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Old 09-21-2016, 11:07 PM   #1
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Is gravel better than dirt to park RV on?

I have a 26' Winnebago that I park on the grass but the grass underneath it died and there is only dirt now. I was concerned about moisture from the dirt affecting the undercarriage of the motorhome. Would it be better putting some driveway gravel underneath the motor? I live in nothern Illinois so we get some snow and the motorhome will be parked for 6 months. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks Mike

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Old 09-22-2016, 01:41 AM   #2
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Mike, I am from central Il. and as you have a blank slate, you can get yourself a nice parking spot, for a little bit of money! The underside of the MH is the least of your worries, the tires are what you need to worry about! Sitting in the dirt/mud will rot them out pretty fast, so, I would first get some big concrete stepping stone's, and mark around your tires with spray paint where you want to put the stone's, move your MH up out of the way, dig into the ground to recess the stones slightly, then have some rock delivered, and put around the stones, and cover the dirt up. Extend it to your drive, so in the spring, you won't sink in the mud! If you back into your spot, at the same time as you do the stone's, you can also insert a stop, out of wood, or rock, what ever you have handy, so you can back into it, and know when to stop! When I set up my parking spot, I did this, using the concrete stone's, and for the stop I used a old RR tie, just make sure your mud flaps clear it when you back into it!
When you are done, the top of the stone's should be slightly higher than the rock, and the water will run off them and the rock will let it soak into the ground! And if you have a unlimited budget, you can pour a nice concrete pad to park on?
If you read some of the threads on here about peoples MH's sinking into the "Hard Clay/ground" in the spring, and the damage it does, you will get this done sooner than later!! Good luck! Rail!

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Old 09-22-2016, 10:21 AM   #3
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Thank you for all that great information, l forgot about the tires sitting in the mud. I am planning on starting this in a few weeks. A cement pad would be great but l am on a budget on this project. I think blacktop is cheaper than cement, but would black top hold up for the motorhome if l can fit that in my budget? Thanks Mike
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:41 AM   #4
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a few, like myself... $800 for gravel.. not in the budget..

I use 2by12 by 10 foot planks... and park trailer on top of boards.. keeps tires out of mud and water runs off... and I use a piece of tarp to keep sun/rain off tires.

not the best.. or the easiest , but I have done it over a year.
2012 Ford F 250,"XL" 6.2L Gas, 2 wheel drive. 156,000 miles
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for that information Chuck_Hammer.
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:13 PM   #6
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My understanding from Freightliner school is that the best thing for tires to rest on is plastic. I rest mine on thin cheap cutting boards from Walmart and would do the same in your case as long as you can keep organic material off of them and away from the tires - cost about $10.
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:17 PM   #7
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Thanks Big Dude, can l put these plastic cutting boards on top of a concrete stone or piece of wood?
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:56 AM   #8
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Another option for under the tires are pieces of horse matt.

Go to a farm supply center and ask for a sheet of horse matt or animal stall matting. It is large (about 4x6 ft) 3/4 in thick matts made of recycled tires, used to help protect the hooves of livestock. It can be easily cut with a utility knife into whatever size suits your need. I cut one into pad sizes that can be used under my leveling jacks and them combined to provide a better under tire size when the coach is in storeage. They are virtually indestructible, cheap (about $35) and very adaptable.
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:40 AM   #9
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back to your original question....yes...the ground moisture will cause things to rust faster under the vehicle. Gravel really doesn't do a ton to help that either.
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:17 AM   #10
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Parking on any porous surface outdoors is not good, especially in the north. Moisture will come up out of the ground and corrode the undercarriage, even if it's under cover. We looked at a beautiful 2005 Diplomat that was on gravel under a metal canopy and the frame was completely rusted out. It didn't help that it was in an area of his yard that didn't have good air movement. If you can't get it into a dry environment, keep an eye on the frame and treat it with POR-15 at the first sign of rust.

We plan to get our rig into our barn on top of a tarp and wood under the wheels to keep them off the cold dirt. Good air movement is important, too, to dry condensation quickly.

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Old 09-23-2016, 06:41 AM   #11
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FWIW If you go blacktop it is only the cover coat over 8-12 inches of compacted crushed stone. That is a lot of dig and fill. BTDT. The concrete stone idea is probably the cheapest.
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:15 PM   #12
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The plastic cutting boards are the best idea being as mentioned by another post as non-porous. The rubber barn matts are used by many rv'ers and can be purchased at Tractor Supply if there is one near you often on sale and sold in two different thicknesses. Grass is probably the worst thing you can park anything on because of the way it'll hold the moisture, at least gravel will drain and dry with air flow ventilation. I park my rig during the winter storage months on wood planks which was also suggested.
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:17 PM   #13
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:33 PM   #14
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Thanks everybody for all the great advice. I am going to get a price on blacktop next week. I have a feeling the blacktop might be out of my budget still. The gravel might have to do with rubber mats or plastic cutting boards under the tires. Is the POR-15 some kind of rustproofing?

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