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Old 08-10-2020, 12:05 AM   #1
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Do you really need rock guards while using a tow dolly?

I am about to start towing my FWD Kia Optima behind my 32 foot Class C RV using a Roadmaster 3477 Tow Dolly.

I just wanted to know if you really need the rock guards. The dolly is going to lift the car pretty high off the ground, so I am thinking it should be fine.

Wife gave me an ultimatum and I can either get the rock guards or get some new Monomax shocks for the rear. I would rather spend the money on the shocks.

I already have a Bilstein steering dampener installed along with front Sumo Springs and I am already extremely impressed with the improvement. Since we will be towing I think the Monomax shocks (I hear they are stiffer than Bilsteins which would be better under a load) would be the last thing I think I need to do for now to make sure my rig is prepared for the rigors of towing.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:35 AM   #2
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Need? That's up to you. The first time I flat-towed my Sonic a rock kicked up to the upper corner of the windshield on the driver's side. Bt time I returned home it had spread to about a foot long crack. didn't cost me anything to replace the windshield in my state with my insurance, but the time to get it done is time away from work and money lost in my business. Next time I towed the Sonic I had a rock guard.

So are you feeling lucky? Do you?

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Old 08-10-2020, 12:50 AM   #3
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Spend the money on the shocks
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:52 AM   #4
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Spend the money on the shocks
Get an advance on your budget and do both.
No sense climbing under there on two different occasions because of, well... Whatever is the because you're waiting.
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:13 AM   #5
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We flat tow our wrangler and don’t use a guard. I would think on a dolly your cars front would be about the same height which helps with the rocks.
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:20 AM   #6
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Do you need mud/rock guards to protect your tow or is it just an unnecessary expense

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Are you asking if they are lawfully needed of if people just like having them?

I want to know if they are really needed to protect your tow vehicle, or are they an unnecessary precaution.

I want to hear from people who haven't used mud or rock guards when they have used a tow dolly to tow a vehicle behind their Class C or Class A RV.

I bought this FWD car specifically because I want to be able to tow it on a dolly. However, it is still my daily driver (and an attractive car). I do not want it to get damaged when I have a means to protect it.
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:52 AM   #7
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We flat tow our wrangler and don’t use a guard. I would think on a dolly your cars front would be about the same height which helps with the rocks.


We tow a Wrangler as well, also without a guard. No problems so far. I did extend the mud flap behind the rear wheels so they are a couple of inches closer to the ground.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:19 AM   #8
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We tow a Wrangler as well, also without a guard. No problems so far. I did extend the mud flap behind the rear wheels so they are a couple of inches closer to the ground.
I thought about extending our flaps as well but we are a big class c at 32 foot the rear over hang catches just about everything. If a rock can bounce 10 feet behind the wheels then somehow kick up in the exact 2 feet between the bumpers then that rock chip was meant to be.
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:44 AM   #9
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With a tow dolly the front end is elevated
Less likely to get rock damage than flat towed
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:15 AM   #10
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With a tow dolly the front end is elevated
Less likely to get rock damage than flat towed
Thanks!
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sduff View Post
I want to know if they are really needed to protect your tow vehicle, or are they an unnecessary precaution.

I want to hear from people who haven't used mud or rock guards when they have used a tow dolly to tow a vehicle behind their Class C or Class A RV.

I bought this FWD car specifically because I want to be able to tow it on a dolly. However, it is still my daily driver (and an attractive car). I do not want it to get damaged when I have a means to protect it.
Over 5000 miles towing a Fusion on a Master Tow dolly. Never had rock guards, never needed rock guards and no damage to the car.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:04 PM   #12
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I usually fold the tow car’s mirrors in
I also use Carpet Protector plastic sheeting, it comes on a 2’ wide roll with a slight self stick adhesive.

Can be purchased on Amazon
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:18 PM   #13
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I had a cover for the front of our toad when we towed. There were times I could see rock impacts on the cover, which did indeed protect the toad. Flying junk will sometimes get sucked in between the rear of your motorhome and the toad.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:27 PM   #14
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Yes, I agree with you. When pulling a toad on all fours, there tends to be some damage.

But, this thread is regarding damage when using a tow dolly
My experience with tow dolly vehicles is that the damage is very limited because the front end of the vehicle is elevated
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:28 PM   #15
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It comes down to how you wish to spend your money... and how comfortable you are with the risk level.
At the very least: I'd invest in better rear mudflaps for your RV.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:55 AM   #16
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An inexpensive way to stop the majority of the rocks is by adding mud flap behind the dual tires. Cost is less than $120. Stop the rocks where they start. The need to be at least as wide as the tires, and they should ride within 6" of the ground.
The hardest part of this is sometimes finding a metal base to attach them to.
Then when the money comes in add the mud flap on the back. Just make sure it is 4-5" off the ground. If it is too close, it can end up creating a wind tunnel effect and throwing rocks instead of stopping them.
The rear mud flap stops more than just rocks. We hear stories all the time from folks that find nails embedded in the back of the mud flap and those that have t-boned the mud flap with a tire or piece of lumber in the middle of their lane.
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:09 AM   #17
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Nina
I was going to mention your custom flaps but I didn't want to get into the full cross flap vs dolly need thing.
I don't have one, don't need one, really really like and want one.

Nice work.
I've known of them for quite a while.
Now you make me feel a bit guilty I didn't post about them.
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Old 08-13-2020, 04:53 AM   #18
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Our cars get more dings in the hood from general use than they have from being towed behind the RV.

On the subject of mudflaps: Many Axis/Vegas units have the issue where the passenger mudflap makes contact with the exhaust pipe; melting the flap. I solved the problem with simple truck mudflap weights (available from any truck stop--I got mine from Iowa 80).
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Old 08-13-2020, 11:47 AM   #19
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We chose to go a differnt way; one that also added some storage space.
https://www.thorforums.com/forums/at...1&d=1597319327
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Old 08-15-2020, 06:42 PM   #20
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Rock Guard - Toad Manufacturer Recommendations

I have a 2020 Chevy Spark and Chevrolet specifically recommends NO guard on front of toad (as opposed to guards behind rear tow vehicle wheels), because of air cooling flow blockage. It is probably the exception, but something else you might want to check with yours. I now have over 2,500 miles of it being towed and have not had any chips, broken glass, etc.
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