Stone Protection for rear windows

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 20:35
ThreadID: 20543 Views:5646 Replies:14 FollowUps:3
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I am looking at protecting the rear windows of my Patrol from reflective stone damage from the van while travelling on those nasty outback roads. Can anybody share with me any contacts that they may be aware of for the supply of this product. I have found one in SA but there must be others who are in this market.

Thanks in advance.


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Reply By: Member - Jack - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 20:54

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 20:54
Take t his in three stages:

1. Top of the range would probably be Obie's Outback

2. Find someone who can cut perspect (or poly carb) to suit and fit it on using velcro or straps or similar.

3. Cut up a cardboard box and gaffer tape it on (if rear vision is not an issue).

Seen all three work effectively. Amazing the number of dents on the cardboard box, but the window was intact.

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Follow Up By: Patrick - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 21:39

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 21:39
Hi Jack,

Obie's was the one that I had contacted in Adelaide but am still waiting a response from them. In the meantime I received this suggestion from the the JUGA web group, have a look as it as it's very interesting and simple and offers a wider protection.

I would be interested in the opinion of others.


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Reply By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 21:39

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 21:39
I went to our local guy who cuts perspex for signs. He cut me a piece of clear lexan the shape of my rear window held in place with suction cups. I tape around the outside edges so dust cant get in and an easy clean every time I get fuel. Cost around $100 but last forever if you look after it.
Cheers Rob
AnswerID: 98875

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 23:13

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 23:13
Hi Rob, how thick does the Lexan have to be?? Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

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Reply By: Member - Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 00:27

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 00:27

You say Obie's was the one you contacted in Adelaide????

Obie's Outback is located in Melbourne Mate.
This is a real coincidence. I discovered their Web site by accident and have just ordered a rear screen kit. They will courier the product anywhere in Australia.

You can email Mike (the Proprietor) direct from the Website and he was only too happy to answer any queries I had. Come across as a good bloke.

Not the cheapest product, but......

My rear window on the Jack bleep tered on the Birdsville Track and replacement cost would have been > $1500 if my Insurance Company hadn't covered it.

I thought of the cardboard idea but if it rains............!!!


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AnswerID: 98908

Reply By: V8troopie - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 00:56

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 00:56
Now you got me curious, reflective stone damage?? Where would that stone have gotten its initial speed from and where is it reflected of? I assume from your vehicle's rear wheels and bounced off the van you're towing, correct?
Would not fitting decent mud flaps fix that? And, perhaps, add one of these padded covers that one sees on the front of caravans?

Me thinks preventing might be a better idea than target protection.
AnswerID: 98912

Follow Up By: tessa_51 - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 11:15

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 11:15
sorry mate, experience has shown that no matter what you do to prevent the rocks at their source, the little blighters still find a way through! Mud flaps are almost useless. The large vehicle wide flaps are more trouble that they are worth - when driving in tracks the centre drags along the ground and throws its own little peskies up! The padded material at the front of vans is more decoration than anything else, it's not thick enough to absorb the energy from a flying rock. The most successful device is the stone deflector placed on the draw bar - but even they have been known to break the odd rear screen. The glass protection is the only guaranteed way of keeping it in one piece.
I've done one rear screen and have seen plenty of others broken, its a common topic of conversation in the outback.
FollowupID: 357348

Reply By: Member - Brian H (WA) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 01:12

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 01:12
There are a lot of options out there. Most caravan place sell a light weight tubular frame that has shadeclothe on it, mounts to the draw bar and deflects stones down. There are several variations on this around the place.
Then there is the old 'full width mud flap' made from second hand conveyor matting. Take it off when not wanted, also reduces the amount of dirt thrown up behind you.
The 'bra' idea is out there as well, a protective pad that goes over the front of the camper/van.
The choice is yours.
AnswerID: 98915

Reply By: MrBitchi - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:37

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:37
If you're not worried about rear vision, get one of those reflective sun shades that you put inside the windscreen to stop the sun getting on the dash. Cut to shape and secure with double sided tape.
More robust than a beer carton and re-usable.
Only advantage of the beer carton is you get to empty the carton first :--)))
AnswerID: 98936

Reply By: flappa - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:50

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:50
Probably a combination of methods is a good idea.

Stone guard on the trailer , maybe with some extra rubber guards , and mud guards and window guard for the vehicle.

