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Old 05-13-2021, 05:56 AM   #1
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Clear film protection on TOAD instead of other methods?

I have a new Jeep Gladiator coming soon. Jeeps have a huge flat, vertical grill, flat front windows, and wide fenders with a forward-facing surface. Plenty of areas to begin to get chips and even some surfaces that may extend to the sides past traditional methods.

As I explored the new tow bar options (direct connect vs connected bar), they come with different options for protection (skirt vs hard vertical barrier). Then I began to think about the chips that will happen when just driving this down the road as well or a passing semi in the next lane that bypasses my protection.

So, I'm wondering if anyone has forgone the RV-only protection and ordered any 3M or Lamin-X protection films and applied those to the front of their toad instead (especially any Jeep owners)? It costs close to the same (little less) and may not last as long, but you are protected (in theory) while towing and while driving.

Has any done this? Any experience or advice to share. The films are popular on the front of motorhomes, so why not on the toad as well?
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Old 05-13-2021, 11:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsgriffin View Post
I have a new Jeep Gladiator coming soon. Jeeps have a huge flat, vertical grill, flat front windows, and wide fenders with a forward-facing surface. Plenty of areas to begin to get chips and even some surfaces that may extend to the sides past traditional methods.

As I explored the new tow bar options (direct connect vs connected bar), they come with different options for protection (skirt vs hard vertical barrier). Then I began to think about the chips that will happen when just driving this down the road as well or a passing semi in the next lane that bypasses my protection.

So, I'm wondering if anyone has forgone the RV-only protection and ordered any 3M or Lamin-X protection films and applied those to the front of their toad instead (especially any Jeep owners)? It costs close to the same (little less) and may not last as long, but you are protected (in theory) while towing and while driving.

Has any done this? Any experience or advice to share. The films are popular on the front of motorhomes, so why not on the toad as well?

Hey I thought nicks and scuffs and dents are like trophies treasured by Jeep owners! But all kidding aside, I have had the film protectors on various vehicles and it does protect from a lot but there is a limit as its so thin. After the sun beats down on it a bit, the film does discolor a bit as well. There is a thread here of it being removed from the front of a class A for a fun read. I got a few nicks on my cars from rocks even with the film and it tore the film at that spot. Last two vehicles I am streaking, no film and no deflector, so far two windshields (deflector limits the hood chips to a degree as well as protecting windshield sometimes!) and a bunch of paint chips and a small dent too! On a dirt road-based long trip I purchased a skirt thing which lasted that one trip! on the way back during a sharp turn is snagged on something. On one of the set ups I had made arrangements for the plastic panel protector for the front but never got around to buying it as the toad had the film.


If I had to do it again I would just get the lexan front deflector on the hood and the panel while towing.


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Old 05-14-2021, 05:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Diesel-Lover View Post

If I had to do it again I would just get the lexan front deflector on the hood and the panel while towing.
Thanks for the experience and explanation.

I did take the 3m off the front of my motorhome and really didn't enjoy the experience. I like that deflector, but it requires the cross-bar, and I thought it would be nice to get the direct-connect "tow-bar" option, which only allows me to use the skirt. My last thought was that I'm getting an after-market bumper with winch and perhaps could modify the panels to simply attach to the bumper instead....of course, I could jet get a hunk of plastic and do that myself, at that point, and save a few hundred.

Thanks again for sharing your experience.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:01 AM   #4
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Hey with that winch front bumper also have em weld in a front hitch receiver for utility purpose. For backing a boat etc that is the cats meow! Plus it can serve other purposes like racks and things when the back hitch is being used for other purposes.


What a winch bumper and some Moose catcher bars fitting a self designed & made deflector should be easier and can be made to order as in dimensions and shape. It will be a great addition to the Jeep.


Southern Utah and Moab beckon thee! Enjoy, keep the sunny side up and the rubber side down.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:02 AM   #5
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Thinking more about custom build

Now you got me thinking. Why not a combination of the two?

I'm thinking about mounting some receiver pipes under the bumper that I can use snap button to insert pipes that extend vertically in front of the vehicle. Then get a Debris Mesh Tarp that slides down over the pipes....basically a mesh vertical barrier instead of the fixed dimension and shape solid barrier.

