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Old 08-24-2009, 06:45 AM   #1
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1963 24' Tradewind
Cape Coral , Florida
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Shop made Rockguard

I thought I'd take a shot at making a rockguard. I realize its a matter of personal taste, but I think the current factory version is too slick looking for a vintage trailer. The ones from VTS are on backorder. So, this is my version.

When its open it looks like this.

The panel is cut from a hurricane shutter sold at the big blue box store. The aluminum angle came from the same store. I cut the angle with a regular hacksaw and then sanded the miter on a stationary sander until I hit my scribe line. The original plan had been to have the miters welded, but I experimented with a riveted solution which worked out fine. Each corner has a flat ninety degree reinforcement plate with two rivets on each leg, and it has a bent ninety degree with one rivet on each leg.

The result is absolutely solid. I had to order the aluminum hinge online as I couldn't find a local source.
I got the extension arms from a RV salvage yard in Alachua, FL

The hardest part to source were the hold-down draw clamps that can be seen in the first two pics. I got them from McMaster Carr.
I'm really happy witht the result. Between the horizonticality (?) of the panel and the aluminum frame, I think its very appropriate looking. I've got about $200.00 in it, but more than half that was for the hurricane panel, which I only used a quarter of.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:29 AM   #2
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Congratulations!!

Man that is slick .

Very professional looking assembly and the clear lets in more light than the shaded version from the factory.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:36 AM   #3
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Nice looking rockguard. People here on the forum always devise the neatest items at quite a cost savings.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:59 AM   #4
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Great job!
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:59 AM   #5
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Fine workmanship - wonderful solution. Very era correct.

It's good to know what you want and have the ability to make it happen.

BTW, I REALLY like the Illlinois cutout rivetted next to the rock guard -

Is it covering an oops or an antenna hole?

Two great ideas!!

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Old 08-24-2009, 08:04 AM   #6
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Nice workmanship!
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:07 AM   #7
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Nicely Done !
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:34 AM   #8
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The patches are a bit of whimsey. They are covering the holes made to mount the TV antenae. Florida covers the bottom hole.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:45 AM   #9
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Nice!

and, on the patches.. now I have to install an antenna, so I can go back later and put a Kentucky patch on..lol. spent an our this weekend getting "TEXAS" off the sides!
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:15 AM   #10
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Well done. Very much so.


Which box store has the hurricane panels?
What holds the panels into the frame? Is there any need for a center bar on rockguard?
Were the salvage yard extension arms off an Airstream by chance?
What did the arm's rockguard look like at the salvage yard?
Do you recall the web source URL for the aluminum piano hinge?

Thanks
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:19 AM   #11
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Very nice! So you used angle, not channel? Olympic rivets? Is hurricane panel an opaque fiberglass product, or what? I'd like to make one of these too, but have a '70's model with the curved wing windows up front, and am kind of stumped on how to fashion the curved frame. Any ideas out there?
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:38 AM   #12
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Great quality workmanship and better than the original!! The Wally sprite lives on, "No changes, only improvements".
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:48 AM   #13
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To try to answer Distantdrummer's questions. 1)The panels were available at Lowe's. I'd mention that the on-line catalog said the closest store to carry them was in Miami, but as is often the case with the Lowe's website, you're better off looking yourself. 2) I used a lighter guage angle that was pop-riveted through the edge of the outer frame and into the lighter angle with 3/16 short rivets. 3) The extension arms were off a SOB. I had to take them apart, shorten each half of the legs, turn the brackets around and determine the best pivot points for mounting to the trailer and the edge of the frame. Except for that they were just right. BTW, there is a detail picture on the VTS website that was very helpful. 4) The SOB rockguard was a flat fiberglass panel. 5) I don't remember the name of the company but I can look this evening when I get home. I had never ordered from them before. I just searched on "aluminum piano hinge".
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:55 AM   #14
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Looks great! Very sleek design. I wouldn't be surprised if you had forum members approach you about making more and selling them.

Mary
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