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Old 06-25-2016, 08:03 AM   #1
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Motorhome driveway thoughts, ideas, advice

I'd like to open a discussion to get some idea about what a driveway would cost, type of driveway, and share some thoughts so I have at least an idea of where to start prior to getting an estimate.

One wooded property that I am interested in has a fairly clear and straight path through the woods about 75 yards long that I think would be the only way to get my 32' motorhome on to the property where I am also looking to build a 40x50 pole barn.

There would be a few small trees that need removed and two fairly large stumps. The road will also have to go over the leech field for the septic system. Don't know if that is an issue.. I'm also looking in NW Montana. Advice or thoughts greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:13 AM   #2
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Recommendations are nearly unanimously against driving over any part of the leach field or septic tank. My septic installer, however, drives over it routinely with his vey large tracked excavator. The tracks distribute the weight over a large area, making it safe. If you were only doing it a few times per year, I might risk laying sheets of plywood to drive over the field, but this would be too cumbersome for regular use.


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Old 06-25-2016, 08:29 AM   #3
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Trees and stumps are easy - hire a guy with a bulldozer to clear the area and grade the road/driveway.

As for the driveway, I have a DG driveway on the rear of my property. Hundreds of dollars vs. thousands for concrete. The guy with the bulldozer can spread and compact it.

Building over a leach field is a problem methinks. Suggest to talk to a septic installation professional.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:00 AM   #4
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In the wilds of Montana I doubt that you have any HOA requirements. Here in the "tame" front range of Colorado we are often bound by the rules of others meaning that we may have to meet paving requirements. As we are looking at a 100 yard driveway that is required to be paved, we are weighing the cost differences between six inches of asphalt and concrete.

I agree that going across the septic field may be a problem.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:04 AM   #5
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The lessons I learn the hard way....
First, driving over any area will drive the frost further down into the ground. Second, plowing the driveway over a section of the septic removes much needed insulation from said ground to prevent freezing. Had a place in northern MI. where we learned that the hard way. Froze the line from the house to the tank solid a few times. Learned that's a really (REALLY!!) nasty mess to thaw. We did try digging the line up and adding 6" of foam board in an attempt to insulate the area. We ended up having to move the driveway because it was easier than moving the septic. Area was all sand if that makes any difference.

Other than that, I can share we had a gas Class A when we built the driveway and the pad that we keep the MH on. Worked fine until we upgraded to a diesel, which just cracked the daylights out of the area under the rear axle of the MH. That will eventually all need to be cut out and re-poured twice as thick as original.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:33 AM   #6
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A lot depends on the soil type as to whether it will compress and/or the rock will embed deeper into it.

I've just finished clearing a ~400 foot driveway. This include a large circular drive so I can easily get in/out of the property. The ground is extremely hard when dry but turns to mush when wet. I had a local contractor come by to look and give me advice, he said he'd just use crusher run. I've decided to invest in putting down a driveway to hopefully reduce the amount the rock settles into the dirt. It would also somewhat act as a weed barrier and reduce the amount of rock required, and long term maintenance.
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:57 PM   #7
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We bought some property in Alabama for an RV pad near our children, lightly terraced with heavy grass. We had a drive of crushed limestone put in. It is apx 1/4 mile long with a big loop that has apx 70 feet twice as wide where we park the MH. The driveway guy recommended we DO NOT grade before laying the gravel so as not to break the surface. The only prep we did was to stake the left side of the drive for the truck to follow as it spread the stone, and I mowed the grass pretty short. As I recall, the cost for the first run (actually a couple of layers) of rougher rock was $800/load. The total cost for the first run laid in February was $9.6k plus $1k for some brush removal. Six months later he laid another layer of finer mix at a cost of $4.9k. He ran a packer over the gravel after it was spread each time. We have had grass pop through in a few places that we hit with Roundup ...and bear in mind that it gets very little traffic as we are not there more than we are. We had lots of standing water on the property after heavy rains in December and January, but the driveway remained amazingly solid, even in one area where the water was going over it and moving the stone. We have since put a culvert in at that point.

So our cost for the 1/4 mile crushed limestone drive with a large parking pad and loop was $15.5k. Just five years earlier we paid $9k for a 10x50 concrete pad with approach apron at our stick house.

No worries about freezing the leach field in AL, but I still wouldn't want the drive to run across it.
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Old 06-26-2016, 08:03 PM   #8
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Went with 6" fiber reinforced concrete on top on compacted clay then gravel. 3 years old and still looks like new.
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Old 06-26-2016, 08:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad10th View Post
I'd like to open a discussion to get some idea about what a driveway would cost, type of driveway, and share some thoughts so I have at least an idea of where to start prior to getting an estimate.

One wooded property that I am interested in has a fairly clear and straight path through the woods about 75 yards long that I think would be the only way to get my 32' motorhome on to the property where I am also looking to build a 40x50 pole barn.

There would be a few small trees that need removed and two fairly large stumps. The road will also have to go over the leech field for the septic system. Don't know if that is an issue.. I'm also looking in NW Montana. Advice or thoughts greatly appreciated!

Can't help with the leech field.
But I just installed a driveway 130' by 20'ave with 6" fiber reinforced concrete.
Added a 12" footer down one side with rebar. The cost was. $11,500.00

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Old 06-26-2016, 08:52 PM   #10
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My 16' X 200' concrete drive cost $17,000, it also has a small extension to a two car garage and a workshop. It has 1/2" rebar in it instead of mesh reinforcement.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:31 AM   #11
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16' wide by 60' long by 6" deep with micro-fiber added to concrete. Also added wire mesh and some re-bar. Also added one patch 18" by 8' total was $7500.00. Just completed about a month and half ago. Only pain was waiting 27 days for curing. 27 days to cure can be argued by some that is to long to have to wait, but I chose to follow and be patient, no regrets.

I should add: included in cost was removal of old 4" concrete driveway.
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Old 06-29-2016, 04:33 AM   #12
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Check with the Septic guys about the leach field. As far as the driveway, if you don't want to pave it or concrete it then get someone to bull doze it out about 6" deep then install some type of barrier material to stop grass and weed from growing in it. Then put down with about 4" of 3/4 minus and pack it good and top it off with 1/4 minus.
I would also think about running drainage down the middle and having it drain out to the side would be a good idea prior too.
If you don't want 1/4 minus on top some areas have some sort of crushed rock or something that when put down makes the top almost like asphalt.
If you do it right, it will last a long time. Cost will be dependent on cost in your area and how much you do yourself.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:57 PM   #13
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Thank you all. lots of great advice.
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Old 06-30-2016, 08:08 PM   #14
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I wouldn't drive over a leech field with my RV.
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