Welcome to the fifth entry in September’s Mini Mod Contest. One Mini Mod will be published in every Email Alert in September. At the end of the month, we’ll hold a reader vote to determine September’s winner. Click here for information about the 2023 Mod Contest, including how to enter.
Frank Tuttle, Kinderhook, New York
Radiator Protection For All Trucks
2014 Toyota Tacoma
2017 Four Wheel Camper Swift
The grills on trucks no longer serve their original purpose of keeping stones from hitting the radiator as they did in years gone by.
The grill on my truck allows large enough stones to fly through to damage the radiators (and air conditioner, transmission, and cooling system). This can happen while driving on dirt roads, or even following a sanding truck during winter and could stop you without the possibility of ad-hoc repair. This happened to me.
This mod is very cheap insurance. First, cut one or more pieces of 1/2-inch hardware cloth to fit the radiator grill opening(s) from behind.
Use zip ties to fasten the hardware cloth to the back side of the grill.
For appearance sake, hardware cloth can be painted black prior to installation. I did not.
Use zip ties (or wire) matching the grill color to attach the hardware cloth to the back of the grill. This mod can be undone in two minutes with no damage to the truck. It also stops many larger bugs from plugging up the radiators.
I have driven the Hole in the Rock Road, Dempster Highway, the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway (ITH), the Dalton Highway, and Canadian logging roads for years with window damage, but no radiator damage.
All you need is three square feet from a roll of 1/2-inch hardware cloth and 10 black zip ties from any hardware store.
It took me 15 minutes to complete this modification and cost me $12. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is easy.
Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.
Enter Your Mods Now!
If you’d like to enter a modification you’ve done on your truck camper, click here. You can enter as many mods as you want, at any time. Good luck mod makers!