The idea of using trailers and now manufactured homes is that if you own land, you can save a few hundred, close to a grand in some areas, by using it as a a temporary living area until you saved enough money until you built a house. It was something a person with only a high school education can afford while still saving money for a house (i.e. $200-$300 per month for mortgage). And unlike an apartment, the money you used towards the trailer isn't wasted in that you'll still own the trailer afterwards. Unfortunately you also have a bunch of lazy ass rednecks that don't give a shit about anything and not taking care of it living in it, too, giving the stereotype of "trailer trash". Also many people where I lived placed a lot of importance on land, so using the money saved to buy a few acres of land every year was more significant than living in a nicer house.
T. Former Tennessean