DRIVING/TOWING - TOWING
We’ve been testing the Stone Stomper system and reckon it’s an excellent way to protect your trailer from flying stone damage.
Stone Stomper has been produced in South Australia for the past 10 years. After trying different stone protection methods, we think it’s the best solution for most of our website visitors.
The makers claim their own testing has exceeded over 200,000km and our OTA test team, Andy and Michelle Parry, have done around 40,000km with their Stone Stomper fitment.
Where Stone Stomper differs from other systems is that it runs horizontally between tow vehicle and trailer. The traditional method of restricting stone strikes is by using a wide, rear, vertical mudflap on the tow vehicle and a downwardly-angled mesh deflector or sacrificial absorption panel on the front of the trailer.
There is a short, vertical mudflap at the leading edge of the Stone Stomper, but that swings upwards into an almost horizontal position once the vehicle is at cruising speed.
An advantage of the horizontal shielding is that it doesn’t increase wind resistance, so that should aid fuel economy somewhat. Also it doesn’t restrict airflow underneath the vehicle and that can be important when towing a heavy trailer in very hot weather.
Stones from the rear wheels fly up and hit the horizontal Stone Stomper mesh, then drop to the road. However, it’s possible there are more under-trailer stone strikes with the Stone Stomper than with a vertical flap, so critical under-trailer components still need protection.
In theory, a vertical mudflap design that can scrape the ground should restrict all stone strikes, but our tesing indicates that when the rear suspension deflects this design can kick up stones as the bottom edges hit the ground. Another problem with wide, deep mud flaps is that they can get ripped off on narrow or rocky trails.
Stone Stomper is designed to protect not only the trailer bodywork but the A-frame, gas bottles, gas and brake lines, and the coupling. It also reduces staining from mud spray and tar on the trailer bodywork.
Stone Stomper mesh is not shade cloth, but a one-piece panel of reinforced truck mesh that is cut and sewn by professional canvas makers. Each order is custom made to fit individual measurements, ensuring maximum protection.
The mesh can fit to horse floats, boat trailers, motor bike trailers, box trailers and farm trailers. The company can custom make a Stone Stomper to fit wider vehicles, such as the F250 and motor homes.
All metal work is laser cut and electroplated for durability.
Andy and Michelle emailed their vehicle and trailer measurements to Stone Stomper and a plan drawing came back the next day. They approved it, sent $550 plus $50 delivery and the Stone Stomper kit arrived four days later.
OTA’s test kit was easily installed between a 200 Series and an Ultimate Camper, in around an hour for the initial fitting. Thereafter, it can connect and reconnect in a few seconds.
The Parrys have had no visible stone damage since fitting the Stone Stomper. Durability testing will continue throughout 2016.