When you think data plate you probably think of a piece of metal with numbers hooked to the outside of your mobile home.
There are small plates hooked to the outside of mobile homes near the back but these are referred to as Hud tags or Red tags and they do very little to tell you about your mobile home.
Data plate mobile home
A data plate is simply a piece of white / yellowish paper inside the mobile home that has an image of the United States on part of the paper. The paper usually measures about 8 ½ x 11 (a standard paper size) and it looks just like the one pictured below:
Why are data plates important: VIN or SERIAL numbers
One of the most important parts of information that you will find on this sheet is on the top left corner. Here you will find who manufactured your mobile home, the year of the mobile home and the serial number or vin number. This information is important if you happen to lose the title and need a way of identifying your home. If you don't have a title and you visit your local bureau of motor vehicle or secretary of state they use the serial or vin number to look up your home and show who the ownership is under, just like a car.
Where are the data plates located:
These "data plates" are located on the inside of kitchen cupboards, on the walls of walk in closets in bedrooms or sometimes on the inside of power boxes. I usually find these under the sink on the inside of the kitchen cupboard door.
Sometimes these papers have been removed from the home by owners who simply did not know what they were. Someone might have remodeled the mobile home and simply thought that this piece of paper wasn’t important.
The information on these data plates also illustrates information about the roof such as: how much snow it can handle. On the illustration below you will see a map of the United States with the number 20 PSF, 30 PSF and 40 PSF. This tells you how much snow a roof can handle per square foot. 20 being the weakest and 40 being the strongest.
Building inspectors will refer to this information when the homes are being moved because it tells them if the roof can handle the weather conditions that visit that area. Notice on the map below that is illustrated by Wind Zone 1 and Wind Zone 2. Building inspectors will typically want to know the length of your mobile home so make sure you are measuring that correctly...here are some tips to measuring your mobile home
The data plate also gives information about the walls of the mobile home and if they are 2 x 4 or 2 x 6. This is again important if you live in a hurricane area and can help your local building inspectors decide if the home is up to code for that area.
These papers can provide a lot of great information so they should be left in the mobile home and not removed.
One of the key things that you can find on a data sheet is the serial number, manufacturer of the mobile home and the year the home was built. This might not sound so important but if you do not have the title to the mobile home this can be a key piece of information to help you get that title back!
If your home doesn’t have a data plate you can contact the Institute for Business Technology and Safety also known as IBTS you can simply visit their site here IBTS. They may be able to help you obtain a copy of your data plate if it is missing.