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Old 06-26-2015, 12:23 AM   #1
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Travel Trailer (Park Model) in FL - Tie Downs - help!

Sorry if this has been covered before, but I am so frazzled (hence my username) and really need advice/input from you all.

I just bought a Travel Trailer (Park Model) that I am going to use at a RV lot.

Someone informed me to call the county for a tie down permit - I called them and they informed me that if I plan to tie it down it then makes my travel trailer a "permanent" structure and I will have to pay $7,000 to do this. To tie it down, they pull a mobile home residential building permit and the hefty fees goes to schools, police, fire etc.

I told her that this is not a mobile home - the title clearly states that it is a "travel trailer". They said that the closest thing that have for this fee is "mobile home" and it would fall in that category anyway (even though it is NOT a mobile home).

FYI - the RV place doesn't even allow mobile homes or manufactured homes, but they allow park models of course as it is a travel trailer.

I informed them that I would only want to tie it down just in case if a hurricane /strong winds happened to keep it from moving around and it may be moved half the year to somewhere else, depending on where we go. They told me that if it is going to be considered temporary and we don't tie it down, then it won't be considered permanent and we won't have to pay the fee.

This makes no sense to me. The tie downs only go into the dirt and is not permanent like cement. The only purpose is to prevent the thing from flying around in high winds.

When I told them it wasn't a mobile home, they basically said "it's the same thing if you tie it down" because that is the "closest category" that they have. The wheels and axles stay on the park model, unlike a mobile home.

Can anyone shed some light on their experience with this? Someone told me to just tie it down anyway for safety of the vehicle AND for the others in the park next to me. I don't want to do anything that will get me in big trouble just because I want things to be safe.

Any input would greatly help. Thank you.


PS - if you would feel more comfortable answering me privately and not publicly, please feel free to send me a private message instead. Thank you.
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:28 AM   #2
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here in cali ive been told that mobile homes and factory homes and the like are exempt from the house type fees(school ect) because you can put wheels on them and move them. id just put in a park and fudge em in later. claim ignorance if some inspector pokes his head in. just built a 2 story house in the phillipines. now they're wantin $20 a year property taxes. the nerve of some governments...
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:55 AM   #3
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Same as Crockett. I would do it myself or hire a mobile home mover to put them down but if you are really going to move it might be handy to have the drill or whatever they use.

Put them by the stabilizers and could make a decorated cover. What people don't know won't hurt them. If they do raise a big stink I would play dumb and cut the straps with tin snips before paying that kind of money.

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Old 06-26-2015, 06:32 AM   #4
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I would do it and call them "stabilizing enhancers", there not there to "tie it down", they are there to help stabilize the "travel trailer"!
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:49 AM   #5
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I would do it and call them "stabilizing enhancers", there not there to "tie it down", they are there to help stabilize the "travel trailer"!
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frazzled View Post
Sorry if this has been covered before, but I am so frazzled (hence my username) and really need advice/input from you all.

I just bought a Travel Trailer (Park Model) that I am going to use at a RV lot.

Someone informed me to call the county for a tie down permit - I called them and they informed me that if I plan to tie it down it then makes my travel trailer a "permanent" structure and I will have to pay $7,000 to do this. To tie it down, they pull a mobile home residential building permit and the hefty fees goes to schools, police, fire etc.

I told her that this is not a mobile home - the title clearly states that it is a "travel trailer". They said that the closest thing that have for this fee is "mobile home" and it would fall in that category anyway (even though it is NOT a mobile home).

FYI - the RV place doesn't even allow mobile homes or manufactured homes, but they allow park models of course as it is a travel trailer.

I informed them that I would only want to tie it down just in case if a hurricane /strong winds happened to keep it from moving around and it may be moved half the year to somewhere else, depending on where we go. They told me that if it is going to be considered temporary and we don't tie it down, then it won't be considered permanent and we won't have to pay the fee.

This makes no sense to me. The tie downs only go into the dirt and is not permanent like cement. The only purpose is to prevent the thing from flying around in high winds.

When I told them it wasn't a mobile home, they basically said "it's the same thing if you tie it down" because that is the "closest category" that they have. The wheels and axles stay on the park model, unlike a mobile home.

Can anyone shed some light on their experience with this? Someone told me to just tie it down anyway for safety of the vehicle AND for the others in the park next to me. I don't want to do anything that will get me in big trouble just because I want things to be safe.

Any input would greatly help. Thank you.


PS - if you would feel more comfortable answering me privately and not publicly, please feel free to send me a private message instead. Thank you.

We keep a fifth wheel as a seasonal in at ORA Melbourne Beach, Brevard County. The ORA requires that Park Models and fifth wheels be tied down. All of which hang normal license plates that you find on any RV. No additional taxes or fees. There are likely many independents you can find that will do this for you as there are so many trailers in FL.
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:05 AM   #7
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We just bought a park model in Arizona this spring that was set up move in ready. The basic unit is under 400 sq ft with a full awning and a 375 sq ft addition located in a resort. It all skirted in and looks permanent but it has a title to it. We pay an annual lot fee and taxes on it. I guess my question is does this park model turn in to permanent structure with the mods done to it or is it still a TT/park model?
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:10 PM   #8
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If you're tying it down because of wind damage,,,,,I would say, don't bother. If you're in it during high winds strong enough to move it,,,,you should be in a storm shelter before that happens. Also if you tie it down,,,,,,your tires are sure going to age quickly. But if you aren't travelling,,,I guess that makes no difference. What about floods,,,,,are you in a flood plain where you would need to evacuate quickly?
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:54 PM   #9
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I think this may be another thread of interest to you: Florida anchoring (tie down) requirements

Welcome to Florida - where common sense was outlawed long ago! If I had to guess from my experiences working for a very large general contractor here in Florida over the last 17 years (before retirement), I would say you are most likely in South Florida, possibly Miami-Dade or Broward County. If so, then yes, they are total idiots!

First, I assume you'll only have your TT in Florida outside the normal hurricane season. Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30. As a general rule, it's quite rare to see storms outside that window - rare enough that on large construction projects here (I'm talking $100,000,000 +), most contractors only carry builders' risk insurance during that 6 month window. It's simply too expensive to carry it year round! That said, all you're looking to tie your TT down for is the normal day to day Florida weather, not hurricane force winds. Does the park you're in require tie downs? If so, what are their requirements? If not, my suggestion would be to forget the county, get the stuff and tie it down yourself. They should be simply sand anchors that turn into the ground using an auger or something similar. If nothing else, just call one of the locals who do that sort of work - they'll know exactly what to say to the county and they should go get any permits that are required. You don't want to deal with the building departments down there - I have personally waited over a year for a permit in Miami-Dade! The folks who told you to go get a permit are most likely year round residents.

Not an answer really, but hope this little bit of insight will help. If you do have to talk to the county, be sure to find an 18 year old girl, dress her up like a streetwalker and tell her to lean way over the counter when she meets with them. That's the only thing that works down there!
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:08 PM   #10
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Could you just have tie downs ready to be hooked up in case of hurricanes?


I plan to tie down then & fill the water tanks & pray that the trailer, house & vehicles make it thru like every other year (although the next hurricane will be our first as TT owners so will need those tie downs so we can have battery operated AC to live in when the house electric goes out as it has with every good hurricane season)
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