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Author Topic: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?  (Read 1231 times)

ArdraF

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What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« on: May 27, 2013, 12:29:38 AM »
Recently I've been hearing people refer to bumper pull trailers.  I didn't see it in the Glossary under RV Types or it's own definition.  I see that Haulmark uses the term to include trailers like you use to haul things like ATVs.  I also see it used in place of a fold-out trailer for camping.  Does it include what we've always called Travel Trailers?  Just exactly what is a bumper pull trailer and should it be added to the Glossary?

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Frizlefrak

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Re: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2013, 12:39:18 AM »
In the old days, before receiver hitches became the norm, pickup truck bumpers with a ball mounted to them were used to tow.  Hence the term.  But if you want to further convolute things, a fifth wheel IS a travel trailer, right?  ;)

You could always call a "bumper pull" trailer a "conventional" travel trailer. 
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Wigpro

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Re: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2013, 01:16:10 AM »
Any trailer that is pulled with a normal hitch as opposed to a 5th wheel hitch or a gooseneck hitch which rests in the bed of a truck. But one that is pulled from the "bumper" or a standard receiver hitch....

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Bob Buchanan

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Re: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 02:19:00 AM »
    Ardra, it's probably a carry over from when most all trailers were pulled by a hitch connected to the bumper. And also regional and by age group. Some small trailers for bikes or small boats are pulled behind a trailer or fifth wheel in some states. So back there, a hitch connected to the bumper may be used. They most likely are used with smaller and lighter trailers on stronger truck bumpers vs. the cost of a convention hitch. I would call those bumper pull trailers.

HERE is an example of such a bumper hitch. If you scroll the page you'll see other examples of bumper hitches. Perhaps some "do" pull TT's from the bumper these days - because note this one is called a Travel Trailer bumper hitch.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 02:25:07 AM by Bob Buchanan »
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Tom

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Re: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2013, 07:57:41 AM »
Good catch Ardra. I'll get it added to the Glossary, unless it's already hidden there somewhere.

I've always thought of 'bumper pull' to mean a combination of what Wigpro and Bob B explained.

FWIW the Ford Bronco we bought new in 1984 had pre-cut holes for 3 different sizes of ball hitch in addition to a 4" receiver mounted to the frame. They were somewhat redundant, but the bumper had a limited tow capacity (IIRC it was 2,000 lbs).

Over time, the term 'bumper pull has been used to describe trailers that are really too heavy to be towed by the bumper.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 09:58:56 AM by Tom »
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John From Detroit

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Re: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2013, 08:49:15 AM »
Up to about six months ago I never heard of a "Bumper Pull" But do understand the term

Class A-B-C (motor home) Conversions et-al  Pick up Campers, we all know what those are

5Th Wheel.. We know what that is
Gooseneck,,, Special variation on 5th wheel, uses a "Ball" type hitch in the bed of the truck instead of the 5th wheel and kingpin system

Travel Trailer... Has a tong, like an auto dolly or trailer, or a lawn or utility trailer, that hooks to a ball on the BACK of the vehicle

A "Bumper pull" is what I call a Travel Trailer.
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2013, 09:03:05 AM »
Technically it means simply that the hitch pivot point is at or behind the tow vehicle's rear bumper. It isn't a very precise term, but is widely used in the trailer business to distinguish that type of hitch mechanism from a 5W or gooseneck hitch. "Bumper pull" is a broader term than "travel trailer" and encompasses utility trailers, car haulers, tow dollies, boat trailers, etc.

A "bumper pull" hitch may actually be in or on the bumper, or may be placed in a hitch receiver under the bumper. It can be a ball type or a pintle type, but pintle hitches aren't used with RVs, so are of little interest here (farm, industrial and military vehicles often use pintle hitches).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tow_hitch

I'm old enough to have actually pulled a small boat trailer with a hitch that was clamped to the quite substantial bumper of my 48 Dodge club coupe. But that was long ago and far away...
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 05:58:32 PM by Gary RV Roamer »
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PancakeBill

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Re: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2013, 09:03:46 AM »
Remember the clamp on type bumper hitches?  Hooks top and bottom, bolts to draw them up tight, and a ball, hardly ever actually level to pull with.  I think U-Haul used to rent them with the trailers.  Those were the days when a bumper was actually capable, (mostly), of handling a load.  Not likely the loads inposed, but they were heavy steel.

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Tom

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Re: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2013, 11:19:40 AM »
I've added 'bumper pull' and 'bumper pull trailer' to the Glossary (button in the toolbar above). I used Gary's post as the basis and added a caveat, and I'll probably tweak it a little more.

While I have the Glossary file open, I'm reminded that I have a few other terms/definitions that need to be added.
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Bob Buchanan

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Re: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2013, 12:19:26 PM »
Remember the clamp on type bumper hitches?  Hooks top and bottom, bolts to draw them up tight, and a ball, hardly ever actually level to pull with.  I think U-Haul used to rent them with the trailers.  Those were the days when a bumper was actually capable, (mostly), of handling a load.  Not likely the loads inposed, but they were heavy steel.

Note the link in my post, Bill -- Amazon sells many different types, so they must still be used.
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ArdraF

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Re: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2013, 01:30:22 PM »
Thanks for all the explanations.  I wonder why I've never really heard the term used until recently??  Last week Doug at Portal referred to the fact that this holiday weekend would be full of bumper pulls and kids.  In looking around I thought he probably meant the kind of trailers pulled behind cars that fold out with "wing" beds on each side, usually soft sided with the top that folds down for travel.  But then when I saw the Haulmark line of toy haulers I thought it might be different.

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Joezeppy

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Re: What is a "bumper pull" trailer?
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2013, 10:39:02 AM »
Remember the clamp on type bumper hitches?  Hooks top and bottom, bolts to draw them up tight, and a ball, hardly ever actually level to pull with.  I think U-Haul used to rent them with the trailers.  Those were the days when a bumper was actually capable, (mostly), of handling a load.  Not likely the loads inposed, but they were heavy steel.

Rented one of these from U-Haul in the late 80's when my '78 Buick Regal suffered an engine failure. Using a clamp on tow bar along with it, a friend towed me home (3 hours) with his '74? Ford LTD. It worked quite well for that specific job.
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