Mobile Home


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I’ve decided that “mobile” home refers not only to the fact that the house is on wheels and can be moved, but also to the way it endlessly moves after it’s put in place! It shudders and sways in strong winds and I can clearly see how tornados could pluck a mobile home up and send it spinning end over end.  Those sorts of winds are reasonably rare so while alarming at the time – especially if they come in the wee hours of the night- they are not a day to day concern.

What is a day to day concern is the way the house, perched on its concrete block pillars, settles, sinking first on one side, then on an opposite corner, then on the other side.  This shifting creates cracks in the drywall, causes doors to refuse to latch, and floor boards to separate. Leaks appear around window edges on one side of the house during rainstorms and the windows on the other side are stuck shut. It’s like residing inside a living creature that isn’t any too keen on playing host.

The most recent victim of the current settling seems to be the plumbing. The valve inside the toilet no longer sits flat so it doesn’t produce a seal.  This is not the minor inconvenience it might seem to be as we discovered when the entire amount of water stored in the cistern cycled into the house, through the running toilet and out to the septic system one day when we were away from home! We had at least 200 gallons stored in the morning, by evening the pipes were dry.

Turning on and off the water to the toilet is just one more of the many ‘eccentricities’ to our living situation.  It’s a real struggle to feel at home in this house.

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4 Responses to Mobile Home

  1. Brandon says:

    I want to echo bogart. I lived in a trailer for 10 years that was already about 25 years old when we moved into it. We never experienced the sorts of problems that you are talking about. I do not even recall this shuddering/shaking you speak of during storms. I fear from some of the other descriptions that you have made in the past (about the muddy/boggy approach) that you may have not had a properly prepared site for a trailer to sit on. It should not be shifting like that at all.

    You really need to have someone come out and fix the setting. It sounds like it needs to be leveled out and possibly reinforced with a stronger material (concrete under the bases??? I’m not really knowledgeable on the subject). I know coming up with money for that will be difficult, but the alternative is that your trailer is going to completely fall apart in the course of a few years, possibly literally ripping in two.

  2. Lynda Reynolds says:

    Sounds to me like you need a foundation poured and to anchor the trailer to it. That’s how we do it here…just like a stick built.

  3. bogart says:

    How frustrating! Mobile homes clearly aren’t mobile in the sense that they can be moved around with any regularity (as camping trailers are mobile); you make an interesting point. How old is yours? I lived in one that must have been approaching 30 when I was in grad school and while it certainly was in decline, I don’t remember any of the types of problems you describe. I wonder if this is because I’m in a warmer climate so that freeze/thaw cycles were less frequent and less dramatic in their effects? No idea, but I’m sorry you’re continuing to need to negotiate these kinds of problems!

  4. Lynn says:

    What do you see as the solution? Does your job seem secure enough to rent a house or apartment closer to work? Can a foundation be put under the mobile home, and if so, would that solve the problem? Are you just thinking to tough it out, repairing things as they break, till the last of the children graduates, then build a “tiny house”for just yourself? What is your plan, or hope?

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