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Old 01-15-2013, 02:40 PM   #15
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Unless it's designed to hold something else, I would be careful...

And even IF it's designed to hold something it can still fail....
(like my buddies spare tire that came from the factory - this was his second trip - good thing we were following as the spare tire started to fall backwards as it twisted the rear bumper )
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
The typical 4" square bumper does not have enough structural stiffness to support 30 or 40# of bicycles shaking on it as you roll down the road.

Ditto that- I'm a member at another forum that's seen a number of posts by folks that found this out the hard way.

And in your case, O.P.,:

I see by your profile info that you've got a 21 foot Micro Lite FBRS, which since it's obviously designed to be very lightweight is unlikely in the extreme to have a bumper capable of supporting a receiver/rack combo...or at least, not for long.

Such bumpers can be reinforced, and I'd urge you very strongly to have that done if you're contemplating putting a receiver on it.

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Old 01-15-2013, 04:20 PM   #17
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bike carrier on 4" bumper

Used one for years on back of 5th wheel with no problems. Just insert a treated 4" x4" inside the bumper, it will not twist or collapse.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
I've thought about doing the same, but what structure would the 'hook' connect to? The rear is mostly just a fiberglass cap. The rear wall behind the cap is 'framed' from 2x2 soft wood. These anchor points would be under a lot of stress with the repeated 'tugging' of the vibrating rack, not sure they wouldn't cause more structural damage than the cost of bikes or firewood.

In addition, transporting firewood is discouraged or outright illegal in many parts of the U.S. because of the problems of insect or disease being transported in the wood.
Hey thanks for the feedback! I appreciate it. Here's my thought process so far. I haven't implemented all of these thoughts yet.

I'm thinking that I'll mount a pair of the hooks to the fiberglass on the back of the motorhome. The fiberglass supports my weight plus when I'm using the ladder so I think the strength is there. Then I would run 2 light duty ratcheting cargo straps from the hooks to the rear most corners of the carrier for the additional support. I don't want to put a lot of the load on the straps, just extra support to reduce the lever and fulcrum action of the hitch and carrier. As far as the slop that's always found in a receiver type hitch. There's several different hitch stabilizers that take the slop away. One I like the most is a simple thing called the wedge. Here's what it looks like.

I watched a youtube video on it and it looks to do a pretty good job at eliminating the play in a receiver hitch. It doesn't use the bolt portion to eliminate the play. The bolt just keeps a wedge shaped piece of steel jammed in between the small gap between the hitch and the receiver. I purchased one off of ebay for $11

I figure the carrier might have 250-300 lbs in it at the most. That's well below most carriers rated capacity of 500 lbs. I've seen a few really stout models rated for 1000 lbs, though I wouldn't trust them to hold that much. That 250-300 lbs is going to be distributed over 3 points, with the majority of the weight on the hitch itself. The wedge will lessen the rocking of the carrier with all the weight.

As far as the legality of toting firewood. We haven't had an issue thus far. We live close to the California state line and on most camping trips we're going through an ag check station. We've been ask by an inspector when we had it in the back of our pickup where we got the wood and they've looked at it a couple of times, but we've never been told to get rid of it. We get it from a firewood place in town. It's a load it yourself place and I always pick good clean looking wood with no visible signs of infestation. The last batch I got was walnut. Almost to pretty to be firewood, but burned nicely.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:57 PM   #19
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Make sure the bikes mount high enough that when you go thru a ditch you don't snag the bike tires and tear the whole mess right off.

If it's a 4" tube and the supports to the frame are substantial, just go to a metal store (praxair outlets usually sell metal too) and buy a 8' length of trailer hitch tube. Cut the old one off and weld the new one on.

Have someone follow behind and go on a test drive. Years ago I had a bumper mounted receiver on a Chevy K2500. Put a big 4-bike rack on it (loooooong lever arm with a hundred pounds of bikes) and happened to look in the rear-view for more than just a glance while going down the I-5. Probably a foot of vertical motion in the assembly! It cracked the bumper where the license plate divot was punched out.

After buying a suitable frame hitch, I always tied it off on each end to the bed pockets with ratchet straps. One of those hitch devices that clamps down to eliminate play would be a good idea too.

There's a LOT of forces at play.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:40 AM   #20
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I have the 2" receiver mount that you described on the bumper of my Cougar. I'm using a 4-bike rack but mostly carry only 2 bikes on it. There is nothing special about the 4" bumper; I do not have my spare tire on it. I check the arrangement at every stop.

I did a round trip from VA to FL last year; still no problems. I've seen several posts with photos showing how the bumpers tear away from their mounting points which appear very frail, sometimes from only having the spare tire on the bumper. I can only imagine there is some bouncing going on behind me and it may just be a matter of time before mine goes, too.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:03 PM   #21
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So is the general consensus that even the TT manufactured Bike rakes can sometimes be bad? I was looking at something made by fleetwood since I own a fleetwood.
BC4BMFleetwood is the model and I am not 100 % certain this rack was made by fleetwood. THis is a slightly different design than a normal hitch set up...
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:36 PM   #22
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When I added a hitch to the back I got reciever stock, its a reciever, has the hole and reinforced, but just a length of tube, I had it welded to the next 3 frame rails they used a piece of angle on each side of the reciever to tie it in, its not tied into the bumber at all, back in the day when you could carry fire wood, I would have fire wood and bikes, and its still there
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by jlee815 View Post
So is the general consensus that even the TT manufactured Bike rakes can sometimes be bad? I was looking at something made by fleetwood since I own a fleetwood.
BC4BMFleetwood is the model and I am not 100 % certain this rack was made by fleetwood. THis is a slightly different design than a normal hitch set up...
The rack itself is probably less critical than the bumper it's mounted on...though you might check with Fleetwood as to whether they actually have anything to do with the manufacture of the one you're looking at. If they did, they can probably tell you if it's O.K. to mount on your bumper.

But if it's not a Fleetwood product:
There are so many variables in RV bumpers that it's probably impossible to generalize- many owner's manuals address the issue of how much you can carry back there, and checking yours would probably be a good place to start.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:08 PM   #24
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I bought a "universal frame mount receiver" from JC Whitney, measure the distance between as there's more than one size. Fastened that to the frame, so no weight on the bumper. On our previous Jayco and current Sportsmen the manuals said no more than 100 lbs on bumper.

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