Mobile home, trailer home, house trailer – call it what you will, but transporting one is harder than you think. How much does it cost to move a mobile home? We break it down in this post.
If you believe you can just hitch your mobile home to the back of your vehicle and drive away, you need to reconsider. A manufactured home or mobile home must be moved carefully and with lots of planning. Additionally, the cost can spiral out of your control if you don’t make the right choices!
Here’s an overview of mobile homes and a breakdown of how much it costs to move one.
What is a mobile home?
A mobile home is a prefabricated house that has been constructed in a factory, placed on a trailer chassis, and then transported to a certain location. They can be placed permanently or semi-permanently either on land owned by the homeowner or on leased land. Mobile homes often have to be connected to plumbing, waste management, and electricity sources to run properly.
The term ‘mobile home’ is predominantly used for all trailer houses built before 1976 – since then they are more commonly called as ‘manufactured houses.’
Mobile homes were initially used as temporary or vacation homes, but in the following decades have become a more permanent form of housing for many Americans. There are regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
What are the pros and cons of mobile homes?
- Mobile homes cost less per square foot than conventional homes
- They offer better flexibility in installment
- They can be installed as a permanent or semi-permanent structure depending on the owner’s need
- The value of mobile homes depreciates quickly, often more than a conventional home
- Mobile homes are considered personal property (and not real estate)
- They are also expensive to finance since ‘chattel loans’ can cost more than a mortgage
- While movable, it takes a lot of time and effort to disconnect essential utilities like plumbing, etc.
How are mobile homes moved?
Mobile homes are built and permanently mounted on a trailer chassis, which is useful to transport them from one place to another. The two main ways to transport a mobile home include:
Towing is best for short-distance moves and involves hiring a special heavy-haul transport partner whose staff will come and remove the ground attachments. Axles with wheels are then installed under the home and the entire unit is towed by a powerful truck to the next location. A powerful truck and experienced driver move your mobile home to the delivery location.
If you have a long distance to cover, trailering is a great option. Here, the mobile home will have wheels and axles installed, but it will then be lifted onto a special trailer designed to carry this type of load.
When first constructed, mobile homes are moved from the factory to a leased plot of land or a mobile home park. Once it is placed there, it is connected to essential utilities like plumbing, waste management systems, and electricity supply. Further installations can be done to hide the base and the trailer chassis.
Is it easy to move a mobile home?
Contrary to popular opinion, it is not easy to move a mobile home, especially if the home has been in one location for a long period of time. You will need trained professionals and heavy-duty tow trucks or trailers to move a mobile home from one location to another. Some things that make it difficult to transport include:
- The home should be capable of withstanding a move across several miles
- It should meet the manufacturing criteria of the destination state/ location
- It is time-consuming to disconnect utilities like water supply, plumbing, sewage, and electricity
- You may need to replace the wheels and axles of the trailer chassis if they’ve been stationary for a long while
Factors affecting the cost of moving a mobile home
Not all mobile homes are the same. Hence the cost of moving one can also vary depending on the factors involved, like:
- Moving distance: The transportation cost can get expensive if you have to move the mobile home over a long distance.
- The unit size of your mobile home: Mobile homes come in single-wide and double-wide units. This can affect the cost of moving. Older homes are also more susceptible to damage when being moved.
- Foundation of the unit: The foundation needs to be stable enough to withstand being moved on an axle and wheels and loaded into a trailer.
- Utilities: Besides transporting the mobile home, you will also have to move any utilities like air conditioners, extra verandas, and more.
How much does it cost to move a mobile home?
The cost of moving a mobile home can vary from $500-$15,000 depending on the distance traveled, type of movers chosen, kind of mobile home unit (single-wide, double-wide, or triple-wide), what mode of transport you use, and more.
- Transport-only Move: This means you will have to do most of the packing, loading, and unloading. You need to pay only for the transportation to the new destination. The cost can range from $800-$4000.
- Full-service Move: This option is best if you’re traveling long distances and have to transport many things apart from the mobile home. You needn’t worry about packing or loading any of your belongings – the full-service movers will do it for you. The cost of a full-service move can range from $4000-$15,000.
Based on the size of the mobile home, the cost varies in the following manner:
- Transporting a single-wide mobile home for 50-60 miles can cost $800-$1200
- Transporting a double-wide will cost $2100-$2500
- A triple-wide mobile home transport will cost roughly $2700-3600
These are rough estimates and can vary depending on the local movers, the state you are in, and other regulations.
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