Mobile Home inspections-first one

Hi all; I’m scheduled to do a mobile home inspection next week, and I have not done one previously. Can anyone share some insights on typical problem spots to look out for?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Do it as the same as you would a regular home inspection. Almost always on a crawl space and you should be able to tell if it’s a on a permanent foundation. Research HUD’s requirement regarding foundations for mobile homes. I would not necessarily refer to this in my report, but do the inspection based on the understanding of the differences.

Pay a good attention to the flooring, especially around the outer edges and corners, bathrooms around tubs, showers and toilets.

You may have to search for some systems like water heaters and air handlers/ furnace etc. They like to hide them and you may have to remove a panel in a closet to find one.

If the WH is located within the unit, don’t be surprised to see TPR discharge run through the floor into the crawl space area. Although not what we like to see, it is recommended by HUD to do it this for mobiles.

Underneath, check for proper pier supports and tie down straps. The vapor barrier is usually attached underneath the flooring system and helps to secure the insulation, so don’t be surprised to an all dirt floor underneath.

For any reason a tongue and or axles are still attached, look for a manufacture’s plate and serial number. This could also be helpful as to whether it’s considered a permanent foundation or not.

Also, be aware that polybutylene piping was very common in mobiles from 1978 to 1995.

Hope this helps some.


Thomas covered it well.

Have you done this course yet?


Thanks Junior! I have quite a few in my area and just did one this week. 1993 with the original Coleman furnace that that was a rust bucket.

Steven, one other thing I thought of is checking the plumbing. Very common to see S-Traps under the sinks in mobiles. If properly installed with an AAV, I mention it with no concerns. If no AAV, I let the client know the concerns about S-Traps and let them decide.


Well done Thomas!


Steven, like Thomas said pay special attention to floors where he indicates above and below windows and at exterior doors. If you don’t find any soft wood, and the like, go back and look again. It is there. :thinking:

If you see any low spots in the belly wrap stapled to the underside of the mobile home, go push on it a little. It is probably water sagging the wrap down, so a leak is near.


No I haven’t done that one yet; I’ll take a look.

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I would 2nd Juniors recommendation for the Nachi training on manufactured home inspections.

My very first inspection was a mobile home and so I did the Nachi course and found it super helpful.

I’ve since done a lot of mobile/manufactured homes, here are my “tips & tricks”:


-Dry rot is common on trim

-There are often awnings, decks, and porches, commonly done poorly.

-Check the skirting that closes off the underside of the mobile home, most will have damage or gaps that will allow animals/pests/moisture in.


-Depending on the age, some of the very old mobile homes you shouldn’t walk the roof, if it’s seemingly painted (the roof) it’s probably a thin metal skin; don’t walk on it. If it’s asphalt comp you’re okay.

-There is typically no attic space (that’s accessible)


-Mobile homes are notorious for having PB (polybutylene) supply pipes.

-The water heaters are usually behind access panels (think closet), often accessed from the outside, or within actual closets.

-Water heaters usually lack earthquake straps (required in my area, not sure about you)


-Most have electric forced air, this is usually in a closet which will have a grill on it, usually located next to kitchen/laundry


-Look for support posts out of plumb or with excessive shimming underneath, often times cinder blocks are used

-Some buyers will ask about if it’s strapped down (referring to metal straps underneath the home securing it to stakes in the ground) do not attempt to certify this, there are engineers who do it, I just note it mentally if they ask

-As others have said, the underside of the home will have a wrap (looks like black tarp) that closes off most everything, this will often sag or have been cut for ductwork, plumbing, access etc.

-Due to skirting (see EXTERIOR above) almost always there will be signs of pests/animals (as well as associated damage)

Hope this helps, Good luck!


Great info, Patrick!

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When I inspect a “trailer” I have a little level with me.
Sometimes the floor is not level denoting a possible structure/pier issue.


Thanks Patrick!

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Don’t forget about the grounding electrode. Without a slab there won’t be an UFER and the main panel may be located on a pole in the yard.

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I’ll bring a laser level in the home. You would be surprised how much the floor varies in height. It will give you a preview of the disaster under the floor. The last home I inspected had a 1-1/2” sag in the middle of the home.

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Is there a hitch? :sweat_smile: :sweat_smile:

mobile home have data plate by the manufacture… sometimes I have found 2 data plate because it is a double wide… the hot water tank can be hiding in an closet or an odd place… I have found opening for rodents alot…if it can not find something call the manufacture of the unit I have had good luck with that… good luck

I use a golf ball to see if floor are level…it works all the time!


Yeah, when I got there , somebody had bolted a trailer tongue to the side of the 125 year old ramshackle 3 room house.

And, no body was there to meet me, that was the hitch!..figgin’ inspections! LOL! Just having’ fun, Doug…nothin’ personal…heh, heh, heh. :crazy_face:

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On carpet too?

The only thing Thomas missed is the cross over vent and HUD tags in each unit.

Agree Vincent. I was just commenting off the top of my head and probably didn’t think about a few things. Cross over vents can be an issue if not properly installed.

Regarding the HUD tags, don’t beat your brains out if you don’t find any. Many times they have been covered by skirting or siding etc. to the point that we can’t be invasive as to locate them. Just report that “none were observed” during the inspection. Same with the HUD data sheet. Many times you’ll find that mobile homes have been completely gutted and renovated. The mobile I did last week has been totally renovated and had no visible tags or data sheets. However, if they are present, take photos and add them to report for information purposes.