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Old 07-02-2012, 06:14 AM   #15
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That looks great Joe. I'll be waiting along with others for the close-up pics. I always seem to like a project or two.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:33 AM   #16
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Jeff753,
They tell you that if you have a drop tow-bar to order the longer one.
This a copy from the web site.

There should be a straight distance of 71" or less between the connection points on the Motorhome and connection points on the towed vehicle when hitched. If you're unsure please email or call us toll free at 1-888-264-5444 for clarification.

This the part that talks about how wide they are.

- Motorhome should be between 94" and 102" wide at the rear.
- Towed vehicle should measure 54" or wider.

I called them before I ordered mine and they are easy to talk to and very help full.
Don't make the mistake that I did. I hooked up my tow-bar and did not pull ahead and measured the distance. When I pulled ahead the tow bars extended it was more then 71" that is where I added the chain.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:40 AM   #17
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Looks just like our Protect-a-Tow except that your white pvc pipe doesn't appear to come apart and turn into a 18 or so inch bundle to stow with the fabric.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:03 AM   #18
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Joe, I like your setup and noticed you even have a breakaway! Kudos to you. I think you might want to cross your safety cables underneath your Ready Brute. Thinking is to support your tow bar in case of a failure. Excellent sharing post!
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:11 AM   #19
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Looks just like our Protect-a-Tow except that your white pvc pipe doesn't appear to come apart and turn into a 18 or so inch bundle to stow with the fabric.
I thought about that was a little concerned that it would let it bend too much in the middle. I just throw the pipe in one of the compartments underneath.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:12 AM   #20
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Joe, I like your setup and noticed you even have a breakaway! Kudos to you. I think you might want to cross your safety cables underneath your Ready Brute. Thinking is to support your tow bar in case of a failure. Excellent sharing post!
That sounds like a good idea! I think I will try that. Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:20 PM   #21
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Looks like a well done project! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:51 PM   #22
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Thanks for the kind comments guys! Some of you asked for more details. It's really pretty simple to make.

I don't have a number or brand on the mesh. I just went to the local wholesale fabric supply house and asked for heavy-duty weather-proof mesh. It didn't come in a width that I could use without splicing it. I think it was about 4' wide. I bought enough that I could cut it in half, lay the two halves side by side, and sew them together. The diagram below will show how I overlapped the fabric to sew it. Then I cut it to the outside dimensions that I wanted.

They didn't have any canvas material but had something like canvas that had a plastic coating and was really strong. I cut it into strips about
6 1/2 to 7" wide, then sewed the strips together to get the length needed to go all the way around the cover. This will allow you to overlay the material and sew it, leaving a 2 1/2" to 3" pocket for the bungee to go in. The diagram below shows how I overlapped the fabric for sewing.

You need to first determine the size you need to give the toad maximum protection. I first looked under the front of the toad and determined where the eye bolts would be placed, putting them as far to the outside as possible for the most protection. Then you have to determine where the eye bolts can be attached on the MH, again keeping them as far to the sides as possible. I removed four of the mud flap mounting bolts and replaced them with the eye bolts. If that is not possible then you will have to find somewhere that you can go up through the bottom of the MH. You don't really have to have a very strong mounting place for the eye bolts. The thick fiberglass shell of the MH rear cap will be OK, since the protector cover is not very heavy. If you do have to mount them in fiberglass, but sure to use large fender washers on each side of the fiberglass for strength. Measure the distance between the two outer eyebolts on the MH and the distance between the two outer eyebolts on the toad. Subtract 8" from this distance to get the finished width of the protector. This gives you 4" on each side for the bungee cords to stretch, keeping tension on the fabric. Now, with the toad hooked up to the MH, ready to travel, measure the distance from the outer eyebolt on the toad to the outer eyebolt on the MH. Again, deduct 8" from this distance to get the SIDE length of the finished protector. Remember, this is the SIDE length, the center length will be slightly shorter! It is IMPORTANT to remember that these measurements are for the FINISHED protector, AFTER allowing for the sewing overlapps!

The sewing is extremely important. First, you need a special weather-resistant thread. The upholstry shop that did my sewing did not have any to match the fabric color, so I had to buy a spool from the supply house.
Then you've got to sewer realize that this will be subjected to extreme conditons including being stretched tight all the time, so it is very important that he sew it well! I stood over him several hours making sure it was done right! I had him cut small patches from the pocket material and sew them in the corners on both sides where the openings are in the pocket because of the stress at that point.

