Let’s take a moment to talk about mud flaps. No, not the kind with chrome women or the words “Back Off” written on them, but the simple yet effective ones available from a range of manufacturers. These inexpensive products can do much more than keep your door handles clean on the trail. They help to protect your vehicle’s paint from chipping and fading, can help keep salt and sand from blasting your undercarriage, and are vital for preventing damage to a trailer if you tow one. Unfortunately, many stock mud flaps are bulky and get torn off on the trail, which is why I went looking for an alternative. What I found was Rally Armor, a light-weight poly-blend mud flap designed for rally cars.
These guards come in sets of four for $16, and are made right here in the USA. They measure 15 x 12 inches and are designed for a universal fit, so they have no pre-drilled holes.
Now, I usually prefer a heavier rubber flap as they’re more pliable and extremely durable, but after bending, twisting, and cutting a sample of this product, I can say that Rally Armor’s guards will get the job done. They will, however, scratch more easily, and show more wear when dragged on a rock, but replacements are cheap.
Since these mud flaps are universal, they are a little more difficult to install but not terrible. It will only require basic hand tools, a drill, and the hardware of your choice. Hardware is not included with the purchase because every vehicle has different factory mounts. We recommend a good set of rust-resistant nuts, bolts, washers, and backing plates. The following was our basic install process.
- Align one flap to a factory mounting hole, and mark your drill target accordingly.
- Drill it, and bolt it into place.
- Use the factory mount as a pivot, and rotate the flap to the desired angle, then mark the remaining holes.
- Check the alignment and drill.
- Once you’re done, lay that guard against the one for the opposite side, and copy the holes to that flap with a marker. This ensures your guards are even with each other and presents a clean uniform look. Repeat the process for the front or back set depending on where you started.
After using these guards for a few thousand miles, my only negative comment is that they’re a bit small for 35-inch tires. They get the job done, but some additional coverage would be nice. Of course, a larger option would catch off-road more often, so as usual, it’s all about the trade-offs.
At the end of the day, there’s a wide range of mud guards out there, and the best fit for you will depend on your needs, but these Rally Armor flaps are a great place to start if you’re looking for a lightweight and affordable option. They come in a base color of black with either blue, red, black, white, or gray lettering, and can be purchased in “basic” trim for $16, urethane for $104, urethane plus for $130, or motorsport spec for $200. We’d probably stick with the basics.
To learn more, check out their website here.