When touring around different campsites you will often see caravans parked on hardstanding bases, these are great for creating a solid level base for your caravan. You can create these at your own home or caravan site easy enough.
To make a caravan hardstanding you need to prepare the space where the caravan will be parked, level it and use a hard base to give the caravan support such as concrete, paving stones or gravel. You can then create a solid base in which to park your caravan for longer periods of time.
In this article we are going to talk you through what you need to do to create a caravan hardstanding, what tools you need and what you need to do to give your caravan the best stability.
What’s The Difference Between A Hardstanding Caravan And A Traditional Caravan?
A hardstanding caravan is much more stable when compared to a regular caravan. It’s fixed into position and kept there semi-permanently or permanently. The hardstanding area is used to keep the caravan safe from the grass and to stop it getting stuck in the mud.
A traditional caravan does not have the same type of support. This can damage the caravan because it’s more difficult to park the caravan on unsolid ground.
A hard standing area will also keep it safe from soil and water which increases the chances of damage and corrosion. People who do not own a hardstanding caravan will need to build one near their parking spots if they want to keep it well maintained.
When someone is buying a caravan, many different factors need to be considered before buying it. First, you must think about how much you are using the caravan, is it going to be moving all the time?
Or is it going to stay mostly parked? When you decide to buy a caravan, it is very important to think of where it’s going to be kept.
Hardstanding caravans can be more expensive than the traditional models but the aesthetic will depend on each brand and your own personal taste. If you plan to have something permanently in place then some factors won’t matter, such as a coupling for your vehicle.
Having a hardstanding area can also give you versatility in how you use your caravan. You can keep it stored on solid ground while still giving yourself the flexibility to go on the move if you want.
Sometimes, there doesn’t need to be a difference between the two at all but simply a difference in where it’s going to be stored.
You may be the type that loves to find a new adventure every weekend or perhaps you just want to enjoy your caravan in the same spot. Having a hard standing area means you can do what you want while knowing your caravan will be in the best possible health should you ever wish to move it.
Can You Convert a Traditional Towing Caravan Into a Hardstanding Caravan?
There’s nothing stopping you from turning a traditional towing caravan into a hardstanding caravan. As we looked at previously, you have the flexibility to do whatever you want with your caravan.
Importantly, if you change a traditional towing caravan into a hardstanding model, then you can also change it back whenever you need to.
A lot of this will come down to the area that you have available. For some people, they simply don’t have the space for a hard standing caravan. You need to have a specified area where you’ll be able to place one.
There are many different reasons why you may want to convert a traditional towing caravan into a hardstanding model. One such reason is that you live in an area where having a towing caravan would be fairly useless during the winter.
In these circumstances, you may want a hardstanding area to store your portable caravan until the weather is good enough to use it once again.
There are a few ways that you can convert your caravan into a hardstanding. The process isn’t too technically difficult but it can require a lot of physical work. If you have the budget, then it may be worth considering asking an expert to do it for you.
What Do You Need To Make A Caravan Hardstanding?
Making a caravan hardstanding isn’t too difficult. There are a few different ways to do it and the right one for you is going to depend on a few different factors. How long will your caravan be on the hardstanding?
Do you want to use it again as a towing caravan? What type of budget do you have? These are the types of questions that you need to answer.
Here we’ll take a look at the two most common ways to make a caravan hardstanding.
The first method is going to be ideal if you want to create a hardstanding next to your home. It’s a fairly quick and easy solution that isn’t going to require much effort.
There are several materials that you’ll need, some of these can be substituted but they’ll help to make your life a lot easier.
- Paving grid such as Turfgrid
- Shovel or spade
- Cement trowel
- Measuring tape
- Spray paint
- Wooden float
- Wooden stake
- Water level
- Tamper packer
- Spirit level
- String line
Once you have everything you need, here are steps you need to take
- Measure the area you need
- Mark the area you will excavate
- Use a waterline level to establish depth
- Excavate the area (approximately 250 mm depth)
- Work in layers; you will put two layers
- Spread the first layer of sand into the area with a rake
- Damp the road base with a tamper
- Create tram tracks and remove the extra sand
- Put the other layer and repeat steps 6-8
- Start aligning the paving grid on top of the area
- Spread pebble into the turf grid to smooth the area
- Lock in the edges with cement so everything stays in place
- Use the tamper to further compact the area
This way is harder than the previous one, but it is a more permanent solution.
This technique can work for those who own a very big area to park the caravan and want to build a parking spot there.
- Mark out your hardstanding and decide the finish level
- Your hard standing needs a fall of 50mm for a concrete finish
- Excavate all topsoil and subsoil for a minimum depth of 300mm
- Compact the ground with a vibrating wacker plate
- Lay 150mm of sand or drainage rock
- Construct edge formwork from pegs driven into the ground
- Lay polythene over your sand or rock to prevent water loss into which can cause concrete to set too fast
- Lay steel reinforcing mesh on 100mm concrete spacers
- Pour concrete into the formwork (150mm thick)
- Tamp the concrete level with a straight edge
- trowel smooth and then brush the surface with a soft brush giving a level but not too smooth finish
There is another way too. It’s a good idea for those who only want a temporary hardstanding. Instead of looking at a whole area for your hardstanding, you can instead simply focus on just the areas where your caravan touches the ground.
This can vastly cut down on the work you need to do. You can simply dig up the areas, give them a base of sand or rock and then you can put on a top layer of nice stone. You can pack all this down and very quickly you can make yourself a temporary hardstanding.
When making a hardstanding, it’s always important to consider the weight. The caravan is likely going to compact any loose sand or soil. You have to factor in a slight fall in height of the stone as otherwise, you may find that your caravan sinks a little into the sand.
Another thing you need to consider is permeability and where water is going to flow. That’s why we recommended using a paving grid. This can give you a fairly solid surface on which to place your caravan but it will also let the water sink through it.
Building the hardstand can seem very difficult, but it can save you the damages of parking your caravan in an unsuitable area. Regular caravans can have hardstandings, and it can be done in a lot of ways; it is important to do previous research before buying a caravan to ensure you’re getting the easiest solution.
Before getting a caravan, be sure to check the area where you need to park it. Whether you bought a caravan that has the hardstanding included, or you decide to build your own, make sure you do your research first.