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Old 08-19-2018, 02:19 PM   #1
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Bike Rack on Rear Bumper

Hello, first post on the forum...

We have a Wildwood X-lite and am considering placing a bike rack (for 3 bikes) on the rear bumper but would like some real world input first before going that route. I have come across some threads that suggest making sure that the bumper is rated to withstand that extra weight, so my question is, how do I determine my bumper weight rating?

Thanks for the comments!
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Old 08-19-2018, 02:50 PM   #2
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junior48603....
If your rear bumper is the common 4" square thin metal attached to the frame with removable end caps....
Then yes it will probably hold the weight of 3 bikes...

HOWEVER, it is NOT recommended !

The bouncing and jolting around of the weight on the bike rack attached to the bumper will cause the light metal to rip away at the weld points.

This has been a very popular topic...try searching the topic .

If you are determined to try it ...maybe look into these first >> LINK <<

Good Luck

Islander
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:36 PM   #3
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Many TTs have a warning sticker that warns NOT to put anything on the bumper, other than the spare tire.
And it warns that doing such, may void the frame warranty.
You have to understand the fulcrum physics involved with carrying bouncing bikes out and away from the the trailer.
TTs don't have shocks so the bikes will bounce.
The only safe way is to have a 2" receiver welded and braced to the frame. But this mod may void the frame warranty if something goes wrong.
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Old 08-19-2018, 09:32 PM   #4
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I would suggest the mount n lock safety struts that Islander linked to. I, as well as many other members of the forums, have installed these and have not had any issues post install with moderate amounts of weight on the bumper.
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Old 08-20-2018, 03:11 PM   #5
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I agree with all recommendations to not add a bike rack to the rear bumper.

That said, they make some very nice tongue-mounted bike racks that sit high over the propane tanks and battery storage. FR even has them You could do better with an after-market product from other sources. I can't attest to the quality of this adapter, but it's a mount that accepts conventional hitch-mounted bike racks...quite a good idea. This link to an Amazon search reveals more options.

There is an advantage to being on the tongue. The ride is much smoother. Your TV suspension offers a VERY cushy ride compared to the ride at the ass-end of a trailer that has no shocks. The MAXIMUM vertical motion happens at the rear bumper as the trailer fulcrums up and down on the hitch ball. That's a hard life for bicycles, and if you have really nice bicycles (e.g. composite frames, etc.), you are torturing them back there.

Plus, the ass end of the trailer is going to collect a LOT of crud in the bike gears, derailleurs, brakes, and so on...especially during a rain storm on dirt roads. Mounted high on the tongue, road spray and crud will be far less. Install mud flaps on the TV for added protection.

Of some lesser concern is cantilevering the weight of the bike rack and bikes off the back of the trailer...unloading the tongue weight. You can counter that, of course, but that's as far back as you can possibly add weight, so 200 pounds of rack and bikes way back there equates to almost 200 pounds of weight off the tongue, and that can make the trailer less stable.

Many if not most decent spare tire carriers that appear to be mounted to the rear bumper of an RV also tie into the back wall of the camper...usually to a built-in structural brace to hold the top of the tire mount. The one on my PUP is built that way. As others have said, anything with a long lever (bike or spare tire mount) carrying much weight in that very bouncy environment is going to put your rear bumper and mounts through hellish torture. Don't do it.
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Old 08-20-2018, 04:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
I agree with all recommendations to not add a bike rack to the rear bumper.

That said, they make some very nice tongue-mounted bike racks that sit high over the propane tanks and battery storage. FR even has them You could do better with an after-market product from other sources. I can't attest to the quality of this adapter, but it's a mount that accepts conventional hitch-mounted bike racks...quite a good idea. This link to an Amazon search reveals more options.

There is an advantage to being on the tongue. The ride is much smoother. Your TV suspension offers a VERY cushy ride compared to the ride at the ass-end of a trailer that has no shocks. The MAXIMUM vertical motion happens at the rear bumper as the trailer fulcrums up and down on the hitch ball. That's a hard life for bicycles, and if you have really nice bicycles (e.g. composite frames, etc.), you are torturing them back there.

Plus, the ass end of the trailer is going to collect a LOT of crud in the bike gears, derailleurs, brakes, and so on...especially during a rain storm on dirt roads. Mounted high on the tongue, road spray and crud will be far less. Install mud flaps on the TV for added protection.

