Rear bumper. Is it worth fitting one?

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Rear bumper. Is it worth fitting one? Empty Rear bumper. Is it worth fitting one?

Post by Jaytee on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:51 am

I am looking at the pro's and cons of fitting a long box section of alloy onto the tow bar (when I get it fitted lol) to act as a bumper for protection should I nudge something or some tactile person run into me.

The back is very vulnerable as is and I presume very expensive and difficult to replace?

But the other side of the coin is what damage would be done to the chassis that would take the force of any impact? 

Plus weight etc etc etc.

I am only talking gentle shunts but what are your thoughts?

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Post by modelman on Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:44 pm

I made & fitted a 60 x 60mm steel box section tow-bar to my van, its quite substantial, & bolted to the rear chassis extensions, but since ALL towbars need to be very well secured, its almost inevitable that if struck it would transfer the shock back to the chassis, maybe a 'tap' one end or in the centre will incur a 'bend'.
I think its 50-50 as to any damage, without a bar, = crunched bodywork, with the bar = crunched chassis outriggers & floor!!!
I'd be much happier if the chassis rails went right to the back rather than have the bolted-on extensions.
Hmm, I  better be extra careful when reversing, (good ol backup camera)  hugegrins

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Post by breakaleg on Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:15 pm

We fitted one on our Lancashire & included a tow ball, not that I have any intention to tow anything, but as we park on the road in a road near the shops and the road slopes I thought it was worth the expense.
We bought it from PWS in poole, very well engineered, I watched a lady park the one day, from my living room, she backed in and just rolled forward into the van, if the bumper wasn't there, it would have damaged the plastic one without doubt, I heard the bump, I went outside and she immediately denied it, there wasn't a mark on the bumper, I said, I do hope that you haven't damaged my tow bar, the colour drained from her face.
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Post by broadwayelduo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:27 pm

Jaytee wrote:I am looking at the pro's and cons of fitting a long box section of alloy onto the tow bar (when I get it fitted lol) to act as a bumper for protection should I nudge something or some tactile person run into me.

The back is very vulnerable as is and I presume very expensive and difficult to replace?

But the other side of the coin is what damage would be done to the chassis that would take the force of any impact? 

Plus weight etc etc etc.

I am only talking gentle shunts but what are your thoughts?

One of your best ideas jaytee,had mine done when i first bought the van not just for my owm benefit but for the idiots getting in/out from behind me

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Post by Dutto on Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:34 pm

Hi there,

We hired a motorhome over in the USA a few years back and they used the 4" x 4" box-section at the back as storage place for the length of 3" hose that was used to drain the black and grey water.

There are a load of uses I could think of if we had something similar.  For a 3" x  3", how about using it to store the windbreak poles and the awning winder for starters?

Hope this helps. allthumbz 

Best regards,
 drinksallround

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Post by modelman on Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:15 pm

Oooh, what a good idea, wish I'd thought of that one. up!

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Post by Jaytee on Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:23 pm

I think I am leaning towards getting a box section rear end. IF I could get an alloy bumper box section on the steel tow bar I would be happier as a) would reduce weight and b) would hopefully protect minor shunts but give way before the chassis got damaged.
Working on it  up!

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Post by Dutto on Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:37 pm

Hi there,

Here's a quote for 10swg (3.25mm) 3"x3" aluminium:

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I can see no reason why you can't engineer fitting it to a steel chassis.  Personally, to maintain the full size of the interior of the box-section, I would go for alloy lugs welded to the aluminium box-section and then bolted to the steel-work.

Be careful to make sure that the aluminium/steel connection is insulated to prevent the aluminium box-section acting as a sacrificial anode and corroding away at the lugs.

Out of curiosity, I also checked out the same length in mild steel and discovered that it was much the same price!

As you pointed out, aluminium will be lighter for the same dimensions however, even if the prices are the same:


  • You may need a greater wall-thickness for the same strength compared to steel and that will bring the weights closer.
  • It will also cost a lot more to engineer the aluminium box-section to fit to the chassis.
  • Any damage to an aluminium box-section will make it a virtual write off.  (Whereas any numpty can cut and weld a steel repair!)
  • A length of aluminium makes it a lot more attractive to a thief and to disguise it will require painting; so you may as well paint a steel one!


Hope this helps.  allthumbz 

Best regards,
 drinksallround

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Post by Jaytee on Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:12 pm

Very helpful, thanks Dutto  bezfriends

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