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Discussion in 'Taking Your Camper Off Road' started by GetOutSide, Jan 22, 2011.
I'm thinking skid plate, but wonder if someone has got there before me... anyone?
Man I like that idea. We boondock a lot and I do worry about busting up my tank.
Take a few measurements of what size you need - width, depth, length and go to a junkyard. Look for gas tank skid plates under the rear of 4 wheel drives.
I had a 1974 Chev Blazer that had a very tough skid plate around the tank.
It would support the rear of the truck if you got it set on the rock just right
It looks like I'd have to reinforce the whole thing a lot. I'm going to wait till it warms up and see how long it takes the fam damily to drain the water tank in the desert. We probably need the water, but if not I'm going to go down to the smaller (21 gal. I think) tank.
I have an E1...and have thought of this as well. I do not think the enitre tank needs a skid plate...maybe we do different types of camping. But I have drug my E1 up some pretty nast unimporved forest roads. All that I plan on doing is getting some anlge iron or some strap metal to protect the front corners (ottom edge and sides)of the tank.
Sweet - so far I haven't really tested my E1 in the rocks, so that sounds like my route too, at least until I know I need more. Let me know when you get it done. Have you thought about flipping your axle?
This is a great idea, which I had myself recently... I came up with the idea when backing my E2 over a tree stump and thinking I had punched a hole in the water tank once. Scared the hell out of me, and I've been paranoid ever since.
Just looked and gas tank skid plates are all over Ebay for reasonable prices!
I think you could fabricate something though out of sheet metal? I think my tank hangs above the frame, so I'd just like to cover the tank with some sheet metal if that's the case....
@ hakrjak: how big is your tank? Mine hangs down like an old womans'... dress.
I was mistaken.... I got a look under it today, and it does hang down about 6 inches below the frame.
There isn't going to be an easy way to skid plate this since it's down so far. Maybe like someone else suggested, we should look at reinforcing the front corners. Maybe epoxying some metal corners onto it or something?
Will have to give this some thought...
I took some pics for this conversation today, so people can see where the water tank hangs down... Problem is -- it hangs down, but not as far down as your axle and your stair steps. If you're going to hit something with your water tank, you could take out your axle or stairs also... Hmmmm....
Yeah, the steps will have to go too if you want it clean. A small stepladder is easier than a whole redesign.
I was looking at some rails in front of the tank but had my welder talk me out of it - in order to get it strong enough to support the pup you'd need a whole subframe. So it probably cheapest to live with less water and get a tank that fits above the frame. Normally on the TV you use the wheels to keep the axles and diffs off the rocks, but dragging a trailer it is kind of going to end up where it ends up... Since I'm not about to design an independant suspension to get rid of the axle
I don't think it is an issue if the tank is forward the axle. If you are backing up the axles are much lower than the tank and even higher with a flip. If you can accually get the TV over a rock and not hang up on the TV axles the front triangle of the pup hitch that sits about 3" higher than the axle if you run a level from the lower part of the hitch to the top of the axle, this will hang up and probabley make an awful noise.
My remedy is to do what all rockcrawlers do and put the tires on the large rock if you cannot go around it. Yes you will have to remove the steps if you have to navigate the rock on the passenger side.
That said you can measure and take the measurments to your local HVAC shop and have them bend some 10 GA and then bolt that to the supporting stringers in front and back of the tank. This should not cost more than $100 and will give you that little extra protection from a puncher. It will not support the weight of the PUP but IMO if you get a tall enough rock or stump anywhere near the tank you probably need to slow down or put your beer down and pay attention to the trail. LOL
LMAO... see, if you have a spotter you don't need to put your beer down.
Just fell out of my chair laughing
That's what the DW is for.
If you are the spotter you don't need to put your beer down either.
I'd worry more about my tire sidewalls than anything else.
2007 E3 here. In the process of add the larger 35 gallon water tank to replace my 20 gallon tank, the same that you have. This is a big concern for me as well. When I removed the 20 gallon tank I noticed 3 dents in the bottom of the tank and they wern't on the front of the tank, all three were on that back edge closest to the axle. The 35 gallon tank from the 2008+ Evo's hangs 3 1/2 inches LOWER!! I'm going to have to make a skid plate no matter what. I'm going to wait till spring to make up a design that best fits.
Get a Starcraft RT36... It's the queen mother of all off road style traillers. The tank is huge and located way up between the 2 axles , minimal shielding is necessary. The shear size of the brute kind of self regulates the sevarity of where it should reasonably go thereby also lessening the chance of tank rupture. Nothing is impossable if you can imagine it , you can build it. Blessed be
Even though my '10 Explorer has a truxx lift and 33" tires, the E1 has a higher clearance, which surprised me. We just picked it up a couple of weeks ago so I haven't seen it loaded yet to compare with the truck then. If it is still as high or higher I won't need to protect the water tank because the truck is always ahead of it.
After lifting my popup, I put diamond plated skid plates under my water tank to protect it from rock damage. Ordered custom cut sheet on-line from www.cut2sizemetals.com They were reasonable and quick. I ordered the 1/8" size but they have a variety of thicknesses available. As a side benefit of the plating, it helped support the water tank from the bouncing in the road. I already cracked one water tank prior to installing the plating. Haven't had a problem since.