Park Model Home vs. Modular Home?

A man thinking over whether he should purchase a park model home or modular home.

Much confusion can abound when trying to distinguish between a park model home and a modular home. At times, it can be hard to tell them apart with the naked eye. But don’t let that fool you, they are very different! Our hope is that through this blog post, you too will be able to understand the differences and be able to discover what option will best meet your need.

Park Model Homes

Park Model

Image Credit: at.parkmodelsdirect.com

First, let’s look at park model homes. To be honest, park model homes are not really “homes” at all. Technically, they are classified as a recreational vehicle, similar to your camper or RV that you love to cruise around in every summer. Because of this, a park model home will need to have registration, tags, and insurance, right like your other recreational vehicles. With this type of classification, park model

homes are intended to be placed in RV parks, campgrounds, and locations that are accommodating to small trailers.

To be honest, park model homes are not really “homes” at all. Technically, they are classified as a recreational vehicle, similar to your camper or RV that you love to cruise around in every summer. 

At this point you may be asking the question: “Why is it so difficult to tell them apart? Can’t I tell a park model home from a modular home based upon whether or not it is on wheels?” It is true that many times you can tell them apart this way. But some park model home owners will actually put vinyl skirting around the base of their trailers, covering up the chassis and making it appear very much like a modular home.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. If I put a vinyl skirting around the base and make it look like a modular home, can I live in it permanently like I would any other home? The answer is no. With its classification as a recreational vehicle, it cannot be considered a permanent modular home. Also, it must adhere to totally different standards and requirements than a modular home. For example, park model homes must have an interior less than 400 square feet to keep their classification status. They also follow the RVIA (RV Industry Association) ANSI A119.5 building standards rather than the state building codes that modular homes adhere to. These building standards are applied to all RVs and Park Model RVs, and can be considered the minimum required by law.

Lastly, a park model home with its classification as a recreation vehicle cannot be deemed as a permanent home and, therefore, cannot be financed as a home. Mortgages are not available for park model homes as they are for modular homes. In short, park model homes are not intended to be permanent “homes” at all. They are meant to be used for recreational purposes, such as weekend getaways, Airbnb rentals, hunting and fishing trips, camping, and the like.

Modular Homes

modular homes

Modular homes, as you may already know, is the type of building that we manufacture here at Cripple Creek Cabins. Modular homes, as we mentioned at the beginning of this post, are quite different from park model homes. One difference is the building process. They too, like park model homes, are most times premanufactured (prefabricated or prefab) inside a climate-controlled building, but they are not

mounted on wheels, axles, or metal frames. Rather, they are built in sections (called modules) and then transported via flatbed truck to the building site. Upon arrival at the site, the modules will be assembled on a permanent foundation via a crane, and can be placed vertically, horizontally, or even stacked.

Unlike park model homes, modular homes are considered permanent structure homes. Because of this, the building standards that a modular home has to follow are much different from that of a park model home. Modular homes must adhere to all state, local or regional codes applicable to the permanent assembly location. These strict building codes can vary from state to state depending on many numerous factors, some of which are wind zones, seismic zones, snow loads, and many others. This can be very tricky and difficult, requiring intense attention to detail and quality in every facet of the modular home.

Unlike park model homes, modular homes are considered permanent structure homes. 

In addition to this, being classified as a home means that modular homes can be financed as such. Unlike a park model home, an individual who buys a modular home will be able to find mortgage options. We at Cripple Creek Cabins also have some great financial partners that we offer to our customers in a continued effort to make our housing options more affordable to all. Visit our financing info page by clicking on the button link below:

So to recap, we learned that park model homes are not really “homes.” They are rather classified as recreational vehicles and are intended to be used as such. In contrast, modular homes are classified as permanent structure homes, thus they can be financed as a home and must adhere to different building codes. Overall, we hope that this post has been helpful in clarifying a confusing topic. As always, we want to help you meet your housing need in a clear and stress-free way. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our wonderful team here at Cripple Creek Cabins!