TV mud flaps vs TT gravel shield - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-05-2016, 03:36 AM   #1
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TV mud flaps vs TT gravel shield

I am contemplating a trip to Alaska next year and am thinking about how to protect my Scamp 16 from the inevitable gravel. Just wondering if anyone has experience & opinions on serious TV mud flaps (like Enkay Rock Tamers Adjustable Mud Flaps - RealTruck.com) or some gravel shield attached to the trailer. Perhaps both is best. Any ideas on what makes a good gravel shield on the front of trailer? I am thinking of some rubber like think film layer glued to the front surface of the fiberglass (preferably in white to match Scamp.
Thanks.
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:31 AM   #2
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I think you're in luck Doug, one of our members makes that trip every year. Don't remember his name right now, dang, hate this getting old stuff. There have been a number of posts for mud flaps also that should come up in a search.
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:11 AM   #3
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I bought the Rock Tamers for when I was towing with two separate F150s. I don't use them with the Flex I use now. I thought they were good quality. I never suffered a chip with them but then neither have I without them. Nor have I traveled far on dirt or gravel roads. Other tow vehicles I used were Explorers. I think pick-em-up bodies sit higher off the ground, even towing, giving a clear path for gravel to be flung at the trailer from the tire patch.


At the time I didn't have my WDH. These days I'd have to check that the WDH stinger sticks out enough. Somewhere on their site they give a recommended gap. It's not on the installation instructions. My WDH sticks out quite a way so I'm pretty sure I could use it with my Reese.
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:06 AM   #4
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As Dave mentioned, I do this trip twice a year. Flying gravel is a big problem and while mud guards will help with the stuff flying down low, a lot of it is coming at you at windshield level and higher. Mud guards aren't going to help with that.

On the stretch of the Alcan above Dawson Creek, and pretty much all the way through BC, the highway is paved but there are so many vehicles entering the highway from the oil and gas fields that there is a constant supply of gravel being introduced onto the pavement. Trucks then pick this up and fling it in all directions at high velocity. Windshield strikes are common, as are strikes on the front of the trailer. I had a Bigfoot, which has a large frontal area. You might be a little better off in the Scamp, but it will take some hits regardless of what kind of mud guards you have (as will your TV).

In the Yukon Territory, between Beaver Creek and Destruction Bay on the Alcan, there are many lengthy stretches of unpaved gravel road. You might be traveling on these sections at speeds that will pick up and fling gravel all over the place. Good mud guards will help keep your tongue and chassis from getting pounded but it will still be a mess. But, again, it's the trucks going in the opposite direction, many traveling at high speed, that will shower your trailer and TV with high velocity gravel. Be prepared.

BTW, when going north, after crossing into Alaska, your TV and trailer will probably be a mess. My favorite place to wash them off is the Tok RV Village in Tok, Alaska. They have a really nice self-service RV wash. Going south, I use the one at Pioneer RV Park in Whitehorse. Bring a handful of loonies.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:01 AM   #5
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On three Alaska trips the only two damage incidents were a flying rock breaking a window in the camper. Happened in Montana. The other I backed into a retaining wall in Tok breaking loose the one of the camper jacks. Most damage I saw on other vehicles came from driving too fast.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:06 AM   #6
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That's nice. You've been lucky. I've done the trip eight times and all I can say is, "Expect the unexpected". You can drive as slowly as you want but the oncoming trucks have a different agenda.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:39 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=trainjunkie;570097]As Dave mentioned, I do this trip twice a year. Flying gravel is a big problem and while mud guards will help with the stuff flying down low, a lot of it is coming at you at windshield level and higher. Mud guards aren't going to help with that.

Contrary to popular belief, the trucks (and all other vehicles) don't actually throw the rocks at you. They toss the rocks into the air, and you run into them. It helps to slow down and steer as far away as you can from the oncoming traffic. And don't follow too close.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Collins View Post
Contrary to popular belief, the trucks (and all other vehicles) don't actually throw the rocks at you. They toss the rocks into the air, and you run into them. It helps to slow down and steer as far away as you can from the oncoming traffic. And don't follow too close.
That may happen, but that is not the whole story. In the stretches of road I mentioned, it's the ONCOMING trucks, going in the OPPOSITE direction that cause the most damage in my experience. What happens is they pick up a rock in their tire tread, and as the tire spins around, the rock ejects going forward, right at you. It's like a pinwheel effect. I've had rocks come straight at me that were large enough for me to actually watch the whole thing unfold from the instant the truck tire flung it in my direction.

Go as slowly as you want but that isn't going to matter when the rock is coming straight at you like a bullet. I've even been hit by them while I was standing still, including one time I pulled to the side of the road coming into Fort Nelson and was securing a tie-down on my roof rack when a truck on the opposite side of the highway going the opposite direction flung a rock at me and hit my rib cage on the left side while my arms were reaching for the roof. Left a nice bruise there for a couple weeks.

