Most of the time, people store their RVs on the grass in their lawns or on grassy patches in front of their houses to save money.
Storing or parking an RV when you are not camping or in remote areas for an extended period is a challenging job. Doing it properly is essential for the safety of the tires and frame of the vehicle.
Storing an RV on grass without proper drainage and the leveled surface can cause damage to the tires, rusting of structural parts, and wiring problems. Moreover, it can damage the grass and lawn, causing the RV tires to submerge into the land. Therefore, use some solid, plain surface of bricks, concrete or wooden blocks to park your RV on grass. You can also use a waterproof sheet to cover the RV. Finally, ensure proper rainwater drain to protect the tires drenched in stagnant water.
This article will guide the RV owners to park their vehicles on grass for a long time and protect them during the rainy season.
How to store an RV on grass without damage?
Storing an RV on a grassy lawn near your home is the most economical option as you don’t have to pay rent for a parking shed.
Moreover, it gives you the accessibility to regularly inspect it and do preventive maintenance
Use a solid base underneath tires
It is crucial to prevent its tires from sinking in soft ground or water puddles for more extended periods.
For this purpose, there should be a solid foundation strong enough to withstand the weight of the recreational vehicle. Few possible options are to use concrete slabs, treated wooden planks of 1-2 inches thickness, or 1-inch thick bricks.
The length of the slabs should be sufficient to cater to the surface of the tire touching the ground. Use rubber chocks, and slowly move the vehicle until tires are on a leveled surface.
You can also use a bubble-level instrument on the trailer floor to ensure it. It is necessary to prevent unnecessary stress on the axle, shocks, and its frame.
You will have to spend $100-$150 to make arrangements of foundation surfaces for tires, but it will enhance their life.
Cover the RV with a waterproof sheet
The underside of the RV is the most vulnerable part to receive damage due to rusting while parking it on the grass. You can use a protective sheet to prevent moisture from damaging the metallic elements and components like axles or brakes.
It can be any waterproof material like polythene or canvas. Measure its size and arrange for the cover of specified length and width and fix it underneath with the help of packing tape or adhesive hooks.
Use tire covers
Using solid surfaces for tires will prevent their part from touching the ground. However, its sides will still expose to water and sunshine. Water can still damage it, and direct exposure to sunlight and UV radiation can cause hairline cracks on its surface.
Therefore, buy appropriately sized tire covers of good quality of white color. Install them around the tires and fix the zipper or tying strap for complete sealing.
They have vinyl construction and are also waterproof. They will cost you around $25-$60 for a pair depending on the size and quality of the material. However, they will enable the tires to complete their design life of 5-6 years.
Park by lifting the RV above ground
Keeping a vehicle parked for a longer duration without any movement will put all load on the tire touching the ground.
It can cause cracks or bursts of the tire at a single point. You can use a leveling jack to lift the camper by fixing it beneath the chassis to prevent this.
If you can’t afford to buy a leveling jack or the surface beneath is not strong enough, you can remove the tires and use wooden blocks or bricks to support the vehicle.
Then, use a screw or scissors jack to lift the corners one by one and put the supports underneath the axles or frame. When the vehicle securely suspends on the supports, remove the tires and store them inside your house to protect them from water and the extra stress of lifting the weight.
It is also a safe practice to park it by lifting its hitch side slightly up. In this way, rainwater on the rooftop will flow towards the backside, and no rusting or damage to the front metallic parts.
Regularly clip the grass
Wild grass growth will enable it to retain and transpire more moisture content causing rusting of metallic parts. Therefore, you need to trim it regularly to keep it on the ground level.
It has 2 benefits. First, it will minimize the risk of the rusting underside of the RV and prevent the structural parts from damage. Second, it will enable you to look underneath its surface for any signs of corrosion regularly, or you want to do any maintenance work.
Move the RV every week
It is a simple solution to keep your vehicle in good shape and eliminate all the problems associated with staying at a single position for an extended time. Tow it with your truck and go for a short trip.
