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Old 09-19-2014, 09:43 PM   #1
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Considering Stone guard upgrade, would like opinions.

Just curious if anybody has heard of this type of upgrade and if it is worth it.C.S. & R.S. Curved Solar Stoneguards Front"

My dealer is recommending it and has sent me photographs I just can't see the difference. The cost I believe is around $750. Does anybody have any experience with this?

Thanks very much for the help.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:05 PM   #2
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Sounds like the stainless steel guards Airstream already includes on most of its products. Worth it in my opinion. My guards have small rock dents already.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:22 PM   #3
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Would not solar guards be for the windows?

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Old 09-19-2014, 10:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted S. View Post
Just curious if anybody has heard of this type of upgrade and if it is worth it.“C.S. & R.S. Curved Solar Stoneguards – Front"

My dealer is recommending it and has sent me photographs I just can't see the difference. The cost I believe is around $750. Does anybody have any experience with this?

Thanks very much for the help.
C.S. & R.S. likely is an abbreviation for Curb Side and Road Side ... Curved solar Stoneguards protect the expensive front curved windows ... as said above, well worth the $$.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:54 PM   #5
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Definitely worth the $$ for those curved windows. After a long trip, one of our solar stone guards had been hit by a stone and had a small ding and almost-invisible cracks radiating out from it so we replaced the tinted curved panel--much cheaper than replacing the curved glass!! And broken glass might have just fallen out and cut our trip short, but the solar panel held together just fine.

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Old 09-20-2014, 04:16 AM   #6
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My new Serenity has about 3500 miles of towing on it now, on the last venture I returned to find on the CS near the bottom of the SS stone guard it had apparently hit something which bent it in about 3/4", nearly back to the aluminum. Had the guard not been in place, no doubt I would have had a hole in the trailer. My suspicion is that it was a piece of truck tire tread that I hit, and at 60 mph, these are like rocks.

So, the question of "Is it worth it?" well, to replace a panel on an Airstream must be in the big dollar range. So, I would say stone guards are very much worth it, especially if you are like me and tow your Airstream all over the country.
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:11 AM   #7
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We took a hit to one of ours on one of our first trips. Cracked the guard but I was able to stop drill and glue it to prevent further cracking. So far so good. Get them.


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Old 09-20-2014, 05:23 AM   #8
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I agree the guards are worth it but what confuses me is that the Airstream already comes with them and he said this is an upgrade. He sent me photos but I can't see the difference from stock to the upgrade...
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:30 AM   #9
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wish my 34 had stone guards .. it would hide the dents :-)
But i believe they are well worth it.. on the other hand, i have large mud flaps on my dually truck, which work very well..
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:31 AM   #10
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Panel guards and window guards are well worth the $$. Much less expensive than a panel or glass replacement.

If you have the guards, why is your dealer trying to sell you and upgrade. Aren't there only 1 type of guard for AS's?

Sounds like your dealer doesn't know what he sold you in the 1st place. I think he is trying to upsell you on aftermarket products which are higher margins for them.

I would inquire what makes his offer better than what you have already.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:05 AM   #11
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Ted S.,

Your 30' bunkhouse does not have a panoramic window in the front (unless you changed from the stock floor plan and added the pano). Your trailer should be equipped with a stone guard (standard equipment) for the center window that is over the head of the bed. The dealer may be trying to convince you to add stone guards to cover the aluminum curved panels adjacent to the front center window. We have a 27FB without the front pano and don't have the stone protectors on the sides and don't feel a need to add them.

Another point to consider -- the front stone protector and window on your trailer will have rounded corners, not the square corners found on trailers with a front pano window. I'm not sure how it would look to add the corner stone protectors to a front window with rounded corners.

Susan
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:50 AM   #12
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Smile Front window

Ted,

What the dealer is suggesting is a purely aesthetic modification, not a functional modification. As Susan indicates in post #11, he is essentially suggesting adding the standard solar guard windows Airstream installs on trailers with panoramic windows in the front. Your bunkhouse doesn't have the solar stone guard because the windows on the front of the bunkhouse doesn't wrap around the side.

If the dealer adds the solar guard to side of your trailer, it will be covering aluminum, not glass. In fact to attach the wrap around guards, the dealer will have to drill holes into the shell of the trailer. Any hole in the shell increases the potential for leaks over time.

As Susan indicates, we have one of the few 2008 27FB trailers built without a front panoramic window. Its appearance is identical to the front of your bunkhouse. Airstream ships the trailer with a plexiglass protective awning for the front window. I'm attaching two photos showing the front of our trailer so you can see the awning in both the open and closed positions. Have the dealer send you a picture of a bunkhouse with the addition of the panoramic window solar guard added so you can compare and determine if the aesthetic change is worth the cost.

