How Thick Should the Concrete Be for an RV Driveway?

Posted on October 5, 2020 by Daniel Renfro in Guides

Concrete is the perfect choice for a driveway as it is durable, versatile and does not require too much maintenance. Other than that, it can be textured, patterned and colored which every way you prefer.

With a concrete driveway, you can be sure that your driveway is much stronger than if you used other materials such as asphalt and it also does not give way as gravel would. When it comes down to it, thickness is perhaps the most integral aspect in determining a driveway’s structural capacity.

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How thick should the concrete be for an RV driveway?

A concrete driveway is typically created to bear weight and transfer it to the soil base below. Just how thick concrete is, determines its load-bearing capacity. That being said, factoring how thick an RV driveway concrete requires other factors to be considered. When it comes to any concrete surface, there are minimum thickness standards especially when it comes to building a driveway that can support a vehicle as heavy as an RV.

How does concrete support the weight

Concrete, by design, has intrinsic compressive strength which means it is resistant to the forces or weight pushing on it. When concrete is mixed, it is designed to have a certain compressive strength which is typically expressed as psi or pounds per square inch. For typical driveways, the concrete mix is generally anything from 1800 to 4000 psi.

To determine how thick concrete should be for an RV driveway, you have to consider the soil’s bearing capacity, the heaviest load your RV will place on the concrete and the minimum thickness standard.

When it comes to typical driveways, there has to be a minimum thickness of 4 inches, however, increasing the thickness by 1 inch can increase its load-bearing capacity by almost 50%. When the sides of the driveway are also thickened, it the load-bearing strength of the driveway increases.

Your concrete driveway should consist of slabs that are a minimum of 4 inches thick, however, you can increase it up to 6 inches thick as that is the minimum standard able to provide support for heavy vehicles such as an RV.

What is rebar and why is it important?

Preferably, the concrete slab will need reinforcement such as rebar inside. Rebar or reinforcing bar is manufactured from steel and is typically used to reinforce any construction with concrete in it. Given that concrete slabs are very prone to cracking, rebar can ensure that cracks do not form as a result of sections of the slabs moving apart.

Rebar is typically used in concrete driveways that are 5 to 6 inches thick. Rebar is used instead of galvanized mesh, another reinforcing material because it is much thicker.

How heavy are different types of RVs?

Required concrete thickness for Class A RVs

Class A RV are the largest of all RV types and also the longest. Given this information and the fact that they typically measure anything from 21 to 45 feet, it is no surprise that they are also the heaviest. A 40 feet long Class A RV can weigh a minimum of 40,000 pounds; however, the weight can vary from one manufacturer to another.

Typically, a Class A RV can weigh on average anything from 33,000 to 36,00 pounds. This means that the required concrete thickness for an average Class A RV has to be at least 5 to 6 inches thick. You can have a concrete driveway thicker than 6 inches, however, that would be overkill given that the concrete driveway’s load-bearing capacity would be more than the weight of a class A RV.

Required concrete thickness for Class B RVs

Class B RVs typically weigh on average anything from 6000 to 12,000 pounds when fully loaded. The majority of Class B RVs produced today are typically manufactured using a similar van chassis which results in a similar weight. That being said, the actual weight will differ from one brand to another and even model depending on the options included and the van size.

Given the average weight range, a concrete RV driveway will need to be at least 4 to 5 inches thick to be able to support a Class B RV. Given the small weight, you can get away with using a standard concrete thickness generally used for cars and pickup trucks.

Required concrete thickness for Class C RVs

Class C RVs fall in between Class A and Class B RVs and that means they are generally lighter than Class As but heavier than Class Bs. An average Class C RV typically measures anything from 20 to 28 feet, weighing anything from 10,000 to 14,000 pounds.

This means the required concrete thickness for a driveway looking to store a Class C R would have to be at least 5 inches thick. Doing this ensures that your RV driveway can handle the unloaded and loaded weight of your Class C RV.

Required concrete thickness for travel trailers, pop up campers and 5th wheels?

Travel trailers typically weigh anything from 1250 to 2750 pounds and that means a standard 4-inch thick concrete driveway is the right thickness choice. Popup campers are perhaps the lightest of the RV types, weighing anything from 600 to 2300 pounds. The standard 4-inch thick concrete driveway is also suitable for storing popup campers.

You can get 5th wheels weighing as little as 2400 pounds and as heavy as 20,000 pounds, however, the average weight is typically between 12,000 to 15,000 pounds making them the heaviest in this section. While a standard 4-inch thick concrete driveway might be suitable, the higher end of a 5th wheel’s weight class will require a 5-inch thick concrete driveway for safe storage.

How do you make a concrete RV pad?

Pouring ready-mixed concrete after placing steel reinforcement to make the road by mixing mobile the concrete mixer.

You have to measure the width and length of the RV as your concrete RV pad has to be at least 4 feet longer and wider than the RV. Doing this provides you space to walk around the RV.

The next step would be to dig deep to at least 10 inches. This is because you will have to dig enough to place 4 to 6 inches of concrete over the 4 inches of gravel base.

Pouring the concrete over your gravel base has to be done in a 2 by 6 measurement to help your concrete RV pad have a clean edge.

Is it legal to park an RV in your driveway in the US?

Generally, it isn’t illegal to park your licensed RV in your driveway on the condition that it does not overrun into the sidewalk or public walkway. Nevertheless, there could be specific municipal rules in certain jurisdictions that make parking an RV in your driveway illegal.

Is it legal to park an RV on the street in the US?

It is perfectly legal to park your RV on the street in the US. This is because an RV is considered a vehicle licensed to operate on the streets. There might, however, be a limit placed on how long it can remain parked on the street. This limit is typically regulated by city or county ordinances.

Conclusion

For the most part, a standard 4-inch thick concrete driveway is capable of supporting the weight of an RV, particularly if the RV is a travel trailer, pop-up camper or even a Class C RV. If you have a Class A RV or own an RV on the upper size limits of the Class B, you would be better off adding at least an extra inch of thickness to your concrete driveway. An inch is important as it can add almost 50% more to the driveway’s load-bearing capacity. This simply means more inches, more weight it can carry. Additionally, you also have to consider the fully loaded weight of your RV when casting your RV driveway.