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Old 02-22-2007, 10:50 AM   #1
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Rock Tamers - not a cure for stupid

I was searching for information on buying new lower-panel aluminum rock guards for our 30' 1999 Classic. Why, you ask? See picture below.

I'm posting this because my search brought me to a number of threads about Enkay Rock Tamers. A year ago, those threads led me to buy the product, as we were going to do a lot of travel on back roads in Colorado and other places.

The reason for this thread is to report that the Rock Tamers don't protect you from massive gravel throw (and your own stupidity). Don't get me wrong... I would still buy them. But...

We were driving through northern Colorado on a small country road last summer and had accumulated quite a following of cars that couldn't pass us. We hit a 1-mile stretch where the road crews were resurfacing with gravel over tar. I was reluctant to slow way down to 5 or 10 miles an hour because of the traffic (although now I wouldn't hesitate - hey it was our first major trip - gimme a break!) I kept going at about 30mph. Although there was quite a cacophony of gravel-bounding-off-aluminum behind us, I figured the Enkay Rock Tamers would protect us, and the noise was just on the underbelly of the AS.

Wrong. There was just too much, and I was going too fast. And yes, I guarantee the Enkays were adjusted correctly. See picture for results (click to enlarge). The gravel even broke both our little green level indicators, and we have a big star-crack in the middle window (plexiglass) rock guard.

I couldn't tell you, after a year of towing, whether the Enkays do a good job because I now have soooooo many dings on those protective panels, anything new wouldn't show up.

So, four questions:
1. where can I get those replaceable panels?
2. what are they called?
3. how much do they cost?
4. our A/S has the no-polish finish. The unprotected front panels got a lot of little nicks in the finish. Any way to fix those?

(I probably don't need to replace them, but I hate being reminded of how dumb I was every time I look in the side view mirror!!!!)




Thanks
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:58 AM   #2
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Tin- I don't now if I would replace them, becuase they are doing what they are supposed to do, protect your AS from the damage they are suffering. If so inclined, you can order them through your AS dealer. Right now I am trying to come up with something to help prevent this happening to us. Right now we have three small little dings in our AS body above the guards! I am planning on making a rock guard someting like what the MoHo use to protect their towed cars.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:08 AM   #3
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Tin, Sorry to see the damage. You can obtain the newer SS rock guards that protect all the way to the window sill if you're so inclined. You may wish to contact David Tidmore @ DTidmore@RogerWilliamsAirstream.com in Weatherford, TX. David installed the new units on our '04 last year and combined with the Enkays they have done a super job in protecting our baby. David runs a fantastic Airstream operation and we drive 900 miles in order to have he and his crew work on our baby. We're headed down to pick our newly modified Classic from David next month as a matter of fact. Good luck with your decision and HAPPY TRAILS
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:09 AM   #4
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RickandSandi,
There a lot of good strings in here about options for protecting from rocks. I know people don't think the 'grass' skirts are worth much. Good luck.

As far as replacing now vs. later, my wife always says I have more money than sense. And since I don't have much money....
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:11 AM   #5
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Thanks Zoomin, do you remember the price?
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:16 AM   #6
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I just ordered stainless steel rock guards through Roger Williams Airstream in Weatherford and had them install them. The guards must be formed by hand as they are put on. They don't come precisely bent to fit your trailer. If this fitting is not done correctly, the guards bend in too much at the sites where the screw mounts are located and just look terrible. I've seen several dealer installed stainless guards at other dealerships that just looked like crap. It is really a good idea to have someone do this that knows what they are doing. Also, in order to install the new ones, the old ones will have to be removed which will entail removing the hinged mounting section. The new hinged section must be installed with sufficient sealant (Vulkeem, Sikaflex or other correct type of sealant) to prevent future leaks. Installation of my guards probably took an hour, but my trailer had never had guards so they had to measure, drill and install all of the mounting hardware. You won't have to spend time having that done.

1.The stainless steel rock guards are called just that: stainless steel rock guards.
2. I don't remember just what the total cost was, but I believe the guards themselves were just under $600 plus perhaps shipping and installation.
3. One final thought, in looking at your Enkay rock guards, I believe they are not cut off quite enough and ride too low to the ground. I did the same thing initially and received some damage from them being to low to the ground. They need about a three and a half to four inch clearance off the ground. Yours appear to have about two inches. At that level they cause enough air disturbance to cause some rocks to fly up on some roadways. Additionally, as the truck bounces up and down as it travels over some types of roads and as you cross entrances to fuel stops, etc., the flaps will actually touch the ground from time to time and cause gravel to fly up on the trailer which might not otherwise.

