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Old 01-08-2017, 02:09 AM   #1
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Front Grill Guard for Class A

I was recently rear-ended in my Ford Expedition by a mini-van, who was rear-ended by a sedan (that fled the scene). While the collision between the mini-van and my truck was relatively minor, it destroyed the front bumper and grill assembly of the mini-van. This got me thinking about the front end of our 2017 Winnebago Vista 31BE Class A -- which has less protection than the mini-van.

Sure, the Winnebagos have the steel Super-Structure cage around the cab, but at bumper level, there's nothing but the fiberglass front cap. A minor tap is going to do a lot damage, not to mention a deer.

It's a little unnerving that there isn't anything resembling a front bumper.

So, has anyone explored adding a grill guard to their Class A?

The rear bumper of my Expedition is covered with a plastic cap that was damaged in the collision. This is cosmetic and serves no functional purpose other than holding the rear backup sensors. Still, the repair estimate is $1,200. I fear the bill for the front cap of the Winnebago should we experience a seemingly minor fender-bender -- or a deer.

I'm a little surprised that more class A's don't have grill guards. Are they worth it, or just a false sense of security?
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:46 AM   #2
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There's an Allegro Bus in our campground right now that has the whole front covered in a clear plexiglass shield, mounted on 2" standoffs. It has a cutout section for the generator. I don't think it's intended for physical protection, maybe bugs? No idea.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:05 AM   #3
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Grill Guard

Sounds like a good idea. Good deer impact protection. One should be able to adapt most large truck guards such as:
Go Industries Rancher 46641 Grille Guard


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Old 01-10-2017, 04:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notchu View Post
Sounds like a good idea. Good deer impact protection. One should be able to adapt most large truck guards such as:
Go Industries Rancher 46641 Grille Guard
Or you could just trade the coach in for this, and voila! Front end collision problem solved!!!
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:43 AM   #5
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A few years ago I mounted some additional material to the front of my Airstream CLIPPER, much for the same reason that you describe.

The 3 bike rack is used on local summer excursions, but I leave it on for cross country runs, just for some protection from animals or other.

Bev and I are manage to travel approx. 8000 miles a year now.

Dave
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:03 AM   #6
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grill guard

I have noticed a lot of semi-truck drivers adding grill guards to their trucks. I noticed it out west first but recently it seems to be expanding into the southeast as well. I actually would have expected the southeast to lead this effort given all the deer in our geography. I have not seen any of these on RVs or any commercial buses. I sure someone could fabricate one but it could be more expensive than your deductible and it would need to be replaced if you ever "used it" for the intended purpose.
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marknpeg View Post
There's an Allegro Bus in our campground right now that has the whole front covered in a clear plexiglass shield, mounted on 2" standoffs. It has a cutout section for the generator. I don't think it's intended for physical protection, maybe bugs? No idea.
There are two rigs in our park right now that have the same thing: Heavy duty looking plexiglass mounted on standoffs with cutouts for access to various things. To me it looks like bug or bird protection, maybe a small animal. I can't imagine that it would stand up to vehicle contact.
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Notchu View Post
Sounds like a good idea. Good deer impact protection. One should be able to adapt most large truck guards such as:
Go Industries Rancher 46641 Grille Guard
I don't know what the official name for this type of guard is today, but they used to be known as "brush guards". As the name implies they weren't made to fend off large animals or other vehicles. They're meant to keep brush and small tree limbs from damaging the grille and radiator.

If you've ever seen a truck with one of these after it ran into something, or something ran into it, you'd see how little they protect the sheet metal. In every case I've seen the if the truck is involved in an accident the brush guard is crushed into the hood, fenders, and grille. They generally have to be cut off the truck before attempting repairs to the sheet metal.

