Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dinghy Protection

Dear Joe and Vicki: Do you use a cover over the front of your car to keep dirt and gravel from damaging it while towing? Have you ever used those shields that ride in front of the car?

Joe: When we first began towing a car we bought one of those fiberglass shields and a padded, vinyl windshield cover. We never experienced any damage to the windshield or front of the car while using them. After a few years, though, I did notice rub marks wearing into the paint above the windshield. Apparently this was caused by the cover moving slightly while we traveled down the road. There were also occasions when I noticed little pieces of road tar stuck on the top of the hood. They brushed off quite easily, however.

There was the question of what to do with the shield once we arrived at our destination. I usually stowed it under the motorhome and hoped the wind wouldn't blow it away. There was also the fear that I would forget the shield was under the motorhome and I would run over it. It wasn’t long before I felt that putting the shield and windshield cover on and off was a lot of bother.

After we installed some large mud flaps behind the rear wheels of the motorhome, we stopped using the fiberglass shield. Later we stopped using the vinyl windshield cover. After ten years and over 100,000 towing miles we never experienced any damage to the front of that car.

A few years ago, we purchased a new car for towing. We don't use a windshield cover nor do we use a shield. The only protection for our towed car are the large mud flaps behind our motorhome's rear tires and a solid, heavy mud flap the width of the rear bumper that almost touches the ground.

So far, we have towed that car over 20,000 miles and not experienced any damage.

Joe and Vicki are the authors of a number of “how-to” books and e-books about RVs, RVers and RVing.

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