Bike Rack on Bumper/ 1998 Rockwood 1620

Discussion in 'Cargo Carriers / Bike Racks / Other Storage Option' started by jamiemcmahon, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. jamiemcmahon

    jamiemcmahon New Member

    Mar 8, 2012
    Quick question....
    I purchased a 1998 Rockwood 1620 and want to place a 4 bike rack on the bumper of the camper with a 2" square bumper receiver.

    Does anyone know how to find the weight capacity of the bumper?

    I have searched through the manual with no success as well as online.

    My estimates that the bikes along with the weight of the rack are under 150 lbs.

    Any suggestions? Thanks.
  2. gec66

    gec66 New Member

    Sep 24, 2010
    There will not be a rating on that as the bumper was not designed for it. That said, I did it to my 1994 Jayco Eagle 10. I added some reinforcement before adding the receiver tube. In the end, that was not the issue. The issue was the weight added that far behind the trailer axle lightened the tongue weight enough that it caused significant sway issues. Now that pup did not have a front storage box, so if yours does it might work, but the critical thing to figure out is the effect it will have on your tongue weight.
  3. dschlosser

    dschlosser Active Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    East Patchogue, NY
    First, Welcome to the Portal a fellow NY'er.

    I'm not sure of the specifics of your particular camper but most camper bumpers are just riveted on and are unable to support much weight. Also the frames on pop ups are barely strong enough to support the pop up let alone anything else. There have been posts here about people who have successfully done it, and others where it didn't turn out so well (I remember a post where the person lost the bikes and the rear bumper on the Mass Turnpike because the bumper rivets let loose, and anther case where the extra weight on the back resulted in the trailer swaying)

    If you do a forum search on bumper mounted bike racks you will find lots of info on the topic.
  4. jamiemcmahon

    jamiemcmahon New Member

    Mar 8, 2012
    Thanks for the info. Super helpful.
  5. FL_Bill

    FL_Bill I'm cooking something yummy!

    My rear bumper had a 3" tube on it already. I wish it was the smaller size as the bike rack I have has an adapter on it to make it 3". I think a 2"tube would have a better fit. It works well for us, but I do not like the weight back there. I am thinking of a better way....until them I will continue to use it.

    Now dschlosser pointed out that some people lost the carriers and about some weak bumpers...

    My bumper is solid and welded on to the frame. (not actually solid, but a "C" channel) and my frame is closed tube. Pretty strong. The thought of a riveted bumper...well that's scary! No wonder they lost there load!! [:O]

    I do have a sway issue over 55-60ish, but how fast do you really need to go? [:D]

    FL Bill
  6. RhinoDave

    RhinoDave New Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    Lake Orion, Mi.
    IMHO.. not a good idea. From my own experience, potentially dangerous.
  7. jayfro

    jayfro New Member

    May 15, 2012
    My newly acquired 2001 Coleman had a 2" receiver on it that was welded on by the previous owner. They did a good job reinforcing the bumper, etc with 2" square tube. I bought a Thule 5 bike carrier and was able to prove this weekend that it's not a great idea. We got to the campground ok, but it was a stressful drive. The weight hanging that far off the back caused a lot of sway.

    What I am wondering, is if a swaybar will help with the sway issue? The camper came with the anti swaybar but I haven't installed it since I have a funky TV hitch setup.

    I also have issues with my break controller but I wonder if it will help when I get that fixed( thinking I could just tab the electric breaks to straighten the trailer out when it starts swaying).

    Other option is to see if I can either lower the hitch height to increase tongue weight on the hitch or try to add more weight on the tongue(thought about building some sort of storage box to the tongue).

    Any feedback/suggestions or am I out of luck using this new bike rack?
  8. Leadhoof

    Leadhoof New Member

    May 25, 2010
    yer SOL, the weight/force of the bike rack on the back will lift the front bumper. Not recommended. either load a ton of weight in the front to compensate, be sure to include the weight/distance calculation factor. Or you could look into putting the bikes between your pup and your TV with the proper bracket. harbor freight sells them cheap.
  9. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

    The back bumper is simply not strong enough to handle the weight and the stress of gosling down the road. The rack must be attached to the main frame rails, the strongest part of the p'up. Then, that weight must be compensated forward or it will throw the trailer out of balance (needs 10 -15% tongue weight) All that said, some popup campers are so far out of SWAK to begin with a rear mounted bike rack would never work ... simply a little too much weight behind the wheels will render them a swaying nightmare, never mind the bike rack!

    Here's my little Starcraft, with a two bike rack that is attached to the main frame. Ran it down lots of road for 8 years and not the first problem.

  10. OG1

    OG1 New Member

    May 16, 2012
    I just did this on my Rockwood 1950. I did read about those who have had sway issues after adding weight to the back, but the axle on my trailer seemed further back than some that seem to have the axle centered on the box. My trailer seemed to have a ton of tongue weight on it before the mod, and still feels weighted up front.

    Anyhow, I took 3/8" x 2.5" flatbar and ran it up inside the frame tube about 3'. I drilled and tapped this bar and it is secured to the frame by 3 1/2" bolts on each side, in addition to welding to the existing rear frame and factory outriggers that went to the factory bumper. I then used 3" c-channel and replaced the factory cheesy bumper, wrapping the ends at 45 degrees and welding to the existing rear and side perimeter frame. The hitch receiver goes all the way to the factory rear crossmember and is welded as well.

    My main motivation for this is that I already own a ton of Thule T2 rack goods and I was not about to spend more money on bike racks. The trays on the trailer are actually the 3rd and 4th bike add on trays from my fold up T2 rack. These two are lighter than the actual two bike rack due to the lack of fold up mechanism.

    Anyhow I have not noticed any sway issues with it yet. Pack any weight inside forward seems to help. I also used the factory bumper to make a spare tire mount under the tongue, which helps move some weight forward as well.


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