The best way to travel is with a covered trailer. If that is not an option than I would definately get a salt shield. Anything you can do to minimize the salt and grime to protect your sled is worth it, and if you can afford it, get the cover too. No matter what though, crud has a way of finding itself onto your snowmobile. Make sure you wash your sled down too after trips.
Definately get the shield! I regret not getting one last season and a shield is on the top of my list for this season. I came back from one trip while it was snowing and had to pick away at the snow/ice for a good half hour before I could access the tiedown to get the sled off the trailer.
For this reason alone I will be installing one, in addition to the fact that it will keep the sleds and hopefully even the covers cleaner.
It's painful to go in the backyard right now and see all of the rust on the suspension components of my sled that probably could have been avoided had I just sprung for the slushguard initially.
I've given this a lot of thought. I was going to buy a slush guard, but a lot of them do not allow much room to get to the tie downs. My trailer has the bar style tie downs that goes over the skis, and I don't think I could get to them with a slush guard. I think I've seen ones that hinge before, but even if they did come forward they could only go as far as the toungue of the trailer and it would still be hard to reach the tie downs. Not to mention the price of these things.
So my soulution is going to be one of two ideas I have. One is two make two frames that together are a wide as the trailer, but leave a gap between them the width of your trailer tongue. Then face them with plastic, wood, what ever, and use aluminum hinges and bolt them on to the front of the trailer. That way you can let them hang down in front of the trailer and still be able to easily access the tie downs. The second idea is to install some side board pockets to the trailer, then make some removable side boards, like on a stake body truck. Then you just lift off the side boards. I will probably do this if I can get aluminum stake pockets. I plan to put the sides on all the way around the trailer. I will give the sleds added protection all the way around, and it will allow me to put some gear in there with limited protection. I will also allow me to use the trailer to haul other things in the summer, such as mulch, grass, firewood, whatever. Good Luck
Understand covered trailers will protect a sled best going through the "stuff" in the wintertime. But at what cost? Not talking about purchase price, just maneuvering in traffic, let alone backing one up, even when there is a lot of room, is very difficult. They are much wider than most vehicles and very difficult to see around from all but the biggest tow vehicles and then only with mirror extensions.
Slush guards are easier to deal with, but I like to drive my heavy sled off the front, making the guard awkward at best,
when iced up, a genuine pain.
I'll take my chances with a good cover as my first line of defense any day. Yup, I get caught with slush buildups and so on, but nothing much could have done any better.
Corrosion on a sled in storage reflects the care it's received, both during the season, and when it was put in storage
Closer to season my trailer w/slush guard is going up for sale in lieu of an enclosed. In my opinion, it's the only way to go.
The hardest thing is coughing up the jack for an enclosed V-nose, especially if a 2 place won't get the job done.
due to the cost of an enclosure, I never had one until last season. Will never not have one again. What a joy to pull a clean sled off a trailer. No more wet dirty covers, no more slush and salt on the sled.
Well worth the money. Not to mention the extra storage space you have in the trailer for other gear, etc.
A good friend of mine just bought 2 new sleds with canvas covers and no enclosed top (on order at the time). He showed up at the cabin with so much slush on the trailer and sleds, we used shovels for 30 mins to remove most of it. His rear end was close to dragging do to the weight of the slush kicked up. I drove through the same snow fall. I have a slush guard and I used 3/4" plexiglass and built sides that are attached to the slush guard and almost going full length of the trailer. My sled were clean. Enclosed is nice, but I simply do not have the extra $$$ at this time. So if your strapped, build some kind of slush guard for the front, even if it is doubled hinged to have access to the tie downs. Who needs that 300+ pounds of extra slush weight when traveling.
Salt sheild is the way to go. We bought a large plastic salt sheild for our trailer and that is the best thing since sliced bread. If you drive on slushy roads look at the sheild after. there will be about 20 ponunds of slush stuck to the sheild. No tarp or cover will stop that. Sheild or inclosed NO LESS.
First year back after 30 years away from snowmobiling. Loved it. Ended up buying a 2 place trailer with no shield. Learned a hard lesson 2nd time out. Decided to to make my own shield. Took about 5 hours. Worked good but was to tall. Gas milage and wind played havoc with the trailer. Cut the shield down after measuring others that I saw. Was satisfied although I prefer putting my sled in the back of my truck. Great gas milage and no mess.
My buddies that I ride with have an enclosed trailer. We put my sled in back of his truck and he hauls his 2 sleds in the trailer. Works out great. Need to have the right truck to pull all that weight and make sure that the trailer tracks well particularly in the snow. Won't want to pull an enclosed trailer with anything less than a full size 4 wheel drive truck or SUV with a good size motor in it.
By the way, if you build your own which I did out of wood covered with tin, first go and take measurement. I have the same lock down system as you do. I was able to design mine so I could get at the center crank without making a door. Send me your address and I'll e-mail a picture to you to give you an idea of what I am talking about. Design and shape make a difference. Trailered with another guy who had a shield, factory designed. Sleds were half covered in slush. Travel with mine, the top of the windshield cover only gets wet.
I am about to purchase an open 2 place trailer so I can haul my new machine (REV X 800) as well as my old one. My existing single trailer had a nice plastic salt shield which worked quite nicely. This trailer I am buying, is from a neighbour and has no shields whatso ever and I want to build something on it. hotshot94, your modifications sound like something that I would like to do. Could you post your pic here so more people like myself could see it? Thanks
p.s. If anyone is interested in having my single place trailer shield, I can post a pic of it. I live in MB Canada.
I will post the picture as soon as I get home to NH. Away on vacation in Nova Scotia until 7/14.
By the way, it is my understanding that a shield cost about $125. US.. I was short on cash at the time I built mine. The advantage of the factory one is weight. There is just enough weight in the home made project to make the bed fall once the sled is backed off. I have to have someone stand on the back of the bed or place a 5 gal. pail of sand on the end.
Still was a fun project and great conversation piece I might say. Good old yankee ingenuity.
Here are two pics of what I did to increase the protection of my sleds. Up in Northern NewEngland, we will be driving in miles of slush and possibly dirt roads before we arrive in our destination. This is to give you some ideas should you use a factory salt shield.
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