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Old 10-16-2021, 07:29 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 31
SUN #12909
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Front Rock Guard??? Is it Safe to Remove When Not Towing At All?

Hello Sunnies!

My T1550 is going to be stationary for the Winter and used
occasionally as an "Office Pod". (A Phone Booth!) Ha. ha.

For aesthetic reasons, is there any reason why one shouldn't/couldn't, totally remove the Rock Guard, that overhangs the leading window, to both let in more sunlight and make the Trailer a little more pleasing to the eye in the yard??

Does it readily come off?? Would it be impossible to get it back on?

Just wondering if there is any wisdom against removing it, as long as it is not actually being towed (No rocks flying up!).

Thanks to all!!

Mark in Massachusetts

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Old 10-16-2021, 08:50 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 31
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Just took a closer look.

The Rock Guard is held on by just 4 Screws that are on the bottom of the
sliding brackets. I used a nut driver and just removed all four screws and the
Rock Guard was then able to slide sideways clear out of the track.

(Be sure now to let the brackets scratch along the front of your trailer as you slide it off.)

I took the Rock Guard off, filled the screw holes with some Silicone to keep any water out and put the assembly and screws in the basement.

The Trailer is SO much brighter/nicer without the overhang of the Rock Guard over the settee windows!

Easy win!!!

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Old 10-16-2021, 09:35 PM   #3
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Hi Mark,

A few comments,

You asked if it was OK to remove the rock guard, as you found out you can remove it. As to should you, a few things I know of the rock guards/front windows.

Towing is a concern of flying debris into the glass window, thus the name rock guard. In your case, you are not towing the camper, at least now. So this is not that much a concern.

Leaks, the front window is sort of a classic RV leak location. Roof water running down the front allows a lot of water to hit that window. Towing in the rain, well depending on the brand, and style of the front window, water can get in from being wind beat into front when towing in the rain when the putty tape is even slightly compromised. While you do not have the towing wind issue, the roof run off is still there.

The rock guards have changed style and brand over the years. I'm not exactly sure what yours looks like and or the brand. It might be a Hehr or not. Sunline Fan I'm sure may know.

Some of the older rock guards, at least in the late 90's, early year 2000 the rock guard had a gutter on the top and when the guard was down, it helped sealed out the sun from baking the putty tape into failure when the camper was in storage. I saw a 2001 Sunny up close 2 years ago and I was shocked at how good the putty tape was compared the the new Kinro front windows being under the rock guard cover. I mentioned this to another fellow Sunline friend and he said the gutter collects leaves, so their is no prefect front window yet.

If yours has the feature that when the rock guard is removed, the putty tape sealing the window to the siding is exposed, I suggests two things.

1. Ideally, pull the window out, take off all the putty tape, clean the surface totally on the camper siding and window frame and replace with commercial building grade butyl tape to create a longer lasting water seal.

2. In addition to no. 1 above, caulk the outer perimeter of the window flange that is sealing the window to the siding and it will cover the butyl tape. I suggest Geocel RV Proflex or Dicor Non Sag lap sealant. The Geocel comes in several colors and is my new go to caulk for anything on the outside of the camper other then on a rubber roof. But the Dicor is good too, I used lot of it.

If you run out of time before bad weather comes to pull the window, then do no. 2 above at least.

You mentioned using Silicone as a siding sealant. Silicone is a good product when applied in a good application. From all I have seen, silicone is not a good product for siding or roof sealing. It does work in the short term, just not in the long term. I find it will separate from either the siding or the window with the silicone very much still good, just not bonded any more to the window to siding, thus a leak can still happen after a few years. If you do have silicone on the camper and you want to change to a different caulk, this becomes more complex as there is not much that will stick to silicone, so you have to get 100% of it off which can be complex. They do make special cleaners to remove silicone so it is not impossible, just difficult.

Hope this helps

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Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
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Old 10-18-2021, 09:45 AM   #4
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Thank you for answering so well!

Hello John!

A few things:

I did originally post wanting to know the pro's and con's of removing the Rock Guard, and then just got excited about removing it. Thank you for the considerations I needed!

I took to heart all of the threads about silicone and steer clear of it, overall. In this case, the only silicone I used was to temporarily fill and seal the 4-screw holes from the two Rock Cover brackets, only because I had it on hand -- but won't be using more in the future.

I definitely won't be towing it anywhere for the foreseeable future, and 100% agree that towing it without it, would be unsafe and foolish.

Water Concerns: So, what appears to be the case on the 1988 T1550 is that the Rock Guard doesn't really do anything water-wise, except help trap leaves in the gutter above the window. I've parsed it out quite a bit and the Rock Guard (other than incidental rain buffeting) doesn't serve any special rain purpose. The window is no different than all the other windows, except that is has a gutter above it. That gutter is exposed the same way, with or without the Rock Guard. (I think!)

I've looked at all the seams and seals and don't see any obvious Butyl tape in this instance, but that is a very worthwhile point -- unless the white material I'm calling "caulking" IS the butyl tape??

What I DO see 100%, is the wisdom behind using Geocel RV Proflex (or non-sag Dicor) to refresh the seal at the top of that window and gutter -- which I will do.

So, I THINK that in this model, the Rock Guard really only serves to be a Rock Guard -- and that the Window can stand on its' own without it.

I do see the potential issue of run-off, but even if the Rock Guard were in place (open or not), the Rock Guard doesn't really cover the gutter at all...and the amount of rain-water hitting the gutter would be the same -- save, of course, for driving rain one might encounter while towing -- in which case the Rock Guard should be in place.

So, maybe, I might be okay with leaving it off, but I will definitely be refreshing the sealant around the window and all of the side items (vents / lights/ doors / windows, hatches) as well as the roof (with proper stuff).

THANK YOU for helping me think through the specifics of this!!

Mark in Massachusetts

Front Window -- Ignore temporary flashing around lights and dirt!:

Messy Silicone Dabs to Temporarily Water-Seal Screw Holes:

Top of Gutter Looking Down Into It:

Top of Gutter Showing Caulking, I believe -- Will Clean and Re-Seal Here:

Ps. Is what I am seeing at the top of the window, caulking or Butyl Tape? I would like to avoid removing the window for now (too many other projects) -- but if essential, I might -- plan instead just to clean and re-seal that seam.
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