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Old 09-25-2016, 01:14 PM   #11
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Safetystruts appear to have stabilized my bumper

After a 2200 mile trip in June, I noticed a squeaking noise from the bumper as I moved the spare or the bike rack. I had the spare and two bikes on the back.

There is a label on the bumper that says something to the effect, don't haul anything other that what was equipped by the manufacturer. The reality is that the spare tire and mount installed by the manufacturer had already cracked the bumper before I added the bikes.

There was a 1" preexisting stress crack on the left side where the spare was located. This was there when I bought this 2012 trailer just two years ago. But when I returned, I had another larger stress crack on the right side near the bottom of the angle gusset on the bumper. This crack is 2". The bumper was not going to fall off but I surely don't want to see it get worse.

I had been concerned about the weight for some time. But the manner in which FR attached the bumper was better than I've seen on my other trailers.

I considered welding a plate over the cracks but it would be tough to get to it with a rod without risking damage to the body work. So, I decided to give the Safetystruts a try. I ran across them a few months back but decided against since the hole pattern would have compromised the existing welds. Due to the way my bumper was welded I could not use the predrilled Safetystruts. It would have meant drilling through the welds and further weakening the bumper at the frame.

I ordered the Safetystruts without holes and drilled myself so as not to compromise the welds. I had to buy a 2 12" bits since you can't fit a drill between the bumper and the body of the trailer. The bolts were 1/2" too short. I had to buy new mounting hardware and make shims for the lower bolt position.

You need good clamps and I used a floor jack to load the struts against the bumper as I marked the hole positions in the frame. This ensured the Safetystruts were tightly against the bottom and rear of the bumper. I am considering welding the Safetystruts along the rear of the bumper.

Immediately after installing the Safetystruts the flexing and creaking noise caused by the stress cracks was gone. The Safetystruts had indeed stabilized the bumper.

I just returned from a 1600 mile trip and still no more flexing or any indication the stress cracks are expanding. If I buy another trailer, I'll add them when it is new. For the time being this problem appears to be resolved.

Ken
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Old 09-25-2016, 07:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by fella10 View Post
thanks to everyone for your input, ... y'all have convinced me they're worth trying, will be ordering and installing very soon......

again, thanks to you all.........
I added them a couple of years ago because i wanted to carry a generator on a carrier attached to my bumper So far so good no signs of any stress on the bumper. I would recommend them !
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:57 PM   #13
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I too have installed them about 8 months ago, 5,000 miles while carrying 3 bikes. However, I did install the BAL Hide-a-spare rack to move the spare under the trailer to remove that weight. So far, no issues, no cracks.
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:58 AM   #14
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the struts came yesterday afternoon and I finished the install just as it was getting dark,.... I ordered the "no holes" model,...... $10 cheaper, but mainly so I could do my own drilling and tapping to insure there was no slop between the bolt and the drilled hole, ...... I drilled and tapped the struts themselves and then screwed three bolts into each one, then added the lock nuts onto the bolts where they came thru the other side of the struts,......... I also had to notch the lower part of the I beams for the struts to fit in place,......


I do believe these struts really can solved the weak bumper and broken weld problem that happens so often,..... now I'll be able to finish two other mods that have been on hold for over two years,..... when we had our Micro Lite 21DS, I had already bought a Swagman bike rack for the bumper and a BAL Hide-A-Spare to remove the spare off the bumper, before I saw the sticker warning against mounting anything that wasn't factory approved, ..... those mods have been in limbo and those two items have been stored away, for so long that I'd actually accepted the possibility that I would never mount anything back there,..... but that's changed now,... happy trailering,.......
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:32 PM   #15
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the struts came yesterday afternoon and I finished the install just as it was getting dark,.... I ordered the "no holes" model,...... $10 cheaper, but mainly so I could do my own drilling and tapping to insure there was no slop between the bolt and the drilled hole, ...... I drilled and tapped the struts themselves and then screwed three bolts into each one, then added the lock nuts onto the bolts where they came thru the other side of the struts,......... I also had to notch the lower part of the I beams for the struts to fit in place,......


I do believe these struts really can solved the weak bumper and broken weld problem that happens so often,..... now I'll be able to finish two other mods that have been on hold for over two years,..... when we had our Micro Lite 21DS, I had already bought a Swagman bike rack for the bumper and a BAL Hide-A-Spare to remove the spare off the bumper, before I saw the sticker warning against mounting anything that wasn't factory approved, ..... those mods have been in limbo and those two items have been stored away, for so long that I'd actually accepted the possibility that I would never mount anything back there,..... but that's changed now,... happy trailering,.......
Seems you could have put the Hide-a-spare on anytime, couldn't you?
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:43 PM   #16
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Seems you could have put the Hide-a-spare on anytime, couldn't you?
yes, If I had chosen to do that, but without the bike rack on the bumper,...... I chose to not, remove weight from the rear and add weight closer to the front, ...... that just didn't seem like a wise thing to do, but that's just my opinion....
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Old 10-01-2016, 01:01 PM   #17
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yes, If I had chosen to do that, but without the bike rack on the bumper,...... I chose to not, remove weight from the rear and add weight closer to the front, ...... that just didn't seem like a wise thing to do, but that's just my opinion....
I don't always take my bikes with me, so I figure it probably doesn't matter when I put it on. I installed it only a foot or so in front of the front axle. If you haven't seen it, here's my thread on my install:

Installing BAL Hide-A-Spare on a Mini Lite

Watch out for that gas line on the curb side!
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:45 PM   #18
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I don't always take my bikes with me, so I figure it probably doesn't matter when I put it on.
well, we do have to make our own decisions about what we do and what we don't do to our tt's and then live with the results of those decisions, and of course my decisions won't always be the same as yours, ...... and as it's turned out, if we had either or both of those items on the 21DS, we would have lost them in the accident and I'd be buying them again,..... so, even though it wasn't planned this way, there is a plus to how this has turned out,......

the Hide-A-Spare is a quality product and is now sitting in place, next trip to Lowe's will be bolts and Nylock nuts, ...... always Nylock nuts, whenever possible on the trailer, outside and inside, ...... its not likely, but if they do loosen a bit from vibration, they will not turn all the way and fall off the bolt,......
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:02 AM   #19
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Another issue is the thickness of the bumper. If the bumper
is too thin then no amount of brackets will help. The manufacturers
are doing everything possible to make trailers lighter. If a thinner
bumper drops 5 pounds off the weight then they are going to do it.
Personally I would just go down to Harbor Freight Tools and
buy 4 U-bolts and install those.
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Old 11-01-2016, 12:59 PM   #20
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Really interested in this thread. We have a 2011 2304s and are tired of hauling bikes in & out of camper & had been looking at various ways to carry bikes. Ladder mount, front of car mount, aframe mount but this looks like what we are looking for. Do you think we would be able to carry bikes & spare tire on bumper with these struts?
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