New Bumper - Hitch Reciever and Barbecue Mount
I can't take it anymore. I have to have a receiver for the bike rack. Putting 4 bikes in the bed of my truck with a shell on along with all of the other stuff that goes in there has gotten ridiculous. I dread that the whole trip. So, it is time to put on a receiver and while I am at it, make a barbecue mount.
The current plan, and reason for this post, is that I want to use the 2x4 mounts that are already fairly mounted to the frame of the trailer and to the bumper - weak point. We, my buddy that knows how to weld, will finish up the welds on the 2x4 mounts so they are more stable, after cutting the bumper off of them. At that point, we will possibly put a couple of metal L brackets on the bottom of them - haven't decided if it is necessary yet. Everything is so close to those 2x4 pieces (propane hose, corrugated plastic, wires, etc.), that we want to minimize the welding down there.
I am contemplating extending the 2x4 pieces 4 inches to move the bumper out a little. It will allow it to be a better step to the ladder, move the bike rack away from the trailer even more, and allow more room for the barbecue rack. I want to see how it looks before deciding on that so once the old bumper is gone, I will see how it looks with the new metal mocked up on some buckets. If we go that route, we will probably have to put a couple of strap pieces of metal on the top and bottom of the 2x4 pieces and the new extensions all the way out to the bumper.
For the receiver part, my buddy suggested buying receiver stock and cutting out a hole in the bumper to slide it into. That is fine, usually I see them welded to the bottom of the bumper. Welded to the bottom of the bumper would possibly make me hit it on the ground. We talked about mounting it to the top of the bumper, but couldn't really think of a good reason to put it there. We also talked about offsetting it a little to move the bikes over some. The decision hasn't been finalized.
For the barbecue mount - I was going to buy one from Keystone or from Forest River as I like how their mount is - swing away and lock. The stock Jayco one just slides into a couple of mounts which means I would have a huge mount attached to my grill that I would have to store - kind of defeats the purpose of having the barbecue all mounted nicely away and riding on the bumper that I am after.
After measuring the distance from the bottom of the ladder to the top of the current bumper, and seeing only 3 inches, I don't think either of the two mounts I was looking at will work. Since we are already doing the other bumper modifications, we thought we might as well make something that works for this too.
We have two ideas that we think will work. My first idea was to use a piece on the corner of the new bumper that would have a strong piano hinge, for lack of a better term, similar to a boat trailer swing away mount only smaller and cheaper. Then the barbecue mount would be on the face of the bumper when stored and not have to slide under the ladder.
My buddy suggested we just use some 2x4 stock and put a hole in one side for a pin to drop through - this would allow it to mount on top of the bumper, but still allow it to rotate under the ladder when moving from the stored location to the cooking location. Either way is fine with me, so long as it accomplishes the same thing.
1. Do you think the 2x4 pieces that come on the bumpers will allow us to keep them and not have to replace them with thicker walled metal? - they feel thicker than the bumper metal.
2. How do you think we should mount the receiver? - top, bottom or hole through the new bumper itself.
3. Any other ideas for any of the above from people who have done this modification or have thought about making this mod? - looking for pro's/con's.