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Thread: 40% of americans live in trailers/mobile homes

  1. #1

    40% of americans live in trailers/mobile homes

    Something like 40% of americans live in trailer homes which are heated with electricity since these homes have very thin walls(1-2inches) their thermal resistance is low (R4-R8)..We need demonstration projects which retrofit insulation and other energy and water conserving techniques to existing housing stock in order to prod the u.s .into the 21st century and catchup to the rest of the world in energy conscious design:huge saving in energy can be accomplished easily and quickly and the poorest americans will save alot of money.

  2. #2
    would anyone please crunch the numbers using ENERGY TEN or similar software to ee the savings and payback period for an average trailer home. perhaps a local government or nonprofit could provide loans at no interest as a public service and to improve the general economy by keeping more money in the community and in the pockets of the most vulnerable citizens:the retired,the disabled the oppressed,and the other poor working people who do all the work and get the least benefit in

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    40%? Cite, please. I lived in New Mexico for several years -- supposedly, it has the highest percentage of mobile homes, with 35% of all housing units on wheels or blocks.

  4. #4
    Why quibble over numbers??..the fact is an amazing number..an incredible number..an apalling number of americans live in poverty in tin shacks which waste more energy and money than their rich neighbors up on the hill...the people who can least afford the high cost of energy are paying a large percentage of their income just to cook and heat....

  5. #5
    Instead of trying to "upgrade" mobile homes with 2-inch walls, how about building better housing for low and middle-income people in the first place? Why do we have two housing codes in most states--the HUD code for poor people, and BOCA or some similar code for the rest of us? Why not one code for everybody?

  6. #6
    well yes, of course,in an ideal world this would be the way things are done but,until that day we are stuck cleaning up and mitigating the effects of capitalistic greed and avarice...i am just saying that with a small investment of time and energy a plan could be realized to help poor people now,with the reality they face every day and help relieve some of the destruction of the planet..thanks.

  7. #7
    My Two Cents,

    First of all, not every moblie home is poorly constructed or substandard. Many national and local builders are now meeting the Universal Building Codes, approved by HUD and a growing number of State legislatures. These codes are stringent but certainly not the most environmentally or economically reasonable for high quality housing.

    Secondly, you all seem to be talking about greedy capitalists and the misguided poor who buy manufactured homes because there is no alternative. Why don't you all throw your wonderful brains and energy into either designing better manufactured homes or working with local, state and national housing groups to improve the quality and affordablilty of manufactured homes.

  8. #8
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    Another thing to consider, too. In my travels, I've noticed far more mobile homes in warm weather states than in the frigid North. Maybe the reason why mobile homes are so poorly insulated is that the vast majority of them are located in parts of the country where heavy insulation really isn't needed.

    Sure, there's some mobile homes located in places like North Dakota or Wyoming, but were those homes designed for Southern climates to begin with? What percentage of mobile homes are lcoated in states that experience significant cold weather?

  9. #9
    I agree with the fact that mobile homes are very inefficient, but I would like some clarification from the originator of this thread.

    "40% of americans live in trailers/mobile homes "

    Does that figure represent a mobile home (tin bread box on wheels or blocks) or does that figure represent manufactured housing?

    I have read somewhere that most of all new housing starts in the US are manufactured houses. I would tend to believe the statement that 40% of all Americans live in manufactured housing. I don't really think I believe that 40% of Americans live in trailers/homes.

    If you drive around and look at manufactured housing communities you will often see that it is hard to distinguish those homes from traditional construction.

    I may be wrong, but it seems to me that I would see SIGNIFICANTLY more mobile home parks than I do if 40% of Americans lived in them.

    Chris Fine
    City of Dayton, OH

  10. #10
    Aug 2001
    Prior to june of 1976 mobile homes (trailor houses) were produced. Since the onset of HUD code the industry changed its standards. I believe all the major Manufactured Housing Companies meet the code. So I assume you are talking about these older Mobile Homes (trailor homes)??? With my experience and some research on the subject... Much of today's Manufactured Housing is comparable to conventional housing. I agree with David, mfg housing has made great strides forward from its past... I have found it interesting that most of mfg housing retains a comparable resale value to that of conventional housing... Today's mfg housing is not your grandmother's trailor home!

    I apologize, I dont believe this answers your question though... Is it worth spending the money on such homes? I do not believe the life span of these older mobile homes make them a viable housing source for the future... Maybe better planning is the answer. Let the old stock run out its life cycle? Then plan for a more permanent answer to the problem.

    Just my 2 cents...

    Why not let the home run out their life cycle and spend $ and time on a solution not a short-term fix ???

  11. #11
    A&T University in Greensboro NC (USA) is doing a major pilot project on energy efficiency in mobile homes.

  12. #12

    Jan 2002
    New York, New York
    As always, the world of man is a day late and a dollar short when it comes to improving the ways in which we live in our environment. Had anyone looked at the issue of energy costs during the peak time of manufactured homes (this was, afterall the 70's) perhaps they would have caught their mistake and saved our generation the "cleanup". Unfortunately, that was not the case. So what now? I subscribe to the notion that all of the problems pestering the built environment have their solutions in the natural one. We have only but to look and apply.

    Gregory Joseph Singletary

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