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Old 01-28-2014, 01:18 PM   #1
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Mudflaps for Ford Flex

I recently purchased a 2004 31' foot Classic to be towed by a 2011 Ford Flex with Ecoboost and AWD. My issue is finding an "economical' method of providing mudflaps and "front-end" rock protection for the car. Here is the essence of what I have discovered so far.

(The purpose for purchasing the AS was to be my wife's and my accommodations for a road trip this Summer to Alaska.)

After reading comments from Airstream Forums about both Alaska and mudflaps it appeared to be worthwhile to buy both some mudflaps and rock protection for the front of the car. What appeared to be a relatively simple task,i.e., buying mudflaps, has turned into a project as the two exhaust pipes on a Flex exit right at the bumper. Evidently, the heat exiting the exhausts will destroy mudflaps so a simple purchase is out of the question.

After further investigation, only two possible solutions have appeared thus far, and "economical" does not yet appear to be germane to the conversation unless the expression is used in connection with comparing the cost of repair or restoration after the trip.

The first alternative for rear bumper mudflap is a fibrous mud flap offered from "Towtector" for a cost in excess of $450. Evidently, it covers the entire width of the car and "sports" two metal cutouts where the exhaust exits from the tailpipes.

The second alternative, probably more expensive than the first, is a polyurethane product offered by Xpel, whose website is xpel.com. The product can be used to protect both the front of the car and the front of the trailer. A website description of their product follows:

XPEL Protection Film - ULTIMATE
High Performance Ultra-Clear Clear-Coated Aliphatic Polyurethane Film
Technical Data Sheet – June 2012
General Description:
XPEL Protection Film - ULTIMATE is a patent pending high performance self adhesive clear-coated aliphatic polyurethane film designed
to protect automotive paint, and other surfaces, from harmful effects of stone chips and abrasion. It has exceptional elongation
properties for ease of application and this feature allows for single piece installations. XPEL Protection Film - ULTIMATE is a very
low surface energy film designed to resist staining and offers superior environmental resistance and gloss retention. The clear coat
employs special elastomeric polymers that allow scratches in the surface to “heal” over time, eliminating the need for frequent polishing
to maintain a just installed appearance. XPEL Protection Film - ULTIMATE is coated with ultra clear high performance acrylic adhesive
which has excellent adhesion on a broad range of surfaces, while resisting disturbances during installation.


I'm looking for either better ideas or confirmation there is no better solution available. Thank you in advance.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:38 PM   #2
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You will want some type of mud flaps. Xpel, like the original 3M Clear Bras does keep down typical road trash. But will not really stop stones and the like from dinging the front of the car or AS. Mudflaps stop the rock throw from the tires before they get to the tow vehicle. I have Rocktamers and they do a great job. You could also do custom flaps from Duraflap. They can build to any length you want. As a guideline if you get them so they hang 4 inches off the ground then they should be effective. I got the 4 inch number from a spec sheet from one of the companies that tow new trailers for AS. They expect their tow teams to have coverage to within 4 inches of the ground when under load.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:49 PM   #3
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The issue with the Flex is the fact that the hot exhaust gasses exit straight backwards---not to the side. People selling mud flaps tell me that having flaps right behind an exhaust pipe doesn't work. The heat destroys the flaps.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:05 PM   #4
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So really low hangers in the wheel wells that are a bit wider than normal. Of exhaust deflectors if that were possible?
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