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Author Topic: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?  (Read 6987 times)

rangerr47

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Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« on: April 05, 2011, 10:41:19 AM »
I would prefer this remain on subject of cost and not the pros and cons of having/buying a FEMA trailer if possible.

How much would it cost to get one of the 32' FEMA trailers travel ready? Ballpark is fine, are we talking $500? $2000?

Im just looking to see what the total to get one fully travel ready will be around. They are going for $2900 right now and from looking around you cant get a '96 18' for under 4-5k and this is beat up. 32' are $10k+ up to 20 years old....

Paul & Ann

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 11:00:19 AM »
I believe that the biggest cost would be the labor to install the tanks.  If that is something you are able to do yourself, my guess you would be able to save about two thirds of the over all costs.  I would start by looking at the prices of the sizes of the tanks you want, the hoses and pipes to make connections, add the price of a water pump, and straps and hangers to hold the tanks in place.  I would guess that all the materials needed would be in the $1000 range.  If you have to hire the labor, that would cost an additional $1000 to $2000 to the overall cost.

Hope this gives you are starting point.

Paul

Ned

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 11:19:46 AM »
Are the FEMA trailers built to allow for adding holding tanks?
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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rangerr47

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 02:55:59 PM »
Ok, that was the ballpark I was thinking.

I have seen posts about people doing this very thing, so I would think you could add all this to these easy enough. But would be reassuring to hear from somebody who has done this to one of these. And if so anything else they ended up having to do to get one travel ready would be good to know.

Irocrcr

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 07:54:06 PM »
Depending on if you do the work yourself is the big question on price...  One other thing to consider when looking at a FEMA trailer is that most of them were built with no 12 volt system.  Which means, unless you can plug the trailer in all the time, or always run a generator, you will have no power at all inside your trailer.  My friend was looking onto doing the exact thing you are talking about, but after researching it, he concluded it was a much better idea to spend a little extra money and get an actual travel trailer, not a quickly made mobile home. He went and looked at a couple of them and said the build quality was pretty poor on the ones he looked at.  He ended up buying a 98 26' Terry TT for around $5000 that is in real decent shape...
Bryan, Jane, and Jack (7 year old)
2007 Chevrolet 2500hd, Duramax/Allison, Crew Cab, 4wd
1998 Chevrolet K1500, 5.7ltr, 3.73 gears
1998  Aerolite seven 25' fifth wheel

PancakeBill

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 07:59:12 PM »
Lots of stuff to modify and change.  I would guess the cost would be close to the cost of the trailer. 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 08:31:40 PM »
Like the others, I suspect there will be a lot of little things to add/modify. Tanks - and the plumbing to them - is a large one, as is the 12v and battery/converter/charger system. But as a DIY project, you can probably make the overhaul economic, assuming you find a trailer that is in good shape (many were abused or even outright trashed).

I think you are overestimating the cost of buying a good used one, though. It takes a lot of scouting around, but there are plenty of decent trailers out there in the $5000-$8000 range. Private sales may be the best bet.
Gary
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kymedic

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2011, 06:42:11 AM »
 I say you are right in line with the $1000 estimate. I have a 32' Gulf stream cavalier and have looked into doing exactly what you are talking about. One way I figured to save some money was to only install 2 tanks. A 50 gallon fresh water tank and a 60 gallon black tank. Locate the black tank directly below the toilet and change it over to a normal RV toilet. Install fresh water tank anywhere convenient and then plumb into existing water system. My trailer has a complete 12v system with charger and everything else needed. I added 2 golf cart batteries and can survive without shore power or running the generator for a few days. I haven't added the tanks but instead I use a portable 40 gallon waste water tank. When it gets full i hook it to my UTV and take it to the dump station, 1 added bonus is I do not have to break camp to empty the tank. Every campground I use has water and electric so I am not worried about doing the conversion any time soon.
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 Quad Cab, 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel 35" Mud tires.
2006 Gulf Stream Cavalier 32' former FEMA trailer.

rangerr47

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2011, 08:31:28 AM »
Thanks for the replies, Im not in a huge hurry but will more than likely get something in the next month or 2 for sure. I looked at the FEMA trailers at one place and out of the 10 , 2 were rough, 4 were used but fairly clean, and the other 4 were unlived in and spotless, you would be surprised how many were never used and available still.

