Mobile homes today are a far cry from the trailers that started it all. Early trailers that were used for habitation purposes were small, designed for camping or other temporary living conditions. Beginning in the early 1950’s, they started getting larger, eventually becoming full time homes for many people. No longer trailers, although the name never seems to go away, mobile homes are certainly not mobile. They are permanently mounted on trestles or piers, firmly tied down, and safely anchored in a permanent location. Although they can be moved, it is no easy task.
Sometimes called manufactured homes, mobile homes can range in size from a single wide to a double wide. A single wide can measure up to 18 feet wide and up to 90 feet in length. A double wide can be up to twice the size of a single, comprising two halves joined together. Each half can be up to 20 feet wide and 90 feet long. They are seldom that long, however. A length of around 60 feet or less seems to be more common. Triple wide homes are also available but they are not as popular as double wides. Often a triple wide will consist of just an additional room and an extended deck.Mobile homes are rated by HUD, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. Different standards of construction are required for safety depending on where the mobile home is located. A mobile home constructed for use in a warm and earthquake-prone area like California would not be suitable for use in those parts of the Midwest that are subjected to tornadoes and frigid winters, and construction requirements must be adjusted accordingly.