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Old 05-16-2018, 06:13 AM   #1
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Parking on Dirt - should I put plastic or tarp down?

I am fortunate enough that I can park my rig at home - but I have to park on dirt. I'm in FL so my dirt is sandy/loose but still firm enough to drive on.

Should I put plastic (tarp) down and then park on that so moisture from the ground does not affect my coach (rust the undercarriage)? Does it matter?

If I put plastic down (like the kind used under a concrete slab) or a tarp of some sort, it's not going to stay flat once I drive up on it. But still, maybe better than nothing.

What do you think?
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:24 AM   #2
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.....cant see using a full size tarp but do recommend using some sort of moisture barriers under the tires--plastic blocks....long-term exposure to moisture is not good for tires.....
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:25 AM   #3
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Outside of placing a barrier between the tires and dirt I don't think it will make a significant difference.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:32 AM   #4
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just use some simple ~2'x3' heavy rubber 'trucker' or 'horse stall' matting below each set of tires, that's all you'll need... you can even put it under the legs if you have them down, too.

you can find it at garden centers or tractor supply type places, or truck centers, of course - it's easily cut to size
here's a link to tractor supply: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...t?cm_vc=-10005
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:49 AM   #5
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Yes, any barrier would be good to put down under a parked vehicle over dirt/grass. Moisture will come up from the ground and get trapped under the vehicle creating a rust friendly environment. I met a fellow staying in Destin, FL for the winter with his 6 month old new pickup and he stated the undercarriage was covered with rust. He had been parking in a sandy area not far from the ocean. The salt moist air and ground evaporation was taking it's toll on his new truck. Even a piece of plywood, anything will help.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterT View Post
just use some simple ~2'x3' heavy rubber 'trucker' or 'horse stall' matting below each set of tires, that's all you'll need... you can even put it under the legs if you have them down, too.
That's a great idea!
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:27 PM   #7
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I would recommend a tarp for the entire underside. You have a corrosive environment and it is hard on everything metal. Electrical connections you name it.
I have seen the underside of trailers parked on dirt in the midwest and they rust like crazy. I think i would even get under the coach with some spray bomb cans that are for undercoating before you park it. You have a nice coach, save up for concrete and a roof if possible it will keep the coach from aging in so many ways.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:28 PM   #8
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We also live in Florida, and with the water table literally 5 -10 feet below ground surface, moisture is easily drawn up. We are also fortunate to have a concrete slab to park on, but just like we put a moisture barrier under our home, I'd also use a quality plastic under my coach if parked long term on grass/dirt/sand. Just me being over protective, but these things are expensive!
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:32 PM   #9
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I have never heard of, or seen anyone place a tarp under an RV when parking on dirt, gravel, grass or any surface.
Placing plastic pads or jack pads under the tires does help to protect them from the elements (available at CW or any RV shop).
I have the undercarriage on my Class A sprayed for rust once a year (Pro-Fleet Care), a non-drip product, and that gets into all the nooks and crannies and really does protect the frame etc. from rusting.
We spend the month of March each year parked within 10' of the Gulf in the Florida Keys and the salt water and air can, and will cause rust problems.
By doing the annual spray avoids these issues.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some RV Parks in the Keys actually do not allow carpets on the grass because they can kill the grass, so they would definitely not allow an unsightly plastic tarp under a vehicle.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:37 PM   #10
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Never done it myself EXCEPT when I was planing on working under the RV and did not want to roll in the dirt.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:40 PM   #11
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Salt air...not in Orlando. Unless you are close to a lake (a old sink hole) I doubt the water table is close enough to be an issue so I’m in the camp of not doing anything, not even under the tires unless over time the tires sink into the sand,..making it possible to get stuck. Then even a short rubber mat would be enough to get you moving.

If there is mulch near your rig I would be on the lookout for little black spots on the side of it. The common name is Shotgun Spores and the resulting stain in the paint after removing the spore is very difficult to get off.

PS: only lived in SE Fla for 40 years before getting out BUT now I’m a snowbird there.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:59 PM   #12
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Mike,
Air is air. No matter where it comes from. If it has moisture in it, you're not going to block it. Besides, based on yours and mine conversations, you're not going to let that rig sit that long in its parking spot anyways. You've got MOTORCYCLE riding to do PAL! I'd bet my house that you won't preserve any part of that coach, INCLUDING THE TIRES, any longer by parking on ANYTHING is supposed to be detrimental. The discussion of parking on any surface like rubber, plastic etc. that is "SUPPOSED" to lengthen or, preserve the rubber in tires, has been discussed on RV forums for ever.

Not one time has anything been proven that parking on those surfaces helps the tires. Besides, they typically have a minimal year life span anyways. Meaning you're going to change them out between about 6 and 8 years based on the norm cycle here.

This is all up to you. Park on whatever you think will be of value. There are ZILLIONS of motorhomes parked on everything under the sun (including under the direct sun with no covers on any part) and those are still running down the road. There are trucks, long haul, over the road, delivery, school busses, and more that are parked on wet dirt, wet concrete, wet ANYTHING and those tires run for miles and miles. And there frames aren't rusting out from underneath them. Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:57 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the tips and advise.

I'm finishing building a Pole Barn (open sides) to provide the cover, and plan to do a concrete pad later - maybe next year or the year after.
So for now, I think I will put the horse stall mats under the tires and do nothing else.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:35 AM   #14
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You will probably end up with indentations in the stall mats under the tires that collect water. Plan on filling those in and building them up a little.
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