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Author Topic: Tow Car Damage  (Read 825 times)

camperAL

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Tow Car Damage
« on: April 15, 2017, 10:05:23 AM »
Hi,

I received an awful lot of damage on our recent trip to our car we were towing. Estimates are between $4300 to $5300 in order to bring the car (with under 7,000 miles on it) back into shape. Apparently the flap on the motorhome was improperly installed and hung low enough to pick up rocks. I also had air bags that were not properly inflated half the trip, which might have caused part of the problem.

I've talked with the body shop mechanic who owns a class A motorhome as well, and he mentioned that car covers can rub the paint off the car so you don't always win by having a car bra or cover. I am aware of the car shield products (and the like) but what is the answer to protecting your tow car so you don't have another claim on your insurance? Wondering if they will drop me after this claim.

How do others handle this who tow a car? I expected some minor damage but there are at least 5,000 or more pits in the car front, bumper, mirrors and windshield. Many thanks for your thoughts.
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2017, 10:54:43 AM »
We never used any toad protection except when traveling in Alaska & Canada where gravel roads, or sections of roads, are common.  But properly adjusting the rear flap (if any) is critical, since too low causes damage rather than prevents it.

I've not used any of the tow bar mounted shields but they all seem to work at least moderately well (according to reports. anyway). I made one for our Alaska trip and it did fine except I didn't make it quite wide enough and got some stone chips right at the edges of the toad. Also had to add a windshield cover, since stones unexpectedly came in high as well as low.

Bras can rub, but again a properly fitted and installed bra should not. If you want to go that route, I strongly suggest one that is custom fit for your make & model rather than a generic bra.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

camperAL

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2017, 01:17:17 PM »
Hi Gary,

Thanks for your input!! I guess my preference would be a car bra to cover and protect the car. I like the idea of a windshield cover as well but maybe it is possible to get both in a single purchase.

Any suggestions as where to go for these custom made covers? Traveling, I wasn't award of the amount of damage I was receiving to the car. Wish I had paid more attention. When I stopped at our destination in NM, I noticed several hundred stones that were about 1/8 of an inch in diameter, that had hit the surface of the car and fell down into the windshield wiper blade area. It was at that point I looked more closely and noticed how the front end had been pitted.

There has to be an answer to minimize the amount of damage. Appreciate your comments.
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )

muskoka guy

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2017, 04:56:45 PM »
My friend has a heavy mesh screen that goes from the back bumper of the coach, to the front bumper of the car. It stops pretty much anything trying to fly up onto the car. Cheap and easy to install. Couple minutes for hook up and unhook.

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2017, 10:07:26 AM »
I've towed about 30 k miles now starting with a new Jeep. It still looks like new (at least as far as stone chips are concerned). Of course, I removed the full width flap from the motor home before I started. Never used any type of shield.

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler

mel s

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2017, 11:49:25 AM »
Hi,

I received an awful lot of damage on our recent trip to our car we were towing. Estimates are between $4300 to $5300 in order to bring the car (with under 7,000 miles on it) back into shape. Apparently the flap on the motorhome was improperly installed and hung low enough to pick up rocks. I also had air bags that were not properly inflated half the trip, which might have caused part of the problem.

I've talked with the body shop mechanic who owns a class A motorhome as well, and he mentioned that car covers can rub the paint off the car so you don't always win by having a car bra or cover. I am aware of the car shield products (and the like) but what is the answer to protecting your tow car so you don't have another claim on your insurance? Wondering if they will drop me after this claim.

How do others handle this who tow a car? I expected some minor damage but there are at least 5,000 or more pits in the car front, bumper, mirrors and windshield. Many thanks for your thoughts.

camperAL
I've towed 2 different Saturns, a total of 130K miles, with no "protection"...and no damage.
Methinks eliminating the "flap" and running properly inflated air bags will solve your problem.
Mel
'96 Safari, 148k miles

NY_Dutch

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2017, 06:19:49 PM »
As said, the rear flap can cause a fair amount of damage if it'd too low. We use a Protect-A-Tow mesh screen that connects from the coach rear bumper to the toad front bumper for maximum protection. About 50,000 towing miles without a single ding from road debris.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

muskoka guy

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  • 2000 Coachmen Santara 370 isb cummins diesel
Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2017, 07:44:21 PM »
As said, the rear flap can cause a fair amount of damage if it'd too low. We use a Protect-A-Tow mesh screen that connects from the coach rear bumper to the toad front bumper for maximum protection. About 50,000 towing miles without a single ding from road debris.
That is the exact one my friend has. Easy to install, just four eyes across the bottom of the coach bumper, and two on the car. Easy snap hooks to attach. Folds right up to nothing when not in use. We traveled for a month, found it very easy to install and remove.

