If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know I despise the stigma and stereotype that mobile homes have. I feel it is undeserved, unfair and unjust. In my humble opinion, our homes and all the people in them should be celebrated and honored for living an affordable lifestyle. There are so many great benefits and advantages of manufactured homes. One simply has to review an average family balance sheet to see the most significant advantage.

Ending the stigma and educating others to understand that our homes are safe, worthy and overall great homes has always been a priority here at Mobile & Manufactured Home Living. By sharing all these beautiful mobile homes I feel we are making significant progress, too. Trying to dispel a well known stereotype is like trying to stop a forest fire with a single bucket of water though. There has to be something, besides just rumors, causing the problem. Something that keeps making mobile homes seem like the fire, tornado and trash magnets they are ‘supposed’ to be and, well, I think I’ve found it.

I get Google alert emails once a week. Basically, it’s a weekly list of all the online posts and articles that Google finds with particular keywords I have chosen. Two of my keywords are ‘mobile home‘ and ‘manufactured home.’ I always review these lists in hopes of finding beautiful homes to share. After receiving these emailed alerts for more than a year, I have came to remarkable conclusion.

Journalists are the #1 reason mobile homes have a bad reputation. Yes, journalist, the very people that are supposed to be neutral on all subjects.

Please allow me to explain before you click away or qualify me as a conspiracy nut. First, I should note that I have worked at a weekly newspaper so I understand the process of publishing a small hometown paper. There’s never enough copy to fill all the pages so most editors use fillers. These fillers are often from a free or subscribed service that provides press releases and advertisements disguised as an article. There’s also the public interest stories, cartoons, and non-profit ads. Apparently, there is also the ever significant, ever present mobile home story and it’s most likely going to be about a fire, a murder, a break-in or a fight. These stories are easy enough to write. Heck, all the writers have to do is listen to the scanner, take a trip or even just look on Facebook for a photo and put together the article in less than 30 minutes.

Horror, tragedy and scare tactics sell, too. The public eats this stuff up and loves to read and watch murder shows and mysteries. The journalists are simply giving the public what they want, right? Maybe, then again it all seems very biased to me.  

 It doesn’t matter if 18 stick-built homes caught fire last night, the only one that will get significant coverage will be the one mobile home fire. A murder in the upper end of town may get a small article but you better believe the one in the trailer park is going to get a bigger one.

Out of the 45 articles Google displayed,  6 of them were negative free but of those 6,  2 weren’t even about real mobile homes and 1 was an ad on Craigslist. 34 of those articles were about fires.

The craziest thing about all this is that Foremost Insurance Company shows that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes. According to this study, the number of home fires is 17 per 1,000 for site-built homes, while only 8 per 1,000 for manufactured homes.

Why, then, is mobile homes always associated with fires and negativity? By the way, a Google Alert for stick-built home and house brought up NO fire articles.

I believe this can change. All we have to do is use our voice. Every time you see a local article on FB or on the TV or newspaper about a mobile home fire ask if there was any stick-built home fires the night before and if so, why wasn’t there any coverage on it. Do the same with murders and break-ins.

Of course, we want to be nice and non-judgmental but make the point, get the conversation started and make others wonder the same. There are 18 million of us living in a mobile home and we deserve to have our homes respected and the truth known about them.

As always, thank you for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living.

21 Responses

  1. Wanda Sarvis

    Thank you !! You found a way of expressing how I feel. I have lived in a mobile home since 1980 and have been very happy. I love your site !!

    Reply
    • CrystalMHL

      Thank you Wanda! I appreciate you commenting and reading MMHL!!

      Reply
  2. Kristina

    I think the stigma against mobile homes is why they are so inexpensive. So in a way that is an advantage plus I don't really care about what society thinks.

    Reply
    • CrystalMHL

      That's a good way to look at it Kristina! I shouldn't care and I really don't per se but it's always been one of those topics that is in the back of my head. Of course, since I blog about mobile homes I think about them more often than a normal person..lol.
      Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  3. Shirlee

    Well, I don't get it, why is a crime or fire in a mobile home more news worthy than in any other neighbourhood? The world of journalism isn't doing anything to combat the stigma are they? I think there is still a long way to go but I support your efforts of living within one's means and the benefits of mobile home living 100 %. Love the quote you have at the top of your blog, well said! Too bad more people don't realize that.

    I read a story on My Mobile Home Makeover about a big time Hollywood screenwriter (I think that's what he is) who gave up his mansion and all the maintenance involved and moved into a mobile home in Pasadena. Oprah did a story on him and it's on her website along with a short video tour. Have you read or heard of him? His name is Tom Shadyac. :His home is very nice and he's never been happier. Too bad Madame Oprah had to refer to it as a trailer! Sheesh.

    Have a great weekend! :)

    Reply
    • CrystalMHL

      Hi Shirlee!

      Those mobile home fires are definitely news worthy but I can't understand why stick built homes don't get the same coverage. Not one fire related post came up when I set up an alert for home, stick built home or house. 2 did show up for residential structure.

      I have read about Tom Shadyac and it all made perfect sense to me. I haven't watched the Oprah interview though. She really called it a trailer, huh? Thanks for commenting. I always look forward to hearing from you.

