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Old 12-15-2021, 01:21 PM   #1
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Heed the bumper max weight-from experience!

Jay Feather x213
So we just got back from a trip the week leading to Thanksgiving day. Prior to the trip I decided to go ahead and mount a bike rack to the bumper (allen sports deluxe+ locking bike rack) so we can bring our kids bikes along in case they want to ride around the campground. advertised as 24lbs.

I also wanted to make sure that if we were at a campground we would have an extra tank to empty grey water because we (as a family of 6) haven't mastered limiting our water usage just yet. So I added a 36 gallon camco rhino tank and mount that I installed horizontally behind the bike rack. advertised weight 50lbs.

Also installed is a spare tire that came with the x213 which I am guessing is max 70lbs.

so we are at 144lbs, plus the 3 bikes. one is a small 16" (26lbs), one is a 20" (35lbs) , and the last is a 26" mountain bike (35lbs)

So I think that is about 340lbs +/-.

I'm pretty sure that advertised weight limit is 400 lbs for the bumper, which I was thinking was pretty conservative but probably kept low because they wanted to keep people from towing or adding large/heavy items on the back.

HOWEVER. We made a trip into Black Mesa State Park in the panhandle of Oklahoma and there is a somewhat nasty cattleguard at the entrance to the campground. We did hit it a little harder than I planned but it wasn't anything I assumed would be over the top. We continued on to our site located probably less than 1/8th mile ahead and started to back in, and that's when I checked my mirror and noticed the bike wheels were on the ground.

I hopped out thinking the bike rack had somehow released and tilted down, but boy was I wrong! The whole bumper had ripped away from the mounts and was hanging by a small sliver on each side. Apparently the jolt from the cattleguard was enough twist on that bumper to rip holes in the mount locations. Was sure fun removing all of that hardware in camp, finding a new place to travel with all of the items and mounts, and then disposing of the trashed bumper in the camp dumpster.

Just take my warning that the standard bumpers on a TT aren't meant to carry weight past maybe the spare tire.

Would not recommend a bike rack or spare waste tank loaded on the bumper either.

Now on to replacing that bumper...

Anyone know a legit way to upgrade the bumper so that this doesnt happen again? Or am I just relegated to finding a new solution to transporting bikes and a tank?
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Old 12-15-2021, 01:25 PM   #2
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If you have a square tube bumper, you cannot put any bike rack on it, unless you want trouble. Way to much wobble of the bikes while traveling. The bumper metal is only about 1/16” thick, rips out very easy.
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Old 12-15-2021, 01:33 PM   #3
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Find a good welding shop and have them look at what you have... they should be able to fabricate a decent solution.
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Old 12-15-2021, 01:39 PM   #4
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Factory bumpers are very thin like previously posted. I'd finish that thing off and scrap it. Go to a steel shop and have them weld on a 11ga (1/8") and you'll be fine.
I made my own removable bumper/bike rack and made it out of 11ga and it's worked great. The first one I made for our previous trailer I made out of 3/16". TOO HEAVY!! You could pull a semi truck out of a ditch with it if the trailer frame could handle it. Lol!
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Old 12-15-2021, 02:54 PM   #5
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Safety Struts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssokc View Post
Jay Feather x213
So we just got back from a trip the week leading to Thanksgiving day. Prior to the trip I decided to go ahead and mount a bike rack to the bumper (allen sports deluxe+ locking bike rack) so we can bring our kids bikes along in case they want to ride around the campground. advertised as 24lbs.

I also wanted to make sure that if we were at a campground we would have an extra tank to empty grey water because we (as a family of 6) haven't mastered limiting our water usage just yet. So I added a 36 gallon camco rhino tank and mount that I installed horizontally behind the bike rack. advertised weight 50lbs.

Also installed is a spare tire that came with the x213 which I am guessing is max 70lbs.

so we are at 144lbs, plus the 3 bikes. one is a small 16" (26lbs), one is a 20" (35lbs) , and the last is a 26" mountain bike (35lbs)

So I think that is about 340lbs +/-.

I'm pretty sure that advertised weight limit is 400 lbs for the bumper, which I was thinking was pretty conservative but probably kept low because they wanted to keep people from towing or adding large/heavy items on the back.

HOWEVER. We made a trip into Black Mesa State Park in the panhandle of Oklahoma and there is a somewhat nasty cattleguard at the entrance to the campground. We did hit it a little harder than I planned but it wasn't anything I assumed would be over the top. We continued on to our site located probably less than 1/8th mile ahead and started to back in, and that's when I checked my mirror and noticed the bike wheels were on the ground.

I hopped out thinking the bike rack had somehow released and tilted down, but boy was I wrong! The whole bumper had ripped away from the mounts and was hanging by a small sliver on each side. Apparently the jolt from the cattleguard was enough twist on that bumper to rip holes in the mount locations. Was sure fun removing all of that hardware in camp, finding a new place to travel with all of the items and mounts, and then disposing of the trashed bumper in the camp dumpster.

Just take my warning that the standard bumpers on a TT aren't meant to carry weight past maybe the spare tire.

Would not recommend a bike rack or spare waste tank loaded on the bumper either.

Now on to replacing that bumper...

