Your actual costs may be more or less depending on –
- Necessary moving permits (both residential and transportation)
- Utility disconnects and reconnects (hookups)
- Set-up services
- Labor and materials
- The age, weight, and size of your mobile home
- The distance between your old and new locations
Now let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs of moving a mobile home.
Before we get started, here are some quick links that might help:
- Need help packing your mobile home? Consider hiring professional packers.
- Sometimes, you can hire a professional moving company to help you pack and load your mobile home to make it ready for transport. Consider checking with professional movers about helping you pack and load your mobile home.
Can you move a mobile home by yourself?
Unlike moving a small boat, piano, or hot tub, moving a manufactured home DIY-style isn’t a feasible option.
In short, mobile home moves require –
- Specialized equipment
- Experienced crews
- Knowledge of applicable local, state, and federal laws
- Lots of planning
That said, each year, thousands of mobile homes are moved by full-service companies without issue, both around the corner and across state lines.
Is it worth moving to a mobile home?
In most instances, the cost of moving a mobile home is well worth it when compared to what it would cost to buy a new or pre-owned one at your new location.
Before deciding whether to move your current mobile home or invest in a new one, it’s worth doing a cost-benefit analysis to see which makes more sense.
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What factors affect mobile home moving costs?
The costs associated with moving a mobile home can vary greatly, but generally, you can break them down into the following categories –
The Distance of the Move
Like on household goods moves, the shorter the distance between your old and new home, the less you’ll usually pay.
Moving mobile homes requires specialized equipment and powerful trucks that use tons of fuel. Depending on where you’re moving, necessary permits, pilot cars, and police escorts may be required as well, and the regulations are often different for each state and municipality.
In addition, if you’re moving across state lines, you’ll need to hire a company that has interstate operating authority.
If you’re doing your own research, make sure you check that they have a USDOT Number.
The Size of the Home
Along with distance, size is a big factor in determining how much it’ll cost to move your mobile home.
Single-wide mobile home units may only cost half as much to move as their double-wide and triple-wide cousins.
If your unit doesn’t fit down a street with other vehicles present, you may need to schedule a road closure or have a police escort, both of which can significantly increase your move pricing.
Likewise, if your unit is too high to fit under an overpass or too heavy for a small local bridge, the company moving may need to take a lengthy detour which will also add to the overall cost.
Depending on how old they are, how big they are, and whether they made it from wood or metal, mobile homes generally weigh between 35 and 50 pounds per square foot.
In other words, a 900 square foot unit can weigh as much as 45,000 pounds.
To put that into perspective, that’s roughly the maximum allowable cargo capacity of the tractor-trailers (18-wheelers) you see out on the highway.
In many instances, overall weight determines what routes to take, what permits are required, and what additional services are needed, like police or private escorts.
If your mobile home is decades old, the chances are that it has sustained structural damage from water or termites that have significantly weakened it over the years.
In some older mobile homes, this damage can be so severe that moving the unit is no longer an option.
However, in other cases, the damage may be fixable. Still, the company may need to customize its equipment to move it safely, translating into more time and materials and more overall cost for you.
Permits and Inspection
Figuring out which permits you to need for each town, city, and state through which your mobile home will travel is a job best left to experienced professional mobile home movers.
If a prospective company informs you that they don’t handle permits during the pre-move screening process, it should be a huge red flag, and you should cross them off your list immediately.
Also, keep in mind that in addition to transportation-related permits, you may need set-up permits, and mobile homes moving into some states may be subject to inspection and, in some cases, quarantine at ports of entry.
This is especially true in large agricultural states like California and Florida that intend to keep out non-native species of insects (like gypsy moths and others) that could harm local crops and entire industries.
Some towns, cities, and states will also require relocated mobile homes to be inspected to ensure they’re safe, livable, and up to code.
Again, your company should help guide you through these confusing requirements (from HUD and other agencies) on the front side.
Labor and Materials
Moving a mobile home is a material-intensive job, from chains and lumber to fifth wheels, tow-hitches, and heavy-duty tarps.
In addition, your crew will consist of a foreman (or woman), a driver, and multiple helpers.
Though the estimate will include most labor and materials, some may not be, especially if your mobile home move is especially tedious and time-consuming.
When it comes to safety, convenience, and peace of mind, full-service mobile home movers are worth their weight in gold.
Just keep in mind that they may have additional fees for preparation or minor disassembly and unloading, and set-up when you get to the other end.
Depending on which you’ll need, these services may include –
- Disconnecting and reconnecting utilities (these may need to be done by plumbers and electricians)
- Removing and reinstalling outside features such as skirting, porches, chimneys, and awnings
- Shoring up your mobile home’s frame if it’s become weaker by termites or water damage
Did You Know?
Some mobile home movers require homeowners to remove exterior features like skirting, guardrails and stairs themselves, so ask what your responsibilities will be before signing a contract.
Age and condition
Some older and poorly made mobile homes may be unmovable due to structural integrity issues.
If it’s not in the best shape but is “workable,” the company may charge you extra for the time, materials, and equipment necessary to get it into transportable condition.
In some cases, you may need to extend their trailer if the portion of your mobile home that will hang over the back or sides cannot support itself.
If so, you should address this early on in the pre-move process, not at the 9th hour.
When deciding which company to use to move your mobile home, it’s important to know to take enough time to cover insurance thoroughly.
Insurance is one of those grey areas that often gets brushed over, and if there is damage while your home is in transit, you won’t find out until too late whether you’re covered or not.
In addition to discussing insurance with each company’s representative, get a copy of their policy and various options in writing.
In addition, it’s worth calling your current insurance company to ask whether they’ll provide a supplemental policy to cover your home while you move it.
Even if they don’t, they’ll probably be able to give you helpful tips and refer you to a mobile home transport company that provides one-time transportation policies, which aren’t usually very expensive.
Pros and cons of hiring a full-service mobile home moving company
- They’ll prepare, move, and set up your mobile home
- They’ll take care of permits
- You won’t have to risk driving a heavy, oversized load
- It’ll save you time, energy, and hassle
- It can be expensive
- You may need to do some of the prep work yourself
- Finding a reputable, experienced, and quality-centered company isn’t easy
- Your actual cost may be more than estimated due to unforeseen factors
- You may damage your mobile home during the move
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does it cost to move a mobile home 20 miles?
Depending on multiple variables, mobile home moves under 20 miles are usually between $2,000 and $5,000.
Can you move an old mobile home a short distance?
Depending on how structurally sound the frame is, you may be able to move a mobile home a shorter distance or even a long distance to a new city on longer moves to neighboring states.
Where can I find a company that will move my mobile home for me?
Always ask friends, family members, and coworkers for referrals before hiring a company to move your mobile home. Once you have a list of candidates, check them out to make sure they have experience and verified customer reviews.
Will I need to purchase mobile home insurance?
Yes, your mobile home mover should offer you different insurance options, or you can purchase a policy from a third-party insurer as well. You’ll also need insurance once you’ve set up your unit in your new mobile home park, so ask management for specific requirements.
Are you looking for a professional moving company to accompany your mobile move? Check out our list of the top interstate movers.