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Good or bad brands Manufactured homes

February 19, 2008

I am near the point of purchasing a manufactured home and have narrowed the choices down to the following brands not necessarily in this order: Silver Crest, Skyline, Karsten, Fleetwood, Clayton, Golden West, Kit Homes. I think Fleetwood is at the bottom of the list as the local plant #17 in Woodland Calif. has been decertified by HUD several times over the last few years (Currently decertified). Any one have experiences with any of these brands?

Comments (105)

  • Christopher_H

    As I sit here in Vermont reading about the various regions of our great nation I see California does it's share of rocking and rolling on a regular basis, the pacific northwest has volcanoes, the midwest is known as tornado alley, the southeast has more than their share of hurricanes, and I look outside and say "give me a blizzard any day". The sun comes out the next morning and all is quiet and beautiful.

  • cathyyg

    No offense taken, Debbie, that you do not share my love of the seasons and Michigan. I have lived in California, from 1976-1980, at Mather AFB, Rancho Cordova. So I know California, and still reject it. Mostly due to the water supply, or looming lack of it.

    Christopher_H, I agree that Vermont is a great choice. The growing season is even shorter than mine, but that's what cold frames and hoop houses are for. Let me show the OP a home fresh on the market not far from me that seems to be a MH on a permanent foundation. link to listing:


    Edit: Meh, maybe not a MH, just a small house, but this is a typical listing, lots of MH on land here going for a song.

  • Michelle Agliano
    Thank you Debbie and Cathy for your words of wisdom. Now we are looking at eastern Washington, which put me closer to my youngest daughter. Well we'll see where the Lord lands us. Blessings to you all.
  • cathyyg

    Check the water rights before you buy land. Water rights out west can be very odd, in that they are based on who was there first, not equal rights to what water is there. I do not know how they work in Washington, but it is worth discovering. if I seem fixated on water, it is because you can build shelter, grow food, but you are stuck with whatever water you can access where you choose to live.

  • Debbie B.

    Cathy, of course you are right. I didn't mean to be flip about the dire situation California is in, water-wise and climate change-wise. And I'm grateful you took no offense to my comments.

    I have my reasons for not wanting to live in extreme cold or heat. I have pretty severe rheumatoid arthritis and my joints just can't handle the cold. Even eastern Washington is on the borderline of what I can tolerate. Another issue I have is that my internal thermometer, so to speak, doesn't work well, and I overheat very easily. Again, Spokane is just on the line of how much heat I can tolerate.

    I admit, you in the midwest and Christopher in the east have beautiful changes of seasons that we do not get to experience here. On the other hand, we have mountains and the Pacific Ocean and scenes that would take your breath away. One isn't better than the other, they're just different.

    I've lived on the west coast all my life (besides my year in Zambia). California, Oregon, and Washington, in several parts of each. So forgive my bias. :-)

    Christopher, you're mostly right about the hazards of the left coast. At least we don't have tornados or hurricanes! Or blizzards, really. However, eastern Washington state seems like one of the safest places to live, natural disaster-wise. Our fault lines are tiny, we're not near any volcanoes, a tsunami would never make it over the Cascades, and the climate is temperate. And we don't seem like we'd be a target of interest for foreign attacks, unless the Canadians turn on us, haha. We do have the Hanford nuclear plant down in the tri-cities, but that's still pretty far away. We do have the very real danger of forest fires. Fortunately, I don't live near the national forests. And here in Washington, we don't (yet) have the water problems of California.

    Of course, climate change could change all of that.

    Michelle, I currently live in Spokane, on the campus of Gonzaga University. The MH I just bought is in Cheney, and I'll be moving there in January. There is tons of land out there and on up to Airway Heights, and it's CHEAP (especially as compared to California)! I don't know anything about water rights here, so I would definitely take Cathy's advice and check into it before buying anything. As far as I understand, water is not a big problem here, but of course that could change in the future. Anyway, if you're thinking of moving up this way, give me a call or message and I'd be happy to show you around!

  • Michelle Agliano
    Debbie will most definitely get a hold of you. Lived in Spokane for five years after being in Wenatchee for 15. Totally go back about Airway Heights.
  • Michelle Agliano
    Meant forgot about Airway Heights.
  • cathyyg

    Debbie, I understand that internal thermometer not working as well as it once did. My comfort range is from about 68-72 degrees. So we just keep the house there, and I am happy. Except at night, where I need it to be cooler.

    I don't think everybody needs to agree with me on where to live; we don't want and need the same things. But some issues are so basic as to be non-negotiable, like being able to access water.

