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Old 02-21-2013, 07:31 AM   #1
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Parking long-term on lawn

Last year we moved. At the previous house I parked my Airstream on a gravel driveway next to my house. At the new house, the trailer is parked in the back yard, on grass. I have some 2x8 planks under the tires to keep it from sinking, though the planks have split and settled in a bit.

The driveway goes along one side of the house, which has a side entrance garage, so the trailer can be backed in beside the house, past the garage door, off the end of the driveway, and through a wide gate into the back yard.

In the future I may extend the driveway all the way into the back yard to make a permanent parking pad for the trailer, but that is expensive. For the next season or two I was wondering what the best solution might be.

I'm thinking of setting up two strips of paving stones, 2' wide by about 6' long for an easy visual target when backing in and a nice level landing strip for the wheels.

Any other ideas are welcome.

Christopher
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:45 AM   #2
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A lot of communities have ordinances on the books about parking in the yard. Those call for some prepared pad and are most common where college campus parking has become a problem. You may escape that in a small town?

Otherwise my principal comment relates to preventing grass growing up around the belly pan. The belly pan needs to breathe to promote drying after rains, trips or (minimally so) leaks. High humidity levels from high vegetation can prevent this. Plant the mums somewhere else.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:58 AM   #3
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The paving stones would be an alternative to extending your driveway.
To set the stones properly you should remove sod 2' wide and 6' long and remove some earth below the sod. Fill the dug out area with base gravel and power compact the gravel. Then set your paving stones on the compacted gravel. Make sure the top of the paving stones is higher than the surrounding sod and this will prevent rain water from pooling around your tires. You may want to consider doing the same procedure in the area where your jack stand will be put down as you have 500 to 800 pounds of weight to support there.
You can rent a power compactor from a tool rental company. Local contractors would be able to advise you the appropriate thickness for your gravel base - given the weight of your A/S. When you have your A/S moved off the paving stones you will have to mow the grass.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:47 AM   #4
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I found the concrete blocks at HD work best for putting the trailer on. These are 4"x8"x16". I used these for the runners, and 4"x16"x16" ones for where the jacks go to get the load off of the tires when sitting any length of time. You can then use reg. ones for walking around.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:39 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Just to clarify, while I am in a subdivision it is in a somewhat rural area and not a dreaded HOA. I checked with zoning before buying the house and parking an RV in the back yard is legal so long as it has current registration, is not used as a residence, and is ten feet from side and rear property lines.

Zoning officials have been to my house twice, when I fenced in the back yard, and when I put up a lawn shed. If there was a problem with the Airstream being there, I am sure they would have told me.

Last fall when I moved in I kept the grass underneath as short as possible, reaching under with a weedwacker as far as I could. The Airstream gets regular use during warmer months, and when it is pulled out I properly mow the parking area. Dealing with the grass below it is a PIA and real incentive to eventually lengthen the driveway.

Christopher
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:58 AM   #6
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I have a tarp under the trailer. Drove 8" nails around the edge. It keeps the grass from growing. The tarp I use is vinyl and will last for years, since it is mostly out of the sun.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:33 PM   #7
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I keep mine parked out behind the house on the lawn. I just have a couple of paving blocks under the wheels. No problems.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blickcd View Post

I'm thinking of setting up two strips of paving stones, 2' wide by about 6' long for an easy visual target when backing in and a nice level landing strip for the wheels.
That's a common solution. Larger paving stones are less likely to sink than small ones. For tandem axles I would suggest 8'.

It's also helpful to place a paver for the tongue jack.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:19 PM   #9
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A couple treated boards is all I have ever used. If the trailer is there most of the time the grass will either die off or become pretty thin.

As a former Ohio resident I do remember that in the spring the trailer area would be several inches higher than the surrounding ground for several days as the ground around it would thaw before the ground under the trailer.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:13 AM   #10
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I would avoid parking on grass for another reason: where there is plant growth there is oxygen generated. I have been told that this can cause steel to rust. I do know that the PO of my Excella had had it parked on grass for an extended period of time and that the tool box in the front has rusted right through. I had to have it replaced at Jackson Center. To further back up this theory about parking on grass, several years ago I was camping in Thunder Bay (we had moved our daughter into student residence up there). Unbeknown to me I had had a hairline crack in the engine's distributor cap. I was unable to start the TV and had to have it towed to a garage. They had it parked on pavement and within a couple of hoours it started and ran fine. So we took it back to the campground and the next day it wouldn't start again - so towed back to the garage. Three months later, when back home, the crack in the distributor cap had enlarged and we saw it and changed the cap.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:43 AM   #11
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Here once the grass died wind blew away two to four inches of black-dirt rom beneath the trailer, at local prices $300 worth of top soil (before delivery charges) for the eight or nine cubic yards of soil that went away.

All 'air' has the 21~% oxygen so its the extra moisture vapor from the earth & turf that causes heavy dew cycles that accelerate rust.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:00 AM   #12
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I would avoid parking on grass for another reason: where there is plant growth there is oxygen generated. I have been told that this can cause steel to rust. I do know that the PO of my Excella had had it parked on grass for an extended period of time and that the tool box in the front has rusted right through. I had to have it replaced at Jackson Center. To further back up this theory about parking on grass, several years ago I was camping in Thunder Bay (we had moved our daughter into student residence up there). Unbeknown to me I had had a hairline crack in the engine's distributor cap. I was unable to start the TV and had to have it towed to a garage. They had it parked on pavement and within a couple of hoours it started and ran fine. So we took it back to the campground and the next day it wouldn't start again - so towed back to the garage. Three months later, when back home, the crack in the distributor cap had enlarged and we saw it and changed the cap.
I agree with not parking on the grass, but I'm not sure if its O2 or just more moisture coming up from the ground that promotes rust. My brother parked his truck on the side of his driveway on the grass for years and had lots of rust issues with it compared to his other vehicles. Think about it, when you build a house on a crawlspace foundation, you put plastic down as a moisture barrier to keep the area underneath as dry as possible so mold doesnt grow. On the grass you have moisture coming up every morning and it will settle on the steel frame and hasten oxidation. If I had to park on the grass or ground long term, I would put down a plastic tarp as TG suggested, at least that will act as a moisture barrier right underneath the trailer.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:36 AM   #13
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Yes, provide a moisture barrier under the trailer and concrete pavers under the wheels and stabilizers.

doug k
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:18 AM   #14
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Not complicated enough yet? Heeding advice from jcanavera about concrete wicking oil content out of tires, I put 6 mil poly under the tires when I put the Safari away for the long winter months. And cover the tires when she's stored outside.
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