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kb0zke

Staying in a parking lot

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Many of the Corp of engineer parks we have been in have an asphalt pad for the campsite.  To date non of our jack have ever punched a hole or left any marks no matter how many days we sat on the site.  I would say we have a reasonable expectation that any asphalt parking lot should be able to support our rig.  However -- in most cases we are able to park and be nearly level without using jacks when we do stop at a Walmart or the like for overnight.  We seldom need to use jacks in a parking lot.

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Yes, we've used our jacks on a number of asphalt paved sites including COE, NFS, and NPS sites. Never had a problem supporting the coach with no pavement damage. 

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Still... it varies. There are about a half dozen different types of asphalt and several grades within each type. Parking lots are not created equal. Different applications may apply to different geographical areas and even different types may be used in a single parking lot if required. Those using "perpetual pavement" type are generally more durable. Ie., what you would likely find used in a CG pad, however, the roadways connecting sites might be "quiet pavement" or only "warm-mix".

In notoriously wet areas, or where freezing often occurs, a parking lot may have porous asphalt so water is able to seep through and/or handle expansion better.

Sub material will also play a part. If it hasn't changed much over the years...  a lot had to be able to withstand ~148lb/cubic ft. Less yielding sub strata requires less asphalt, however... stuck between a rock and a skinny steel jack foot... it's also more likely to receive surface damage if a weight distribution block or such isn't used.

The problem lies in that most folks aren't aware that there is quite a bit of science and math involved when it comes to asphalt. After all... asphalt is asphalt, right? Yeah.... no. ;)

Moral of the story? Don't drop "jack"... unless it's an imperative... and if you must... be a considerate "lot-guest" and block it.

 

Edited by Yarome

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2 minutes ago, Sehc said:

The one time the asphalt is damaged by your jacks, what is your plan?

Do like everyone else does... yell "wasn't me" 3 times and drive away... of course. :lol:

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I had issues with my Weekend Warrior in a South Florida campground sinking the little 3 by 4 inch pads but not with my larger pads on my Spacecraft. 

Rod

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11 hours ago, Sehc said:

The one time the asphalt is damaged by your jacks, what is your plan?

If my 10"x10" jack pads damage the asphalt, I'd expect the smaller contact patch on the tires would as well. My pads would only place an average of 45 psi on the asphalt if the entire coach was supported on them, which it's not of course. The more likely weighting including the tire contact area would be around 30 psi. I'm not really worried about it...

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I'm the one who posted about the jacks punching a hole in the asphalt. Here's the whole story.

The coach was a fairly new DP. We had all been there for two weeks. The parking lot has a pretty substantial slope, so he had a couple of 2x8 planks under each jack in order to get the rig level. When it was time to leave somehow one of the jacks slipped off of the 2x8s, the steel pad on the end of the jack came off, and the ram punched into the asphalt. Naturally, the ram wasn't interested in retracting, so several of us spotted and handed tools to the one guy who could get his arm under the coach AND knew how to manipulate things to get the rig free of the asphalt. Once the ram was free of the asphalt it retracted and the steel pad was reattached. There was a neat hole in the asphalt with a few small gouges around it from the various tools used in the attempt to release the ram.

I believe that someone went over to a Lowes to get some cold mix to patch the hole.

Back to my original question, I don't think that anyone would camp on such a slope as we had in that situation if there was another place available. I wondered about those of you who choose to spend a night in a parking lot boondocking. Do you put pads under your jacks or do you just accept whatever slope there is? It sounds like most of you put out 2x__ pads under your jacks.

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Don't put down the jacks and accept the slope as the price of being able to stay overnight.  It only takes one dent in the asphalt to make the lot owner suspicious of all RVs.  How much potential damage do you expect him to tolerate before he revokes the privilege of letting RVs stay overnight? 

 

Edited by Lou Schneider

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11 hours ago, kb0zke said:

I'm the one who posted about the jacks punching a hole in the asphalt. Here's the whole story....................... I wondered about those of you who choose to spend a night in a parking lot boondocking. Do you put pads under your jacks or do you just accept whatever slope there is? It sounds like most of you put out 2x__ pads under your jacks.

To me this is not an "all or nothing" issue.  That is "never put your jacks down or always use your jacks".   Use some common sense. If you pull into a parking lot and the outside temp is 98 degrees and the asphalt temp is 130 or more, common sense would dictate not to put your jacks down.  

As far as what do I do?  I don't put pads under my jack or accept the slope.  What I do is, first, not to park in a place which requires me to lift most of the weight off the tires on the low side, second, I don't use the automatic function on the jacks. I use the manual function.  Starting on the low side I put those jacks down just far enough to get my bubble level to withing about 1/4 to 1/2 bubble of level.  That gets me to a place that the RV is comfortable and doesn't feel like it is leaning all that much.  Sometimes on some RV's or jack systems, the automatic function will make sure all 4 jacks are down and in the process lift a lot more weight off the low side than is really necessary. 

 

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12 hours ago, kb0zke said:

I'm the one who posted about the jacks punching a hole in the asphalt. Here's the whole story.

