Manufactured Home Show at Tunica

First time at the Tunica manufactured housing show, and my impression was that a sense of forced enthusiasm attempted to smother the overall disappointment at the dwindled attendance and lack of innovation pervading the manufactured home industry.  Times are tough, 1/7th of the heyday a decado ago.   You could feel the builders that had something going on (like Legacy, Franklin, Platinum and Energy homes) by the questions being asked and interested murmurs of visitors, and tell which of the builders were simply showcasing decades-old thinking in this year's wrapper. 

Comparing 18 brands of mobile home manufacturers

These pictures were taken and comments made as I walked through each home in about three hours, so is by no means a comprehensive study of each brand.  First impressions of eighteen manufacturers as they were all lined up against one another.  

  • Platinum was cool, it felt big.  You should see this back porch, complete with grill and a sitting area your whole party can enjoy.
    platinum mobile home

    platimun trailer house

  • Franklin interior’s had good finishing touches - crown moulding and columns that truly enhanced the home instead of appearing as tacky additions. Great master bathroom and a closet seriously as big as a room of some other styles.
    franklin mobile home

  • Energy homes (by Clayton) give some seriously high ceilings!  The living room layout encircling a center post made it a feature attraction.  I don’t want to know what it costs though. 
    energy homes mobile home

  • Cavalier somehow had a decent feel despite tiny bathrooms, perhaps from using quality accents instead of something you can peel off with your fingernails. 
    cavalier mobile home

  • Waverlee had a good feel inside, even though it had a small kitchen.  The exterior looks good, although inside I did not love the floor plan, which seemed to trap you with only one way out.
    waverlee mobile home

  • Deer Valley had good cabinets.  Nothing else particularly stood out.
    deer valley mobile home

  • Legacy boasted a large common room, kitchen dining living in one, but small other rooms. Theirs have a Southwestern style that made them stand out from other manufacturers and represented the region in which they are based well.
    legacy mobile home

  • Wilkins are modular buildings, not homes, and they make a pretty decent office.
    wilkins modular buildings

If you live in a trailer park, a mobile home community, or a residential neighborhood of manufactured houses, you know fancy words don’t change your walls.  The industry would have you call them manufactured homes, and with good reason, they look nothing like the trailers of fifty years ago.  The construction standards have steadily increased, through both competition and federal regulation.  Most residents call them mobile homes or trailer homes - manufactured housing just gets stuck in your mouth, or you have to explain anyway that what you really mean is a doublewide.   Mobile homes are affordable, plain and simple.  If we had a lot of money, we’d live in a site-built home.  Thankfully there is some creativity in the exterior appearance of manufactured homes, and the 9 above get my Top Half rating for this year. The 9 below should work on new ideas if we are to shed ourselves of this old image of trailers.

  • Cappaert felt wide - which they were because they have 18 footers!  18' singlewides and 36' doublewides, nice.
    cappaert mobile home

  • Lexington had some fancy interior trimmings, but upon close inspection were cheap.  Overall it felt cramped.
    lexington mobile home

  • Buccaneer had slightly better ceilings than some, but nothing jumped out as particularly special.  This felt like a very practical home.
    buccanneer mobile home

  • River Birch had a decent floor plan and central common area.
    river birch mobile homes

  • Southern (by Clayton) had great light in the kitchen, and a floor plan than encircled the furnace and air conditioner. 
    southern clayton mobile home

  • Kabco had a great master bath and master closet.  Also the front porch was nice as its recessed design made it flush with the rest of the house.
    kabco mobile home

  • Fleetwood was small but workable.  Decent sized bathroom for the size of the trailer.  Angled ceilings in a doublewide give good height in the middle.
    fleetwood mobile home

  • Clayton is trailerific.  This is the most common mobile home in the country, so it's kind of standard. 
    clayton mobile home

  • Champion is also very standard, you've probably been in a trailer like this before.  They did have one oversize home, pretty neat, and you'll notice it if anyone in your park ever gets one.
    champion mobile home

  • Sunshine had arches and a nice kitchen, but low ceilings that hurried me out the door.
    sunshine mobile homes

And don't forget the toters, you have to move these manufactured houses.
mobile home toter