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Old November 26th, 2005 #1
Rob Roy MacGregor
Senior Member
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,630
Rob Roy MacGregor
Default Used Dirt Cheap Single/Double Wide Trailers

Anyone know where to get them? What to look for and what to avoid?

Tolerance is how far a mechanical part can deviate from the
norm before it screws up the entire machine.
Ė Any Mechanic

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Old November 26th, 2005 #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: S.E.PA
Posts: 1,626

Older models regularly given away because parks won't allow them to be moved in. Floors are always a problem. Where there are freezing temps, cracked water lines likely. Call older parks, watch the local penny-saver and regular paper. If you can swing the moving cost, you shouldn't have to wait long. All this applies to singles. Don't recall hearing of anyone relocating a double after it's been joined.
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Old November 26th, 2005 #3
Sean Martin
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,397
Sean Martin

Ok you can buy them very cheap or people will give them to you. I would stay away from the free ones. They are free for a reason. Look for someone that has bought land that has a trailer on it and they are looking to get rid of it. You can pick up some really cheap this way. Next to consider, is the thing worth $1,000 to move it and the extra $2,000 or more to set the thing up. You have to block one properly and anchor it if you want to get insurance. Also of note does it have good wheels and are the wheels compatible with newer wheels. Does it have axels. Does it have an add on room. Does it have a trailer roof or an additional roof? If it has any extra weight forget it. Trailers are made cheap and they canít handle an aftermarket roof or any other additional weight such as that. The tongue is made to haul a certain amount of weight after that it bends. The frame is made that way as well, after a certain amount of extra weight it breaks. The amount of weight is less the older the trailer is.

Also does it have a tongue, most people canít properly weld another one back. Are the brakes locked up, if they are you have a ton of work ahead of you. Now about the floors, trailer floors are made with 2x2ís (I use 2x6ís on houses) and covered with particle board (wood chips held together by glue). If someone has changed this it may be to heavy to haul. If they have not you will have to change it eventually. If you are over 250 pounds forget it a trailer wonít hold up your weight without completely remodeling the floors. Once you do this you canít move the trailer again safely. Your tires, axels, frame, tongue, and walls are made for a certain amount of weight if it exceeds this weight you are in trouble. This could wind up costing you several thousand in tires and extra equipment to move the thing.

Now look at the location. Can it be moved easily? If not you will pay a lot of extra money to get it moved.

Are the windows crank windows or sliding windows. Most trailers use crank windows, these are weak and expensive to fix. If it has crank windows add an extra $1,000 to fix them. Even if they work they will wear out very soon if you use them. Also they allow for a draft like you wouldnít believe. What type of heat does it use? Is it compatible with your location? Ceilings usually fall. If you have a difficult time opening the doors or cabinet doors, you will have to do ceiling work.

Push out on the walls if they move, so do you right on to the next deal. Check the roof, see if it has a lot of tar, if so chances are it has a leak problem. If it doesnít have the factory roof, move on to the next deal even if they offer you the trailer for free it isnít worth it. Ask them if the blocks, porch or steps come with the trailer. If not you will spend $500-2,000 replacing these things. Check the water heater, plumbing and electrical. Does it have a fuse box or breaker box? If it has a fuse box plan on another $200-300 to bring it up to code or safety.

If you are going to live in it check if the trailer is set up to your liking. Some have the rooms in the worst organization that they are not feasible. Some put the bathroom in the bedroom, so anyone that has to use the can will have to walk through the master bedroom. Make sure it has a back door. Some put both doors on the same side. This is a fire hazard.

That is all I can think of off the top of my head. If you need any more info E-mail me. A good livable trailer shouldnít cost you more than $5,000 (minus the cost of the land) to buy move and completely set up to live in. If you know how to do basic maintenance, your older trailers (70ís and up) can be just as nice and sturdy as a later model (80ís Ė90ís) and for a fraction of the cost even counting repairs. You will make most of the same repairs to an older trailer as you would a newer one so age isnít that big of a difference.

Was it a rental or did the owner live in it. If it was a rental, every renter thinks he is a contractor. You will have to work on the electrical and plumbing if it was a rental. A tenant can do more damage to a trailer in 6 months then an owner can in 10 years. I have worked on trailers that were maintenance free for 20 years, the owner moved and rented it. Within a week there had to be several thousand dollars in repairs.

If they were rented donít take one even if it is a freebie, unless it is the amazing trailer of your dreams.

Did the previous owners have pets? Pet wiz will rot a trailer floor out in a few days, you can spill a can of soda in a trailer floor and notice the difference in the floor within a week.

You basic checklist
Anything heaver then original parts

If you have a digital camera and find a trailer, PM me some picks and I can usually tell you at a glance what is wrong and what you will have to do. If you donít have a digital camera they are under $100, invest in one and take the pics for yourself and look at them when you come home. You will see things at home you never notice while you are on a hurried tour. Get the kind with video and take moving pics. That $100 could save you a couple thousand.

Originally Posted by Rob Roy MacGregor
Anyone know where to get them? What to look for and what to avoid?
Doppelhaken, Draco, Richard H, ToddinFl, Augustus Sutter, Chain, Subrosa, Jarl, White Will, whose next?

Last edited by Sean Martin; November 26th, 2005 at 04:11 PM.
Old November 26th, 2005 #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 91

I bought mine thru a place that buys repos and drug siezed mobile homes. You can find repos in good shape. The dealerships require such a large downpayment, the price is reasonable. I bought a 16 x 80 single wide that was 5 years old for $10,500 cash. All we had to do was paint 3 rooms. It is in great shape. Just look it over good before you but it.



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