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Old 04-03-2013, 08:20 PM   #1
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Do I need Rock Tamers?

As I'm getting closer to the delivery of our new 28 International, I'm wondering how important are the big a$$ mud flaps/rock tamers, etc.

While using the trailer in Michigan this year and staying on paved roads, do we have enough protection from the segment protectors and the window rock guards or should I add something to the tow vehicle?

Can't stand the look of the things but I also don't want a thousand little dents if I get stuck on a freshly chip sealed road that I can't avoid, especially with it being a new unit.

When I'm ready for the big trip to Alaska there is no question that I'll need the protection.

Thanks for any recommendations.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:27 PM   #2
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I think you do. I had my AS for about a month when I had to go through about 100 yards of construction area. They had removed the asphalt and had filled with a chipped limestone that was just the same size as the gaps in my tread. I was horrified when I looked in the mirror and saw a literal spray of gravel pelting the corner protectors. I was only going about 30 mph. I had about 200 dents in the protectors.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #3
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Thanks Rich. That is all I needed to hear.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:32 PM   #4
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Since adding the Rock Tamers, I have only had maybe 2 or 3 dents in the segment protectors ( I had previously rolled out the 200 or s dents with a body dolly) and 2 star cracks in the window protectors. I believe all these came from passing trucks and not my tires.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:41 PM   #5
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I use Rock Tamers because we tow often on dirt and gravel roads, and we have fairly large openings in the truck's tire treads. This seems like a good way of chucking rocks, so I installed some on the truck.

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Old 04-03-2013, 10:13 PM   #6
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I got the Rock Tamers for peace of mind on the paved stuff and for when I get a wild hair and go off the beaten path exploring who knows what ! Eventually I plan to polish so a couple hundred bucks to help protect a couple hundred hours polishing is a painless decision.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
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I'm really fussy about damage, but didn't put them on and probably won't, hate the look. There are some little nicks, nothing to loose sleep over. These can be a place for filiform corrosion, so I touch them up with a cleat coat pen and wax this area often. The segment protectors catch most of it, but that's why they are there. If some day the front center panel becomes too bad, it's replaceable.

The windows, as well as lower panels receive the most severe damage, not from your tires but from vehicles you meet, pass, or pass you. This stuff comes at high speed.

Our truck does have good-sized mud flaps and they catch most of it. I believe Rock Tamers mounted too close to the ground could lift small gravel with their air turbulence at highway speeds, too high and they may not stop what the tires throw.

I was looking at new Sport models without segment protectors, and Airstream put some clear plastic sheet over this area to protect it. You have to look close to see it. I wonder if that could be purchased and put on non-Sport models?

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:21 PM   #8
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Only if you will not be pained by the unavoidable "dings" from rocks thrown up by your own tires. On our truck, the front tires seem to send more rocks and gravel into the AS path than do the rear tires. The RT handle both quite well - they are positioned about 3/4 inch above the coupled height and very stiff so that wind does not blow them back significantly.

It is less effective if you buy the R-Ts eventually ... after there are sizeable dings already in the aluminum or stainless. Little can be done to protect from oncoming ballistic stones ... have tried the clear plastic film to no avail.

They are easily removed from the shank by loosening two bolts or just leave in place when the shank is removed from the receiver... a bit bulky to handle, however.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:58 AM   #9
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I think they are worth the expense over dents and broken windows. Besides rocks there is other debris to consider such as old tire carcasses or something thrown out of the bed of pickup trucks from folks who move on the weekends - which you may not be able to avoid if traveling in heavy traffic.

I made my own "rock tamers" that I can quickly remove from the truck. The stinger is heavy enough without having a set of mud flaps to contend with too.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
I'm really fussy about damage, but didn't put them on and probably won't, hate the look. There are some little nicks, nothing to loose sleep over. These can be a place for filiform corrosion, so I touch them up with a cleat coat pen and wax this area often. The segment protectors catch most of it, but that's why they are there. If some day the front center panel becomes too bad, it's replaceable.

The windows, as well as lower panels receive the most severe damage, not from your tires but from vehicles you meet, pass, or pass you. This stuff comes at high speed.

