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Author Topic: Weight limits on rear bumper.  (Read 354 times)


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Weight limits on rear bumper.
« on: July 07, 2020, 08:38:23 PM »
Thinking of putting a rack on the rear bumper of my Travel trailer to hold my generator that is about 100lbs. Does it need to be reinforced?  If so how.

Larry N.

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  • Westminster, CO
Re: Weight limits on rear bumper.
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2020, 06:33:01 AM »
On many (most?) trailers it would need reinforcement (if that's possible, depending on design, but consider also that it would need to be counterbalanced by a bit more weight forward, to avoid having the tongue so light that you have handling problems.

To help others, who might be able to answer the "how," you might list what rig you have.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG


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Re: Weight limits on rear bumper.
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2020, 06:35:00 AM »
Loaded question without enough facts.  Simple answer is yes, most travel trailer bumpers are made poorly and need reinforced.  Tell us what you have, pictures would be nice.
2020 F150 Lariat 502a, Max Tow, 3.5 Eco
2012 Puma 21BH TT
Paul & Julie

"Never argue with stupid people. They bring you down to their level and beat you with experience" - Mark Twain

Rene T

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Re: Weight limits on rear bumper.
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2020, 07:00:22 AM »
One of our members just did that. Maybe someone can find that post. He had a bunch of pictures also
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL


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Re: Weight limits on rear bumper.
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2020, 07:55:47 PM »
As others have said, depends on your RV.  My TT has a rear hitch with a labeled load rating of 250#, and that is how I haul my generator.  Your RV type and construction will also dictate how it affects you tongue weight.  My TT carries 12% of it's weight with the generator loaded and a full tank of fresh water, and tows like a dream.

We have logged 25,999 miles and spent two years traveling this way.

2018 Outdoor RV 24KTS

Boat Addict

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Re: Weight limits on rear bumper.
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2020, 08:10:29 PM »
I have no idea of the type and year of your TT.  There are TTs with hitch setups mounted with framing that goes all the way over to the mainframes for the camper. There are also receiver hitch units that’s bolted to the sewer tubing, which are normally rated to carry much less on its own.  But I will add a couple of opinions that drove me to reconsider buying a rack sold at outlets like Harbor Freight and racks sold that’s better in quality. First off quality is important but comes with a price.  With quality if the rack is steel its going to be heavier than the stamped out aluminum ones.  Now add that th installing a rack that folds up while hanging on any add on receivers added to sewer hoses, well you may experience issues to complete failure and the rack falling off.

Traditional sewer hose racks are fairly thin and rust from inside, since they have a tendency to hold water.  So most folks never think or observe this until its too late. The fold up racks in particular hang out further than the fixed ones where they are secured up closer to the bumper. So they are not constantly  twisting the sewer bumper as much when you have weight in the racks. The steel racks normally weighs around 60 lbs by itself.

Now if your sewer bumper is mounted to the main frames of your camper its normally done with two fasteners at the offsets. Of course there are exceptions for higher end campers and fifth wheels Of course the two holes further removes metal from the critical mounting points for strength to carry extra weight from simple coolers. But that area is usually not the problem, at least according to my own research talking to some seasoned shop supervisors.

What I concluded was to move my load in as close as possible to the sewer hose while adding some additional support to the main frame from under the  area below my sewer hose bumper . This is what I did since I could not add a full 2” receiver across the back of the main frame because it had a full cover that’s mounted to the bottom portion of the ends of my main frames. I also had two support jacks on each side and at the ends, which restricted full mounting to the entire main frame ends.

My add on is documented on a thread in Towing and Towables.


I fabricated a simple rack from 3/4” plywood and added a lip around the edges. I then ordered 2” channel and two clamp on receivers to my bumper. I located one at the right side main frame end and one in the middle because of my ladder on the left and my heater exhaust on the back of my camper. I kept things that I carried clear of my tail lights too, even though the homemade rack was longer than I needed.  I carried 100 to 150 lbs for 6880 mile and never had  a problem. I did add an additional safety measure to the setup overhead with 1” tubing and a bridle as a safety measure in hopes that if something failed this will restrict how far the add on stuff would fall or fall quickly and possible damage any one following me. Plus I was not sure how much weight I would actually end up adding for a more extended trip, if I needed the room.

You do have to align the two channels while keeping in mind that they must be somewhat parrallel for removal. So I thru bolted the outside fasteners down thru the rack and into the channels and checked it by pulling it out a bit before running my fasteners down thru the two pieces at the inside location against the bumper. It worked out just fine.


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Re: Weight limits on rear bumper.
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2020, 01:33:10 PM »
After crushing my standard "sewer hose" bumper after putting a 3rd bike on my bumper mounted rack I can safely say that your 100 lb generator will eventually crush your bumper as it bounces down the road.  I ended up purchasing a thicker piece of 4x4 square metal stock (conveniently sold 8' long) and had a mobile welder come out and mount the new bumper after cutting off the old one. 

The new bumper could hold a motorcycle. 

Mounting anything to a standard TT bumper is a pretty risky exercise given how thin they are.  Even if you add wood or some other material to the inside of the bumper to make it more crush resistant you have to consider the welds that are holding it on and how strong are they considering the manufacturer likely only intended for you to carry your sewer hose in it.