Anyone know a legit way to upgrade the bumper so that this doesnt happen again? Or am I just relegated to finding a new solution to transporting bikes and a tank?
Once you get your bumper back in place, try these...On my third tt with these, have had a generator, spare and 2 bikes on an Allen Sport rack with zero problem. Generator now rides in the bed... https://www.amazon.com/Mount-n-Lock-.../dp/B084ZTHPTK
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Old 12-15-2021, 03:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kblast523 View Post
Once you get your bumper back in place, try these...On my third tt with these, have had a generator, spare and 2 bikes on an Allen Sport rack with zero problem. Generator now rides in the bed... https://www.amazon.com/Mount-n-Lock-.../dp/B084ZTHPTK
That looks like a good idea (so long as the frame is capable.) the current setup is 2 bolts and a sheet of metal that is welded to the back side of the bumper. not a lot of surface to spread the load to. those appear to spread to 3 sides and has 3 bolts to the frame, however the standoffs would be a weak point engineering wise. might have to go that route along with a slightly thicker/stronger bumper to ease my mind.
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Old 12-15-2021, 03:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ssokc View Post
That looks like a good idea (so long as the frame is capable.) the current setup is 2 bolts and a sheet of metal that is welded to the back side of the bumper. not a lot of surface to spread the load to. those appear to spread to 3 sides and has 3 bolts to the frame, however the standoffs would be a weak point engineering wise. might have to go that route along with a slightly thicker/stronger bumper to ease my mind.
My current tt with BAL frame is a steel stamping and my drill just zipped right through the steel. It is also "C" shaped but the top and bottom lands are not very deep. My previous "Trees & Streams" tt had 5/16 inch vertical I beams and you could have pulled an 18 wheeler with it. Matter of fact...
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ssokc View Post
snip......I'm pretty sure that advertised weight limit is 400 lbs for the bumper, which I was thinking was pretty conservative.......snip
Jayco specifies a maximum 100lbs placed on the rear bumper, so the spare tire and sewer hose max out the bumper weight limit.

IMO a frame mounted receiver hitch (if allowable) would be better choice for a bike rack as long as the bike(s) are stabilized while in-tow. As you are aware adding weight to the rear of any TT will effect the loaded tongue weight.

Bob
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:54 PM   #9
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As you are aware adding weight to the rear of any TT will effect the loaded tongue weight.

Bob
My previous tt was tail happy even with spare mounted under frame ahead of front axle, additional plywood on bed deck and 30lb propane tanks. No amount of tension on the Reese sway control helped. Ended up with the Andersen hitch I now have. Problem was the wheelbase. Any vehicle that broke my draft tried to shove the trailer out of their way...and sway. The trailer UGVW was a tick above 4,500lbs, had moved enough weight forward that tongue weight increased to 626lbs with double batteries and full propane. The trailer length was 26'9" ball to bumper, length from ball to front axle center was 11'10", putting rear axle 14'5" from ball. That still left 12'4" hanging out the rear. The short distance ball to axle makes sway control difficult no matter what weight you have adjusted. My Jayfeather is 4,850 UGVW, 27'3" ball to bumper, and 14'3" ball to front axle. With same adds to the 'Feather, hitch weight up from 525lbs to 603lbs. The Andersen hitch not only keeps everything level, but in a straight line even in 45 mph crosswinds. Tongue weight will affect towing, but nothing like poorly executed roadworthy chassis design.
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Old 12-16-2021, 03:41 PM   #10
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Another vote for the Mount N Lock.
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Old 12-22-2021, 02:49 PM   #11
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I had a similar incident with my class C bumper, but not as bad. I mounted a spare tire carrier and spare to the back lumber, but I added a SS, marine grade turnbuckle from the carrier to the hitch mounting plate to relive the cantilever weight that was on the bumper. It worked out great until the eye hook that I instated at one end of the turnbuckle failed! The bumper started to twisted and pull away! I said that ain’t good! Took it to a good welder, he took off the bumper and re-welded the entire attachments with some added reinforcements, replaced my turnbuckle with a custom made bracket. All good now. Hasn’t moved a bit after 22k miles! Welder couldn’t believe the crap job the factory did on the welds!
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Old 12-22-2021, 03:00 PM   #12
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My jay flight came with a full frame mounted hitch at the rear. Not specified for towing, but for bikes and storage racks. Has worked out great and a much better option than mounting to the bumper.
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Old 12-25-2021, 09:59 PM   #13
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Heavy 4" steel bumper alone was $600 last year? Maybe e-trailer that I saw it?
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Old 12-31-2021, 06:42 AM   #14
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I would go to an industrial supply house for the bumper. I will most likely upgrade my rear bumper to a 5x5 with a yet undecided wall thickness. At the supply house you can get up to about 1/2” wall. You would need to paint it, etc.
AAA is one local to me who has been in business since 1965. I have gone there several times when I needed metal. Look at their “Our Catalog” to see their selection. You would need to call for pricing.
https://aaa-supply.com/
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Old 01-02-2022, 12:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssokc View Post
Jay Feather x213


I'm pretty sure that advertised weight limit is 400 lbs for the bumper, which I was thinking was pretty conservative but probably kept low because they wanted to keep people from towing or adding large/heavy items on the back.
I have no idea where you got the 400 Lb number for your Jayfeather. When I owned one, it was around 100Lbs. If you look under the trailer, it's a "swiss cheese" frame. Lots of lightening holes stamped. We ended up carrying heavy stuff in the bed of the truck.
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Old 01-03-2022, 05:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by SloPoke View Post
Find a good welding shop and have them look at what you have... they should be able to fabricate a decent solution.
The welds are not the weak point, the metal tube is so thin, it just rips apart near the weld.
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