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Old 09-07-2016, 11:26 AM   #1
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Cantilever Gate and Gravel pad build. Lots of pics.

I don't know if this is in the right section or not. I have posted a couple of threads so far looking for advice on my various projects, and this is more or less a follow up on my progress so far. Keep in mind, that I work 50-60 hrs a week, my wife also works full time and we have 3 kids, 2 of whom are still in diapers. I don't get a lot of spare time right now so this is an entire summer of activity done little at a time, and compressed into 1 tiny thread.

My wife and I ordered a new 233S back in February, and took delivery of it in May. Since then, its been my mission to find a place at home to store it. It makes packing, unpacking, and upkeep so much easier. The problem has been that our house does not have a traditional driveway, its on street parking. We do have a small concrete pad in front of our garage that faces the alley but no where near big enough to park an RV on. To further complicate things we have a privacy fence around the entire property. There used to be a gravel pad near the garage that ran parallel to the alley that my grandparents used to park their RV on. They were snow birds. The fence was not there at the time, and the gravel pad has been buried under decades of overgrowth. My first task was to gain access to the old gravel pad by tearing out a section of the fence, and replacing it with a gate. Because of how the opening was situated between the garage and alley, a swing gate was not practical. It either had to swing into the garage, and potential traffic in the alley or it had to swing inward which would not give me enough room to park the camper and still close the gate. It would have to be a sliding gate that slid along side of the garage. I choose a cantilever style gate, which is a gate that rolls from a fixed position, built bigger than the opening and relies on a counter balance to keep the section of the gate over the opening off the ground. This particular gate has two wheeled trolleys that are mounted to the ground, and the gate rides on them via a track that is attached to the bottom of the gate. This kind of gate is ideal for snow as you don't have to shovel it out to open/close it. We use them all over the place at work, its geared more toward industrial settings so I had a difficult time sourcing hardware for it. I did eventually find it at The gate hardware was by far the most expensive part of this project but worth it. The gate I would have to custom build as I wanted the opening as wide as possible to give me plenty of room to maneuver. The opening of the gate ended up being 16' wide, which made the gate 24' long. I fabricated the gate out of 1/8" x 2" square tubing. I picked up 8 sticks, 24' long but only 5 of which were used on the gate. The rest was for a utility trailer I was building at the time, and a little extra for miss cuts.

Here is the gate just after I finished putting the first coat of primer on the gate. I added 1" square tabs to the inside laterals of the gate, this will allow me to bolt the privacy panels on later.

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Next step was to pour the concrete for my gate hardware. The concrete also serves as the counterbalance for this type of gate and after doing the math, I figured I would need just under 2200 lbs of concrete to support the weight of a 500lb gate over a 16' wide opening. That makes a counterbalance 18" wide, 9' long, and 18" deep. To further support the counterbalance and inure it doesn't move, I drilled into the garage pad and anchored it to that using rebar. Here is the counterbalance framed out, and the tie rods for the hardware are in place. Look at the shovel, that gives you an idea of how deep we had to pour it.

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After the concrete is in, have to wait at least a week before i can load the concrete with the weight of the gate. It was during this time that I actually primed the gate.

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Here we have the trolleys properly adjusted, leveled and squared. The gate was slid in to place.

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This is the upper gate hardware. All the weight of the gate is on the lower trolleys. The only purpose these rollers serve is to keep the gate in an upright position.

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Here we were checking the function of the gate, in the fully opened and closed position. The gate rolls surprisingly easy for its size. While its too heavy for my 3 year old to push open, I have no problem pushing it open or closed with one finger. Not only that but it rolls nearly the entire length of travel with a just a small nudge. I stood on the gate at the very end of it and added my extra 250lbs to the gate while my dad pushed it open and closed. We did not notice any sagging what so ever. Not pictured, is that I also had to move the corner fence post that the gate mates to. It had to be moved inward about an inch and a half which puts it slightly out of line with the rest of the fence but its barely noticeable. Also what's not pictured here is that during this time that I had the fence section out and our yard opened temporarily, the neighbors dog got in and killed the kids pet chickens. The kids were devastated. I miss the eggs. But on a brighter note, they have been replaced and the new chicks just started laying.

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Here is where the gate rests when it is open. About 6" from the side of the garage, and the gate does not extend past the edge of the garage when fully opened so it does not come into the yard at all. The gate looks as if its sagging in this picture, but the gate is actually sitting perfectly level. The garage is way out of level.

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This is a couple of shots with the gate opened and closed, after I finished painting and attaching the privacy panels. The panels are vinyl, and hollow. I attached them to the gate using carriage bolts through the fence panel with a nylock nut on the back side. To ensure my bolts didn't pull through the fence panels, I had to make cores to fill the voids in the empty fence panels and give me a solid point to bolt to. I did this using PVC trim boards cut and planed to size to fit the hollow cavity. They were siliconed into place. It worked well, the panels are solidly attached to the gate.

