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Old 10-21-2015, 01:13 AM   #15
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Protect A Tow

Clint, ficodek.....
I've driven about 20,000 miles in the past three years with a PAT on my rear exhaust coach with nary a problem. And this is the first mention I've heard of any sort of rear radiator issue.

There is a statement in the PAT website that states (in red font):

"Protect-a-Tow may not be suitable for Diesel pusher Motorhomes with rear exhaust, call us toll free at 1-888-264-5444 or email us at protectatow@aol.com for further details." I'm quite sure the proviso was also there in 2012, as that is what prompted me to call them to check the issue.

In addition, there have been several forum conversations about PAT as early as 2012 and before that discussed the exhaust issue and solutions.

When I got interested in it in 2012 I read about the exhaust question-- and I called them up to ask! We discussed the pros and cons, and they sent pictures of that standoff that someone had fabricated. I didn't think it looked adequate, so I fabricated my own out of aluminum strip (about $12) that is broader and mounts higher above the exhaust. Works like a champ. I'll send a pic when I can-- on the road right now.

No one at PAT ever mentioned heat shielding as a viable choice, and I guess you've discovered why. As to the self-destructing and melting spreader, well- I'm at a loss on that. Properly installed the spreader is not close to any heat, and is not stressed to the point of breakage.

It sounds like you guys made some unfortunate choices regarding installation and mods, and it didn't work out for you. But the PAT works fine, with the one exception that cider dog mentioned: it DOES get really dirty and grimy.

Good Luck!!


John & Diane, fulltiming since '12
'02 DS, FL, 3126, '04 Element
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:20 PM   #16
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Here are pics of my PAT with homemade exhaust shield.


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John & Diane, fulltiming since '12
'02 DS, FL, 3126, '04 Element
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:30 PM   #17
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John, thanks for the pics of the heat shield. I can see that the support arms are attached to the bottom of the coach. Is the rectangular frame at the top of the shield also attached to the back wall of the coach? I can see what looks like screw holes, but can't tell if there are screws holding it on.

Did you bend the frame or did you find some kind of frame that you adapted for the purpose? It looks like the corners have to be rounded to keep from punching holes in the PAT.
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Old 10-21-2015, 03:59 PM   #18
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OK, I'll jump on the bashing band wagon and admit the cheapo plastic clips on the PAT that connect the spreader rod to the mat broke within the first 1000 miles. I replaced them with a couple of spring loaded "S" hooks, ($1.49 ea.) which stay connected very nicely!

My PAT also gets really dirty! The more dirt it catches the cleaner my towed is at the end of the day.

Those of you that have had melting problems are not mounting the PAT beneath the exhaust are you? If mat is above the exhaust and doesn't make contact I don't see how it can melt?
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Old 10-21-2015, 04:36 PM   #19
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The frame idea looks pretty good (I didn't throw my PAT in the trash yet), and I might try that. It looks like you had to mount the eyebold for the inner attachment on the vertical part of the bumper, is that right? All my eyebolts are on the underside as directed in the install instructions.

I don't mind the dirt if the car is protected. After 1700 miles from North Carolina to Colorado the front of my toad was absolutely covered with a thick layer of dust...my first stop after arrival was the car wash!
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Old 10-21-2015, 05:26 PM   #20
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We like our PAT a lot, and have used it with no problems, but then again we don't have rear exhaust. But even with rear exhaust I can't understand the spreader bar melting, if installed correctly it shouldn't even be close to the exhaust, including rear exhaust. I also read before ordering our PAT about the warning of rear exhaust, we do have a rear exhaust for our generator but I just turned the exhaust 45 degrees to exit out at the rear driver's side corner of our RV.


As for dirt, it does indeed get very dirty, we discovered by accident that if you leave it out when it rains that it gets as clean as new. So now when camping, if rain is in the forecast I spread our PAT out over the picnic table and let the rain clean it.
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwitt View Post
John, thanks for the pics of the heat shield. I can see that the support arms are attached to the bottom of the coach. Is the rectangular frame at the top of the shield also attached to the back wall of the coach? I can see what looks like screw holes, but can't tell if there are screws holding it on.

Did you bend the frame or did you find some kind of frame that you adapted for the purpose? It looks like the corners have to be rounded to keep from punching holes in the PAT.

jr....... Yes, the large square frame and the two 90 degree brackets at the bottom are attached through the Fiberglas. All SS hardware. I fabricated all parts myself from 1/8 x 3/4 aluminum flat stock. Easy to cut and sand smooth. I used pieces of pipe to set the radius for the bends.

The guy at PAT said as long as I kept the fabric 1 inch away from the exhaust pipe it would be fine, but I wasn't buying it. So I mounted my frame about 2-3 inches above the exhaust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ficodek View Post
....It looks like you had to mount the eyebold for the inner attachment on the vertical part of the bumper, is that right? All my eyebolts are on the underside as directed in the install instructions.

ficodek......Yes, the PAT instructions say all along the bottom, but that's just so it all looks neat and smooth, and it's all under the towbar, etc. but I needed to get under the towbar AND over the exhaust, so I put my eye bolts where they needed to be to mount the screen and meet my goal. It ain't pretty, but it works. I didn't include a pic, but I also had to finagle the attach mountings on the front of my car because there is no access to the interior of the lower front body plastic shields for the purpose of tightening the eyebolt nuts. I wound up using eye pads, screw anchors, and epoxy. Surprisingly, came out looking ok!


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'02 DS, FL, 3126, '04 Element
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