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Old 12-09-2012, 01:56 PM   #1
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Reinforcing bumper for dirt bike

I have a idea i need some suggestions on. Our trailer- 2012 jayco swift slx 184bh. I know the bumpers are only rated for 100 pounds. Ive looked at the attachment. We tow with a minivan and my son and i race motocross. His bike is small but for mine in tired of taking two cars to camp at the track and cant afford a truck right now. What i want to do is reinforce the rear bumper and remove the spare tire and add on one of those aluminum dirt bike carriers. My bike is light, about 230 pounds. Im thinking total wieght with carrier 250. Obviously i realize the weight problem in the rear vs front, however i would only be towing with full water up front, and all gear toward front on the bed to keep weight balanced. Has anyone done anything like this before? Any suggestions or additional info i havent thought of? Anyone reinforced thier bumpers before like this? I am an ironworker so i am a skilled fabricator and certified welder, so this will not be a cobbed together idea. Im thinking of tying it back into the frame better and reinforcing the bumper more than the small tube welds it has now
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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We own a motocross industry company and see this all the time at the races the other thing to do would be to remove your propane bottles up front and put the bikes up there one facing one way and the other the other way instead of using tie downs use turnbuckels to pull the footpegs down and hook them in it will keep the weight centered and you can get the bikes closer together almost touching
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:21 PM   #3
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That is a very good idea, which i have thought of. I do it with the four wheeler in the harbor frieght trailer and a channel on the tongue for the bike .The problem is the toyota sienna sags enough as is without airbags with a full load of water, it would be dragging on the ground with an extra 230 on it. Id definitely need an airbag system. Also my hitch is only rated for 350/500.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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The other thing i was thinking which would also balance my van would be a front mount hitch, which i cant seem to find. It would have to be fabbed. Also that would block my headlights and turn signals, which would need some sort of add in for that.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mirageags View Post
The other thing i was thinking which would also balance my van would be a front mount hitch, which i cant seem to find. It would have to be fabbed. Also that would block my headlights and turn signals, which would need some sort of add in for that.
Here you go, front mounted hitch made by Curt. Direct bolt on to where tow hooks went. Easy Peasy!
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:28 PM   #6
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Now thats the best solution, it would balance the van out with the front weight also when fully water loaded. Do they make one for 06 sienna?
This would be perfect for the 50cc scooter i bought for campground cruising as well.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:32 AM   #7
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If towing with a minivan,
I would be very careful as they are not designed to handle much more weight than they have on them...
check with the mfg before doing it...
and wondering if the cost of your upgrades will be more than finding a nice used truck to do your duties...
and then there's the stopping, handling, GAWR, GVWR, etc limits to be consider for your families safety....

The rv weight police will probably jump all over you on some forums

but good luck with your project... and let us know your results !
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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I mean, its not like im trying to put a harley on there. This is a light bike. 4 bicycles probobly wiegh as much. If it were any heavier, i wouldnt try it. The water wieght in the front alone is as much as the bike is. Still wracking my brain on this, becuase a truck wont be happening for three years.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:12 AM   #9
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You could a weight distribution hitch to help even the load on all the tires and level the rig
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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Old thread, but i think ive found a solution. The van will be better balanced this year as im buying the airlift 1000 rear bag system for towing.
I noticed the frame on this jayco is just 1/8" tube, with the bumper welded to that, which had me troubled. I thought of an idea. If i were to square out a hole in the bumper on each side, in line with the frame tubes, i could insert two other lengths of tube steel into the frame and drill a hole for through bolts, and the end of the tube steel would be a small channel just big enough for the bike. Wala, now its part of the frame, and has two points, so it wont twist while back there. I would only tow the bike on it if it was full with equal weight of water up front, which is the same weight as the bike. I think this may work.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:43 PM   #11
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My big concern is the change in weight balance. Adding weight to the rear unloads the hitch. A light hitch weight is not good for towing, especially with a marginal tow vehicle. You want about 12% of the total trailer weight on the hitch for stability.

You are dealing with more than the weight of the bike, you also are adding the steel for the rear structure you have to carry the bike.

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Old 03-09-2013, 02:47 PM   #12
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I didn't find any front-mounted receiver hitches for a Sienna. But how about a homemade suitable substitute? Start with a base plate for a towbar. BlueOx makes this one for your '06 Sienna:
BlueOx tow bar base plate for '06 Sienna

Mount the base plate, but instead of a tow bar, have your local welding shop fabricate a front receiver and attach/adapt the receiver to the base plate. Then buy a bike carrier sized for your bike and designed to be plugged into a receiver hitch. Like this one:
AMC-400 Lightweight Aluminum Motocross & Dirt Bike Carrier for 2" Hitch Receivers : Amazon.com : Automotive
except plug into the front receiver instead of a rear receiver.

Note that Reese and others make a receiver extension tube of a few inches to a coupla feet long to move the bike out further from the grill.

But yeah, I would weigh the wet and loaded Sienna on a CAT scale to be sure you don't exceed the front GAWR of the Sienna. The GAWR is located on the Federal Certification Label on the driver's front doorframe That's the sticker that includes tire size and PSI, GVWR, VIN, year/month of assembly and several codes.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:08 PM   #13
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Having the bike on the rear of the trailer wont unweight the hitch, as remember im adding the weight of a full tank of water up front, which is the same as the bike.
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