Common Issues That Happen To Homes In Transport - And What To Do

Mobile homes are an engineering marvel: they are the only form of housing that can go down the highway at 55 miles-per-hour. But even though they have this unique skill, transporting a 15,000 pound object down the interstate can frequently cause minor damage to the home by the time of its arrival. What do you need to know when you order a new home to be delivered at your property?

The complexity of moving a giant object down the highway

Have you ever seen a mobile home being pulled by a transporter at 55 mph? It’s a terrifying sight. It’s hard to imagine that you can successfully pull a 15,000+ pound object down the freeway for hundreds of miles and successfully arrive. And you’re right: it’s really hard. As a result – despite all forms of preparation at the factory or from the mover – things happen.

What can naturally go wrong

Here’s a list of the most common items that can happen stemming from transporting the home.

  • Shutters missing.
  • Siding missing (both small and large sheets).
  • Shingles missing (sometimes entire sections of the roof).
  • Underbelly insulation and mechanicals (if something hit the underside while going down the highway).
  • Broken windows (both from a rock on the road or stress).
  • Stress cracks on inner walls (this can happen regardless of the wall surface).
  • Frame breaks (this is extremely rare but will lead to a total loss in most cases).

Remember that taking a mobile home down the highway is like putting it in a wind tunnel – imagine how your house would do in the same situation.

You need a walk-around inspection upon arrival and to take photos

Someone who represents your interests (you, your manager, or another designated person) needs to do a walk-around inspection upon arrival of the home, with copious photos shot of any damage. In this way, the mover (or factory) cannot claim that they did not do the damage. The good news is that virtually all potential damage is easily apparent. The only thing that you can’t see is if there was damage to the water or sewer line from an item striking it from the road (yet you can normally see the puncture in the underbelly visually and this is extremely rare).

How to fix if it happens

The good news is that everyone in the shipping transaction is licensed, insured and desiring not to get a blemish on their record. If it’s a used home, the transporter will happily make the repairs (assuming it didn’t come that way when you bought it) and if it’s a new home the manufacturer will cover the damage. It’s a small club of manufacturers and movers and nobody wants to get a bad reputation.

Conclusion

Moving a home is a complicated process and things can happen. But it’s not something to put a great deal of worry into. Most damage is minor and easily fixed by the mover or manufacturer.

Frank Rolfe has been an investor in mobile home parks for almost 30 years, and has owned and operated hundreds of mobile home parks during that time. He is currently ranked, with his partner Dave Reynolds, as the 5th largest mobile home park owner in the U.S., with around 20,000 lots spread out over 25 states. Along the way, Frank began writing about the industry, and his books, coupled with those of his partner Dave Reynolds, evolved into a course and boot camp on mobile home park investing that has become the leader in this niche of commercial real estate.