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Old 06-01-2011, 07:38 AM   #1
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Receiver hitch to mount bikes for 8285ws

Just purchased a Rockwood 5th wheel and want to fabricate a receiver hitch for the rear. It looks like the trailer has a 1/8" I beam supporting the rear bumper. I'm considering fabricating a receiver style 2" hitch to fasten to the I beam on each side. Will this be strong enough to support two bikes? I know the rear bumper isn't strong enough.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:23 AM   #2
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Not really sure your plan... But most camper bumpers aren't designed to hold anything more then a spare tire. I was told this by Forest River, who warned me against installing a bolt on 2" receiver on my particular bumper. I have read of people welding additional bracing on the bumper to support the weight. You could also try calling the factory and asking them if the bumper would support the weight as-is. If they says it's good to go bolt on a 2" receiver and be done with it.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:50 PM   #3
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from what i've read, modifying the bumper/frame for a bike rack or receiver on an ultra-lite frame, will void the frame's warranty.

since you don't mention the year or model of your trailer, i don't know if your 5th wheel is in that category. i would contact FR and find out.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:15 PM   #4
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I have a 2011 8285WS and I bought a bolt on receiver hitch and installed it and mounted a bike rack that carries 2 bikes. I have not had any problems with it and don't think I will. My bumper seems very sturdy and does not wiggle.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by reloader-51 View Post
I have a 2011 8285WS and I bought a bolt on receiver hitch and installed it and mounted a bike rack that carries 2 bikes. I have not had any problems with it and don't think I will. My bumper seems very sturdy and does not wiggle.


Flagstaff 8528CKWS with same setup. No problems. I make sure the bikes are strapped in with ratchet straps allowing no movement. I moved the spare tire to the right as far as it could go and the bike rack to the left placing both at the strongest points of the bumper.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:07 PM   #6
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I also have a bolt-on receiver and carry tow mountain bikes. I moved the spare tire to the front compartment (65 lbs total) compared to the bikes and bike rack (90 lbs total). I put two bolts to lock the bike rack in the receiver and minimize movement. It still flexs enough to dislodge the rubber end caps for the bumper. I keep checking the welds of the bumper to the I-beams and all is well.

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Old 06-01-2011, 07:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by reloader-51 View Post
I have a 2011 8285WS and I bought a bolt on receiver hitch and installed it and mounted a bike rack that carries 2 bikes. I have not had any problems with it and don't think I will. My bumper seems very sturdy and does not wiggle.
I have the same trailer as you(2011). Did you bolt the receiver to the "I" beams or the bumper? We're away on a short vacation the next 4 days. I'll call Forest River when I get home.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:19 PM   #8
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I have the same trailer as you(2011). Did you bolt the receiver to the "I" beams or the bumper? We're away on a short vacation the next 4 days. I'll call Forest River when I get home.

I bolted a manufactured after market receiver to the bumper.No problems and I have driven on some rough roads.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:00 PM   #9
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I think you original plan to fabricate and attach to the frame is the better of the options, I have done similar with no issues. Not sure I would want to try the bumper, even as others state theirs is working fine. If you have the option to use the frame ... go there.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:11 AM   #10
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I think you original plan to fabricate and attach to the frame is the better of the options, I have done similar with no issues. Not sure I would want to try the bumper, even as others state theirs is working fine. If you have the option to use the frame ... go there.
I would agree. My bumper is very thin wall steel. I'll attach to the I beams. I'm also looking at maybe fastening to the pin box.
Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:41 AM   #11
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If you think an Ultra-lite bumper hitch receiver bike rack "works just fine;" have someone else drive while you follow in a car. That rack will move up and down almost a foot.

That rotation is transferred to the bumper and the welds that hold the bumper on will work harden over time and the bumper along with anything attached to it will "depart" without warning.
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:58 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=herk7769;108309]If you think an Ultra-lite bumper hitch receiver bike rack "works just fine;" have someone else drive while you follow in a car. That rack will move up and down almost a foot.

Done that Lou. Drove behind myself while the DW drove the fifth wheel. No bumping or moving. Bikes remained tight to the camper. Rode smooth as glass. I fasten the bikes to the bike rack and in turn to the bumper with ratchet style straps as tight as I can get allowing no movement. Done this for years on my travel trailers and motorhome. Never a problem. I would also venture to say that 80% of people who carry bikes, attach to the rear bumper. The dealer stated that the bumper has a capacity of 150lbs. My simple bike rack and 2 light weight bikes are well under that even with the spare tire.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:02 AM   #13
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The dealer stated that the bumper has a capacity of 150lbs.
This is true, however the load limit warning goes on to state "within 6 inches of the bumper." Also most folks keep their spare tire back there and it is one or the other and not both.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:40 AM   #14
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If any members are traveling from Cincinnati to Ky.Lake on I-71 would you please look for my neighbors bikes! When they left the house the bikes were on the (rear bummper of the ROO)! There Kids sure miss thier (Bikes)!! Youroo!!
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:11 AM   #15
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If any members are traveling from Cincinnati to Ky.Lake on I-71 would you please look for my neighbors bikes! When they left the house the bikes were on the (rear bummper of the ROO)! There Kids sure miss thier (Bikes)!! Youroo!!


If your neighbour was oblivious to the fact that the bikes are missing, he probably shouldn't even be on the highway, let alone towing a camper.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:08 AM   #16
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If your neighbour was oblivious to the fact that the bikes are missing, he probably shouldn't even be on the highway, let alone towing a camper.
Oh, he knew they were missing after he saw the (spare tire & hard cover) were missing also! Youroo!!
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