Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Moving a Mobile Home
Moving a mobile home comes with a long list of logistical details prior to getting the home on the road. Everything from what the cost of moving a mobile home is, to what kind of distance is reasonable, and how to secure your investment should be considered.
So, we’ll cover this ground and much more in regard to how to go about moving a mobile home. We will start with the most frequently asked questions and work our way to the finer detail. Thanks for coming along for the ride!
How Much Does it Cost to Move a Mobile Home?
This is the big question. Many times homeowners and residents want to ask, “Can I move a mobile home for free?” No, if you’re asking this question, you’re probably headed down the wrong road.
A professional mobile home transport company will charge $3,000 – $5,000 to move a single section manufactured home.
A larger home, one that’s two or more sections, may need to be moved in sections and could cost $10,000 or more. Again, the added cost for moving a mobile home depends on the size and stability of the home, as well as the distance and route being considered. Most times, moving a large mobile home will require assistance vehicles to lead and tail the home.
How Are Moving Costs Calculated?
The range of cost from $3,000 to $10,000 or more depends on a few factors:
- How big is the home? Single section homes are easier and less expensive to move.
- How old is the home, and what kind of shape is it in? The more sturdy the home, the better.
- How far must the home be moved? Most movers want to stay with 100 miles.
- What kind of access is there between the existing and desired home site? There is a lot to consider here, from bridges to city streets, to access through a mobile home park.
- What kind of prep and finished work must be done? Will you prep the home yourself, or are you hiring someone?
Do I Need a Permit to Move a Mobile Home?
Yes, typically a permit is required to move a mobile home. For instance, a Michigan permit to move a mobile home is required if the home is more than 8 1/2 feet in width, 12 1/2 feet high and more than 60 feet long. Most homes are larger than those dimensions. So a single section home in Michigan can be moved with a permit that costs as little as $15. Larger or heavier homes may require an “Oversized Load” permit, which will range between $30 to $100.
However, that’s an example of how the State of Michigan issues permits. Be certain to check state laws and local ordinance where your home will travel.
Should I Hire a Professional to Move My Mobile Home?
Yes. When you’re moving your home to a new location, it’s always best to hire a professional. The following are some of the primary reasons why it’s a good idea.
A professional mobile home transport company, or mobile home mover, will have the protections in place in case something goes wrong. There are many potential unforeseen complications when a home is hooked up and taken on the road. Low hanging tree limbs, road construction, excessive traffic, tight turns or low bridges can come into play. Any of these circumstances could result in costly damage or even injury. Once your home gets moving, you want the professional with the standard protections to be responsible for anything that may go wrong.
Your hauler will either hire someone or conduct inspections themselves. The axles and chassis of the home need to be in good enough shape for travel. Roof lines, windows and doors need to be secured. Siding may need to be battened down. The interior of the home should be stable. A trained professional will be able to identify if any adjustments or fixings are needed.
The Large Load
Not too many people feel comfortable trundling down the road with a 60-foot home behind them. Professional drivers will have the spatial relationships needed to ensure the home is moved along unharmed.
Protect Your Investment
Investing in a safe and sound way to move your home should be a priority. It’s smart to pay a relatively small amount up front, whether you’re moving your single section mobile home a short distance, or have a more complicated move with a larger home. A lack of planning or upfront investment could result in a much larger bill in the end, particularly if the home is damaged.
For more information on moving a mobile home, continuing reading the following section with advice from a professional mobile home mover.
Conversation With a Professional Mobile Home Mover
Michael Oslau has covered many thousands of miles across the U.S. in the name of manufactured home transport.
He’s a shipper, toting homes for Skyway Custom Transport of Renton, Wash. His days are spent moving mobile homes, but certain parts of his day involve little extras, brought on by necessity.
Michael Oslau can be a little bit home inspector, a little bit landscaper, a little bit physicist, sometimes meteorologist.
“I rely on a tear down guy, and it’s hard to make sure they caught everything,” Oslau said. “There are a lot of factors involved in the transport.”
