What Material Do I Use To Replace The Engine Road Debris Protector On My Motorhome?

by Don Sommerville
(Salt Lake City, Utah)

I have a 2007 Sea Breeze by National. There is a plastic tarp material suspended between the engine and front tires on both right and left sides secured at the top with mechanical fasteners (pop rivets I think) and tied in place at the bottom with nylon tie straps. As with all material of this sort it is now starting to shred.

On one side there is a hole burned out from exhaust heat. If this goes away the engine is exposed to everything that will be coming off the tires. I don't know if I could replace it with some sheet metal or not. It would be easy to secure it at the top but not much to work with at the bottom. This may even aid in air flow across the engine. Any ideas would help.

ANSWER: Greetings Don thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

I believe I know what you are talking about. They are like curtains located in the front wheel wells under the engine. They are there to prevent road debris from entering the engine compartment and I do not believe that they have any effect on the engine cooling.

Fabricating something out of sheet metal could be a viable option for that area and would probably work, but I am sure it would cause a lot of noise if you ever have to travel down a gravel road.

My suggestion is
that you find an area where you can cut a little piece of the material off and take it to a place like Home Depot and have them look at it. The last time I looked at one of these "engine curtains" it looked identical to landscape fabric I have seen.
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That being said; I would be concerned with the fire resistance of this fabric, since you stated that it appears that the exhaust system has already burnt a hole in the existing one. The one thing you don't want to do is put a material under the engine that has the potential to create a fire in your Motorhome.

I hope that helps.

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