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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > Raise trailer above flood level

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CampinEarls

Tyndall, FL

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Posted: 01/30/12 03:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[quote=Francesca Knowles]I'm presuming of course that we're not talking about tidal-wave like flooding, but a more or less orderly rise.

This probably sounds wacky, but it's not an unheard of thing:
Since you'll probably want a deck anyway, what if you were to set the P.M. on a barge/pontoon-like foundation that would simply rise with any floodwaters that came in?

If you use the regular RV hookups rather than more permanent hard-plumbed ones, you'd need only to disconnect them from the unit if flooding threatened or when you battened things down at the end of the camping season.

"The damage prompted the owners to rebuild the rink floor on airtight iron barrels, which would float in the event of another flood; the floats worked as planned during the area's Christmas flood of 1964 and the Willamette Valley Flood of 1996."
End quote.
As I recall, there are some sort of "guides" that slide up big poles around the floor's perimeter that keep the floor oriented correctly.
Quote:



That concept actually seems like the most doable and afforable to me. Build a "floating dock" around/under your trailer with dock styrofoam or whatever under it, put a 4" or so pole that extends 8 feet or so above the ground at each corner in a guide attached to the "deck". As the water rises the deck and trailer just floats up along the poles and back down. You could make it so you couldn't even tell it was meant for the purpose, it would just look like you built a deck around your trailer. Run a few 4x6's or whatever under the frame from one deck to the other and it would pick up the trailer.


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Bumpyroad

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Posted: 01/30/12 05:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

the answer is simple, buy the lot, buy a moveable trailer or motorhome and be done with it. I considered the same on the susquehanna river and they moved the units to high ground when and if the ground flooded.
bumpy





Oasisbob

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Posted: 01/30/12 07:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We own river front property that floods every year. This has not always been the case. Long story. My neighbors either pull their rigs to higher ground in the winter or use cinder blocks filled with cement jaciing up the trailer with a few bottle jacks a little at a time. If you go this route make it high enough so there is no doubt it will be dry. You do not want to have to try to get it off blocks later. Best of luck. Also if you plan to insure check with your agent before you buy and find his requirements. Best of Luck.


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ExRocketScientist

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Posted: 01/30/12 06:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Golden_HVAC wrote:

I guess you can also rent a big bulldozer, and move a pile of dirt to the proposed site for the trailer, and have that land about 5' above the other area on the property, then park on that raised area.

In some areas, it only costs about $65 an hour to rent a backhoe and driver. You should be able to rent a large enough back hoe or 4 wheel loaded to get the job done within 8 hours - probably less than 4.


Fred.

I was thinking something similar. Why not rent a bobcat and a roller and have someone bring in dumptruck loads of dirt. You can finish it with a couple loads of gravel if you want. Make it a little larger than the trailer in case you ever have to bail out of an emergency exit you won't have a long fall.


ERS

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Posted: 01/30/12 06:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ExRocketScientist wrote:

Golden_HVAC wrote:

I guess you can also rent a big bulldozer, and move a pile of dirt to the proposed site for the trailer, and have that land about 5' above the other area on the property, then park on that raised area.

In some areas, it only costs about $65 an hour to rent a backhoe and driver. You should be able to rent a large enough back hoe or 4 wheel loaded to get the job done within 8 hours - probably less than 4.


Fred.

I was thinking something similar. Why not rent a bobcat and a roller and have someone bring in dump truck loads of dirt. You can finish it with a couple loads of gravel if you want. Make it a little larger than the trailer in case you ever have to bail out of an emergency exit you won't have a long fall.


We had a builder do that here in Perrysburg. Built a 4.8 million dollar home on a site that he had been filling in for over 10 years. Anyone care to take a guess what happened to the home?

Yep it split in half and took 1.6 mill to fix it by drilling to bed rock, then pouring pillions to support the home.

You can't just dump dirt on the ground level it out and park a trailer on it and not think the ground will not settle. Now if you dump some level it roll a LARGE roller over it to compact it. Then do it over and over until you get to your desired height, it might work. But sooner then later you will be moving it and putting pillions in to support the trailer.

OP, talk with a civil engineer and see what he tells you to do. You might be able to find a site with some people that have some real knowledge on the subject and find out how to do this right.

Don


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JnJnKatiebug

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Posted: 01/30/12 07:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Golden_HVAC wrote:

I guess you can also rent a big bulldozer, and move a pile of dirt to the proposed site for the trailer, and have that land about 5' above the other area on the property, then park on that raised area.

In some areas, it only costs about $65 an hour to rent a backhoe and driver. You should be able to rent a large enough back hoe or 4 wheel loaded to get the job done within 8 hours - probably less than 4.


Fred.


The only common sense answer so far. Just make sure the dirt is compacted and place sod on it when finished so it will not wash away. If the dirt is not available on site find a local dirt or shale pit and have it hauled in. Back your trailer up on the fill and if you ever want to move it hook on to it and take off. Sounds like a good plan for good times on the river.

