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Old 03-06-2015, 01:13 PM   #1
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Building a rear bumper rack.

As the snow begins to melt here in Boston, my thoughts are turning to the upcoming camping season.

I am going to begin building a rack for the back bumper to hold my blue tank (for black water) and my aquatainer jugs (to hold grey water). I have settled on this from Home Depot.

TriCam Aluminum Cargo Carrier-ACC-1 - The Home Depot

I will only use the aluminum platform as I do not have a 2" hitch on the back of the pop up. It is actually cheaper to buy this ready made carrier than it is to fabricate a like one with aluminum stock.

I plan on buying some standard 1" aluminum square stock and building a frame for the cargo carrier to sit on. I was hoping to find an adequate cargo carrier that was 60" wide but could not find one that appeared to be able to unbolt from the 2" hitch part. This one from Home Depot is 50" wide and the bumper frame is 56" apart. I need to build something for the smaller cargo carrier to sit on.

I will post some pictures as I begin building.
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:51 PM   #2
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I will only use the aluminum platform as I do not have a 2" hitch on the back of the pop up.

Mine didn't have that, how is it attached, pics?
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Old 04-11-2015, 03:17 PM   #3
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@vinmaker – Any updates on your project? I'm also in need of a storage solution for our water tanks. I really would like to make use of that back bumper area.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:04 PM   #4
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Hey Crown,

Today I was able to crawl into the pop up and look into the space I had inside. I have decided that the simplest way is just to put the blue tote and Aquatainers into my RV cover bag and then place into the pop up.

I am lucky in that my particular model has quite a bit of space inside the doorway when it is closed up. This is due to the large 16' box of the pop up. My previous pop up did not have this area.

Sorry I cannot help with the Mod. Good luck if you decide to build something on the back.

Vin.

P.S. To the other HW296 owners, I was able to place all of the containers on the couch while it was closed up. It works out rather well actually. The back rest is pulled forward 1/2 way so it is parralell with the bottom cushion and about 6" above the cushion. My 10 Gal Blue tote slides right in and the Aquatainers fit even easier. I am happy with this set up.
I dearly miss having a front storage area to hold all of this stuff. Unfortunately the current Rockwood Highwalls no longer have a front storage area.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:50 PM   #5
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Hi Vin:

Thanks for the quick reply.

We also have a HW 296, so we have similar constraints.

We have an 18 gal tote, as we are planning to use it for both grey/black (we limit our black water usage to night/emergency situations). Given the size difference, I'm not sure how well it will fit on the couch.

Like you, I was also hoping to avoid storing these internally, but that may be the solution until I can devote some cycles to a good external mod.

I've also considered a roof rack, but I haven't found a good option there yet.

Nick
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:01 AM   #6
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Hey Nick,

Looks like we have a similar setup with TV and pop up. Cool.

I am not sure of your 18 Gal tote dimensions but one of the things I was toying with was mounting the blue tote under the camper. I have seen a few mods like this where people make aluminum racks underneath.

I found that just behind the stairs you will find space to mount the blue tote. I used two bungee cords in an X pattern to hold it up. It actually fit pretty well. You will find that the frame has holes in it to run the various cables through. These holes are ideal for using as bungee cord attachment points. The blue tote should be pushed right up to the frame rails and the 3" access port will fit nicely up against the wooded floor in the gap.

It is worth a try. I only bring the tote if I am camping with W/E. I leave it if I book a W/E/S site. So depending on how many times a year you go without a sewer, you may find that the easiest no fuss way is to just tie it up under the pop up like I explained above.

Good luck,

Vin.

P.S. Do you have the tow package in your Tahoe? I do not. I have an LT model with 3.08 gears to tow 5,200lbs. I do not have an external transmission oil cooler. I am going to install one soon as I think we are pushing close to the limits with this pop up and all the stuff we carry for camping in the TV.

Watch the e-trailer install video on the 2011 suburban. It looks very doable. Hardest thing will be getting the front grill assembly off.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:57 AM   #7
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Hey Vin:

Thanks again for the pointer. We're pulling our PUP out of storage this weekend, so I'll give the under-the-trailer option a try.

We do not have the tow package. It was one of those options that was not included in the original buying criteria. Had I known, I would have gone for it. We also purchased a used vehicle, so that would have made it a bit more difficult to find.

Ours is an LT, and I'm pretty sure we have the 3.08 gears as well. I'm basing this off of the option code in the glove box (GU4= 3.08).

The external tranny cooler is a good idea. I watched most of the video you referenced, and the process looked relatively straight-forward. That said, as slow as I am performing automotive repairs, this would take me a full day.

Nick
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:04 PM   #8
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Give some serious thought to the tranny cooler. Also, you should keep an eye on the tranny temp when you tow using the information dash display. If you see temps over 200F then I think you need the cooler.

I am going to do it as it seems pretty easy to do and the cooler is only about $60.

Will it take me a while? Maybe so. But I am willing to take a day off from work to ensure my new Tahoe lasts. Those suckers are expensive!

Vin.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:19 AM   #9
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Remember, you guys are running Dex 6 or equivalent spec'ed trans fluid. It does handle heat a lot better. Most of the charts you see on the internet are for older trans fluids. Depending on where you live, and tow, means a lot.
However, I will always say a trans cooler can't hurt.
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