About 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 want 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.

My Life

I was raised in Southern West Virginia by a single father that worked in the same underground coal mine for 39 years. He taught me a lot about rebuilding old cars and fixing homes throughout 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 set up on a mountain at the end of a dirt road (aka a holler).

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

I’ve been with Joe, a licensed master plumber, for more than 24 years and we have a 17-year-old daughter named Livingston Grace. She’s the coolest kid I know but I may be a bit biased. She starts Converse College this Fall, a small private all-girls school in SC. I am so dang proud of that kid!

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:

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.

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).

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 after makeover
Living room.

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 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.

My 1965 Airstream Safari

I have a 1965 Airstream Safari, y’all!

EEEEKKK!

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).

1965 airstream safari interior 3

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:

Livi and I

Thank you so much for stopping by,

Crystal Adkins, Founder Mobile Home Living®!