A trailer cover or caravan stone guard is designed to give protection to the front of your van from chips and dents caused by pebbles and stone chips that are thrown up by the towing vehicle. The stone guard also prevents your gas bottles from being damaged. The stone guard is attached to a metal frame that's fixed to the caravan's draw bar and is usually covered with a hard wearing, padded mesh material.
From time to time you may want to replace your stone guard. Replacement is important to make sure that your van remains protected.
Stone guard replacement can be a tricky task, but you can accomplish it yourself by following the guidelines below. This is a job that requires at least two pairs of hands, so recruit a mate to help you and pick a nice, still day when it's not too windy.
How to replace your caravan's stone guard
Although the stone guard must be securely fitted, it is better not to have the material too taut so that it absorbs some of the impact of flying gravel and stones. You should aim to fit the new stone guard so that it is on a slight downward angle. This ensures that stone chips and pebbles are deflected downward back onto the road, rather than upwards and onto the back windscreen of your towing vehicle.
- Start by removing the corner trims from the front of the caravan. You will need to do this in order to fit the stone guard correctly underneath the trims. Note that when the new stone guard is in situ and the corner trims have been put back, you will need to reseal the front corners to keep water out.
- You can now fit the stone guard over the front of the caravan, ensuring that the gas bottles are completely covered. Following the manufacturer's guidelines, fix the stone guard to the van's draw bar.
- Now you will need to adjust the tension of the stone guard. It's important that you tension the vinyl guard correctly so that you don't stretch the material out of shape. Incorrect tension can place undue strain on the stitch lines, which could cause the vinyl to tear. You want the fabric to be stretched such that it fits firmly and securely over the front of the van. Remember that the vinyl will become slightly baggy in hot weather and adjust the tension to accommodate this.