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Old 11-04-2007, 04:55 AM   #1
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My trailer has a 4" square bumper. Attached to it is a spare tire and a bike rack. Since the bike rack specifically fits the 4" bumper, it won't fit the van once we arrive at a campsite. So...I want to attach a 2" square reciever for a 60x20 hitch haul to replace the bike rack.

I've seen bolt on recievers especially for the 4" bumper. But it seems to me that they put excessive stress in the middle of the bumper. Maybe I'm being too cautious and underestimating the strength of the bumper.

Is there anyone who is using a hitch haul to haul bikes on your 4" TT bumper? What has your experience been with this set up?

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Old 11-04-2007, 04:55 AM   #2
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My trailer has a 4" square bumper. Attached to it is a spare tire and a bike rack. Since the bike rack specifically fits the 4" bumper, it won't fit the van once we arrive at a campsite. So...I want to attach a 2" square reciever for a 60x20 hitch haul to replace the bike rack.

I've seen bolt on recievers especially for the 4" bumper. But it seems to me that they put excessive stress in the middle of the bumper. Maybe I'm being too cautious and underestimating the strength of the bumper.

Is there anyone who is using a hitch haul to haul bikes on your 4" TT bumper? What has your experience been with this set up?

GM
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Old 11-04-2007, 07:46 AM   #3
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What you are calling a 4 inch square bumper is in reality a 4 inch square sewer hose carrier. Anything you attach to it you should consider expendable, because it will eventually fall off on the road someplace. Those things are made of light gage sheet metal and are not designed to carry any load. Personally I would get the bike rack off there and attach it to the frame using a frame mounted receiver hitch platform. I would also get the spare tire off there and figure out some better place to store that.
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:03 AM   #4
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X2! You may have any hitch shop install a 2" receiver by welding supports to the frame, but avoid using the "bumper" as a weight-bearing componet.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:21 AM   #5
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Thanks Ray and Donn,

Regarding the spare tire, I can mount it to the tongue.

Regarding the bike rack, I will look into a custom reciever hitch to mount to the frame.

I've seen 3 styles of bolting hitches onto a unibody vans: 1) fish plates and nuts through large holes in the frame, 2)long spacers between frame and van floor with bolt heads above the van's floor, and 3) horizontal mounting with spacers between the tube walls. Now considering that the TT frame is tubular and closed at the rear by the 4" bumper, how should I build my reciever hitch?

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Old 11-04-2007, 01:05 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 450Donn:
What you are calling a 4 inch square bumper is in reality a 4 inch square sewer hose carrier. Anything you attach to it you should consider expendable, because it will eventually fall off on the road someplace... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I think this is one of those "blanket statements" to which there are lots of exceptions. The 4" sq. bumper on our TT does indeed carry the sewer hose. However, the factory also mounted the spare tire to it, and it is solidly mounted, and has been so for over 5 years.

George, check how thick the wall of the 4" bumper is, and how it is secured to the frame of your trailer. That is the only valid way to verify if it is strong enough to do what you want to do.

The advantage to having a 2" receiver welded to the frame of your trailer, and extend out far enough to mount the bike rack is that you can also use the bike rack on the back of your tow vehicle when you are not towing the trailer. Just a thought...
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:31 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Paul Heuvelhorst:

George, check how thick the wall of the 4" bumper is, and how it is secured to the frame of your trailer. That is the only valid way to verify if it is strong enough to do what you want to do.

The advantage to having a 2" receiver welded to the frame of your trailer, and extend out far enough to mount the bike rack is that you can also use the bike rack on the back of your tow vehicle when you are not towing the trailer. Just a thought... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Paul,

The bumper is welded to the frame. The spare tire was factory installed there. I installed the bike rack with "4" bumper specific" mounts.

You have nailed exactly the reason for my desire to use my "hitch haul" for my bikes--to haul the bikes on the back of the tow vehicle when we've arrived at the campground.

