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Old 04-06-2011, 11:29 PM   #1
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Question Protect-a-Tow gravel screen

I am considering buying a Protect-a-Tow screen for installation between my HHR and Class A Motorhome. This product fits under the two bar and hooks onto both the undersides of the motorhome and toad bumpers. Has anybody had any problem with this set up if a 6" drop is involved? The screen would have to tuck under the drop and then pull back up to the motorhome. Has anybody had to cut a slot in the screen to relieve the tension? If so, has this been a good way to go, overall? Also, the screen comes in two different lengths. I assume that I would need the longer unit 71", due to the extra length caused by the addition of the 6" drop down.

35' Itasca, W24 chassis, Toad: HHR, Blue Ox Tow Bar
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:08 PM   #2
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I have a Protect A Tow but I put it above the towbar. I do that to keep it well above the diesel rear exhaust on my MH which will melt the Protect A Tow mesh. I did cut the mesh and my wife stiched a cover over the cut edges.
Bob
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:13 PM   #3
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We have a 6 inch drop and have had no problem with our Protect-a-Tow, 40K miles worth. However we have the PaT attached to the MH with some chains.....not attached directly. With the 6" drop, the length was a bit short, even with the long one. We have a side exhaust.

We also had to add some support to the bumper( cause it was just plastic) for the attachment points.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:53 AM   #4
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Tom & Patty, 1ciderdog,

Thanks for the mounting tips.

Cheers, Knightly
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightly View Post
I am considering buying a Protect-a-Tow screen for installation between my HHR and Class A Motorhome. This product fits under the two bar and hooks onto both the undersides of the motorhome and toad bumpers. Has anybody had any problem with this set up if a 6" drop is involved? The screen would have to tuck under the drop and then pull back up to the motorhome. Has anybody had to cut a slot in the screen to relieve the tension? If so, has this been a good way to go, overall? Also, the screen comes in two different lengths. I assume that I would need the longer unit 71", due to the extra length caused by the addition of the 6" drop down.

35' Itasca, W24 chassis, Toad: HHR, Blue Ox Tow Bar
We have been using a Protect-a-Tow for 5 years with a 4" drop receiver. Mounting is not a problem because the Protect-a-Tow will easily stretch under the drop receiver. We are generally satisfied with our Protect-a-Tow, but we had 2 problems:

1) The addition of the drop receiver in the tow bar setup increases the length from the back of the motorhome to the front of the car. Therefore, the Protect-a-Tow is too short and there is about a 4" gap at each end. The toad end of our Protect-a-Tow was also a little narrow for our Saturn Vue. I see from the Protect-a-Tow website they have an extended unit for an extra $40. I don't know what the extended length is, but it would be worth contacting them if you're considering buying a Protect-a-Tow. Blue Ox used to make a similar tow shield that was available in several widths and lengths that would have solved the gap problem, but I don't think it is available anymore.

2) The drop receiver plus the long rear overhang of our motorhome sometimes causes the rear to drag when going up a rise like you might encounter entering a gas station or other driveway. Dragging will definitely rip holes in the Protect-a-Tow.

After using the Protect-a-Tow for 3 years, it had several rips from dragging as mentioned above. We got some shade cloth and made a new skirt that is wider and longer than the original. We now have a much better fit. Now that we know how to make a new skirt, we will just make a new one every couple of years when it gets too many holes. Besides, even with occasional washing, the skirt gets pretty grungy in a couple of years of full-timing. The shade cloth costs us less than $20.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:17 PM   #6
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Tom and Patty,
We are very interested in how you attached your protect a tow above the bar. Do you perchance have any pictures. I looked through your gallery but didn't see anything.
Thanks
Terry & Alice
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:29 AM   #7
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Our Protect-a-Tow is attached below the tow bar. If attached above the tow bar there is no protection for the lower half of the toad. We used chain lengths attached to the MH to lengthen the longest PaT we could buy as the drop receiver adds about a foot in length th the hitch set up. The chains have another purpose we didn't plan on....they give us a place to easily attach the hooks when we roll up the fabric .

BTW with the use of the chains as an attachment point to the MH, we have no gap at the toad, only at the MH high up behind the mud flap.

If you would like pics I might have some of the set up on our home computer. Just send me a private msg.

Sent from my iPhone.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:29 PM   #8
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Tom and Patty,
Thanks for the quick reply. I should have addressed my question to 1Ciderdog as he is the one who mentioned that he attached above the bar. Our MH also has the rear exhaust which may create a problem if attaching below, but I didn't think of the point you brought up. Thatys one of the great advantages of the forum
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:40 PM   #9
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Question Protect-a-tow plus roller wheel add on?

Thanks for all the great information on Protect-a-Tow. It sounds like the extended version will provide the protection I need for my toad. I just had the bumper, hood and roof repainted, plus windshield replaced, all due to damage from four years of towing. I am trying to prevent this from happening again.

I have considered adding a roller wheel to the bottom of the drop down to prevent the protect-a-tow screen from being ripped as well as cutting the wiring harness. I realize that the wheel would bottom out more often, but I don't think it would hurt anything? I would probably cut the screen during installation, to fit around the drop down rollar wheel area, then heat seal the edges of the cut area to prevent further shredding.

Any thoughts on this idea would be appreciated.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
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...I have considered adding a roller wheel to the bottom of the drop down to prevent the protect-a-tow screen from being ripped as well as cutting the wiring harness. I realize that the wheel would bottom out more often, but I don't think it would hurt anything? I would probably cut the screen during installation, to fit around the drop down rollar wheel area, then heat seal the edges of the cut area to prevent further shredding.

Any thoughts on this idea would be appreciated.
The bungee cord that runs around the outside perimeter of the fabric skirt allows the skirt to shift on tight turns. You would have to check that out before cutting the hole so there is enough clearance for the wheel under all conditions so the fabric doesn't rip. With that taken into account, adding a wheel sounds feasible to me.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:56 PM   #11
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Protect-a-tow

I just purchased an extended length Protect-a-Tow two weeks ago and used it for an 8 day trip. Our 32 ft Class A Southwind tows a Honda CR-V and required a drop hitch extendeding the length about 10 inches. The added length version is 12 inches longer and in our case everything worked fine. We had a particulary evil driveway in one case, which caused us to drag our hitch, tearing the Protect-a Tow about 3 inches x 2 inches, since it is under the tow bar/hitch system. My wife was able to repair it easily upon return with some black thread and some leftover black Sunbrella fabric. Their website only offers the standard size version, so you have to call to order the extended length version. The guy who picked up was very knowledgable and helpfull with a number questions I had.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:31 AM   #12
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Does anyone know if this could be adapted to a RV/Boat configuration? I hit some new road construction in Canada last year and had to repaint my boat as a result.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:56 AM   #13
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We've been using the same one since '03 (2 different rigs) and have over 60,000 mi on the material. We've had some tears and once the end of one bar broke off which caused us to drag the material for who knows how many miles before we noticed the problem.

I use heavy duty fishing line to re-sew the tears and while it looks a lot like frankenstein, it still works quite well.

So far we've never had any road damage to our toad and it does keep the tow bar, cables and umbilical much cleaner that without it.
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