No one wants mud spraying the underside of their motorhome while they travel to their next destination. Even if it might just seem like some light dirt and grime, it can cause damage to your RV over time by rusting your frame and mechanical parts. You also don’t want dirt from the road to spray onto the cars behind you, which can damage their vehicle or cause an accident on the road.
Thankfully, auto parts gurus have devised a clever solution to this problem: RV mud flaps. We’re here to show you how to measure and install them so that you can journey in peace!
Let’s walk through the steps of measuring and installing RV mud flaps.
Before you truly get started installing your mud flaps, you’ll want to make sure your RV is parked on level ground in a safe location. Once you’ve parked, put your RV at its normal driving or towing height so that you can have a good idea of how much space you have to install the mud flap.
It’s a best practice to give your RV a good cleaning before installing mud flaps (or any similar devices) so that previous dirt or rust doesn’t affect your installation process. Clean your RV as best you can from top to bottom, paying extra attention to the frame and the parts surrounding the underside of the vehicle, which is where the mud flap will be installed. Be sure that everything is dry before you move on to the next step so that you’re not inviting rust.
One last thing to take care of before getting started is to flip through the instruction manual that was issued with your mud flap. Our process should get you set up quickly and easily, but sometimes mud flaps may have differing instructions. Check if the manual mentions anything specific for your RV, and, if so, keep that in mind.
Now, you’re ready to get started!
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The location of your RV’s hanging points varies depending on the manufacturer as well as the model. What you want to look for is a series of holes along a sheet of metal either underneath the back of the vehicle or along the vehicle’s frame. You’ll know you’ve found it when your chosen mud flap clearly aligns with the holes.
In some cases, you may have to drill the holes into the frame yourself, which adds an extra step, but isn’t too difficult.
If you do have to drill holes, you have two options. You can take it to an RV repair company, who would likely be happy to do it for you at a relatively low cost, or you can do it yourself with a drill. To do it yourself, you’ll want to place your mud flap up against the frame of your RV to see where the holes would need to be, and mark your RV accordingly in those spots. You’ll then drill right through those markings to create holes for the mud flap. It’s a good idea to test out the mud flap and make sure those holes are adequate to support installation.
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There are particular details you’ll want to make sure are correct before you actually install the mud flap.
Above all else, the mud flap should be at least 4 inches above the ground so that it doesn’t drag and hurl debris at your RV. You don’t want to wind up having your mud flap turn against you and create road spray problems rather than solve them. To ensure your mud flap works properly, measure the space between your installation points and the ground. Your mud flap should be at least 4 inches shorter than this space. If not, you may have to cut it down or buy a new one.
Keep in mind that the mud flap has to coexist with any other materials hanging from your RV by the installation point. A good rule of thumb is that the mud flap should ideally be installed two inches below the next-lowest object so that it can swing freely without interfering with that object.
If there are objects that directly get in the way of your mud flap’s space, you can cut out parts of your mud flap so that the flap can be installed over the objects. You also want to always be aware of where your exhaust is. It’s essential that you never install a mud flap behind the exhaust, as this can burn the rubber and ruin the mud flap.
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It’s finally time to get into what you came here for. If your RV is all prepared, you’ve located (and drilled, if need be) your installation points, and measured your mud flap and its corresponding space to make sure it fits properly, you can start the installation itself.
This is a simple process. All you have to do is screw the mud flap onto the RV’s frame. If your mud flap kit didn’t come with nuts, bolts, and washers, you’ll want to get those ready. Push a bolt through this washer, and secure the bolt completely by tightening a nut on it. Repeat these same steps for each of the holes you’ll be using until the mud flap has been completely hooked up to your RV.
All that’s left is to make sure that your mud flap is good to go and won’t come loose!
Give it a little tug in different directions so that you can be sure it responds well to force. You should also check one last time to ensure that there are at least 4 inches between the bottom of your mud flap and the ground.
Once you’ve confirmed that everything is in its right place, you’re finished! You’re officially an expert on how to measure and install RV mud flaps and are ready to protect your RV from all sorts of damage down the road.
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