Mud Flaps For RVs: Are They Worth The Money?
Most people have noticed those rectangles of vinyl that hang behind the tires of a semi truck. Some people may have also noticed that those same flaps often hang behind RVs. These are called mud flaps, and if your RV doesn’t have them already, you may be wondering if mud flaps for RVs are something you should invest in.
Honestly, whether or not your RV requires mud flaps depends on a few things. If you have a smaller RV, mud flaps are probably not necessary. However, we do recommend that bigger motorhomes get some installed. Many states even require mud flaps to be installed on any vehicle with four or more tires on the rear axle.
Let’s dive into the ins and outs of these RV accessories to see if they might be something you’d like to add to your rig.
What are RV mud flaps used for?
First, let’s answer the burning question, “What are RV mud flaps used for?” Surely, they have some sort of purpose, but what exactly are they expected to do?
Well, if you’ve ever followed a larger vehicle without mud flaps, or if you’ve followed such a vehicle on a dirt or gravel road, you’ve likely noticed the debris that gets kicked up behind the vehicle. It only takes one of those rocks getting flung in the wrong direction to damage something around.
If you happen to tow a car or boat behind your RV, this would likely be the victim of the thrown rock. If not, it might be a car driving directly behind you.
In either case, bits of debris can cause damage such as broken windshields, scratched gel coats, and a dirty tow vehicle. Over time, these damages add up.
Mud flaps will protect your tow vehicles and the vehicles around you by catching any debris that might be flung into the air by your RV tires.
Can you buy mud flaps for RVs?
Let’s say your RV didn’t come with mud flaps pre-installed. Can you buy them? If so, where can you get them? Fortunately, the answer is yes, you certainly can buy mud flaps for RVs. Not only that, but they’re relatively easy to find online and in stores.
There are traditional mud flaps (like what you might see on a truck) as well as tow guards or rock guards, which are wider, so they cover the entire width of the back of your motorhome. Generally, traditional mud flaps are recommended for Class C RVs. Tow guards are good for Class A and Class C RVs.
Here are some good picks:
- Tow guard: SMART SOLUTIONS Rock Solid Ultra Guard
- Mud flaps: Buyers Products Polymer Mud Flaps or Duraflap Motorhome Mud Flaps
Drawbacks to installing RV mud flaps
While mud flaps for RVs do a great job of protecting tow cars, boats, and other vehicles around you, there have been reports of these flaps causing damage.
Some users claimed that when a motorhome tire blew out, the mud flap aimed shrapnel in such a way that the underside of their RV was damaged. One RVer even had damage to his black tank, something that could not have been fun to deal with.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t install RV mud flaps, but it is good to go in knowing the pros and cons of your decision. Choosing a rock guard instead of traditional mud flaps may help you avoid this problem.
How to install mud flaps for RVs
When you buy RV mud flaps, they usually come with instructions on how to install them. Traditional mud flaps are often very easy to install.
If you decide on a rock guard instead, check out the video below to get started:
DIY RV mud flaps
Want to save some money? Like doing projects? It’s actually possible to make custom mud flaps, and you will be able to make them look and function exactly as you want them to.
The video below has instructions on how to make mud flaps for a truck, but these instructions could definitely be modified for a motorhome:
How to clean RV mud flaps
It should come as no surprise that mud flaps can get dirty quickly. If your RV mud flaps are getting muddy, you may be wondering how to go about cleaning them. Fortunately, this is not too hard to do!
There are several ways to remove gunk from RV mud flaps. No matter which method you choose, we recommend removing the mud flaps to make the process easier. That said, if removing the mud flaps or rock guard is too difficult, you can clean them while they are still attached.
If you are working with rubber mud flaps, try using a laundry stain remover to clean them and employing the use of a razor blade to remove stuck-on gunk. For plastic mud flaps, something as simple as 99% rubbing alcohol will do the trick. Some people also use Magic Erasers to get their RV mud flaps clean again.
Once your mud flaps or rock guard is clean, apply a layer of ceramic coating made specifically for plastic and/or rubber to maintain shine and add a protective coat, so it stays cleaner for longer.
By now you have a good bit of knowledge about mud flaps for RVs. Will you add a set to your rig? Which type will you choose?
Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.