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I was up in the mountains a couple weeks ago exploring some abandoned mines and driving on some questionable roads for the Metris' ground clearance. Nothing crazy like 4x4 jeep trails, just rutted, rocky rough dirt roads. All was OK though since I was driving slow and maneuvering to avoid obstacles. It was a bit nerve-wracking knowing what the low points are under the van. It is a little frustrating realizing that the van is probably not the best vehicle for exploring off the beaten path, even if I'm avoiding 4x4 trails.

There are two major vulnerable areas: fuel tank is the lowest thing hanging between the two axles, and the driver's side rocker panel where the rear (pax) AC and heater tubes could easily be ripped open and strand someone with coolant loss. Pretty unbelievable how easy it would be to high-center and damage the fuel tank.

I'm thinking about a lift kit to get off the ground a bit more, but that doesn't really make me feel a whole lot better about the safety margin. I don't plan on driving rough roads for the sake of it; just using the van as a means to get to interesting places after hundreds of highway miles to get there. Terranger sells skid plates for the front (engine) and transmission, but nothing further back. I'm not sure what the diesel versions look like underneath past the front axle but maybe the fuel tank is tucked up better.

In any case, I'm just posting this mostly to spark ideas on possible skid plate designs that could better protect the fuel tank and rear HVAC tubing from road damage. If anyone else has addressed these issues, please post and share!
 

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2016 Cargo converted into a camper van
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Yeah, I've crawled around under my 2016 cargo and its not a pretty sight under there concerning ground clearance. Plus it a very long wheel base. Clearly designed for smooth European roads.

Maybe one positive thing about the fuel tank is that its plastic and might just get an indentation if you hit a relatively smooth object. Of course it could puncture more easily than steel if you hit a sharp object. I'm hoping someone other than me can report those results.....

I'll most likely put a lift on mine in the near future just for a bit of peace of mind. The extra clearance would be helpful in snowy situations also.

Humm, hadn't thought about adding skid plates.
 
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