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Old 03-06-2012, 04:45 PM   #1
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Florida anchoring (tie down) requirements

Hello all. I recently purchased a 2006 30' Forest River Wildwood bunkhouse trailer that was a previous fema trailer. I have completely removed everything from the interior, and intend to use it for storage on my property in central eastern Florida. I checked with local code enforcement and was OKed to have it providing I abide by setback regulations.

Next I went to my county building dept to secure a " tie down" permit, to secure trailer against strong Florida winds. Building inspector told me I needed to get "tie down" (anchoring) specifications from trailer manufacturer. I have been on computer/telephone all day and have not gathered any info regarding Forest River specifications regarding tie down/anchoring their trailers. Can anyone help provide me some info or document that could help me get my permit for anchoring this trailer? I'm at a point now that I don't know what to do. I would sure appreciate any help or advise anyone could provide. Thanks, Mike.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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Mike,
I think your "building instector" is assuming that ALL "trailers" have tie down specs....which I assume are points along the trailers frame specifically made to attach your tie down cables to. Since "house trailers" probably have these points I think that's what he's talking about. Since "travel trailers" are not really intended to be "parked" for any length of time, I don't believe you will find that info from any travel trailer manufacturer.
Maybe you can check with a commercial "house trailer" mover and ask if there is any "special" way to tie down a specific type of trailer that is acceptable in Florida. Maybe thay have some experience with setting up travel trailers in campgrounds that offer permanant sites.
Or, call a few campgrounds in your area and see if they offer permanant sites and who they recomend to anchor the trailers down and call them.

Sorry I can't be of more help. Just throwing out suggestions.

Good luck!!
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:16 PM   #3
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Thanks rracer5, that sounds like a possible source of info. I'll give that a try. I wonder if Forest River ever printed directions on securing their units. I couldn't get anywhere searching for something like that. Thanks, Mike.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:36 PM   #4
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personally i would criss cross tie downs side to side on the front and the rear as we do when hauling equipment . angle the right front ratchet strap slightly forward and towards left side and do the same for the other side from left to right . then repeat on the rear angling back some .
when hooking on the frame hook closest to a floor joist .

checking with the manufacture may not lend you any info . but maybe ?
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:39 PM   #5
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Unfortunatly, I think the building inspector is going to be a PIA in this case. He's looking for specs from the manufacturer on where EXACTLY AND HOW To attach the tie down cables.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:08 PM   #6
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Unfortunatly, I think the building inspector is going to be a PIA in this case. He's looking for specs from the manufacturer on where EXACTLY AND HOW To attach the tie down cables.
Regretfully, I think you may be right about that. When I originally went to building dept this morning, I brought copy of my original home site plan with trailer location drawn in, with all setback measurements, trailer measurements, etc. I also had separate page showing side view and end view of trailer with anchor/strap locations (10) shown, and anchor depths (4'). That did not satisfy him. He's looking for another entity (manufacturer) to show specifics for him to go by.

I'm still on line searching for something I can bring to him. I came across this, http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/Forms/BMHRV/15C1Finl.pdf , and although this is geared up for larger mobil home type of securing, it looks like I'll have to try and draw something up using these much more stringent regulations for my situation. At least I'll be confident in knowing that if a hurricane comes and blows my 145mph rated home away, I can always move into the trailer that will surely still be fine.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:59 PM   #7
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Yes the frame might be there. Youroo!!
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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Looks like you are on the right track -
When the company I work for was trying to install booths at a particular location we had to get an engineer in that was licensed to do Nertal or something like that because the booth manufacture didnt have the cert on the booth.

I can tell you that the City of Orlando Building / permiting department can be a pain to deal with.

One of the things I noticed is this

"In absence of the original manufacturer’s installation instructions
the anchoring system shall be designed by a professional engineer or architect, licensed in the State of Florida, to comply with Manufactured Home Installation in Flood Hazard Areas, FEMA 85/September
1985, incorporated by reference above."
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:39 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=sherdep;167350]Looks like you are on the right track -
When the company I work for was trying to install booths at a particular location we had to get an engineer in that was licensed to do Nertal or something like that because the booth manufacture didnt have the cert on the booth.

I can tell you that the City of Orlando Building / permiting department can be a pain to deal with.

