Mobile home tie downs consist of an anchor and a metal strap. Much like a telephone pole guy wire anchor, the tie downs are strong iron rods with an auger-type screw on the bottom. As the rod is twisted into the ground, the lag bites and draws the rod into the earth. With the rod firmly embedded in the ground, the metal strap is placed over the roof of the mobile home and attached to an anchor rod on both sides of the home. The mobile home tie downs are placed at each end as well as the middle of the home — once tightened, the tie downs help to prevent the mobile home from being blown over by strong winds or tornadoes.
Mobile homes are known for tipping over and disintegrating in strong straight-line winds as well as in tornadoes. The basic problem with the mobile home is that it is not firmly attached to a foundation. The average mobile home is placed on top of a few cement blocks, and gravity is left in charge. By placing mobile home tie downs over the home, it becomes anchored to the ground and is able to withstand much more wind than without the ties.
Modern manufacturing methods have created tie downs that are virtually unnoticeable. By installing skirting around the bottom of the mobile home, the anchor rods are hidden from view. By color matching the metal straps that run up and over the trailer, they, too, become hidden from view as they blend into the siding materials of the home. The earliest versions of the mobile home tie downs consisted of bright and shiny metallic straps that encircled the home, giving a cheap and unflattering visual statement of the system.
While safety equipment is not subjected to aesthetic appeal standards, homeowners wishing to enhance the visual appeal of their home by adding any component to its exterior typically do not wish to detract from the home's appearance. The mobile home tie downs fall under the same visual appeal scrutiny of the homeowner. Fortunately, the manufacturers of mobile home tie downs realized this and began to market a safety-enhancing product that also offers good looks to the exterior of the home.
In areas that frequently encounter strong storm seasons, the tie down kits are a property-saving addition to any mobile home. While not intended to make a mobile home impervious to a tornado or powerful winds, the tie downs will add a degree of safety not felt before. For many owners of mobile homes, there also are insurance benefits to installing a tie down kit.