The stoneguard on the Goldstream Crown was fixed to the
A-frame (Photo 1) and was too close to the back of the Prado, the
rear door only partly opening, barely enough to open the fridge. I
decided to investigate the possibility of hinging the stoneguard so
that the Prado's rear door could more fully open, at least enough to
allow us easy access to the fridge.
I wanted to keep any modifications to a minimum, preferably
no welding (the stoneguard frame turned out to be aluminium anyway,
not the steel I had assumed), limited drilling of the A-frame, and
to cost as little as possible.
The stoneguard was held onto the A-frame by two saddles fixed
onto bolts that had been welded to the frame. I decided to use these
bolts as is, and to modify strap hinges to fit over these and for
the hinges to be fastened to the stoneguard, thus allowing the
stoneguard to pivot forward, lie flat and so provide clearance for
the rear door. The stoneguard was first unbolted and laid flat on
the A-frame to check that the idea was feasible. It was.
Two strap hinges (in hindsight I should have bought heavier
ones) were cut and drilled and laid in position over the existing
bolts (Photos 2 & 3). The stoneguard was offered up to the hinges
and mounting holes marked. These were drilled and the stoneguard was
fastened to the hinges (Photo 4).
When hinged, the stoneguard was slightly rearwards of where
it had been and now was proud of the A-frame. Two short legs were
fashioned out of aluminium angle to support the stoneguard, and
these were set so as to angle the stoneguard slightly forward. This
was done to provide space behind the stoneguard so that the handle
that winds up the camper could be inserted into its socket. Short
lengths of rubber were stuck to the A-frame under the legs. To lock
the stoneguard in place,toggle catches were fixed to the A-frame and
modified eye-bolts were fixed to the frame of the stoneguard (Photo
5). The modified eye-bolts were required because the "hooks" that
came with the toggle catches proved to be unsuitable.
Photo 6 shows the re-assembled stoneguard partly folded down
- the jockey wheel is in the way, but would not be there when the
camper is hitched to the Prado.
It is now a simple matter to fold down the stoneguard and
have sufficient clearance to open the rear door - still not quite
fully as the gas bottle prevents this, but it's a lot more
Stoneguard as supplied, bolted to the A-frame
Strap hinge as bought, laid over the existing bolts
Strap hinge cut and drilled
Stoneguard frame bolted to the hinges
Stoneguard folded forward, showing short support legs,
rubber pad on A-frame and toggle catch with modified
Re-assembled stoneguard folded partly forward
thanks to Richard
Graylin for sharing this idea