About Mobile Home Living

Crystal Adkins, founder of Mobile Home Living founder

Crystal Adkins created Mobile Home Living in 2011 after she and her husband, a licensed master plumber and contractor, bought a 1978 single wide in Oak Hill, WV.

It was their first owned home and she couldn’t wait to remodel it. Shortly after settling it, Crystal searched for mobile home remodeling ideas on Google but was disappointed in the results, or lack of results.

That Google search changed her and her family’s life.

She couldn’t help but notice the lack of attention given to mobile homeowners by mainstream media during that first Google search and at the time there wasn’t any blogs or websites dedicated to them (that she could find). The idea to create a site that would fill the void was easy, learning how to do it proved much harder.

– Crystal’s Biography

Hello, I’m Crystal Adkins and I created Mobile Home Living in 2011. I do my best to share helpful content for mobile homeowners that isn’t available anywhere else.

We’re always looking for homes to feature or interesting owners to interview so please keep us in mind when you remodel or repair your mobile home. You can use the contact form here to reach us.

I take the advocacy of mobile and manufactured homes seriously. So seriously, in fact, that I’ve never accepted a penny from any dealerships or builders. We are 100% reader supported via display ads and affiliate commissions (at absolutely no cost to you).

My Life Story

I’ve read that About pages should give readers a good idea of who you are and what you’re about in as few words as possible, so here goes.

I was raised in Southern West Virginia by a single father that operated a continuous miner in the same underground mine for 39 years.

Dad loved being a coal miner and when he wasn’t working he was working on Corvettes and Porsches. He’d find old broken down cars that were super cheap and in no-time he’s have them outrunning most anything on the road (with or without the nitrous tanks he seemed to sneak in somewhere).

Dad had me holding flashlights for him while under the hood by the time I was 3, using the right tools by 5, and replacing calipers by 10. Most everything I know how to do is because he took the time to teach me (whether I wanted to learn at the time or not).

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 set up on top pf a mountain at the end of a 2 mile long dirt road called School House Hollow in Keyrock Hollow in Pineville, WV (it’s spelled hollow but we say holler).

Basically, I’m a walking country song.

I’m a coal miner’s daughter named Crystal Gail that grew up in a hollow off another hollow in the southern West Virginia coalfields.

I’ve been with Joe, a licensed master plumber, for more than 25 years and we have a 20-year-old daughter named Livingston Grace. She works at Auto Zone and knows more about cars than I ever will. I suppose somethings do run in your blood. She’s a great artist, cooks better than a 5 star chef, and has a wonderfully kind soul. She’s my pride and joy and I’m so proud of her I can’t even stand it sometimes.

The Beginning of Mobile Home Living

I started Mobile Home Living® shortly after we bought a 1978 single wide in 2011. It was our first owned home and I was ecstatic. The seller wanted $6,000 for it and we would rent the lot it was on for $250 a month.

Except, we didn’t have $6,000.

Heck, we barely had $600! Thankfully, the seller agreed to a rent-to-own contract with a $1000 down and low monthly payments. Luckily, work was steady for a while and we were able to pay it off in 18 months.

The seller eventually sold us the land, too. He’ll forever be my friend and the man who gave us a chance to build something from nothing. I hope I can do the same for other families someday.

After we moved in, I searched for mobile home remodels on Google but I didn’t find much. I figured if I was looking for these topics then the other 18 million people living in mobile homes were probably looking too. 

I just saw a void and tried to fill it.

Since I’ve lived in mobile and manufactured homes just about my entire life, and my husband has been a master plumber for over 24 years, I figured we could at least help people with mobile home plumbing issues or other mobile home repair and improvement projects.

Mobile Home Living® has 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).

Issues I Want to Change

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 45 years. 

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

The main issue I’ve noticed over the years are warranties that aren’t honored. The notorious blame game has to go! I was only 9 years old but I can remember watching my dad deal with warranty issues after buying our brand new double wide in 1986. You can read a bit about it here.

I also believe that manufactured home installation should be handled better and home buyers should be better educated about the importance of a level home.

I’ve read that 80% of all warranty complaints are due to improper installation so it’s vital to have the home setup properly and checked regularly for level for a long life span. 

Also, our elders and low income families need to be better protected when parks close or new owners take over. 

Our 1978 Single Wide Mobile Home Makeover

Here’s our 1978 Homette single wide in Oak Hill West Virginia when we first moved in.

The entire home had its original, unpainted paneling but the ceiling and flooring had been modified. The kitchen and dining room when we first bought our home:

We built the deck quickly after we moved in:

We took a weekend and painted the mobile home’s siding. It cost less than $150 and 2 days of work using spray paint (yes, spray paint). I’m a firm believer in doing what you can with the resources you have (you can read my little rant, aka editorial, about that here).

Here’s our living room after I got ahold of it:

The kitchen needs a lot more work but new paint and flooring made a huge improvement:

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

My 1965 Airstream Safari

I have a 1965 Airstream Safari, y’all!

The interior is about 85% finished but I need a couple of pieces of skin (aluminum) replaced before I can call it finished. Ain’t she a beaut?!?

Mobile Home Living’s Mission

The mission of Mobile Home Living® is simple – to celebrate simple living in affordable homes and 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 site-built homes have now.

Thank you so much for stopping by! Your support is vital and helps us continue our mission. We’ve dealt with a lot crazy things over the last 12 years but we’re still here!

If you own a mobile or manufactured home please sign up for our newsletter here and if it’s not too much trouble, please share our articles with your friends and family using your favorite social media platform:

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.