How to Replace a Mobile Home Wall Panel

What is a manufactured home?

Mobile home wall panels perform many important functions. They offer shelter from the elements, as well as a space for homeowners to decorate and express their creativity. The wall panels of a manufactured home help make it—well, a home. But what happens when those walls become damaged and need to be replaced? 

Replacing the wall panel of a manufactured home is a surprisingly simple process that someone with basic DIY knowledge can accomplish in an afternoon. In this article, we’ll discuss what a manufactured home wall panel is made from, the materials and tools needed to replace one and the process of replacing a panel. 

What Is a Mobile Home Wall Panel?

The wall panels of a manufactured home can be made from several different material types, including drywall, porcelain tile, artificial wood and many others. The most common wall panel material in today’s manufactured homes is vinyl on gypsum, or VOG board. VOG panels are a widely used and cost-effective building material used in manufactured homes, and when properly cared for, they can last for decades. 

However, it’s not uncommon for wall panels to become damaged. The gypsum board in VOG panels stands up to everyday bumps well enough, but heavier impacts can cause the boards to crack. Other wall panel types can also suffer damage, too, so any manufactured home owner should have some basic knowledge of the procedures for replacing a mobile home wall panel.

Can I Replace a Mobile Home Wall Panel Myself?

It’s never a bad idea to hire a professional for manufactured home repairs, but many homeowners choose to go the DIY route, as it can be a substantial money saver. However, not all manufactured home repairs are DIY-friendly, so it’s important to know which ones should be left to the pros. 

Fortunately, replacing a wall panel is one of the easier manufactured home repairs to DIY. The process is relatively simple, and the tools and materials are readily available from any hardware store. (Note, however, that some types of wall paneling, such as porcelain tile, are more difficult to replace than others.) Next, let’s look at the essential gear you’ll need for mobile home wall panel replacement. 

Essential Materials and Tools

You’ll need these materials and tools to take on a mobile home wall panel replacement job:

  • Finishing nails, 1″ and 1/4″
  • Replacement wall panel
  • Replacement molding for panel
  • Panel adhesive
  • Level
  • Power saw
  • Pliers
  • Putty knife
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Keyhole saw

To get a replacement wall panel that matches your home’s current panels, contact the manufacturer of your home. The manufacturer will be able either to provide you with a replacement panel from the same series or the closest available equivalent. 

Keep the serial number of your home handy during this process so that the manufacturer can track your exact model of home. The serial number is located on your manufactured home data plate, which you’ll typically find inside a cabinet, closet or utility area somewhere in your home. 

Mobile Home Wall Panel Replacement in Seven Steps

Here’s a simplified explanation of the process of replacing a VOG board mobile home wall panel:

  1. Use your fist (or a rubber mallet) to strike the panel until you find the studs. This will also help loosen the glue and batten strips on the panel.
  2. Pop off the panel’s batten strips (the plastic strips that cover the seam between panels) and then use a utility knife to cut the panel horizontally across the middle.
  3. Remove both sections of the damaged wall panel.
  4. Get the wall ready for the new panel using a putty knife to chip away any old adhesive and pliers to remove any nails that stick out. By prepping the space correctly, you’ll help ensure that the panel creates a tight seal.
  5. Apply panel adhesive to the studs where the new panel will be mounted.
  6. Mount the panel onto the adhesive and fasten it in place using finishing nails.
  7. Add replacement batten strips and paint the panel if necessary.

Note that these instructions may vary depending on what type of wall panel you’re working with. Drywall panels, porcelain tile panels, artificial wood panels and other kinds of panels will all have substantially different requirements. For the most accurate information on repairing your manufactured home’s walls, consult the manufacturer. 

Interested in the latest tips for DIY manufactured home repair and maintenance? Follow our manufactured home living resources for expert insights on subjects like how to approach a mobile home repair and how to winterize a mobile home.

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