We discuss all kinds of things on the Mobile Home Living Facebook page. Readers can ask questions and get answers in real-time from over 18,000 mobile homeowners across the nation. Recently, a reader wanted to know what other mobile homeowners across the nation were paying for their lots in mobile home parks and what that price included so we asked our readers. We received hundreds of answers from all over the nation. Below you’ll find the average mobile home park lot rent for states with the most mobile and manufactured homes.
A Quick History of Mobile Home Parks
From 1920 to 1930 travel trailers were considered a luxury item due to their cost. When the rare weary traveler decided to park beside the road to rest for the night it wasn’t a big deal. Families and local businesses living on major roadways actually encouraged travelers to stop so they sell hot food, water, and other needed wares.
That quickly changed once mass-production made trailers more affordable and available to the average family. By the mid-1920’s those living on the major roadways in the US could expect to see 50-60 trailers every night. Unfortunately, property destruction, trash, noise, and crime became common and trailer owners were soon known for being destructive and wild.
In order to remedy the problems created by so many travelers, townships and entrepreneurs along popular roadway created campgrounds. Wheel Estate claims there were between 3,000 to 6,000 municipal autocamps across the nation between 1920 and 1924. They go on to explain that there was a rivalry between community campgrounds:
“..campgrounds were a source of community pride and an object of rivalry between neighboring towns. To be known as a nice place to stay reflected favorably on the whole community.’
Campgrounds ranged in price from free to fairly expensive. The free campgrounds were often run by the townships and municipals but were eventually closed or turned into a pay by night campground because people would take advantage of the free rent and move in full-time. Time limits were also set so that no one could stay in the campground for more than 2 weeks at a time. Those rules are still enforced today in campgrounds ran by our state and federal governments.
From Campgrounds to Trailer Parks
The evolution of campgrounds to trailer parks was simple enough. Throughout the 1930’s and 40’s, trailers grew longer and wider and had everything a home had, including a fully functioning bathroom. They were better equipped for full-time living and harder to tow. Since there were way more trailers than tent travelers by the mid-1930’s, many campground owners began prohibiting tent-camping altogether and changed the name to better reflect their intentions. They saw the advantages of full-time tenancy and choosing who lived in their parks. Thus, the full-time trailer park was born.
As with any business or product, there were different kinds of trailer parks. The lack of regulation or codes for trailers allowed for many landowners to just set up a park overnight. They offered little to no amenities but were cheap. There are records of corporations developing luxury parks with professional city planners and architects as early as the mid-1930s.
The more expensive parks had gorgeous views, paved roads and pads, streetlights, laundry facilities, and playgrounds. The lower cost parks were located in the not-so-nice areas of town and had dirt roads that turned to mud when it rained.
From Trailer Parks to Mobile Home Parks
1953 was a big year for mobile homes. At the end of 1953, there were about 12,000 trailer parks in business around the country. Florida had around 1,500 parks and those park owners were reporting that 40% of their tenants were living in their homes full-time. It’s thought that about 1,000 new parks opened that year.
Trailers cost between $2,800 and $6,500, depending on amenities and size. The average park lot rent in 1953 was $25 per month and that rate included utilities.
The Trailer Coach Manufacturers Association decided to break into two different entities in 1953. The builders that would focus on larger units made for full-time living started using the term mobile home and called themselves the Mobile Home Manufacturers Association. The builders that decided to stick with smaller units intended for hunting and vacationing would stick with the term trailer.
That’s how the first name change and industry ‘transition’ occurred. The second name change would take place in 1976 when the HUD code took effect. They decided they wanted to call the homes manufactured instead of mobile. You can read more about that in my article titled No, I Will Not Stop Using the Term Mobile Home.
1955 Mobile Home Park Advertisements
The images above show pages from a 1955 issue of Trailer Travel Magazine. We thought they were interesting and wanted to share them with you. There are no rates on many of the ads but the amenities and offerings are neat to read. Here are a few of the more interesting ads:
ALABAMA: COURT STREET TRAILER PARK
1263 S. Court Street Montgomery, Ala. A clean, modern and homelike park. Patios, shade, lawns, shuffleboards, toilet connections, clean restrooms, laundry, and restaurant with real home cooking. Quiet location near two trading centers. Well behaved children and pets welcome.