    We have tornadoes here, but only wimpy little F0 and F1 ones that knock down trees, powerlines, and maybe take the roof off one house. Nothing like the monster F4 and F5 tornadoes they get in tornado alley! OTOH, I live just close enough to Lake Michigan to get Lake Effect snow, and that can be a real consideration. Certainly this would be an inappropriate and uncomfortable locale for you, Debbie.

  • Debbie B.

    Hi Michelle, my email is debbie.jean.brown. When you get up here, shoot me an email and we'll get together! :-) This is the beginning of my fifth year in Spokane. When I first came here I hated it! But it's grown on me to the extent that I have now purchased a MH in Cheney that I intend to live in for the rest of my life.

    Cathy, you are so right indeed. There are many wonderful things in every state of our great nation, and some not so great things too. Half my senior class went to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, and my brother taught there for a year. And I must admit to loving the cheese- being that cheese is pretty much my favourite food since I had to go on a low carb diet. My daughter and I keep promising each other that someday we'll rent a motor home and go on a road trip across the U.S. There are so many great things I want to see...the Grand Caynon, Mt. Rushmore, Amish country, the Great Lakes, the Vietnam war memorial, I could go on and on...but if you're ever out in this neck of the woods, please get a hold of me, and my daughter and I will show you around! Same invitation to you, Christopher!

  • Lisa Betanzos

    Hello. My husband and I are considering purchasing a Skyline manufactured home from Leola PA. I'm nervous as it's a huge decision. We did tour the facility today and walk through both unfinished and finished homes, and were very happy with what we saw. Concerned about the longevity of a manufactured home though, I was curious to see what anyone on here has to say. Thanks in advance.

  • pegfrick

    I am looking at a Scotbilt home. Has anyone used them or know anything about their workmanship?

  • Sherrie Malcolm

    Hi, I am going to buy a Champion home soon, does anyone have any complaints or input. Double wide, Factory Expo in Texas.. Thanks..

  • Debbie B.

    Hey Sherrie, Peg, and Lisa, you might get more response if you start your own thread since this is a thread from 2008. However, I've been "off the grid" for a couple of months, just finally back to civilization today, and from the looks of it, I'm afraid this forum is dying. I hope it doesn't! So try your own thread and let's see what happens!

  • pspups

    I read all 68 comments this morning; I was led here from a Yahoo search in an effort to find more info about a 1992 Fuqua we are considering buying in Tucson, AZ. We are moving from Missouri to Tucson no later than mid-Sept and leaving for a 5 day stay in Tucson specifically to look at existing MHs in 3 different age 55+ communities. So far the Fuqua tops our list of "must sees" followed by Cavcos and Palm Harbors. We will definitely be getting an independent inspection for the one we choose before putting any money down. We failed to do that in the 1950 ranch we currently live in and had to put in about $20,000 into it over 4 years. We had to level the home twice as some brilliant person cut the floor joist between dining room and furnace room in order to make the old 1963 Coleman unit fit. We had a new Lennox H/C installed last year, also spray foam done in all the outside walls, extra fiberglass blown in attic, new siding and had all new windows, 2 exterior doors and glass screen doors. That work was just finished last month and we are selling in Sept., probably taking a big loss; we have told the auctioneer we will not take less than $50,000, so if anyone wants to buy a home in Butler, Mo., here it is! LOL!! The house also has real hardwood floors. Butler is about 55 miles from KC, MO, a lot of people here commute to work. I hope this thread doesn't die as I got a lot of info here including things we never thought of like a 4" gap between the 2 sides of a doublewide. All new readers/posters, please keep this going. Thanks!

  • cathyyg

    Pspups, we highly recommend you read every thread in this forum if you possibly can. As Debbie B has attested, it is a goldmine.

  • Rick Strickland

    Anyone have any information on 1976 Broadmore model TL, is there any asbestos in the building materials

  • pspups

    We bought a new Broadmore in 1972, we ordered bunk beds for our 2 kids, 2 good beds for the other 2 bedrms, had refrigerator, stove and a beautiful glass top dining table w/ 4 chairs. It was a 12' x 65 or 70'. They moved it into Los Arcos Park in Sierra Vista, AZ. (hubby military at Ft. Huachuca), did a wonderful job of setting up, leveling etc. Downside was carpet was pretty cheap, other than that I can't think of anything else.where is the 76 you are looking at? I never thought of asbestos at the time.

