Rear Bumper

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Lost in Space, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Lost in Space

    Lost in Space Active Member

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    I am worried my rear bumper mounting may not be secure enough for towing my popup. The popup is around 1800# fully loaded. The Jeep is rated for 2000#. But my rear bumper, although rated for the 2000#, only has (4) 7/16" diameter, grade 8 bolts holding it on. I know grade 8 bolts are enormously strong, but is this sufficient? I have towed the popup twice like this with no problem whatsoever, but it makes me nervous. I am thinking of having the bumper welded to the rear crossmemberr of the frame. Am I just being nervous over nothing?

    --------------------
    Dana & Claudia
    The Happy Campers
    '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    '04 Palomino Pony 280
     
  2. Fuzzy Bear

    Fuzzy Bear Active Member

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    I used the bumper mounted hitch ball on my TV ('94 Ford Explorer) for the first year I had the PUP and it worked just fine. But like you, I never really felt at ease with it. So a couple years ago I went ahead and bought and mounted a class III receiver hitch. I got the hitch from JC Whitney for about $125 and was able to mount it myself with no problems. I noticed the difference the first time I hooked up. Maybe a majority of it is just in my mind, but it seemed to tow much better and I definitely have more peace of mind with it. I would consider going this route. I took a quick look on the jcwhitney.com web site and they have a hitch made for your jeep, or I have heard others give good reports to etrailer.com who is also a sponsor on this web site. Good luck.

    '88 Sun Lite firebird
    '94 Ford Explorer

    http://www.aroundthecampfire.homestead.com
     
  3. jhower

    jhower New Member

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    We towed with the bumper hitch for a short time but were never comfortable with and changed to a Class III receiver. That also allowed us to have the PUP level while towing. With the bumper hitch it was slightly nose-high.

    We towed our kayak trailer with the bumper for a long time, but its total weight is well under 1000 lbs. The PUP is close to your Palomino's weight.


    John & Cindy in Pennsylvania
    '89 Coleman Sun Valley <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle>
    '95 Dodge Dakota 4x2 3.9L <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle>
    His <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> & Hers <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> Pelican kayaks
    http://community.webshots.com/user/jhower55
     
  4. charger

    charger New Member

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    I don't know that this is correct for sure. But I beleave I remember reading that a bumper hitch is considered a class III hitch.
     
  5. Retired Alex

    Retired Alex New Member

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    A class lll hitch bolts to the frame of the vehicle, what these guys are talking about is a hitch ball mounted on the bumper of the vehicle.
    A class lll can be used as a weight distribution hitch if required, not so with a bumper hitch.

    Alex & Mary Burnett
    J D (Boxer Pup)
    2000 Aerolite Cub F21
    2006 F-150 XLT
    "If alcohol is a crutch, then Jack Daniels is a wheelchair!"
    Nights Camped in 2006 42
    http://home.netscape.ca/~burnetta/
    http://community.webshots.com/user/alexburnett

    Edited by - Retired Alex on April 25 2007 15:58:55
     
  6. Fourkids

    Fourkids New Member

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    Don't know if this helps but check out the bottom right hand column for Gr. 8 bolt tensile strenghts. Remember these are per bolt. My personal opinion is that you are safe, however I am not a auto mechanic; but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.



    Mike
    '05 Nissan Quest
    '07 Fleetwood Williamsburg
     
  7. Fourkids

    Fourkids New Member

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    In my attempt to be oh so humorous, I forgot the link. Here it is.

    http://dodgeram.org/tech/specs/bolts/SAE_bolt_strength.html

    Mike
    '05 Nissan Quest
    '07 Fleetwood Williamsburg
     
  8. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

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    Lost in Space,

    I had the Jeep Dealership install a Class III hithc on my Wrangler, and we tow our kayak trailer with four yaks and all gear (its a 16 flatbed capable of hauling the Jeep on it itself, plus three steel cargo boxes for equipments and 4X4 and 2x4 wooden kayak rack sitting on the trailer itself. Total weight is 2800 pounds and it tows the trailer just fine. Just won't tow the popup trailer with it, to risky there. So I'd install a Class III hitch if I were you, can't go wrong even if its overkill, at least you'll feel safe and confident that your equipment won't fail you!

    07 Chevy Trailblazer
    04 Jeep Wrangler
    07 Fleetwood Niagra
    (2) Hobie Adventure Kayaks
    (1) Hobie Outback
    (1) Pungo 120
    (1) Pungo 100
     
  9. turtle

    turtle New Member

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    Back in 1992 I used a bumper mounted hitch to tow a boat (loaded with everything I could put in it) across country. Southern Cal to Ohio. Lots of weight in the van also. All went well. Would I try in now? NOT A CHANCE. If all that a frame mounted hitch gives you is a little peace of mind it's worth it.