Im scouring the web and have several on the lookout for used trailers around town. And for the most part they are hard to find at a decent price and in half decent shape. But once in a while one jumps out. And to be honest I would prefer a shorter camper, maybe 18'.  But regardless of the horror stories, which I only believe some and the rest I think are just internet regurgitated ones, I think at $2900 for a brand new 32' basic camper you can end up just fine. Most stories by folks that actually bought one are positive. I am keeping an open mind and will continue to look for now, but its good to know for $4000 that option is well, an option.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 08:33:35 AM by rangerr47 »

PancakeBill

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2011, 09:34:56 AM »
Might not be any left, but there were FEMA trailers with all the hookups.  These may have been the first ones out, using exosting stock.  When I was at Lazy Days we bought about a 100 of them at auction, some were slightly used others never used, but we didn't take any that were plumbed for not moving. 

Good luck with the project.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

LeeAustin

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2012, 04:03:17 PM »
I know this is an old topic but it still comes up in searches so I'm going to add my info...

I bought a 2005 Gulfstream Cavalier 32' FEMA trailer about a year ago.  We used it in a few of the Texas State Parks that had sewer hookups but that's a small percentage.  I bought 3 36 gallon tanks on eBay from tri-state-rock-your-world.  They were $50 each plus $50 shipping each so $300 total.  These were 3 identical blank tanks.  I used 1 for black water and 2 for gray water.  I did not install a fresh water tank or pumps.  Its too hot most of the year in Texas to camp anywhere without electricity to run the AC, and where there's Electric there's also water (not not frequently sewer).

These tanks fit under the trailer with their long side going from side to side under the trailer with just enough room for a 3" 90 degree elbow.  I used some angle steel (fairly thin, not angle iron) that had round and oval holes along it.  Self tapping screws attached those rails to the trailer rails.  I bought the steel at Home Depot.  The black tank is as far back as it can go under the trailer.  Slightly wedged between a cross bad.  The toilet dumps straight into it.  The trick to this tank is venting it.  I vented mine by removing the bathtub, bringing a vent pipe up from the tank through the floor under the tub, and then tied into the original vent pipe.  I think I took a few pictures I might be able to find if anybody wants them.

The 2 gray tanks are next to each other and still behind the axles.  They are plumbed together.  So one valve can drain both gray water tanks and the other valve drains the black water tank.

Valterra Dual tank dump valve $29.95 on eBay. 

Of course I bought a bunch of PVS, glue, etc. 

I bought a 3 tank monitoring panel for about $25 on eBay.  I only put sensors on the black tank and 1 of the 2 gray tanks since they're tied together.

I probably spent around $500 - $550 all total to install the tanks.  An RV shop quoted me at least $2000 and that was with me already having the tanks!

I originally left the household type flush toilet but recently replaced it with a travel trailer type.   
Dometic Sealand 302310071 Model 310 China Toilet White (320879858848) (about $150 including shipping on eBay)

I added this so I have hot water at the campsite without having to use my propane and mess with switching it on and off.

Hot Shot Lightning Rod RV water heater kit 110 volt (280856827999) $69 from rvtoyboys

I found a 21' awning for $50 on CraigsList that had some holes in the first foot of awning from the sun.  But I cut a foot off and put a new seam in it and it works great!

I bought 1 baggage door to open up under the bunk beds from the outside, but I bolted a pickup truck aluminum toolbox to the back bumper with some angle iron and never installed the baggage door (I should post that for sale some day).

I also recently painted it to look like stage 1 of a Saturn V rocket!

teetaw259

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2012, 09:48:58 AM »
There has been an ad in Craigslist for East Texas/Tyler for some time from a place who does the total conversion for $1500. If you are anywhere nearby. Good luck.

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2012, 10:30:57 AM »
Sounds like a excellent job. Lots of labor, though. Include the time spent designing the upgrades, obtaining parts & materials, etc. plus the actual installation labor and you have done a lot of work   Pay yourself $100/hour for your expertise and tools as well as the actual labor and you saved a tidy sum by doing it all yourself.
Gary
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2004 American Tradition
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PancakeBill

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2012, 08:53:19 AM »
How about some photos!
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

CARLEN

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2013, 09:39:07 PM »
HELLO I WOULD LOVE TO SEE PICTURES OF YOUR HOLDING TANKS AND THE OUTSIDE GRAPHICS OF YOUR CAMPER I JUST BOUGHT A 06 GULF STREAM CAVALIER NEVER BEEN USED THANKS FOR YOUR TIME

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Cost to add all 3 tanks with pumps etc to FEMA trailer?
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2013, 10:17:02 AM »
Carlen,
LeeAustin's message is a year old and he hasn't been back here since, so he probably will not see your request for photos. Maybe somebody else has some, though.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL