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Old 05-28-2013, 09:18 AM   #1
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Mudflap & Stoneguards to protect when towing Airstreams

Just installed my DuraFlap mudflaps on the "Silver Yeti" so to protect "Twinks" from rock damage.

I suggest all tow vehicles have some sort of "mudflap" installed so to protect their Airstream from rock's being slung up into the trailer. I had a set of DuraFlaps on my F-350 and purchased another set for the new Ram Cummings 2500 4x4.

Although I could have gone with a longer or wider set of mudflaps for the back wheels on the truck, I find this length and width perfect for my use in towing the Airstream. Since I utilize a ProPride hitch for my travels (the trailer sits a bit further aft of the tow vehicle) using DuraFlaps with my F-350 single rear wheel truck over many miles over some pretty nasty crushed stone roads and not a single dimple on my previous 25’ FB Classic or 30’ Classic trailers.

There are many manufactures of mudflaps out there and I performed an extensive search when I ordered my first set for the F-350, 2 1/2 years later I find DuraFlap to still be the mudflap out there for my needs.

Oh, and since I know this will be brought up, I personally find the "big long flaps" such as the "Ultraguards" overkill for my purposes but recommend them for those that travel with a “toad” attached to their RV.

Don't care what brand you are using, but I do suggest all tow vehicles have some sort of “mud flap / rock guard installed”. For those looking for a good, solid, well-engineered "no drill installation" long lasting flap I would suggest a visit over to the DuraFlaps web site.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:53 AM   #2
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The factory installed mudflaps on my Tundra seem to do well. There are no dings or dimples in my stainless stone guards. However, if I drive through a puddle mud gets on the front of and underneath the trailer.
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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At least you have factory installed mudflaps as neither my F-350 or new 2500 have mudflaps of any sort installed from the factory! :-(
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:51 PM   #4
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We use both the oversize wheelhouse flaps and the full width Hula Skirt type.

Lots of stuff gets thru the center on our Adirondack back roads.

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Old 05-29-2013, 05:00 AM   #5
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I also had the big fender flares installed just because I think they look cool and make thee truck's stance more beefy or muscular, not to mention the added protection from parking lot door dings. Painted to match, installed- $600. I think trucks with no fender trim or fender flares look naked or incomplete. I have added them to every truck I have owned. The Tundra even has splash guards at the front of the wheel openings from the factory.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:37 AM   #6
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Second the Duraflap Recommendation

... have them on my GMC 2500 and they do quite a nice job. Pretty easy to install and yes, they're durable. Solid stuff. Do be aware that they are quite stiff and not very suitable for off-roading with the trailer's not being towed.

But last summer I was going to Alaska. My in-laws had just come back with a broken windshield on both their MoHo and their toad and most of the paint missing from the front of the toad. Also, I knew I was going to be driving hundreds of miles on gravel roads, so I built a secondary rock guard that mounts on my hitch, using some old square steel tubing and a couple of semi mud flaps cut down to size, in order to give added protection. The result: zero dings on the trailer or "segment protectors." Very pleased.

One note: if you do this or mount a brand such as Rock Tamers, be SURE they don't hang too near the road surface, because they will actually cause enough wind turbulence near the road surface to actively kick up small gravel bits ... which will then hit your trailer! I saw a guy with an Argosy in Alaska with Rock Tamers (and good mud flaps on the rear of his pickup). But he had the Rock Tamers mounted so that the bottoms of them were within an inch of the road - and most of the paint was missing from the front of his trailer. I suggested that he might want to mount them a bit higher: he just got mad and told me that "these are the best rock guards made!" Well, maybe so, but if you use them wrong, they won't help you.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:54 AM   #7
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We have oversized mud flaps that I made from a very durable plastic material. We have them on the front and rear of our GMC 2500 HD. I just installed the full width hula skirt and made custom brackets that attach the outer ends to the end of the bumper. A little more work to install and remove maybe ( two additional bolts) but without the extra brackets the hula skirt bar flops around like a catfish on a hot boat deck. Now I don't have to remove anything when I unhitch at a campsite. I just slide the ball mount out and slide in a dummy that I made to go in place of it to hold the center of the bar. The hula skirt stays on the truck and the installation is rock solid.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:36 AM   #8
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How about some pics of your "custom" mup/stone flaps,
Thanks,
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:53 AM   #9
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DuraFlaps - Poor Experience

I purchased and installed DuraFlaps (front and back), on my new at the time 2011 Ford F250, before I purchased my Airstream. I actually chose the DuraFlaps based on the positive threads on AirForums. We bought the F250 to tow the Airstream we were planning to purchase.