    06 Fleetwood Graphite
    96 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Ron, Diane and the Lab mix, Cody
     
  10. Lost in Space

    Lost in Space Active Member

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    I obviously didn't explain myself very well. I forgot to mention that I replaced the factory rear bumper on my Jeep Wrangler with a new very heavy duty bumper that incorporates a receiver rated as class III. Adding on a hitch that is below the bumper is not an option as the Jeep gets used regularly off road and the ground clearance is definitely needed. Boy is it needed. I have no doubts about the strength of the bumper, I am just questioning whether the four attachment bolts (grade 8) are strong enough to carry the load of the popup. The bumper came with 8 bolts but would require dropping the gas tank as well as some other work in order to install them, that's why I am considering having the bumper welded to the rear frame crossmember, to add additional strength. I just wanted to ask you guys what your opinions are of the bumper configuration I have now with (4) 7/16" grade 8 bolts. I hope that clears up my inadequate first post. Thanks to all for the replies, especially fourkids link about the bolts.

    --------------------
    Dana & Claudia
    The Happy Campers
    '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    '04 Palomino Pony 280

    Edited by - Lost in Space on April 25 2007 17:01:37
     
  11. jhower

    jhower New Member

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    Ah, that does make a difference!

    I'd bite the bullet, drop the gas tank and mount it the way the manufacturer intended. In order to meet the rating it has, it has to have all of the bolts installed.

    You could have a good welder look at it to see if, in his opinion, welding would be a good option.


    John & Cindy in Pennsylvania
    '89 Coleman Sun Valley <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle>
    '95 Dodge Dakota 4x2 3.9L <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle>
    His <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> & Hers <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> Pelican kayaks
    http://community.webshots.com/user/jhower55
     
  12. Lost in Space

    Lost in Space Active Member

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    I am not, by any means a mechanic. Dropping the gas tank on a TJ Wrangler is supposed to be a real PITA because of the fancy doohickies used to connect the electrics to the tank, plus the hassle of the fuel filler. I don't want to pay someone $$ to do it for me to mount four bolts to the crossmember. The crossmember is the weakest part of the frame, thin sheetmetal, and those bolts would really only carry a small part of the load. The four bolts I mounted the bumper with have 3/16" thick frame tie-ins to severely strengthen the crossmember area by transfering load ro the front to back frame rails. In other words, I expect that 4 additional bolts will carry maybe 10% of the load on the hitch, and what I have will carry 90%. Since my trailer, fully loaded weighs 1700-1800 lbs, should four bolts rated at 15,000 lbs each be enough.

    As you can see, I am really trying to avoid having to do more work on the bumper/hitch mounting situation if I can avoid it. LOL

    --------------------
    Dana & Claudia
    The Happy Campers
    '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    '04 Palomino Pony 280
     
  13. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

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    I'd say your in good shape Lost in Space. Four should hold sense they are Grade 8, and your trailer isn't heavy compared to mine. Just make sure you use your safety chains!



    07 Chevy Trailblazer
    04 Jeep Wrangler
    07 Fleetwood Niagra
    (2) Hobie Adventure Kayaks
    (1) Hobie Outback
    (1) Pungo 120
    (1) Pungo 100
     
  14. Dirtgood1

    Dirtgood1 New Member

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    Just to throw this out there, believe it or not, the grade 8 bolts are far stronger than any weld would be. In other words the welds on the bumber itself would let loose before the bolts did.
     
  15. Lost in Space

    Lost in Space Active Member

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    Yellowkayak, that is my other worry, the safety chains mount to loops on the bumper, If the bumper were to fall off, so would the safety chains. It's a package deal.
    But realizing that the bolts are rated at 15,000 pounds tensile strength each, I'm not so worried anymore, and the odds of all four breaking at once due to an instantaneous load of 30 tons is rather unlikely. At least I think so. Opinions?

    --------------------
    Dana & Claudia
    The Happy Campers
    '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    '04 Palomino Pony 280
     
  16. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

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    Stop worrying, and go camping dude....Jeep...built tough!!!!!! It can take it and the bolts are way overkill. Stop worrying! If you NEVER plan on replacing the bumper, then have them weld it on but keep the bolts in place still. Shouldn't cost you but $15.00 for the weld job! $15.00 is a cheap way to satisfy your fear don't you agree!!

    07 Chevy Trailblazer
    04 Jeep Wrangler
    07 Fleetwood Niagra
    (2) Hobie Adventure Kayaks
    (1) Hobie Outback
    (1) Pungo 120
    (1) Pungo 100
     
  17. Danielflading

    Danielflading New Member

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    I don't know about your jeep model, but a friend of mine had a late 90's loaded cherrokee that he used to tow a ski supreme ski boat. he logged many thousand miles pulling to boat untill one day the bumber failed and came off the cherrokee during towing the boat.. well i don't need to tell you what happened to the boat!! when he told me about the accident he said he found out the bumber was only bolted on with four bolts and over the years the metal fatigued and craked around the bolts causing the failure. you may want to look into installing a reciever type hitch.

    I tow with a F150

    Dan
    Kelly
    Maddy 7
    Sophie our dog
    97 F150
    92 Coleman Chesapeake
     
  18. McCullah

    McCullah New Member

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    Coming from someone who has logged about 300,000 miles hauling a 10,000 lb cargo behind me, and having had the #8 bolts break and look in the mirror at the front of the trailer almost on the ground, get the bumper hitch properly installed or better yet get the Class III separate hitch--it will not interfere with your ground clearance that much.
    Sheri

    Mike and Sheri
    '06 Dodge Mega Cab
    2007 Palomino Yearling 4102
    (look for the Arkansas Razoraback Tacky Lights--HaHa)
     

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