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Old 01-28-2024, 02:55 PM   #1
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DIY rock guard for flat towing

I recently bought a Ford Escape Hybrid to replace our aging Honda CR-V. We flat tow and I wanted a rock guard to protect our new vehicle. Based on experience with our CR-V I am convinced we needed some type of guard to protect the paint and windshield. I was not happy with the quality and price of online products so I made one out of 1" PVC and nylon screen. This is partly based on a design I found 2 years ago on this forum. I used a 2" PVC T connector with a 1" reducer arm that sits on the Blue-Ox tow pins. I glued up elbows and straight sections, then a 45 degree elbow extended to the width of the car. The guard is in 2 sections that pin together in the center so that I can store it in the RV when not in use. It attaches to the car with a center bolt and wing nut, and a bungee S hook to the front wheel well. Works well so far. Cost about $80 in parts.
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Old 01-28-2024, 08:43 PM   #2
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That is one good thing about some of RV owners. With basic tools, imagination and some skills, one can modify or create something to make it work.

Couple of years back, I was lucky enough to purchase a Roadmaster Rock Guard Brand New from Offer Up locally. Original owner purchased it, only to find out it will not work with his base plate.

I know this Rock Guard will not work with the particular Roadmaster base plate and tow attachment I have on our Jeep Rubicon. But I purchased it really cheap. I sat in my garage for couple of days, staring at the front of my Jeep and the Rock Guard, trying to figure out a way to use it. Couple of trips to Home Depot and an off-road light bracket from Amazon, I was able to make it work. Been using it for 2 years now.
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Old 01-28-2024, 09:26 PM   #3
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Ingenuity at its finest. I'm not that in love with my toad. In the last 20 years of towing a dinghy I've had 6 or 7 of them towed behind 3 different coaches. None of them have suffered any more rock chips than my pickup gets as a daily driver.
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Old 01-28-2024, 09:51 PM   #4
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Im not really worried about paint chips. Im worried about an actual object getting thrown through the front grill of the Jeep, damaging the radiator. I also placed something over the windshield when towing long distances for days (like when we went to Canada). Anything that can damage the towed vehicle can ruin your vacation.

My wife drive her mini cooper daily. A piece of rock bounced and hit the windshield. Cost $670 to replace ($500 insurance deductible and $170 for the difference). Windshield is not cheap.
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Old 01-29-2024, 04:18 AM   #5
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Very well done rudyhehn!
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Old 02-03-2024, 10:23 PM   #6
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Pretty cool! I am curious. Given the fac that it is PVC and I assume somewhat flexible, does in lean into the car when towing at highway speeds?
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Old 02-03-2024, 10:30 PM   #7
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Lean in question

We drove the car with the shield attached and had no issues with fit, but the car's proximity alarm was fooled and kept chiming. The front fits tight against the auto grill. We have not been in the vehicle while towed. I put a rubber insulation strip along the contact areas of the guard to minimize any rubbing damage from the screen and PVC.
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Old 02-05-2024, 12:27 PM   #8
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That is one way to do it.

But,

I installed a full width mud flap across the back just forward of the trailer hitch, and that is the only gap, at the hitch in the center of about 8 inches, or less.

I measured from the ground up to the frame underneath there. I wanted the flap about 3 inches from the pavement. I bought some 3/16" thick by 2" wide flat bar steel. I cut pieces and bolted them to the frame to hang down enough for my calculations, with a bolt hole drilled at the bottom of each.

I looked on eBay and found some conveyor belt remnants that were about 14" wide, and long enough to cover my span. I made 2 equal pieces for each side of the trailer hitch assembly.

I also purchased some 1 inch wide steel, to make a backing plate, to sandwich the conveyor belt where it bolts together. At the bottom of the belt where it hangs parallel to the ground, I also put a backing strip to bolt through to help keep the belt straight and hanging down. I put this on the forward side (the steel strip) to obscure seeing it. Along the bottom edge of this, I used stainless steel bolts, washers (including fender washers, that have a larger diameter), and acorns to dress it up. I used 3/8"-16 bolts and nuts, holes drilled to accommodate.

Of course, I took black spray paint and painted all my brackets, after drilling as needed, and before installing.

