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Old 06-02-2011, 04:28 PM   #1
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Default bumper hitch

Have a 2011 21wsk, has anyone installed a bumper hitch on the factory bumper for a bike rack? Any problems encountered, I want to hang a 2 bike rack on it, thinking about the curt brand of hitch.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:31 PM   #2
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I would contact Cruiser RV and ask them. Have the exact measutements of how much does it extend behind the bumper (leverage) and how much is the total load with your two bikes.
I called them as asked the same question on my trailer and they said that it should not be a problem. If you take your trailer over rough roads the back bumper of most trailers will have a lot of vertical movement. If there is a little movement in the hitch's mounting , it will probably beat the mounting point into submision.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:11 PM   #3
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On most travel trailers, mounting a hitch to the square bumper is not a good idea. As mentioned above, the twisting torque applied by the leverage of a couple bikes hanging off a bumper designed to absorb a linear impact force will cause the welds to fail.

The best mounting would be a frame installed hitch. CruiserRV makes one for their trailers and the holes are already drilled into the heavy frames and take a standard grade 8 bolt. I installed one of their frame mounted hitches on my 210WBS and have gone cross country several times with two bikes mounted on the back. As an illustration of how severe the torque can be back there, I had a failure of the rack (not the frame mounted hitch). The upright cracked two welds in the stanchion. I've since welded 3/16 plate at all the rack's critical points and haven't had any further problems (of course I avoid I40 anywhere in OK now...). Luckily, the type rack I use supports the bikes from the wheels up and the upright stanchion that broke wasn't critical to keeping the bikes on the trailer, just keeps them from bumping together.

You may get by with a bolt on bumper mount, but, IMHO, you'd be much better off with a frame mounted hitch, particularly if going any great distances. There are horror stories of dragging bikes for miles down a highway or arriving at a campground to find that the bumper and bikes are not there... I've never encountered a horror story of a frame mounted receiver failing...



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Old 06-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #4
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I agree, the factory bumpers are only 1/16 inch thick, they tend to tear at the welds under a twisting load. I added a bumper to my 189fbr,(modifications and bumper post), you will notice that I extended the receiver all the way to the back panel, this turns the twisting force into a vertical load.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:35 AM   #5
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Default bumper hitch

I wanted to install a receiver onto the bumper of my 2011 215WSK and even bought a CURT receiver from an RV dealer. But after reading all the horror stories online, I began to worry even though the dealer I bought the FF from told me to buy this type of receiver for the bumper to carry my bikes. So I towed the FF to a welding/hitch shop yesterday and the very experienced fella there told me "he" would not put a bike rack onto that bumper if it was him. He recommended a full on hitch for the back of the FF ($650) or a very extensive re-building of the bumper, weld points, etc. ($400). I have called Cruiser and left voicemails concerning this issue and have not received a call back. Obviously with me leaving on vacation to BC tomorrow I will be putting the bikes inside the unit for now (not very happy with that plan) and figure out a better solution when I return home. How do you get this rear hitch from Cruiser that someone has mentioned and how much is it??
Frustrated with this bumper business.....
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:19 AM   #6
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Default FF hitch

I also played this game as I need to carry a couple of mountain bikes or my generator behind the trailer. My 2010 189FDS is quite nose heavy( I would suspect 600lbs+ with battery and propane) so adding weight to the rear isn't a big issue. I contacted Cruiser last fall about their hitch and I think it came to around $350 plus shipping to a local dealer.

There are two plates welded to the inside of the I-beam frame rails (crawl under and feel inside for them, as the grey/black tanks are tucked right in there). These plates each have 4 holes in them to bolt up the Cruiser designed hitch. I think you still need to cut holes in the rear cross panel to insert the hitch through to the welded plates.

After some checking, I decided that the two plates are really not as strong as you might expect as they are shaped like C-channel and the ends of the C are welded to the I-beam frames so you have a place behind the plate to put the nuts when you are bolting on the frame. It must be strong enough for a couple of bikes, but probably not much more.

After doing some hunting, I found a curt hitch that, with some modifications to the mounting brackets, would work:

http://www.etrailer.com/Specialty-Tr...urt/13703.html

I cut the mounting plates to be just 5.5" high, 12" long steel plates and mounted them to the I-beams directly with 4 bolts. I still had to cut two vertical slots in the rear cross panel to slide the plates through, but I would have had to do that anyway with the cruiser hitch. I now have the hitch attached directly to the frame rails and the receiver sticks out behind the spare tire. Some pics here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/tompreusser/NewTrailer#

I would assume a decent hitch shop could do something similar for well under the $650 someone has been quoted. It requires a bit of cutting and drilling, but no welding required.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: FF hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCP
I also played this game as I need to carry a couple of mountain bikes or my generator behind the trailer. My 2010 189FDS is quite nose heavy( I would suspect 600lbs+ with battery and propane) so adding weight to the rear isn't a big issue. I contacted Cruiser last fall about their hitch and I think it came to around $350 plus shipping to a local dealer.

There are two plates welded to the inside of the I-beam frame rails (crawl under and feel inside for them, as the grey/black tanks are tucked right in there). These plates each have 4 holes in them to bolt up the Cruiser designed hitch. I think you still need to cut holes in the rear cross panel to insert the hitch through to the welded plates.

After some checking, I decided that the two plates are really not as strong as you might expect as they are shaped like C-channel and the ends of the C are welded to the I-beam frames so you have a place behind the plate to put the nuts when you are bolting on the frame. It must be strong enough for a couple of bikes, but probably not much more.

After doing some hunting, I found a curt hitch that, with some modifications to the mounting brackets, would work:

http://www.etrailer.com/Specialty-Tr...urt/13703.html

I cut the mounting plates to be just 5.5" high, 12" long steel plates and mounted them to the I-beams directly with 4 bolts. I still had to cut two vertical slots in the rear cross panel to slide the plates through, but I would have had to do that anyway with the cruiser hitch. I now have the hitch attached directly to the frame rails and the receiver sticks out behind the spare tire. Some pics here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/tompreusser/NewTrailer#

I would assume a decent hitch shop could do something similar for well under the $650 someone has been quoted. It requires a bit of cutting and drilling, but no welding required.
Wow, glad I came across this post. Thank you for sharing this information.

I have a 2012/2013 189FDS. I was just thinking about adding a trailer receiver to carry a bike rack and 2 mountain bikes, estimating the rack and bikes might total 150 lbs.

Your post and photos help a lot. Now that you have had this setup for awhile, how is it working? Is there anything you would change? Does it seem solid?

I was also thinking about the benefit of some weight on the back for tongue weight offset. This weekend we are adding a new tray to carry two Group 31 batteries on the tongue between the propane tanks and the trailer shell. They weigh about 65 lbs each vs. the weight of the current single Group 24 battery.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:30 AM   #8
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Default Working Well

After a few years of having this hitch attached, we've carried all manner of equipment behind the trailer, from bikes to a utility carrier with the generator/firewood, to a mobility scooter for my father-in-law. The original hitch from Curt is spec'd to carry 5000lbs and mounting it to the 6" I-beam frame with a total of 8 3/8" bolts, I suspect i could tow a second funfinder with it. In other words, no problems at all.

The installation took some time and effort (maybe 6 hours total), but i haven't had a care about what it can handle or any fatigue issues.
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:51 PM   #9
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Glad it has held up so well. Thank you for the additional info!
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