5 reasons why living in a trailer park is awesome

Guest post by Jill Smith
Photo courtesy of Redfin.com
Photo courtesy of Redfin.com

The past few months my fiancé and I have spent a lot of time discussing our living arrangements for after the wedding day. We currently live in a trailer park and at first it never crossed our mind to stay here any longer than necessary.

We looked at buying a house, or moving into a condo; but both of those options left us with little cash to travel and so they were ruled out.

We looked into renting an apartment but the majority of places would not take in our furry babies, and so they were ruled out.

And after several discussions we made the intentional decision to stay in our trailer park, and we are SO STOKED.

The problem is that most people can’t get over the fact that we are “living in a trailer.” So I would like to, on behalf of all proud trailer park residents, set the record straight on this super-awesome alternative living space…

1. Love tiny houses?

A trailer is basically a tiny house that is pre-built. There’s no need to spend months planning and designing — it’s already done.

2. No shared walls

We did spend some time in an apartment in the past, and I’m not sure if I can handle sharing walls again. We can finally play our music a little bit louder, we can have a few more people over for our monopoly tournaments, and we don’t have to worry about disturbing our neighbors.

3. We have a yard

Our very own yard that allows us to plant our own veggies, gives us space to enjoy the outdoors, and a place for our dogs to have their own space.

4. Affordability

We are currently paying less than half of what we used to pay for our apartment, for twice the square footage! (Did I mention we also get a yard?)

5. Amenities?!

For two people just starting out in the world, there are not a whole lot of bonuses out there. But in our trailer we have skylights, hardwood floors, in-unit washer and dryer, dishwasher, tentacle bathtub (yes, we did steal the tentacle bathtub idea from Offbeat Home — actually most of our décor ideas) and a whole lot more that I never imagined we could afford.

Our trailer is exactly what I always wanted my home to be — it is cozy, comfortable, cost-efficient, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, with a kick-ass kitchen, and our neighbors are some of the nicest people I have ever met.

I love my trailer, and my trailer park life. So can we please move on from the stigma and start looking at all the awesome bonuses of this offbeat living space?

Who else rocks a trailer home? What are your favorite things about your trailer park life?

Comments on 5 reasons why living in a trailer park is awesome

  1. Home sweet home & your home is so awesome! I always dreaming of having my own house, big or tiny house doesn’t matter cause now i’m living with in laws. Now in planning to get one & hope to have great news soon.

  2. I currently rent a 2 bedroom mobile home in a mobile home community. It’s cheaper than trying to rent an apartment and it’s close to where I work. Since I rent I don’t have the ability to make the changes I’d like but it’s still a nice place. Most people own the mobile homes here and I found out there was someone buying mobile homes and then renting them out but the management put a stop to it and refused to allow him to buy anything else because that’s not how they want their park run.

    I don’t know my neighbors particularlly well (but I’m more introverted) but the people across the street from me have lived here for several years and ahve totally renovated their mobile home – they put in dry wall (makes things sturdier), renovated the kitchen, put in all new windows, new floor and stuff like that.

    The part doesn’t have any amentities (unlike others I’ve read about in this area) but that’s fine. There are a lot of kids and famillies and occasionally the neighbors have been too loud but it’ slike anything else, I’ve gone over and asked them to turn down the music and they are fine with it.

    We did have a series of cars being broken into – mostly cars that were unlocked and I think a little vandalism. About a week after it happened a notice went around to everyone saying tenants of the park (since everyone rents the land but most people own the home) are responsible for their guests and will be held accountable for their guests actions. If anyone sees anything call the management and call the police, with a number provided. There was other stuff, but it boiled down to – if someone who lives here (or their guest) is repsonbile they’ll be evicted. There are also rules about how many people can live in one mobile home and how mnay cars can be parked, all sheds have to match the color scheme of the mobile home (if yours is white with red trim your shed is white with red trim). And I had to go through a credit/emoployement/background check as a renter just as if I were buying a mobile home and renting the lot.

    As for a mobile home community being more crime ridden. It depends. My mom owns a townhouse and someone bought the one next to her and rented it out. It was freaking nightmare and this is in a nice neighborhood coveted for it’s close proximity to schools and such. The renters next to her had parties and fights, she had to call the police, and one night there was an arugment and someone threw a beer bottle and broke her windshield. When those people finally moved they had down thousands of dollars worth damage to the house.The house across the street from her also got rented out and again – lots of loud noises, partying, and damage. I think those people managed to do about $5,000 of damage just to the exterior. Oh and my car was broken into during this time period and my wallet stolen. As well as other break ins.

    So stuff like that can happen anywhere.

    I live in a place where housing is expensive so a mobile home becomes affordable. There aren’t tornados here so I don’t have to worry about that.

    And owning a mobile home isn’t limited to living ina mobile home community. A relative of mine owned inheirted property wtih a mobile home, which was in bad shape. Instead of trying to build a house or even do a modular house she went iwth a mobile home. It’s a double wide with a walk in pantry, laundry room, nice kitchen, the master suite has an office area, a huge bathroom with a walk in closet w/built it in closet organization. There’s a fireplace in the family room and it’s really nice. And spacious.

    The place I’m living in is older and has half old windows half new ones. The bathroom needs a renovation but it’s spacious and nice and I have a deck (small one but a deck) and it’s a lot better than the tiny cramped apartment I was livng in previously.

