How to Recondition FEMA Travel Trailers

by Mark Spowart
Recondition a FEMA trailer into a camper trailer.

Recondition a FEMA trailer into a camper trailer.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is responsible for responding and coordinating government services during times of natural disasters. In some cases, FEMA will arrange for temporary shelter using trailers to house displaced residents. When no longer being used, these trailers can be purchased by individuals. Reconditioning these trailers requires a fair amount of work, but once done, you will have trailer that fits your design and decorating style.

1. Strip out the old materials and furnishings from the FEMA trailer. If you are completely renovating the trailer, then you want to strip the trailer to its bare walls.

2. Inspect the wiring, plumping, gas lines and insulation. Look for signs of rot, mold, mildew on the walls or insulation. Inspect the wires and gas lines for any signs of damage, which may result in requiring them to be replaced. Install new insulation or add to the insulation that is present in the trailer.

3. Install new flooring into the trailer. Once you determine the use of your trailer, you can choose between using a durable carpet designed for trailers or linoleum flooring that is easy to wash and keep clean.

4. Reattach the existing wall panels or install new wall panels into the trailer. If using the existing wall panels, first paint or wall paper them to fit your color theme for the trailer.

5. Install new or reconditioned fixtures inside the trailer to match your design plan. Depending on your budget, you can install new fixtures or second-hand fixtures. Connect lights to existing wiring, and install a stove, fridge and washroom into the trailer.

6. Purchase or make drapery, seat and bedding covers for the trailer. Inspect the foam used in the bedding and seats, remove and replace if needed. Complete any final treatments to finish off your FEMA trailer and it will be ready to be used.

About the Author

Since 2002 Mark Spowart has been working as a freelance writer and photographer in London, Canada. He has publication credits for writing and/or photography in Canada, The United States, Europe and Norway, with such titles as "The Globe & Mail," "The National Post," Canada News Wire, Sun Media and "Business Edge" magazine.

Photo Credits

  • Andy Reynolds/Lifesize/Getty Images