|The word "mobile" basically means "movable". A mobile home should be easy to move then, right? Not quite. Nothing is easy when moving, and although mobile homes are designed to be towed by trucks, moving one is rarely ever a simple process. Here are some strategies for moving a mobile home without destroying your house.
Don't try to do it yourself
It seems simple enough. Just tow the thing using the biggest truck you can find, right? Wrong. Not only is this dangerous, but it is illegal. Moving a mobile home requires several permits. A moving company knows what these are and how to get them.
Professionals should be able to appraise the situation better than you, and have a truck that they know is fully capable of towing your home. Older mobile homes often cannot be moved because they become so fragile or because environmental and safety standards have changed. Mobile homes in general are notoriously fragile, so if you don't do one small thing right, you could end up destroying your whole house if you try to move it on your own. It simply is not worth the risk.
Preparing your mobile home
When you have decided on a moving company and a destination for your mobile home, you're going to have to do a bit of work to get it ready for transport. The moving company should help you do most of this, but it is your responsibility to make sure that everything is done. A lot of this depends on how your mobile home is currently situated and how long it has been there.
- Check the towing mechanism/wheels. These parts of the mobile home that make it "mobile" often get damaged or removed when the home sits in one location for a long period of time. It is likely that they will need to be replaced.
- Remove the skirting that surrounds the wheels/the bottom of the mobile home.
- Disconnect all utilities. This includes electricity, cable, gas, water, sewage, and telephone lines. Remember to notify all the companies involved that you are moving.
- Remove all exterior items that could fly off of your mobile home during transport. Keep in mind that the home will be subject to highway-speed winds for much of the move and anything loose on the outside could tear off. You're going to need to remove porches, antennas, loose lights, or any addition to your mobile home that may cause problems with the transportation process
- Remove all loose items from the interior of the mobile home. The ride on the road can get bumpy and loose articles bouncing around inside your home can be damaged or cause damage to your mobile home. Everything that you can take out of your home should be packed and moved separately.
- Secure anything inside the mobile home that may move during travel. Tape doors and windows shut and tie down any loose items that you must keep in the home.
- Make sure there is a clear path between the mobile home and the street where the trailer will be
Moving the mobile home
Not all of the work is done by the time your moving company driver gets the home onto his truck's bed. He will charge more for wider homes, so it is a good idea to know what class mobile home you have. Remember to talk to the mover about their insurance plan should the home get damaged.
TIP: If it is exceptionally cold, you may want to leave your heat on until right before the home is moved to avoid freezing your pipes. If you can get your pipes covered with a winter seal, that would also help ensure that they do not burst.
Be sure to have some type of living arrangements made for the time the mobile home is in transit. The moving process, including loading and unloading, can take days at a time.
Once you reach your destination, you have to do everything you did to prepare for the move in reverse. You're going to need to have the home placed on blocks or a slab and add skirting around the bottom of the home as soon as possible. It may take some time to get all of your utilities connected, so that is another reason why you should probably have other living arrangements for a while.
Be sure to inspect your mobile home after the move is complete. There are many instances where the entire frame of a mobile home broke during what seemed like a simple move. Hopefully, you reviewed the claims process with the movers if you need to file a claim. If there is no damage, then you have successfully made your mobile home truly mobile!