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 > Mounting Generator on rear end

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JCR-1

Crystal River, Florida

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Posted: 01/31/18 12:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a light 21 foot trailer and use a 3100 champion generator for A/C. My question is I would like to mount the genny on the rear bumper with some brackets however the rear bumper is only attached (welded)to each end of the frame with nothing in the middle . I would need to gain more support from the chassis frame i would think. Although I weigh over 200 pounds the bumper does support my weight without bending. I am wondering if I could weld on some angle brackets to the bumper. Seeking thoughts , ideas..Thanks

SoundGuy

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Posted: 01/31/18 12:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JCR-1 wrote:

I have a light 21 foot trailer and use a 3100 champion generator for A/C.

I am wondering if I could weld on some angle brackets to the bumper. Seeking thoughts , ideas..


Bad idea, especially on such a short trailer ... aside from issues of how secure this may be the fact is you'll be significantly unloading the trailer tongue. JMO, but I wouldn't do it.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 01/31/18 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

You will need to beef up the connection to the frame. I suggest using twin two inch receivers. That will prevent the generator from flopping from side to side.

I deliberately offset the generator to the passengers side as I was too heavy on the driver's side.

Be sure to not make the tongue weight too low.


Regards, Don
Full Time in a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 01/31/18 12:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had to go back and read some of your previous posts to figure out what kind of camper you have. In a previous post you said you have a Coachmen Clipper 17RD (For visual, Click here.)

It's a single axle trailer, which means any weight you add on the back will be noticeable on the tongue. But maybe the trailer is still heavy enough on the tongue, this will not be any issue. Still, this would be my first concern. When the tongue is light, the trailer will get bad sway. But you won't know until you try and see how the extra weight on the back handles.

Next, looking at the many photos on the Google search, it looks like your bumper is a traditional 4 inch metal bumper welded in 2 places to hold it on.

Carefully look at the actual welds and see if the weld runs the entire length of the connecting points, or if it is just spot welded. If spot welded, the bumper will not hold anything but itself. I'd even remove the spare tire in that case.

If the weld is solid along the seam, it will be a much stronger weld and you may have a good chance at success. However, there have been stories of bumpers falling off due to too much weight and inadequate welds. Definitely re-inforce the bumper with additional support before you try adding the extra weight. If it's originally spot welded, have it welded completely. That's an absolute given, must do!

One thing you have to remember, the bumper may be able to support your 200 pounds by simply standing on it. But, if you start jumping up and down on it, what happens then? When driving down the road, the rear of the trailer extends beyond the axle several feet. In the middle of the trailer, bouncing may be only a couple inches. But extend that to back, and the bumper may be moving up and down, being jerked 6 inches to a foot. And the harder the "hit" the more force there is on that bumper. Add additional length and leverage with the carrier hanging on the bumper AND the weight of the generator, and a simple 1 inch bump in the road (could) cause a couple thousand pounds of force bouncing up and down on that bumper.

Bottom line.... yes! Get it strengthened and give it a try. If tongue weight is reduced too much, shift weight inside the camper to compensate.

If it were mine, and I wanted the generator, I'd do the extra welding and support in a heart beat!


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Second Chance

Wherever...

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Posted: 01/31/18 12:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are MANY reports of people dragging everything from bikes to generators down the road by one bumper weld or a security cable because they tried mounting carriers to a standard square RV bumper ("bumper" is really a misnomer - they should just call them sewer hose carriers). Take, at a minimum, Don's advice and have a fabricator weld up something strong to the frame. I would also share others' concerns regarding the load and balance issues with such a small trailer.

On a personal note, I wouldn't want to be near you in a campground while you use a Champion 3100 to run your AC. I hope you are talking about private land or BLM/dispersed camping.

Rob


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mobeewan

Hampton, Va

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Posted: 01/31/18 01:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Square tube bumpers are made from 1/16 or thinner sheet metal. After bending into shape the seam is welded to finish the square tube. Even if fully welded to the frame the welds are thin to keep from melting through. When adding too much weight the tube will tear along the weld and if you are lucky it may still be barely attached while dragging the generator behind you. If adding that much weight you will need to have the genny platform welded directly to the frame. Single axle trailers have more bounce and sway than double axle trailers the same size. Bounce will contribute if not cause the bumper to tear along the welds.

As mebtioned adding weight to the bumper you will probably have to add weight at the front.

otrfun

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Posted: 01/31/18 01:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Suggest the OP measure his loaded tongue weight before proceeding with placing any weight on the rear. If it's on the high side, placing weight on the rear could be a good thing. If it's low or just right, agree, might not be a good idea.

The OP could measure the distance from the rear platform area to the axle center (fulcrum) and the distance from the fulcrum to the receiver a-frame ball mount to calculate (with reasonable accuracy) how much tongue weight he may lose.

FWIW, here's some Safety Strut Bumper Brackets the OP might find useful.

Fredetteb

TN

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Posted: 01/31/18 01:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JCR-1 wrote:

I have a light 21 foot trailer and use a 3100 champion generator for A/C. My question is I would like to mount the genny on the rear bumper with some brackets however the rear bumper is only attached (welded)to each end of the frame with nothing in the middle . I would need to gain more support from the chassis frame i would think. Although I weigh over 200 pounds the bumper does support my weight without bending. I am wondering if I could weld on some angle brackets to the bumper. Seeking thoughts , ideas..Thanks


For several years we had a rear mounted genny on our camper. We were lucky enough to have a friend that fabricated a rear bumper hitch for us. The biggest concern on these rear bumpers isn't so much the static weight but the torsion effect of the weight on the bumper.

If you do decide to add a hitch or carrier to the rear, ensure that the box bumper is reenforced to prevent twisting. We achieved this with a "T" shaped section of angle iron welded from the frame to the underside of the bumper.

I would also recommend the double hitch setup also. We didn't use this and the lateral rocking was very noticeable especially on uneven roads.


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mobeewan

Hampton, Va

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Posted: 01/31/18 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMHO I'm not too sure that the safety strut bumper brackets are as good as they look. I think they are snake oil. They only cradle the bumper and do nothing to stop the rotational force being placed on the bumper by the added weight. If you are still welding platforms to the bumper you are still welding to very thin metal. Too much weight trying to move up and down is the trailer bounces on its axle springs.

Even if it helps some and the bumper metal doesn't tear where it is welded to the frame it will more than likely tear where the platform is attached to it. Especially if welded to the bumper using receiver tubes. The best option is still welding directly to the frame.

ford truck guy

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Posted: 01/31/18 01:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I few campers ago I mounted a bumper mount bike rack.. We would load 2 adult bikes, and 1 child's bike.. We lost the bumper due to the weight after only about 2 years.


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