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Old 09-07-2016, 11:30 AM   #2
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My next free weekend, I rented a skid loader with a toothed bucket and a dump trailer to hall off the dirt. I graded the area where the old gravel pad used to be. I took about 4-6" of soil off the top before I started hitting gravel. I stripped from the edge of the existing concrete out 38'. This should give me plenty of pad to park the camper. Once I had most of the old gravel exposed, I framed it out with green treated 6x6 timbers. I also laid down some bricks under the privacy panels along the alley to keep the gravel from pushing out into the grass on the other side of the fence. As an added bonus, this should also keep the grass from growing right up against the fence eliminating the need to go over it with a weed whacker every time I mow. The mower should be able to get it all. If it works, I'll probably do the entire fence with the brick under the panels.

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I did end up going with recycled asphalt instead of gravel. It was readily available, and cheap. $12.47/ton plus $85 to deliver it. I figured 16 tons for the pad, 16'x38', plus a little extra for compaction. I think it came out about right. There are power lines running directly over head from the utility poles along the alley, so the driver couldn't spread it very well. I ended up with 2 massive piles of asphalt, one near the front and the other near the back that I had to spread with a rake and shovel. After spreading the back pile, I ended up borrowing my father in laws 2500 and snow plow blade. That made quick work of the front pile. I packed it as best as I could with just the truck and graded it a couple times with the blade to even out the high spots. While its not perfect, it is mostly flat and packed hard. The camper sits level on it without any need for leveling.

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This is still a work in progress. Next year, I plan to add a small cement pad on to the concrete counterbalance, in between the trolleys to add an opener for the gate. The opener I'm looking at adding will have a remote and allow me to open it the full travel, or a programmable distance such as just an opening for a person to walk through. When I wire this opener into the garage sub panel, I will also take the time to add a 30A outlet somewhere on or near the opener for shore power. For safety reasons, when I pour the opener pad I think I will also cement in a post to sit on the outside of the gate keeping the gate between the post and the garage. The only purpose this would serve is to catch the gate and keep it from falling should the upper rollers fail for some reason, or the gate comes out of the track. Not only would that be potentially dangerous, but it would surly ruin the wheeled trolleys and gate track.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:37 AM   #3
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looks good , lots of work
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:47 AM   #4
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That really is a good job, work with what you've got. The DW and i have built 3 houses, yeah we did the work no contractors for us, and i appreciate someone like you
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:17 PM   #5
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How soon can you start one for me?
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:17 PM   #6
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Well done Sir.
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:35 PM   #7
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Beautiful job. I did a gravel pad for my 5th wheel but nothing as nice as yours.
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Old 09-07-2016, 01:38 PM   #8
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Love a man that builds, and in this new rv you will be able to build great memories for you and your family. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:01 PM   #9
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Very cool! You will love having your TT tucked away.
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:07 PM   #10
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Nice job and very good report with photos-Happy Camping!
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:10 PM   #11
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Very Nice!
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:37 PM   #12
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I have only one word to describe your work on this project, MAGNIFICENT!!
Welcome to the wonderful (sometimes frustrating but not often) world of camping.

Anyone as handy as your self will feel right at home modifying your new mini-home until you have it JUST the way you want it (or just the way DW wants it).

Thanks for sharing all your efforts with us!
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:42 PM   #13
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Very nice work. Can't wait to see the mods you come up with for the trailer.
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Old 09-07-2016, 03:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by talldiver View Post
Beautiful job. I did a gravel pad for my 5th wheel but nothing as nice as yours.
with a concrete tire pad 8X14 and an RV port to cover it all. 30a Rv plug and satellite TV hookups and sewer hookups but I am about to pull that out. it just won't drain right (not enough slope) and I have cracked the PVCpiping under my carport with my heavy truck. So I am going to cap under the house and
re-seal the brick foundation.
looks good, great job and excellent report(pictures and all)

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Old 09-08-2016, 12:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by justdoit View Post
How soon can you start one for me?
X2. Or. As kids say, me too me too
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:34 AM   #16
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Thanks. I have to admit I'm happy with the set up so far. Im already thinking about extending it enough to park my utility trailer too, and I do need to add shore power. Id like to be able to pack and unpack with some AC running. It gets very hot and muggy here. And I wish I could have set it up with the door facing the yard instead of the alley, it seems backwards. But that would have meant putting the gate on the other side of the yard and backing in through the neighbors back yard to park it. I doubt they would appreciate that.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:17 PM   #17
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Great job. You apparently have some experience in construction. Hopefully you'll be able to construct a shelter to protect your TT from the elements in Waterloo, IA before winter sets in.
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