Full width Stone guards - any ideas

Submitted: Monday, May 17, 2004 at 20:41
ThreadID: 12953 Views:3772 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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I am looking for any advice or experience out there regarding full width mud-flap / stone guards installed on the truck to protect the van.
I saw Rosscoe's recent post that the best advice was to cover the back of the car with cardboard but the last trailer I tool outback I fitted a simple wooden guard angled at about 45degrees. Never took a hit on the car but the guard was pretty destroyed by the time we got back (I did expect this).
Stone guards seem to follow three basic styles
* solid shields angled - deflect down
* padded fronts - minimise damage but can deflect up
* mesh type affairs, usually angled - remove the energy then deflect down.

A couple of people I have seen with the full length rubber mud flap types say they are great but I don't know how off road they ever go. Certainly one blokes van didn't have a mark on it after 10 years.
The idea here seems to be to mount the 'drop' near the back of the car and quite low letting the stones trail out behind.

So does anybody else know if the idea really works? I haven't seen any units for commercial sale.

Thanks
JC
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Reply By: Member - Bradley- Monday, May 17, 2004 at 20:56

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 20:56
The general consensus for dirt road travell seems to be , fit rear flaps wider than standard , but avoid the full width drop sheet style. they can flick up a lot of material from the centre 'crests' that sit up higher than the wheel tracks. Perspex or lexan sheet attached over the rear windows with velcro works well. but cardboard and tape is good in a pinch, Personally i'm a fan of the forward angled deflector on the trailer with a shade cloth style material to catch and deflect down.
Hope this helps , see ya.
AnswerID: 58984

Reply By: Midge - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 21:22

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 21:22
A couple of years ago we towed a new 17ft Qunitex Freedom Sport across the Gulf and all through Arnham Land, I bought 3 truck mudflaps bolted them to a strip of steel then bolted the whole thing to the rear wheel carrier which worked really well, the only gap is where I had to cut a whole for the exhaust pipe, we went onto some really rough places along the gulf track, didn't get a mark on the boat. Now we tow a campomatic trailer and use the same mud flap last year we took it out to Walcott Inlet and Kalumbaru same result, A couple of months ago we went for a run up to Innaminka, didn't put the mudflap on,got stone chips all along the sides of the camper.
AnswerID: 58989

Reply By: The Banjo - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 21:32

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 21:32
I've towed a camper trailer across many a k of stony dirt roads. My attitude has been that if you have to cover the rear of he car, you have not got into stone control....much better to get the stones going where you want them to....seems to have worked....no stone damage on the cars so far. The other thing I'm convinced of is its much better to let the stones travel back (no full flap on the car) but to control their movement to a degree. When I got my really wide, really high stone guard made I was fine from then on. 45 degrees,sprung rigging, hinged for access when stopped. Metal frame covered in 2 laters of shadecloth, and rubber sleeves around the edges for cushioning of the hits. Some shadecloth on the lower side of the trailer draw bar completes the picture. I also got into guarding of the hubs/ brakes etc too, plus wiring. I consider it all time well spent.
AnswerID: 58993

Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 22:15

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 22:15
Experience out here where people are travelling through gibber plains and desert is that full mud flaps cause stones to be thrown up on top of campers and that the only way to protect your back windscreen is to cover it with perspex or a carton. We see 5 - 7 broken back windscreens each week. Some of these vehicles with broken back windscreens have travelled for years without any problems - until they hit the gibber plains.
AnswerID: 59001

Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 23:08

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 23:08
I agree. On the other side of the desert we see the same thing. On the Oodnadatta track, full width mud flaps drag along the top of the centre mound of gibbers between the wheel tracks, and create a 'stone storm'. Better off just having decent mud flaps on each side, then controlling where the rest of the stones go. All of the ideas mentioned so far work to some extent - there's no perfect solution.
On my trailer, I have built sheetmetal deflectors that send the stones out sideways instead of rebounding them onto my vehicle. Also the upright spare on the drawbar has been re-mounted at 45 degrees. The only time I have broken my rear window was when I foolishly strapped the second spare on the drawbar. It was too close to the vehicle, and the rubber sidewall provided a perfect launch pad for a fist-sized gibber to take out the window.
Cheers
John
Oodnadatta
Those who say something cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

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FollowupID: 320665

Reply By: Lynn2 - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 23:10

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 23:10
Hi JC,

I still haven't got the answer but I am leaning to an angled stoneguard/deflector on the van draw bar. I tracked down a product called deflector guard from Melbourne. www.deflectorguard.com.au, I think. Cost about $400.00. Metal frame and steel mesh.
Love to know if anybody has one and can comment good or bad.
AnswerID: 59012

Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 00:26

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 00:26
When I joined my 4by club all those with campers had a steel peg coming up at the corners of the rear bumper almost touching and standing up about 2-3 inches with a loop/hook on them.
So as to not look stupid (yes I know what those in the know are thinking) I didnt ask what they were for, until our first trip and bingo, stone guard mounts.
Picture this Large piece of shade cloth width of 4by and trailer with a seem down both sides and across both ends with strech cord ( black cord about 6-8 mm that streches, like the centre of an ocky strap) pulled through the seem permanately fixed underfront of trailer and hooks on to strange pegs on 4by, which makes front seem hard up against towbar under b/bar. This is all under trailer draw bar and pulled up tight on strech cord. It streches when turning and not a stone comes up on the trailer. Simply unhook when need to get at back of 4by and drop on ground under trailer when camped.
It works well and no one that I know with this system has had any breakages.
AnswerID: 59023

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 08:24

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 08:24
Steve,

I have an off-road (probably in reality, a dirt road) caravan. Except for times when I'm on really rough tracks I use a Hayman Reese Weight Distribution Hitch. Now while I have about an extra 150 mm ground clearance over a conventional rig the HR WDH hangs below the draw bar. Do you think the soltion you describe would be suitable?
I think the WDH would rub through the shade cloth in a very short time
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FollowupID: 320675

Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 08:48

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 08:48
Rosscoe
I dont beleive that it would as it sags down in the middle a bit and as long as your bars didnt have any sharp edges I think it would last a long time and if it did 2 small holes at the bar ends wouldnt make much difference. If you are not in a big hurry we have a trip next weekend I will try and remember to take a couple of pics for you, send me your email addy mine is on my rig pic.
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FollowupID: 320676

Follow Up By: Michael - Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 11:44

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 11:44
Steve, That system works, i tried that with a cheap tarp when on the Oodnadatta track(highway, its hardly a track) a few years ago. the tarp was torn to bits but worked well. I used ocky straps to pull the tarp tight and for the cornering aspect. all works well. We went through 2 tarps but saved the back windows.. Having read your post now, inspires me to do it properly for my next trip. Michael
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FollowupID: 320700

Reply By: Rosscoe - Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 09:21

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 09:21
Steve,

That would be good. Thanks
AnswerID: 59037

Reply By: Member - JC (VIC) - Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 19:05

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 19:05
Thanks to everybody for their opinions. Looks like it wont be a simple answer.
JC
AnswerID: 59133

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