Think trailer park and what comes to mind? $2 million homes? High end luxury? Not quite. Trailer parks may have an unfair image, an image that embodies the hopelessness of the have-nots on the wrong side of the American Dream. But these days, an outdoorsy lifestyle - far away from suburban hell - is getting a modern, hip and even luxury makeover.
It's all about location. The natural home of the luxury trailer park is California, beachside. In a neighborhood where beach houses can sell for $50 million, forking out one or two million seems a steal - hardly slumming it, though. These parks are highest of the high end, with granite countertops, marble floors and subzero appliances (and ample parking for the Porsche or the Merc). Some come complete with movie star neighbors. There are even quirky luxury trailer parks as far flung as France and South Africa. For something completely different, there are the truly mobile houseboat parks in San Francisco Bay and the rural wilderness of Big Arm, Montana. And then there’s Myrtle Manor, which has come to public attention via the reality show, 'Welcome to Myrtle Manor'. Although it's certainly more deluxe than the traditional trailer park, it doesn't do much to overthrow the traditional rep of the trailer park. But more on that later.
The following rundown of 10 of the best luxury trailer parks in the world may well overthrow your expectations of the traditional trope - and might even encourage you to think about decamping!
10 Paradise Cove: Malibu, California
9 Capistrano Shores: San Clemente, California Located in San Clemente's North Beach area, Capistrano Shores is a 90 unit mobile home park (some realtors coyly call them “cottages”). The park , which stretches 7/10 of a mile along the beach, was purchased by its residents in 2008 for a cool $100 million. That makes the land each unit is on worth at least $2.5 million, before you even get to the trailer. Like Paradise Cove, it offers California beach living at (all things are relative) an “affordable” price. That’s why 88 or the 90 owners could afford this place as their second home!
8 Old Mac Daddy Luxury Trailer Park: Cape Town, South Africa
7 7. Grand Daddy Luxury Airstreams: Cape Town, South Africa
6 Durango Resort: Red Bluff, California
5 5. The Point Dume Club: Malibu, California
4 Flathead Lake: Big Arm, Montana
3 San Francisco Bay: Sausalito, California
2 Belrepayre: Manses, France
1 Myrtle Manor: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
With tongue firmly in cheek, 'welcome to' Myrtle Manor. It describes itself as a “luxury five star” facility. Thumbing its nose at the stereotypical trailer park. Welcome to Myrtle Manor, a TLC television reality show, is set in ‘The Manor” in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s home to 120 trailers and is a “beach” resort miles from the beach. The Manor has an on site hair salon (think “Steel Magnolias”) and an above ground pool where beer is swilled and bikini contests are held. The place has an “America, love it or leave it” kind of vibe.
Cecil is the patriarch (catch his Twitter feed), and his no-nonsense daughter Becky runs the place. Beck’s motto is “No Pay, No Stay”. There is the usual array of down home types, sometimes down on their luck, always willing to venture an opinion on just about anything. There are the requisite bust ups and drama moments. Fans visit the Manor when they are vacationing in Myrtle Beach and wax eloquent about how “real” the place is. Not missing an All-American opportunity when it hits them in the face, Beck and Cecil have merchandised The Manor, registered an honest to goodness logo, and set up a trailer (what else) where you can buy tees (“Mess With Me, Mess With the Whole Trailer Park”) and tasteful drinkware. The stemmed Mason Jar wine glass has sold out.
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