Budget DIY Rear Window Protection for your 4WD

Before embarking on any offroad trip with your camper trailer attention needs to be paid the rear of the tow vehicle and camper trailer in relation to stone protection. Most camper trailers do require a stone guard to reduce stones that ricochet off the trailer back onto the tow vehicle. There are many variations in stone guards depending on the style of set up on your campers draw bar.

Additional protection off the rear of the vehicle like large mudflaps fitted across the rear also slow the rocks and stones down from coming off the rear into the trailer and bouncing back. Not only does this protects the trailer but also saves the rear of the vehicle being sandblasted with stones and rocks.

After many kilometres off outback travel I have seen many broken rear windows on the vehicles towing not only camper trailers but also caravans that have not had adequate protection or just unlucky!

Rear windows don’t come cheap so if broken this can place a big dent into your holiday budget. A broken window can also affect the structural strength of any vehicle.

A simple way protecting the rear window from damage is to cover the window with either cardboard or core flute sheet like what is used as packing between sheets of aluminium.

Thicker cardboard is also a good option when on the road which can be picked up from most supermarkets but can deteriate quickly in rain or muddy conditions. Wax covered cardboard boxes like fruit and veggie boxes are more resistant to the weather conditions.

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After making the trip down the local aluminium supplier I picked up a sheet of Core Flute to use as protection for the tow vehicle. The sheet was only going to be thrown out so it was free!!

Before heading off the black top I cut out two templates using a sharp blade one template for each window on the barn doors of the Patrol .This only took around 10 minutes to complete. There was enough material left over to store under the mattress of the camper trailer should I need to replace a window cover during a trip.

To fix the material to the vehicle I used gaffer or race tape that is strong enough to hold onto the glass with the wind that is generated whilst driving. The template should be cut to the maximum size .of the glass, whilst making sure there is enough room to place the tape on the glass not the paint work of the vehicle. Make sure that the gaffer tape is sealed all the way around the material as not to let any dust in between the material and the glass as this might cause the tape to lift off.

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I have travelled through the Flinders Rangers and the length of the Oodnadatta Track, through the Kimberley’s and the Pilbara of WA whilst on many outback roads towing the camper trailer and haven’t come across any issues with damaged rear windows. Another plus of covering the rear of the vehicle is it’s keeps the sun of the fridge if it’s carried in the rear of the vehicle!! All up this DIY project cost under $20 to complete in less than 1hr, an easy job on a rainy day.

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5 thoughts on “Budget DIY Rear Window Protection for your 4WD

  1. Richard Hennessy
    Richard Hennessy says:

    Hi Ian, I cant see a problem with the rear window covered. Care must taken with reversing if rear camera isn't installed to the vehicle. Often when touring the rear of the wagon is full loaded also restricting vision. Just like utes I have owned in the past with no vision out of the rear. During my travels I have travelled well over 40k with the rear window covered and twice I have been pulled over for license checks with the window covered. Once in Port Headland and again on the Nullarbor. Both times I have never had a issue. So to answer your question I'm not 100% sure if it is illegal but I'd recommend checking local laws first as the regulation could vary around the country. One suggestion would be not to attach the protection until your ready to hit the dirt. It only adds a few minutes to the trip. I have done this after dropping tyres pressures and its often a good time for the kids to have a stretch and run around too!

    Cheers
    Rich

    • Ian says:

      Hi Rich,

      I have finally made the decision to make my own rear window protection. However, you have said only to do it just before hitting the dirt, whereas, I have now semi permanently attached it to the window, is that going to be a problem? I would also want to know how well the duct tape lasts against the harsh Australian weather?

      This is how it looks like.
      http://i1093.photobucket.com/albums/i427/IanMak3103/Rear%20window%20protection_zpsbcimuv5p.jpg

      Regards,
      Ian

      • Richard Hennessy says:

        Looks great Ian,

        The dust is what I have found to cause the tape to lift but duct tape isn't to expensive so I just replace it as required.

        Safe travels and if you see us out and about be sure to say G'day!

        Cheers
        Rich

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