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Old 04-09-2015, 06:43 AM   #1
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Cement patio stones under tires

Hi,
We just bought our first camper trailer (32' Jayflight). We are newbies needing some guidance on parking the trailer at the campsite.

We plan to park it on a permanent basis at a nearby campsite; including through the winter months. The trailer parking spot on our lot will be gravel. For purpose of my question, I would like you to assume that the parking space will be level (ie. no leveling under the tires required).

My intention was to lay down a row of 2" thick concrete 24"x24" patio pavers on the parking spot where the tires will be and then park the trailer tires on top of those. Between the patio pavers I was planning to lay a plastic carpet runner as sort of a vapor barrier between the rubber and concrete.

I figured this keeps the tires raised 2 inches above the gravel base so as to not have water pooling around tires during the snow melts or rain, would prevent tires from eventually sinking into a rut (aggravating water pooling), and the plastic carpet runner preventing moisture transfer or loss of essential oils between the rubber and concrete.

I do not have intention to lesson the weight off tires on basis of other comments that the trailer was designed to carry its full weight on the tires/axles; the trailer was not specifically designed to be supported at the frame on jacks and can risk tweaking if done. Seems to make sense to me. Additionally; of the two evils (flat spot on tires or bent frame); I'd rather take the flat spot on tires (than tweaked frame) as that is cheaper and easier to fix. I will be using 8 scissor style stabilizers (4 each side). These will be supported on similiar 2" thick concrete 12"x12" patio slab.

I took a walk through the campground to see how others are doing it. Aside from those that needed to level a side of their trailer (and seem to be commonly doing so with wood); everyone is simply parking the tires on the gravel driveway. I had commented to one of the campers and he seemed to think my plan is more work than necessary or beneficial.

I would appreciate your comments. Am I benefitting from using the patio slabs to park the tires on or am I just taking on more work and expense than beneficial; or worse, doing a disfavor to the trailer tires than if simply parked directly on the gravel.

Bill
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:12 AM   #2
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I think protecting the tires is prudent no matter the method. I would be watchful that over time shifting does not incur, You could use blocks under the stabilizers also. I would consider some cover on the tires to help with UV damage from sitting exposed for long periods unless you never plan to move the rig.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:41 AM   #3
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I'm not sure about the benefits of the plastic barrier, but suggest covering the tires to keep them out of the UV would be of more benefit. In any case the tires will have a limited lifetime and if you are in the same place for an extended period check them carefully before moving.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:02 AM   #4
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The concrete patio slabs will definitely spread out the weight and lessen the amount of sinking over time. But concrete tends to suck the oil out of the tires over time - white rock, too. My trailer is always stored with the tires on wooden boards, for that reason, and they tend to last 5-6 years before they show signs of weather checks/cracks.

IMO, I would go with the concrete slabs, then a thin board between the concrete and the tires - maybe treated 1/2" plywood. I would also advise tire covers, to keep the sun and elements off the tires, as well. The UV rays will deteriorate tires faster than anything if they just sit.

Your plan of the patio slabs beneath the stabilizers is also a good one, but I would not leave the stabilizers down when not using the trailer. The slabs beneath the tires will settle over time, and the tires will lose pressure over time, which would slowly place more weight on the stabilizers. (That's why dealers recommend keeping the stabilizers up during winter storage.)

Nothing wrong with your plan at all - just need a bit of wood between tires and concrete.

But this is just my opinion. I'm sure there will be others - and maybe better ideas, too!
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:09 AM   #5
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X2 what Mike said. And use a set of Camco tire covers to protect them from the elements.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:20 AM   #6
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If you have a good base, of solid gravel with good drainage it seems a little bit excessive under the tires. I would park the unit up on something to spread the weight over a larger area. Softer the soil, the larger the base. I would watch what you use for concrete pavers, the thin 1” pavers especially will break and crumble over a short time (couple of years). To protect the tires you are best off to cover them, to protect them from the UV light and also from ozone.

What you will find you will get a fair amount of rocking of the TT, without additional blocking. It is key to add something like X-Chocks between the tires. And add additional screw jacks in front of the axles (always on the frame), maybe a jack, a block under the door steps. On a seasonal site it might be worth a few additional jacks. Under the jacks, place a nice piece of concrete to distribute the weight over a large area, then place your jacks on it. Expect to have to tighten them up periodically. As a weekender, I just use wood as it is light and easy to carry. If you use concrete cinder blocks under the TT, DO NOT place them on their sides, they are structurally unstable in this configuration. I have seen a concrete block that was on its side break and the tongue of a trailer fell into the gravel, damaging the metal stabilizers.

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Old 04-09-2015, 07:49 PM   #7
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Jag,
Cinder blocks on their sides. Are you saying the open holes should be up (used like that in construction projects)?
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:57 PM   #8
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I did this with my last trailer. It was set up on my own property. No gravel, just grass, and no where near level. Also, because of the location, and the fact it was delivered by someone else, and I really didn't know what I was doing at the time(LOL), I could not "drive" it on the patio stones. I jacked up the axle later and slid the stones in. It took 1 stone on one side and 2 on the other. Then, I lowered the tongue, put cement blocks under the rear bumper and then jacked up the front till the blocks were tight. Finally, front stabilizer jacks were put in place.

That was 27 years ago. The trailer settled and was re-leveled twice in that time period. The mistake I made was using 6x12 blocks, which cracked allowing more settlement than it should have.

Last August we brought in the new 2015 Jayco and basically did the same thing. This time I used 24x24 stones and 6 jacks, each with a 24x24 stone as well. Everything was left in place over Winter. We had an unusually bad Winter and more ground freeze than normal. I had to readjust the jacks this Spring, but all the stones were still perfect and the whole trailer was still perfectly level. When it froze, apparently it went up and came back down in the same place.

Interesting thing about the old trailer was the fact that the tires ( auto tires) were never covered and they still held air even though they were the originals (50 years old). Last year we simply moved the trailer to a different spot for our son to use.

For the new trailer (with crappy ST tires) I covered the tires. I thought about a layer of wood, but I was afraid it would rot. Even PT would disintegrate though it might not rot.

I have no intention of ever moving this trailer, so as long as it is usable I believe I can level it one way or the other.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:18 PM   #9
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Cement patio stones under tires

I once towed a TT for a friend who bought it for a hunting trailer. It had been sitting
In a field for over 3 years. We aired up the tires Before starting the 100 mile trip.
Before we went five miles all 4 tires came apart on the highway.
We had 4 mounted replacements with us !
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:29 PM   #10
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Michelin says:
LONG TERM STORAGE OF RV TIRES
Unless the RV owner is a full-time RV-er, the vehicle
probably spends some time in long-term storage. But
what the RV owner probably didn’t know is that rubber
tires age when not being used. So, if the owner must store
the RV, a cool, dry, sealed garage is the best bet. Also, some
storage surfaces can cause tires to age faster. That’s why
Michelin recommends placing a barrier (cardboard,
plastic or plywood) between the tire and the storage
surface.
Here are some other steps the RV owner can take to
help reduce the aging effects from long-term storage:
1) Thoroughly clean tires with soap and water before
placing into storage.
2) Cover tires to block direct sunlight and ultraviolet
rays.
3) Store out of a high ozone area.
Note: When a vehicle is stored, tires should be inflated
to the inflation pressure indicated on the sidewall
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