1978 single wide living room after makeover

About Mobile Home Living

About Mobile Home Living 1

Hello! welcome to Mobile Home Living®!

We’re America’s most popular resource for mobile home remodeling and decorating ideas. We feature house tours and share expert advice on all things mobile home.

Living small is nothing new. Mobile homes were the original tiny home and started the simple living movement decades ago.

Mobile homes can be just as beautiful as any traditional home and we are proving it with every home we share. We’re so glad you’re here and hope you join our little mobile home movement.

Mobile homes were the original tiny home and started the simple living movement decades ago.


About Crystal Adkins, the Creator of Mobile Home Living®

Hi! I’m Crystal Adkins, the creator of Mobile Home Living.

I hope Mobile Home Living is a welcoming and informative resource for you. I wanted Mobile Home Living to be a place where we can all be proud of our homes, share helpful tips and advice on manufactured housing, and support each other with positivity and love.

I try my best to offer articles that are relevant and helpful to all manufactured homeowners. I take the advocacy of manufactured homes seriously because our homes, and all of us living in them, deserve to be respected.


Growing Up 

I was raised in Southern West Virginia by a single father that worked in the same underground coal mine for 40 years. He taught me a lot and had me rebuilding old cars in the garage with him my entire childhood. We lived in a single wide mobile home until I was 8 and then he bought a brand new 1986 model Redman Homes double wide and had it setup on top of a mountain up at the end of a dirt road 2 miles long (we call them hollers but the rest of the world calls them hollows). 

Yes, I’m a coal miner’s daughter named Crystal Gail (all ya’ll country music fans should get that reference).

I’ve been with Joe for 22 years and we have a 15-year-old daughter named Livingston Grace, Liv for short.


Starting Mobile Home Living

I started Mobile Home Living shortly after we bought a 1978 single wide in 2011.

After we moved in, I searched for examples of mobile home remodels on Google but I didn’t find much. I figured if I was looking for these things and wanted to hear other homeowner’s stories about simple, debt-free living there were others that may be interested too.

I saw a void and figured I would try to fill it.

Luckily, I have lived in a mobile or manufactured home just about my entire life and my husband has been a master plumber for over 20 years. In addition to our own repairs, I’ve helped him with dozens of mobile home repair and improvement projects over the years. I can also pick the brains of our many construction friends when needed.

I can’t help but think this was all meant to be.


Over the last 8 years, Mobile Home Living evolved into what you see today. This site is now the most popular manufactured home repair, remodeling, and decorating resource online (besides Pinterest, of course).

I think it’s important that manufactured homes be seen in a positive light. Manufactured housing is one of the nation’s most affordable housing options and they’ve given me a place to call home for over 40 years. 

Issues we Want to Change

Unfortunately, there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed.

The biggest issue is that parks are raising their rent too much. One well-known park owner said we should always expect a 3%  lot rent increase every year. He then went on to say that they are raising their rents to be equal to the price of apartments. Parks are not apartments. If we wanted to pay apartment prices we’d live in an apartment. 

The second issue regards warranties that aren’t honored. The notorious blame game has to go!

Lastly, I believe installation needs to be better regulated, I’ve read that 80% of all warranty complaints are due to improper installation. It’s vital to have the home setup properly for a long life span. 

Also, our elders and low income families need to be better protected when parks close. 

Our 1978 Single Wide Mobile Home Makeover

Here’s our 1978 Homette single wide in the coalfields of Southern West Virginia before its very affordable makeover. We still have a lot of work ahead of us but I’m very happy with it so far.

The entire home had its original, unpainted paneling but the ceiling and flooring had been modified. The home had a brand new metal roof installed the year before. The bones were good but the plumbing system was a total mess.

The kitchen and dining room when we first bought our home:

kitchen before makeover


The kitchen and dining room when we bought the 1978 single wide.

kitchen counter before makeover


The kitchen when we first bought the home.

We built the deck quickly after we moved in:

mobile home before painting the siding


1978 Homette single wide, 12’x58′ – our home sweet home.

Then we painted the siding, you can read about here. We have lot more great plans!

mobile home after painting siding


Our 1978 Homette, where Mobile Home Living started, after we painted the siding.

Here’s our living room now. I joke that my favorite style is ‘Pinterest’ cause there’s just so many great ideas there!

1978 single wide living room after makeover


Living room.

living room after makeover


Living room.

 Izzy, the Boston Terrier wonder dog, is a sweetheart!

The kitchen needs a lot more work. New paint and floors made a huge improvement.

kitchen after makeover


It’s an end-kitchen!

