What's it really like to live in a trailer park? To find out, you have to ask the people who've actually lived there and experienced it firsthand. And if you're looking for crazy stories from inside these small communities, the internet is a great place to find them. Reddit is full of trailer folk who are willing to share their strangest and most shocking confessions about their "the trailer park life," and some of them will make your jaw drop. Many of these stories confirm even the most disgusting stereotypes about people who live in these low-income societies. But many go one step further, giving us a rare insight into these places and showing us a side of the trailer park we never even knew existed.
Some of these stories are actually really sad, and show just how desperate many people in America really are. Before you laugh at their misfortune and dismiss them as idiotic rednecks, you might want to consider the fact that there are a lot of these people living in the US. Maybe instead of joking about them, we should be doing something to improve their lives.
But what can we actually do to fix this problem? Once you read these confessions, you'll understand just how bad life is in the trailer park, and you'll be at a complete loss for words...
15 Won't Someone Please Think Of The Children?
One of the saddest parts about trailer parks is the fact that many children are being raised in extreme poverty. Not only that, but they're also being raised in incredibly dangerous environments. When asked about her experience in a trailer park, one Reddit user said it was pretty bleak:
"It was really sad. There was this family and the parents barely provided for the children. I remember cooking a big dinner and not even keeping the leftovers. I gave it to the kids. If I remember correctly, CPS got involved, but I don't know if they got their kids back. So glad my mom doesn't work there anymore."
A lot of people laugh at people who live in trailer parks and make fun of them because they're poor and uneducated. But children living there never really had a chance. And they're most likely to grow up and be just like their dysfunctional family members, which will repeat the cycle. This is a really sad thing to think about.
14 A Girl Ended Up Missing The Trailer Park Life
One girl managed to move out of the trailer park, and later reconnected with one of her friends who had also moved away. Visiting her apartment, the friend confessed to actually missing the trailer park life:
"Fortunately, I moved into a house and grew out of trailer park life, but I know people who have been stuck in trailer trashlandia ever since, like this one girl, who was my BFF the entire time I lived there. I reconnected with her on Myspace and then hung out with her when I was an adult. She lived in a sh***y apartment then but kept going on about how she missed her trailer. And hers was disgusting – covered in roaches (I was going to spend the night once but we opened the cupboard and they all came crawling out and she was like, "Those are flies" and I died)."
Although her trailer was disgusting, she still missed it and presumably would rather live there than in a terrible apartment. This highlights the fact that many people living in poverty don't really have much of choice when it comes to their living situations. It's either living in a cockroach-infested trailer, or in a terrible apartment in the middle of the city. At least with a trailer you get a backyard...
13 Lots Of Crazy Guys With Shotguns
The biggest stereotype of people living in trailer parks is a redneck dude yelling at people while holding a shotgun. But this is just a cliché, right? Well, according to this Reddit user, these kinds of people actually exist:
"We did live next to a guy who liked to hang out with his shotgun and yell at people too. My bro was BFF with his stepson but that kid turned to a life of [drugs] and my mom wanted to take him in but was afraid that the stepdad would shoot us since he wasn't afraid of pointing his guns at cute, little old me."
It turns out that sometimes those "stereotypes" are completely dead-on, and portray actual people. The saddest thing about this is that this guy probably had mental problems, and yet he still had access to a gun.
12 Teen Pregnancies Were Pretty Common
Another pretty sad but true thing about trailer parks is that there are a lot of teen pregnancies. At least, that's what this one Reddit user seemed to experience when she was living at a trailer park:
"No str*p club/gym, but there was a pool hall that everyone hung out at and a playground. One of my friends got pregnant in 8th grade."
Damn... Girls getting pregnant in the 8th grade?! That's just insane. Although, I'm sure that's actually pretty common in low-income communities. And I'm not just talking about trailer parks. There are communities all over the world where kids aren't given enough education about safe s*x, and that just seems to end with teen pregnancies. The saddest thing of all is that this behavior seems to have a habit of repeating itself, with the children following the example of their parents.
11 They Trade Everything Using Food Stamps
For those who don't know, low-income families in the United States depend heavily on food stamps. Food stamps allow you to buy your groceries with government funds, with the aim of helping poor families to eat and survive. But as one ex-trailer park resident admits, that wasn't all they were using food stamps for.
