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Trampolines are excellent forms of recreational fun for the entire family. Unfortunately, there are several problems with owning a trampoline that could be solved by implementing a different kind of installation process than what one would normally do. Normally, trampolines stand a few feet above the ground on their frames, with a safety net enclosure attached. Over the past few years, it has become more common to bury the trampoline in the ground instead of standing it upright on the frame. This is an innovative approach that has several benefits when compared to the traditional trampoline setup. Below are a few of the benefits to burying your trampoline:
• Save money due to eliminating the need for a safety enclosure net
• Improve lawn aesthetics (can’t see the trampoline from a distance)
• Reduce injury risk due to being closer to the ground
• Better suited to very young jumpers
• Trampoline no longer requires periodic moving to save the grass or when mowing
Some trampolines are designed specifically to be sunken in the ground. If you have one of these trampolines, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on proper installation. If you have a traditional above-ground trampoline, burying the trampoline will require a few additional steps. If you have a traditional version, here are some tips on how to bury a trampoline in the ground.
Before you begin working on the hole to place the trampoline, ensure you select the area that works best for your family. You want to keep the hole away from other lawn objects such as sheds, fountains, or anything else that could injure jumping participants in the event of an errant jump. Additionally, check the soil to allow for an easier installation process. Certain types of soil could impact the ease of the dig or the water drainage once installed. Hard soil such as clay does not drain as well as other types of soil, which could cause water to pool during the rainy months.
Digging the hole for the trampoline can be the most time-consuming part of the entire process, depending on how you choose to go about it. You can either dig the hole manually, using good, old-fashioned shoves and sweat, or you can rent some equipment to assist with the digging. Renting a small backhoe may cost about $150, but it is worth the reduced headache and sweat when compared to digging the hole yourself.
Before you start digging, measure the height and circumference of the trampoline. You will want the hole to be the same depth as the height. Make sure you leave a little room for the air to escape as jumpers are jumping. By keeping the depth of the hole equivalent to the height, a later step will allow the trampoline to sit a few inches above ground level to allow air to escape.
Furthermore, ensure the circumference of the hole is approximately one foot wider than the circumference of the trampoline. This doesn’t have to be exact. A good method is to lay the trampoline doughnut on the target location and use spray, chalk, or any other marker to draw a ring around the trampoline. This will be your target area.
Once you have dug the hole to the correct depth and circumference, you will need to place the trampoline legs and frame inside the hole. Leveling the trampoline is important as the dirt will not be completely level. You can use cinder blocks or wooden blocks to level the trampoline. Cinder blocks work best to eliminate the damage water will do to the wood and ensure you do not have to re-level at a later date.
The cinder blocks should be placed on the dirt where a hole can be dug to place the blocks in that will provide a stable base for the trampoline. The holes should be deep enough that you can place about half of the cinder block and still allow the trampoline to rest a few inches above the ground to allow for air to escape. You will need to lay 3-4 cinder blocks length-wise and touching to allow for the legs to sit securely on the cinder block. You can use a board and level to ensure they align properly. Secure the cinder blocks by packing the dirt around the blocks.
Once you have the cinder blocks partly buried, place the frame of the trampoline on top and ensure the frame ends 2-4 inches above the ground. Allowing air to escape is important for the “bounciness” of the trampoline. If air cannot escape, the mat will not be able to move up and down and reduce the amount of available bounce.
Another option for helping to level the trampoline, either above or below ground, is to use leveling blocks. While leveling blocks specifically designed for trampolines can be difficult to find, you can use rv camper/motorhome leveling blocks instead. For example, a pack of the Camco leveling blocks on Amazon should help to keep your trampoline level without using cinder blocks. These can be used for leveling a standard trampoline installation on sloped ground, or in your trench for your below ground trampoline. Just stack the leveling blocks until the trampoline frame is level.
Once you are satisfied that the trampoline will sit in the hole correctly, remove the frame from the hole. You will need to build a surround structure around the frame for support and stability. By using wooden boards and sheet metal, you can easily create this surround structure. Ensure you leave 1-1/2 feet of space between the top and bottom of the frame and the surround.
Place the boards a few feet apart, lengthwise, and screw them into the legs of the trampoline. Once you have fully circled the trampoline with the boards, you can use the boards as the base for drilling the sheet metal. The sheet metal should provide a consistent surface with little to no gaps.
Once you have completed the surround structure, the trampoline frame will be considerably heavier than it was previously. You will need to recruit some helpers to assist with putting the trampoline back in the hole and laying the bottom of the frame on top of the cinder blocks securely.
Now that the trampoline is securely laying on top of the cinder blocks, refill the parts of the hole around the cinder blocks with the dirt that was removed while digging the hole. You will need to compact the dirt around the cinder blocks and frame so that it is stable, and you are sure it will not move while users are jumping. Ensure the dirt slopes upward from the center of the hole to the sides. It should cover approximately 1/3 of your metal surround structure.
After following these steps, you should have your trampoline in the ground and ready to be jumped on without risk of injury due to high falls. While there is still the chance of injury, due to the nature of the device, this is a great way to reduce that risk. If you decided to place it in your main lawn area, you will need to be careful while mowing. Water shouldn’t be a problem, depending on the type of dirt you dug the hole in. Clay dirt can cause drainage problems, but that can easily be cured with patience. We hope you found this useful and happy jumping!