August '20

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44 • RV PRO • August 2020 rv-pro.com Some park model plants only build 12-foot-wide units. A park model has to be less than 400 square feet outside dimensions of actual living space. The law doesn't say it has to be 12 feet wide. In Texas, we do mostly 15-foot-wide park models." Parent company Skyline Champion's bread and butter is man- ufactured housing, so many of its park model production lines are co-located, giving the company more flexibility than what an Indiana builder – most likely with RV roots – might have, according to Grymonprez. "Because we may build 32-by-80-foot manufactured homes there, a wider park model or a higher roof pitch or things like that don't bother us. In most other manufacturers' plants, they just don't have the room to build what we build," he says. And Skyline Champion also tends to build beefier park models than the competition. "Our average park model weighs about 24,000 pounds, so it takes a mobile home toter to pull them, they're so heavy," Gry- monprez says. "We do half-inch drywall on the inside, we do Hardie board on the outside, so we build a tank." Given that park models don't pile on the miles like a typical towable might, they typically don't have the same issues as RVs. "If we do have a service issue, it generally happens right after it gets set up. If there's going to be an electrical or a plumbing issue, we find that out during the setup and normally these companies that set them up have the ability to contact us or fix the problem by themselves. A lot of our problems go away after they're set up because the people who do the setup also do repairs," Grymonprez says. Park Models Offer Residential Flourishes For Athens Park customers, Grymonprez knows kitchens are important, so he attends homebuilder trade shows to stay on top the latest trends. Also, when the manufactured home side of the business promotes a fancy kitchen package, he makes sure his units get a version, too. "We've also concentrated on bathrooms. In a park model, we have limited space, but we try to make our bathrooms most user- friendly by doing some models with double sinks and big showers and more room," he says. "I think kitchens and baths – just like in the housing business – that's what sells in our park models. Another variation that's gaining traction is wheelchair-friendly park models, according to Grymonprez. "We're developing more and more of them. We don't build to ADA standards, but we can make them wheelchair safe," he says. "We have grab bars in the bathroom, wide hallways, 36-inch door openings for easy access and roll-in showers." Numerous roofline options abound, too. "We've done a monoslope roof where it slopes from the back Skyline Champion's facility in Mansfield, Texas, is a large manufacturer of park models. The company's nationwide network of plants produces a combination of park models and manufactured housing.

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