We have about a half an acre on the outskirts of a small WV town. Here’s our backyard:

mobile home livings headquarters - backyard


View from the back porch.

Mobile Home Living headquarters - backyard 2


Another view from the back porch.

Mobile Home Living headquarters - front yard


The view from the front door.


1965 Airstream

We also have a 1965 Airstream Safari that we’ve been slowly refurbishing. The interior is about 85% finished but I need a couple of pieces of skin (aluminum) replaced so if you know anyone that has a 1968 model or older with a few panels of aluminum in good shape let me know! It has to be a 1968 or older because that’s the last year they used the high shine aluminum.


1965 Airstream Safari Interior 3

Let's start a movement that shows the world what real mobile home living is all about.

Mobile Home Living’s Mission

The mission of MHL is simple – to provide mobile and manufactured home remodeling and decorating ideas, home improvement help, and other relevant information for all makes and models of factory-built homes.

Affordable housing is needed more than ever and these homes are not the tin-cans that some people think of – they are real homes built with the same framing and roofing that stick-built homes have. They just happen to be placed on a steel chassis with wheels.

If you don’t own a manufactured home, I hope we’ve given you a closer look at the homes and a better understanding of them. Our latest articles are a great place to start:


Livi and I


Crystal Adkins and her daughter Liv.

Thank you so much for stopping by,

Crystal Adkins, Founder Mobile Home Living

28 thoughts on “About Mobile Home Living”

  1. Hi Crystal

    I really appreciate all the information you have for those of us living in mobile homes! Lots of in-depth articles on everything it seems except electrical. Yet I know through searching to find answers to my own electrical issues that many would appreciate learning all we can about wiring runs and type of wiring in mobile homes.
    I have a 1997 fleetwood double wide. I have a problem in my circuit 2 A and B. It started as a light suddenly stop working in the small bedroom adjacent to the bathroom. My one and only exterior plug by the back door off the service entrance worked intermittently, now not at all. Then two other plugs stopped working, including the one under the house adjacent to the hot water heater. Other plugs on the circuit still works as do the rest of the lights.
    My plug in tester says i have an open neutral… Ive taken apart all the plugs and put new ones in. Still have the problem.
    Do any of your readers have a clue what’s going on or where to look?
    Where can i find a diagram of the wiring runs?
    Any help would be much appreciated!

    1. Hi Karen,

      Thank you for the kind words! You’re right, there are no articles on electricity for two reasons: I’m a plumber’s wife/helper and know very little about electricity and I haven’t been able to find an expert to help write articles. I can switch out fixtures and outlets/switches but that’s about it.

      Since this issue appears to be around your water features, if could be the rfid/water cutoff switch (I hope I got those letters in the right order). Ive seen this several times in our rentals where the exterior outlet wouldn’t work unless I went to the bathroom and reset it. It seems like those outlets go bad quickly.

      To get better help please join our Mobile Home Living: Remodels and Repairs Facebook Group and ask your question there (I’m on the phone and can’t link easily).

      Best of luck!

  2. Crystal – are you, or someone you know, able to tell who manufactured a mobile / manufactured homeroom exterior photographs? I am possibly looking to purchase one that was built “about 1977″ Does have the HUD plate on the exterior ” HWC 00-859″. I have some exterior photographs if you have a way for me to send them. Thank you Peter ( Minnesota)

    1. Hi Peter,

      I may be able to help but your best bet would probably be in a Facebook group about vintage mobile homes or just manufactured homes in general. That way you can have many people looking at it and someone is bound to know. The Mobile Home Living: Remodels and Repairs group has 4k members and there are some other groups with even more members. Ask to join and then post an image of the home asking if anyone knows the builder. I do know that HWC stands for Hilborn, Werner, Carter & Associates, Inc., an inspection company that inspected the home at the factory. Usually, there is a state abbreviation right after the first 3 letters that say what state it was built in but yours seems to be missing that. This article tells a little more about mobile home serial numbers.

    1. Hi Monica,

      I’m not knowledgeable about electricity but you may just have kicked the GFCI protections which is required anywhere there is water. Try pushing the reset buttons on all GFCI outlets throughout the home (kitchen, bath, laundry and even your outside outlets should have them). If that doesn’t work, try kicking/resetting the breaker for the exterior circuit and see if that helps. That’s all I know to do besides calling a professional.

      Best of luck!

