Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-23-2023, 11:08 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
American's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: US of the A
Posts: 61
Bolt on Bumper Hitch

Good morning,
We have a:
2010 Chevy Express Gas Short bus. The rear bumper is a thick steel bolted and welded to the frame.

Question:
If my trailer load is under 2,000 lbs; any reason why a "bolt on reciever tube" would not work? The photo is rated at 20,000 lb MGTW

Thank you for any expertise on hitches.
Attached Thumbnails
Screenshot_20230923_100251_Chrome.jpg   Screenshot_20230923_100441_Chrome.jpg  

American is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2023, 11:56 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Central Alabama
Posts: 496
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC/2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12-valve
Rated Cap: 1
No expertise here but I do have a 3500 chevy pick-up with a homemade bumper welded to the frame. It has a plate on the bumper with holes which I figure was for the bolt-on hitch. The bumper was repaired at some point due to what I assume was damage from too much weight from the trailer. So I guess it depends. Did they cut off the ends of the frame like Blue Bird did to the frame of my Micro Bird? Post a picture if possible.
Are you wanting a 2-1/2 or a 2 inch receiver?
BamaBus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2023, 12:18 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 2,894
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
i dont trust them.
the company i work for had a small dump truck with one of those on it and anytime i connected a trailer i had to tighten the bolts and that was with a 1" impact.
it seemed like they were perpetually loose so i got tired of worrying with it and just welded it solid.
plate bolts and all
my 04 express collins body i got an express receiver that fit perfect except for having to drill the holes because the frame had been extended some spacers and cut a notch in the bottom of the bumper for the receiver head.
Jolly Roger bus 223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2023, 01:01 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
American's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: US of the A
Posts: 61
Photos uploading
American is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2023, 01:05 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
American's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: US of the A
Posts: 61
Here are some photos of bumper and frame. Thank you.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20230923_114157.jpg (282.4 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg 20230923_114332.jpg (237.5 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg 20230923_114554.jpg (152.6 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg 20230923_114627.jpg (97.2 KB, 32 views)
American is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2023, 01:24 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
American's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: US of the A
Posts: 61
What about step bumper hitches? Isn't that the same concept? Seems odd to manufacturer this type of product but it not be strong enough to spec.
Also, I added some photos. Thanks for thoughts.
American is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2023, 04:48 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 2,894
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
i can not talk about manufacturer spec? shore it will do what they say it will mounted to a specific vehicle.
a chevy 3500 express
bus chassis is extended the bumper is engineered to handle a rear end crash not to handle weight for a bolt in hitch attachment.
or a trailer hitch period.
thats my opinion
grain of salt and do what do you wsant .
Jolly Roger bus 223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2023, 05:22 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,724
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
I wouldn’t use one of those.

I have a 2007 Express and ran myself ragged trying to find a suitable off the shelf bumper. eTrailer.com was pretty helpful since they have CAD drawings. They identified a Silverado hitch that was the correct width. Unfortunately the drop was not acceptable. I gave up after all that. I think the best thing to do is get one of those universal hitches that has a zero-drop profile and have it welded the correct width. Then bolt it to the C channel make a hole in the bumper for the receiver.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2023, 06:15 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
American's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: US of the A
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
I wouldnít use one of those.

I I think the best thing to do is get one of those universal hitches that has a zero-drop profile and have it welded the correct width. Then bolt it to the C channel make a hole in the bumper for the receiver.
Yes, the drop is the whole issue. Trying to clear that massive bumper puts me too low on the overall. A hitch that fits isn't a problem, just cutting out the steel plate bumper. Thanks for your thoughts.
American is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2023, 06:17 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
American's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: US of the A
Posts: 61
Yes, I agree. There are just many examples of bolt on recievers to think they are all under spec. Ultimately, I can not verify the "bumper specs" to make an educated decision.
American is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2023, 07:07 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: iowa
Posts: 1,026
Year: 1997
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: chevy
Engine: 3116 catapillar
Rated Cap: 71 now 2 humans 1 cat
go ahead and bolt it in use grade 8 (new) flange bolts with locktite . that guy that was always tightening bolts above broke 1 important rule about hitches. if a bolt comes loose you can not reuse it it must be replaced. thats why it kept coming loose. for the load you discribed it will work. if you want a bit more confidence put a couple of welds on each side
mmoore6856 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2023, 09:25 PM   #12
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,724
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Quote:
Originally Posted by American View Post
Yes, the drop is the whole issue. Trying to clear that massive bumper puts me too low on the overall. A hitch that fits isn't a problem, just cutting out the steel plate bumper. Thanks for your thoughts.
You can cut through that bumper with a metal cutting disk on an angle grinder or us a hole saw. No problem
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2023, 01:39 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 1,382
Year: 1999
Coachwork: El Dorado Fiberglass
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: V10 Gas
That's a pretty low trailer load, so this solution may work. You may need to get an offset hitch to match the height of whatever you're connecting, but with such a low load, I recommend bolt it on with Grade 8 bolts and lock nuts, try it out on surface streets first; and if you like what you see have someone drop a couple of beads of weld around it for extra security.

