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Old 07-09-2015, 12:17 PM   #1
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Rock Guard/Mud Flap towing Tx to Alaska

I'll be flat towing a 2013 Jeep Wrangler for the first time from Texas to Alaska. It is possible to travel a few gravel roads while towing (Top of the World Hwy). What recommendations do RVers have for road debris being thrown up? I have a Ready Brute Elite tow bar and a small Class A currently with mud flaps directly behind the wheel well. Any suggestions welcome, the less expensive the better!
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:33 PM   #2
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If you have a good set of flaps Behind the rear wheels you will be OK as far as flaps go. I ended up taking my full width flap off on our trip to AK last year.
You WILL however need a rock protection device of some sort to protect the front of your toad from rock chips and broken headlights. Some type of cover that goes over the windshield will save you from a smashed windshield.
I use a piece of padded vinyl that goes across and inside then using the doors and a couple of bungee cords to keep it in place.
You might look at a Blueox or Roadmaster Kargaurd that mounts on the tow bar. They are around $350 but will save the front of your toad.

Mud Flaps, Windshield Covers & Rock Shields | HitchSource.com
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:11 PM   #3
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Ditto, take off the marketing rear flap so many coaches have. Most are too close to the road. This creates turbulence that lifts rocks off the road. These flaps also tend to capture rocks from the tires a slings them into to engine if you have a pusher.

SLOW DOWN for the road construction areas; slow way down! I have rear tire flaps and flap between the wheels. My toad damage was no worse than those I saw using a variety of protection devices.

I wouldn't take my coach on the top of the world highway. But many do. We stayed in TOK and drove of Explorer to Chicken.
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:25 PM   #4
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I made the Alaska trip, including Top of the World, without full width flap and NO broken headlights or chipped windshield on the toad. People wiser than me told me go slow (45 or less) on the gravel sections and slow WAY down when vehicle is approaching from the other direction. If you are going 45 and they are going 45 you may encounter a 90 MPH rock, if you slow to 10 and they are going 45 that rock becomes a 55 MPH missile. A lot less damage. You encounter a lot of sand and fine pebbles on your toad but that washes off. A bra on the toad is not a good idea either, the sand and pebbles get under it and act like grinding wheel on the paint.
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Old 07-10-2015, 10:18 AM   #5
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I believe a solid rubber rear flap, such as the UltraGuard, along with the Protect-A-Tow mesh shield, will give you as complete protection as it's possible to have! JMHO!

P.S.- If you do this, be sure the rubber flap is about 4" above the road!
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:23 PM   #6
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I recently had to replace the full-width flap on mine. The dealership wanted to replace it with a 20" flap that barely cleared the road. I insisted on 16" and just got back from a 3200 mile trip to Canada without a mark on my CRV. We had no gravel, but there were loose pebbles at times.

Now road spray on a rainy day is another matter.
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:24 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses. Got the wife making me a padded vinyl windshield cover. That sounded like a great idea. Now how about the difference between the Protect a Tow and NSA's Tow Bar Rock Deflector. I'm using a NSA Ready Brute Elite tow bar but Protect a Tow is $30 cheaper. Has anyone seen both and is able to render an opinion as to which one is better built, fit, ease of use? Thanks for the guidance.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:22 PM   #8
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Just make sure those mud flaps behind your Dually tires are wide enough and long enough. We suggest if you can to have the mud flap come at least .5" beyond the outside edge of your tires both on the inside and outside. You may need to cut it wider below the body of your coach to get this coverage. Then make sure they are within 4-6" of the road. No longer than the 4". These will give you at least 80% of the protection you need.
The rear mud flap can add more protection, but as others state, you want to be at least 4" off the ground to avoid the mud flap creating a wind tunnel effect, or worst yet hitting the uneven gravel roads; and throwing rocks at your toad. Most people do take the rear mud flap off for the Alaska trip and then put it back on when they get home from that trip.
Have a great trip.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelingTex View Post
Thanks for the responses. Got the wife making me a padded vinyl windshield cover. That sounded like a great idea. Now how about the difference between the Protect a Tow and NSA's Tow Bar Rock Deflector. I'm using a NSA Ready Brute Elite tow bar but Protect a Tow is $30 cheaper. Has anyone seen both and is able to render an opinion as to which one is better built, fit, ease of use? Thanks for the guidance.

I had the Roadmaster Rock Defender which is very similar to the protect a tow in that it is a screen the full width that runs from the MH hitch to the toad. Great idea but, if you have a rear exhaust outlet, this design will not work because the screen runs right into the exhaust. I tried to modify mine to go under the exhaust but then it was so low, it would drag on the ground. When I called protec a tow, they also told me it will not work on a rig with rear exhaust outlet.

Now, as for the comment of using the protect a tow along with the full width flap, in short, bad idea. No matter which protection device you use or how far off the road your full width flap is, the full width flap WILL cause a flurry of stones back onto the toad. My advice, Take it off for the trip. You can always put it back on after but, you might just find out as I did, that things are better without it.
Not trying to scare you but having been there, done that, just passing on my experience. The Big Ol Mud Flap has no place on this trip. PERIOD. BTW, I have not put mine back on. My toad stays cleaner without.
If I were making this trip again, I would go with:
No rear flap, a Roadmaster or Blueox Rock Guard and a vinyl windshield cover. I don't think it gets any better.

I installed a screen under the engine using 1/4" plastic garden screen attached with a piece of wooden dowel on each side using zip ties to hold it in place which could be cut off if needed and after the trip. Again, without the rear flap, I don't think it was necessary.
Have fun and enjoy the trip.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:22 AM   #10
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I use a Kar Gard II on our TOAD, and after making several trips to the 'lower 48' towing our Durango, we have had no issues.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:13 PM   #11
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All of you have given me a lot of valuable information. My better half did complete a padded vinyl windshield cover for my Jeep and due to my procrastination I'm going to try and pick up a Protect a Tow Rock Deflector enroute cause we're leaving this weekend. YEA!
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:08 PM   #12
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Have a safe trip and will see you all when you get up here!
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