7 Things You Didn’t Know About Mobile Homes

There are so many myths and misconceptions about mobile and manufactured homes. Here are 7 things you didn’t know about mobile homes.

Since starting Mobile Home Living, I have researched extensively about manufactured homes and mobile homes. In the process, I have stumbled upon information that surprised me. Following are 7 things that I found most interesting.

1. Most Mobile Homes Are NOT Properly Tied Down

The majority of manufactured home loses in high winds are due to improper tie-downs, not the home’s construction.

If manufactured homes were properly tied down and secured to a true foundation the chances of a mobile home surviving a major storm would be significantly higher.

Of course, many older manufactured homes are made differently from a site-build home, using cheaper materials and staples. That’s the beauty of the homes – they are made in a way that makes them affordable to the average working American that wasn’t handed a silver spoon.

Neither mobile nor a site-built home would make it through the most powerful storms but new manufactured homes have been tested to withstand 110 mph winds.

2. Chassis Have Specially Designed Curvatures that Distribute the Home’s Weight

The steel chassis that mobile homes are built on have a curvature to them. The curved beams are called cambers. Camber are created using heat and pressure at specified engineered points.

  • Reverse camber creates a curved top.
  • Positive camber is on the top and draws the tail up.

Camber allows the I-beam to distribute the weight of the home more evenly and are specifically designed for each model.

5 things you don't know about mobile homes-chassis

Notice the Curve?


In addition to the curve, manufactured home buyers should pay special attention to the outriggers on the chassis. The best manufactured homes will have outriggers that go to the edge and supports the side walls.

This image shows a welder creating a chassis (it’s upside down).

Steel chassis with outriggers in palm harbor facotry

4. Mobile Home Frames are Sprayed with Tar Based Substances to Prevent Rust

Rust was a huge problem for older mobile homes. If sitting to close to the ground the rust comes even quicker. Frames are now sprayed with a tar based substance to prevent rusting. This prolongs the life of the frame by protecting it from the elements.

5. Double Wides Have 2 Titles in Most States

In states that only allow mobile homes to be taxed and listed as personal property requires a title for each section of the home. Double wides have 2 titles, one for each section on the road, behind a truck. Essentially they treat it as a trailer. I find that fascinating!

6. South Carolina Has the Most Mobile Homes

South Carolina has the most mobile homes.

The percent of housing that are mobile homes, broken down by state, shows the following:

  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • West Virginia (Woo-Hoo!)
  • NM

Each state has the highest percentage of mobile homes at around 16%. Notice they are all 2 worded states. I don’t know why I even noticed that but I did.

The states with the lowest percentage of mobile and manufactured home with ranges from .02% to just 1%:

  • Hawaii
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Massachusetts

Except for Hawaii, these are all northern states and also the oldest states in the nation. Housing is much denser in these states and property values are typically much higher.

7. Statistics about Mobile Homes You Probably Didn’t Know

Mobile homes are a worthwhile way of owning your own home and achieving the American dream.

If all the people that live in a mobile home lived in one state, it’d be the third most populous behind only California and Texas.

To put that in more context, the number of people that live in mobile homes is the rough equivalent of the populations of Nevada, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming- combined.

There are a lot of us mobile and manufactured homeowners!

All of this brings about the question: How, in a society such as the United States, can such a large block of people be so consistently disrespected and disregarded by the media, the government, and the society?

Related Editorial: Mobile Home Journalism Is Biased

We hope you found these 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Mobile Homes as interesting as we did.

As always, thank you so much for reading Mobile Home Living.

Disaster Center
State Master

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  1. Bruneau Bibeau says

    If you love vintage mobile homes you need to watch the intro to trailer park boys. The homes and the intro music gives me a real nostalgic rush.

  2. Susana says

    Hi Crystal, my dream is to find a mobile home park that has gone mid-century modern style or at least would be open to someone starting a movement. Am I way off base? I know there are rules and policies to abide by. Are you aware of any communities that may be a possibility? Thank you, Susana

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Susana! I think that’s a beautiful dream! I’ve heard of campgrounds with vintage only trailers but nothing for permanent living yet. I bet it would be a huge hit though!
      Thanks so much for reading MHL – I appreciate you!

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