ARIZONA: LAZY-AS-CAN-B COURT
Box 294 Sedona, AZ on beautiful Oak Creek. New, Modern, Quiet 110/220 Hookups, no meters, trailer size no object, children and pets welcome. Swim, Fish, Hike, Relax.
CALIFORNIA: PENROSE TRAILER PARK
Largest trailers accommodated. Paved streets, patios, lawns, trees. Modern laundry, recreation hall. Hot and cold water at each space, natural gas. Near Lockheed.
CONNECTICUT: PILOTS POINT TRAILER PARK AND BEACH CLUB
Smack on the beach. Westbrook, CT. Southern New England’s only seasonal park on the sea and sound. Brand new spaces for 50 trailers. Introductory rates $100.00 and up for the season. Special weekly and monthly rates. City water and fire protection. Light, power, and sewage. Showers, dressing rooms, and lockers. Laundry clubhouse. Store walking distance. Surrounded by water on three sides. Two-acre boat basin, no rocks. swimming, boating, crabbing, clamming, fishing, and oystering in our private registered cultured oyster beds. Freshwater swimming pool. Winter storage for trailers. We reserve the right to refuse admittance of mobile homes that are not in well-kept condition. Exclusive membership. No transients.
FLORIDA: LINGER LONGER RETIREMENT TRAILER PARK
Diamond Tool Company Estates Tarpon Springs, FL
50 spots from which to choose. Some spaces 36 x 50 ft. Toilet connections, 11 acres of natural beauty. Shade trees, waterfront, boats, fishing pier, shuffleboard, tennis courts, recreation lodge, music lounge, and a mammoth fireplace. Cool gulf breeze in the summer. Cement patio lots $15.00 per month. Without patio is $12.00 per month. Special 10-year lease if desired. Year ’round occupancy. Pull in pick your spot and we will make you comfortable. NO PETS.
INDIANA: TED’S TRAILER TOWN
Live in our strictly modern park. Close to lake, beaches, fast bus, and train service. 220 spaces. Children and adult sections. 3 minutes to downtown Gary. 45 minutes to Chicago Loop. Trailer Sales….New and Used. Pacemaker – Great Lakes – Westwood – Ironwood. USED $25.00 down. NEW $197.00 down. “Every size, every price, for every need.”
NEW JERSEY: BRIGHTWATERS BEACH COTTAGE AND TRAILER PARK
Day – Week – Month- Season. bathing, fishing, modern conveniences. Sewerage connections. No trailers over 36 feet.
NORTH CAROLINA: SUNSET TRAILER PARK
Lake Park Boulevard, Carolina Beach, NC Vacation conveniences just one block from the business district. Boating, fishing. 1.5 blocks from the main boardwalk. All modern facilities. Children and leashed dogs welcome. Open all year.
PS Tenant-Owned and 55+ Parks are Special
Before we get into the current mobile home park numbers, we need to stress two things: 55+ parks and tenant-owned parks are extremely different from regular mobile home parks. They are so unique that we don’t think they should be included in this article at all. We think they both deserve their own articles and hopefully, we can make that happen soon.
Tenant-owned parks are in a class of their own and cannot, or should not, be compared to regular parks. Tenant-owned parks are superior in many ways and hopefully will become more common as financial institutions realize the many benefits that come from tenant-owned parks. You can learn more about them on ROC’s website here.
Mobile Home Parks: Lot Rents Across the Country
Arizona is a popular retirement destination and that means there are a lot of mobile homes. They are a great option for retirees that want to downsize and live in a more manageable home, after all. The dry heat and gorgeous scenery is a just a plus. One of our readers stated she pays $398 per month for a single lot in Tucson. The lot rent includes an indoor pool and clubhouse but all utilities are separate.
