Mobile Home Park Fencing Options: Their Strengths And Weaknesses

Bing Crosby once sang “Don’t Fence Me In” but his song did not apparently reflect the desires of many mobile home park residents. Indeed, fencing inside mobile home parks is a standard feature, despite the fact that mobile home park lots do not have technical boundaries. Yet many resident fencing choices and maintenance will not work with you desire to make the property desirable (such as the one shown above). So how can you make the best of the residents’ innate desire to mark and secure their property with a fence?

Paint or stain existing wooden stockade

When you buy a mobile home park, you frequently inherit resident fencing that is not in conformance with your park rules – typically solid wooden stockade fencing in heights as large as 8’. So as to not have a huge issue with the residents who spent money and effort to build this, you can sometimes “grandfather” this fencing but only if you can find a way to make it more attractive and able to fit into the “streetscape” of the property. We’ve found that there are two options: 1) stain the fence one matching color throughout the park to give consistency or 2) paint each fence the same color as the home so it gives it some character and makes it blend in with the neighboring dwelling.

Paint existing chain link and add slats or mesh

Old, rusted chain link is never going to work if you want to have a nice property with good drive-up appeal. The solution is to paint this rusted chain link, either silver, green or black to make it not stand out so bad. Another solution is to insert green or brown slats into this fencing to make it look more professional and block visibility of unsightly items – typically this is used on chain link that surrounds dumpsters or the park’s parts yard

White vinyl three-rail

This is our favorite type of entry fencing as it gives a nice appeal and a sense of class at a very low cost per linear foot (around $10 per foot). We have tried two, three and four rail and found three rail is the best (two is too short and four is too solid). Not only does white vinyl never need painting, but it also never wears out and is a great tool to attach banners to.

White vinyl solid

Another type of vinyl fence that is a great choice is white solid fencing. This is typically used for dumpster enclosures or any fencing that is meant to block visibility of something unattractive (sometimes a neighboring property). It never needs paint and never wears out, but it also makes a potential canvas for graffiti so be careful based on your positioning.

Metal

Another successful style for mobile home parks is metal security fencing. This is extremely strong and – if painted green or brown – relatively attractive. It makes great perimeter security fencing, since you can’t knock it down (even with a car). If the park already has solid metal fencing, then all it needs is fresh paint to make it look like new again. But stick with a dark green or brown.

Shrubs

Another type of fencing (yet a terrible idea in arid climates) are shrubs. The prickly leaves of holly bushes are a deterrent to crossing through them, and they are relatively inexpensive compared to actual solid fencing. However, they also require irrigation unless you live in an area where it rains frequently. Sometimes the magic of the shrub fence is the ability to hide a different fence type (such as wooden or metal) and make it more appealing.

Conclusion

There are many options for mobile home park fencing that meet every budget and goal. Recognize your options and make the choice that works best for you.

Frank Rolfe has been an investor in mobile home parks for almost 30 years, and has owned and operated hundreds of mobile home parks during that time. He is currently ranked, with his partner Dave Reynolds, as the 5th largest mobile home park owner in the U.S., with around 20,000 lots spread out over 25 states. Along the way, Frank began writing about the industry, and his books, coupled with those of his partner Dave Reynolds, evolved into a course and boot camp on mobile home park investing that has become the leader in this niche of commercial real estate.