In Ground Trampoline Installation Instructions
Installing an in-ground trampoline gives you the fun and fitness of this popular backyard accessory, but helps reduce the risk of injury of falling from several feet in the air. Installing a trampoline in the ground also reduces how prominently it appears in your yard, so it won’t block your view of landscaping or the surrounding area.
Choose The Right Location
All trampolines should be at least 6 feet away from windows, doors, fences, or any other dangerous area in the yard. Allow at least 18 feet of overhead clearance, too. Keep the area around the trampoline safe by building an area of impact absorbing ground cover such as bark chips or installing the trampoline within an existing lawn to help prevent injury to jumpers.
Start With A Quality Trampoline Kit
Most in-ground trampoline kits available are one of two types. The first is made up of a tube frame that attaches to ridged high-impact plastic or metal circular wall panels. This wall provides the needed structural support and keeps soil around the excavated hole from cascading down into the trampoline pit. The second type of kit is a bent metal frame that is formed to become four legs. The first type, with the circular wall panel, is by far the easiest to install in the yard and should require less maintenance during the years ahead. Both types of kits are usually available in round or rectangular shaped trampolines.
Digging The Hole For Your In Ground Trampoline
Once you are satisfied with the location of the trampoline, it’s time to dig the hole. The hole needs to be one foot larger than the diameter of the trampoline. Dig down to 30 inches (34 to 36 inches if adding gravel for drainage). It will be worth the investment to hire a landscaper with a backhoe. This is a lot of dirt to move and it is the most physical part of the installation process. Most manufacturers will recommend leaving the top 4 to 6 inches of the trampoline above ground and bringing the soil or lawn up to the edge of the trampoline. This is to keep rain water running away from the pit not into it. Adding 4 to 6 inches of gravel to the bottom of the pit will help prevent standing water after rainstorms. Homeowners in areas of substantial rainfall may want to also install a drainage line to carry water to the street.
In Ground Trampoline Installation (Round Trampolines)
Lay out all the parts of the trampoline near the installation site. Carefully read all the manufacturer’s instructions before proceeding. For round trampolines with side panels, here is how to proceed:
- Assemble the lower frame ring and then attach it to the side panels. If you are working on an uneven surface, it may be necessary to use a long screwdriver to align the side panel holes to the lower frame holes. Attach all screws and leave loose until final assembly.
- Next, join each upper frame ring segment to the side panels, one segment at a time as you work around the perimeter of the trampoline. Make certain the spring holes in the top frame are facing up. Leave the side panel screws loose or finger tight at this time.
- When the final top ring segment is assembled to the side panel it is time to begin tightening the assembly. This may require lifting or shifting the frame to align all the panels and frame. When all the components and hardware are in position, begin tightening all bolts and nuts. Avoid over-tightening the screws and nuts to prevent crushing the wall panels. Again, read the manufacturer’s directions.
- Once the frame is complete, it can now be placed into the excavated hole. Trampoline frames weigh from 225 to 300 pounds, so, this is a job for 3 to 4 adults. A level frame is critical for safe trampoline use. Use a string level or a long mason’s level with 2x4s to check the frame before continuing. It is best to check the level from 3 or 4 directions across the top of the frame to insure the frame is positioned correctly.
- Add 4 to 6 inches of gravel to the outside of the wall panels, then backfill the rest of the sides up to the grade level. Leave the last 6 inches of the frame assembly exposed until the safety pads are installed.
- It is now time to install the jumping surface. Install every forth spring from the frame to the rings on the jump mat. The springs will have a small hook end, for the mat, and a larger hook end, which goes into the frame. Make certain to identify each end and not reverse the springs. Work your way around the frame and then install every other spring. When finished attach the remaining springs to the frame and mat.
- Attach the safety pads around the perimeter of the trampoline, finish backfilling the sides, and fill to the top of the side panels. Roll out the sod removed from the lawn and water the lawn thoroughly for the next two weeks. Congratulations, you are now finished. Great job!
Safety Issues With In Ground Trampolines
In-ground trampoline installations are considered safer than above ground installation. Even so, keep obstructions at least 6 feet away from the trampoline location. The area around the trampoline should be kept as soft as possible. Grass is better than compacted dirt or concrete. Sand or impact absorbing ground covers like bark chips are another good choice. Keep the trampoline area safe and do not have swing sets or overhead obstructions near the trampoline.