After a year and a half of Airstream ownership the segment protectors on the front of the Airstream look like they've been pelted with bb's. This is surprising because all of our travel has been on paved roads (8000 miles towing so far). Needless to say my experience with the DuraFlaps has not been good and I would not recommend them.

After talking to several Airstream owners I've acquired the Enkay Rock Tamer system for my upcoming cross country trip. Hopefully it will do the job.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:31 AM   #10
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The Duraflaps, while a quality built, stylish product, don't mount far enough back on the truck or go far enough down to protect the trailer. They are really designed just to protect the rear part of the rear fender.

The real test to see if a flap will protect the trailer from rock dings is done with a long straight edge.

With the trailer hooked to the truck, take a long straight edge (8' board or something like that), put it under the rear tire, and up against the bottom of the flap. If the straight edge is pointed at the trailer, a rock can be hurled at the trailer from the rear tire.

On our first trip to Alaska, I learned that you must also have a flap that goes all the way across the back of the tow vehicle, as the front tires will also throw up stones, and they will go between the two flaps, peppering the center of the trailer. This of course, for long miles of gravel roads, and is not really needed on paved highways.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:32 AM   #11
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My experience is that the truck mud flaps behind the wheel do more to protect the truck and only somewhat the trailer.
The mud flaps across the hitch (rock tamers or home made) do more to protect the trailer.

The last time I drove through the rain I could see the flaps used across the hitch were deflecting the tire spray out around the trailer.
I recommend using both.


Factory rear flaps. I think they should be closer to the ground but they have protected the truck.


Factory front mudflaps. The truck has no rocker panel knicks yet.

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Old 05-29-2013, 04:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
The Duraflaps, while a quality built, stylish product, don't mount far enough back on the truck or go far enough down to protect the trailer. They are really designed just to protect the rear part of the rear fender.
DuraFlaps offer wider and longer versions of their mudflaps to include mudflaps that can hit the pavement and wide enough to cover the backside of a barn.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:32 AM   #13
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The flaps I built for the latest tow vehicle, '12 Ram 2500, bolted to existing holes in factory receiver:
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:17 AM   #14
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Now those look good!
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:28 AM   #15
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Thanks, I like them. They are far enough down and back to protect the trailer, but I don't have to lift them on and off with the ProPride "stinger".

If I do want to take them off, it's just two bolts and about five minutes.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:24 AM   #16
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That's my only Complaint

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At least you have factory installed mudflaps as neither my F-350 or new 2500 have mudflaps of any sort installed from the factory! :-(
That's my only complaint with my F-150 - no factory mud flaps. For what we pay for these vehicles, they should come standard. Nice mud flaps by the way. That's exactly what i am looking for. Thanks for posting.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:14 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=av8or;1305983]That's my only complaint with my F-150 - no factory mud flaps. For what we pay for these vehicles, they should come standard.

Quiet as it's kept, a huge percntage (70-80%?) of truck owners never get off pavement to need MUDflaps. If it was big on customer "needs" you can bet automakers would add them.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:37 PM   #18
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Roadmaster makes some nice removable mudflaps, that attach to a 2" hitch.

I recently bought them for my Airstream Interstate, to protect the front end of my toad. When I'm not towing, I take them off. See Roadmaster RoadWing Removable Mud Flap System.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:56 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by av8or View Post
That's my only complaint with my F-150 - no factory mud flaps. For what we pay for these vehicles, they should come standard. Nice mud flaps by the way. That's exactly what i am looking for. Thanks for posting.
The Tundra is the first pickup I've owned that came with nice splash guards from the factory. I added mud flaps and fender flares to other pickups and vans that I have had in the past- a 1987 Mazda B2000, a 1995 Nissan King Cab, a 1997 Nissan King Cab, a 2006 Chevy Express- my 1999 Nissan Pathfinder has nice splash guards from the factory. I'm sure the mudflaps are available as dealer accessory items. I got the Chevy ones from Chevy.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:38 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=goshawks00;1305995]
Quote:
Originally Posted by av8or View Post

Quiet as it's kept, a huge percntage (70-80%?) of truck owners never get off pavement to need MUDflaps. If it was big on customer "needs" you can bet automakers would add them.
It seems to me that the purpose of the mudflaps is to keep the debris from hitting your own vehicle and for protection of the traffic behind you. It doesn't have so much to do with going off-road. I have put factory flaps on my truck, grand cherokee and honda civic. I can really tell the difference in the amount of road rash, mud and cow manure on the rocker panels versus previous vehicles owned.
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