Mobile Homes: A History
There’s some confusion these days about the politically correct term for houses that began their lives on wheels. Most people call everything from a house trailer to a double- or triplewide a “mobile home,” but the industry is trying to put the stigma associated with that phrase behind it. History holds the key to this identity crisis.
1940s: Eight-foot-wide house trailers provide homes for tens of thousands of transient workers and veterans returning from World War II. They’re built without government oversight, and quality varies widely.
Early 1950s: Ten-foot-wide version is dubbed the “mobile home” because it looks less like an aerodynamic car and more like a boxy house.
1960s: Doublewides debut.
1963: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) develops construction standards for mobile homes.
1973: Forty-five states have adopted the ANSI Standard.
1975: The term “manufactured homes” is coined as metal siding and roofing are replaced by wood siding and asphalt-shingle roofing to make the homes appear more like site- built homes.
1976: The first U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code, “Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards,” sets minimum performance standards for roof strength, wind resistance, mechanical equipment, thermal performance, safety, and other construction details. It also divides the country into three climate zones and establishes insulation and window-type requirements for each zone.
1985: HUD adds code sections that set maximum formaldehyde emission standards for building products used in manufactured homes and requires that whole-house ventilation systems be provided as an option.
1994: The HUD Code is updated to include a revised thermal-zone map and increased insulation standards.
SOURCE: Your Mobile Home by John Krigger