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Old 01-07-2016, 10:27 AM   #1
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Tow shields vs covers

Taking Alaska trip this summer. Debating use of Protect-A-Tow shield along with front bra for a Honda CRV. What are pros and cons.
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:14 AM   #2
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Bras ride on the paint of your car. IF CLEANED every day the wear and tear is not too bad. On dusty roads this may still be a problem. Have you considered having the front of the Honda clear masked? ClearMask Automotive Paint Protection And Headlight Protection Film - Auto Clear Bra - Scotchgard Protector - Headlight Covers Several detail shops will install these. They are pretty good at preventing paint chips.
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:21 PM   #3
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Bras ride on the paint of your car. IF CLEANED every day the wear and tear is not too bad. On dusty roads this may still be a problem. Have you considered having the front of the Honda clear masked? ClearMask Automotive Paint Protection And Headlight Protection Film - Auto Clear Bra - Scotchgard Protector - Headlight Covers Several detail shops will install these. They are pretty good at preventing paint chips.
We have not used it during towing yet, still setting up the towbar/baseplate. But we have been using a bra on our 2010 Chevy HHR while driving for the last two years. It stays on all the time except when washing the car. Then the bra is washed separately and allowed to dry before re-installing it. Absolutely no damage whatsoever to the paint and the car has been well protected from rock dings and especially bugs here in Florida. I anticipate it will do well for the car when towing. But we are concerned about rocks, etc. that will make it higher than the bra covers. I plan to use a shield in addition to the bra. Let's call it a belt and suspender approach. Chuck

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Old 01-07-2016, 12:40 PM   #4
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I guess the oem bra on my sports car was the wrong type then, cuz MINE sure scuffed :(

Some have reported that the shields actually bounce rocks back onto the coach and ding the coach.

While I use and like the protect-a-tow, it still allows dust and very small grit on the front of your car (thinking this is just from the blow by around the edges) and I would worry about it getting under a bra and really scuffing it...


hmmm, looking at my pic below never realized it had such a gap up front under the hitch !?!
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Old 01-07-2016, 02:50 PM   #5
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Taking Alaska trip this summer. Debating use of Protect-A-Tow shield along with front bra for a Honda CRV. What are pros and cons.
This is my experience from our Alaska trip.

First thing, ditch the full flap if you have one. Sounds contrary to logic but trust me, it will cause you more problems than prevent. Mine is sitting in a campground in Whitehorse, YK never to come back. Make sure you have a good set of flaps directly behind the duals. These are the Best Protection of all.

I used a Roadmaster Tow Guard. It worked great to protect the front of my CRV. I had a custom made vinyl windshield cover made that prevented a broken windshield. Anyone on our caravan that did not have some sort of windshield cover had a broken windshield. Also, The ones without some type of guard, had broken headlights. A protect a tow is a good device unless you have a rear outlet exhaust in which case it will not work.

The folks using a bra or full cover had lots of scuffed paint. These things may work well in Florida but with all the mud on the Alcan (you will see lots), they will be a problem with scuffing but will prevent rock chips and broken windshield and headlights. Personally, I would not use one.

in addition to the Winshield cover and rock guard, I also sprayed the front of the mirrors and outside of the fenders with an Armorall product that I found at Wallyworld. After our trip, it just peeled right off and the surface underneath was untouched. Use as directed on the can and I can strongly recommend this or similar products.

The biggest problem I had was with the full flap throwing small stones over the CRV. Once I removed it, no more stones. There will be those who say it has to be 4-6" off the ground. To those I say, been there, done that. Leave the flap at home.

Next thing, when you see a construction area ahead with traffic coming toward you, especially trucks, slow to a crawl or even pull over and stop till they pass. It will save you a windshield on your motor home. Don't get in a hurry.

Also, most of the frost heaves are marked with red markers. Slow down going over these. You will only hit one of these at 50 MPH once before you remember what I said.
Now, like I said, most are marked but some aren't and they will sneak up on you. Watch for the skid marks on the road ahead of you. These marks are made by the trailer wheels of the semis when they come back down on the road spinning. When you see skid marks, slow down. Marker or no marker.

Don't let all this doom and gloom scare you. Just a little preparation and you will see some of the most amazing scenery on the planet.
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:16 PM   #6
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With the Protect-A-Tow I don't think you will need a bra! JMHO
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:31 PM   #7
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If you use a dolly you don't need any protection!
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:38 PM   #8
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Sorry, but I don't agree with dennis45's comments at all. We've run to Alaska in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 using a full cover bra from Coastline RV and Off Road - RV Products. We usually plan on about 100 miles on dirt and gravel each trip and have had NO PROBLEMS with the paint damage claimed by some. We clean the bra after extended runs at places like Top of the World Highway and the Dalton, but other than that it comes off before we drive the toad. This can be daily when touring or after 10-12 days for a run up to Alaska or back home to Delaware. Adjusting the rear flap to manufacturers suggestion is the trick with it. Too low is NOT better as it will kick up rocks rather than protect from rock damage. We've found that damage can be cut way down or eliminated by slowing down. Oncoming traffic does not throw rocks at your rig. It throws them up into the air. It's your choice as to whether to hit those rocks at 50mph or at 15mph. Damage varies accordingly. Staying on the road side will help rather than on the center line when speed demons are approaching or passing. Also, north of Whitehorse is where you'll hit the frost heaves. Again, slow down. and use the whole road, not just your lane, traffic permitting.

By the way, Coastline will custom make a cover for you while you wait if they don't have one for your vehicle and if you bring them the vehicle with an appointment. They've done 2 RV's and 2 toads for me that way. If you need to, a call to them will allow you to boondock the night in their lot right outside the shop.

The current rig has been to Alaska twice and the current toad has been up 3 times as well as numerous trips to the southwest deserts.
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:34 PM   #9
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Pigman, I can only comment on what I see and know. As for the cover, I've only witnessed one on our caravan and it had Lots of scuffing. Who made it, I'm not sure. You obviously have more experience on that subject.
As for the rear flap, I strongly disagree. You can raise it, lower it or anywhere in between. Not sure what you mean by manufactures recommendations. Nowhere in my Newmar manual does it talk about mudflap height.

If you had your toad covered, perhaps you did not notice all the stones being thrown up by the flap. Everyday when we stopped for the night, the toad was covered with stones. This after raising it from 4" to 6". In Whithorse, on the suggestion of our wagon master, I removed the flap with the intension of picking it up on the way back.
Well, low and behold, there were no more stones on the toad so the flap stayed in Whitehorse. The fellow at the campground said he would just pile it up with the rest of his flap collection.

This subject has been debated many times and any owners that have removed the billboard will tell you their toad not only is no longer subject to rock chips but it also stays cleaner. The flaps directly behind the duals are the Best Line of defence if they are positioned correctly.
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:32 PM   #10
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Also, most of the frost heaves are marked with red markers. Slow down going over these. You will only hit one of these at 50 MPH once before you remember what I said.
Now, like I said, most are marked but some aren't and they will sneak up on you. Watch for the skid marks on the road ahead of you. These marks are made by the trailer wheels of the semis when they come back down on the road spinning. When you see skid marks, slow down. Marker or no marker.
And here I thought a frost heave was something you did after eating too much ice cream... I know...I need to get out more. Good info!
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:21 PM   #11
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And here I thought a frost heave was something you did after eating too much ice cream... I know...I need to get out more. Good info!
I know, sometimes the Devil makes me say things.
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