone else.

Most of the drivers seemed to still sleep in the over inks of the overcame in Class C's, but a UPS truck or Frito-Lay or Cinta's truck didn't have any beds so you got real used to sleeping on the Isle floors with a camping pad under you. UPS had the list of driver names & would drive by your house to make sure you didn't take it home, a rule that they were extra anal about. There wasn't enough RV's for continuous deliveries so you had to get real good at doing specialty truck deliveries as fill ins, but sometimes the more hard core guys would illegally sleep intbe guard shack where the delivery papers were stored when part shortages prevented any deliveries at all for a spell.

If you were real good at hitch hiking, that might be the best way to make money in that business to reduce down the deadhead mileage to almost nothing. Even the 18 mile taxi rides tothe airport used to eat up my profits.

Dave
David, Sheila, & Stella the Beagle
SKP#95866 - Full-timing since 2008
GPAA/LDMA and Colorado Prospectors Life Members, NRA Life Member
Amateur Ham callsigns: KU9L & KB9YYI, Life ARRL Members
'12 Lance 1181 truck camper "Redneck Motorhome"
'12 Ford F-350SD 4x4 DRW crew-cab "Sedona" w/Firestone airbags, Power Tank, PressurePro TPMS, Garmin GPS
'09 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon "Red Rocks" w/Blue Ox tow-bar
'93 Fleetwood Oak Park seasonally in SW FL.

#15 CARiess

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 04:27 PM

I did this from Feb 2011 until May 2011. I put approx 30k miles on in that time. Half paid the other half in my tow car. The pay sucks you have to sleep in the RV or in your tow car just to break even. You are not allowed to sleep in the RV's but many do it. You are not allowed to put Propane in and use the heat but many do it. You must put on 500-600 miles per day as they have time limits to get the units delivered. You must wash the units at the end of the trip. Any damage is on you and if the damage was done prior to you getting the unit and you missed it you paid for that damage also. I figure I earned about $60 per day minus the damage to my tow car. I was a drive away transporter delivered maninly Class A and C motorhomes. Most were repo's and were so filthy you would not sleep in them even if you could. It took me 2 days to get one unit started due to very dead batteries. The dealer could not help me start the rig and they would not move the rigs next to it so I could jump start it. So I had to connect a couple of sets of jumpers (about a 20' run) and a charger to get enough juice to turn the rig over. Many times they were out of fuel and unless you like driving with an empty tank a fuel you will deliver the unit with more fuel in it then you started with (another source of lost revenue).

I enjoyed every minute (I really did) but if you are doing it to see the country good luck 11 hours per day at 60mph you don't see much but a white line. If you are doing it to earn money good luck. You can earn money if you are on the road always and you never stay in a hotel. Flying J's and Pilots are your new home.

Edited by CARiess, 28 November 2011 - 04:29 PM.

Chuck Riess
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#16 CARiess

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 04:32 PM

Have you ever delivered RVs for pay. We're thinking of looking into this as a way to supplement our income during the summer months. We own an RV lot outside of Chicago, near the major interstates and many RV dealers. It would seem to me that it would be work that wouldn't lock us into a 9-5 daily schedule (we are only interested in working part-time) and we could just do it during the summer. Fred used to drive truck and we have an F550 so we could haul just about any RV that would be necessary, but we are trying to come up with a list of the pros and cons. We're wondering, if you have done this:
1. How were you paid and what about mileage
2. How did you or the company you work for handle the business insurance on the truck.
3. What kind of licensing were you required to have
4. What other things do we need to take into consideration.
5. In the end, was/is it worth it.


1. Paid by the trip they calculate how many miles it should take you and pay you that even if you drive more.
2. The insurance on your truck is on you. They insure the freight.
3. Class A CDL.
4. There are many see my other post. It's not worth it.
5. NO
Chuck Riess
Riess Insurance Agency
riessagency.com

#17 thebreeze

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:57 AM

Mostly everything has been said about this business, I especially liked the comment about not seeing much of the country at 60 mph except a white line. If you run all night, all day, 5 days, you will make about $350. If you're retired, you'll be taking work from people who live in the "white-hot center of the economic meltdown". The DOT requires motel receipts, but you won't get paid to sleep in motels. While it's true that many delivery drivers can be pretty scruffy, it's because THEY'RE NOT GETTING PAID ENOUGH to have new clothes, stay in motels, eat decent food, and if not for the SCAB retirees, the companies would be forced to pay a decent wage. Motorhomes are dangerous to drive. RV dealers are anti-driver- have made a rip-off business of the WASH FEE, will waste your time on purpose. I would bill them for excessive detention time as an independent contractor after 2 hrs., but most drivers just accept the abuse.

#18 KU9L

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:33 AM

You summarized it very accurately. I tried to make it work several different ways, but you can't fix stupid no matter how hard you try.

Most new drivers confuse the the Comdata deposits as pay and the real pay is the amount of losses you write off on your IRS taxes after you get done depleting your bank account. I loved my dispatchers, but in the end they didn't have the power to help me out like they should have.

The weather is a big foe that few seriously consider, even after all of the training videos and sessions on it.

I still loved aspects of it, you get good filling out a logbook across 4 time zones and figuring out how to squeeze 600 miles out of what should only be a 500 mile day according to laws of physics, and remembering that every extra 0.1 MPG you get is stealing less money from your pocket.

What finally woke me up was depleted savings and unfriendly customers who wanted delivery two days before you were dispatched the truck or RV you are to deliver. In the end I learned that I loved to travel and that this wasn't really satisfying my itch to travel!!! Even if it paid a "real" wage, 14-hour days, day after day, really wears on a person and any time off means no pay. Now if I can just wake up & fix stupid on most of my workamping situations, life would be really good!!!

Dave
David, Sheila, & Stella the Beagle
SKP#95866 - Full-timing since 2008
GPAA/LDMA and Colorado Prospectors Life Members, NRA Life Member
Amateur Ham callsigns: KU9L & KB9YYI, Life ARRL Members
'12 Lance 1181 truck camper "Redneck Motorhome"
'12 Ford F-350SD 4x4 DRW crew-cab "Sedona" w/Firestone airbags, Power Tank, PressurePro TPMS, Garmin GPS
'09 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon "Red Rocks" w/Blue Ox tow-bar
'93 Fleetwood Oak Park seasonally in SW FL.

#19 Paul Stough

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:47 AM

Whether is is delivering RVs, workamping, working at Wal*Mart or what ever job there is, the wages and benefits are determined mostly by supply and demand. Obviously, delivering RVs has way more supply of people willing to do it, than there is demand for.

Paul
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Paul and Ann's Great RV Adventure

#20 cactus

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 03:47 PM

I once lived almost next door to the plant manager of a national RV company.
I should add that this division built only towables.
In conversation of this subject, his opinion was that most all them were just seeing the U.S.A.
Like a lot of trucking operations buying the truck is the easy part, trying to replace it in time
will really be the test of success.

E.P.