After it is sewn, the next step is to cut out the openings for the bungee cords & "D" rings. There's a problem here. After we cut the openings in the outer pocket, there's no way he could reinforce the edges of the openings on his sewing machine. I tried folding the edges and glueing them, but it won't hold. I haven't solved that problem yet. I've seen small hand-held sewing machines advertised that might be a solution.

I found a 25' bungee cord at Harbor Freight that was perfect for the project. It has adjustable ends so you can make it whatever length you want. On my protector it took almost all of the 25', only leaving a few inches. There are open hooks on each end of the bungee. After inserting the bungee into the perimeter pocket and adjusting the length and hooking the two ends together, I took some good duct tape and taped the connection so it would slide smoothly inside the pocket. I then pushed it so it would be hidden inside between two openings. I then went to Lowes and picked up the aluminum "D" rings. I found some gold colored ones, 2 1/2" inside, that look good with the black fabric. I also bought a length of 3/4" PVC pipe, two end caps, and two eyebolts with nuts and flatwashers. I measured across to protector to the two side openings, added 8" and cut the pipe that length. I drilled holes in the two end caps and put the eyebolts in, then put the end caps on the pipe. PROJECT COMPLETE!



This is the completed protector, ready to protect my toad!




This is one corner hooked to the MH




This is one corner hooked to the toad




This is one of the middle connections to the MH.




Note that you have to place the middle eyebolts on the MH so that the protector cover will go underneath your trailer hitch, safety cables, and electrical cord & connector.



This is one end of the tension pipe showing the eyebolt in the cap



This is the tension pipe in place across the protector


Below is an attachment that shows the sewing detail.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf img124.pdf (264.3 KB, 97 views)
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:32 PM   #23
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Very nice project. Thanks for posting the instructions and the pictures. I would think that will be saved someplace on here for future use.
I went out and looked at my setup and don't think i can make it work with the rear exhaust. If anyone has ideas around this please post them. I can't reroute the pipe to the side.
Love the ideas you folks come up with on this forum.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:18 PM   #24
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What do you think would the guard go over the exhaust or would it lay on it and melt?
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:21 PM   #25
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Great project! I need to do something similar, but I have my exhaust coming out from under the bumper.
Also, I might suggest a fiberglass rod instead of a pvc pipe. A bicycle flag has a nice flexible rod about 5 feet long. If you want one that 'breaks down' for storage, a fiberglass tent pole would work. Some aluminum tent poles come apart with a bungee cord that allows them to reassemble with a flick of the wrist.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:59 PM   #26
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Great project! I need to do something similar, but I have my exhaust coming out from under the bumper.
Also, I might suggest a fiberglass rod instead of a pvc pipe. A bicycle flag has a nice flexible rod about 5 feet long. If you want one that 'breaks down' for storage, a fiberglass tent pole would work. Some aluminum tent poles come apart with a bungee cord that allows them to reassemble with a flick of the wrist.
Thinking along similar lines on that support. Also when setting my guard up, I would do my best to allow it to wad up against the motor home when I dropped the toad? The ability to have that toad quickly disconnected is important to me.

Not the reason I wrote though. Wondering about the hesitancy to reroute a rear exhaust out the side? I get it if there's something in the way, but that's not the case often if you can beg borrow or steal a little creativity? An elbow is less than 30.00 or so, and the tip you have can likely be reused if your coach isn't too old, so it seems like a reasonable project to me? Even if you had it done the next time you're in for chassis service? If that rear exhaust is capable melting the mesh, consider the toad's grill on longer (up hill?) trips? Side exhaust might be something to consider even if you don't use a guard like this one?

Yes, I have seen a melted grill. Not often, but it does happen.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:14 PM   #27
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Wondering about the hesitancy to reroute a rear exhaust out the side? I get it if there's something in the way, but that's not the case often if you can beg borrow or steal a little creativity? An elbow is less than 30.00 or so, and the tip you have can likely be reused if your coach isn't too old, so it seems like a reasonable project to me?
Yes, I have seen a melted grill. Not often, but it does happen.
Not hesitant, just the reason I haven't made a shield for the towed yet. My tailpipe exits straight out the rear about 20 inches from the left side. It ended straight. I did buy a turn down tip that I cocked at a 45 degree angle to the outside and soot on the towed reduced significantly. I do plan to cut the pipe and install a angle to take it to the side before the next trip. I'll have to build a hanger or two to support it all.

I didn't melt the grill, but I did discover the clear cover over the turn signal was curved. I checked the other side, it is straight, the curve was created by the exhaust heat!
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:03 AM   #28
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Since it appears that this an old post I could not open the photos. Does anyone else have instructions on how to build your own tow shield?
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