How Much Does It Cost To Build An RV Pad?Anthony Day
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RV pads are cement pads that you build the rest of your RV hookup on top of. How much does it cost to build an RV pad?
Before you can build an RV hookup that has water, waste disposal, and electricity, you need to build an RV pad. Don't try to build an RV hookup without building the pad first. It could damage your RV to leave it on the open ground.
A lot of the time, RV pads are concrete and cost about 4000 dollars, including labor. Many people also build gravel RV pads, which only cost about 300 dollars plus labor costs. You can also use permeable pavers to build an RV pad, which costs about $900 plus the labor cost.
Doing the job yourself can be a good idea. You can get the job done for much less than half the price if you buy materials.
I built an RV pad myself years ago using permeable pavers. You do not have to have any special skills to do this. You can probably do it if you have a bit of building experience.
Why is Concrete So Much More Expensive?
You won't be able to do the work yourself if you want a concrete pad. Instead, you will need to hire a contractor. It's a big job that requires a truck and heavy equipment, not something you can do yourself unless you know how and rent the equipment.
The Size of Your Pad Matters
The more square feet you need, the more expensive it will be. The type of construction makes the biggest difference in what it will cost, but the size also matters.
If you use permeable pavers, you might pay something like $187 for every 72 square feet. That works out to a little over $900 for a 16 by 22 square foot lot. If you have a much larger RV, you may need to double the square footage, as some RVs are more than 40 feet long.
You will also have to pay more to make your RV pad as durable and long-lasting as possible. It will be more expensive if to make the cement thicker than usual. The cost of building an RV pad will be higher in an area where contractors and materials are more expensive.
What Are Permeable Pavers?
Permeable pavers are an ingenious type of pavement that lets water drain through it. Water can slowly move through the permeable pavement to reach the ground below. This prevents water from building up on top of the pavement.
Despite the fact that water can move through them, permeable paving systems are strong. They are just as strong as compacted gravel, asphalt, or even concrete.
What Do Permeable Pavers Cost?
While it costs about $5000 to build a new driveway using permeable pavers, it doesn't cost as much to build a pad this way. RV pads are relatively small. If you do the work yourself, you may spend less than 1000 dollars.
The cost per square foot can be around $4 or $6 for these pavers. $187 for 72 square feet may be lower than the price you will get.
Labor costs are also a big part of building an RV pad in this way. If you aren't doing any of the work yourself, you might have to pay as much as $10 to $30 per square foot. For this reason, I recommend this as a do-it-yourself project.
Permeable Pavement Cleaning Cost
You will need to clean your RV pad with a pressure washer once in a while. It will cost $0.25 to $0.5 per square foot if you hire a pressure washing service. You can also rent a pressure washer for only $50 or $100.
Advantages of Permeable Paving Systems
Permeable pavers reduce the risk of flooding and reduce runoff. They manage water much better than regular concrete or asphalt if you live in an area with a lot of rainfall each year. Many people use permeable pavers to build RV pads.
There are different types of permeable pavers available, such as:
- Permeable concrete
- Asphalt pavements
- Plastic grid pavers with flexible joints
- Interlocking concrete grids
- Rigid or rolled plastic pavers
Sometimes, permeable pavers are the only legal way to build your RV pad. There may be legal restrictions in place to prevent flooding risks, and these laws may prevent you from building a concrete RV pad.
How to Build a Pad With Permeable Pavers
Building with permeable pavers is not difficult. You won't have to dig deep into the ground, you only need to dig a bit and then level it.
Unlike if you are using concrete, you can realistically do this yourself and won't have to hire anyone. You don't need any heavy equipment to lay permeable pavers. It is a job you can get right the first time you try.
There are only a few simple steps to follow:
- Start laying the tabs in a corner, and move towards the center as you go. Start with male tabs, you will add the female tabs later on.
- Secondly, place all the female tabs on the male tabs correctly.
- Push/stand on the tabs to lock the male tabs and female tabs together.
- Continue until every tab is in place and your RV pad is completely paved.
- Finally, add gravel/grass over top of your permeable pavement.
How to Build a Pad With Gravel or Concrete
Not everyone uses permeable pads - many people still use gravel or concrete instead. Concrete is more durable, but if you go with gravel, you can do most of the work yourself. Gravel can be very cheap if you can spare the time.
Do You Need a Permit to Build It?
Sometimes, you might need a permit. Call your municipal government and ask them if a permit is necessary for an RV pad.
Get an Expert Opinion
You don't want to make any mistakes with your choice of materials or how thick your pad is. Without talking to an expert, you could make a serious mistake that could result in having to start all over. Get an expert opinion about what you plan to do, and they may identify a flaw in your plan.
Mark the Area
You won't get the job done right unless you mark the area first. Make sure you always know exactly where to dig.
Dig Out the Ground and Level It
You only need to dig down about five inches. You also need to make the ground very level before you add the gravel or concrete. This is time-consuming, but you can save a lot of money if you do it yourself.
Arrange the Gravel
Finally, place the filler cloth on the ground where you will add the gravel. Then add the rocks on top of the cloth, with larger rocks near the bottom and smaller stones farther up. Finally, add fine stones to the top layer of the grave.
Pour the Cement
If you are building a cement pad, you follow a similar process. Mark the ground, dig it out, level it, and place the filler cloth. You will need heavy equipment to pour the concrete, so it is best to hire a professional and not attempt to do this yourself.
Can You Build an RV Park?
Yes, you can build your own RV park, but it is a large investment. You are starting a business if you do this, so don't make the decision without some thought first. It can cost you $80,000 or more to build an RV park.
You need to buy land, which will cost you very roughly $3000 per acre in the United States. You will then have to build many RV pads - 10 of them might cost you 40,000 dollars.
You will also need electricity ($2500), water ($5000 if you need to dig a well), and $30,000 for a septic tank. You could end up spending $80,000, and even then, your RV park will be pretty standard rather than impressive. Depending on your location, you might also have to spend much more than average per acre.
How Much Can You Earn from an RV Park?
You can earn very much money from an RV park if your investment succeeds. An average RV park owner earns $90,000 per year, so your investment might pay off many times.
A recreational vehicle park is not a depreciating asset that will be worth less every year. Instead, RV parks tend to appreciate in value. You can use the money you earn to add more to your RV lot - you could get a great swimming pool for $75,000.
Can You Put a Lot of RV Pads on Your Lot?
Different areas have different regulations. It is often up to local laws rather than state laws. In one Nevada county, there can only be 15 RVs on each acre.
Roughly 10 RVs on each acre may be the legal limit. This can cut into your profits, but it doesn't make RV parks unprofitable. You can still pay back your initial investment and then make a fortune if you build your park in the right place at the right time.
Can You Live in Your RV on a Lot You Own?
Yes, it is legal to do this. If there is a septic tank on your lot, plus your RV is a decent living space, you can use an RV as a stationary house. Some high-end RVs are better than small houses.