It was a small chore, but I got it done, custom my own way, and it works.

I have a tow dolly, as we don't flat tow (our car is front wheel drive), and I figured it to be too much hassle, for me anyway, to have to put up, and take down such a shield. But hey, whatever works, there you have it!
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Old 02-05-2024, 01:32 PM   #9
emr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
That is one way to do it.

But,

I installed a full width mud flap across the back just forward of the trailer hitch, and that is the only gap, at the hitch in the center of about 8 inches, or less.

I measured from the ground up to the frame underneath there. I wanted the flap about 3 inches from the pavement. I bought some 3/16" thick by 2" wide flat bar steel. I cut pieces and bolted them to the frame to hang down enough for my calculations, with a bolt hole drilled at the bottom of each.

I looked on eBay and found some conveyor belt remnants that were about 14" wide, and long enough to cover my span. I made 2 equal pieces for each side of the trailer hitch assembly.

I also purchased some 1 inch wide steel, to make a backing plate, to sandwich the conveyor belt where it bolts together. At the bottom of the belt where it hangs parallel to the ground, I also put a backing strip to bolt through to help keep the belt straight and hanging down. I put this on the forward side (the steel strip) to obscure seeing it. Along the bottom edge of this, I used stainless steel bolts, washers (including fender washers, that have a larger diameter), and acorns to dress it up. I used 3/8"-16 bolts and nuts, holes drilled to accommodate.

Of course, I took black spray paint and painted all my brackets, after drilling as needed, and before installing.

It was a small chore, but I got it done, custom my own way, and it works.

I have a tow dolly, as we don't flat tow (our car is front wheel drive), and I figured it to be too much hassle, for me anyway, to have to put up, and take down such a shield. But hey, whatever works, there you have it!
Can you send some picts?
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Old 02-05-2024, 06:32 PM   #10
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When we purchased out used Palazzo, the previous owner had installed a Roadmaster Tow Defender. It really prevents everything from hitting our tow car. Nothing gets up and beyond the height of the hitch. The cost new is high, but it does the job well. The cost to me was purchasing a used RV and dickering with the first owner for the rock guard and 625 watts of solar. $200.00 was cheep for all.
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Old 02-11-2024, 11:35 PM   #11
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Can you send some picts?
Sorry for the delay in posting.
I really do not know how to rotate these right side up, one thing I dislike about posting pics here, this always happens, but they are okay on my laptop. ???

The left side of each picture is really the top.
**you can see my spare is mounted under there too, 2016 Outlaw 29J
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Old 02-11-2024, 11:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
Sorry for the delay in posting.
I really do not know how to rotate these right side up, one thing I dislike about posting pics here, this always happens, but they are okay on my laptop. ???

The left side of each picture is really the top.
**you can see my spare is mounted under there too, 2016 Outlaw 29J
Tutorial by Ducksface in the Admin Announcements area:

https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f2...ays-20421.html
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Old 02-12-2024, 12:09 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
Tutorial by Ducksface in the Admin Announcements area:

https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f2...ays-20421.html
Thanks for that tip, but now that they are posted, there is no place to edit the pictures. All I managed to do is move one of the pictures to the beginning of the post.
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Old 02-12-2024, 12:23 AM   #14
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here is another try, there is no go advanced button, once files are uploaded, there is no button to mash to edit size of pic, only to remove it, or look at it before posting, oh well, here it is again, It does not cooperate for me,
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Old 02-12-2024, 01:57 AM   #15
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here is another try, there is no go advanced button, once files are uploaded, there is no button to mash to edit size of pic, only to remove it, or look at it before posting, oh well, here it is again, It does not cooperate for me,
You need to edit it on your PC. Also saving it as a JPG or PNG helps.
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Old 02-12-2024, 03:45 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
Thanks for that tip, but now that they are posted, there is no place to edit the pictures. All I managed to do is move one of the pictures to the beginning of the post.
Not sure how you take pics, but get into the habit of holding your phone landscape (not portrait) when taking pictures and videos... unless you're shooting a Tictoc video.

Video and images (think computer screens and TV) are primarily landscape format. The background code in forum software assumes the pic is oriented landscape... when it's not, you get a pic that's portrait - but always appears rotated 90 counter clockwise.
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