Key differences between trailers and similar housing

Key differences between trailers and similar housing

With plenty of commodities with similar functions, many terms become interchangeable. From jelly and jam to jail and prison, we’ve often confused similar things with each other. 

In the world of housing, the words ‘trailer’, ‘mobile home’, and ‘modular home’ have frequently been considered as synonyms of one another. This is unfortunate since it can lead to you buying the wrong home.

Today at Jaguar Trailers, we’ll help you break these misconceptions to help you choose the best kind of home for you. 

Defining the different kinds of homes

To begin, each home must be defined for easy comparing and contrasting. Due to their similarities, learning their definitions will help you choose the right home.


A trailer is the most popular term used to describe a home that can be moved from one place to another. They’re usually characterized as either small, recreational vehicles, trailers for travel, and mobile homes with limited features people can stay in. 

Types of trailers

Tent trailers – Created and popularized in the 70s, this trailer is known to be light and easy to pull behind your car. Its sides have a flexible canvas, allowing it to be raised when you’re using them or lowered when travelling. 

When used for travel, the large beds in this trailer are hidden underneath the main roof. So while the beds are used, the roof retracts and rests atop the fibreglass/aluminium lower portion. These were often used for short vacations like road trips.

Toy hauler – Popularized in the 2000s, this trailer can store large items such as transport motorcycles and bicycles. These trailers are so large that they can only be towed by stronger pick-up trucks. So this trailer is ideal to bring into desserts because of its ability to withstand great heat. 

Construction process

This trailer is built from scratch inside a factory piece by piece. The process uses a mix of machines and traditional craftsmanship. Individual components are printed and cut by machines, and craftsmen then use these components to build the home.

‘Solid construction’ is used to keep these components together. It’s characterized by bonding the parts together, instead of screwing them. What this does is, makes the home stronger and avoid having holes in the overall structure.

The interior of the trailer is then assembled. Cabinets, beds, chairs, and various furniture and appliances are placed little by little. Once done, the exterior, from the walls to the windows are then applied to the interior frame. 

They’re then painted, and go through a quality inspection before they’re released to the market.

Mobile Home

Becoming widespread during the 1950s, this home is known for its affordability and mass-produced. It can be installed in a park, on its lot, and is a residential housing unit. 

To this day, this home is often treated interchangeably with a trailer. Though the smaller, more travel-sized ones are considered as such, it isn’t adequate to call the larger ones the same. This is because the larger mobile homes are planted on a lot. 

Types of Mobile Homes

40s era mobile home – Long with rounded edges at both ends, 40s-style mobile homes are small enough to move around and large enough to be used as a home. These are 8 feet wide and are usually 30 to 40 feet in length. However, its wideness of 8 feet makes them a little difficult to move around in. 

50s era mobile home – Like its predecessor, this home was a little claustrophobic for some individuals. To make them liveable, awnings and porches were then added for extra space. These homes were 10 feet in width and 55 feet in height, allowing at most two bedrooms to be installed within them. 

These mobile homes continued to be used in the 1960s and were then expanded to become 12 to 14 feet in width and 70 feet in height.

Aluminium-sided mobile home – As time went on, many mobile homes have become too large to be moved around by small vehicles. They also required government-issued permits for them to even be allowed to be moved. Due to this, these mobile homes have been staying in parks or designated mobile home lots. 

Manufactured homes

At the beginning of June 1976, the Department of Housing and Urban Development created laws requiring larger mobile homes. Due to these laws, the sturdiness of every aspect of the home, from the chassis to the plumbing, have changed.

These new-and-improved homes, now called ‘manufactured homes’, have now distanced themselves significantly from their predecessors. 

Manufactured homes are usually characterized by the following features:

Wood siding – The aluminium siding of previous housing was now replaced by wood. These were chosen to create a more traditional, ‘homey’ feel. 

Asphalt roofs – These brand-new roof materials have then replaced the steel roofs of older mobile homes. Many homeowners have even chosen to place overhangs to make the home look more traditional.

Framed-in windows – Early versions of mobile homes had windows looking like that of a travel trailer. There were a lot of exposed screws and they were attached to the aluminium sidings of the house.

Stronger Chassis and frame – The framing underneath the housing support was significantly upgraded with two-string I-beams running throughout the house’s support corners.

Construction process

Manufactured homes are produced within large, climate-controlled factories by a large team of craftsmen. 

The flooring is the first thing that’s built in a manufacturing home. It’s built-in sections, and then each one is attached to a permanent, wheeled chassis and is then secured for transport upon the home’s completion. 

Based on the size of the house and the floorplan’s layout, there can be two, three or even four sections of flooring. For faster home building, heating, electrical and plumbing connections are already pre-installed before being finished with laminate, tile or hardwood. 

The next section constructed is the home’s walls. They’re constructed on a flat level surface and are incorporated with insulation and interior Sheetrock before it’s placed into a crane to position and secure them to the floor sections. 

After those are done, the interior ceilings and roof struts are built next. When building them, they’re vapour sealed and secured to each section of the wall frame before being shingled. The exterior siding, doors, and windows are then added. 

The last part is finishing the interior, from sealing the drywall, fixture installation, to accomplishing the electrical and plumbing connections. The exposed portions of each of the interior’s sections are then wrapped in plastic to keep them safe during delivery. Once they arrive at their destination, the home is assembled and completed.

When your home’s prep work is done, its sections are then delivered by trucks. Then, once they’re at your destination, the towing of the individual sections are placed in their permanent chassis. The sections will then be joined together securely, and plumbing and electrical connections are then finalized. This is accomplished before a decorative skirt or facade is applied to the bottom exterior of the house, hiding the chassis and polishing the overlook of the home. 

Inside, paint and carpet are finished according to the design specifications, then the home is cleaned thoroughly. The components are then sent to you and built to your specifications.

Modular home

These are characterized by being prefabricated homes that consist of repeated sections called ‘modules’. Modular is a construction process wherein sections of the home are made in parts and are later assembled in a certain site. 

After placing all the parts together using inter-module connections. These connections keep the parts together to form the overall structure of the home. Modular homes are built to be equal or better in quality than traditionally-built houses.  

Construction process

Construction of this home is done offsite, in an assembly line within a factory. Using lean manufacturing techniques, these homes are prefabricated through deliverable modular sections. 

Each module is delivered to the home site in standard 20-foot containers, each one having similar dimensions, structures, building and stacking/placing techniques. However, each one has its provisions for windows, power, potable water, sewage lines, telecommunications and air conditioning. 

Modular homes are already 60 to 90% finished when they arrive at the final building site. They arrive at the site in components or subassemblies of the larger housing. The completed modules are then transported to the building site and assembled by a crane. The assembly process can take several hours to days, depending on the size of the building.

Knowing the difference between these homes is incredibly important. Not knowing their purpose and features will lead to unaccomplished housing goals and wasted resources. 

To avoid this, take the time to go through our blogs and find out which of these homes best suits you. We at Jaguar Trailers have a lot of these in store for you!

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