There is a place called The Cozy Peach at Schnepf Farms that rents out 10 vintage campers (including Spartans, Westwood, and Airstreams). You can read about Arizona’s glamping scene on their website here and learn more about the camper reservations here.
There are a ton of mobile homes and mobile home parks scattered around the gorgeous state of California. Unfortunately, lots and homes aren’t as affordable as they are in the rest of the country because of the housing shortages in several cities. Still, you get to live in California so even paying extra seems fair.
One of our readers in Sacremento told us they pay between $612 for the lot rent and around $80 for water and sewer, gas, and trash pickup.
Our friend in the Central Coast area pays $707 for lot rent and that includes trash, water, and lawn maintenance.
The Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park and the Blue Skies Mobile Home Community are two of the most iconic and well-known parks in the nation. There’s also a place called Desert Sands Vintage Trailer Park that looks like all kinds of awesome.
A reader told us that she pays $800 per month for her lot rent but that she is in a nice park that would be considered ‘high class’ for the area and that it includes sewer, trash, pool, and a clubhouse.
Florida is the home of one of the first parks in the country, Parsley Trailer Park. It offered some amazing things like ballroom dancing, full community parties, boat docks, indoor pools, and gorgeous views.
We received 3 reports with mobile home park lot rent running around $400 ($390, $400, and $440). This includes trash pickup and lawn care. Another reader said she pays $601 per month and only gets trash pickup.
Tenant-Owned Park in FL
We have a reader on the Gulf Coast of FL that lives in a tenant-owned park and she pays a whopping $128 per month for the lot rent, water, sewer, trash, and lawn maintenance. The park has a pool and a clubhouse. See the difference between for-profit parks and tenant-owned?
One of our Georgia readers said she paid $425 per month and gets cable and trash pickup. Another reader reported $300 per month with trash only.
ILLINOIS and INDIANA
Illinois and Indiana fell in the same range and offered similar amenities. A reader in Indiana reported their mobile home lot rent to be $320 with trash pickup. Our Illinois reader reported $370 with trash pickup.
Iowa had the lowest mobile home park lot rent. Our reader stated she paid $140 per month for the lot rent itself and an additional $25 for trash, sewer, and snow removal. That sounds like a great deal!
Kansas reports in at $255 per month and that includes trash, cable, and internet. There is also a pool, clubhouse, and a storm shelter in the park. Wow, Kansas sounds like a great deal!
We received 2 reports for Kentucky and both were for $350 a month.
Worchester, Maine has a park with lot rent at $381 per month. This price includes cable, trash, and snow removal.
Michigan reports in at $330 with no utilities or amenities included.
Our reader in Northern Minnesota pays $258 for just lot rent. A reader in the Minneapolis area pays $425 but that includes trash.
Missouri seems to be a very affordable state. One reader reports paying $185 for a 100′ X 200′ foot lot with sewer and water included.
One reader told us that she pays $400 per month in Western New York and only water is included.
One reader pays $240 a month for lot rent, trash, and snow removal.
A mobile home park in Oklahoma City charges $316 per month for lot rent, water, and trash pickup.
We were told one reader pays $554 per month in Western Oregon and that includes sewer and water.
The South Carolina coast is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation (or so I heard on the news) and property and rent prices are getting steep.
We received two reports, one for $280 per month that included nothing and another for $550 that included a boat dock, pool, trash, and sewer.
Texas has 19 manufactured home factories and there are a lot of parks. A park in Belleville, TX charges $225 per month and that includes trash and water. A Greenville park charges $242 for lot rent and a pool.
Our UT reader seems to have a decent deal going on. She pays $450 for lot rent, trash, pool, and a full-time handyman that can help her with small repairs. How cool is that?
Mobile home parks are affordable in West Virginia. For a small park with older homes you can expect to pay $250 month and that will include trash.
As you can see, living in a mobile home park is one of the most cost-effective housing choices in the nation. Of course, it varies by state and by location within the state.
We’d love to know how much you pay for your mobile home park lot rent. Add it in the comments below!
As always, thank you for reading Mobile Home Living!