Mobile Home Questions : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

In our family's effort to relocate from a major city, we have been looking and found a mobile home with an add on. Sits on 4 acres with a very large barn on the outskirts of a small town of 3000. Has small town water supplied to it, but also has its own well. Seems like a good deal money wise, but I know next to nothing about mobile homes. We think it is a '73 model, but we are checking on this.

For those of you out there who know mobile homes: How safe are they? What sort of things do we need to look for, safety, insulation, electrical, water and waste piping? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Not the ideal Milne hideaway, but sure beats big city life. BTW, this location (ain't saying where) is about 30-40 minute drive to backwoods, mountain area. If we buy the mobile/add-on with 4 acres, we are then going to purchase property in the woods for our stage 3 get-away.

-- PJ (, February 23, 1999


I don't know mcuh about mobile home specs but I always had an idea that if you really wanted an affordable secret place to live in the case of emergancies and such you could take a small school bus and bury it. Get creative and rig up some sort of intake/exhaust for cooking and also something for basic plumbing. I think it would be a great way to have an undergound bunker cheaply and affordably. Nothing you'd want to live in for long periods but those buses sure do have a lot of extra storage with the seats removed. All you'd really need is a buddy with a bulldozer/backhoe and an acre of seculded woods.

-- (The @ team . com), February 23, 1999.

"Not the ideal Milne hideaway"

Oops, forgot to add- not the ideal Joel Skousen location either, but a man's got to do what he gotta do (money and TIME speak very loud about now! I think I am in a panic mode about relocating.)

-- PJ (, February 23, 1999.

Tornadoes seem to love mobile homes. Everytime we have a bad storm down here (NE FLA) a tornado hits a mobile home park. Usually with deadly results. Just a thought......


-- Deano (, February 23, 1999.

A team...

Bury a small school bus!!??


Can you spell f-a-n-a-t-i-c?

-- Craig (, February 23, 1999.

You're wrong, Deano. Mobile homes do not attract tornadoes. If they happen to be in the path of a tornado, they will be destroyed by winds that would leave a frame house standing (minus a few shingles). Any winds in excess of 90 mph (F1 on the Fujita tornadic scale) will destroy a mobile home. This is a very mild tornado, if one can call any tornado mild. Therefore, almost any tornado that cuts across a group of homes will destroy any mobile home it meets, while leaving the other homes relatively unscathed. Evcen strong straight-line winds, like derechos, can destroy mobile homes. There are methods to strengthen mobile homes against wind damage. In any event, a storm cellar/root cellar/fallout shelter is advisable.

And Deano, the U.S. has lots of tornadoes... if you don't like it, why don't you leave?

(couldn't resist)

-- weather (is@my.thing), February 23, 1999.

Weatherdude - I'm just telling you like it is down here. EVERYTIME there's a report of a tornado, there's always a picture of a destroyed mobile home. I said they 'seem' to like mobile homes, not that they will definitely hit one. Please don't put words in my mouth just because you want to start some shit.

Your last statement tells me you're nothing more than a little prick.


-- Deano (, February 23, 1999.

Mobile homes are NOT the idea solution in housing.

But the SURE beat the hell out of a tent, brush arbor, or culvert or abandoned '58 Buick.

-- Greybear, whadda yew mean trailer trash.....

- Got Tarps?

-- Greybear (, February 23, 1999.

God loves to wipe out people in trailer parks with tornados, and Catholics in churches in South America with earthquakes. He/she/it obviously has it in for those people.

-- A (, February 23, 1999.

The location we are considering is NOT in a tornado area. High winds at times, but never a tornado. The mobile with the addition have stood years of such high winds with no adverse affects.

Wondering if there are any reading this now living in a mobile home who can speak to the questions we've asked with your experiences.

-- PJ (, February 23, 1999.

Many older mobile homes, trailers and motor homes were built with aluminium wiring which is not as good as copper. It is more brittle and more apt to break and cause a short circuit. Proper grounding is often difficult. Mobile homes also usually have a lot of wood paneling. The glue used to adhere the veneer is extremly flammable and feeds the wood. They are usually well insulated and they become like furnaces. Mobile homes are often hard to get out of, depending on the size of the windows. I have seen many many tragedies in mobile homes. Lots of young couples with children live in them as to senior citizens.

-- Bill Solorzano (, February 23, 1999.

Bill hit on some valid points about mobile home construction practices. As far as the vulnerabilities of mobile homes to high winds, see if it has or what it takes to install, "hurricane anchors" or "tornado straps" on this existing mobile home.

In some states these items are code requirements and they do help prevent or reduce mobile homes from being blown off their foundations and tumbling along until they are splinters. This is what happened to a freind of my wife's just last spring when a freak (for around here) torando hit her double-wide mobile home. If it had been firmly attached to its foundation, the damage would have been repairable. Instead the place tumbled and she was very nearly killed.

As far as long term plans for your retreat. Consider that if we don't see TEOTWAWKI, you can always build a conventional house on your country property at any convenient time in the future.


-- Wildweasel (, February 23, 1999.

MH are a good deal since they are basically self-contained - just add power. As for tornado-bait, the NE Fl TV stations keep showing the same destruction over and over.

-- j (, February 23, 1999.


I lived in a mobile home for seven years and loved every minute of it. I was batch'n it so only me, with the kids on weekends if they felt like coming over.

Had two seven gallon propane tanks to heat water and cook. Lasted two months.

Leaky roof was the biggest problem, sky lights, could never fix leaks so threw tarps over bad areas and problem solved.

Refer was propane/electric and used propane for refer often, didn't seem to cut into propane much at all. However propane/electric refers are expensive. Mine gave up the ghost and new one would cost $800.00+ and a new core would be $450.00.

As far as wind goes...Half Moon Bay, CA. Eighty MPH storm came in and moved the temporary construction office off its piers and left me sitting just fine, I was only forty feet away. Go figger!

Batten down the hatches, use common sense, if space available build a seperate space for kids to be kids, if you got 'em.

Also during that seven years I used a porta-potty right outside the trailer and it was not a problem to me. Might take some getting used to for others but what the heck...if you're warm and cozy and got food and water what's a little inconvenience.

God Bless and good luck!

Keep tarps, rope, mobile home caulking stuff.

-- Mark Hillyard (, February 23, 1999.

mobile homes are usually not very energy efficient. unless you are burning wood and have an unlimited supply, you may want to increase energy efficiency. put the home on the lee side of some woods, will decrease wind chill and also protect from tornados somewhat. or you can put earth berms around it, add insulation, whatever. remember the heat that will be lost thru roof and windows and doors.

-- jocelyne slough (, February 24, 1999.

I lived in the same mobile home in central Kansas and Colorado. It was cold in Kansas, but the first year in Colorado, the temperature in January was a -20F for serveral weeks. Don't remember ever being uncomforable in the trailer, but do remember that you need electricity to heat the tape that keeps the water pipes from freezing.

-- Larry De Groff (, April 23, 1999.

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