NY_Dutch

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2017, 07:46:52 PM »
That is the exact one my friend has. Easy to install, just four eyes across the bottom of the coach bumper, and two on the car. Easy snap hooks to attach. Folds right up to nothing when not in use. We traveled for a month, found it very easy to install and remove.
We only unclip it from the car, and then roll it up under the coach bumper secured with a couple of short bungee cords. Hooking back up only takes a minute.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Jim Godward

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2017, 08:20:55 PM »
We have used the shield from DEMCO for about a total of over 150000 miles with only minor damage and that was probably when we were driving the towed and not towing them.  The thing I like about the DEMCO shield is that it slopes forward so anything hitting it is deflected down.  I have seen things hit the vertical shields and bounce up into the air some of which hit the car.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

camperAL

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2017, 09:10:57 PM »
I wanted to take the time to thank everyone who replied to my post. Insurance company said something to the effect that since the damage didn't happen in a single day but multiple it might effect the deductable. I'll have to see what they are up to and if they are going to be fair. Having a shield seems like a good idea but a covering does as well. I'll re-read though these messages and make a decision on what to buy later.

This problem is not one I really thought I would have. I did an awful lot of reading for the past couple three years but must have focused on motor home features, tires, appliances and running operations on RV's as well as safety issues. The car really didn't look that bad and really didn't notice it with road grime on it at first. First car wash I noticed the attendants looking really carefully at the front and so I followed up, wonder what they were looking at. It became obvious after that. We didn't let this ruin a great fun trip and the car still took us where we wanted to go. Now to prevent this from happening again! Best to all!!
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )

RedandSilver

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 11:08:42 AM »
I have to believe that most of the "stone guards" or  flaps are an advertising tool for the manufacturer.
As the ones I have seen almost always have the coach make or model name on them.

If they were really needed wouldn't all coaches have them installed?  My coach doesn't have one.

So just wondering AL, if you might consider removing the flap and try towing again to see if it makes a difference.
Yes I would understand you wouldn't want to take your newly repaired toad and try it.  But if your toad isn't fixed yet..........

I haven't towed my trailer very far yet with my MH - but that will change this summer and I will be looking to see if any damage occurs.
I have towed my trailer 6000 miles with my SUV and never saw any damage on the trailer but the SUV does have mud flaps
but no guard running across the rear of it, like on some motorhomes.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp

muskoka guy

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 03:00:03 PM »
We only unclip it from the car, and then roll it up under the coach bumper secured with a couple of short bungee cords. Hooking back up only takes a minute.
Agreed. When camping, you only need to detach it from the car. When not in use, say if you travel without the toad, it takes up virtually no space as it folds down to almost nothing.

camperAL

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Re: Tow Car Damage
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2017, 08:03:04 AM »
Hi RedandSilver and all,

What I am thinking, I am just going to shorten the flap a few inches. I think they are helpful in keeping some debris from flipping up but in my case, it was too low and created a problem that caused damage. One of the things that I noticed was several hundred small rock pebbles in the area of the windshield wipers. You might be right on an advertisement or something extra to sell new buyers. I simply thought that since it was installed by the previous owners, it was good to go and learned fast it was not. Wondering if they had experienced any damage to their car??

I met with the insurance adjuster, described my experience and showed him the damage. He agreed the car was a mess in front and even offer a bit of sympathy. Approved the repair. Received a call later and company said they'd pay the full amount less my $100 deductable, and check is on the way. So looks like things are O.K.

Before towing again will make modifications and decide on car cover and/or screen.
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )

 

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