Stone Protection-Van Underside

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 16:59
ThreadID: 96828 Views:5859 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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There have been reports of stone damage to the items such as tanks and hoses etc mounted on the underside of vans. There have been posts on stone protection for the front of vans but nothing I could find on protecting items underneath vans. Has anyone used protection such as mud flaps mounted underneath their van, or other ideas?

Apart from the obvious of the road surface, where do the stones that do the damage originate from? Are they from the tug wheels or are they flung up from the van wheels?
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Reply By: Stretchlizard2 - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 18:00

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 18:00
From recent first hand experience I can assure you that the damage is from the tug wheels. On my recent 12K trip to Cape York and Birdsville and Strezlecki tracks without stone protection, I had the underside of the van from the A frame back peppered. The protection on the front of the van worked.
Components were damaged including:

sullage tank pvc drain valve handle broken, valve replaced with bronze model, valve pvc outlet fitting broken and valve body dented, another new valve and outlet fitting installed.

Water tank pump earth lead broken, new lead made and fitted.

Water tank contents gauge reading full all time. Repaired broken lead.

Some plumbing attaching fittings broken and replaced.

There were no things that were critical but some were annoying. I suspect the damage may have been greater if there had not been a good protective layer of mud on the items under there.

The damage is simply caused by the wheels getting stones airborne for the oncoming van to hit them at whatever speed you are doing. For me travelling at about 70kph meant that was the speed the stones were hitting the components. Up the speed and increase the damage as well.

The answer is obviously to fit a system that stops the rocks at the wheels of the tug as those systems that are on the underside of the A frame will only protect the front of the van, not the underside. The other solution is to totally sheet the van underside.


AnswerID: 490741

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 18:30

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 18:30
Don't agree with the statement, systems that are on the underside of the A frame will only protect the front of the van.

I own both the Rock Tamers, which are big mud flaps behind the tug and the Stone Stomper, which is a trapeze that extends from the rear of the tug to the rear of the camper A frame.

The Rock Tamers still spewed rocks from underneath the flaps and although they weren't visually hitting the camper, they were getting close and the stones were bouncing in a V formation backwards and sideways.

I bought the Stone Stomper for this reason and cannot see any stones being ejected. They are contained by the trapeze and are ejected out the rear of the camper, having lost their velocity somewhat.

Any time you are driving on unsealed roads, you risk damage to the underside of both the vehicle and anything being towed.
In my opinion, moderate speed and protection like the Stone Stomper limit stones, etc. from causing to much damage to both your property and others travelling toward you.

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FollowupID: 766132

Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 20:17

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 20:17
I set up a GoPro camera under my van on the road from Ivanhoe to Willcania and it was incredible to see the amount of stones being flung around under my van. The camera was about a metre in from the van front (22ft van) and some stones even bounced back and hit the camera mount. I had a Stone Stomper fitted. Cheers,Bob.
FollowupID: 766156

Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 19:50

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 19:50
Hi Rod,

Im planning on using insertion rubber bolted across the bottom when I get my van.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 490750

Follow Up By: time waster - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:23

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:23
I have put rubber mud flaps in front of the plastic pipe fittings that come out the side of the water tanks and also in front of the shock absorbers, we also run a stone stomper and found a big reduction in damage under the van since the stone stomper was fitted.

Hi Rod,

FollowupID: 766182

Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:58

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:58
Thanks all. Ihave a Stone Stomper so will look at the additional mud (stone) flaps.
AnswerID: 490783

Reply By: PJR (NSW) - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 13:58

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 13:58
I wonder if this is a case of a van built for bitumen only and being taken where it was not designed to go.

Surely if it is a caravan designed to go on dirt roads (I do not mean a real remote off road one made for the CSR) then if it was properly "built to purpose" then I would expect it to have the necessary underbody protection.
AnswerID: 490828

Follow Up By: Gronk - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 17:16

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 17:16
I would think so to,

They make the susp, frame and chassis a bit stronger, but usually don't put too much thought into the small things......

Off road campers like the KK have it pretty well sorted, but " off " road caravans have a lot to learn...
FollowupID: 766242

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