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Old 09-13-2016, 05:35 PM   #1
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Building A CLASS A Parking Pad

I'm having a gravel pad built and wondering if there are any requirements for how level the pad should be? I've heard or read the Coach should be kept level for some reason or the refrigerator may not work properly. I'm not sure what else may have problems. I realize it needs to have good drainage as well.

I'm having a contractor prepare this as I have fairly hilly ground with no level areas. It will take 60-100 cubic yards to fill in the area with a pad size approximately 15' X 45'. The contractor said he planned to have about a 6" slope from one end to the other to allow good drainage. I asked him why and he thought for the drainage it would be necessary and that it shouldn't be that noticeable.

Anybody have any thoughts on this? I would think it should be as level as possible but the contractor is fairly experienced and that is what he planned.
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:47 PM   #2
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Thats more than plenty of fall.
You might want to make the pad wider so you can walk on the pad when the slides are out. Also nice when getting in the basement.
I made mine 22' and glad I did.

good luck

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Old 09-13-2016, 05:53 PM   #3
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A 6" slope in 45' shouldn't be a problem.

Will the contractor compact the fill, if not it may be a problem as you may find that you will sink in as you pull into the pad, especially if it is wet.

If you are on a slope it may be more economic for the contractor to cut & fill a pad for you. By this I mean cut into the slope and use the excavated material as fill on the down slope side. While the material is being moved it can be compacted. I just did this on a pad, ~45' x 60' area on property I just bough. Didn't have to haul in any fill and took advantage of the terrain.
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012 BayStar View Post
I'm having a gravel pad built and wondering if there are any requirements for how level the pad should be? I've heard or read the Coach should be kept level for some reason or the refrigerator may not work properly. I'm not sure what else may have problems. I realize it needs to have good drainage as well.

I'm having a contractor prepare this as I have fairly hilly ground with no level areas. It will take 60-100 cubic yards to fill in the area with a pad size approximately 15' X 45'. The contractor said he planned to have about a 6" slope from one end to the other to allow good drainage. I asked him why and he thought for the drainage it would be necessary and that it shouldn't be that noticeable.

Anybody have any thoughts on this? I would think it should be as level as possible but the contractor is fairly experienced and that is what he planned.
I s this pad going next to your garage or house?
Good suggestion on making it wider for sure........you are only going to do this once.
If it were me, it would be level front to back and a 2-3" slope the 20-22' width. Water will run off of a level pad for that matter........so a very slight slope side to side.........and it will run off and you will be level front to back when leveling.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:01 PM   #5
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A 6" slope in 45' shouldn't be a problem.

Will the contractor compact the fill, if not it may be a problem as you may find that you will sink in as you pull into the pad, especially if it is wet.

If you are on a slope it may be more economic for the contractor to cut & fill a pad for you. By this I mean cut into the slope and use the excavated material as fill on the down slope side. While the material is being moved it can be compacted. I just did this on a pad, ~45' x 60' area on property I just bough. Didn't have to haul in any fill and took advantage of the terrain.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:24 PM   #6
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myself i like crowned more than slope. It seems slopes always get more pot holes...but crowned and sloped i LIKE IT///
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:32 PM   #7
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I put in a DG driveway and parking pad, rather than gravel.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:35 PM   #8
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I have a driveway I put in over 40 years ago. The ground was dug out about 10" deep and we put in #4 stone about 6" deep and topped it off with a mixture of fine gravel with stone no larger than #1 stone commonly known as pea stone. Over the years I have had to add more of the mixture in small amounts due to settling etc. but this is a driveway which sees a lot of traffic including not just our personal transportation cars and trucks but heavy tractors and trailers and other equipment.
I don't need to have a slope as the larger stone under the finer gravel allows for drainage. The soil under the driveway allows for good natural drainage to start with. Even after a hard rain the water drains away quickly and the driveway is dry on the surface. This would be important if you are parking something on it you don't want a lot of moisture to gather under.
Water runs through gravel readily if it is course enough to let the water flow through it and seep away eliminating the need for a slope.
Your MH will quickly compact the gravel all by itself. If you want to compact it just run your car and truck back and forth on it for a while when you feel like it. You might have to kick some of the loose displaced gravel around to fill in low spots on occasion but it is no big deal.
Don't let a contractor come in and over engineer a pad to park on. It's really not rocket science, just common sense.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:40 PM   #9
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Just a thought, do a French drain, more than one, under the gravel. The water will drain and you can keep a level pad.