"Most of the illegal food stamp trade was between the park residents. The hardcore alcoholics didn't eat much; they drank their meals. So they couldn't possibly use all their food stamps on food. So they traded them for beer or cash with other residents who could use the food stamps for their kids. Or they purchased s*x with the food stamps."
This is pretty terrible, and obviously not what the government had in mind when they created this program. Even worse are other stories about people who owned convenience stores near trailer parks, who would accept food stamps for things like alcohol and cigarettes, which is against the law.
10 Tornadoes Are A Real Threat
What's the biggest threat when it comes to living in a trailer park? According to one Reddit user, it's not the drugs, guns, or violence. It's the wrath of Mother Nature. When asked what the worst part of living in a trailer park was, she said it was the constant tornadoes:
"We don't have any family or shelter to go to so we just sit in the living room and wait for death. When we were little, mom would wake us up and make us get dressed so they wouldn't find us in our pyjamas if we died."
And according to actual scientific studies, trailer parks do seem to get hit with more tornadoes than any other place. It's not because nature hates trailer park folk; it's because of the location. Apparently they're located in "transitional locations where one part of land turns into something else, like the bottom of a hill or the edge of a river." And these are apparently much more at risk when it comes to tornadoes.
9 People Have Way Too Many Kids
If you thought having one kid way too young is bad, you haven't heard anything yet. What's worse than having a kid when you're barely a woman? How about having 3, or 4, or even 7. Yes, it does happen – just read this trailer park confession:
"I was fine until I started school and saw other ways people could live. I used to imagine living in a real house with my own things where someone wasn't always crying and the cops never came. My family was the most white trash. My mom had mental issues and came from a moderately okay family. When she got knocked up she was gifted the trailer and acre by her family. She proceeded to have four more kids she frequently ignored. She and my dad also used to have insane fights that ended with the cops called, sometimes by people driving by, our neighbors, or the family, if it was bad enough."
Not only did this person's mom have way too many kids, she actually ignored them all and clearly wasn't fit to have them in the first place. This has to be one of the most terrible things about life in the trailer park...
8 She Was The Only Smart One In Her Family
This girl tells a story of her upbringing in a trailer park. Her family was proud of the way they lived, and never let anyone look down on them. She was a rare case in the trailer park – someone who was motivated to escape poverty and get a decent education. But while her family was proud of their trailer park identity, she was always ashamed of them:
"We lived largely off the government and my parents were proud of the way they were. They flew a confederate flag, littered the yard with beer bottles, discouraged higher education, etc. Teachers used to truly encourage me. I was always smart. But in school it was hard. I was in advanced classes and my peers really thought my family was trash who pulled knives in the Walmart parking lot and spit dip in class. I used to not tell people my last name in case they would remember my cousin who got burned in a m*th lab explosion or just ran into my family at Walmart."
This girl sounds like she has quite a sense of humor, and I hope she managed to use her brains to get out of this cycle of poverty.
7 Lots Of Illegal Substances, Fires, And Too Many Kids
Out of all the confessions in this article, this girl gives the most broad and all-encompassing description of what is was like to live in this unique place:
"Everyone was either drunk or high, or both. I had lots of siblings. Most families bred like Catholics, except for the part about the parents being married and the kids all having the same father. We didn't live in trailers, we lived in "estates," of course. And they would occasionally burn to the ground. They were rodent-infested death traps. My family almost burned to death one Christmas morning. That would have been pretty rad! It would have gotten my name in the paper, and all this sympathy and outrage."
According to this Reddit user, trailer park life seems like it was totally hectic. It would've been hard to live life with any semblance of order and structure in this kind of environment. After reading this, it's a miracle people are even surviving for very long while living in trailer parks.
6 Not A Good Place To Raise Kids
Is a trailer park a good place to raise kids? The short answer is no, probably not. I mean, you do have access to a backyard and plenty of space for them to run around, which you probably wouldn't get if you lived in the big city. But you also open your children up to all kinds of bad influences. Just listen to this confession:
"I would NEVER want to raise a kid in a park due to my own experiences. Even the best kid, the smart one that studied, got honor roll constantly, was beautiful but never really dated because she didn't want it to affect her studies... Yeah, she ended up in a huge drug bust and has who knows how many kids to who knows how many dudes."
