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Old 03-02-2010, 12:53 PM   #1
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Which mud flap works best?

I'm thinking about installing mud flaps to keep mud and rocks from hitting my 5er. It looks like there are two options -- splash guards that mount at the back of the wheel well right behind the tire, and the big flaps that mount under the rear bumper. I like the looks of the splash guards better, but they might be designed just to protect the side of the truck and could let material pass underneath and hit the trailer.

Has anyone had experience with either? What do you recommend?
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:26 PM   #2
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The bigger and uglier would be best. However to some there is a line between ugly and useful that cannot be crossed. I bought the custom molded ones and they do a fine job for my liking.
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
The bigger and uglier would be best. However to some there is a line between ugly and useful that cannot be crossed. I bought the custom molded ones and they do a fine job for my liking.
Thanks for the reply, Don. When you say "custom molded," do you mean the kind that fits into the wheel well behind the tire?
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:11 PM   #4
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NO. I bought mine on line and they are custom molded to each vehicles wheel well openings. They bolt directly to the wheel will lip. They may not be perfect, but sure look better than the "universal" jobbies found at Pep boys.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:56 PM   #5
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There are pros and cons to both styles. The ugly one under the bumper will protect better than the ones right behind the wheels. Of course, if you use the ugly ones that run the length of the bumper, you may see a small drop in mileage as the flap restricts air flow under the truck. Without that ugly flap the air flow under the truck and trailer would be unrestricted. The flaps behind the wheels will help protect the truck some, but not provide as much protection to the trailer.

Here si something you can do to check how much protection you will have. Set a 6 inch tall block under the bumper. Back up from the back of the truck until the top of the block is in line with the spot that the tire touches the ground. Everything below eye level is subject to damage as the flap is not protecting that area. Now do the same thing with the block under the rear of the wheel well where you would mount the flaps. You will notice that there is a bigger area that can be damaged.

Another thing to think about is the width of the flap you will use. Full width is the best because rocks don't always fly straight back. I have used both styles. On my single rear wheel, I used a rock guard. On my current dually, I use some flaps behind the wheel that I purchased online. I installed my flaps with the 5'vr connected and have the bottom of the flap about 2 inches off the ground. Lower than recommended, but better protection. I just have to watch it when backing into curbs, snow banks, and other such items.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:12 PM   #6
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We went with the full length Roadwing flap for ours when we went to Alaska. It did a great job. Not only stopped small pebbles (I could tell it did because they were stuck in the ribs of the flap. Also helped a couple of times in freshly paved areas by catching the sticky substances that would get kicked up. Though the underside of the fifth wheel looked like it had been sandblasted, the lower frontal area was untouched.

Hadn't had the flap very long when I backed into a low bush which bent the assembly at an odd angle. Couldn't bend it back by hand but when we were in a remote area (nobody to watch) I backed into a post from another angle on purpose to straighten it out. Just like new.

Only problem I've noted is when we put it on our new truck with a diesel exhaust filter, the high temps coming out of the tailpipe have caused the right flap to become warped and the square end cap of the hanger pipe to be lost.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:33 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone for your advice. I ordered the NK Rock Tamers. Costco is offering the chrome model for $180. Like someone said, everything is a compromise. These struck a nice balance for me.
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