Hmmmm....
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:47 AM   #6
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I have run the full poly shield mounted to the toad tow bar attachment brackets which did a good job of protecting it, but was a pain to store and deal with. On a JKU Rubicon, I added the 3M film to both sides of the body and the lower 6" of the hood to protect against the Arizona pin stripping when offroading. It did a good job of protecting against scratches, but can see that a stone would soon damage it. The best thing I have found to protect my white Avalanche toad is the Protect-A-Tow mesh. Not a single stone chip in the last 25,000 miles of towing. The exposure to stone chips while driving is slight compared to the potential damage caused from towing.

As a side note, I had a lot of stone damage to a custom painted enclosed trailer. I had the trailer repainted and also removed the big stone throwing rubber flap from the coach. No more paint chips in 6,000 miles when I sold the trailer. My son had the same issue with his trailer until he removed the big flap.

https://protectatow.tripod.com/
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Old 05-14-2021, 03:21 PM   #7
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As a side note, I had a lot of stone damage to a custom painted enclosed trailer. I had the trailer repainted and also removed the big stone throwing rubber flap from the coach. No more paint chips in 6,000 miles when I sold the trailer. My son had the same issue with his trailer until he removed the big flap.

https://protectatow.tripod.com/
I've heard that mentioned on other threads as well. Just a little relunctant to remove that. Sure, it is a big beautiful shinny Monaco label, but it is hard to understand how that can cause more chips. Lots of testimonials, but I just would love to see a camera and youtube video demonstrating how highway rocks don't bounce up from tires or are increased by the flap.

Since the debris mesh tarp is only $25 for a 6x8, I figure some under-bumper brackets and poles that the mesh loops over will be relatively easy and should do an excellent job. Will post photos later in June or July when I can get around to it.

hehe...heading up from New Mexico through Moab in another week on our way back home to Montana for the summer. The Jeep should be delivered by mid-June. We drive back and forth a lot and will have many opportunities.
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Old 05-14-2021, 04:22 PM   #8
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I canít explain the why if it, but living in a road which is tarred and chipped, when I had the full length flap on - stones from the road would be in the hood, wipers, and the top of the front bumper. The flap was 4+ inches off the ground when parked on a level surface. I took it off, drove exactly the same road at the same speed and had zero stones on the Jeep.

2 possible things: a) the flap gets close or on the road as the suspension moves and kicks rocks up b) there is enough air disturbance by the flap that the small stones are flung upwards.

I always had flaps behind the tag axle which are wide enough to cover the inside dual on the drive axle.

Just my experience. The flap looks nice nailed to the barn wall.
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dbircky View Post
I canít explain the why if it, but living in a road which is tarred and chipped, when I had the full length flap on - stones from the road would be in the hood, wipers, and the top of the front bumper. The flap was 4+ inches off the ground when parked on a level surface. I took it off, drove exactly the same road at the same speed and had zero stones on the Jeep.

2 possible things: a) the flap gets close or on the road as the suspension moves and kicks rocks up b) there is enough air disturbance by the flap that the small stones are flung upwards.

I always had flaps behind the tag axle which are wide enough to cover the inside dual on the drive axle.

Just my experience. The flap looks nice nailed to the barn wall.
The bling folks just don't want to hear it.
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Old 05-15-2021, 04:26 AM   #10
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The bling folks just don't want to hear it.
And the folks that had hoped these had a purpose in design from the start.

I really appreciate the more detailed test by dbircky. That is more convincing. I do like the look of the flap, but I also have a breather vent tube that ends behind the flap and helps keep oil from getting into my rear radiator. This flap also helps keep that from going back on the toad.

Even with rocks being pushed up on those kinds of roads (which I rarely drive on), I think my vertical mesh barrier could solve that problem, be easy to install, store in very little space and be cheap to maintain. It would also provide me the ability to make it wider and taller if I wanted. Like many others on this site, I enjoy tinkering and experimenting, and figuring things out. I have no problem buying what already works, but in my case, there is no perfect solution off the shelf, and it appears I may be able to make something for far less money.

Thanks for all the input, ideas, and experience, everyone. All it put together I feel is heading me in a direction that is better than when I first posted the question...which is the purpose of this site.
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