Mobile Home Living® features mobile home decor, remodels, repairs, and resources. We’ve published more than 700 articles over the last 10 years and every one of them are 100% about mobile homes.
We keep it real here too! I promise you there are no $800 vases on this site. We focus on affordable and attainable products, just like our homes.
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.
A Little About Me
I love to read the ‘about me’ sections of blogs. I like to see what the writers look like and learn a little about them. So, here’s a little about me and my life if you’re interested:
My Childhood (and All about the Man that Made Me Who I am Today)
I was raised in Southern West Virginia by a single father and his parents that lived right down below us (my mom-maw and pop-paw).
Dad worked the ‘hoot-owl’ shift in the same underground coal mine for 39 years as a miner operator. A miner is the huge machine with a diamond-tipped rotating drum that cuts and grinds the coal out of the mountain. He was well-known as being one of (if not THE best) miner operators in the coalfields. I wish I had a dollar for every time one of his co-workers told me about how he done some crazy maneuver with the miner or beat some record for loading the most coal in a shift. He broke quite a few records for loading the most coal in shift.
Yep, I’m a real coalminer’s daughter! Oh, and my name is Crystal Gail Adkins – I was named after Loretta Lynn’s sister (the one with the long hair).
I grew up country in the hollers of southern WV and when I say country, I MEAN country. We grew our own food and hunted and canned and quilted and made do with what we had but not because we were ‘poor.’ It’s just how we lived.
We always had a new car or truck and we always lived in newer mobile homes. From birth to 8, it was a single wide. Dad bought us a new double wide in 1986 when I was 9.
Watching them pull the sections of that double wide up a 2-mile-long dirt road ‘holler’ and then up to the top of a mountain is still one of my favorite memories. It was such a difficult situation and they got it stuck several times. It eventually took 3 days and 2 bulldozers to cut the road out enough for the first section to fit, but they eventually got it up there!
Dad LOVED cars, especially Corvettes and Porsche’s. He would buy old ones that didn’t run from junk yards and fix them. He had me helping him every weekend. If we weren’t working on a car we were working on the house. He’s the reason I know what I know today.
I lost dad in 2019 to black lung. He was only 61. Working 39 years as a miner operator turned his lungs as black as the coal he mined.
Joe and My Pride and Joy
I’ve been with Joe, a licensed master plumber, for more than 25 years and we have a 18-year-old daughter named Livingston Grace.
She’s the coolest kid I know but I may be a bit biased. She attends Converse College on a partial art scholarship and is studying to be an art teacher. She’s my pride and joy and I ‘m so dang proud of her I can’t even stand it!
The Beginning of the Blog
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 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 20 million people living in mobile homes were probably looking too.
I 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.
I just started a blog and it caught on somehow. If I can do it anyone can!
Over the last 9 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).
Issues We 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 40 years.
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 manufactured home 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:
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 (yep! spray paint!). I’m a firm believer in doing what you can with the resources you have (you can read my little rant about that very thing here).
Here’s our living room now. I joke that my favorite style is ‘Pinterest’ cause there’s just so many great ideas there!
The kitchen needs a lot more work. New paint and floors 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!
I’ve been trying to slowly refurbish it but since we live in SC now and it’s in WV it’s been tough. 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 Airstream or older with a few panels of aluminum in good shape please let me know (it has to be a 1968 or older because that’s the last year they used the high shine aluminum).
Mobile Home Living’s Mission
The mission of Mobile Home Living® 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:
Thank you so much for stopping by,
Crystal Adkins, Founder Mobile Home Living®!