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What is the difference between a trailer, mobile home and manufactured home?

Published: October 26, 2010 What is the difference between a trailer, mobile home and manufactured home?

Often people use the terms trailer, mobile home and manufactured home interchangeably, but there are huge differences between them. 
The terms "trailer home" and trailer park are generally wording from the forties and fifties in the US.  There was a perception that the residents were poor and undereducated, however, some of the original trailers were actually summer homes in resort areas.  
The term"mobile home" came into popularity during the late 1950’s and 1960’s, but continues to this day.  Although they were manufactured with wheels, which offered a means of transport, these homes became more of a permanent fixture once they were set on a lot.  They were either single wide or doublewide mobile homes and became popular with retirees, who often used them as second homes.  Large mobile home communities were developed in warm weather states like Arizona and Florida as seniors flocked there.  Mobile homes became better built, larger and more efficient as time went on.  They were also an affordable type of housing for many families.  By 1970, these homes were built to voluntary industry standards that were eventually enforced by 45 of the 48 contiguous states.  But, there was a call in the early 1970’s for better, more uniform standards, and in 1974 the HUD code went into effect.
By an act of Congress in 1974, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was designated as the government agency to oversee the Federal Manufactured Housing Program. There is an actual department in HUD to oversee the program and that department is called the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Manufactured Housing. Most states also have an agency within the state that administers the HUD program.  From that time forward the term mobile home changed to "manufactured home", because the dwellings are now manufactured to HUD standards.  They are usually transported to the end location in one or more sections on a permanent chassis.  Although the term mobile home still persists, the manufacturers are trying very hard to change the term and to make consumers aware of the differences between a mobile home and a manufactured home.  The differences include such things as safety, quality standards and luxury.

Category: Mobile Homes,