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Old 09-28-2014, 11:11 AM   #15
doc
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An interesting (well somewhat) aside concerning the Jeep. We bought the Wrangler to tow and to use as a trail vehicle when we get to the SD, Wy, Colorado and Montana areas. Health has turned south and we have used it only twice and that was local stuff. It tows like a shadow. Said to say this - Guys, enjoy your life and live it while you can. Never put it off until 'things get a little better'. You never know when things will get a lot worse.
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:06 PM   #16
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Any aftermarket bumper well tied into the jeep frame and with adequate flat area to use the Blue ox bolt on brackets, or use the D ring loops if the bumper is so equipped. I have had multiple jeeps and done it both ways. Either works well.

If using BO brackets you don't have to put the D rings on and off, if you often use them. While not a biggie, each thing you can eliminate from setup steps adds up in time saved and convenience.

I currently have the BO brackets on a Rock Hard bumper. Works well.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:55 PM   #17
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Tinman--since I also had a small (2") lift kit installed and some larger tires, my suspension has been beefed up accordingly. I agree that these bumpers are much heavier than the stock ones! But then again, that's part of he attraction.

Btw--sorry no pix! I guess I deleted them from my phone. I'll shoot some this weekend when we take a trip down to Port Aransas, TX.
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:21 PM   #18
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On my 03 Rubicon I have a Hanson front bumper and use the Blue Ox adapter tabs bolted directly to the bumper.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:59 AM   #19
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Found my pix Tinman:
Jeep with SmityBilt XRC bumper:
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Up close on the attachment point:
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BlueOx Aventa towbar:
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With the adapter for this (or similar?) bumpers sold by BlueOx:
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The two attached (note the drop/riser also from BlueOx):
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In these pictures, I was focusing on the towbar itself, so please don't flame me for not also showing the backup cables, elec. connection, and breakaway brake activator cord. :-)
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:50 PM   #20
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Statgeek, Smittybilt and Blue Ox should be using your photos in brochures. Nice photo spread. The photos helped to clarify the Blue Ox connector that gets pinned onto the bumper clevis point. Your set up is tidy and simple. Quick to hook up too I expect. Many thanks for finding your photos and posting them.

I had a look at the reinforcing behind the clevis mounting points on the Smittybilt XRC bumper at a local off road parts shop. The clevis mounts are welded on the outside and on the inside where they pass through the face of the bumper, and then are welded to supplemental reinforcing plate welded inside the the bumper. Looks pretty strong to me. However, they aren't pre-drilled to accept the Blue Ox mounting brackets, and I didn't want to have to lay out mounting hole drilling locations.

Thanks to Rich and Cork and Jeep Treker for providing info on the Hanson bumpers/Blue Ox connection options.

I liked the idea of connecting to the standard Blue Ox bolt on brackets so my tow bar will more easily adapt to another vehicle that won't have clevis mounts to use. The posts by becks, Kix, and VSheets helped me track down the Rockhard bumper (p/n RH5005-steel or RH5046-Aluminum) and the Rockhard RH8000-BO steel brackets that bolt through the bumper into the Jeep frame. The aluminum bumper is 88 pounds lighter than the steel one, so if that can be delivered quickly I will go with the aluminum front bumper.

Thanks to the details each of you provided about your bumper mounted towing set ups, I was able to narrow down the dozens of bumper photos in a catologue and make a purchase that meets our objectives in a way none of the various sales staff I spoke to could assist me to do. Thanks very much for all your help.

We are almost ready to get the Jeep on the road as a "towed" and head South to where we can try it out exploring some trails.
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:27 AM   #21
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Glad it helped Tinman.

You do realize that you are now officially committed to posting pix of YOUR setup once you have it photo-ready, right?!!

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Old 09-30-2014, 01:01 PM   #22
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Statgeek, I've got a question.... Have you checked with your insurance company to see what they will do if/when something breaks since you have modified the tow equipment. It all looks really nice, but if the jeep breaks loose and all heck goes bad and investigators become involved, will you still be covered? If your assuming your covered and haven't asked the question, I think you should.

I always have to ask because I have a friend/customer that got rear ended sitting at a stop light, totaled the tow car, totaled the Harley on the lift and did over 20k in damage to the coach. Because he didn't have a braking system on his toad (full size truck) that was determined during the investigation, neither insurance would pay for over 8 months, and when the dust settled they ended up covering the coach & bike and nothing on the truck. Stated that the truck shouldn't of been on the road behind the coach because it wasn't legal for towing.
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:13 PM   #23
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I haven't modified any tow equipment really. I purchased a bumper from SmityBilt and a towbar and a clip that was designed and built by BlueOx to connect the bumper to the tow bar. Nothing here is homemade or altered.
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:02 PM   #24
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Check out AEV (American Expedition Vehicles). They have some nice bumpers & will tell you which Blue Ox base plate fits.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:25 PM   #25
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Seems I read more about tow bar and baseplate failures more than a D ring coming loose. I do have the safety chains secured to the frame not the bumper just in case.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:58 AM   #26
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A friend of mine owns GenRight:

GenRight Offroad | JEEP RUBICON | JEEP ACCESSORIES | OFFROAD WRANGLER | LED TAIL LIGHTS | GAS TANKS

He has no problems with his bumper being used for towing. He likes the Blue Ox connector as previously discussed.
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Old 10-04-2014, 03:27 PM   #27
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There are many bumper manufactures, some big names and some small shops. Most are good to go for flat towing. Despite the lawyer warnings, most off road bumpers with clevis mounts will handle the stress of flat towing. They are made to pull the Jeep with a winch, often by a single clevis mount, out of mud, over rocks and up steep hills, not to mention most of these bumpers are made to hold a winch that is doing the pulling. The stresses of flat towing pale in comparison.

Order a Quadratec catalog. They have several aluminum bumpers but expect to pay through the nose, about $800 and up. Personally, I have a JCR Offroad bumper but there are many companies. You might want to consider joining a Jeep forum and ask there. I'm a supporting member on Wrangler Forum.

And yes, when we hit the road, that will be my toad.

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Old 11-09-2014, 11:11 PM   #28
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Might be too late to be of use to you, but I put the Blue Ox base plate and the Warn Elite Series bumper on my 08 Wrangler. I like the factory look of the bumper. I only had to make 2 small cuts in the bottom panel of the bumper to slide over the base plate brackets. If interested I could send a couple pics of the setup.
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