  • cathyyg

    Rick, there may or may not be asbestos in your 1976 home. It wasn't completely banned in construction until 1978. However, the odds are low, as by 1976 there were less expensive replacements for asbestos. And just having asbestos is not an issue. The asbestos has to be deteriorating, letting tiny particles of it become airborne, to be a health hazard. You might consider having the home inspected by a certified asbestos inspector if you want certainty.

  • Sally Schrock

    You should consider Kropf MHs, which were top of the line back in the 50's and 60's and still are one of the best brands to this day.

  • Christopher_H

    I did a Bing search for Kropf and found Kropf Industries, and all they make today are park model RVs. They got out of the modular and MH business in the mid 80s.

  • Debra Smith

    I recently bought a Clayton manufactured home new 2015. The siding is all hanging loose and the back corner is caved in. I was told this home is breathing and this is the way it is suppose to be. I'm afraid living in FL will only bring moisture , bugs, and mold behind loose siding. The back corner should not be caved in either rite?

  • cathyyg

    No part of your home should be "caved in." And the siding should not be loose, either. If your dealer keeps putting you off, contact Clayton corporate. And THIS is an example of what Christopher_H and I mean when we say the dealer is more important than the manufacturer.

    I have been hearing conflicting stories about Clayton, that they are teally good and really bad. I can only surmise that with Clayton homes it depends on the manufacturing site. For example, Clayton bought out the manufacturer of my very high quality home, Hart/Forest River. I expect the homes built in their Wakarusa factory to still be of good quality in terms of workmanship compared to a Clayton home built in another factory without that history of quality. Clayton has been buying out smaller companies right and left.

  • etmichelleh

    My husband and I are going to buy a KITWEST modular home on a lot we are about to close on. I've been reading the forum over and over. Due to the language barrier, as I'm not an English-native speaker, I sometimes have difficulties imagining what issues people are describing. (We have concrete and steel bar multiple level buildings more in my country.) I'm so worried now. I want to ask the dealer a lot of questions as the dealer is going to be our builder, but I'm afraid my questions will be rude and stupid. For example, how can I know for sure if the foundation they build will be solid enough and won't crack when the house sets in? How can I protect myself if KITWEST can't build our house as scheduled, or worse yet, if KITWEST suddenly claims out of business and can't give us the house?

    My husband doesn't like me having too much negative thought. It's just that our home-locating journey has been very eventful. Even our new agent shook her head and said she's sorry for what had happened to us as they don't happen that often. (One seller took the house off the market, another seller lied to us about the open permits and the other seller told us we had a deal verbally but then accepted another cash offer...)

    We are going to meet with the dealer/builder in a few days. I'm preparing my questions. Any suggestion will be very much appreciated.

    Happy Holidays to everyone!

  • cathyyg

    Look up the dealership at the BBB, the Better Business Bureau, and see how it is rated, and if there are complaints about it. Understand that nothing is legally binding unless you get it in writing, preferably in the purchase contract. Beware of their financing, and do not use it if you can get financing from a bank, credit union, or other reputable place.

    Your concerns about the foundation and any other part of the construction process are best addressed by making sure that all the inspections required are done by the local building inspectors. The foundation should be inspected before the home is placed on it. The concrete cannot be poured in the rain, and if it is poured in hot weather it must be misted several times a day to keep it from drying too fast and cracking.

    Get the home warranty in writing, and be sure it includes the foundation and site preparation work like grading so water runs away from your basement rather than into it. Make sure it includes all the plumbing and electrical and gas line work. Do a final inspection and make sure all electrical outlets, lights, faucets, drains, and heat registers work.

  • etmichelleh

    Thank you Cathy for your prompt response and valuable suggestions. I wrote them down in my notebook just now and will confirm with our builder. Re BBB, I guess that's why I'm so worried. They're not a BBB registered company and the reviews online are mixed. In that county we don't see another competitor and we are attracted to the fact (according to them) that they have done this multiple times and they know how to deal with the local building department.

  • Gloria Johnson

    Does anyone know anything about Deer Valley "Novus" Double Wide. I am considering purchasing one. Any and all information you can provide will be helpful. What questions to ask, what to look for.

