What Is the Difference Between a Park Model Trailer and a Mobile Home?

Looking to buy a trailer that best functions as a “home away from home?” You might be stuck on two options: a park model trailer or a mobile home. Obviously, both options are sound, but there’s differences between the two of them. Before you make up your mind on what you want, it’s important to educate yourself on their pros and cons. After all, a trailer’s no small purchase.

To note as well – mobile home or park model insurance in Ontario is also a necessity, regardless of its make. Mobile homes nor park model trailers necessitate insurance – not by provincial law – but it is still highly recommended because they’re expensive investments!

Without further ado, here is the difference between park model trailers and mobile homes.

What is a park model trailer?

According to Canada’s Recreational Vehicle Association, a “park model trailer” is a recreational unit that abides by specific criteria. As such, a park model trailer is built on a single chassis that is mounted on wheels for easier transportation, is built lightweight enough to be relocated from season to season, and is designed to suit as living quarters solely for seasonal camping. It may also be connected to necessary utilities and its gross floor space may not exceed 50m2 when being set up, and it must be wider than 2.6m in transit mode.

Park model trailers can range in cost from as low as $30,000 a trailer to upwards of $150,000, depending on the complexity, grade, and more. It can sleep up to 10 or more people. These are common options for hunters, seasonal fishers, or simply those who like to live away from their primary residence during the summer months. Really, there’s so many reasons why someone would choose a park model trailer!

What is a mobile home?

A mobile home, sometimes called a house trailer, a trailer home, a park home, etc. is a structure that has been prefabricated (i.e., built in a factory) upon a permanently attached chassis before being transported to a site. They can be used as permanent homes or holiday getaways. They can even be used as temporary relocation, depending on your circumstances. They are often left permanently or semi-permanently, and may require to be relocated from time-to-time (for legal reasons.) They have strong trailer frames, tow-hitches, axles, and wheels.

You might think – but that sounds very similar to a park model trailer! Well, not quite. There are some differences between the two and it’s important to note that similar looking trailers can be used for very different purposes. This is incredibly important to note, both before you purchase and before you purchase insurance, as you’ll want to have the right trailer insurance.

The differences between mobile homes and park model trailers –

What are the main differences between mobile homes and park model trailers then, you might be wondering? Well, a mobile home –

  • is stayed in year-round. People may call mobile homes their primary residence.

On the other hand, a park model trailer…

  • is only stayed in seasonally. Seasonal campers who have park model trailers will have another primary residence, or they may be snowbirds, or they’ll have other living arrangements during the off-season.

Mobile homes may also be parked in parks with other mobile homes, where those people live in their trailers year-round as well. As for mechanical differences, a mobile home –

  • has wheels, but these can be removed or skirted after the mobile home is placed down. They can be transported to other locations, but this is rare and tough to do.

With park model trailers, the difference is that –

  • they have a single chassis axis, around 400 square feet. They are considered recreational vehicles still and not permanent residences. They can be moved and transported, and can also handle the long-term commitment in a park or resort – just not as long as a mobile home.

And finally, a mobile home tends to be more equipped to withstand winter and can have fireplaces. Park model trailers have more lightweight material that allows them to be transported with ease, but they aren’t able to hold up to harsher temperatures, like mobile homes.

Which is less expensive? Well, park model trailers, typically. It depends on the model and make, obviously, as a cheaper mobile home may be less expensive than a luxurious park model, but it averages out that park models tend to be the cheaper option. Now, that doesn’t mean that price alone should be the thing that makes your decision. If you’re looking for a more permanent alternative to living in a factory-made home, or you like the appeal of mobile homes, then it’s a wise investment! Otherwise, if you only want your trailer seasonally, a park-model may be your best bet.

Good luck choosing!