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Old 05-29-2017, 04:05 PM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
Athens , Georgia
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2
Airstream landing spot on an incline

Hello all, I'm looking to park our 1973 27' Overlander in a landscaped, permanent landing spot in our backyard. My concern is that our backyard has a gentle 1:12 slope, so about a 2' difference from the hitch to the rear of the trailer. I'm leaning towards building a raised area with a retaining wall around it that can support the new fill and the 3 ton trailer. I've attached a couple drawings showing the CMU and poured concrete retaining wall as I'm planning it now. Any thought on this? Is it too much, too little? Thanks!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Airstream Site Plan 5.29.2017.pdf (10.5 KB, 608 views)
File Type: pdf Airstream Site Axonometric 5.29.2017.pdf (10.7 KB, 127 views)

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Old 05-29-2017, 04:18 PM   #2
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Welcome, Looks good. Make sure to post photos after completion.


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Old 05-29-2017, 04:59 PM   #3
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I've had both a slope down and a slope up situation.

For your down sloping condition, I would eliminate the curved poured concrete wall, The pad doesn't need to extend any further than the location of the jacks. A squared off wall would be cheaper and easier. Unless the curved wall is for aesthetics.

Having the rear hang out over the end of the wall was also convenient for working under the rear of the airstream.
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:12 PM   #4
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I faced the same questions you are asking a few years ago. But I had more slightly more slope to deal with, 3' from front to rear, in 28' length (the width of my garage). After studying the situation for several months I realized the portion of the trailer behind the axels would be fine if it was above the ground substantially. (I do not put the stabilizers down) So I built a 12' wide almost level gravel pad (no concrete) with the length from the tongue jack to a couple feet behind the center of the rear axle. The length of the pad was several feet shorter than I originally planned, requiring less retained earth height, so I was able to use a rubble stone retaining wall that incorporated a planter, instead of a mortared cmu wall or concrete.

The rear of the trailer being higher above the ground has been a benefit, since it is easier to work beneath the rear portion of the trailer.

Your plans look good and will work fine. Only thing I would suggest is to make the level surface as wide as possible so that you will be able to walk on a level surface on the entry side.
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:29 PM   #5
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My only advice would be to give yourself some more "walk around room" so you don't have to worry about access to the door or storage hatches. Things like checking tire pressure will be easier, as well as backing into the space.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:47 PM   #6
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Consider making it longer for your next trailer and wider for easier access all the way around the trailer for maintenance, loading/unloading, washing, etc.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:55 PM   #7
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The attached photo shows my version of your situation.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:58 PM   #8
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I addition to the other recommendations, I would consider using interlocking wall block for the entire wall. It is very durable, relatively inexpensive and it can be modified if you want to make the area bigger in the future. Fill with coarse rock overlain by 8 inches of road base, then finished with a nice gravel. It will last forever.
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:31 PM   #9
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Looks awesome!!! Couple thoughts:

Concrete is bought by the truck if you're getting ready mix (or close to it). Just check that you're not buying a minimum amount that's way over the small amount in that wall.

What type of footing? For concrete and for the CMU part. Are your planning on leaving rebar to extend into the cmu voids and backfill with concrete?

Drainage behind the wall. That's the lynchpin to it all. Surcharge behind walls is almost always the cause of failure.

I'd also recommend the interlocking block wall systems. For this application it seems like an awesome product!

As I was backing into my "too short" and inclined drive this AM I was pondering solutions just like yours! Good luck and post pics!!!!

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Old 05-30-2017, 01:42 PM   #10
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2014 27' FB International
Sugar Land , Texas
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CMU blocks don't make particularly good retaining walls because they are lighter than the volume of earth they displace and don't support much lateral load, but they are good for erosion control. Consider filling on both sides of the CMU blocks and taper the fill 4:1 or 3:1 on the outside of your pad. Another retains wall method is "reinforced earth" For this you use a heavy landscape woven fabric and gravel (1/2" size and up) Lay the fabric on the ground along the side you want to retain. Place a three to four foot wide course of gravel about 6-inches high. Fold the fabric back over the first rock layer. Fill another 6" course of gravel. Fold the fabric over the new gravel and repeat until get the grade you want. The weight of the gravel locks the fabric. Very high vertical walls are built using this method. Foundations pads for structures built on hillsides are commonly built using this technique. Drawbacks are cost if gravel is expensive where you live and the weight of the gravel usually requires mechanical equipment. Good luck and please let us know what you did and learned. Thanks for posting.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:16 PM   #11
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St Lawrence , Pennsylvania
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Be forewarned not to exceed a 48 inch high wall of any type since that is the maximum height noted in nearly every building code without engineering.

Higher than 48 inches pushes you to a professional engineer sealed drawing.

Most locations require a railing if the drop off height exceeds 30 inches.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:48 AM   #12
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1973 27' Overlander
Athens , Georgia
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Thanks @A_W_Warn so your wall is rubble stone only? and it was almost three feet tall at the rear and spanned almost 28'? Gravel fill only?

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