Caravan protection from flying stones etc

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 13:53
ThreadID: 136804 Views:1377 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
How many protect the underbody of their caravan from stones etc? I have been on another site where people go to extraordinary trouble to cover pipes and elec etc I Have travelled many kms off road and never had any damage. Is it an overkill? Just intersted to know . Doing the Birdsville e track in a few week so. Thanks
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Reply By: Griff61 - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 14:56

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 14:56
I use a big mudflap right across the front so rocks hit it wash the speed of and go under the caravan. Have never had any problems. I hardly have any stone chipping underneath the caravan. If its not metal I have it wrapped in rubber just in case. Nothing worse that having problems while on the road.
AnswerID: 619387

Reply By: CSeaJay - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 15:31

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 15:31
Johno

Sounds like you have answered your own question with you never having had a problem. Why put on protection (in your circumstances with your setup) if you think it is not required.

Personally I will never go without a Stone Stomper again. Did not have one on my previous van, the front and exposed bits were sand/rock blasted. When I =got the new van I fitted a SS and after many thousands of km in all kinds of dirt I do not have a single stone chip to the front of the van (or the back of my car)
AnswerID: 619388

Reply By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 15:36

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 15:36
Depends on the roads you travel, we do a lot of very bad gravel and dirt roads, some of the gravel is as big as your fist. Everything under our camper has stone guards where needed, all electrics run through the camper, all piping is protected.
Water tanks are protected etc.

The gravel is like sand blasting it peppers the suspension and underside of the camper, rounds off suspension members and takes galvanizing off.

We have come across a few caravans in our travels with busted plumbing, holed water tanks and other broken bits and pieces etc, they didn't have stone guards.
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AnswerID: 619389

Reply By: KevinE - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 15:45

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 15:45
There's about 90 or so KM's of road near the top of the Birdsville Track that runs through/over the stony desert. There are gibbers on the road in that section, rather than the usual gravel road often seen in the outback.

The water hose from the filler cap to the tank on my camper trailer got ripped off on that section of the track. That camper had been towed over many 1,000's of KM's of outback roads before that with no damage, other than stone chips.

There's a small dent in the tailgate of my Ute from a gibber rebounding off the camper up there too. So if you're driving anything with a window on the back of it, I'd cover the glass.

Enjoy your trip! :-)
AnswerID: 619390

Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 20:25

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 20:25
That's the advantage of a stone stomper.....almost guaranteed to stop damage to the rear of the 4wd.....and the front of a van/camper.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 09:41

Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 09:41
A Stone Stomper would have protected my tailgate, but the more serious damage under the trailer would still have occurred with a Stone Stomper attached ;)


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 14:11

Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 14:11
Hi Kevin

I agree with Gronk, the best protection is a Stone Stomper.

No fear of breaking a rear window, greatly reduced dust on the back window and if you had one on your camper, no possible broken water pipes.

The Stone Stomper will greatly reduce the speed of the stones hitting under the camper, thus greatly reducing the risk of damage.

They are the best investment for anyone towing on any type of road, from bitumen to dirt .


Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 15:52

Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 15:52
Hi Steven,

I don't disagree. I've used a similar stone guard & they work very well.

But it still wouldn't have stopped the under body damage on the camper trailer.
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FollowupID: 891691

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 19:08

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 19:08
Hi Johno

Even though you have not had any damage in the past, you have not said where you have driven and the type of van that you have.

Regardless of what van you drive, if it is not a dedicated, truely solidly constructed off road van, you can and will expect under body damage to anything that is exposed and not protected.

The Birdsville Track is a great drive, and not a smooth and rock free drive to say the Oodnadatta Track. We have seen so called off road vans with taps and broken water hoses after heading up the Birdsville Track, as it is very hard on anything that is not protected.

If you have exposed electrical cabling and water pipes, play safe and make sure that they are securely protected, or else you might arrive in Birdsville with lots of damage and no water.


Have a great drive.


Cheers



Stephen


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AnswerID: 619392

Reply By: Darian - Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 10:52

Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 10:52
As mentioned, you may not have yet covered those long, quite stony roads that just love to pepper everything on the underside. Like others, I have spent time on the underside covering a few pipes that my builder didn't do (one can slide split tubing over pipes of various sizes...cheap and effective. I've also put a full width rubber flap in front of my suspension (recycled conveyor belting)...my independent air suspension cost me an 'arm and a leg'....it needs to be pampered :-). I have a minor flap in front of the front drop-down stabiliser legs too...stones can jam them up. In summary, time well spent for you in my view....just one less factor to concern you as you cruise the nation !
PS: Not part of your query, but mentioned above......
to go anywhere gravel without a full stone mesh 'trampoline' of some sort between tug and trailer is just crazy....the damage can be quite expensive.
AnswerID: 619400

Reply By: Iza B - Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 15:18

Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 15:18
A trampoline style stone guard does a good job of protecting the front of a van. Friend did Birdsville races with us a couple of years ago and sandblasted the whole bottom of his van. Shockers and axle and parts of the chassis rails down to bright metal. A full width light duty mudflap just forward of the hitch and another one mounted about a metre back from the front of the van seems to be an effective damper for the gravel. The same friend mentioned earlier made mudflaps out of shade mesh and weighted the bottom with light chain. The mudflaps are mounted to the bottom of the van in sail track so only fitted when needed.
AnswerID: 619403

Reply By: Jill H6 - Monday, Jun 11, 2018 at 14:37

Monday, Jun 11, 2018 at 14:37
Hubby went to plumbing supplier and goy “lagging” and wrapped it around all explode pipes. Too many tales of busted water/sullage pipes!
AnswerID: 619473

Reply By: Member Boroma 604 - Saturday, Jun 16, 2018 at 19:35

Saturday, Jun 16, 2018 at 19:35
Gooday,
I went through this several years ago when doing the Great Central Road for the first time.
Looked at various options finally came up with using heavy duty shade cloth. I made templates on cardboard had 3 sections made, as I had to protect 3 water tanks + all the piping wiring etc running underneath the caravan.
I had elastic loop straps fitted at various intervals and where I could fitted the little button to hook them on to, the Chassis rail, some I had to fit on the outside of the rail. Also had to fit 2 half inch RHS rails across under and attached to chassis in a couple of places to fit little button to attach them.
Then screwed a about 9 inch wide strip of about 3mm Rubber Insertion to the floor of the Caravan and tethered the bottom to one of the RHS rails I had fitted, this stopped the stones heading into the Shade Cloth net. I also used cheap carpet around both axles and also U Bolts on springs as I have seen the U bolts worn away by the continual bombardment from the caravan wheels.

Whatever you do, Do Not use cable ties or light wire to attach carpet etc as they will get sheared off by the stones in a few hundred miles. I finished up using that silver tape, "Gaffa Tape" wrapped around the carpet several times, you may have to add to it occasionally but will outlast any other ting I have tried. Bit of work but I can Guarantee it works. Have done the Great Central, Plenty & Donohghue twice, as well and hundreds of other dirt roads and finally the Tanami without any damage to underneath the caravan. Still have them to put on again if I need them.
We have a 21 ft Tandem.
Cheers boroma 604.
AnswerID: 619626

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