  • Kory Russell

    I am currently majoring in Real Estate Development and have created a business plan to develop neighborhood (not manufactured home communities) that would equivalate to that of a nice brick home subdivision standard (paved streets, street lights, community ordinance restrictions etc, I will be developing these subdivisions strictly with double wide or triple wide homes that will be constructed on permanent foundations with permanent additions as well. While I have been fascinated with manufactured home dwellings my whole life growing up in a beautiful doublwide myself, not only have I come to realize how cost effective they can be for development and maintenance, as well I have discovered how customizeable they are at a fraction of the cost of a brick home. My question to anyone knowledgeable on manufactures of Texas or surrounding is I have narrowed down the 3 companies I will be buying wholesale in quantity for my developments: Solitaire Homes, Palm Harbor, and Oak Creek, my research including reviews has shown in Texas these tend to be the better sought after brands along with higher reviews on satisfaction and construction, and I would like any owner or known opinions of these brands and is there any other companies I should consider that are sold in the Texas/ Louisiana area that reputable in high construction and satisfaction reviews, Clayton/ Fleetwood/ Redman homes are not being considered per research. Thank you in advance to any input to my submission here.

  • jeremylamesa

    Hello Everyone,

    First of all Merry Christmas and happy new year to all!

    Im thinking to use half of my land about 2,500' and thinking of investing it in a 2 or 3 bed manifactor home. I live in Lakeside, California near San Diego area and my home "including the land" still under mortgage.

    I need your help please answering my few questions so I can decide whether I start purchasing a new manifactor home or forget about it :).

    - Can I still use the land in my home to put in a new MH even if its still in mortgage?

    - Which dealer/ manifactor you recommend to use? In San Diego area?

    As far as I know the zoning allows me to use the land for MH however I was told the permit coast $$$$, this information was given to me by officials. Any idea if there any way to reduce the permit cost?

    Thanks for your inputs!

  • pete_powell Columbus, O-H!

    Does anyone have any comments on Unibilt Homes? They are out of the Dayton Ohio area. Thinking about the Lakeside model. Thanks!


  • sooz

    Hi, Jeremy,

    Decades ago, I used to be fairly familiar with Lakeside property types.

    Permits to build are quite expensive, so I think the officials who told you the permit cost would be "$$$$" are correct. Since you're not building, but putting a MH on your property, that may be a bit different? You'll have to also factor in the cost of having plumbing and utilities set up as well as a water source...and how far you'd have to "run the lines" to connect to the grid... unless you'll be digging a well (another permit is probably needed).

    I've never heard of a way to reduce the cost of building permits. They are what they are...

    I'm a little confused because you say you want to put a 2 or 3 bedroom manufactured home on the property, but then you say your home "including the land" is still under a mortgage. I noticed you are jeremylamesa -- do you currently have a house on your Lakeside property and you want to replace it? .. or do you intend for this to be a rental property, or will you move to Lakeside and not live in La Mesa? I think when you talk with your lender and the officials in Lakeside, you might have to be a bit more clear for them.

    "Can I still use the land in my home to put in a new MH even if its still in mortgage?" It sounds like you have an old MH on your land?? I don't know--will you be borrowing more money? I think you will have to ask about the local building and zoning laws first, and then check with the financial institution that holds your mortgage.

    "Which dealer/ manifactor you recommend to use? In San Diego area?" There are a lot of MH Mobile Home parks around Lakeside, Santee and Alpine. Go to the management office and ask about this as they might be able to help answer some of your questions.

    I know I don't have any real answers, but hope I've helped in some way.

  • PRO
    Mobile Homes USA

    My company deals mobile homes in Florida, and we have found that many of our customers really like the Skyline Brand. I don't want to write a novel in these comments, however, I have put quite a bit of time in creating a guidebook for mobile home buyers that goes over different brands more in depth. If you'd like you can get a free copy at http://www.guide.mobilehomesusa.org

  • laurastheme

    We have Skyline and are happy with it. Been in it for 9 years.

  • murielb2b

    I am looking at a 1974 Broam by Redman, Champion. Looking because it is so affordable compared to renting here. Does anyone have any input on this mobile?

  • Donna Horn

    Living in Alabama which is the best Deer Valley or Franklin? We are looking at both and want to know if anyone has had issues with them. We were not impressed with the Clayton models in our area.

  • amyjwills

    I live in Oregon and would like to hear from those who have purchase a home here.

  • carenharkins

    Wow Kory!! I hope that works out! Where would this neighborhood be?

  • Harden Boystern

    Bought a used Fleetwood home that was full of surprises!

    1) Wiring to outlets was 14g wire, not 12g which is code

    2) Nothing in the home is square; interior walls are not perpendicular to the outside NOR the floor

    3) Whoever installed the carpet placed staples at 1" intervals around the perimeter. Removing them took literally days.

