Trouble with Park models or Tiny Homes in CA

The rules and regs around park model homes don’t seem to be well tested.

I’d love to build some Park Model homes on joists and skids instead of wheels and a trailer frame. It’s much cheaper to build that way and they would still be relatively easy to move (in the off chance that we ever move it).

Anyone out there knowledgeable on the subject through tested experience?

Thank you! Will

Unless you are going to setup a manufacturing facility with HUD approved designs, I don’t see how you will install the homes. They will not have HUD tags, so they will not be able to be legally placed in most jurisdictions.

If you build on site, the local building department may want you to pull permits, which may subject you to the restrictions of site built homes.

If you “manufacture” on site, you may be doing “manufacturing” operations, which generally is restricted to industrial zoning.

Lastly, you can buy a 3/2 for $25k. How can you compete with this when the manufacturers have efficient processes and volume purchasing?


Wilbus - What you are describing , that you would like to build, is a Tiny Home. Tiny Homes can not legally be installed in California parks.

Park Models are legally RVs and there is plenty of legislation concerning them.


Right. I think what I’m looking for are RVIA compliant Park Model homes that don’t have to be on wheels. A Park Model that can be places on skids or another type of non-permanent surface to cut the price by $10,000 (the trailer and wheels and axle, which is not necessary for this “temporary” structure). Have you heard of any Park Models without wheels?

I think it makes the RV no longer legal as to titling/warranty etc since you are modifying the unit. You might find a modular builder to UBC code approved by city/county to put on a lot but these are not usually put in an RV or Mobile Home Park

What I think you are describing is a “cabin” that wouldn’t qualify as an RVIA compliant RV or a HUD manufactured home. I would be cautious about the idea because trying to install something like that in your park may conflict with your manufactured home community status and change the land use.

What you are looking for is a home that looks like a park model home, but meets residential codes in all 50 states. This actually exists and you can get one from Leland’s cabins
The model is called Lincoln. The model is just a little bit bigger and the design was taken from park model homes. You can actually customize a number of things inside from stairs to roof pitch. check it out I’m still looking into them myself

Here is the information specific to CA only.
ib-2016-01.pdf (642.3 KB)