TERMINATION AND REMOVAL OF UTILITY CONNECTIONS
When the mover shows up to move the home, this is NOT the time to start shutting off utility arrangements. You will need to give reasonable advance notice to all utility providers (water, sewer, trash, electricity, gas (natural or propane), cable tv, telephone, etc.) and have a firm cut-off date. Yes, you may need to stay in a hotel if you guess wrong, or if the mover is delayed. But that is all part of the game. Be sure to have a knowledgeable, insured individual do the actual disconnection of the utility to your house.
PREPARING THE MOBILE HOME ON THE EXTERIOR
Remember that the home is going to have a lot of wind resistance on the road. Anything that might blow off will blow off at 50 miles per hour. So remove or secure all of the items that might be impacted.
For example, exterior coach lights by the door are a natural for disaster. If you do not want to remove the whole fixture, at least remove the glass. It will be broken for sure. Similarly, any screw-on or stick on numbers or name plaques will fly off almost immediately, so you are going to want to remove those too.
The doors should be secured and screwed shut by the moving company. Make sure they do this. In transport, the motion of the home will unsecure the doors, even if they are dead bolted, and they will then fly open and rip off the home. You see this all the time.
If you have siding on the home that is loose or weak, now is the time to reinforce it or fix it. At 50 mph, it will surely be ripped off or bent back in the wind.
Imagine your home in a wind tunnel. Whatever looks like it might be in danger of getting damaged that is what you want to get removed or reinforced.
PREPARING THE MOBILE HOME ON THE INTERIOR
Your mobile home is going to be subjected to a lot of shaking and bumping in its move. It would be the same forces that it would be subjected to in an earthquake – only it is an earthquake that could last for ten or more hours straight! Look around each room and identify things that could get broken in such an environment, such as;
Glass in ceiling light fixtures. You always want to remove these.
Expensive (stained glass or leaded glass) light fixtures that hang down.
Secure cabinet doors. If they are leaded glass doors, you might remove them.
Closet doors should be secured.
Toilet tank tops should be secured.
Shower doors must be secured.
Anything else that can be broken if shaken violently.
REMOVAL OF FURNITURE & FURNISHINGS
If you have already been living in the home and you will be moving it to a new location then you will also need to consider whether to move your furniture and other furnishings. Without detailing every possible scenario the best advice is to remove as much as possible to reduce the weight of the home and avoid potential damages to the home or the furnishings themselves. If you have heavy furniture the mover will often require that it be removed for transport. You will not want to leave your dishes and glasses in the cupboards because they will break. If you have clothes hanging in the closet you will need to put them on the floor so the closet rods do not fall off the walls. Remove any flammable items and chemicals to mitigate explosions or stains. Basically remove everything that you don’t want to be broken (televisions, lamps, pictures, etc).
This book is focused on moving your mobile home, but it is worthy to note that if you are moving an occupied dwelling you will also need to move the contents. While there are many different options for moving your mobile home contents, one of the worst ideas is just leaving them in the home and hoping they arrive in one piece. Often, this is just exactly what they don’t do.
When your mobile home is moving down the highway, it rarely goes in a straight line. As the wind blows it about, the driver re-corrects the steering and so it proceeds in a shaky forward path. Every time it moves slightly from side to side, it shifts the lad and can cause things to slide across the floor and ultimately fall over, crash into each other, or shake apart. This makes for less than ideal shipping conditions. On top of that, when the home turns corners or goes into a curve, it is even worse. A box you put in the far corner of the living room can easily end up in the kitchen upon arrival.
So if you want your furniture and fixtures to arrive in one piece, use your money and time to pack them and move them like anybody else would. Be advised that things left in the mobile home are likely to arrive after hours of being shaken and shifted, and they may well be broken.
If you are moving a multi-section home, it is never a good idea to move items within the home. One wall of the multi-section is always going to be a plastic sheet, flapping in the wind as the home races down the highway. This plastic is likely to break loose in transit, and will offer you no defenses from your contents flying right off into the highway.
One more note. It is not unheard of for homes to flip over in transport because a driver drives off the side of the roadway. If that happened, obviously, your contents would be completely destroyed, and strewn about on the edge of the highway.
In summary, if you care about your belongings pack them and move them conventionally. If you take the shortcut of moving them in the home, be prepared for an unpleasant ending.