    4) Flooring wasn't level at joints of the plywood sheets ... some were 3/16 of an inch off

    5) All CPVC plumbing entering the home from beneath was installed haphazardly at angles. NONE of the runs were perpendicular to the floor

    6) Under the vinyl flooring there were places where the adhesive was applied in gobs. Some of it was still not hardened after 15 years!

    7) ~20% of the staples holding the sheetrock were not shot into studs

    8) Studs were not 2x4 but 2x2.5 inches

    9) Plumbing fixtures are of the cheapest plastic variety known to man

    10) Paint on the exterior doors literally pealed off

    11) Escutcheons were not securely affixed to surround walls creating interior wall leaks

    12) Tubs and surrounds are made of extremely thin plastic. Easily punctured.

  • cathyyg

    Yep. Made by Fleetwood in California, I bet? They keep losing their HUD certification over not meeting HUD code. The only company I will give a solid DO NOT BUY without considering the dealer.

  • alabamatreehugger 8b SW Alabama

    Fleetwood had a factory in Georgia I believe. The 2x2 studs are considered acceptable for the interior walls, however HUD code requires 2x4 for all exterior or load bearing walls.

  • jdftwrth97

    Looks like there are some upset folks on this forum.

    Anyway, my employer is terminating my position and I need to downsize quickly.

    I live near Glen Rose, Tx and was considering buying a Modular Home, are there any brands that you folks would recommend?

    Look forward to hearing from you.


  • mgp1200

    Stay away from champion homes, they are made with the lowest end materials .They more then likely get the materials from china ,that would be the best place for champion to be ,since they make CRAP that is cheap and breaks down within days ,just like the products that are made in china,Champion's work force is made up of 5 year olds that were given a hammer and paper cilps and masking tape .The people in the office will lie to you and will do anything the company tells them to do.

  • Old Vermonter

    The one thing to remember with a modular is the final price will be comparable to a site built home. Because they are exactly the same as a site built home. They are not in the manufactured home category.

  • Ian Mccutcheon

    Im interested in palm harbor home here in oregon in albany. We are interested in the ciesta triple wide floor plan. What are the good and bad about palm harbor?

  • HU-225892236467

    I ordered a Skyline and it was manufactured incorrectly. They were supposed to flip the floor plan and even had a blueprint to go by, and they couldn't manage to get it right. They did not flip the floor plan, so it would not fit properly on the lot in my park. Their solution was to re-make the house but not pay for the necessary storage of my household items, as I was counting on delivery and set up on schedule. They also said I could just refuse the delivery on the house and get a refund of my down payment of $40,000. No one at Skyline cares that they are working for actual people who need a correctly manufactured home delivered on time and according to plan. Be careful. Be very careful if you deal with this shoddy company, which just merged with Champion, a poor quality manufacturer that many dealers refuse to even carry.

  • Patricia Kent

    We purchased a 1900 square foot Zeus that was manufactured by Clayton homes in oOxford North Carolina. The workmanship is shoddy and there's so many issues that still haven't been addressed. So I recommend to stay away from anything manufactured by them

  • Linda Stockton Mannino

    DO NOT purchase a Champion/Redman built home. Poor quality, shoddy workmanship, leaky doors & windows, kitchen cabinets without shelves, inefficient heating system, questionable electric wiring, squeaky floors, lack or integrity, and no customer service. Have NOTHING good to say...0 rating. Also beware of retailers that stand behind this rip-off of a company. Once they received the cash (paid off singlewide), I was dropped like a hot potato. What was once a dream has turned into a nightmare. BUYER BEWARE

  • HU-883560728

    Thanks for the post.

  • HU-883560728

    I have been looking at and comparing different companies as well. We live in Mississippi. I had it narrowed to Champion and Deer Valley. I would really like to hear from someone who has had some experience with Deer Valley. Thanks. By the way, I have actually had a really hard time finding sites like this one with real customer reviews that are not managed by the manufactured housing industry.

  • Mayra Magallanes

    Anyone in the riverside, ca area bought a manufactured or a modular home? We were considering purchasing land and placing a home there. What was your end cost, experience and what brand would you recommend? Dealer ? So scary to think you buy a home and it can fall apart!

  • meeshee1

    We've been eyeballing Karsten made in ABQ, New Mexico. From what I understand they use 2x6 wood in their homes and R16 insulation. Our dealer was fabulous and talked to us for 2 hours, answering lots of questions. It wasn't till the end that we realized we had been talking to the actual owner the whole time. We feel good about the retailer, and are getting closer to choosing a Karsten. Anyone here have experience with their homes? Thanks in advance :)

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