When he’s going to pick up a new home, Oslau can rest easy knowing the details have been covered by the manufacturer or dealer. But moving an existing mobile home can be a different story.
Sometimes in an effort to save money, homeowners will elect to prepare the home themselves. And even if one does make the decision to hire a contractor, not all outfits are the same.
We asked Oslau to answer a few questions about how consumers – and the people who can be hired to move a mobile home – can gain the best experience possible.
What is the first thing you check when you arrive to move a mobile home?
“I look for a leading-edge board on the roof tile. If the wind gets it, it will pull the roof off. Tiles can go flying, and the state police don’t like that. Sometimes the roof can peel off all at once. No one likes that either.”
How do you secure a dilapidated roof while moving a mobile home?
“If you think you might need a new roof, take the old one off before we ship. You can ship without a roof, but you can’t have stuff flying off the home. You can put the new roof on at the new site.”
What is the best way to secure everything while moving a mobile home?
“New homes are easier, because it’s ready to ship for the most part. When someone gets a used home it’s more difficult, and many times the customer wants to get the work done themselves. They can be poorly strapped,” Oslau said. “This creates a twisting motion when you lift it, and can cause some problems if it twists too far. It’s more than a cracked wall. That can be fixed. Sometimes the walls will peel off the floor.”
How does an older mobile home fare during a move?
“Is the siding falling off? Is it wood, aluminum or even concrete siding? Was it built with concrete? Sometimes features are added after the home was originally purchased and sited. This means there’s a good chance the home weighs more now than it did when it was put on that chassis. The chassis is original to the home, and it’s only made to carry the weight of the original home.
“You also want to make sure the axles, tongue and A-frame are in good condition, with no damage or erosion that can weaken their ability to carry the load.”
What should be taken out of the home prior to moving a mobile home?
“Anything that’s not fixed to the home, and even some items that can be detached should be pulled from the home. Again, these axles can only hold so much weight. It’s designed to carry the weight for that section of the home that sits above it, not for all of the stuff that might be left in it.”
What else needs to be secured before you move a mobile home?
“Doors and windows need to be secured. I had one with a tip-out on it, and I had to have the set-up crew come back and put boards over it. The window kept wanting to slide out of the house, off the truck.”
What do you need in terms of access to the home?
“Usually if the home’s in a community, it’s going to work out alright. If it’s a home out in the middle of the woods, the access better be clear and straight. Sometimes a home has been in a place long enough for trees to grow up and block the way. Sometimes trees and other obstacles need to be removed, and that’s something a homeowner can do themselves or contract out.
“You can ask your shipping company to do a site check,” Oslau said. “Some will, some won’t.”
Additionally, even transport of the smaller homes require 14-feet of road width to be passable.
“A 14-foot wide driveway off a two-lane highway won’t take a 14-foot wide home,” Oslau said. “When you’re turning off a tight space, the width is more like 30 feet wide.”
Where are you unable to put a home?
“Depending on how much money you want to spend, I can put one on the top of a mountain if you want to build the road,” Oslau said.
How does weather impact your work?
“Most of this stuff needs to be done during the summer,” Oslau said. “And wind is something you need to be aware of. There actually are highways in some places that have signs saying ‘no manufactured homes’. But, really, it’s about knowing what you’re doing when you get into truly scary places.”
Looking for Additional Insights? Let MHVillage Help!
At MHVillage, we’re dedicated to helping new home buyers, renters, and sellers make educated decisions throughout their journey.
If you’re still in the pre-planning phase of moving your home, we can help ensure that you’re properly informed to find the right community to move into. There are several advantages and disadvantages of different communities that you’ll want to consider. Or, if you’re looking for guidance on repairing your mobile home roof prior to moving, we have you covered.
We also have tools to connect you with mobile home movers and transporters. This page allows you to browse by state to find professionals in your area who specialize in manufactured and mobile home transport.
Happy home moving!