A while back, I wrote in asking about a gravel protector blanket for our caravan. I made my own, which sadly never got to be tested. You see, we had the misfortune of being involved in an accident on our first day in Namibia − my wife was driving and fell asleep behind the steering wheel. We rolled, writing off both car and caravan, just 100 kilometres short of Keetmanshoop.
We were very fortunate that neither of us was seriously injured. Special people helped us and we managed to get most of our belongings back to South Africa. Needless to say, it was quite an experience. The rest of our tour party continued with the trip.
Getting back to the gravel protector, I made this to bolt onto the chassis of the vehicle just in front of the back bumper. The Fortuner conveniently had a hole which I could use.
The frame was made out of 30 x 30 x 3mm angle iron to which a flat plate measuring 100 x 50 x 4mm was welded. The flat plate was braced to the iron with a 100mm square bar. The flat plate was drilled to suit the hole in the chassis.
I attached a piece of conveyor belting 10mm thick and 550mm long, to hang 50mm off the ground when the vehicle was loaded and the caravan hitched. The belting projected to just outside of the wheel arch. (I did not want to project further, as one could catch oneself on it).
I had done a trial run and it worked perfectly. Also, when reversing, this did not get caught under the rear wheels. The belting was rigid enough not to deflect when driving.
I have since bought a new Fortuner and Xcape, and have recently got back from a 3-week trip to Kutse, Central Kalahari and Moremi.