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Old 08-01-2012, 12:27 PM   #1
Rkh
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Ready to tow! Are rock guards really needed?

Set up to tow 2012 Ford Focus behind 1998 Winnebago Chieftain 33w Gasser...The duallys are several feet forward of the hitch and have sturdy mud flaps.
Am I really exposing my new toad to any more debris than if I were just driving it?
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:39 PM   #2
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Ha, you'll find out soon enough!!!
Just kidding, and YES they do help with chips. You can't believe the debris that flies off the rear. Most debris bounces around after the rear tires and ends up on your car.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:46 PM   #3
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I haven't used them and can't say that I think the front of my toads have taken too much of a beating... but it is a very harsh environment back there... especially behind a DP.

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Old 08-01-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
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Many won't tow without a guard, although the majority of towds we see do not have one. We have towed the same auto for 6 years (6-7 months continuous) and have not had the first ding or dent from stuff thrown by the back tires. We do not, however, drive on unpaved roads typically so perhaps that makes a difference. If damage from a thrown item would ruin your day, however, it only takes one stone to wish you had one.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:06 PM   #5
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I have towed for almost 60,000 miles almost all at Highway speeds of 60 to 75 mph and can say for certain that you WILL get stone chips and sandblasted unless you have the proper protection for your toad.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:16 AM   #6
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Our coach has a pretty sturdy pair of flaps immediately behind each dual, and a much heavier setup (with the monogrammed "Holiday Rambler" in shiny stainless?), going from one side to the other just forward of the rear bumper.

We ran a 6500 mile trip through the south and southwest last spring, and I would say had it not been for 2 sections of road we encountered that were under construction (road surface covered with gravel), our toad would have done fine?

The first of those 2 sections, I didn't know any better. I ran at the posted speed limit, 55 mph. Arriving at our destination a short while later, I found the toad literally covered in gravel. On the hood, on the roof, in a layer on the windshield wiper blades. The poor car really took a beating. I was really glad we had decided to go with a used car to see if/how we liked doing the "toad" thing.

Lesson learned, we ran the second section doing 25mph. That worked much better. At least there was no gravel laying on the car.

I doubt I will ever pull anything new behind out MH. Our next will probably be fitted with a "bra" of some sort.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:01 PM   #7
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I haven't used them and can't say that I think the front of my toads have taken too much of a beating... but it is a very harsh environment back there... especially behind a DP.

Rick
Would it be fair to say that because of the stuff a DP puts out that a shield would be more important with a DP?
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:07 PM   #8
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Would it be fair to say that because of the stuff a DP puts out that a shield would be more important with a DP?
My intuition and common sense certainly tells me that but I can't make a comparison from personal experience.

I'm sure rock guards are good ideas... especially for DPs. I've had two toads which I've towed about 45,000 combined. Both had what I would consider normal wear and tear on them but nothing I would say obviously came from being towed... although neither was new when I bought it. I would hate to tow anything new... it's ugly back there!

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Old 08-02-2012, 02:32 PM   #9
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I was wondering if towing with a dolly offers any additional protection because the toad is not down at ground level. I would think that much of the rocks, etc would go under the toad/dolly?
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #10
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In the first year with a toad we came across a section of road for construction and it did number on us. I ordered a Protect-a-Tow and it really helps. I will not tow with out it now.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:06 PM   #11
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I haven't used them and can't say that I think the front of my toads have taken too much of a beating... but it is a very harsh environment back there... especially behind a DP.

Rick
Why would it be any worse with a DP?
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:09 PM   #12
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I was wondering if towing with a dolly offers any additional protection because the toad is not down at ground level. I would think that much of the rocks, etc would go under the toad/dolly?
We've towed the same vehicle ('05 Honda Odyssey) with the same DP on both a dolly and four down. Being on a dolly really does cut down on rock chips.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:15 PM   #13
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Why would it be any worse with a DP?
Just a theory that it's worse, but standing behind my DP with the engine at idle produces quite a strong wind right in front of the toad. I'm just imagining that, at freeway speeds, all of that wind produced by the diesel will help whip up dirt and grime and spew them all around.

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Old 08-02-2012, 04:34 PM   #14
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I decided to purchase this rock guard from CW...




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