  3. Hi Crystal…. Do you know where I could get financing for a 1989 double wide home? I was told that my manufacturing home was too old. It need some work (a lots of work) but I can pay for it all at once. Need a new roof, walls need repairing due to the house sifted or the ground shifted. So much needs to be done…. Thank you

    1. Hi Patri,

      There are a few places that will finance older homes like 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, and Cascade. If you’ll Google ‘Companies that finance older mobile homes’ you will find about 10 or so and then Google it again using your state/town to get the local mortgage brokers.

      Best of luck!

  4. Love your articles – many helpful tips. “House shaming,” is a part of our culture. I am a senior citizen, live debt free in a single wide, on 2 acres of land. Living debt free was a goal, after a divorce and starting over. I have upgraded roof, windows, carpet through the years. Value my independence, ability to take care of my property. So nice. Keep up the important work – would love resources re ordering parts, etc for mobile homes – but you can’t do it all. I thank you for your work.

  5. Hi, Crystal. Can you tell me where I can find the diagram of the cross section/cut away of a single-wide you use in a shadow version as the backdrop on your home page? It pulls the structural concept of the mobile together for me and if like to look at it more closely.

    Many thanks,
    Jo Ann

  6. Hi Crystal:

    I really enjoy your Mobile Home Living website information – very informative, extremely useful, and helpful. I often forward them to friends.

    My concern is for people living on a fixed income, including me. Are there any parks anywhere that give long-term leases to tenants? I know there are Resident Owned Communities, but they are few and far between, and usually difficult to get into.

    I am in the Portland, OR area and there are lots of Mobile Homes available in parks, but I also realize that the land can be sold at any time when there is no guarantee or protection for renters.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you so much, and please keep up the good work; you are doing a wonderful job.

    Bridget Santos

  7. Please read an interesting article about manufactured housing and the housing crunch in the Boston Globe, 10/5/2018. Very applicable for your newsletter

  8. Chuck Kiesewetter

    I just finished the guest room and attempted to send you my pictures. I used your e-mail that we used before but it came back – if you would like to use my guest room please send me an e-mail.


  9. How do I reach your company?? I want to do a full remodeling of a single wide trailer in Columbus Country NC

  10. Hi Crystal, just discovered your site was hoping you could give me some insight to whether or not you feel a product I’m developing (not in stores yet) would be beneficial to the mobile home industry. I haven’t ever lived in a mobile home, but my wife and I are considering moving to Florida and getting one when I retire in a few years.

    The product I’m developing I call “UpScale”. My whole life I’ve never had a place to keep a bathroom scale where it can be used and not tripped over. I think UpScale is perfect for mobile homes where you may not have a spot in your bathroom to keep a scale. I show on my website and video that even the smallest 1/2 bath has from for one. In fact, I show that I could even fit two in there (the back of the door is very usable space!).

    I’m just not sure what the demographics for the average mobile home user is. Do they have a need for a bathroom scale? I’m curious to hear what your opinion on the idea is. Also, if you have any other comments or suggestions I’d love to hear them.

    Thanks for any insight
    Brian Wood

    1. Hi Brian,

      I rarely let links stay in the comments (we get tons of irrelevant spam even with spam blockers) but you have a really neat product and I like it! I think you have a great idea. I’d maybe work on the hardware, it’s a little bulky for the smaller mobile homes and RV’s but for a regular house, you have a winner. Maybe an inner cabinet system where you don’t have to see the scale unless you open the cabinet door?

      I love seeing people fill voids and fix problems. Best of luck to you!

  11. Your website is an wonderful encyclopedia for those of us with manufactured homes.I have a question which I’ve yet to find a real answer . Our home was built in 1995 amd we have the gray polybutylene water pipes and while we were on our well we had “decent” water pressure. We refinanced and FHA said we had to connect to the county line. The good point was having a pressure release valve installed close to the house so we have immediate access to water cut off if we need it. The problem is the water pressure is generally lower and when one toilet is flushed the pressure in the adjoining sink pressure goes down as does other faucets in the rest of the house. I’ve increased the pressure at the valve”slightly” but it did not help much. Other than a complete water line replacement, do you have any suggestions as to what to do or references I might check to figure this out. I would like to have consistent “decent” water pressures throughout the house. Thank you for your help. Again, your website and the simplicity of your explanations are great. Sandy Redfern

    1. Hi Sandy,

      Check the screen in the pressure reducing valve. New lines mean lots of dirt and it could have entered the line. Remember, most pressure reducing valves are the opposite of “lefty loosey, righty tighty” so make sure you actually opened it up instead of reducing it.

      Best of luck!

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