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Old 03-19-2016, 07:44 AM   #29
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Has anyone had experience crossing Mobile Bay (Dauphin Island to Fort Morgan) with an Interstate Ext.? Headed down to Bellingrath Gardens then on to FL next week.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:16 PM   #30
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Replacement skid plates?

Drove up a ramp and sheared off one of the two skid plates attached to my 2007 Interstate. Have been searching for weeks for a source to replace one. Anyone have a source?
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:37 PM   #31
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Drove up a ramp and sheared off one of the two skid plates attached to my 2007 Interstate. Have been searching for weeks for a source to replace one. Anyone have a source?
You're talking about the skid plates attached to the hitch receiver?
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:30 PM   #32
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Drove up a ramp and sheared off one of the two skid plates attached to my 2007 Interstate. Have been searching for weeks for a source to replace one. Anyone have a source?

You can replace both with skid wheels, also known as skid rollers or skid castors. Available widely.


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Old 04-28-2016, 04:58 AM   #33
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You can replace both with skid wheels, also known as skid rollers or skid castors. Available widely.

...
The fit of existing products may not be correct, though, because apparently that's not a universal Sprinter bumper that's on the back of the 2007 Interstate.

I will ask my husband, who is on backshift right now - he did some preliminary research. We haven't followed the evaluation all the way through yet, but this is on our to-do list, to replace our plates with wheels. And we have a 2007 so presumably our eventual solution will be consistent with what the OP needs.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:28 AM   #34
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You're talking about the skid plates attached to the hitch receiver?
Yes. I spoke with The Sprinter Store at length without recommendations other than have a replacement manufactured locally. Estimate was $200. Ouch.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:41 AM   #35
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You can replace both with skid wheels, also known as skid rollers or skid castors. Available widely.
I have considered that, but concerned that a fixed hard attachment even further back attached to the hitch could give be more problems with stresses on the frame. Since the existing skid plates are designed to shear off the attachment bolts (and have done so numerous times already) the system seems to be working as designed. Only change I want to make to current design is to drill 1/8" holes in the plates and attach keeper cables to keep from losing one again.
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:25 PM   #36
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I had 2 wide 3 to 4 inch trailer rollers welded to the lowest portion of frame that hang down 4 inches. They have saved the day frequently. AEW
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:49 AM   #37
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I have considered that, but concerned that a fixed hard attachment even further back attached to the hitch could give be more problems with stresses on the frame. Since the existing skid plates are designed to shear off the attachment bolts (and have done so numerous times already) the system seems to be working as designed. Only change I want to make to current design is to drill 1/8" holes in the plates and attach keeper cables to keep from losing one again.
You make a very good point that I think is worth discussing further. I agree that there are alternate scenarios that my gut instinct tells me might put too much localized stress on the chassis in a way that it was never designed to handle. However I also suspect that the existing skid plates are not optimally designed - they probably represent the cheapest solution, not the optimally-engineered solution. They have hooked ends, which means that in certain scenarios, they compound the strike problem by providing more friction and grab potential than they ought to (try driving over a compacted earthen or asphalt speed bump with the wrong radius of curvature).

If we could somehow combine a skid wheel that would still break away as designed when the stresses got too high, that might work better. Minimize the friction problem while still being responsive to the pressure limitations.
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Old 04-29-2016, 07:11 AM   #38
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If we could somehow combine a skid wheel that would still break away as designed when the stresses got too high, that might work better.
Spring-loaded rather than breakaway, so it gives a little to minimize impact loading, while staying attached.

A trailing-link attachment design probably works best for that.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:22 AM   #39
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Thanks, Protag, for the trailing-link idea. Wanted to run an alternate idea across your engineer's mind. Considering solid steel skid wheels mounted to the hitch assembly but put a cushion between the wheel mount plate and the underside of the bumper. Looking at hockey puck as that cushion. Soft enough to help absorb the initial shock yet hard enough to handle the high impact force. Thoughts?
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:05 PM   #40
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Thanks, Protag, for the trailing-link idea. Wanted to run an alternate idea across your engineer's mind. Considering solid steel skid wheels mounted to the hitch assembly but put a cushion between the wheel mount plate and the underside of the bumper. Looking at hockey puck as that cushion. Soft enough to help absorb the initial shock yet hard enough to handle the high impact force. Thoughts?
If that's the direction you're leaning toward, how about the same type of rubber motor mount as used on your engine?
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:16 PM   #41
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I will look into that. Does the concept seem sound and safe?
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:42 PM   #42
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I would have said something if I didn't think the concept was workable. But the devil is in the details.
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