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Old 02-09-2015, 03:37 PM   #1
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"Bumper Beef Up" under way

Started putting parts on for a bumper that should hold my stuff. Over the past 2 years owning my Solaire 317 BHSK, I have been hauling a bike rack with 3 bikes and a full size Chargriller charcoal grill. The bumper was showing signs of fatigue to say the least. It was bending where I had the bolts holding on the bike rack. Bad enough my sewer hose will no longer fit. I actually lost the bike rack once due to broken u-bolts. I decided it was time for a change. I decided to go with 3/16" square steel tube for the bumper and 4" angle cut down to make my brackets. All secured with 5/8" grade 8 bolts. The 2"x4" bumper braces were still in great shape and so were the welds. I decided to keep these and added 3, 3/8" grade 8 bolts to either side through the brace and the I-beam just to give some added security. My placement was 2 on one side of the beam and one on the other. See the photos for the progress so far. Brackets made and bolted on. Just have to drill and bolt on the bumper. After painting of course.
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2013 Solaire Eclipse 317BHSK 2009 Denali XL Tow Vehicle with Equalizer distribution and sway control
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:38 PM   #2
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I will post pics of the bumper on and all accessories next week.


2013 Solaire Eclipse 317BHSK 2009 Denali XL Tow Vehicle with Equalizer distribution and sway control
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Old 02-13-2015, 10:55 AM   #3
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Now this is the kind of mod I like....take a light duty project and modify it to super-duty status. I'd like to start the same project before you patent this idea, if you don't mind. I removed the bike rack behind my Sabre because it was just too heavy and the welds seemed too weak on that sub-frame. Here's my ?, are you using the original bumper or should we beef that up also!
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:14 AM   #4
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Lookin good!
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:32 AM   #5
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This is an ultralight trailer your still going to have problems no matter how much you beef up the "bumper" and "mounting" brackets.
The frame is a ultra thin fabricated I beam that is NOT designed for this type of load "bike rack"
Good luck and pay your insurance premiums.
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Old 02-13-2015, 04:46 PM   #6
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I have inspected the frame and it is the thin I beam frame. All is in great shape after 2 seasons towing. No bending or welds cracking. I did however add some bolts through the bumper brackets and I beam. That should help solve the weld cracking issue I have read about. I have done quite a bit of research before buying the first piece of metal and feel confident that I have addressed the weak points that have plagued bumper mounted accessories. I do have a couple more ideas for more support and will take action if needed. Thanks for sharing your concerns and happy camping.

For the other question, no it is not the stock bumper. It is 3/16" thick by 4" square tube. The stocker was just too flexible and bends when just tightening the u-bolts.


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Old 02-13-2015, 04:50 PM   #7
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My point is the bumper is bent and out of shape because the bike rack is flexing the frame.
Now all you did was moved the bending and twisting forward on the frame.
The bumper was the "weak" point before .
I know this because I've been there.
Listen or don't I've said what I had to say.
Btw it cost me $1200.00 to learn my lesson.
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Old 02-13-2015, 05:21 PM   #8
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What all did you do to reinforce the frame? Or did you just bolt on a heavy bumper. I don't want problems and am not trying to be a smart a**. I have reinforced my bumper to frame mounting with 3 grade 8 bolts per side. That's in addition to the welds that are already there. Is my roughly 6" I beam going to bend down now? Or are the short sides of the I beam what you are saying is going to fail next? I've thought about tying the bumper bracket to the vertical part of the I beam too. The fact is, it's metal and can be reinforced. It's worth it to me to do all that is necessary to put my stuff on the back. Just some clarification on where yours failed will help me decide if I have more fabrication to do that I have not thought about. Thanks in advance.


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Old 02-13-2015, 05:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by PMickey View Post
What all did you do to reinforce the frame? Or did you just bolt on a heavy bumper. I don't want problems and am not trying to be a smart a**. I have reinforced my bumper to frame mounting with 3 grade 8 bolts per side. That's in addition to the welds that are already there. Is my roughly 6" I beam going to bend down now? Or are the short sides of the I beam what you are saying is going to fail next? I've thought about tying the bumper bracket to the vertical part of the I beam too. The fact is, it's metal and can be reinforced. It's worth it to me to do all that is necessary to put my stuff on the back. Just some clarification on where yours failed will help me decide if I have more fabrication to do that I have not thought about. Thanks in advance.


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Old 02-25-2015, 12:40 AM   #10
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Taking a while to get back on the bumper. Cold weather with snow and ice has plagued Eastern NC the past two weeks. Got some extra stuff to do for reinforcement but I will post pics once done.


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