I have heard one particular Airstream dealer is emphatic about putting the solar guards on the front of the bunkhouse models to improve the appearance of the trailer. Perhaps it is only coincidental the addition of the unnecessary solar guard also improves his bottom line. If your dealer is the one I'm referring to, his website has pictures of the bunkhouse incorporating the addition of the solar guard to the front of the trailer. That same dealer told me I'd never be able to resale my trailer, because it does not have a front panoramic window, when I elected to buy my trailer used from an individual instead of buying a new Airstream from him. Three years later, I'm enjoying my trailer, prefer having closets instead of a panoramic window in the bedroom, and don't worry at all about selling my unit.

Rest assured your front window will be well protected by the plexiglass awning Airstream ships on your trailer. If you happen to prefer the look with the solar guard the dealer is recommending, and you have the money to spend, go for it. Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy your Airstream as much as we do.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:40 PM   #13
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You guys are correct, he is reccomend we add the solar stone guards typical of a panoramic window on our trailer that just has the single front window and when he sent me a photo, I thought he was referring to the lower steel panels, not the windows. He said it will protect the aluminum better.

It's not a lot of money and he is not pushy, he has been really fair and great to work with. I just could not figure out what he was referring to, now I understand.

So now we know what it is, do you think it is worth the investment? Interesting those with the same small window say no.

I think it takes some thought to do what he does, so I have to say I'm going to go for it if it makes some sense.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:28 PM   #14
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Why on earth would anyone want a solar stone guard where there is no window, that is, no glass to guard?? And I agree that putting any unnecessary holes in your outer skin is just inviting trouble.

The photos of the bunkhouse with only the rectangular guard over the rectangular front window look great. I don't understand the dealer's desire for you to have the useless guard, unless just for his bottom line.

I would think really hard about this, if I were you.

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Old 09-22-2014, 09:48 AM   #15
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Considering Stone guard upgrade, would like opinions.

My answer to panel guards....

Not for everyone I am sure, but since my panels already had about 100 small dents per side the bed liner seemed like a good idea for cover and protection.

Cost was about $50 for the liner and materials and perhaps 90 minutes of my time all inclusive.

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Old 09-22-2014, 10:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
My answer to panel guards....

Not for everyone I am sure, but since my panels already had about 100 small dents per side the bed liner seemed like a good idea for cover and protection.

Cost was about $50 for the liner and materials and perhaps 90 minutes of my time all inclusive.

Attachment 222551
Hi J. Morgan

Thanks for the post, was there any damage up higher, as in on either side of the windows on the curved aluminum? That is there my dealer is recommending protection, not down below.

I would like to do it if it is needed for protection, but I don't want to change the look of the trailer.

Thanks

Ted
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:55 AM   #17
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Considering Stone guard upgrade, would like opinions.

Strangely enough, even on a forty year old trailer that saw A LOT of use, there is no damage (none) above the bed lined area.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:44 AM   #18
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So I have decided to skip these guards.

The biggest reason is because I don't want to make the trailer look different. But I can't help feeling nervous that it will get damage, it would be just my luck.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:47 PM   #19
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Sure beats spending $700 to $800 for stainless!

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
My answer to panel guards....

Not for everyone I am sure, but since my panels already had about 100 small dents per side the bed liner seemed like a good idea for cover and protection.

Cost was about $50 for the liner and materials and perhaps 90 minutes of my time all inclusive.

Attachment 222551
*******
Great idea! We traveled many gravel roads and the stainless steel took the brunt of the grit and gravel. Looked like buckshot and the lower end of the frame was "hammered" where the details of the frame was absent.

In 2008 I picked up a spare set of stainless gravel guards while having a final warranty work list finished and bought a pair at Jackson Center. In the $700 to $800 range, as it would take me too long to find the receipt. Seemed like a lot at the time, but I am sure they have not gone down in price. I would have sold them with the sale of our 2006 not long ago, but I would have wanted my $700, or maybe $750 for them, so kept the pair for replacing the 2014's rock guards if we ever need to. Otherwise, I am sure we will be able to sell them in the future for the price of a new home, or even a cabin next to a deep creek in Colorado...?

This would work on the front of the hitch, below the propane tanks that get their share of gravel pits and road debris. And you can probably add another coat in a few years if necessary. Great idea. Would be interested in hearing how it held out on strictly paved travel and if anyone has tried this idea on dirt and gravel road.

Added: You will get those occasional small rocks thrown up by 18 wheelers when passing you or in an asphalt construction area. Those stones pit your windshield and hit the TOP of your Airstream, above the window "shield". Our window shield had one stone put a good sized star crack in it years ago, but held together well. I took some clear packing tape and stuck in over the spot to keep it "solid".
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:56 PM   #20
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Proper names can help.

The metal covers for the lower segments, are called "segment protectors".

The solar gray covers for the front windows are called "rockguards".

Andy
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