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Old 10-19-2015, 06:35 PM   #1
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Protect A Tow

I bought a Protect a Tow---Dont waste your money!! I have a rear exhaust MH and no one said anything about not being suitable to rear exhaust until I bought it and opened the box--I bought it from NSA, the tow bar people. When I read that it was not compatible with rear exhaust I called the mfg in Canada. They sent me a pic of a shield that another customer had fabricated to keep the device off the exhaust. I built it like they showed and the whole thing still melted into a pile of crap. First the spreader bar melted into a pretzel. When I called the mfg, their solution was to sell me another one!!! Then the shield melted with big holes in it. I showed it to NSA during a visit to the factory in Kansas and all I got from the owner was a shoulder shrug about how it was strange it had melted!! Anyway---rear exhaust will definitely destroy the shield as will heat from a rear radiator--it is all made out of some plastic material. Let the buyer beware!!!
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:40 PM   #2
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Beg to differ on your opinion of the rear radiator melting the protect-a-tow. Used it on a 73 day Alaska trip this year (side exhaust, rear radiator).

Worked perfectly. Not a single mark on the toad anywhere. Only problem was that I had a 6 inch height adapter that put an addition 10 inches in my hitch. I had to extend the attachment points from the rear of the coach. Used ty-wraps looped thru the eyebolts to extend the attachment points. Worked great but a PITA to hook up every time we moved!
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:46 PM   #3
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Xdial, you read it wrong. The OP said it was a rear EXHAUST that melted the Protec-a-Tow, not rear radiator.

I have one that I used on my rear RADIATOR coach and I loved it. Now that I have a rear EXHAUST coach I can't use it. Anybody want to buy a used Protect-a-Tow?
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:19 PM   #4
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We never experienced a melt down, but...

We did Alaska in 2011 with a HR Vacationer towing a '08 Wrangler with the Protect A Tow(PAT). With all the gravel breaks(road repairs) we encountered, it was the ultimate test. When it was all said and done, we had rock pings all over the Jeep's windshield and front end. After each day of travel, I dumped a couple of pounds of stones and gravel from the top of the PAT. I'm sure that the PAT would work on other vehicles, but the gap between the front bumpers and fenders on the Jeep were too much for the PAT.

BTW, the Vacationer had a full stone guard adjusted right at 4 inches above the road surface...plus mud flaps behind the rear duals.
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint11 View Post
I bought a Protect a Tow---Dont waste your money!! I have a rear exhaust MH and no one said anything about not being suitable to rear exhaust until I bought it and opened the box--I bought it from NSA, the tow bar people. When I read that it was not compatible with rear exhaust I called the mfg in Canada. They sent me a pic of a shield that another customer had fabricated to keep the device off the exhaust. I built it like they showed and the whole thing still melted into a pile of crap. First the spreader bar melted into a pretzel. When I called the mfg, their solution was to sell me another one!!! Then the shield melted with big holes in it. I showed it to NSA during a visit to the factory in Kansas and all I got from the owner was a shoulder shrug about how it was strange it had melted!! Anyway---rear exhaust will definitely destroy the shield as will heat from a rear radiator--it is all made out of some plastic material. Let the buyer beware!!!
Note the statement "as will heat from a rear radiator". Looks like Clint11 expanded his shot at protect-q-tow.

As for the vaunted rear flap, it was kicking gravel up on top of the mesh. Took the rear flap off in Ft. Nelson and had no more pebbles on the mesh.
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Old 10-19-2015, 10:26 PM   #6
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I like the concept of the Protec A Tow but I had concerns about the rear outlet exhaust on my coach so I called the manufacturer and was told it will not work.

So, I went with the Blue Ox Kar Guard. It worked OK on our AK trip after removing the rear flap that was tossing stones into the Kar Gard and bouncing them into the back of the coach.

Now on normal highways, I don't use the Kar Gard and have not replaced the rear flap. Suit yourself, but as others have posted on this forum, the BEST protection is a good set of flaps behind the rear duals set to be just clear of the ground with the air suspension deflated.
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:02 AM   #7
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We have used our protect a tow during two trips on the Alaskan highway. One with side exhaust gas coach and the other with a rear exhaust, side radiator diesel with no problems either trip.

Extended the coach mounting points so the mat does not touch the exhaust tip and removed the rear "vanity guard" on the diesel. We also put a yoga exercise mat over the windshield of the towed while on the Alaska Highway. Not one windshield or paint ding during either trip.