I'd cut them off at least another inch and perhaps two inches. Go back and read the instructions that came with them. I cut mine initially to have clearance with my other hitch. I also now have a Hensley and with the Hensley, my truck does not ride as high as it did with the other hitch. I had to go back and trim my Enkay back, redrill the mounting holes and reinstall my flaps. That may also be your problem which may have lead to some of your damage.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:19 AM   #7
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Tin, I looked in my files but I'm afraid the receipt is in my Owner's manual notebook with the trailer in Weatherford. They weren't cheap! Also, it seems that the dealers have to go through several boxes of these before they find a good set because of the way Airstream packages them from the factory. For that reason, I wouldn't order a set on my own. Packaging for shipping doesn't seem to be one of Airstream's strong suits. Email David and he'll shoot straight with you. Several Forum members go out of their way for his service although I feel we may travel further than most.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:25 AM   #8
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As to the cost of the stainless steel rock guards, it wouldn't cost anything for you to call Roger Williams Airstream and ask for a price quote whether or not you decide to order them or have Roger Williams Airstream install them. Their toll free number is: 1-800-378-5883. Ask for either David Tidmore or Robert when the girl at the front desk answers.

As to the post above, I don't drive 900 miles to get to Weatherford as ZoominC6 does, but I do drive 100 miles to get there and members of my unit drive well over two hundred to have the quality services performed that characterize the service one receives from Roger Williams Airstream. Something to think about.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:09 PM   #9
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hi tin d'...

the stainless "segment protectors" are intended to be somewhat sacrificial...

but i feel your 'ding' pain....

the tallers ones come right to the beltline which is better coverage...

your n k flaps look a bit further back from the chrome bumper???

mine are adjusted to nearly touch it.

i'm a fan of double protection. 2 sets of flaps that overlap coverage.

see these pictures...

http://www.airforums.com/forum...th-18538.html?

the smaller set of flaps at the wheel well are husky brand...

Mud Guards

which fit the superduty even with wheel opening moldings...

but they also make a 'flat style' scroll down the link.

this month aslife has an ad for the duraflap version of these.

Mud Flaps For Pick Up Trucks SUVs by DuraFlap

which look pretty nice too.

i saw a truck last year with ONE solid sheet of rubber hanging from the n k hardware...about 6 ft by 16 inches

with just a hole for the reciever....

it got me thinking....

2air'

i'm not sure anything would offer complete protection driving on fresh chip seal...
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:20 PM   #10
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Redundant Protection Against Rocks, Gravel... & Posts

Thanks Tin Diesel for sharing your learning experience here.

I will keep your photo in mind when towing on gravel.
And thanks for the illustration of the importance of not letting yourself feel pressured into driving any faster than what you think is safe for your trailer and tow vehicle.

So once you get those new rock guard panels, you might consider getting…
"double redundant" mudflaps as 2air’ recommended in his post:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238/mud-flaps-tow-vehicle-29377-2.html

(hi 2air’… you just beat me to this thread!) (sorry for any redundant info!)

I have DuraFlap Custom Mud Flaps on my F-250. These 3/8" durable polyurethane flaps are mounted on your wheel-well to catch the gravel and rocks before they fly up towards trailer.

The DuraFlap husband and wife team up in Oregon will custom size your flaps for your tow vehicle... call them at (541) 582-6699 or see their web page at: www.duraflap.com

You can also see their ad on p. 9 of current Spring Issue of Airstream Life Magazine... (great review of this issue, 2air')!

SilverGate
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Old 02-22-2007, 07:05 PM   #11
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I think some amount of dings are inevitable on an A/S that spends much time on gravel or dirt roads. I stay with A/S because of their reputation for towing stability, but the aluminum skin is soft....

By all means use whatever mud flaps and rock guards that you can - but my experience is that some amount of gravel always gets by, towing on unpaved roads. Since I do most of my camping at the end of bad roads, and I don't like the dings either - I carry a roll of bubble wrap and some packing tape with me, and just cover up the vulnerable areas before heading off road - it has worked great for me, and is a low tech/low cost approach.

Another poster here had the front of his trailer sprayed with a pickup bed line material (Rhino Liner, or Line-X ?), and that's the most heavy duty solution I have seen. Since it will cover up dings since its so thick, I'm going to hold off until my A/S gets enough dings to make it worthwhile. It's trading one appearance for another, but it does prevent dings.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:02 PM   #12
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Never Ever drive on fresh chip seal!!!!

I'm not sure why I thought the Rock Tamers would protect the front of our AS, but, stupidly, I did. Came up to a long stretch (35 miles, I think) in KS, of just laid chip stone and dinged the heck out of the rock guard panels, plus the very front of the Pendleton. I drove pretty slow (35 mph) but caught myself going a bit faster occasionally.

Haven't even finished the hail damage claim from May and I am seriously thinking of turning this in as an insurance claim too. Seems like the hail just hit the front three panels, and forward part of the roof. What a drag.

Any suggestions for dings on the Aluminum skin? Oncoming traffic threw up some stones that caught the side of the trailer too. Plus, if anyone knows of a newer thread please let me know.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:34 PM   #13
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Always a better idea to have revived a quality older thread.

IMO, buy a replacement rock guard set and install when you sell.

"Towtector" a product worth looking at.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Always a better idea to have revived a quality older thread.

IMO, buy a replacement rock guard set and install when you sell.

"Towtector" a product worth looking at.
I did.....full side to side coverage with no center opening.

You do need side exit exhaust, and full wheelhouse flaps help a LOT.

Bob
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