Posts Tagged ‘travel trailers’

Old Travel Trailers Renovated for Camping Grounds

December 5th, 2015 Comments off

travel_trailers_renovated_for_camping_rnetals__methowvalleynews_slash_Marcy_StamperIf Kim Mele has her way, next summer she will have a campground near Methow, Washington, renting out 12 vintage travel trailers to campers who want to spend a few days in the woods on riverfront property, according to what methowvalleynews tells MHProNews.

Each unit is being refurbished with a different theme—one has a tiki motif with bamboo curtains and old wooden irrigation pipe repurposed as palm trees. Another sports an aviation theme with place settings from old airlines, while a third has a Western theme with a saddle and cowhide curtains.

Bathhouses will be built with toilets, sinks and showers to serve the vacationers. While she has been at odds with the Okanogan County building officials and the county planning director over her plans—they have issued cease and desist orders, accusing her of operating an RV/trailer park without the necessary permits, although she has yet to rent any of the units–she understands the necessary procedures involved in hooking up utilities, obtaining approval and permits, and assures them she will not open the facility until everything is in order and approved.

Mele lives in Seattle and is only able to work on the project part-time, staying in one of the travel trailers when she comes, and has put considerable effort into renovating the trailers. She says,It’s for people who love the idea of camping — but they won’t need to bring their own trailers.##

(Photo credit: methowvalleynews/Marcy Stamper–vintage travel trailers being repurposed as campers.)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Drawn Quarters, Manufactured Housing Then and Now

July 4th, 2014 1 comment

An article written by Allan Wallis about manufactured housing in 1984 continues to be relevant today, although the definitions in Drawn Quarters do not always resonate with governmental and regulatory agencies. He cites the four distinct periods of the industry, and their proper names:

  • 1928-1940 travel trailer
  • 1941-1954 house trailer
  • 1954-1976 mobile home
  • June 15, 1976 to present, manufactured housing

Writing in, Ken Haynes, Jr., involved in the MH industry for many years and one time president of the New Mexico Manufactured Housing Association (NMMHA), correctly states the sense of community in an MHC is greater than in traditional site-built subdivisions, a trait MHProNews understands and supports.

Wallis says while Henry David Thoreau bucked the trend of having a home just like your neighbors, R. Buckminster Fuller in the mid-1930’s suggested homes should be built in factories that would then be leased, eschewing the notion of a home tied to the land, suggesting they should be as mobile as the population. Noting almost ten percent of the population was living in mobile homes in 1984, he says in 1982 over 36 percent of all new single-family homes and over 80 percent of all new housing selling under $35,000, were manufactured homes.

The original travel trailers were often made in back yards from spare parts and plywood, and provided an alternative to tents and emerging motels as a home-away-from-home, reflecting the freedom and independence associated with the automobile. Skilled construction workers were known to use them to travel from job to job. The increase in the number of trailers gave rise to the advent of trailer parks, typically mom and pop operations where the sites were 30 feet square with a water hook-up and shared bath and toilet facilities, and the owner lived in a house on site. In 1937, Blackburn Sims wrote in The Trailer Home, if you don’t like your neighbors, the scenery, the weather, you simply move on. Some people boarded up their trailers for the winter, but that was the onset of people using city space and utilities without supporting the tax base.

World War II witnessed the emergence of the house trailer, as the government needed housing to support war materials production, sometimes in remote areas, and it became the largest purchaser of trailers, often building what became the boomtown trailer parks. Many of these residents were often more affluent construction workers and military personnel. By 1948, with a housing shortage that grew because of the diversion of resources to the war effort, over seven percent of the U. S. population was living in trailers, then seen as an alternative to a boardinghouse.

While a 1945 editorial in Trailer Travel Magazine called trailerites the true Americans for being self-sufficient and independent, taking their homes with them, after the war there was also resistance to increased trailer park living following the publication of a book called Trailer Camp Slums by Alexander Wellington, in which he called them a menace to the American way of life. However, a study sponsored by the Girl Scouts revealed a strong sense of community and family solidarity that accompanied trailer life. For the full article, please click here.##

(Image credit:

Missouri County Bans Living in Transitory “Homes”

May 5th, 2014 Comments off

Franklin County (Missouri) Planning Director Scottie Eagen reports her office has been getting complaints of people living in tents, travel trailers and recreational vehicles as their primary residence in an attempt to skirt residency rules. A new ordinance has banned that practice, as informs, and violators could be subject to a fine. People had been able to live for 90 days on land zoned “agricultural non-urban,” said Eagen. “ They would live in it for 90 days, move to another lot next to this one, live in it for 90 days, move to another lot.” Manufactured and modular homes are acceptable in this county just southwest of St. Louis, but not the more transient “homes.” ##

(Photo credit: Sunny Oaks manufactured housing community)

Moratorium Imposed on Manufactured Housing

January 3rd, 2014 Comments off

The St. Gabriel City Council in Louisiana has imposed a 180-day moratorium on the siting of manufactured homes within the city limits so officials can develop rules and regulations regarding their placement. This comes in response to a recent spike in permit requests, according to what informs MHProNews, and the town’s government wants to control overall housing development. The new ordinance will also apply to recreational vehicles and travel trailers.