The coach was a fairly new DP. We had all been there for two weeks. The parking lot has a pretty substantial slope, so he had a couple of 2x8 planks under each jack in order to get the rig level. When it was time to leave somehow one of the jacks slipped off of the 2x8s, the steel pad on the end of the jack came off, and the ram punched into the asphalt. Naturally, the ram wasn't interested in retracting, so several of us spotted and handed tools to the one guy who could get his arm under the coach AND knew how to manipulate things to get the rig free of the asphalt. Once the ram was free of the asphalt it retracted and the steel pad was reattached. There was a neat hole in the asphalt with a few small gouges around it from the various tools used in the attempt to release the ram.

I believe that someone went over to a Lowes to get some cold mix to patch the hole.

Back to my original question, I don't think that anyone would camp on such a slope as we had in that situation if there was another place available. I wondered about those of you who choose to spend a night in a parking lot boondocking. Do you put pads under your jacks or do you just accept whatever slope there is? It sounds like most of you put out 2x__ pads under your jacks.

I sure would have liked to be watching at the moment the rig slipped off the blocks.  Makes me wonder if they got distracted when ready to leave and forgot to pull the jacks up when they started to drive off.  Presumably they parked on that jack for the two weeks you all stayed there it and never slipped off.  Or perhaps the slope was so steep, that the vibration from living in the rig for two weeks caused the whole rig to slowly migrate to the edge of the blocks so that the jack pad was already on the very edge of the blocks.  Then pulling in the slides was the final thing to cause it to slip off of the blocks. 

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Has anyone ever cut up an old HDT tire and bolted/otherwise attached permanently to the bottom of their jack pads?  I'm thinking of grabbing a used tire, reciprocating saw, a drill and a couple bolts.  If the tire doesn't sink in on a 4"x4"ish surface patch that is touching the ground at any given time then seems this solution would work well.  Thoughts?  Easier way to do it?  I'm lazy I guess and am tired of getting out and putting down wood blocks.

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1 hour ago, jpcoll01 said:

Has anyone ever cut up an old HDT tire and bolted/otherwise attached permanently to the bottom of their jack pads?  I'm thinking of grabbing a used tire, reciprocating saw, a drill and a couple bolts.  If the tire doesn't sink in on a 4"x4"ish surface patch that is touching the ground at any given time then seems this solution would work well.  Thoughts?  Easier way to do it?  I'm lazy I guess and am tired of getting out and putting down wood blocks.

Think it has more to do with weight transferred than a specific material. Weight distribution on your tires is pretty equal most of the time. When you use jacks, there is a chance more weight is put on one or two jacks and this will increase the load at that point. That is why pads and blocks are used, to spread out that increased load over a greater area.

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Except of a occasional rally were you have no control over what surface you are parked on we  use campgrounds for overnight stays and follow whatever rules are in place.

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only correct rule to follow is.

only place your "bare" landing/levling pads on proper concreat.

asphalt use plywood, nylon pads of at leat one foot ( round, square), 18 inches on packed dirt, gravel, etc.

i drive commercial. yes can be heaver. but in " use" areas not even correct concreat survives for too long (15-20 years max). asphalt fails in a decade, this is with doing everything right. and never a loaded on dirt without lots of wood under.

so where we can park our rvs it is made with less weight in mind and done far cheaper.

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My experience is that some RV parks (even RV Resorts) have rules about not putting your jacks down without padding of some sort; even on concrete.  Large MHs and some 5ers concentrate lots of their weight on the jack pads and they have sufficient weight to bust the concrete.  Braircliffe RV Resort in Myrtle beach comes to mind. I'm not a big fan of the plastic blocks so  mostly use 2"X8" wooden blocks. Asphalt in the south in the summer can be a problem.

Catfish

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If you're parking in really hot weather on asphalt it's just common sense to put a board under the jacks.  How difficult is it?

If you're parking and see other dents in the asphalt then don't add it  - even if you think the asphalt wasn't laid correctly.

During hosting we even had this issue on campground parking pads which, most likely, doesn't have a good base for asphalt.  However, why would you think that just because there are other dents that you shouldn't try to create more.

 

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3 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

The pads on my Bigfoot jacks have a larger surface area than my tires...

But you spread the weight over 6 tires and only 4 Bigfoot pads. 

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13 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

But you spread the weight over 6 tires and only 4 Bigfoot pads. 

My pads are 10"x10"=100 sq. in. each. My tire patches are about "6x6"=36 sq. in. each. Do the math...

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If a site is too unlevel I have learned just to pass it by.  It doesn't matter if it is a Walmart of paid CG.  Just not worth the hassle of trying to get level.  

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On 1/17/2018 at 9:31 PM, Al F said:

 I don't know why many,  many people have parked in RV parks with asphalt pads and the jacks have NOT punched through the asphalt, but so many people in parking lots have seemingly had the problem of the jack pads sinking through the asphalt.

I'm not a paving person but, I would assume that the spec for a RV pad in a RV park would be different, anticipating that it would be used to park an RV on. As opposed to the spec for a parking lot intended to be driven on with no overnight heavy loads by things that don't have air in them.

When using someones parking lot for a overnight is it that important to get perfectly level?  Are there that many parking lots that aren't at least somewhat level.  I drove a semi in 49 states, never found a parking lot I couldn't sleep on. Just sleep with your head at the highest end. 

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