Just another day on the Alcan.
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:19 PM   #9
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Hey, adventurers! Good information and stories. Suddenly a lot less "thrilled" with the idea of the Alcan. Especially with a low-slung rig like the amerigo (1' clearance). Maybe we'll stick closer to paved civilization after all. But good luck to those who are willing! Adventurers, all.
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:41 PM   #10
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1'...as in one foot? That's plenty of ground clearance. My BF had less than that. Ground clearance isn't a huge issue if you do it in the summer.
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by trainjunkie View Post
1'...as in one foot? That's plenty of ground clearance. My BF had less than that. Ground clearance isn't a huge issue if you do it in the summer.
Yes, it claims 1' of clearance...Paul just measured one foot from driveway to fiberglass. I expect some things hang lower, but the glass actually laps over the frame, which is a little higher.

So that's not too low for the Alcan? Of course we'd go in the summer...though I hear the mosquitoes can be big enough to lift a small dog...what months actually constitute an Alcan summer?
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:53 PM   #12
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Ground clearance is really not as much of an issue as one might think. Going in and out of driveways and over speed humps in the city can be just as bad as anything you'll encounter on the Alcan. The only reason I lifted my vintage Bigfoot 4-inches, besides the fact that the original suspension was completely shot and needed to be replaced anyway, was to get the waste water valves up a little higher because, even going in and out of driveways, they scraped.

I'd say the MOST important thing to consider before an Alaska trip is to just make sure your trailer and TV are in excellent mechanical shape. There are stretches of nothingness out there that would spell disaster if you were to break down so my emphasis in getting prepared for the trip has always been on mechanical reliability.

The "season" is generally late May through mid-September but the weather can alter that a bit shortening the season on one end or the other. I made my first trip up there in the winter of 2011-12, which we later referred to as "Snowmageddon" in Alaska. There was snow on the ground in Anchorage into July. But the following year we had very little snow so you just never know. My absolute favorite time of year is in the fall, but by mid-September, things have the potential to get ugly, and the ground may start to freeze, so a lot of services and RV parks farther north are shut down by then. Still lots of opportunity in BC though.

Yes, the mosquitoes can get ugly. It's the State bird in Alaska you know? I work outdoors in Alaska and don't mess with anything other than 100% Deet. But I only use it when necessary and it's surprising how little I actually have to use in the course of the year. Like everything up there, just be prepared.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:54 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the info. The road conditions and RV washes are good to know about. I had not thought about the debris coming off the trucks so that's a good point. Not sure why I was not thinking about it though, all the windshields I have replaced in my life so far has been from rocks & debris coming from trucks (on otherwise good paved roads). I think the mud flaps are probably a good idea but only solves part of the problem. Sounds like I will just have to accept some amount of damage as part of the cost of the trip.
So trainjunkie (Mike), in your trips have you been up as far as Coldfoot? Part of my goal is to go see the midnight sun.
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Old 02-06-2016, 08:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainjunkie View Post
Ground clearance is really not as much of an issue as one might think. Going in and out of driveways and over speed humps in the city can be just as bad as anything you'll encounter on the Alcan. The only reason I lifted my vintage Bigfoot 4-inches, besides the fact that the original suspension was completely shot and needed to be replaced anyway, was to get the waste water valves up a little higher because, even going in and out of driveways, they scraped.

I'd say the MOST important thing to consider before an Alaska trip is to just make sure your trailer and TV are in excellent mechanical shape. There are stretches of nothingness out there that would spell disaster if you were to break down so my emphasis in getting prepared for the trip has always been on mechanical reliability.

The "season" is generally late May through mid-September but the weather can alter that a bit shortening the season on one end or the other. I made my first trip up there in the winter of 2011-12, which we later referred to as "Snowmageddon" in Alaska. There was snow on the ground in Anchorage into July. But the following year we had very little snow so you just never know. My absolute favorite time of year is in the fall, but by mid-September, things have the potential to get ugly, and the ground may start to freeze, so a lot of services and RV parks farther north are shut down by then. Still lots of opportunity in BC though.

Yes, the mosquitoes can get ugly. It's the State bird in Alaska you know? I work outdoors in Alaska and don't mess with anything other than 100% Deet. But I only use it when necessary and it's surprising how little I actually have to use in the course of the year. Like everything up there, just be prepared.
Never even thought about washing the rig on a trip...good idea! I had heard the mosquito was the Alaska state bird...we should bring our bird book and binoculars and hope to see some of their nests and fledglings!

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. Putting the Alcan back on our consideirng as a trip list.
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