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Dozens of trailers, previously owned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are scheduled for auction this week in North Augusta, S.C. Local RV dealers say the market is now “flooded” with the trailers, and they want consumers to do their research.
Earl Allen, of CSRA Camperland, says the trailers are simply not designed for recreational travel, even though they are often sold that way. Most of the FEMA units, he adds, do not have onboard water and waste storage tanks. Without those tanks, many state parks will not allow the campers to be used.
The trailer auction is completely legal, and actually facilitated by government wholesalers. However, many of the units have been stored in the Gulf Coast since 2005, and may contain chemical and mold dangers, government reports suggest, WRDW-TV, August, reported.
WRDW was invited to view the trailers during a previous auction, and did notice several areas of mold and rot within the walls of the trailers. Not all units, however, showed outward signs of damage.
“I’d say 90% of these units have some sort of damage on the roof, that is already causing rot, if not, they soon will,” says Allen. “We had a customer come in requesting that we install an awning on his (FEMA) trailer, and we discovered that the roof was rotted in places. We had to tell him,”
The trailers auction and resale for about $2,000 to $6,000 each, lot owners say. At least one used car dealer, who bought two of the units, admits they have been difficult to resell.
Allen says the professional association that represents most of the RV dealers in the area protested the sales before government leaders. Meanwhile, this latest auction is scheduled for this week, with similar auctions happening in several other regional cities.