One of the things I noticed is this

"In absence of the original manufacturer’s installation instructions
the anchoring system shall be designed by a professional engineer or architect, licensed in the State of Florida, to comply with Manufactured Home Installation in Flood Hazard Areas, FEMA 85/September
1985, incorporated by reference above."[/QUOTE]



Ohhhh boy......hope it doesn't come to this but, it looks like it might.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:56 PM   #10
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If it does come to that then it could get to costly cause engineers are not cheap

depending on his situation - why even get a permit to put the camper on your property perminent - just park it and tie it down - the only time they will hassle you is if someone complains usually

I realize you are trying to do the "Right" thing but sometimes the permitting department's make it more difficult to do the right thing and people just do as they please. Hope that came out right lol
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:00 AM   #11
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Looks like you are on the right track -
When the company I work for was trying to install booths at a particular location we had to get an engineer in that was licensed to do Nertal or something like that because the booth manufacture didnt have the cert on the booth.

I can tell you that the City of Orlando Building / permiting department can be a pain to deal with.

One of the things I noticed is this

"In absence of the original manufacturer’s installation instructions
the anchoring system shall be designed by a professional engineer or architect, licensed in the State of Florida, to comply with Manufactured Home Installation in Flood Hazard Areas, FEMA 85/September
1985, incorporated by reference above."
Yea, I saw that in there, which makes me hesitate to even bring that up to the local building dept.

I thought about just putting it in place and tying it now, but my insurance co., would cancel me in a heartbeat once they see it there without approval from building dept, and they send people around every year to check your exterior premises. Also, God forbid, if a hurricane did come through here and blow this trailer into someone else's home, I think I could be looking at some big problems.

It's starting to look like I may have to scrap my plans and just sell trailer and try to recover some of my costs. I see now that I should have checked into this whole project more thoroughly before buying it. I really had no idea that it would be so involved or expensive. I figured I would get trailer, secure it to the ground in a way that would be obviously overkill, and be done with it. Looks like common sense is not going to prevail in this case.

I'm not giving up just yet though, and will continue today to see if I can get some info that will get this thing done.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:14 AM   #12
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I'll assure you----------

Forest River has the Tie Down specs. Use the same outside size of your FEMA unit to obtain specs from FR for a like size TT.
I went through the same thing in Putnam County in Florida. I purchased a MFG home (AKA DOUBLE WIDE) that had been repo by the bank. When it was all said and done, I used tie down specs for a newer MFG house that was the same size (1680 SQ FT). I had it installed on a weekend lake property near Gainesville. I had to use a mobile home mover/ tie down company to anchor it to the ground. Because of the new laws for hurricanes there is a lot involved. Contact a local mobile home sales place for info for a company or the yellow pages.

All I can say is "good luck on your Endeavor"
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:51 AM   #13
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Hey Mike, just put everything back in it and come camping with the rest of us.

As you can see, there are a lot of good people here and we would love to have you amoung us.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:25 PM   #14
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Hey Mike, just put everything back in it and come camping with the rest of us.

As you can see, there are a lot of good people here and we would love to have you amoung us.
Sounds like a lot of fun. I'm going to try again to reach Forest River for type of info I can give my local building inspector. Thank you all for the help. Sure appreciate it. Mike
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:36 AM   #15
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Is there anyone out there that recalls receiving any, or has tie-down (anchoring) directions when they purchased their Forest River trailer?
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:21 AM   #16
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If it was an rv (which it is) just parked in your yard until you take another camping trip with it, you wouldn't have to tie it down. So why do you have to tie it down to store junk in it?
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:37 PM   #17
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If it was an rv (which it is) just parked in your yard until you take another camping trip with it, you wouldn't have to tie it down. So why do you have to tie it down to store junk in it?
Since I planned to use it for storage, I guess inspector wants it secured like a storage shed. Thing is, he tells me to get manufacturers' anchoring procedure, and I just received email from Forest River that there isn't any anchoring procedure for this trailer.

This isn't looking good at all here. I was thinking of getting it registered and just putting it on my property and securing it the way I feel would be good, but presents another problem. When I bought it, seller wrote me a "bill of sale", and I can't find any vin numbers on trailer, which will make it impossible to register. Do they place vin numbers in any hidden spots that anyone knows of? I'm starting to think I just wasted a lot of money.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:05 PM   #18
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I wouldn't think there are any tie down proceedures as it was never meant to be tied down. There are state and local codes for strapping mobile homes as far a anchor size, spacing, etc that whoever is inspecting should know.
As for a vin number, check the protruding tongue area for a stamped vin.
You only need a tag/ registration to make it legal for use on the highway, but I know the kind of crosses the whole idea of calling it a mobile camping trailer.
I do understand your concerns with it being far enough away from property lines and such, but who said in the first place that it had to be strapped down?
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