My place is a 1978 New Eagle, two-bed, one full bath, double-wide trailer. It was manufactured the year before I was born. It sits on a gorgeous lot on waterfront property. The cost of the home was one month’s salary, and the monthly cost of the lot rental is two to three days’ work. It is home to me, my partner, four cats, and a Chihuahua. There are a lot of myths about trailer living, and I am here to dispel them for you.
Lots of people think all trailer folks are poor. While there is poverty, is is also true that many of the better-than-thou-types living in their glorious traditional homes are broke, too.. As for the me, I have no mortgage. This alone saves me thousands of dollars per year. I have no gas bill, which can be a crippling expense in a house. Instead of investing in a huge, expensive building, I can invest in far more liquid assets, to be cashed out or reallocated at my sole discretion. For me, the financial strain of a house was obscene. I sigh in relief every time I write my pittance of a lot rent check. If you are even marginally well-employed, trailer living can make you richer if you are conscientious of your finances.
Another myth regarding trailers is that they are hard to live in. Nothing could be farther from reality. On the rare occasion a pipe bursts in my trailer, I cut the main and go patch it in the morning. The water falls harmlessly to the ground. All of the pipes are PVC and run to the middle of the trailer, as the kitchen and bathroom share a common wall. I can go under the house, see exactly what is wrong, and fix it easily. In a house? Forget it! Sopping wet walls and floors, wrestling with metal pipes, structural damage galore, and a repair bill with a comma in the total! The electricity in my trailer was all redone before I purchased it, but the cost to completely re-wire a trailer of comparable size is only 2000-2400$. Try that in a two-bedroom house! The maintenance and repairs are so simple, I feel confident doing them myself, with the exception of electrical work which I’d leave to a professional.
Finally, there is much chatter about how trailers are ‘cramped’. Really? A double wide is sixteen feet wide and anywhere from forty to over seventy feet long, depending on your model. I work from home. My partner and I are both six feet tall. The only time I ever feel cramped is when I am carrying a load through the narrow back hallway, which is seldom. Everything from the shower to the bedrooms feels spacious. There is no need for the miniature apartment-sized appliances. All standard major appliances fit with no issue. Do I have the largest refrigerator available? No, but I wouldn’t want one, the standard size is more than enough. I also cannot have a large-capacity washer and am forced to make do with a standard size. So what? There is no more galloping up and down stairs, one more load doesn’t matter. Everything is cleverly-designed and convenient.
In short, I find it unfair that so many people have a negative and skewed idea of what trailer living is like. For those who don’t relish the idea of being in debt for 30 years or more, paying outrageous repair and maintenance costs, or paying for space they don’t use or don’t want, trailer life has a decided upper hand.