That doesn't sound like a place where most parents would want to raise their daughter. I mean, who wants to see their kids addicted to drugs and having multiple children with multiple fathers? Sounds like a complete nightmare.
5 Idiots And Fire Hazards Don't Mix
Another person confesses that trailer parks were very prone to going up in flames. This was for a variety of reasons, including residents who smoked heavily, poor electrical wiring, alcoholism, and plain stupidity:
"Everybody smoked. They were very flammable. Most were strewn with garbage. Electrical was nowhere near to code. Furnaces were poorly installed and barely functional. So they would burn down occasionally. And sometimes people would die, passed out drunk or stoned. The place goes up in flames. One morning it was our turn. That morning it happened to be Christmas! Hurray for Christmas!"
Anyone who lives near a trailer park knows that fire trucks are constantly being called out to these places, and trailers seem to always go up in flames. This is a real danger to the people living there, and sometimes innocent people die... But what can you really do to protect these people from fires when nothing is wired correctly and they know nothing about fire safety?
4 There's Actually A Stronger Sense Of Community
So far we've been painting trailer parks in a pretty negative light. Sure, they might not be the safest place or the most civilized, but there are actually some things that people love about living there. One person points out that there's a real sense of togetherness in a trailer park, and these people all genuinely look out for another. This strong sense of community is completely absent in the middle class. In their own words, the Reddit user reminds us that for many people, this is home:
"What do I miss? The community. As messed up as it was, there was human connection. The middle class is horribly isolated from each other. Connections are shallow. Family members are isolated. This isn't true for everyone, of course. But it is true as a rule."
What they're saying definitely has some truth to it. In the average neighborhood, nobody really interacts with each other. You could live next to someone for years and never even know their name or say a single word to them. In contrast, people in a trailer park know each other on a first name basis, and the sense of community is huge.
3 Lots Of "Horticulturists"
Another stereotype about people who live in trailer parks is that they all grow a certain plant in their trailers. Many Reddit users have confirmed this to be true, and they say a huge percentage of trailer park residents grow marijuana inside their trailers. It's just part of life for them. One ex-trailer park resident shares a particularly hilarious story about when her thirteen-year-old brother suddenly started to get really interested in horticulture:
"How about the time when I was eleven and my thirteen year old brother got a sudden urge to grow a plant indoors? It was very out of character for him, being a jock. But one day this plant showed up on the stand next to the window in our shared bedroom. A few days later my mom got a little suspicious as to why the sudden attack of green thumb. She asked him what it was and apparently he didn't have a good cover story."
This is pretty hilarious, and I'm sure he ended up getting a lot better at growing plants as the years went by in the trailer park.
2 The Police Harass Everyone Living There
Another sad truth about living in the trailer park is the constant harassment from the local police, according to one Reddit user:
"About two months after we moved in, my husband was detained and questioned because he took trash to the dumpster in a suspicious fashion. (I only wish I was making that up.) There are a few people who are drug dealers, so that affects the sort of person who visits. There's little insulation. The maintenance is iffy, and everyone talking about the packs of feral trailer park kids is 100% telling the truth. Add in the idiots who use the paved road right outside my trailer as a drag strip and it's a miracle no one has been killed yet."
This confession speaks volumes about what it's really like to live in a trailer park. Not only are the cops harassing you, but there are also a lot of drug dealers around, as well as crazy drag racers who use a gravel path as a racetrack. Wow.
1 Those Damn Skunks...
This one's short but sweet. I don't know why this confession is so funny, but it pretty much sums up what it's like to live in a trailer park in just one sentence. There's something about the tone of this Reddit user that makes it so convincing that he actually lives in a trailer park. To make this confession extra funny, try reading it in a Southern accent. Try not to fall over laughing:
"I am like 75% sure we've got a damn skunk living under our trailer, given how often the stench comes in through my window in the middle of the night."
But this brings up a whole new point about what it's like to live in a trailer. People probably have a lot more contact with wild animals, and depending on where you live, this can be a bit of a challenge. Often, trailer parks are situated in very rural areas. That means that raccoons, skunks, and even bears might be attracted by all the food and trash that trailer park residents frequently leave lying around on their yards. One thing's for sure. It makes for some hilarious stories...