When you start planning a trip in the RV with your family, you imagine all the incredible places the thrilling adventure will take you to. But, along with all the breathtaking and picturesque destinations, it’s also essential to consider the terrain and parking surfaces you’ll be putting your trailer or RV on.
Finding a proper place to park is often a real challenge. Some parking surfaces are more suitable than others, and it’s usually difficult to know which surface provides the best foundation for your RV. To help you find the best place, the following are some of the best RV parking pad ideas. Feel free to adopt these ideas before going on your next adventure!
1. In-Between Adventures? Park Your RV Here
As shown in the picture above, permeable pavers are a do-it-yourself project any individual can undertake. These paving systems are porous, allowing water to flow into the pavement and seep into the ground or sub-base rock present underneath. They’re just as durable and strong as conventional paving materials, including asphalt, compacted gravel, and concrete. Several different types of porous paving grids are available today, including interlocking concrete grids, permeable concrete and asphalt pavements, plastic grid pavers with flexible joints, and rigid or rolled plastic pavers.
Permeable pavers are the perfect solution to the impervious cover code restrictions which are designed to reduce flooding risks, protect natural waterways, and regulate stormwater. As a result, they can be used to construct environment-friendly parking lots, fire lanes, driveways, industrial yards, and roadways that absorb and detain water, consequently preventing flooding. In the image above, rolled plastic grid pavers are being shown.
This system hugs the ground without developing any potholes or cracks as it moves. The rolled plastic grid provides optimal gravel or soil retention, along with maximum permeability. It also offers a reliable pervious cover with stormwater detention for greater land utilization. Moreover, the paving system can be rolled, ensuring easy shipping and storage. They are primarily used for foot traffic and light load application, but the system requires staking, which increases its installation cost.
Permeable pavers are cheaper compared to other traditional materials. Plastic rollout systems and plastic grid pavers with flexible joints are both less costly and easier to maintain as compared to other traditional systems. Approximately, permeable pavers cost $4 to $6 per square foot, with the price varying with the availability of materials. Meanwhile, an average-sized permeable driveway, along with its installation, will cost around $5000 or more.
2. Protect Those Tires From Dirt
Along with killing off the grass, parking your RV in the moisture-laden dirt can significantly damage your tires. Grass is also a pest attractant and can result in bugs and other creepy-crawlers climbing into the RV and building nests.
Furthermore, dirt and grass retain water, so exposing the RV’s tires to moisture for extended periods of time can increase dry rot, shortening the lifespan of your tires and negatively affecting your expensive investment in rubber. However, if you do decide to park in the grass, it is advisable to add a vapor barrier between the ground and the tires, as shown in the picture above.
It’s almost impossible to bring a concrete pad along with you on an RV trip, but leveling blocks are an excellent alternative. Wood or any other leveling block can easily be placed beneath the RV’s tires to disperse the weight of the vehicle on the grass or any soft surface. RV-specialty vapor barriers can cost around $0.50 to $0.75 per square foot while leveling blocks have a price ranging from $30 to $50.
Both objects can easily be purchased online. Another cost-effective way to put the barrier in place is to purchase a simple plastic cutting board or a cutting mat. Just make sure that the entire area of the tire which comes in contact with the parking surface is covered by the vapor barrier.
You can also protect your tires from moisture and sun exposure by using tire covers. If you don’t have tire covers, you can wrap a tarp around the tire and keep it in place using a bungee cord.
3. On a Budget? Use Gravel!
Another cost-effective way to have an RV parking pad is to put down a plot of crushed rock or gravel, similar to the picture above. Both materials allow water to drain and dissipate, making them a lot more tire-friendly. However, determining the thickness of the gravel pad is often a difficult task.
It usually depends on the conditions of the soil on which you plan to park the RV. In some types of soil, you can simply put down gravel, and it will last you for many years, whereas in other areas, the gravel can be swallowed up by the earth in just a short period of time.
You can construct a gravel pad yourself, or hire a professional to get the job done. To build your own gravel parking pad, you’ll need to dig and remove about six to eight inches of soil. Large base stones or L-sized stones should then be installed in the bottom four to six inches for strength. After compacting the area, finish the pad with regular-sized gravel or choker angular gravel. It’s also advisable to talk to the individuals who have gravel driveways, so you can learn from their experiences.
Gravel is cheaper than concrete and allows better water drainage and runoff. A single parking pad measures about 18x9 feet and the cost of one spot of gravel with a depth of 3 inches is approximately $60. If you do decide to build a gravel parking pad, it’s still advisable to put a vapor barrier between the ground and the tires.
With the right research, all the ideas mentioned above can easily be adopted by any experienced DIYer. However, if you don’t have the time and don’t mind spending a bit, you can hire a professional to get the job done faster. Whichever pad you decide to park your RV on, make sure it covers the entire area of the tire to prevent any unnecessary damage or wear and tear.
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