Camping and traveling the country is a favorite past time for many families, and an RV or camper makes it possible. Proper storage of your RV or camper at home on a concrete pad while it is not being used helps to protect the value of your investment. If you don't have an RV pad in your yard, you can install one with the use of proper construction tools and the right knowledge. Here are some steps to help you prepare your yard for installation and pouring of a concrete RV pad.
Prepare the Pad Site
One of the most important parts of installing a concrete slab is creating a strong and stable foundation. Otherwise, your concrete pad will shift, settle, and slant on the soil, causing the concrete pad to crack, which decreases its integrity. So, the first part of preparing the concrete pad foundation for your RV is to prepare the ground by removing any grass or vegetation from the site where you want to install the concrete.
Next, mark off the area for vegetation removal by spraying an outline with construction paint on the soil or vegetation. Then, you can rent a skid steer or Bobcat with a bucket excavator attachment from a construction tool rental store like LAX Equipment Rental to scrape off the vegetation and remove approximately eight inches of topsoil. This excavation will provide enough depth for the concrete pad's thickness.
Install the Concrete Forms
Next, build the concrete forms for your concrete pad with two-by-twelve length of lumber. This width of lumber will provide up to twelve inches of thickness, so you can pour an adequate concrete thickness to support the weight of your RV. Using an electric drill and screws or a hammer and nails, connect the two-by-twelves together to frame in the size and shape of your concrete pad.
Brace the form to hold it in place by pounding two-by-four stakes into the ground on the outside of the form, spaced every two feet. Pound two-by-four kickers into the ground at an angle next to each stake, so the top of each kicker presses into and against the stake, holding it in place. Use a level to make sure the concrete form is set at a uniform height.
Set the Concrete Base
Before you can pour the concrete, you need to provide a gravel drainage base for the pad. Using crushed gravel with jagged edges, such as crushed limestone or other crushed rock.
Calculate how much gravel you will need to order by multiplying the length and width (in feet) of the area within your lumber frames. Then, because you will need to pour a six-inch layer of gravel (one-half foot), multiply the first sum by .5 to get the total size in cubic feet. Because gravel is sold in cubic yards, you will need to divide this number by 27.
When the gravel arrives, spread the gravel evenly over the entire site with a shovel and rake. Make sure you smooth the gravel to create a level surface. Then, you will need to compact the gravel together, using a vibratory asphalt and soil compactor plate. You can rent a vibratory plate at most construction and tool rental stores. Compacting the gravel will interlock the gravel's edges, creating a more stable layer and a more solid foundation.
Pour the Concrete
To support the weight of an RV or camper, it is recommended to pour a layer of concrete six inches thick. For a large-sized concrete pad, you can hire a concrete company to deliver, pour, and smooth the concrete for you, which can help it last as long as possible. Doing most of the work up to this point to make preparations for the concrete can help you save some money on the cost of your concrete pad.
Use this information to help you prepare a site to pour a concrete RV or camper pad in your yard.