How Thick Should An RV Pad Be? (All You Need To Know!)

Last Updated on July 11, 2021 by Viva Elizeee

RV pad thickness is crucial, especially if you plan on parking your RV for a while. If you do things right, your RV pad will stay intact without cracking.

The average concrete thickness of an RV pad is 4 inches, with all other factors held constant. So if the RV is heavier, the concrete pad should be thicker. But that’s not the only factor.

The type of soil in the RV pad affects the design. For example, expansive clay is more likely to crack the concrete. It means that the RV pad will have a reduced lifetime. In such situations, thicker padding (6 inches) serves best.

To ensure that the concrete stays intact for long, you can reinforce it with reinforced bars. Also, the water-concrete balance during mixing is crucial. Depending on the concrete’s psi (pounds per square inch), you may need more or less water.

This article tells you everything about RV pad thickness. Here, you will know:

1. The required concrete thickness for your RV

2. How concrete works

3. How to reinforce concrete slabs

4. What to put under your RV tires

5. The best surface to park your RV

Enjoy the read!

Required Concrete Thickness For Different Types Of RVs

Different RV types have different weights. Since you know the weight and size of your RV, check out where it falls in the table below. Depending on its class, you will know the required concrete thickness.

RV ClassWeight Bracket (Pounds)Required Concrete Thickness (Inches)
A33000 –  360005 – 6
B6000 – 120004 – 5
C10000 – 140005
Trailer1250 – 27504
Pop up Camper600 – 23004
5th wheels2400 – 200004 – 5

So, if your RV is a trailer of 2400 pounds, 4 inches is suitable for your RV pad. With that, your RV driveway or parking will handle the loaded and unloaded weight of your trailer.

How Does Concrete Thickness Work?

When you create an RV pad, it should bear your RV’s heaviness. Once that happens, the pad transfers the RV’s weight to the soil base under.

By design, concrete comes with compressive strength. It means that when your RV sits on the pad, the concrete resists the downward force. Now, concrete mixing affects this force, which means you should excel at the job.

For example, if the expression on the concrete bag is 3500 psi, you should mix guided by that figure. If the ratio of water to cement is low, the concrete will be stronger. But, the mix will be more challenging to deal with.

Although you can DIY the job, you should get expert help. A concrete contractor will explain the mixing process or do it themselves.

What You Can Do To Reinforce The Concrete RV Pad

The best way to do it is by having reinforcing bars, or rebars, inside. These are steel-made rods and are common in construction.

Have this in mind: all concrete slabs are born to crack. So, the rebars ensure that no cracks form even if the slabs move apart.

Apart from rebars, the other options you can consider include wire mesh or fiber. But, those won’t give you as much thickness as reinforced bars.

Can I Pour A 2-Inch Concrete Slab?

Two inches is quite thin, considering that it will be bearing some thousand pounds of an RV. But, you can pour the 2-inch slab on already damaged concrete. It will help reinforce and protect the slab to prevent further damage.

Four inches is the ideal thickness of an RV pad. Anything below that will not hold for long.

CarsAmazing 101:

The thicker the RV pad, the more weight it can bear.

Should RV Tires Be Off The Ground?

So, can the concrete slab break your tires down? Well, many RV owners haven’t experienced this, so you don’t have to worry. But, when you expose tires to concrete for a long time, they may start breaking.

RV tires are quite different from those of our vehicles. So, you should approach the matter with caution to give your RV tires longer lives. Here are some of the items that people use to keep their tires off the ground:

1. Woodblocks

2. Jacks

3. Stackable plastic blocks

Whichever option you choose, ensure that the object is durable. For example, you wouldn’t want your RV’s weight to break the jack or crumble the wood.

What Should I Put Under My RV Tires?

When RV tires sit out for too long, they may suffer from dry rot. And if you live in a humid or hot area, the situation will be worse. When your tires pick moisture, they will start decaying.

To prevent that, you can get tire covers. As your RV remains parked, you won’t have to worry about humidity. The covering will protect them, and in that way, the tires will last longer.

Also, you can use a once-a-year dry rot formula. After buying it, you will only need to apply it to the tires. And then, you wouldn’t have to cover them.

Which Is The Best Surface To Park An RV?

If you don’t wish to park your RV on a concrete slab, there are other options. They include gravel, pavers, and dirt. Let us look at each:

1. Gravel

If you’re on a budget, gravel is an excellent choice. First, you only need to have crushed rock poured on the ground. Then, you’ll drive the RV on the gravel parking pad. The materials in the gravel will allow water to dissipate, meaning that your tires will be safe.

To create a gravel pad, you need to dig out six inches of soil. Then, add large base stones at the bottom and finish with fine-sized gravel. A professional should be able to do the job well if you provide the materials.

2. Pavers

These are grids that allow water to pass through (thus permeable). As a result, they are more durable and as strong as compacted gravel, concrete, and asphalt.

Unlike other traditional materials, pavers are cheaper. You can get plastic ones that cost less and have low maintenance costs. And, for every square foot, be ready to spend around $5. So, the bigger your RV is, the more you’ll pay.

Permeable pavers will help you construct sustainable parking. It is because they hug the ground and help with soil retention. So, using pavers for parking your RV is excellent land use. 

3. Dirt

Sitting your RV on dirt is risky since the soil has moisture that can trigger dry rot. But, if you don’t have the resources to buy gravel or pavers, you can go for this option.

To ensure that the grass on the dirt doesn’t bring pests or rotting, raise the RV. You can do this by getting leveling blocks to disperse the RV’s weight on the grass. 

Conclusion

For the most part, 4 inches is the required thickness for a concrete RV pad. As you construct the slab, consider the soil type and your RV’s weight. Also, have it in mind that the pad’s solidness depends on proper mixing.

If you don’t want the concrete slab, you can raise your RV from the ground using various items. For example, permeable pavers are a convenient parking solution. Depending on your needs, you should be able to make an excellent choice.

Thank you for reading till the end, and I hope you share!

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