FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has turned loose of all their old inventory of Disaster Relief Trailers to the point that they are flooding the market with cheap dirty trailers. There are many RV Dealers who have bought many but a lot are still being sold at auction by individuals. I write this article to help you navigate through the differences.
First of all a FEM Spec trailer is one without holding tanks, usually without a slide and has been setting up for at least 3-4 years in an abandoned lot somewhere just waiting for any lonely animal seeking to get out of the rain to climb into and set up housekeeping. It is dirty and in great need of repair. Repair will include the LP system and water system to holes in the roof or floor. These need plenty of work. But many feel they can fix them up make them work and have a good RV as the end result.
To all you Bob Villa wanna-bes out there, here is a dose of reality. You may be able to fix a floor or a hole but if you have a LP leak or a water leak or a electrical system short, be prepared to spend all you vacation time tearing your RV down just to put it back together where it will be safe for you to use. Just because you have watched a few home improvement episodes doesn’t mean you can make the needed repairs on the unit you bought so cheap not to mention the time and labor it is going to take. You need to know what you are doing.
However, if you are bent on buying a cheap trailer, then here is how to do it. For what you pay at your local auction for an “AS IS WHERE IS” FEMA trailer, you are able to find the exact same unit at a certified RV dealer, and get this one you bargain hunter, you can get it for the same price. The difference is, the LP system has already been serviced and certified to be leak free. Along with the water system, electrical system, the appliances and every mechanical aspect of the trailer has been certified to the state to be in working order and fully repaired.
Buying a FEMA trailer from a certified dealer protects you, your family and friends and you know what you are getting rather than buying a pig in a polk. You can save some serious money and have a unit that you can actually use rather then spending all your time working on.
But, if you are still intent on buying some pork, good luck. You might want to call your local RV dealer and get them to give you an estimate on making the repairs you cannot make yourself at the going labor rate of $160 an hour.
To paraphrase and old TV commercial, you can spend the money now or spend the money later. The choice is yours. Listen, my friend. Do yourself a favor and reduce your level of stress. Life is hard enough today as it is.
If you want to buy a Disaster Relief Trailer, then you can get some great bargains out there. However, don’t try to do it yourself. Find a reputable RV Dealer that has been in business a long time. Beware of the guy who rented a dirt lot by the side of the road. Buy your travel trailer from a reputable dealer and enjoy your RV rather than work on fixing it. RVs are fun and extremely useful and affordable for everyone. Now is the time to find the right RV for you and your family Go Rving, and live life to the fullest. You will love RVing it as much as my family and I do.