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Old 06-22-2009, 03:42 PM   #1
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Towing with off road vehicle, need MUD FLAPS?

I am towing my Bambi with a 1 ton FORD Sportsmobile 4x4. The sportsmobile is basically a jacked up off road 1 ton converted FORD van with big off road tires. I was wondering if I should be getting some mud flaps for it. I saw the ones that you can connect to the receiver but it really seems like an extra thing to hook up (and store) every time you want to use the airstream... Should I worry that rocks will damage the front of the airstream and get the mud flaps or should I drive it without?
Thanks for the advice!
Paolo
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:59 PM   #2
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You should worry about rocks! Those big meats love to pick up nice size chunks and then fling them right into front of the trailer. The results are not so nice. You could use the Rock Tamer style on the receiver, or fit some permanently mounted flaps on your Sportsmobile (nice unit BTW!). That approach limits your off-road ability a little though because they'll be prone to getting ripped off. I think it's a good idea to get as much coverage as you can nearly the full width of the back of the truck and have a little extra hanging off the sides.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:37 AM   #3
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Yes, you should worry.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:51 AM   #4
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Yeah, I would get some for the receiver. The hassle of storing them out ways the cost of replacing panels or rock guards on you window..

Does the trailer have a lift???
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marchesi View Post
I am towing my Bambi with a 1 ton FORD Sportsmobile 4x4. The sportsmobile is basically a jacked up off road 1 ton converted FORD van with big off road tires. I was wondering if I should be getting some mud flaps for it. I saw the ones that you can connect to the receiver but it really seems like an extra thing to hook up (and store) every time you want to use the airstream... Should I worry that rocks will damage the front of the airstream and get the mud flaps or should I drive it without?
Thanks for the advice!
Paolo
I want to see a picture of this!. Mud/Rock flaps are a must!
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:55 AM   #6
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Should I worry that rocks will damage the front of the airstream and get the mud flaps?

Paolo
Yes, get mud flaps!

That truck is way too much truck for that trailer. It will give the trailer a harsh ride and you'd better tie down everything inside it. Perhaps you could load the trailer in the bed of the truck.

Gene
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:11 PM   #7
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Yes, get mud flaps!

That truck is way too much truck for that trailer. It will give the trailer a harsh ride and you'd better tie down everything inside it. Perhaps you could load the trailer in the bed of the truck.

Gene
Yea, I agree with Gene....that truck is going to pound the sh*t out of that 16' unit. You will without question eventually see popped rivets and similar issues due to the fact that a 1 tonner off road special has way, way, way too stiff a suspension for that little thing...now if you said you had a 34' slide out, I'd be a bit less concerned as the hitch weights are massive on these units, but a 16' Bambi?

Yes on the mudflaps though.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:33 PM   #8
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I tow with a 2500 4x4 and need mud guard on it ,it has little mud flaps on it now,but the couple of times I had to use the 4x4 it just slung mud all over the front ,glad there wasn`t any major rocks in it. Dave
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:26 PM   #9
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Like this??? Wow - that's a beast.
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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Dude, I want one....
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:11 AM   #11
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Hummm, you guys are making me worried about the Van beating the bambi to a pulp... I am not going off road with it (or at least not much off road:-). Can you get a lift on the Bambi? Sure would be nice to have a little extra clearance living in Montana. The Bambi is parked on the river right now so I don't have pictrues of the Sportsmobile with it but it looks pretty cool and a little weird at the same time. People sure turn around, I call it my moving duplex. Here are some picture of my Van on my last trip to Mexico. Everything in this utility trailer was beat to a pulp. It really didn't work as well as it looks... Anyway, just ordered through cabelas some Rock Tamers
Thanks for the good info!
Paolo
P.S. I tried to upload files but it doesn't seem to work...
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:41 AM   #12
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I don't agree that your van is going to beat the Bambi to a pulp necessarily (rock throwing aside). I know those vehicles look massive, but they have a relatively soft and compliant suspension for soaking up bumps and dips while off-roading.

However, you should treat the combo very gently if you do take it off paved roads if you want to preserve the integrity of the Airstream's frame/shell.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:26 PM   #13
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I think I would fabricate your own to fit the height of the truck. I did. I went to my local Fruehuf Semi-Trailer Dealer . He had 3 whole skids of flaps. I inserted aluminum angle in the ends of the hitch tubes and drilled holes in the flaps and angle at the same time. They are held in the tubes by tarp straps so I can remove them. They cover all the single wheel on our 1 ton. They cost me the flaps and bolts and angle and about 1/2 hr of my time, and about $20bucks I think. Does the job for me. NOW if I could just find some of those fancy shiney chrome tabs that say AIRSTREAM sumpin like the truckers put on their flaps Id be happy.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:59 PM   #14
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You don't have to go off road to transmit shock and such from the tow vehicle. A 1 ton has lots of capacity, that's why it's a one ton. They put in stiff springs cause they know that someone that buys a one ton could haul 2k in the pickup bed or in your case one ton of stuff in the back of the van. Airstreams are tough, but they like a soft connection between it and the TV. Again, if you had 900 to 1000lbs hitch weight I'd say something totally different, but you are going to be extremely lucky to have 400lbs, if that of hitch weight. That small hitch weight of that 16 footer is nothing but an afterthought for that truck. I would most likely say something similar to you if you were towing it with a 3/4 ton.

At some point, maybe not now, maybe not next year, but at some point, you are going to find popped rivets, seams needing constant re-cauling and such from that heavy duty rear end that is towing something a V6 Honda might tow. Heck, I have a 3/4 ton and I am not comfortable with some of the shock the burb may be transmitting to my Safari and I have about 850lbs of hitch weight....

Not sure if this would help or not, but it's a suggestion:

Receiver Air Hitches

It's funny, normally we're always screamin', don't tow that with that small or puny tow vehicle....it's just odd to be on the totally opposite end of the spectrum.

But, regardless, by all means, don't take my word for it, I'm no engineer and I could be wrong. Call the factory and ask them what they think. I called them once about putting a bike on the rear bumper. There were the usual folks here saying I do it and haven't had a problem, or yer nuts twink, but, a call to the factory cleared it up very quickly. No add ons to the back of an Airstream, straight from the manufacturer. Case closed...those doing it do it at their own risk. I am sure the factory could provide good sound advice in your case regardless if I'm right or wrong.

Back to your question, I use this in combo with normal mud flaps, I know it is not pretty, but I have yet to get a nick or a projectile dent since using both normal mud flaps and this:

http://www.mudflaps.com/
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