As you prowl the newspaper ads for your place to call home, your eye catches an advertisement for park model homes. Quizzical and curious about this new term that’s come your way, you’ve come here for a little light on the matter. Is a park model like a mobile home? If they’re different, should you choose a park model home over a mobile home? How long do park model homes last?

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All this and more will be covered in the following paragraphs.

What is a park model home? Are they like a mobile home?

To start off, let’s talk about definitions so we’re all on the same page. What is a park model home?

A park model home is, in a way, similar to a single wide but much smaller in size. These homes are designed and built to be moved to and placed in RV parks and campgrounds. However, they are not as portable as RV campers. Thus, they are ideal for long-term recreational purposes. Because of their size and more house-like design, they are more comfortable for vacationing than an RV camper would be.

For example, snowbirds love park model homes as it’s an affordable second home – a home away from home. But more on that further down below. We’ll discuss the benefits of these homes and how it stacks up against a mobile home.

In size, they’re usually up to twelve feet wide and only have one bedroom.

When it comes to looks, there are many variations to choose from. You can choose a park model home that looks like a log cabin or one that merely looks like a small single wide mobile home. Some look very house-like, but on a small scale of course.

As it’s basically a more house-like RV camper, these homes must not exceed 400 square feet by law. To compensate for limited space, manufacturers have found creative ways to create more room in these park model homes. For example, lofts are often found in these designs.

Small yellow house

Next question to be answered is, “how long do park model homes last?”

How long do park model homes last?

Due to the fact that park model homes are not moving around like an RV camper, there is less wear and tear on this type of recreational home. Since they are in a sense, mini mobile homes, we’d say that you’re looking good to expect a thirty-five-year lifespan on your park model home.

Such estimates are contingent on various dependencies such as maintenance and lifestyle. All these factors contribute to knowing how long park model homes last.

Why would I want a park model home?

Because of its small size and affordable cost factor, these homes are great if you’re wanting to set it up in a campground or the like for a long-term living. Additionally, if you own property out in the woods, you can easily move a park model home to be left there for recreational use. That wooded property could be a comfortable little getaway place for you and your family to enjoy the outdoors. For those who are intrigued by the tiny house phenomenon, a park model home is an appealing option.

How a park model home stacks up against a mobile home

So how does a park model home stack up against a mobile home?

Mobile homes are rarely moved due to the rigorous process of relocating due to its large structure. Moreover, the permits and regulations involved must stay HUD compliant. A mobile home that’s moved to a spot is there for the long haul.

On the flip side, a park model home can be moved around with more ease. Although typically they are installed for long-term placement with skirting. You may at least expect the park model home to remain where it is for a long time before it’s moved again.

While mobile homes can be set up on private property and carry the same rights of a stick built home in most locales, a park model home does not get that same treatment.

Because a park model home is basically a recreational vehicle, it is prohibited from being used as a home in most locales.

colorful small house on wheels

Thus, choosing between a mobile home and a park model home is completely up to your lifestyle, needs, and locale. If you’re set on using a park model home as a permanent residence on your private property, you will have to see what your local government says.

Ask yourself what’s best

Now that we’ve answered “how long do park model homes last?” and other questions, you can make an informed decision on whether that’s the best housing for you.

And remember, park model homes make a great vacation home. So perhaps you’re in a situation where don’t have to pick either/or. A mobile home would make a great housing option and you can use a park model home for family getaways.

About Dan Leighton

Dan Leighton has been working in the mobile home industry for over a decade. His focus has been on sales and customer relations - making sure each person in the transaction is comfortable and fully transparent. He has a wife and one son. Dan continues to look for innovative ways to help both sellers and parks get the most bang for their buck.