  3. Hi! An interesting read. An insider story for someone who is considering this kind of home… I am in north carolina, somewhat near Charlotte. I don’t know if where I live would be considered a trailer park, per se, but I live in a small community of double wides. We all live on about an acre of land or more, with several farms in walking distance. A mobile home is truly what you make of it. My neighbors are a mix of retired, young and working, old and lived there forever, and some more redneck than others. Our home has a fireplace, a sky light, granite counter tops, and we are installing hardwoods. We bought the home for less than $50,000.00, and with renovation its been a good investment. We have 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. It ended up being much cheaper than an apartment. Its just kind of a different way of life!

  4. I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma and my wife is terrified of tornadoes. We ended up getting a cellar put in by F5 Storm Shelters of Tulsa. We feel alot better during storm season now knowing we have somewhere to go. If you are interested, go to their website. I remember it having a bunch of information and their sales people were really helpful. http://www.f5stormsheltersok.com

  5. OK, here’s the thing, these are not trailers! They are manufactured homes which are transported on flatbed trucks and installed to remain in one place. Even older homes were transported in this way. They can be moved, but so can a stick built house if one really wanted to.
    I live in the S.F. Bay Area and have found most manufactured home communities, regardless of socio-economic strata to be very pleasant. Senior communities tend to be better kept and there are, of course seedy, much less desirable communities, but this seems a case of the neglect of the communities’ land owner.
    The prejudice and ignorance of those fortunate enough to afford great apartments ($2000 and up) or stick built homes ($500,00 and up) is unfortunate. I applaud those who are on this site to educate themselves!

  6. Could anyone recommend some good books on trailer park life?? Could be fiction or non-fiction. thx.

  7. I moved into a trailer park sort of as a joke after a divorce that involved lots of real estate and responsibility and had me spending my weekends keeping up with the Jones’s. I thought it would be temporary, though. Eleven years later, I am still here. And now I am totally renovating the trailer and don’t plan to leave any time soon. My only fear that is if I put in too many upgrades, my neighbors will start doing the same and we will turn trailer park trash into red hot real estate like the trailer park in Malibu that was featured on CBS Sunday morning a few years back. So I plan to install sauna and hot tub (with swimming lane) in a shed or sunroom to hide it and silence it as much possible. I will continue to enjoy my yard, which I began planting with edible fruits and vegetables instead of decorative non-native plants when I first moved in.. I am a trailer park fruit farmer and can and preserve everything I grow to share with my neighbors, who get a kick out of the novelty of it. I am hoping it inspires them to do the same. P.S. The monthly rental for the trailer park is far less than I would be pay for real estate taxes on a similar sized home in the suburbs in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where I am located. And my monthly rental includes garbage and snow removal as well free sewer and water (from private wells owned by the trailer park and not from city water that tastes awful). I also have taken many steps to make my place extremely energy efficient and have reduced my heating and electric bills in half since I moved in 11 years ago. Most of the efficiency came from insulation, new windows and doors, energy efficient propane furnace (replaced oil furnace) and LED recessed lights. The best thing about the trailer is that it is so easy to work on! When I replaced the roof, I installed skylights and opened up sections of the ceiling that allowed me to create access points to easily run all kinds of wires, include HDMI to connect computers to TVs and to install stereo speakers in ceilings of every room with a central control panel to regular sound in every room as well outdoors. The only downside to living here is that I do have neighbors that are just 15 to 25 feet from me (about the same as the houses in the big developments). However, some of my neighbors have older trailers and they are not well insulated from sound so I do have to keep my TV and stereo low at night. They seem to be OK with it during the day. Switching to ceiling speakers I think made a big difference because the sound is directed down instead of out. The other downside is that there is no resale value. I will never be able to sell my trailer for what I paid for or get back the money I put into it while it remains in this trailer park. So when the time comes for me to sell, I will likely relocate the trailer to a more upscale trailer park or buy land and put it on a permanent foundation. Then it can be sold as a regular house becuase there will be no way anyone could tell it was once a mobile home once it placed on a permanent foundation. What’s the saying? It ain’t home until you take the wheels off. 🙂

    • TPT, your park — and your home! — sound terrific. I’m in northern Baltimore County, and southeastern PA would still be a do-able commute for me. Would you share which one it is? I seem to be looking into all of the skeezy ones instead…thanks!

  8. P.S. Jill – Thanks for the post. I have had the same experience, but I no longer really explain it to people because I don’t want our secret to get out. And to the person who asked about neighbors? Most of my neighbors are single older men woman (windowed or divorced and over the age of 50) or they are young families just starting out. There are no teens running wild in the neighborhood. Many of the people who moved here did so because of their dogs, and everyone walks them throughout trailer park without having to worry about getting run over like they would if they lived in town or a regular development. Everyone drives very slow in here and it’s like living in gated community with only one entrance/exit for the entire park.

  9. I am considering buying a home. But no nothing about ‘renting’ the lot or what the parks require for you have a lot with them. Could you tell me based on yours so I have a rough idea?

  10. We are soon moving into our first mobile home! I am so thrilled! After spending 10 years in multiple apartments (university and then real life) I am super excited to finally have my own place with no shared wall!

  11. Please stop calling the parks Trailer Parks. Mobile Home Park or Manufactured Housing.

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