Keep in mind the frames on newer trucks have crush zones. They're intended to absorb energy in a crash.
Sectioning the 2007 Ford F-150 Front Lower Frame Rail - Body Shop Business

Adding a brush guard is adding one more piece that will collapse into the sheet metal if the vehicle is hit hard enough for the energy absorbing sections of the frame to collapse.
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:59 PM   #9
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One thing that concerns me is the potential for massive damage from a minor impact. The side walls of the coach lead up to the front cap and there's nothing protecting it. Repair means replacing a 32' side wall -- not only expensive, but lots of down time. And, would it ever be the same?

It would be great if there was a grill guard capable of protecting the front against collisions with deer (I know they exist for pickups), but at minimum, a decent bumper would help. The most likely collision might happen in a parking lot or a camp site. Currently, a simple "fender-bender" may be "side-wall cruncher".
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNGarth View Post
One thing that concerns me is the potential for massive damage from a minor impact. The side walls of the coach lead up to the front cap and there's nothing protecting it. Repair means replacing a 32' side wall -- not only expensive, but lots of down time. And, would it ever be the same?

It would be great if there was a grill guard capable of protecting the front against collisions with deer (I know they exist for pickups), but at minimum, a decent bumper would help. The most likely collision might happen in a parking lot or a camp site. Currently, a simple "fender-bender" may be "side-wall cruncher".
Your concerns are very reasonable, as I also had the same concerns a few years ago. I believe every vehicle should have a front bumper. Yes they do make (cow catchers) for motorhomes, class a,and c, company that makes them is in Australia and not cost effective to buy one that is made for your unit and have it shipped over here.Click on my user name and search my posts from a year or two ago as there are pictures of factory made ones within the posts. I had chosen to build my own as I have much experience in fabricating and building stock cars. I used,
1 3/4" .095 wall roll cage tubing, bent it to contour with front cap. I used 2 horizontal bars,12" apart with vertical bars every 8" to connect the two horizontal bars together, I made mine to go tight BEHIND the front fiberglass cap, horizonal bars are aligned with front grille bars so they do not effect air flow,there are connection bars that connect to front of coach frame using 1/4" thick angle and bolted to coach frame with 3/4" bolts. The whole bumper weighs 45 lbs, cost about $110.00, and took me a solid 8 hours to fabricate. The fiberglass cap will still get damaged in a minor collision but all major components like battery and radiator should survive, allowing me to keep driving and not being towed over some minor fender bender. I chose to put mine behind the front cap because I did not care for the look on the outside. My setup is no rinky-dink, for show, front bumper, but after building similar cow catchers for the front of race cars,I expect it to deflect any toyota at almost any speed. No one can convince me that I should drive anything without a front bumper, no matter how big. Have you ever seen a tri axle with no front bumper? Truckers add the cow catchers over the front of their bumpers to reduce the amount of fiberglass damage after hitting a deer so that they can keep going,after hitting one, time is money. I can not imagine any trucker running around with out a front bumper, maybe some truckers can add their opinion on this subject. I am not saying that my bumper will save me in every instance, but it should help dramatically over what the coach came with, (NOTHING). I have recently added a polished stainless steel nerf bar across rear of coach for minor stuff, spaced 2" away from rear cap,bent inward and connected on each side.I also use that bar to keep strain off my back, when lifting off dolly,I rest my left hand with elbow locked on bar , then lift dolly with my right, works out real nice as sometimes it doesn't take much to throw out my back. I will take some pics in the spring of front bumper and rear nerf bar and post them if your interested.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:02 PM   #11
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Rapid Rick, I like your idea of fabricating a guard behind the front cap. I had also thought about this, wondering if it might make it easier to avoid having the grill guard interfere with the lights or the front access panel.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:44 PM   #12
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If you are real serious about front end protection, give HERD or Magnum a call. They make the real thing.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:07 AM   #13
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Front Grill Guard for Class A

Last year traveling to Colorado just out side of Limon, we saw this on a rig grill guard and I wondered if it could be retrofitted to an RV. Looks like it would with stand some impact.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:13 AM   #14
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Front Grill Guard for Class A

Looks like it is a Herd like Unplanned Recommended...

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