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Old 11-04-2007, 05:10 PM   #8
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My dads 2007 sunline has a worning sticker that states its has a max load limit of 120 lbs on the bumper.... bike rack with 2 bikes is very close to that !
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:53 PM   #9
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George, I also changed my 4" Bike rack to a 2" receiver carrier and just simply move the carrier to my truck reciever. It was a great way to go---bikes are always with us when not towing. There are some good sturdy receiver carriers in the market. Maverik
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:13 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Paul Heuvelhorst:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 450Donn:
What you are calling a 4 inch square bumper is in reality a 4 inch square sewer hose carrier. Anything you attach to it you should consider expendable, because it will eventually fall off on the road someplace... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I think this is one of those "blanket statements" to which there are lots of exceptions. The 4" sq. bumper on our TT does indeed carry the sewer hose. However, the factory also mounted the spare tire to it, and it is solidly mounted, and has been so for over 5 years.

George, check how thick the wall of the 4" bumper is, and how it is secured to the frame of your trailer. That is the only valid way to verify if it is strong enough to do what you want to do.

The advantage to having a 2" receiver welded to the frame of your trailer, and extend out far enough to mount the bike rack is that you can also use the bike rack on the back of your tow vehicle when you are not towing the trailer. Just a thought... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hate to disagree with you, but if the 4 inch square thingy out back made of mild steel has a wet sewer hose in it there will be rust. And it is then just a matter of time before the rust eats away the metal enough to make even the strongest carrier fail. Been there, done that so I know for a fact what can happen when it fails on the road. Not a pretty sight.

As far as the original posters comment about mounting the spare tire on the tongue, might I suggest that while getting a proper hitch fabricated and installed that you see if they can design something simple to mount the spare tire to as well? On my last TT I fabricated a mounting system that put the spare tire under the TT where it was no longer exposed to direct sun light.
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Old 11-05-2007, 12:39 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 450Donn:
Hate to disagree with you... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Donn, I wasn't asking you to agree with me. I'm just reminding you that there are different manufacturers and different qualities of products. While you had an unpleasant experience, (for which I'm sorry you had to endure) doesn't mean that every 4" steel hose-carrying bumper will suffer that same consequences as yours did.

I've been storing my sewer hose in 4" bumpers on 4 different trailers over a period of almost 30 years. We've had no "bad experiences" with the bumper deteriorating.
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:41 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Paul Heuvelhorst:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 450Donn:
Hate to disagree with you... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Donn, I wasn't asking you to agree with me. I'm just reminding you that there are different manufacturers and different qualities of products. While you had an unpleasant experience, (for which I'm sorry you had to endure) doesn't mean that every 4" steel hose-carrying bumper will suffer that same consequences as yours did.

I've been storing my sewer hose in 4" bumpers on 4 different trailers over a period of almost 30 years. We've had no "bad experiences" with the bumper deteriorating. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Glad you have had no bad experiences with storing the sewer hose in the carrier. But you don't live in the rust belt like the OP does. And as long as you don't attach more stuff to the thing it will hold up just fine for a few years. It is when you combine rust, excess weight, and the bouncing of that weight that you can experience problems. That was my original point to the post.
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:10 AM   #13
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I am sure that my bumper is stout and securely mounted. What I noticed to be different is the attachment points.

On the present bike rack, the attachment points are spread approximately 36" on center, which put them approximately 10-12" from the frame rails.

The reciever on the other hand, would be mounted approximately 12" on center, putting the load 24" from the frame rails on either side and causing more twist.

So my concern is not so much whether the bumper will support the "hitch haul" (I'm certain that it will), my concern is with the potential twist upon the bumper at the middle as opposed to nearer the frame rails.

My trailer is low to the ground, and the rear drag rails often cut and groove asphalt at intersections and pull offs. Since my trailer is low, I would like to mount the reciever above the bumper so to raise the hitch haul. A frame-mounted hitch would not allow that without an accessory that will also extend the hitch haul further back.

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Old 11-06-2007, 11:00 AM   #14
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Hi George
This is your old friend Barrie from Trenton On..
Note , I traded our Trailite on a 2004 Prowler last spring , with large slide out , much better trailer....

I was camping in New York state last month , alittle cross border shopping , our dollar is seven cents higher than your dollar to-day..

My spare is attached to the back bumper as are many travel trailers, never seen anyone with a problem..
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