Another idea is to slope toward the center line which is what I'd likely do if I poured a pad. This way the coach will be fairly level even before you drop any jacks.

What's the cost difference between a gravel or concrete pad?
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:08 PM   #10
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Welcome to a fellow New Englander! As all know, "Everyone Loves Raymond (Maine)!"

First, to answer your question about whether a level parking area is necessary. The answer to that is mostly "No." Two exceptions are:

1) Someone plans on staying in a coach parked on it for lengths of time, and/or
2) The coach has an absorption refrigerator, and you plan on running it for more than a few hours while in the parking area

... and, in both these cases, you don't plan on using the leveling system/blocks/similar techniques to keep the coach level. If you use those, then it matters less what the slope of the parking area is.

I'd listen to the contractor. He should be familiar with the soils in your area, and what features will ensure a durable parking area.

We had an excellent contractor for the driveway expansion to accommodate our motorhome. He correctly determined that the typical high-clay content soil (known as "glacial till"), while strong, would drain very poorly. You may have similar soil in your area (it's apparently all over northern New England). Anyway, he had to excavate quite a bit, fill with courses of coarse stone and sand, and then three compacted layers of bluestone, totaling four inches. There's a back-to-front slope of about 4 inches in 35 feet, and a side-to-side slope of 2 inches in 14 feet or so (narrow, but it's all we could fit between the house and a drainage ditch).

Our driveway is asphalt. I looked into same for the RV driveway expansion, but this excavator and a paving contractor (!) both said bluestone was a better choice, if only to prevent that "sinking feeling," i.e., tire ruts. Concrete is the gold standard for RV pads, I gather, but in this neck of the woods you have to treat it often to prevent spalling and cracking.

In any case, those are my two-an-a-half cents.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:14 PM   #11
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60-100 cubic yards? Wow, you must have some steep property. Any chance of a retaining wall to cut down on how much fill you need? Fill can be a hassle as it settles. Of course, if your surface is gravel it's not as big of a deal but that is A LOT of fill.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:27 PM   #12
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You make no mention of the area you are building this pad. Soil conditions and the treatment of such vary greatly from area to area. Type of soil, weather conditions, climate conditions all have a bearing on constructing the best result, not to mention cost.

That being said it is likely the best to go with what your reputable contractor is advising.

In our area we have clay, sand and silt. We excavated 3' and backfilled with clay fill, compacting in 4 - 6" lifts. We built our shed and then laid 120 tons of crushed 3/4 minus gravel inside the shed.

Needless to say the coach does not rut the surface.

Why so much gravel? If we decide to lay a concrete floor in the future we will excavate enough gravel for the concrete without having to excavate and recompact the subgrade clay beneath it.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:04 AM   #13
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Just as a example of a pad slope, I was at a resort recently and if I was to guess, the pad I was on had close to a 6" slope front to back and 2-3" side to side........here are the results to get level:
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:02 AM   #14
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Pad comments

All good comments, I appreciate them. Our Bay Star is a 34 footer so I think the length of the pad is good and the width should be adequate for now. I would like it somewhat wider but for now can live with this. I have lots of trees around that I had to consider as well. The pad is away from the house, not right next to it.

I'll talk with the contractor today and get him to lessen the slope back to front. Yes, I have a good slope off the road into my house and gullys/slopes around the rest of my land. The pad is going to be perpendicular to my driveway as that will be the best place for the pad given some of the constraints of my land. The contractor dug down to pull an stump and is dumping and compacting the gravel as he went. Digging down the ground had some stone and rocks (we grow rocks here!) and fairly fine sandy soil. Again the guy is local and experienced with the area so he's doing things I would expect.

I'll report back after it is completed, they should finish today. I'll make comments on concrete and others then.
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