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Today's manufactured housing defies 'trailer' mentality

Marty Pozgay

“Trailers," “Tin Soldiers," and “Wobbly Boxes” are all derogatory references to RVs and mobile/manufactured homes. Well known singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett even suggested in a song that “they’d look a lot better as beer cans." We’ve also all heard the comments: “They’re cheaply built." “They lose their value overnight." “They’re cramped for space." The people making those references and comments in today’s world must have been hibernating for the past decade. Manufactured homes and RVs have evolved into housing marvels that now make even the strongest cynic take notice. Look at a modern day manufactured home: cathedral ceilings, plaster walls, fireplaces, Whirlpool tubs, integrated porches and tile roofs are some of the amenities offered. Virtually any amenity found in a site-built home can now be found in a manufactured home. As for improved construction standards, in Florida, for example, manufactured homes are designed and built to withstand a higher wind load than site-built homes.

As for RVs, I recently visited the RV Supershow in Tampa, Florida. Here’s what I saw: 52-inch flat panel tvs, bamboo floors, granite countertops, high-tech instrumentation and informational screens, and an RV priced at $3 million. Although there are very high-end RVs and manufactured homes, most continue to provide one of their primary functions, which is affordability. Because of the development of picturesque communities to place the homes and with continued advances in home design and construction, what was once referred to as an “industry” has turned into a “lifestyle." Embrace the lifestyle.

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