Trillium Rear Bumper Failure - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-04-2013, 07:27 PM   #1
Name: dave
Trailer: 1974 Trillium 1300
Posts: 31
Exclamation Trillium Rear Bumper Failure

I must share this near disaster story.

I had a two inch receiver welded onto the 2X3 rear bumper, as well as raising the spare tire holder to fit the addition. I added a bike rack, two bikes and off I went for a couple of weeks.

Got home and thought the receiver looked to slant down. Closer inspection revealed the problem. The metal had torn on top of the bumper at the old weld of the frame and bumper junction. A gap of 1/4" had opened presumably due to the bounce of the bikes and rack. My welder said the metal was weak and the original weld was poorly done.

Imagine if that bumper had fallen off on the highway! A spare tire and mount, two bicycles, and a steel bumper would have caused a crash potentially killing someone.

The fix was a triangle of metal welded across the joint.[ I also had added a pair of scissor jacks ($10 each from a wrecker) to the end of the bumper as stabilizers. They tuck up nicely behind the 3" bumper.]

So a warning is made to all bumper packers... reinforce!

BTW, I could not find any other suitable way to carry the bikes. Hate not seeing them back there, but they could not fit up front between the tow vehicle and the trailer.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:24 PM   #2
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Donna D.'s Avatar
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 25,064
I KNOW the rear bumper of my Scamp isn't capable of handling a load that flexes.

Thanks for the reminder

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:09 AM   #3
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 3,426
Because the bike rack goes back, with the weight on the far end it is in effect acts as a pry bar with leverage. Every bump the bikes pull down and "pry" at the hitch & bumper.

Glad you had no disaster but I would keep an eye on it.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:34 AM   #4
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 4,982
When I build a rear receiver for a bike rack I extend it under the trailer to at least two cross members, or add a crossmember if necessary. Roger is exactly right about the leverage/pry bar effect, and many people don't realize how great that can be with a couple bikes bouncing back there. A relative had a "professional" welder just butt weld a receiver to his camper bumper and it didn't take long for that to break off. At least the bikes were strapped down to the bumper so he was dragging them down the road until another motorist got him stopped. I've now switched from a rack that the bikes hang on to one the wheels set in hoping to reduce some of the leverage effect. On our teardrop I use the same rack on the tongue. This is the 3rd rack I've tried, and still not totally satisfied!!
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:54 AM   #5
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Name: Doug
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 64
When I mounted my bike rack, I extended it under the trailer to the first cross member. I couldn't go any further as my water tank sits there.
I also added weld to the top of the 2" tube that goes into the receiver and sanded it down so its a snug fit. It takes the bounce out of the equation. My only problem is the setup took away from my tongue weight, so I only put one bike back there. My kids bikes go in the trailer wrapped in heavy blankets and my wife's bike goes in the truck dismantled. ( This is only temporary, the previous owner cut the bumper off moved it in and took off the spare, I need to return it to original).

I'll probably in the future add another bike rack to my truck hitch, I can do this as I had to replace the coupler and changed it to a 2" ball 2" square tube mount for $14. The tube for the mods was scrap from work. This got me extra room for the bike rack between the trailer and the truck. I just need another bike rack, and need to build a drop hitch with a raised rack mount.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:36 PM   #6
Name: Walter
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300; Invertec Falcon 190 class b rv
Posts: 75
Trillium Rear Bumper Limitations

Our '76 Trillium 1300 had a rear rack mounted by the previous owner but I was very concerned about overloading it for fear that it might fall off or weigh down the rear of the trailer and reduce road clearance or tongue wt. For that reason, minimal wt. is added to the rear cargo rack , just a light barbecue grill.

Because the rear was not thought to be ideal for carrying much wt. either a spare tire or bikes, alternatives were sought for these items. There has already been a post on a dual hitch receiver to carry the bikes. What was not mentioned, is an easy way to mount a spare tire on the front using 2 pieces of 2X4's, one on top of the tire that fits inside of the rim and one below the frame held with a long bolt made from sectioned long threaded round bar stock. The picture shows the location of the tire but not the apparatus.

Others have indicated an interest on mounting a bike rack on the front frame where the propane tanks are frequently mounted. That is another possibility for use of this space. It might not work to mount the bike rack in front of the propane tanks because the bikes sticking out on the sides might interfere with turning, but the spare tire in this space has not been a problem at all.
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