I agree with Dennis that good mud flaps behind the duels are very important.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint11 View Post
I bought a Protect a Tow---Dont waste your money!! I have a rear exhaust MH and no one said anything about not being suitable to rear exhaust until I bought it and opened the box--I bought it from NSA, the tow bar people. When I read that it was not compatible with rear exhaust I called the mfg in Canada. They sent me a pic of a shield that another customer had fabricated to keep the device off the exhaust. I built it like they showed and the whole thing still melted into a pile of crap. First the spreader bar melted into a pretzel. When I called the mfg, their solution was to sell me another one!!! Then the shield melted with big holes in it. I showed it to NSA during a visit to the factory in Kansas and all I got from the owner was a shoulder shrug about how it was strange it had melted!! Anyway---rear exhaust will definitely destroy the shield as will heat from a rear radiator--it is all made out of some plastic material. Let the buyer beware!!!
Clint, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I don't think you should blame the Protect-A-Tow for your mistake. I think if you had done a search on this you would have found that it was not recommended for use with a rear exhaust.

We have been using one since 2012, along with a Ultraguard rear flap, and love it!
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:38 AM   #9
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I just got back from a 3500-mile trip to Colorado using my brand-new Protect-A-Tow.

Two hours into the trip, the spreader bar self-destructed and flew off the coach. I found a piece of it laying on the PAT at the next stop. I tied the center loop up to the middle of the tow bar as a way to support the middle of the PAT and that worked pretty well for the rest of the trip.

Having heard about problems with rear exhaust, before leaving I bought some heat shield material from Amazon and fashioned it to the PAT over the part where it would touch the exhaust pipe. Good idea, but poor results as the material eventually shredded itself from the velocity of the exhaust (it wasn't burned).

Finally, when the PAT is attached it rubs against the baseplate attachments on the toad, so after 3500 miles it is worn through in those two parts.

I guess I chalk this up to a good idea in theory, but not a very good solution after all. I didn't have any issues with rocks or chips getting on the toad, which is good. I might have to look for another alternative as I think the Protect-A-Tow is going in the trash.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:58 AM   #10
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I must be doing something wrong. I have a rear exhaust and rear radiator and have been using the protect a tow for 5000 miles. There is no damage so far.
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:18 PM   #11
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Protect A Tow

I guess I need to tell the rest of the story. There was nothing on the website about not suitable for rear exhaust when I purchased it. If there would have been I would never have bought it. I did everything possible to make it work, I rebuilt the spreader bar after it melted. The original was made with schedule 40 pvc so I used sch 80 AND wrapped it with aluminum heat shield tape--$26.00 in parts. It lasted about 50 miles before it also twisted up from the heat. I also fabricated the "rack" -$18.00 in parts- they suggested to keep the mat off the exhaust so it never touched the exhaust shield. Then when the mat itself melted I bought 50 dollars worth of heat shield from NAPA and made a 3x3 patch going around the top and bottom of the mat and it STILL melted. I have pics of all this and I showed the whole thing to NSA where I bought it. It is the lack of concern from anyone associated with this product that bothers me the most. The product would probably work if you did not have any exhaust near it. I wonder what I can do now with the holes I had to drill in the MH and toad!!
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:05 PM   #12
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I figure I spent about $60 on the heat shied material and on stainless cable ties used to attach it to the Protect-a-Tow. So it was a pretty expensive lesson.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:16 PM   #13
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I built a device that raises the front of the protect a tow about 10 inches or so and it rides above the tow bar. I've used it for several years and actually did have some fabric melt on the first installation. Over the years I've replaced the fabric and the tension cord. Works for me. A draw back not mentioned in any post that I remember is the fabric gets very dirty from road grime (or slobber tube) so gloves are a good idea as well as washing it often.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:53 PM   #14
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Well, I have a rear exhaust (drivers side - low) on our 400 ISL. I have used the PAT for at least 5,000 miles. I do not have any holes, wear, tear, melts anyplace. That said I had to use a hitch drop extension to get to my Jeep Wrangler. I called PAT and made sure I was getting the longer version of the fabric. There are two lengths!. In any case I had to reverse the connection on the drop hitch so I could move the PAT as far forward as possible. Then used the longer connection bars on the hitch connection on the Jeep. So far so good.
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