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Hauling RVs across the country is an attractive side hustle for many people, especially truckers. All you need is a three quarter ton truck (at least) that was made in 2005 or later and you can get paid to see the country. However, many people are still unsure about how much money they will earn pursuing this option. This article hopes to explain that for you. 

The Process

Driver recruiters for Wave Express are not able to give a simple answer when potential drivers ask how much money they will make hauling RVs. Each driver has a unique situation and will earn different amounts. However, the process to figure out how much you can earn is the same for everyone. Here are the steps:

  1. Figure out your logistics 
  2. Calculate your yearly revenue 
  3. Calculate road trip costs 
  4. Add in truck payment costs 
  5. Estimate truck maintenance costs
  6. Subtract total yearly costs from yearly revenue

Let’s walk through these steps with an example. In this example you will haul RVs from Goshen, Indiana to Dallas, Texas once a week in your 2020 Chevrolet 2500 4WD crew cab, regular bed.

The Example

Figure Out Your Logistics  

Before you can begin calculating how much money you are going to earn hauling RVs for Wave, you need to figure out the logistics that allow you to deliver the RVs. Do you own a ¾ ton truck or a full 1 ton dually? How much weight are you comfortable towing?

The answers to all of these questions are going to provide you the clarity necessary to calculate your earnings. Depending on what is possible for you specifically, you will earn a different CPM compared to other drivers.

You also need to figure out how far you are willing to travel and how frequently you are looking to deliver an RV. Wave does not force you to run a set amount of loads, it is entirely up to you.

Calculate Your Revenue Earned

Now that you have figured out your logistics, you can calculate the revenue that you can earn. Revenue meaning the amount of money that you are going to bring in before subtracting any costs.

The smallest amount of money you will earn driving out of Indiana for Wave Express is $1.58 per mile. The maximum is $1.80. Take your CPM and now figure out how far you will be driving. If you are based in Indiana you have the option to drive to either FL, GA, AL, MS, LA, OK, TX, NM, AZ, or CA. 

Once you have the distance you will be driving and your CPM multiply them together. For example, if you are departing Goshen, Indiana and delivering a 13,000lb trailer to Dallas, Texas then you will earn $1,655.84 ($1.58 X 1,048 miles).

$1,655.84 is the revenue you will earn for that trip. Take that dollar amount and multiply that by the number of trips you expect to take in one year. Planning on doing the trip once a week? Your monthly revenue will be $6,623.36 (1,655.84 X 4), and your yearly revenue will be $86,103.68 ($1,655.84 X 52). 

Costs of the Road Trip 

Continuing to build off the example, you can use the mileage of the trip to calculate your fuel costs. If you are driving a 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 then your truck has a fuel economy of 10 mpg on the highway loaded and 15 mpg unloaded. 

The drive from Goshen to Dallas is 1,048 miles. 1,048 miles / 10 mpg = 105 gallons of gas used one way with a trailer loaded. Driving back to Indiana unloaded will take 70 gallons of gas (1,048 miles / 15 mpg).

Round trip, you will be using 175 gallons of gas. The Chevy Silverado 2500 has a gas tank that holds 36 gallons. 175 total gallons / 36 gallons per tank = 5 tanks of gas needing to be purchased. 

The national average price per gallon is $2.204, and driving for Wave gets you a fuel discount of 25¢ – 45¢ per gallon. You can safely estimate that you will be spending $351 on gasoline round trip ($1.95 X 36 X 5).

Over the course of the year that is $18,252 spent on fuel ($351 X 52).

Costs to Own Large Enough Truck 

In order to haul RVs for Wave, you are required to have at least a ¾ ton pickup truck. Vans and SUVs are not allowed. Considering that you are going to need to be driving across the country, leasing a pickup truck is not recommended. 

A 2020 Chevrolet 2500 4WD crew cab, regular bed goes for $41,945. Assuming you will need to take out an auto loan to purchase this truck, you will have a monthly payment of $960. That monthly payment is calculated with zero down payment, an interest rate of 4.66%, and a 48 month loan term.

One year of truck payments equals $11,520 ($960 X 12).

Maintenance Costs 

Hauling an RV across the country is going to take a toll on your truck. That is why it is required that you use a truck that was made in 2005 or later. Routine maintenance is necessary for keeping you safe and the costs cannot be overlooked. 

You are going to need to bring your truck in for an oil change and tire rotation around every 6,000 miles. 

If you are driving from Goshen to Dallas and back each week you will be driving 2,100 miles. Every three weeks you will need to get your oil changed. That is 18 oil changes throughout the year. Considering the average oil change is $46 that is $828.

In other terms, you will be paying 0.007¢ per mile in maintenance costs ($828 / 109,200 yearly miles).  

Net Total Earnings 

Now that we have calculated your yearly revenue and your yearly costs, you are now able to estimate how much you pocket pre-taxes. 

Hauling RVs for Wave Express from Goshen Indiana to Dallas Texas once a week for a whole year will generate $86,103.68 of yearly revenue. 

That same weekly trip will generate yearly costs of $30,600. Costs include road trip expenses, truck costs, and truck maintenance. There will be some variance in these costs if you make more stops at roadside attractions or eat out more. 

Using this example, your yearly income before taxes is $55,503.68 ($86,103.69 – $30,600). Keep in mind that this is an estimate. There is the possibility of random reloads giving you extra revenue, and there is the chance of random expenses to come up. 

There is no cookie cutter answer when you ask your recruiter how much money you will make driving for Wave Express. However, anyone looking to figure out their earnings will follow the same process. You will figure out your yearly revenue, calculate yearly costs, and then subtract the costs from revenue to estimate your income. 

5 Things you should know

Don't start your driving career with Wave Express without learning these 5 things first. 

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