Of some lesser concern is cantilevering the weight of the bike rack and bikes off the back of the trailer...unloading the tongue weight. You can counter that, of course, but that's as far back as you can possibly add weight, so 200 pounds of rack and bikes way back there equates to almost 200 pounds of weight off the tongue, and that can make the trailer less stable.

Many if not most decent spare tire carriers that appear to be mounted to the rear bumper of an RV also tie into the back wall of the camper...usually to a built-in structural brace to hold the top of the tire mount. The one on my PUP is built that way. As others have said, anything with a long lever (bike or spare tire mount) carrying much weight in that very bouncy environment is going to put your rear bumper and mounts through hellish torture. Don't do it.
You still have to be careful of your tongue weight when considering a front mounted bike rack. Many TVs are very close to payload capacity when fully loaded so that extra 200 lbs may not be any safer on the front then the back.

In the end, I think 'don't do it' is the best recommendation. As many established members on this site have proven, there are ways to bumber mount hitch racks properly without issue and rectify the concerns that were stated. But as with everything there are many different pros and cons and variables to consider so the same solution for one person may not be the best for another.
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Old 08-20-2018, 04:27 PM   #7
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junior48603

I should have asked what your TV is...
For example if it is possible to mount a frontend hitch receiver... then you could mount the bike rack to the front of the TV...

Solid mounting... and you will always know you didn't leave them behind
Just a thought.

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Old 08-20-2018, 09:15 PM   #8
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You still have to be careful of your tongue weight when considering a front mounted bike rack. Many TVs are very close to payload capacity when fully loaded so that extra 200 lbs may not be any safer on the front then the back.

In the end, I think 'don't do it' is the best recommendation. As many established members on this site have proven, there are ways to bumber mount hitch racks properly without issue and rectify the concerns that were stated. But as with everything there are many different pros and cons and variables to consider so the same solution for one person may not be the best for another.
Not arguing...genuinely curious.
If the trailer is connected with a WDH, can that address the added tongue weight?
My PUP is so light (4K with 400 lb tongue weight) I don't need or have one.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
Not arguing...genuinely curious.
If the trailer is connected with a WDH, can that address the added tongue weight?
My PUP is so light (4K with 400 lb tongue weight) I don't need or have one.
It can help a bit with the tongue weight, but it doesn't eliminate it. Also, even with a WDH it doesn't negate your Max Payload Capacity which is impacted by the tongue weight.

You are definitely right in your situation it really shouldn't matter with 400 lbs unless you were towing with a small SUV. But for exampe I have a 2011 F150 with a Max Tow package and even my mid size Wildwood Xlite at 23ft still carries about 700 lbs dry tongue weight. Add a couple full propane tanks, two six volt batteries, full water tanks, and some gear in the camper and I am guessing I am 900-1000 lbs. So with my 1729 payload rating take that tongue weight plus a couple passengers and gear and even I am getting pretty close.

This is why in my case I don't mind adding a 100+ pounds or so to the rear of my camper and also don't feel comfortable adding more to the front. I figure in my case it just offsets the weight from the extra battery weight. I definitely wouldn't go that way without the bumper strut mounts for safety. I also mounted my hitch above the bumper to help with the dirt and grime issue (helps but no doubt dirtier back there then in front). Then my bike carrier is actually a cargo carrier that has bike holders on it so that along with a hitch tightener helps alleviate excessive bouncing on the bikes and also helps keep the dirt off.

I have put 5,000 miles on this setup so far and about to do 3,000 miles more starting at the end of this week!
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:49 PM   #10
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Iíve seen YouTube videos of disasters with camper bumper bike racks.

If you TV is a truck, you can get a bed mounted bike rack. I had one years ago and it worked well.

On our last trip we were only 3.5 hours away and had to take two cars (my wife had to take my daughter to a soccer tournament during our trip), and my wifeís cross-over has a hitch receiver. We used a hitch mounted bike rack to haul the bikes.

Maybe put down a tarp, remove the bikesí wheels and lay the frames and wheels down by the door of your trailer. You would have to be careful to not warp the derailleurs.

If your tow vehicle is an SUV, maybe get a roof rack.
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