The modern mobile home came immediately after the first automobile was introduced. People had been carrying their homes around with them for centuries in the form of carriages, covered wagons, and vargos so it was only natural that these concepts be modified for automobile travel.
When a history-changing invention like the automobile is made it takes a few years before supporting industries pop up and that was certainly the case for mobile homes. 15 years after the first automobile was produced, they only company that was mass-producing anything resembling a ‘mobile home’ only offered a simple tent-in-a-box. If you wanted more than that, you build it yourself and many did just that.
The tent-in-a-box design was simple. A small wooden box, typically 2-3 foot in width and length, sat upon a single axle (usually from a salvaged car) and held a canvas tent and camping gear. It was crudely attached to the rear of the car and was cumbersome, to say the least.
Traveling long distances in a short time opened up a whole new world. The only problem was a lack of roadside amenities because it took a few years for that industry to catch on as well. In order to travel comfortably and securely, one had to have a place to sleep and that simple need is how the mobile home, as we know it, began.