Our truck does have good-sized mud flaps and they catch most of it. I believe Rock Tamers mounted too close to the ground could lift small gravel with their air turbulence at highway speeds, too high and they may not stop what the tires throw.

I was looking at new Sport models without segment protectors, and Airstream put some clear plastic sheet over this area to protect it. You have to look close to see it. I wonder if that could be purchased and put on non-Sport models?

doug k
Doug is correct here. I found that adjusting to 4" off the ground with an unladen truck , and 3" off the ground hitched and loaded is perfect. Any closer to the ground and turbulence DOES kick up gravel...defeating the purpose. At least that's my experience.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
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You all might consider some Texas Fly Swatters instead of conventional flaps (turbulence problems).
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:22 PM   #12
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You all might consider some Texas Fly Swatters instead of conventional flaps (turbulence problems).
Interesting...could be attached to the rock tamer arms. Trimming to the correct length could be an issue though.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:40 PM   #13
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I'd just ask the manufacturer. Might be that attaching some flat stock across the trimmed lower would suffice.

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Old 04-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #14
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Had a set of Rock Tamers come in and found out that their casting that goes around the 2" square bar that fits into the TV receiver was 1.125" thick. My Hensley stinger had welds within 0.75" of the lip of the receiver. Thus the casting was too thick to allow installation of the Rock Tamer bracket.

I had to return the Rock Tamers to the vendor.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by switz View Post
Had a set of Rock Tamers come in and found out that their casting that goes around the 2" square bar that fits into the TV receiver was 1.125" thick. My Hensley stinger had welds within 0.75" of the lip of the receiver. Thus the casting was too thick to allow installation of the Rock Tamer bracket.

I had to return the Rock Tamers to the vendor.

Did you also return the LED-backlit Yosemite Sam "Back Off!" attachments for the rear of the flaps?


I have a set of VORTEX mudflaps to go on the '04. You might also consider their full-length piece versus the ENKAY:

VORTEX Smart Tow Guard

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Old 04-12-2013, 04:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
Had a set of Rock Tamers come in and found out that their casting that goes around the 2" square bar that fits into the TV receiver was 1.125" thick. My Hensley stinger had welds within 0.75" of the lip of the receiver. Thus the casting was too thick to allow installation of the Rock Tamer bracket.

I had to return the Rock Tamers to the vendor.


I ran into the same problem with the TowTector....

A little work with the die grinder solved the problem.

Bob
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
Had a set of Rock Tamers come in and found out that their casting that goes around the 2" square bar that fits into the TV receiver was 1.125" thick. My Hensley stinger had welds within 0.75" of the lip of the receiver. Thus the casting was too thick to allow installation of the Rock Tamer bracket.

I had to return the Rock Tamers to the vendor.
My friend had the same problem with the Rock Tamers and a ProPride stinger. We did a similar job to Robert's with a die grinder, but did it on the Rock Tamers, and left the ProPride stinger alone.

Figured it would be lots less of a problem if the Rock Tamer bracket broke than if the ProPride stinger broke.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
Had a set of Rock Tamers come in and found out that their casting that goes around the 2" square bar that fits into the TV receiver was 1.125" thick. My Hensley stinger had welds within 0.75" of the lip of the receiver. Thus the casting was too thick to allow installation of the Rock Tamer bracket.

I had to return the Rock Tamers to the vendor.
How long ago? I know that many people were modifying the bracket, but RockTamer started beveling them some time ago. Mine is the chromed one and it fits both all of my HAHA stingers as well as my new "for Hensley Propride adjustable stinger" without modification. I've had mine for 2 1/2 years now.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:49 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by HeadWest View Post
As I'm getting closer to the delivery of our new 28 International, I'm wondering how important are the big a$$ mud flaps/rock tamers, etc.

While using the trailer in Michigan this year and staying on paved roads, do we have enough protection from the segment protectors and the window rock guards or should I add something to the tow vehicle?

Can't stand the look of the things but I also don't want a thousand little dents if I get stuck on a freshly chip sealed road that I can't avoid, especially with it being a new unit.

When I'm ready for the big trip to Alaska there is no question that I'll need the protection.

Thanks for any recommendations.
They are well worth the price. We installed them after we had suffered rock damage from driving primarily on divided highways. Sooner is better.
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