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Old 11-01-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
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Has anyone used Plywood on soft ground for 20K lb motorhome?

I have the MH on a grass area where I had to put it during Sandy. The ground is super soggy now. Sandy soil with zoysia on it. Left ruts getting there and I don't want to ruin the lawn pulling out as half of it's my neighbors. They understand but I want to minimize damage.
Has anyone ever tried using 3/4 plywood, say cut in half and put one half down, move another half in front and drive over them that way? I wasn't sure if 3/4 plywood would be thick enough. I have a feeling 1/2 would be no better than using nothing as it would probably just shred/break
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:56 PM   #2
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In my experience with cars, anything you put under a drive wheel is likely to come spitting out the back at a good speed -- dangerous. Since the grass is wet, there will not be good traction between the plywood and the ground. Maybe if you could get some long spikes into the plywood and then the ground -- seems risky, though. I would be looking for a tow while you gently applied power to the rear wheels.
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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I don't think 3/4" is going to do it. Maybe double up on it and make it 1&1/2"? The problem is that the tires only contact a very small area of the ground. I can punch a hole into 3/4" on damp ground.

You could take two sheets of 3/4" and cut 4' X 12" strips. That would give you 8- 4' X 1&1/2" thick strips to drive 4' on then move the strips from the back to the front and repeat. Probably cost $120 or so, unless you have some plywood lying around, but cheaper then having to have a tow truck out.

And as MGTR says, having someone give you a gentle pull at the same time would be great.

Just thinking out loud.

Good luck!
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:30 PM   #4
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I don't know how far you have to go with it, but I'd try 1/2" first. Even with 3/4" you are going to destroy the plywood, so totally destroying a 1/2" sheet is a lot cheaper than a 3/4" sheet. When we used to lay down shoring for airplane floors in order to spread the load we used 1/2 " many times. If you're looking to get it out without leaving any tracks at all I don't think even 1 1/2" would be enough.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:50 PM   #5
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Let us know what you learn from this - my neighbor has his son's RV in the back yard for the storm with the same issue you have - it is 100 yards to the road (all down hill).
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:55 PM   #6
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I think you will learn that it is easier to leave it where it is until the ground dries
I can't see that anything you put down will save the unsightly mess you will leave behind
Just my 2cents worth after paying for bob cats and topsoil when one of my drivers gets bogged or towed off a wet site
Many times - luckily for them not the same driver
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:07 PM   #7
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In wet soil, a piece of plywood will absorb water and get as weak as a toothpick you've sucked on for a few minutes. Use sealer or paint on the soil side. I don't think 3/4th will be able to distribute the load very far. I wouldn't use full 8 ft lengths, use shorter lengths and keep moving them from behind to in front, overlapping as you go.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:07 PM   #8
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lets do the math 20,000lbs div. by 4 = 5,000lbs per corner min. front tires 5,000 lbs per tire, backs 2,500 lbs per tire. diffently 1 1/2 inch x 8 ft by 2ft best glued together. won't spit out, to long. problem is going to be when you come up on the edge and when you come off the edge. most psi. area. going to be lots of plywood (1 sheet for each corner (4) and one sheet to drive onto when moving forward (4) sheets = 8 sheets total (2 foot wide ? you need to bridge the area) you are probably setting in ruts now. at home depot they have gravel i would put some infront of each tire, pyled higher than the lawn so when your ontop of it easy drive to the plywood. well thats my 2 cents. ( best advice above (and what i'd do) and cheapest let it dry out )
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:18 PM   #9
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I've used scrap 3/4 plywood and 1/2" OSB to get my 20,000 pound motorhome over VERY muddy ground (sink to the axles muddy). The 3/4 plywood does the trick and holds up fine. The OSB will crack.

I'd let it dry out for a few days, buy some cheap OSB use maybe 2 layers, moving them as you go. You'll know pretty quick if you'll need more wood.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:51 PM   #10
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I have broken 1/2" plywood with my truck (2500HD) over very muddy ground, there is no way I would use it with the RV.

With the current RV (27k lbs) I have broken 2x10s backing on to them. I am now using 2x10s with 3/4" PT plywood screwed and glued to them for parking pads.

When I was in FL I doubled up 3/4" plywood squares 2' x 2' and packed 6" of limestone under each to make parking pads. After 6 months the plywood was concave. and that was with the old RV 12k lbs

I would try doubled up 3/4" plywood just to get it off the yard
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:09 PM   #11
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I am half on my neighbors lawn and half on my lawn ... 2 feet or so inbetween the houses on each side. Was a wonderful spot during the brunt of the storm and the RV barely took on any wind at all. I had a string on the door handle to watch from the window lol which I did quite frequently aside from running into it to sit for a while. I am still just thankful we all made it ok as it hit just to the north of us. So I am ahead of the game no matter. My neighbor is happy someone was there to watch the house.. just glad we didn't watch it go floating away!
I don't have far to go, the length of the RV plus about 18 feet to the sidewalk 35 feet of travel maybe on the back wheels. After the sidewalk I have to really go slow as the curb is 8 inches. I have two by fours I put down to ramp up to the curb so I didn't damage any cords getting in. The jacks are down on wood pads and seem not to have sunk more than the initial couple of inches which brought the ground level with the top of the pads. Maybe I can put those 2x4 boards in front of the front wheels. I think I have 8 of them.
The back has the long way to go and is the heaviest.

I'll give it a few more days maybe to see if it dries enough. Cross my fingers there will be no more rain. Water went down exactly one inch today lol I can check via the crawl space. I am worried no matter as I don't want to do any more damage. I can take the ruts out that are there now by running the car over them. I have done that before in another place and another time.

I may have some osb in the attic. I priced 3/4 ply and it's 40 bucks a sheet. i can drive some stakes down in the back of the wood to keep it from moving.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:28 PM   #12
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Stakes behind is a great idea. Remember, gently does it. And if you know somebody with a 4x4 truck, them pulling while you gently drive out will help a lot.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:03 PM   #13
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I don't know if it would be safe to use on grass, but we used lime (got a 50 lb bag at the Home depot) when we had that problem about a month ago. It rained a lot and we started sinking (our lot is just dirt, no concrete). We waited for a couple days to let it dry a little, then we sprinkled a bunch of lime by the tires and where we knew the tires were going to roll onto, and it helped a lot. We didn't need a tow vehicle.
Hope it helps, and good luck
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:39 PM   #14
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unless you have a good reason to move her, I'd just let her be and let the world dry out.
Heading to arizona or Texas, that's a whole nother story, just punch it and let the traction control do it's job...!
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