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Old 05-09-2010, 09:09 PM   #1
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Red face FEMA trailer

Hi everybody, my husband and I bought a 2005 Cherokee 27L at a Ritchie Brothers auction in Fort Worth on Friday. It was used for temporary housing in LA. after Katrina. The paper work from FEMA shows it was used by one individual and was set up behind a restaurant in Belle Chasse LA. The only thing wrong was it is missing a spare tire and rack. The trailer is brand new on the inside, there is no mold or mildew smell. Some of the trailers that were there we wouldn't even go into when we opened the door, they smelled so bad. This one looks like the bathroom was never used, I don't think it was because the original stickers and information for the toilet and shower were still in the cabinet in the plastic bag. The trailer was hardly used and was in a dry location because there is no sign of moisture build up much less any damage to it. The more I go over it the more amazed I am of the condition.
Does anyone here have any experience with buying a FEMA trailer?
Any Advice?

Janice Berry

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Old 05-09-2010, 09:28 PM   #2
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Hi Janice,

Welcome to FRF. Congrats on your purchase.

I'd like to see this trailer. Can you post a picture of it?

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Old 05-09-2010, 09:45 PM   #3
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Yes, I will start taking pictures tomorrow and get them posted.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:35 AM   #4
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Some FEMA trailers were shipped without holding tanks because
it was assumed they would be used long term and connected
to sewers.

Does your trailer have waste water holding tanks?
Does it have a fresh water tank and a 12v water pump?
Does it have an RV 12v/LP gas refrigerator or a traditional
120v compressor type refrigerator?

Some FEMA trailers had issues with the glue in the plywood
and the foam in the cushions outgassing and causing health
issues with occupants.

MY new non-fema trailer used to make our eyes water and our
throats burn when we entered after it had been shut up for
a time.
We now have roof fan vent covers that allow us to leave the roof
vents open 24/7/365.
This has completely eliminated any eye burning or other air
quality issues.

I just recommend always having some sort of ventilation in
your "new" trailer.

Welcome to the group!!!
Dan & Rita D
2004 5.3L Silverado 1500 ext. cab 2WD
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch, AirLift load levelers

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41,
2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-38
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:19 AM   #5
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Since it is listed as a 2005 model, I don't think out gassing will be a problem. The problem with the out gassing and the FEMA trailers, AMPLFIED by the news media, was the trailers left the factory, went to New Orleans, and people moved in, turned the AC on, and stayed inside them. All trailers have some out gassing of the carpet, glues, flooring, etc., and so do cars. Cars are monitored by the EPA so I've been told, not verified. Out gassing should only be a problem today for those that order a NEW trailer, pick it up and move in immediately. Just remember you're camping, open the windows and enjoy the air.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:01 AM   #6
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Congrats and welcome to the forum. Sounds like you may have gotten a real good trailer. Hope you have many fun and trouble free trips!!!
Tom and Margaret
2014 Berkshire 390bh-60

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Old 05-10-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
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Sounds like yours is in great condition! My wife's sister bought a FEMA trailer, a Cherokee as well, that was still new, never delivered on site, and the quality is not all that great, at least on theirs. It does have a larger refrigerator, and a bigger stove/oven combo, but the bunks in the bedroom are VERY confining, and there's no slideouts, so there isn't a lot of floor space. Also very cheaply made furniture. Randy
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:27 PM   #8
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the cherokee's that were built were standard units not stripped down models like a lot of the other ones. good brand so if the price works you should be happy wth the quality.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:22 PM   #9
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I pick one up at an auction

I just picked one up an I am jazzed.

I was intending to get one that needed work to be used as a hunting camp.

To my surprise I picked one up for 2100 that was in mint condition. I do not think it was even used (if it was used it was for a very short duration). There are no scuffs on the floor and the stove is clean.

It is a Forest River, Bunk House model.

Here is the list of things I will need to repair.
  1. Add floor vents (it looks like someone removed them).
  2. Replace missing lenses on two of the running lights.
  3. Replace the missing mattress in the BR. The bunk mattress were still in plastic.
  4. The vent fan does not turn on.
  5. Put fittings of sewer pipe.
So far the mattress is going to be the big expense unless I add tanks.

I have checked all of the lights, the converter, AC, fridge.
It came with a deep cycle battery and propane tanks. The battery charged right up.

I still need to check the WH and Furnace, both are Suburban models. Although the anode/plug was removed which leads me to believe that the water was at least drained before storage.

After my wife got a look at it, she has decided that it does not need to stay at the farm to much.

I am interested in adding tanks to make it self contained. I looked under it and there is plenty of room.

As far as I can tell the big difference between this trailer and a dealer model is the Porcelain Toilet, Fridge, general finish (not bad but not high end), smaller and less windows (no big deal for a hunting camp) and the lack of tanks.

I looked at the Cavalier models and in my opinion the Forest River model is better. Your right some of them were in pretty bad shape (mold, pets, bullet holes). Others were unused but had water damage from storage.

If anyone has information on how to add tanks please let me know. It looks to be pretty basic plumbing. I am wondering on the best way to solidly mount the tanks.
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:14 AM   #10
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The bath vent in some trailers is controlled by the wall switch
that can also turn on the light. Try the wall switch and make
sure the room light is on then try the vent switch on the fan

Do you have fresh water tank and 12v water pump??

Dan & Rita D
2004 5.3L Silverado 1500 ext. cab 2WD
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch, AirLift load levelers

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41,
2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-38
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