Robust Fenders

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Robust Fenders

Postby MadMango » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:42 pm

Not sure if this was the proper place for this discussion.

Something has been nagging at me about fenders, why are they built so robustly? I can understand if you have an off-road trailer and use the fender for tank mounting, rock rail, or secondary work surfaces. If you have a traditionally shaped TD I can understand the vintage appeal for period-correct swoopy steel fenders. However, I have seen designs with no fenders, and where the body of the camper overhangs the wheel with no fender. I have also seen the over-hanging body with fenders, and I've seen fenders weld/bolted to the trailer frame or bolted to the camper body. So many variations.

What purpose does the fender serve? If it is solely to keep road debris off the camper, do they need to be so robust? If their purpose is prevent camper damage due to a blown out trailer tire, then why do some TDs not use fenders? Just curious about this topic. For my build I am making .25" Haircell ABS fenders, heat-formed and attached to the body.
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Re: Robust Fenders

Postby Wolfgang92025 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:02 pm

120241

A place to attach a running board? :lol:

For me it was design first. Keeping stuff of the trailer sides was second, and running board came in third.
At least that is how it worked out. :D
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Re: Robust Fenders

Postby Dale M. » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:49 am

Fenders are also to keep rain water and mud and street debris from being whipped up into air and covering cars following trailer (or car or truck) and possible depositing so much stuff on windshield of the following cars wipers can not keep up and causing them visibility problems......

I would say how ever fender is constructed is builders choice by what he like looks of, what is available to him and what build budget allows...

And yes they are also there because some states require them...

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Re: Robust Fenders

Postby swoody126 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:50 am

FENDERS serve to protect my precious load/cargo/toys...

in the case of TnTTT the fenders would protect the results of many hours of labor & many $$$ invested

tyres get really wonky when they run out of breath slowly and and more so when they run out of breath instantly

and they can cause an unbelievable amount of damage at those times

in this day n age w/ radial tyres having kevlar/aramid/steel belts & fibers in them they can wipe out the side of just about anything they fling themselves into

therefore IMHO FENDERS should be ROBUST

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Re: Robust Fenders

Postby aggie79 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:52 am

When camping, seating can be at a premium. It is not uncommon for someone to use your fender as a seat. If it someone like me, then that is a 200# + load on the fender, so a stout fender pays off for this situation.

Another possible reason for stout fenders, although it doesn't really apply to teardrops, is to contain the tire in a blow-out or tread delamination situation.
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Re: Robust Fenders

Postby KCStudly » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:18 am

Fenders of any substantial substance, being cantilevered from their mounting point, tend to fracture and break away from vibration if not mounted securely. On any kind of full size yet light weight fender in a side wall installation (not including those little weenie 12 inch tire type caps that come with the boxed kits) I would like to see several modest size fasteners around the inner lip of the fender, rather than just a few.

Some people want nice sturdy fenders so that they can stand on them to reach roof racks or to access the roof for other reasons (adjusting solar panels comes to mind). This is where I might step up to a frame mounted bracket that absolutely anchors the leading and trailing edges of the fender. These struts can incorporate running lights, too.

Fenders are going to be the widest point on a trailer, so are the most likely contact point to brush off of, or outright clobber something when cutting it too close, or when backing under less than ideal visibility (rain, night, etc.). For an off road build this becomes even more of a concern. This is where you will see heavy steel fenders with robust mountings, full tube fenders and/or running boards that double as rock rails and/or tree fenders, and the like. (For the record, I am a big proponent of Tread Lightly tactics... pack in/pack out... and don't want to see anyone harming trees, but on many established trails the damage has already been done, trees do fall in the woods, and the rubbed on trees have already become part of the trail, so to me, since I can't fix that tree, it is acceptable practice to follow the trail... of course we try to avoid this and the harm it can do to our vehicles, but sometimes the trail is only so wide... just don't go berserk busting every tree you come to.)

My original plan was to just secure my aluminum flat top fenders to the side walls using threaded inserts and six or so 1/4 inch or 5/16 bolts per side, but now I am thinking I might weld simple struts to the bottoms of my main rails that will support the lower edges, eliminate most of the holes in the wall (for better weather resistance) and provide a feature to hide and protect running light wiring outside of the wheel well, leaving the tops of the fenders uncluttered.
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Re: Robust Fenders

Postby Andrew Herrick » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:00 am

KCStudly wrote:Fenders of any substantial substance, being cantilevered from their mounting point, tend to fracture and break away from vibration if not mounted securely. On any kind of full size yet light weight fender in a side wall installation (not including those little weenie 12 inch tire type caps that come with the boxed kits) I would like to see several modest size fasteners around the inner lip of the fender, rather than just a few.


Can attest to this. Seen improperly mounted fenders vibrate and shear completely off of their trailers when not mounted correctly.

But I'll second what other posters said. There they're to protect the camper and following drivers from rocks and debris, if if/when your tire blows out, they function as a bomb shelter. Well worth the extra $40 :)
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Re: Robust Fenders

Postby MadMango » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:41 pm

Thanks for all the replies. I hope this didn't come across as sounding like a rant against fenders, however I could see how it could have seemed like one.

:thumbsup:
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Re: Robust Fenders

Postby brx017 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:48 pm

MadMango wrote:Thanks for all the replies. I hope this didn't come across as sounding like a rant against fenders, however I could see how it could have seemed like one.


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