In this way, you will identify any mechanical problem due to rusting and repair it before it gets bigger.
Use rubber mats
It is a remedy similar to wooden blocks or concrete slabs to protect the tires from direct contact with the ground.
Rubber is an insulator and can keep the tires safe from moisture and rainwater. Therefore, use rubber chocks, pads, or mats so that tires stand on them.
Ensure good water drainage
The most significant problem of storing an RV on grass is the accumulation of rainwater in the area for a prolonged time.
However, if you make any arrangement for rainwater drainage as soon as possible after the rain, you can safely park your vehicle.
For example, you can create channels for water flow. Another remedy is to park it on a sloped surface by using wooden or rubber chocks to secure it in its place.
It absorbs moisture and also ensures quick drainage of rainwater. Make sure to keep gravel size small to prevent any sharp grain from causing damage to the tires.
What are the disadvantages of storing an RV on grass?
Parking an RV on grass without making necessary arrangements has several drawbacks.
Damage to RV tires
The weight of an RV can vary from 7000-12000 pounds depending on its length and the number of amenities onboard. Parking on a soft muddy surface with no foundation to support its weight can result in its tires sinking in the ground.
The problem further aggravates during the rainy season when land becomes wet and soft.
Most lawns have uneven surfaces, causing them to hold water longer than plain and concrete surfaces.
Therefore, its tires will remain submerged in water for weeks or even months, depending on the rainy season in your area. In addition, water can permeate tires, causing rusting from inside and minor cracks on the tire surface.
Damage to grass
Putting the multi-ton weight of the RV on a grassy lawn will cause the ground underneath the tires to compact. This process accelerates further in the rainy season due to softening of the land.
Moreover, it also makes it difficult to move due to tires stuck in the ground.
They have lower ground clearances, and there is no sufficient flow of air underneath them. Lack of sunshine that is necessary for grass growth also makes it pale brown, yellow, or dried.
Whenever you move it from its parked position, you will find that patch of grass with dead roots. It will deform the aesthetic view of your lawn, giving it a bad look, and it will be challenging to recover shortly.
Without proper air circulation and lack of sunshine under the RV will create a damp and moisture-rich environment. It is a problem with no remedial measures except to move the vehicle to a dry and solid surface.
Most critical metallic parts of an RV, including suspension system, foundation, brakes, and tire rims, will directly contact this humid environment. It will cause them rusting, making them prone to failures very soon.
By compromising the structural integrity of your camper, you will not be able to move it quickly during the next camping season before making necessary repairs and maintenance.
Mold and Algae growth on RV surface
Algae and mold growth requires a damp environment with less sunshine.
Moreover, the wild grass growth on sides of RV enhances this growth on lower parts and its underneath surface.
Therefore, if you leave it unattended in your lawn or an area with wild growth, you will observe green spots on rubber packing on windows, wooden panels, sidewalls, and glass panes.
It requires washing it using a power washer and other remedial measures to restore the appearance.
Comparison of RV storage on concrete Versus on grass
Concrete is the most viable option to store your RV and has no disadvantages like rusting due to moisture and damage to tires due to rainwater.
However, you will still need any barrier between tires and ground, tire covers, and slightly lift the vehicle to prevent flat spots due to pressure on a single point. I will also recommend using clay or sand above the concrete surface to cushion excessive force on tires.
How long is it safe to park an RV on grass?
Keeping an RV on grass is a feasible option for a short time only. However, parking it for over a month is not a good idea for both your lawn and your camper.
Therefore, the safest duration for storing an RV on a grassy surface is 3-4 weeks. Going beyond that will result in rusting problems on axles, transmission, chassis, and wiring cables underneath its body.
For prolonged storage, the best solution is a 3-4 inches gravel surface with a vapor barrier and proper drainage.
The next option is to use a concrete surface with a vapor barrier and rubber pads underneath the tires.