The Mobile Home
Long before there were manufactured mobile homes, people had very little choice but to either buy homes already built, buy land with homes already in place or buy land and build their own home. Depending on their financial situation, they either had to be extremely creative in financing a home, save decades to afford an outright purchase, or slowly come up with the material to build a home that met their needs.
You see, not everyone has had the financial ability to buy their dream home. Then, a whole new option became available in the 1960’s, the mobile home. They began has simple little travel trailers anyone could pull behind their car, and seeing a station wagon pulling a 8×10 travel trailer was quickly becoming the norm across the U.S.
Well, travel trailers have come a long way since those days. What use to be just simple little modest enclosures with a sleeping area, cooking area and toilet pulled behind cars are now enormous 4-5 bedroom with luxurious kitchens, 2-3 bathroom movable dream home. Of course, they also cost quite a lot more to purchase and to move around.
Transporting Mobile Homes
Gone are the days of backing the car up to the hitch and driving the home across country. Now, it takes specially designed big rigs equipped with hydraulic lifts, shorter wheel bases and an extremely skilled driver to hook up, transport and deliver the massive 4-10 axle, 16 – 32 foot wide, 60 – 90 feet long monstrosity. When people need to move one of these mobile homes, it often can cost quite a bit of money depending on how far it is going, the difficulty of moving and the permits needed.
Again, not just any type vehicle can move a mobile home. A “Mobile Home Hauler” is required. Although anyone with the proper Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and training can drive a mobile home toting rig – minus the mobile home. Not anyone can actually pull the home itself. The driver who pulls the home must be extremely experienced, highly trained and gifted with skill naturally born to them or acquired through trial and error. A mobile home transporter (driver) must do things most drivers of big rigs rarely experience.
Your average 16×80 mobile home, when being pulled down the highway, hangs a foot or two over the road’s center line and the shoulder of the road on the other side. “Wide Load” signs are placed on the front of the rig, back of the home and often on the escort truck used to warn traffic and guide the driver through towns. It is extremely difficult to transport a mobile home through traffic along the main highway. It is utterly mindboggling to maneuver the rig and mobile home through narrow streets, congested traffic, around sharp city turns and buildings.
Cost to Move Mobile Home
All these things lead to the expenses of transporting mobile homes. Every highway, rural road and city street must be mapped out in advance and most require drivers to have permits to travel on each. Because of the homes being so wide and potentially causing an accident, most states allow drivers to transport homes only during sunlit hours (6am-6pm) of the day. The things which can occur between point A and point B of a transport can be fairly ordinary, or impossible for anyone not a witness to it to believe.
The driver will require the services of at least one escort driver, two depending on the state laws, who will follow the home down the highway and lead the rig through city streets and rural roads. The escort driver, who typically earns $0.25-$0.35 per mile, fuel for the escort vehicle etc. will be paid for by the company hired to move the mobile home, or the independent driver of the hauler.
Cost varies for the moving of a mobile home. Naturally, moving one a few miles will cost less than moving one across state/several state’s line. It also depends on who you hire to handle the transport. Some licensed professional mobile home transport companies take down, transport and set-up the mobile home at its new location. Other companies and independent drivers simply hook to, transport and then drop the home. Tear down and set-up is on you or someone else you have hired.
Typically, the absolute lowest price you might pay for just transport is $2,000 – $3,500.
Take down/Transport/Set-up could easily run $4,000 – $10,000 depending on difficulty and distance.
Your best bet is to recruit the help of friends or relatives, or hire some cheap local guys to strip off the under pinning, disconnect water, sewer and power lines, jack the home up and remove blocks and ensure axles and tires are fit for travel. You might can get all this done for at least the price of two cases of beer, or $500 – $1000.
Set-up is slightly more complicated. Some areas will require license and permits, as well as an inspection. So you might have to pay quite a bit more depending on the particular state/city you are moving the home to.
All that said, as for moving the mobile home, ask around and see if you might luck out and find you a driver who has a hauler and could use a little extra money. If you don’t have to move it too awful far, you could get someone to do it for fuel costs and couple hundred over.