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Towed Vehicle Protection From Road Hazards


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Raymond

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 09:09 PM

We returned to Florida from a trip to Wyoming and are in the process of replacing two windows and repainting the entire towed vehicle (HHR). Our towed vehicle will be getting a new grill, mirrors, sun roof, wheel covers and more, all thanks to an "escorted" construction zone in western Wyoming.

The construction area had just been spread with very small stones and we had no warning or idea what to expect. The coach is an Allegro Bus. It had the windshield broken by a passing vehicle in the same construction area.

The question I would like to know is: What would be the best protection as a guard from flying rocks? Your suggestions based on experience would be appreciated. Thanks.

Ray
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#2 TBUTLER

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 08:15 AM

After a similar experience in Wyoming, with much less damage, we added a bra (Coastal Cover Company - Tow Car Cover) to the toad. We already had the Guardian from Roadmaster. The Guardian was installed when we first got our Sterling tow bar. Even though I refused to travel at the speed that the escort car was traveling, we still had small rocks on the windshield and roof of the toad. The guy with the escort car wasn't too happy but he wasn't going to pay for the damage to my vehicle.

The cover has significantly clouded the plastic headlight covers on the toad - probably a result of my being careless about keeping the cover as clean as it should be. I find it difficult to wash the cover and dry it when we are traveling frequently. Someday I'll have to replace the headlight covers on the toad. There has also been some buffeting of the cover which has chafed the paint in a few spots. On the whole, the cover has saved what I believe would have been significant damage to the toad. I am speaking of over 90,000 miles on the toad on roads all over the US and Canada including Alaska. - and Wyoming!

We also had a bra made for our motor home. We did both vehicles in the fall before our summer in Alaska. We were passing through the Los Angeles area and made an appointment with Coastal Cover Company to have the bras made and installed at the factory. We arrived the afternoon before our appointment and they had hook ups for us. We spent the night on their lot. The next day they made the two bras and did an excellent job with the install. They also made templates from both our vehicles since they didn't have them in their inventory prior to our visit. We were on our way by 5:00 that afternoon. What fun driving through the LA rush hour! There's one adventure I'll never forget.

My experience has led me to the conclusion that the toad is a sacrificial vehicle. It is extremely hazardous duty to have your nose hooked to the rear of a large vehicle like a motor home. We have mud flaps and a full width flap at the rear of the coach which has taken a pretty good beating in those 90,000+ miles. Even with the Guardian and the Tow Car Cover, the toad still takes a beating. I recently had some damage to the hood (not from road debris) and got it repainted when the damage was repaired. Otherwise I'll let the little scratches and dings accumulate.

The only way I know to travel with a car behind the coach and not have it damaged by road debris is to use an enclosed trailer. I consider that a major hassle so haven't even considered doing it.

Of course we made the Alaska trip without any significant damage, returned to our old home state, Missouri, the next spring and took a hit from a big rock that left a fist sized bulls eye in our windshield. Replaced that one and several years ago got a nice ding (repaired and holding) high on the drivers side while driving near Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. From what we've heard from friends since, we were lucky that wasn't two or three dings or maybe even another big bulls eye. I've talked to people who are relatively new to motor homing who have had several windshields replaced in just a year or two. I guess we've been lucky - so far...
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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#3 steverudy

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 10:07 PM

I just got back to colorado from a 7700 mile trip to the east coast and used a Protect-A-Tow between the motorhome and the toad.
It worked very well for protection but the car still got dirty when we were on dirt roads.
I would highly recommend it.
Steve
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#4 OnTheRidge

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 02:23 PM

We also use the Protect-A-Tow and while only 1000km with it a lot was on dirt/gravel roads and it seems to do the job quite well. Stops the stones from the motorhome, but not from passing vehicles.
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#5 stevelcdr

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 10:04 PM

We also have a protect -A -tow. at stops the stones comming from the RV and stops the dust from building up on the back of the RV.
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#6 Guest_Wayne77590_*

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 12:34 PM

We must have been on the same route in Wyoming as we also had the "escorted" construction zone. We were the second vehicle in line. The escort kept it at a reasonable speed. We did have some small "tar balls" that I have now removed. Hmmm! Maybe I got my coach undercoated for free. We also picked up one rock zing on the MH, but it ws in Kansas.

#7 PIPEWRENCHGRIP

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 02:06 PM

Now, you guys have me scared. I've been towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee for about 10yr using the Roadmaster Shield and have not had any damage. I have not travelled a lot on gravel roads however.
But now, I bought a new Jeep and I don't thing I can adapt the Shield to this base plate, so I'm considering the full cover from Coastline or the Protect A Tow. Also known as the Blue Ox Underskirt. I'm leaning toward the full cover and hope it doesn't cause too much chaffing on the paint.

Wha da ya tink.

Bill
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#8 Moonwink

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 08:20 PM

PIPEWRENCHGRIP,
I would think you'd be able to adapt your Roadmaster Shield easily enough to your new vehicle.

If you can't,
I've tried the Coastline cover but don't favor it because it ought to be put on a "clean" - dry vehicle to prevent the grime and gravel from digging into the paint. It's impossible to secure the cover so it won't move and the movement of a dirty cover will scratch the paint. It took two people to stretch the cover over the car and several minutes to secure the straps. If the cover gets wet, it should be removed to dry as soon as possible or the paint could be damaged. Just make sure to wash and dry the car and the cover is dry before use.

I don't favor the Shields because they're so cumbersome and heavy. I'd rather not deal with all that.

I settled on the "Protect-a-Tow" because it gives good coverage, is quick and easy to attach and stores away in a small bag less than 1/4 the size and only a couple pounds compared to the Coastline Cover that weighs about 20 lbs (ours only covers the front end and windshield. Nothing is perfect. You just need to decide which system feels right for you. I like being able to pull up the car to the back of the motorhome and be ready to drive off within 5 minutes having attached the towbar, brakes, wiring, safety cables and Protect-a-Tow.
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#9 PIPEWRENCHGRIP

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 08:58 PM

Thanks Moonwink, I will be installing the base plate in a couple of weeks and will see if my shield will fit. If not I will consider the protect a tow.

Bill
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BILL & LAURA
2009 MONACO DIPLOMAT WITH ALL THE GOODIES
ISC 400 1200 FTLBS TORQUE
42FT WITH 4 SLIDES
TOAD 2011 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE

#10 Lunchbkt1

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 12:56 PM

We also have Protect-a-Tow, purchased it online from Protect-a-Tow in Manitoba. We have travelled approx. 2,000 miles since installing, mostly in Arizona & New Mexico. Very pleased, it is simple to hook-unhook, very compact to store and cost wise, very reasonable. Highly recomend it !!
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Lorne and Marilyn, Tucson, AZ.
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#11 ramblinboy

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 03:55 PM

Just placed an order for a Protect a Tow. Thanks to all in this discussion. Cheap price to pay to keep my toad a little cleaner and offer some protection while going down the road
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#12 bobdeppen

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 01:39 PM

We returned to Florida from a trip to Wyoming and are in the process of replacing two windows and repainting the entire towed vehicle (HHR). Our towed vehicle will be getting a new grill, mirrors, sun roof, wheel covers and more, all thanks to an "escorted" construction zone in western Wyoming.

The construction area had just been spread with very small stones and we had no warning or idea what to expect. The coach is an Allegro Bus. It had the windshield broken by a passing vehicle in the same construction area.

The question I would like to know is: What would be the best protection as a guard from flying rocks? Your suggestions based on experience would be appreciated. Thanks.

Ray


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