I have seen a number of vehicles with just the Window protection , which works well, but doesn't stop the paint work getting blasted.
AnswerID: 98938

Reply By: Wizard1 - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:40

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:40
Cheap option is some cardboard and gaffer tape.

I purchased some matting (the camping mattress type) from Clarke Rubber cut to size and attaches with velcroe tabs. The other side of the velcroe is positioned inside the door. Travelled from Darwin to Cairns without a drama.

Prado TD
Gold Coast

AnswerID: 98963

Reply By: howie - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:42

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:42
i have used carboard cutouts gaffer taped to the back windows for years with no dramas. as for getting wet, i took the time out to put 3" overlapping sellotape over the cutouts. this not only stops them getting wet but allows you to remove the gaffer tape to re-use them over & over again.
also, i noticing that my tyres and suspension had increased the gap between the bottom of rear mudflap and road.
last big trip i fitted extensions to my mudflaps with 2 strips of aluminum,wing nuts and piece of rubber. definitely improved stone deflection dramatically as the front lip on my cavaliar usely needs emptying every day.
AnswerID: 98964

Reply By: crusa - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 14:57

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 14:57
Hi Patrick

I have had the Obie system on my 80 series for about 5 years now and can highly recommend. Had a problem with one of the velcro pieces and obtained a replacement from Obie...... no problems.

His web address is


Graeme SW Vic
AnswerID: 98975

Reply By: Member - Mike H (VIC) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 14:58

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 14:58
been there, done that.
I travel about 70 to 80,000 km each year and most of it on roads like the Oodnadatta Track, Birdsville Track, the GRR, Tanami Road, Gary Junction Road and Talawana Road etc..
After the first busted rear window I cut two pieces of the clear plastic runners that are used to protect high traffic areas on carpets. Just taped them to the 2 windows. That plastic has lots of little dimples on one side to prevent it slipping on the carpet. This, facing the windows adds ( I think ) to it's ability to absorb shocks.
Then when I build a new trailer a couple of years ago I fitted one of those angled deflectors to the draw bar and covered it with 8 mm thick rubber mat that is used as non slip deck covering on boats.
All was well for over a year and then again had a busted window. Didn't even hear when it happened. A stone had hit right at the bottom of the window and even nicked the wiper rubber.
So, now I again cover the windows when on dirt roads with the plastic covers.
They work, are transparent and it's cheap.
AnswerID: 98976

Reply By: ian - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 17:14

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 17:14
For what it is worth, I have years of experience towing a trailer in the outback.
I have seen all the systems, and think some get by with a bit of luck.
My experience is you have to screen the spare that the rocks (not stones) bounce off. i agree with the suggestions of shade cloth. Mine is timber lattice (absorbs impact) with s/cloth over it. On the rear window I have a perspex screen held in place with suction caps from Clark rubber. I also have wide mud flaps that give me no problems, but mostly serve to stop the trailer lights being broken.

I like the idea of a fair gap between the perspex and the rear glass, supported by the suction caps. Maybe it is overkill, I am not sure, but unlike my travel companions, I still have my original rear window.
AnswerID: 98995

Reply By: muzzimbidgie - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 20:10

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 20:10
The best answer to this problem that I have seen, is a screen made of shade cloth (3 layers thick) that goes UNDER the drawbar from the rear bumper of the car to the body of the camper or caravan. It is the full width of the car.

All stones are deflected under the trailer and it is easily unhooked when you want to seperate from the car. One of the offroad camper manufacturers has this as an option, and the one I saw in Carnarvon was the smartest thing I've seen in a long time.

It was ironic for me, as I had just bleep tered the glass in the small rear door of the patrol, and Nissan wanted $700 to replace it. HHMMPPH !!!
AnswerID: 99016

Reply By: Member - John C - Saturday, Feb 19, 2005 at 09:25

Saturday, Feb 19, 2005 at 09:25
Instead of the cardboard idea we use corflute - the stuff real estate signs are made of - has to be the 5mm thick stuff - has ribbing like cardboard but stiffer - easy to cut to shape and goes on with duct tape, reusable, folds down, doesn't mind water, easy to clean, but not see through.

Go to any sign maker and they will have it. - costs ~ $25. Trace pattern with say butchers paper then cut away with stanley knife, be careful here, the knife slips easily cutting this stuff.


AnswerID: 99045

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