Editor’s Note: This post was written by Dave Helgeson for a previous Puyallup RV Show and is represented here with permission. See more of Dave’s articles at RVTravel.com. DeTray’s Custom Housing will be debuting their newest model home at this year’s show.
Long before there were manufacturers building motorhomes and fifth wheels, there were manufacturers like Kit, Skyline and Fleetwood building trailers; long ones, short ones and some wider than others.
The bigger trailers made great housing for service men returning from WWII, while others found the shorter ones great for camping. In fact, before the term RV was coined, RV Shows were known as “Trailer Shows” as that was primarily the only type of mobile housing being exhibited. As the bigger “house” trailers became longer, wider and heavier they became known as Mobile Homes while the smaller ones meant for camping were called travel trailers.
As the two types further evolved, mobile homes (which were no longer very mobile) became Manufactured Homes while Travel Trailers became the forerunners to all the types of RVs built today. While the two types of trailers and their intended use diverged over the years, they have always been exhibited together at the Puyallup Show and here are a few reasons why they will continue to be.
Many attending the Puyallup Show are searching for something to place on their vacation property. While an RV or park model makes sense some of the time, a roomy manufactured home may be a much better solution. A typical RV is built for weekend getaways and a week or two-long family vacation, not for long periods of occupancy like manufactured homes can withstand.
Manufactured homes offer better value than other housing solutions. Since modern manufactured homes are built to a different set of standards than RVs, tiny homes or recreational park models, the cost per square foot is often considerably less. For what you would pay for a nice 400 square foot fifth wheel or park model, you are likely able to buy nearly 800 square feet worth of a residential styled manufactured home.
Another reason to consider manufactured housing over a site-built home for your vacation property: finding a builder to construct your vacation home can be a difficult task. Most onsite builders subcontract the majority of the work to other businesses such as plumbers, electricians and roofers making scheduling difficult and in many cases driving the cost of the total project through the roof. If your vacation property is in a rural area, the cost rises even more as all these sub-contractors add for their travel time. With a manufactured home these costs are controlled in a factory setting.
Building in a factory maximizes efficiency, eliminates mistakes and there are never weather-related construction delays. Manufactured homes are fast too! Once your site is prepared for a manufactured home, the home can be delivered, set up and ready for you to occupy in a matter of weeks, not months. The quick installations that manufactured homes offer make them a great option for areas with short building seasons like the mountains too.
Manufactured homes also provide the ideal retirement home for RVers on the go. Since manufactured homes are built indoors to a national building code (unlike conventional site-built homes mentioned above) they are better built requiring less care and maintenance than their site built equivalent, allowing RVers to spend more time on the road and less time on home repairs. For an even more carefree leisurely retirement experience, consider placing your manufactured home in a 55 plus park. Following are several reasons a manufactured home park appeals to active RVers:
– Many offer secure onsite RV storage
– Many are gated communities allowing you to feel secure leaving you home while on extended RV treks
– Some offer yard service, so you have no worries about your yard getting overgrown while you are out on the road in you RV
Do you have an aging parent or an offspring that hasn’t quite left you as empty nesters? Often manufactured homes are suitable as a secondary dwelling unit on a single property. Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) also referred to as accessory apartments, second units, or granny flats, are additional living quarters on single-family lots that are independent of the primary dwelling unit. The separate living spaces are equipped with kitchen and bathroom facilities and can either be attached or detached from the main residence. These are a great choice for an aging relative, college student or young adult who needs a place to call their own. They also make a great guest suite when out-of-towners come for a visit.
As you can see, manufactured homes are extremely versatile and can serve for a variety of housing needs including a vacation home on the lake.
While “trailers” have changed a lot over the past 50 years or so, the Puyallup RV Show is still the place to see the latest in manufactured housing, travel trailers and today’s RVs. You’ll be amazed at what they have to offer.
See the debut of our newest model home at this year’s Puyallup RV Show, May 4th – 7th at the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup.