Its legal status has long been unclear due to its hybrid nature. A mobile home is not exactly a caravan, because it cannot be towed on the road; it is more than a removable habitat because it can be moved under any circumstances. In 1999, a standard emerged that clarified all this. We will spare you in detail (it should not occupy more than 30% of the site, it can be moved at a speed of at least 5 km / h, etc.) to get straight to the point: since then, camp managers can set it at 100% of their locations. And it is to the communist minister of Jospin’s then government, Michel Demessin, that we owe these liberalities.
Campsites rushed to rush into this gap, generalizing this method of placement to the detriment of the so-called “naked” areas. Because this “light holiday residence” has become a unit of measurement of commercial capacity of operators. With an established base of 250,000 units, it accounts for 53% of camping capacity and often more than 80% in four- and five-star hotels. “Campsites are now clearly competing with permanent rural clubs, against which they remain more competitive,” said David Letelier, a former manager of a real estate agency specializing in outdoor accommodation and the founder of the Slow Village network.
It seems that everyone is campaigning for this arms race. Camping operators, tour operators who install and sell these apartments together with partner networks, and, of course, manufacturers. Because to finance water parks, spas and various events, you have to sell accommodation. And preferably at a well-calibrated price. In the luxury campsites of the Cote d’Azur, the week quickly rises to 1,400 euros.
At such prices, cottages should be comfortable. Thus, the new bungalow with a formula gives itself the atmosphere of a villa and is discussed at a price of 20,000 to 50,000 euros or more, with a maximum area of 40 square meters. Fully equipped island kitchen, bathroom, 160 cm bed, large bay window, additional terrace … so many options that are quickly, not to mention the insulation (thickness from 60 to 200 millimeters), crucial for living in the off-season.
Between 18,000 and 20,000 new mobile homes are sold each year in France. The Covid crisis has created an air pocket that is now difficult to catch up with with difficulty in supplying materials, wood for carcassing and vinyl for exterior cladding. This market brings together a small group of industrialists who have found in this habitat on the axes a natural extension of their know-how: Beneteau number 1 (IRM, O’Hara, Coco Sweet, ie almost 190 million euros in business turnover) comes from skating on boats; his rival Mobil-Home Rideau in Vendée is first and foremost a champion of the aluminum veranda.
As for the Breton Louisiana, it is part of a group specializing in carpentry and wooden houses. Their camping is also not the only way out: along with rented mobile homes, it is a mobile home market for residential buildings, which emerged after the pandemic as an affordable version of the second home. “Our four-season models are most often used as a second home in residential holiday parks,” confirms Nautilhome general manager Roland Wolfrum, who supplies 200 units a year from his workshop in Javron-le-Chapelle in Mayenne.
In their catalogs, manufacturers, campsites or specialized agencies often present the purchase of a mobile home as good luck for an individual, promising a pleasant return (up to 12%), VAT refund (20%), tax advantage of the landlord of unprofessionally furnished housing (NMNP) and no tax on property or housing. An affordable purchase price without notary fees whets the appetite. But beware of unpleasant surprises: the rent for parking (from 2,000 to 8,000 euros per year) is not subject to any rules and risks to increase in a shortage of space.
A campsite wishing to move to an elite market may also ask the owner of the mobile home to leave the premises (at his expense) or replace it. Frequent disputes. Thus, the Siblu group, a specialist in this business with almost 10,000 private owners in 24 campsites, is the subject of several complaints.
However, to plant your mobile home on the first that appears, or even at the bottom of the garden can not be – more than three months, a declaration of work or a building permit issued by the mayor’s office are required. Its parking is now regulated by the Alur Act (access to housing and renewed urban planning), which restricts it, except in rare cases, to campsites and residential parks, ie a kind of tourist condominium.
After their mobile homes have been significantly depreciated for a maximum of fifteen years, campsites or tour operators do not hesitate to offer them to private individuals for use. In May last year, the Tohapi chain, for example, put up for sale bungalows worth € 13,250 in 2006, set up at its campsite in Kernik Bay (Finisterre), with carrots: take advantage of preferential rates for accommodation in one of the 250 campsites in Europe.
Dealers such as AP Loisirs or Mobils Diffusion also offer used cars. Manufacturers are not left out either: in 2004, the Beneteau group created the Mobilhomedoccasion.com website. Sometimes small campsites become buyers. “Used mobile homes have become very valuable,” says the director of Nautilhome. There were more requests than offers because the pandemic stopped production. »
Like Beneteau and its environmentally responsible charter, almost all manufacturers declare their environmental commitment: environmentally friendly wood materials from ecologically managed and 100% processed forests, reduction of water and electricity consumption with flow limiters … the profession also created a joint structure in 2011 year to dismantle and redesign this ephemeral habitat, Eco Mobil-Home. Every year about 1,500 mobile homes pass through his hands, ie from 3,500 to 4,000 tons of recycled materials. They are 80% recycled or used as fuel.
Ten years later, some bungalows no longer cost much
Production: 22,000 euros minimum. The new price can rise to 50,000 euros, excluding the terrace and installation costs.
rent: from 8,000 to 20,000 euros turnover (or rental income) per year for campsite owners.
Resale: At least 10,000 euros for a used mobile home in good condition. Theoretically, in five years Savaleur will be halved.
Processing: Annually, the inter-professional organization “Eco Mobile-House” dismantles and recycles 1,500 mobile homes.