      Reply
  4. Lisa

    Great post! And I agree the stigma is unjustified – My happiest memories were living in a trailer park after my marriage split up and I needed some time out to get back on my feet. In the trailer park I had a community of friendly, caring neighbours, the cheapest home all of my own and had so much fun decorating my simplified living space! The happiness I felt there was the start of my love affair with trailers that saw me start the world's first Vintage Caravan Magazine. Trailer living helped me realise what was really important in life and it's not bigger fancier large screen TV's or brand new furniture that you work your life away to pay back. I happily tell people now that I am "Trailer Treasure"!

    Reply
    • CrystalMHL

      Hi Lisa!
      I'm a big fan of your magazine!! Thanks for taking the time to comment. You're magazine needs to be in every store in the US and I'm confident it will be soon.

      I'm a firm believer in simple and debt-free living. I couldn't imagine working 60 hours a week just to make a house payment. Living in a mobile home is a great way to have a nice house but still be able to live a little. We only have a short time on this earth, why not make the best of it and do what you want!

      Thanks again for taking the time out to comment. I'm honored!

      Reply
  5. MHOA-NJ

    We at Manufactured Home Owners Association of New Jersey love your site and we think you got it right in your editorial. Two thumbs up for Mobile Home Living's positive vibes for our homes and communities.

    Reply
  6. Tena

    Because I live in an older mobile home which we are renovating, as money and time allows, we own our home, our vehicle and carry no credit cards, yet we deal with stigma from people whose debts rule their lives. So happy to have found others with a similar outlook. I would like to post photos of our remodel as it develops.
    My recent post Removing Walls in a Mobile Home

    Reply
  7. Tena

    Because I live in an older mobile home which we are renovating, as money and time allows, we own our home, our vehicle and carry no credit cards, yet we deal with stigma from people whose debts rule their lives. So happy to have found others with a similar outlook. I would like to post photos of our remodel as it develops.
    My recent post Removing Walls in a Mobile Home

    Reply
  8. Tena

    Because I live in an older mobile home which we are renovating, as money and time allows, we own our home, our vehicle and carry no credit cards, yet we deal with stigma from people whose debts rule their lives. So happy to have found others with a similar outlook. I would like to post photos of our remodel as it develops.
    My recent post Removing Walls in a Mobile Home

    Reply
  9. Tena

    Because I live in an older mobile home which we are renovating, as money and time allows, we own our home, our vehicle and carry no credit cards, yet we deal with stigma from people whose debts rule their lives. So happy to have found others with a similar outlook. I would like to post photos of our remodel as it develops.
    My recent post Removing Walls in a Mobile Home

    Reply
  10. Tena

    Because I live in an older mobile home which we are renovating, as money and time allows, we own our home, our vehicle and carry no credit cards, yet we deal with stigma from people whose debts rule their lives. So happy to have found others with a similar outlook. I would like to post photos of our remodel as it develops.
    My recent post Removing Walls in a Mobile Home

    Reply
  11. Tena

    Because I live in an older mobile home which we are renovating, as money and time allows, we own our home, our vehicle and carry no credit cards, yet we deal with stigma from people whose debts rule their lives. So happy to have found others with a similar outlook. I would like to post photos of our remodel as it develops.
    My recent post Removing Walls in a Mobile Home

    Reply
  12. Tena

    Because I live in an older mobile home which we are renovating, as money and time allows, we own our home, our vehicle and carry no credit cards, yet we deal with stigma from people whose debts rule their lives. So happy to have found others with a similar outlook. I would like to post photos of our remodel as it develops.
    My recent post Removing Walls in a Mobile Home

    Reply
  13. CrystalMHL

    Hi Tena!

    We're here and there are a lot of us realizing that affordable, non-debt living equals happier living! I couldn't imagine going back to paying $400-1200 a month for rent again ($400 in WV, 1200 in FL). It blows my mind that we spent so much on renting a home when we could've had a nice mobile home and remodeled and added on to it for less than half.
    We were able to pay our used single wide off in 17 months (personal loan) and now all we have is the payment on the land we're buying. It will be a few more years before that is paid off though. We have no debt in credit cards or car/house payments. We always pay cash for our vehicles and maintain them as long as possible and then buy another when it gets to be unfixable. We don't have to work ourselves to death now though! I work 30 ish hours a week and my husband works 40 and that's it. We want to live life, not work through it..lol Money is tight still though, WV isn't known for high paying jobs but we make due and think we have a good thing going although our remodel is much slower than I anticipated. We've been here 3 years and I thought we'd have a lot more done but layoffs and health scares have been issues and our savings doesn't ever seem to go toward the house..lol

    I would love to feature your home on MMHL. I'm always looking for any kind of updates or remodels! Please keep me in mind!

    Reply
  14. CrystalMHL

    Thank you so much! I love all the manufactured home owners associations through out the nation! You guys keep the bad guys in check and help those that need it. It's an honor to get to 2 thumbs up from you :)

    Reply
  15. Lynn Dollarhide

    I can’t stand it when the media (print, TV or online) can’t tell the difference between a mobile home, a trailer, a travel trailer, a motorhome or other kinds of RV. The AP ought to issue them guidelines on what is what!

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      That’s a good point Lynn! It’s obvious that journalists have gotten lazy and aren’t doing their homework and we aren’t holding them to the standards that they should be held too. I’ve seen them call Rv’s mobile homes and manufactured homes RV’s…it’s maddening…lol!!

      Reply

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