Travel Trailers and Mobile Homes – Stationary Southern Types For Temporary Winter Stays

Most of the RV parks in the small Rio Grande Valley at the southern tip of Texas are similar to the ones around the world, with one exception. These parks patronize the 150,000 so-called migrating winter inhabitants from the northern states and Canada during the winter months.

Thus, their basic operations are geared toward these three-to-eight-month winter stays in addition to the typical overnight or weekend ones. These parks have five kinds of local stationary units to rent or buy for temporary winter lodging. They are named and described below.

1. Stationary travel trailer (TT). Numerous older-model 25-to-40-feet-long one-bedroom one-bath travel trailers have been block-mounted and strapped down permanently onto their concrete pads where they might be skirted for appearance sake. To make them roomier, they often have had permanent hand-made pop-out extensions or a Texas Room added to them plus a patio awning. The Texas Room is a fully enclosed width extension to one side of the trailer. It can range from an enclosed porch to a fully furnished room addition.

These units are highly livable for two small-to-medium-sized tenants. They rent from $400 to 1500/month during the winter season depending on their condition and location. They also sell used for around $8 to 50K depending on their age, size, condition, and location. When expanded and remodeled, they are similar in size to the park-model mobile home below, and sometimes are referred to as such.

2. Park model, small (PM). This model is smaller than a regular full-sized mobile home. The older ones measure about 12×33-feet with one bedroom, a bathroom, tight but full-sized kitchen, and a small living area. The newer ones are more modern than these and the stationary trailers above. The modern PM has a pitched roof, design windows and skirting, high ceiling, fairly large bathroom, modern kitchen and living area, combined air and heat source, ceiling fan, and an extra room (storage, den, half-bath, office, or bedroom). Viewed from above, it might have an “L” shape plus a covered deck, patio, porch, shed, or parking spot.

For insurance and taxing reasons, this model has a non-taxable living area of about 400 square feet or slightly above. Thus, it often sits on a small concrete trailer pad with little or no yard to take care of, except for an occasional tree, shrub, or potted plant. These rent for about $900-1500/month. To own, they cost about $50 to 80K or more new with transport and setup costs included. Larger park models also exist. But they usually sit on the much larger lots reserved for mobile homes.

3. Mobile home, large (MH). This fairly long and narrow home can be like the ones seen in the MH parks and countryside everywhere. The newer models are wider (16 to 20-feet) than the older ones (10 to 14-feet), making them spacious. Generally they have two-to-three bedrooms with two large bathrooms. But varying configurations and sizes are available, including stylish ones. The MH can also have a covered concrete patio and/or parking area plus a Texas Room of some kind. Depending on the exact size of its lot, the MH could have extra additions of some kind on both of its sides. Also, a one-bedroom one-bath MH having rooms larger than the PM exist. These generally are for tenents not having overnight guests.

Although it can still be moved again, this parked and skirted home sits on a fairly large lot, which will have adequate space for an outside shed, garden, trees, and a yard to take care of by the owner or by hired help. Because of its large size, it is insured and taxed accordingly.

These rent for $900-2500/month depending the same conditions above. To own, they cost from $25 to 200K, used or new, with transport and setup costs included as needed. If their add-on Texas Rooms are raised to the same floor levels as the MH’s, they become similar to the double-wides below.

4. Double wide. The double wide is like those seen everywhere, often stylish. Unlike the so-called stationary trailers and mobile homes above, these become totally permanent homes, and probably will not be moved again once installed. They are very spacious. They also sit on large lots, and are treated like regular real estate, usually occupied by long-term owners.

5. Efficiency apartment. Certain large parks have a few efficiency apartments for the guests and inquiring visitors to stay in. These apartments can range in size from motel-like rooms to suites to furnished small apartments. In the winter season, these rentals cost about the same as trailer rentals above, about $600 to 1500/month.

In addition to the above housing, limited seasonal motel rooms, suites, and time-shares are also available for new visitors to this valley. Yet, because potential winter inhabitants might enjoy the various activities in the RV parks there, they might prefer to rent one of the above units before deciding to own one. The parks have maintenance personnel who watch these properties year-round. For more information on these kind of living units, see these sites.