Wood rot

About a month ago or so I bought a 1977 Nomad trailer from a couple. The only thing they said was wrong with it was that the rubber hoses from the propane tanks to the heater and the oven needed to be blown out. Yesterday I was cleaning it real good and found water stains on the ceiling, and some of the wall paper or wall covering on the inside of the trailer were peeling. I opened up the piece and found what looks like one of the foundation wood pieces is almost rotted away. How long would it take for something like this to happen in a trailer? A few weeks ago I had found that the cover above the fridge was totally missing and that the rain had been leaking inside of the trailer during the 3 week rainstorms here in TN. I had also cleaned the sink cabinet out in the bathroom and found that there was wood rot in there on the floor and that I could see the ground through a hole in the floor. I was going to use this trailer for my disabled son to live in…not sure if I can do that now. I paid $2000 for the trailer. Appreciate any help.

Deb, hire an inspector in your area to come give you an unbiased opinion on the damage. Sounds like it is going to need some work. Rot will take more than 3 weeks to get to the point you have mentioned.


Thank you for your answer and reply. When my boyfriend and I inspected the trailer, we specifically asked the seller about leaks. The seller was a retired general contractor who adamantly stated that he had recently “sealed” the entire trailer himself. On the exterior of the trailer, the sealant was visible to the naked eye. He also presented he and his wife as “good Christians” who used the trailer to attend and play in blue grass festivals. What we did not do, is pull out all the cushions inside, and apparently, fully inspect and move the belongings still remaining in the trailer which were hiding the floor holes and peeling wall coverings prior to purchase. My problem was in failing to fully research how to purchase a used trailer and how to properly inspect a used trailer. The problem is I am not working, I live in my mother’s house, I live in a very small town with limited employment, I’m 54 years old, and my son is disabled and needed a place of his own to live in due to his mental disabilities. The sellers were informed of all of this and still proceeded to sell me a trailer with major defects. Given that the man’s trade was general contracting, there is no doubt he knew about the wood rot in the foundation beam of the trailer. Another question, would rotting wood draw any certain type of insects into a housing unit such as this, like chiggers? 3 weeks ago when I first cleaned the trailer, I put my head inside of one of the cabinets, and I felt like bugs jumped on my head and started biting my scalp. I got very sick after this. The other day when I was cleaning, a bug jumped on my hand and bit it quite painfully. What do you make of that? Could it possibly be chiggers?


A few minutes ago, I posted a reply to your reply. However, I do not see it as posted.

I want to thank you for your reply / response. I greatly appreciate it. However, I do want you to know that we did question the seller of the trailer about leaks. The seller, who is a retired general contractor, adamantly stated that there were no leaks, and that he had recently sealed the entire trailer himself. He also presented himself and his wife as “good Christians” who used the trailer to attend bluegrass festivals. What I failed to do was properly educate and inform myself as to what to look for when purchasing trailers, and additionally, to move the cushions which would have revealed the peeling wall covering, and also to move the belongings which were in the cabinet under the bathroom sink which were hiding the holes in the floor of the trailer. The problem is, I needed and still need a place for my disabled son to live in, I’ve been out of permanent full-time work for 2 years, I am 54 years old and jobs are extremely limited in the small town I live in, so I don’t have any funds to hire people to fix this horrible problem. I am going to contact the State of Tennessee to see if there is any help for me. Thank you.

Deb, it seems as if you were misled on this transaction. I still fell you should contact an inspector in your area, and get the proper documentation of the property by a professional home inspector. Yes, the rotting wood, and moisture in the home may attract a number of different insects.

Hi Deb,

Sounds like you got what you paid for. Not really sure what you expect for a 30 year old trailer that you bought for $2000.