Take the 2-minute tour ×
Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for mechanics and DIY enthusiast owners of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a parking spot for my car, but it is weedy gravel. I've been warned that storing a car on grass is very bad because transpiration from the grass will rust out the car's underbody. Presumably this warning would also apply to my parking spot. I laid a tarp over the gravel, but since this allows pooled water to evaporate, it may not be much better. I did poke some holes in the tarp to allow some of the deeper pools to drain, but I hit the point of diminishing returns rather quickly.

For those of us without a paved surface, what is the best way to store a car? Is it worth it to build an inclined surface so that water will run off? It would seem to be relatively easy to do this with a big sheet of plywood and some 2x4s.

Update:

Is gravel itself a good place to store a car? It seems like some of the same problems presented by grass would be present — water would be evaporating up out of the soil, albeit at a slower rate.

share|improve this question
    
Weed the gravel? Seems like the obvious solution to me. –  Jeff Swensen Aug 22 '11 at 20:50
1  
I'm thinking that gravel itself is probably not so great, since it still allows rainwater absorbed into the soil below it to evaporate up. –  intuited Aug 23 '11 at 4:13
add comment

2 Answers 2

I would be hesitant to make a raised platform using wood. Keep in mind even a very light car is around 3000 lbs, the last thing you really want to do is park your car and have the front wheels go right through that platform.

The wood wouldn't be a bad idea to help kill the weeds (though weed killer would have worked pretty well also).

I'm in the same boat at the moment actually. My plan being to get some sand to lay down over the grass, which will smother it and absorb a lot of the water before it gets to the soil, then once that has sat for a week or so, shovel out a spot's worth of gravel/shale.

share|improve this answer
add comment

How serious are you about this?

Some pressure treated 2" x 12" planks under the tires will protect them from ground rot.

Sun will age your paint job and rubber. You'd be doing your car a favor to put some kind of cover over it that will shade the car and deflect rain. I have seen canvas "garages" for $200 that would do the trick, although keeping air flowing through is important for moderating temperature and humidity. One option is to put the legs of such a garage on concrete blocks, to let air flow underneath and to serve as an anchor. Still, if you live in a windy area, it may not stay put.

Once you're sending the rain to the edges, you can build a simple french drain around the perimeter. Dig a shallow trench at the perimeter of the garage, with a constant slope to one corner. Continue the trench away from the site to a convenient spot (the street, a dry well, etc.). Fill the trench with coarse gravel / drain rock. Optionally put a layer of landscape fabric over the gravel to keep out fines, and then a thin layer of small gravel over that to make things look nice & keep the fabric in place.

Now lay down some heavy plastic over the parking area. This will block moisture from coming up from the soil. A layer of gravel over the plastic will keep it in place and spread the weight of the car out.

Note that if you just lay down plastic without the other steps, it will probably just end up holding puddles of rainwater, so you won't accomplish much.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.