(Photo credit: Deer Valley Homes)

Montana County Enforces Workforce Housing Regulations

December 18th, 2013 Comments off

Following up the story MHProNews posted Dec. 11, 2013 regarding workforce housing and recreational vehicle (RV) regulations in Richland County, Montana, County Planner Marcy Hamburg says any parcel of land that is also rented/leased as temporary housing–RVs, park models, modular, campers, travel trailers, skid units—is considered a subdivision. As such it has to be reviewed and approved by the County Planner Office. As reports, the Bakken Oilfield has drawn thousands of people to the area seeking work who are living in temporary quarters until they can find adequate housing. The Richland County Commission has adopted Temporary Workforce Housing Zoning Regulations requiring compliance with health and safety standards. A Temporary Workforce Housing Conditional Use Permit is valid for up to five years and can be renewed. The county will be issuing further guidelines that relate to land use in the county. Richland County adjoins the North Dakota border very close to Williston, ND, which has ballooned with the influx of people.

(Photo credit: Associated Press–modular mancamp at Williston, ND)

In the Beginning…from Travel Trailers to Manufactured Homes

June 27th, 2013 Comments off

Metal travel trailers evolved as an interesting, inexpensive way for a family to take a vacation, but the Great Depression transformed them into dwellings as people lost their homes. During WWII, the units provided portable quarters for the military as well as housing for factory workers that were part of the war production effort. In the later 1940’s and through the 1960’s the homes became larger and more livable as communities sprang up, mostly on the outskirts of town. In the early days, there was a central shower and laundry facilities, and an outhouse between every two homes. As tells MHProNews, construction standards that existed for the factory-built homes varied from state-to-state. As of June, 1976 the now legally-termed manufactured homes have to adhere to strict standards of construction—the HUD Code– established by the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), regulations which have been updated several times. Bruce Savage, consultant to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the industry trade organization, says, “The HUD code has evolved, and the guidelines are fairly strict, but how they are achieved is up to the manufacturer.” Joe Stegmayer, CEO of Cavco Industries, Inc. says it takes 7-10 days to complete a highly-finished manufactured home—from window treatments to appliances and painted drywall—with precision. Some homes are destined for retirement communities, some for family living. Says Kevin Flaherty of Champion Homes: “In the family communities, people are looking for an affordable home with security. In the adult community, they are often driven by a desire to minimize their housing investment so they can protect their savings. Buyers appreciate that they can purchase just the home and not have to liquidate as much money, since they are renting the lot.” Manufactured housing continues to provide inexpensive home ownership.

(Image credit: Cavco Industries, Inc.)


Amendment to Permit Approved

May 30th, 2013 Comments off

MHProNews has learned from the Brunswick Times-Gazette an amendment to a Conditional Use Permit has been approved by the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors in Lawrenceville, Vir. The original permit was for Knob Hill Mobile Home Park, a 34 homesite manufactured housing community, previously approved. The amendment, also approved, allows for six of the homesites to be used for travel trailers and campers, and will expire Dec. 31, 2016. MHC owner Scott Brandt says the temporary sites will be used by employees working on the Dominion Virginia Power project.

(Image credit: Deer Valley Homes)

HUD Funds to Rehabilitate Modular Homes

May 2nd, 2012 Comments off

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $1.8 million in grants to improve housing and stimulate economic development among three Native American tribes in Nevada. KTVN-TV tells each of the tribes will receive $605,000 under the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program. The Ely Shoshone Tribe will rehabilitate 13 homes, nine of which are 840 square foot travel trailers with three bedrooms and one bath. The other four are 1,080 square foot modular homes with three bedrooms and two baths. The Wells Indian Colony Band of Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone and the Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone Tribe will use their funds for business development.

(Image credit: Dept. Housing and Urban Development)

Class Action Suit Settled

April 24th, 2012 Comments off

The largest mass settlement to date of claims over the FEMA travel trailers supplied to victims of Hurricane Katrina was agreed to by nearly a dozen manufacturers including Thor Industries, Recreation by Design, Play-Mor Trailers, Cruiser RV and Skyline. According to TheNewsStar, the $14.8 million was based on occupants sickened by the higher than acceptable levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt must now approve the deal. He has presided over three other settlement claims against manufacturers of FEMA travel trailers; in all three cases the companies won. People who lived in the trailers following Katina are eligible for their share which will be determined by a court-appointed agent. If the deal goes through, has learned, nearly half of the money will go for legal and other costs.

(Photo credit: GovernmentAuctions)