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RobertH

Avoiding Rock Chips while Boon Docking

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Hello all,

 

 

 

Im curious what others currently use to avoid rock chips when boon docking.  Im not talking the average boon docking in a primitive site.  Im talking out back driving down gravel / washboard roads for miles.  Now I only recently picked up my Ollie but man its shiny and the last thing I want is to chip it all up.  I had diamond plate put across the front of my toy hauler and that helped it but that really isnt a option for the Ollie and Im not sure it would look all that good.

These have great reviews and I think Im going to pull the trigger on them but wanted some opinions and wanted to see what others use.

 

Anyway this is the product Im looking at.  Rock Tamers

 

 

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Does anyone have this and how well does it work?  Im worried that it wouldnt hold up against rocks from a gravel road.  Specially when it comes to Fiber Glass.

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Long discussion here. IMHO a Stone Stomper from Australia will work great, and I would recommend them over the Rock Tamers which are marginal.

 

image-21.thumb.jpeg.99b5be0ff8faaf259d0eb6f5a0579054.jpeg

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/gravel-roads-protecting-the-front-of-the-oliver/

 

I emailed Oliver asking for the three critical dimensions required for ordering and I never got an answer. So you would need to do some measuring.

 

You will need to figure out a solid way to anchor the two rear corners of the fabric guard. I think a long piece of thick wall square aluminum tubing bolted across the top of the A frame, just forward of the cabin, would work, but this is conjecture from photos. You would have to make slots in the back of the propane bottle blister for clearance. You can't just screw the supplied steel brackets into the fiberglass of the cabin. That would be asking for major problems.

 

Depending on what tires you are using on your TV, you can _dramatically_ reduce the number of thrown stones by switching to an aggressive offroad tire with large voids, like a BFG Mud Terrain or Cooper Discoverer STT. They do not grip and toss gravel nearly as much as do All-Terrains and street tires. Plus they offer much more secure and predictable handling and braking on those pesky pea gravel forest roads. This is very important when you are pulling three tons of trailer....

 

Your Ollie needs mudflaps also, to protect the glass, jacks and water valves behind the rear wheels.

 

If you haven't upgraded your suspension, you really should do so, soon! The regular Dexter suspension bushings and shackles are minimal at best. They will deteriorate very quickly when subjected to the dust and washboard of a typical forest or ranch road.  Also, travel trailer leaf spring suspensions are notoriously unreliable when beaten on by potholes and severe sideways loading during maneuvering on uneven terrain. You should consider carrying a spare leaf spring and hardware at the very least, and the tools to change it in the boonies.

 

I hope to install a Timbren tandem suspension on my future Oliver.... If we complain enough to Oliver they might eventually respond with an upgraded "severe duty" suspension option for those of us in the arid western states. I don't think they really understand how different the road conditions can be here from those in Tennessee.

 

BTW,  three to four hours of gravel per day is not at all uncommon on my vacation trips. This kind of travel will absolutely eat up unprotected trailers. This is SW Montana somewhere near Bannack ghost town .... Lovely and very, very remote.

 

Please keep us informed if you do get a Stone Stomper, and give us some pics!

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I put the Towtectors on our van.

 

https://www.realtruck.com/towtector-aluminum-mud-flaps/R183268P1999Y722MA.html

 

So far they have worked great, but I haven't been to Alaska either (yet). We have traveled many miles on gravel roads with no chips. More time on the road will tell as we're just getting going with our new Ollie. But these got very good reviews. It is important that the bottom of the skirt has the proper 3" to 4" clearance from the road for the best effect.

 

Dave

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2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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I put the Towtectors on our van. https://www.realtruck.com/towtector-aluminum-mud-flaps/R183268P1999Y722MA.html So far they have worked great, but I haven’t been to Alaska either (yet). We have traveled many miles on gravel roads with no chips. More time on the road will tell as we’re just getting going with our new Ollie. But these got very good reviews. It is important that the bottom of the skirt has the proper 3″ to 4″ clearance from the road for the best effect. Dave

 

I've used these in the past with good success, but I have always thought that they look plain stupid, flopping and swaying and wiggling as you drive along. They do seem to stop a lot of debris, so you can probably live with stupid.

 

They are rather hard to clean, and they will eventually get very nasty looking. A pressure washer is about the only way to get most of the muck off, and it is awkward.

 

Be aware that any flap system has to be low to the ground to be effective. Unfortunately, when you venture off pavement, those low hanging flaps _may_ also kick up big rooster tails of rocks on poorly maintained roads, if they contact the gravel. An advantage of the curtain style guards is that they remain high off of the gravel at all times.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I ended up ordering the Rock Tamers.  I think they will do the job and it wont be tough to mod them a bit either.  I noticed they have a metal label you attach with 6 or 8 screws.  My thought is I have a local medal shop that I could have carve me out something cool to put on the flaps.  Besides I only intend on using the protection during my drive once onsite I will remove them as I drive my truck around often.  And like John said any of those type of systems do look a bit on the silly side but as long as its effective thats the main thing.

 

 

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I ended up ordering the Rock Tamers. I think they will do the job and it wont be tough to mod them a bit either.

 

This is from an Australian vendor:

 

"The static angle of the flaps can be increased up to 35 degrees from the vertical. This will enhance the performance of the flaps and help eliminate the chance of stones re-bounding back onto the tow vehicle. When traveling the flaps need to be sitting at about 45 degrees to be effective. Adjusting the static angle will help achieve this."

 

If the flaps are vertical as seen on 99% of the trucks that have them, rocks will bounce back up and impact the rear of the truck. You can seal the gap between bumper and support rods, which helps some, but setting the angle as described helps a lot. The idea is to get stones to zing back down, not back! If there are rocks piling up on your bumper, you need to tweak the angle.

 

I marked the angle with silver Sharpie on the brackets and rods so I can easily set them correctly after removing the rod/ flaps for storage. I leave the big cast bracket attached to my ball mount all the time.

 

http://rvtowingsolutions.com.au/product-details/rock-tamers-instruction-manual

 

While I do like the Rock Tamers, I will most likely order a Stone Stomper for my future Ollie.

 

BTW I stopped excess movement by using two of these ....

 

https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Accessories/Roadmaster/RM-061.html

 

..... One just forward of the R. T.  bracket to keep it from twisting on the ball mount, and one between the ball mount and receiver, to keep the ball mount still. Pricey, but they work most excellently. Without the clamps the whole assembly moves around a lot.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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We're in Alaska and are finding it difficult to avoid rock chips using the Rock Tamers.   We had mud flaps/splash guards installed on the truck along with the Rock Tamers hoping for additional insurance, but chipping happened and we'll deal with it once we get home.

 

But, we're having the time of our lives.

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Ed and Marsha


Legacy Elite II, Hull #85


Ford F150 Lariat

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