* This post was edited 01/30/12 08:20am by JnJnKatiebug *


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MScampers

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Posted: 01/30/12 12:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We bought property on a lake in September. An ark would have to be built for us to flood. When we bought the land there was a dwelling that "added no value" to the property. It was an old (1960's) 18foot camper, canned ham style that had been jacked up and had a LARGE screen porch and roof system built on the front and end of the camper. The roof extended to the back and front more than 12 feet. The camper had been lifted up about 4 feet and rested on timbers that were 8 x 12. This rigging had been set up this way probably in the late 60's and was still in good shape. The frame of the camper rested on the timbers. Timbers went front to rear and side to side. The camper didn't have any shake to it until we jacked it up and removed the timbers and some of the posts when the man we gave it to put new rims and tires (wheels) on it and drove it away.

Meter posts / telephone poles for meter bases might be something to consider to attach timbers horizontal to but you would have to space them far enough apart the length of the trailer to drive the trailer in the "slot". You would then jack the trailer up and install the timbers and lower the trailer on the timbers. That is the slow way.

Maybe get the posts/poles installed and have everything ready to go to install the timbers and have a crane come lift the trailer up while the timbers are installed. Costly and you would need to have all the holes drilled, notches cut, maybe have had a "dry run" of installing the timbers and removing them so you knew everything fit.

Buying longer timbers would allow a deck to be build in sections that could be lifted up and put in place and removed should the time come to do so.

This is a female's idea so you might want to get a male's input. LOL!

* This post was edited 01/30/12 12:14pm by MScampers *

GeorgeNJ

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Posted: 01/30/12 07:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm a licensed new home builder. If it were mine, I'd do the fill project, but use only bank run sand, not "dirt". Bank run sand is about the same price as fill dirt, but packs hard, yet drains well, that's why it's used in septic systems. I've raised a few yards with it and had very little settling (2" in 3 years). To buttress it all, I'd put some 3/4 yard concrete blocks you can get from any local concrete plant, they make them from left over concrete and sell for $20-$30. These blocks are roughly 2'w X'5'l x 2'tall and are used for containing piles & retaining walls.

I would choose this method any day over some kind of pier system. Just for looks alone, think resale someday.

The last septic system I built was 25' w x 40' l x 14' h, (not including the sloped banking all around), it took about 65 tri-axle dump truck loads (with the sloped banking material)of material trucked in & my leased machine cost total was around $25,000. But that was 14' high, with about 5' of that 14' under ground. I would think you'd be cutting that number in half to about 6'-7' high, so I would guess your cost to be about half as well, around $12,000. Not bad if your getting the land so cheap.

Be sure to check on zoning, more and more locals don't want you building or disturbing sloped land over a certain degree of slope. Then you have wetland buffers / setbacks, you might not be able to legally do anything on that property, be sure to check into that first. A lot of people in NJ got screwed out of building rights on their land recently (highland preservation act) and got nothing in return, just the right to continue to pay taxes on a now useless lot.

ExRocketScientist

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Posted: 01/30/12 08:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just double checked . . . I did specify a roller for compaction. If it does settle a little after a couple of years, so what . . . just re-level the trailer if necessary. The trailer won't break in half like a sticks and bricks from a little settling.

Lady Fitzgerald

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Posted: 01/30/12 10:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hlenoble wrote:

I am considering purchasing property on a river to use as a permanent RV site. The site has water, electric, and sewer, but flooded in 2006 and 2011. The maximum water level hit almost 6' in 2006, and about 5' in 2011. In the previous 30 years there had never been more than 1' of water over the bank, and the typical trailer is higher than that anyway.

I am looking to buy a park model, the 8' wide type rather than the 12' wide. My question is is it possible to raie a trailler 5' off the ground, and how to do that.

I am thinking of using heavy wood, probably 2x12s, and making them double width, so they would be 24" wide. I would build them as stepped "ramp" so I could get the unit on on off the wood. I know that the trailer would need to be anchored to the ground of course, but that would be the case at any height. My other thought is to have concrete "rams" built as I would do the wood, but that would add an expense of course.

Has anyone done anything similar? I appreciate any advice anyone can give me. The property sold about 15 years ago for about 10 times what I am paying for it, so I would like to buy it if I can raise my trailer.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Even with the depressed housing market, a price reduction that results in the property being listed for only 10% of it's previous selling price should be setting off alarms all over. The world's climate is changing, including rainfall patterns. Even though the property never flooded more than a foot for thirty, it has done so twice in the past six years to five foot or more levels. That strongly suggests a pattern that will probably repeat itself many times.

Rivers change courses, some more than others. That now dry property could be part of the river someday.

Getting the TT up 6' or more in the air is going to expensive, even if you do it yourself. You most likely will have to get a permit to do so, assuming you even can (have you looked into that?). You will have to have a foundation that will go down far more than the 24" someone mentioned. In New Orleans, where homes were rebuilt after Katrina above a three foot flood plain (something I feel was very foolish, especially since taxpayer money was be squandered to do it), thirty foot pilons had to be driven into the ground. A reinforced concrete foundation was poured over the pilons and a reinforced concrete block (not cinder block) wall built on that for the house to set on.

Good luck getting insurance on property in a known flood plain. Flood insurance, when available, is very expensive.

Personally, I would run, not walk, away from that property. You would be far better off finding another property that doesn't have the issues this one has.


Jeannie

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