You'll need something to connect the safety chains to, by the way, and that should be connected to the bumper, not the hitch itself.
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2023, 02:42 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
American's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: US of the A
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
That's a pretty low trailer load, so this solution may work. You may need to get an offset hitch to match the height of whatever you're connecting, but with such a low load, I recommend bolt it on with Grade 8 bolts and lock nuts, try it out on surface streets first; and if you like what you see have someone drop a couple of beads of weld around it for extra security.

You'll need something to connect the safety chains to, by the way, and that should be connected to the bumper, not the hitch itself.
I think the chains are key to making this work. Cutting the bumper is not possible (for reasons lol) anyway, I still think this would work. Small trailer loads on a massive overly secured bumper. If i chain to the frame, I think it would be safe for all on the road.
American is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2023, 04:33 PM   #15
Bus Geek
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 2,894
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoore6856 View Post
go ahead and bolt it in use grade 8 (new) flange bolts with locktite . that guy that was always tightening bolts above broke 1 important rule about hitches. if a bolt comes loose you can not reuse it it must be replaced. thats why it kept coming loose. for the load you discribed it will work. if you want a bit more confidence put a couple of welds on each side
ok moore i know? the company that i worked for at the time didnt have a clue about safety inspection stuff and wouldnt spend money on it.
i brought the truck home and new i was putting 9000 lbs on a 10,000 lb rated trailer and whoever they had hook the trailer to the truck for me didnt check anything so good to go right? NO? went off down the road and felt the trailer float going over a railroad track it stayed with me surprisingly.
got pulled over and the bolts were tight probably because i had just used it the day before the problem was they had put a 2-5/8" tongue on a 2" ball.
my load was the next morning so when i got home of course i switched to the correct ball and welded the plate solid and the ball.
they only used that truck for heavy haul.
after i was done there were only two trailers they could hook to it.
next morning i put a 7900 lb chiller in the bed of the truck and a 9000lb chiller on the trailer and drove it where it needed to be with no care in the world because i knew everything was welded solid.
yes if you are relying on bolts please check them every now and then.
alot of variables in this.
your bumper is welded solid?
by whom?
my frame extensions and bumper were by collins but the bumper was bolted on for easy replacement i assume?
my bus before me had a hitch welded solid and the PO didnt like it so he cut it off.
kind of helped kind of didnt. he claimed bad welds but i only saw what was left i say they used the wrong welding machine. decent looking welds but not enough penetration.
my factory bus chassis extension was welded from the factory but i drilled and bolted a new hitch on cut the bumper for the square neck receiver some 3/8" plate to make spacers to clear the body to chassis mounts a couple of clevises that match double the trailer weight loaded and done?
oh wait a 7 pin wiring harness to handle an electric brake axle trailer.
now to work on building a double axle electric brake car trailer.
starting to look at NEXTRAIL aluminum stuff.
it is going behind a shorty with hydroboost.
i think the braking system combined between the two is key regardless of load.
regardless of tongue weight the vehicle has to stop what is hooked to it behind it or whatever interpret what you want.
when i have a crane on a job sight its not what i think it can do and through all the paper work and govt crane inspection during setup approved if things go south it is the operators problem not the contractor or the govt.
the crane operator/company said it will do and put equipment there to do it.
it failed? the crane operator/company is responsible.
if you lose a trailer from a customized bumper your at fault
Jolly Roger bus 223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2023, 09:35 PM   #16
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,724
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
I disagree with butt welding a hitch to a bumper. The cold connection (bolts) with locking flange nuts is much more sure. The thing is, that bumper doesn’t have adequate strength to handle the pull or tongue weight.

And why can’t you cut a hole in the bumper? It’s only 3/16” mild steel.

Get a Universal Hitch like the one in the link, cut or hole saw a hole in the bumper where the receiver will protrude and bolt the hitch to the C channel

https://www.etrailer.com/RV-and-Camp...SABEgJTV_D_BwE
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2023, 10:00 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
American's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: US of the A
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
I disagree with butt welding a hitch to a bumper. The cold connection (bolts) with locking flange nuts is much more sure. The thing is, that bumper doesnít have adequate strength to handle the pull or tongue weight.
What is telling you the bumper can not handles a small load? What is it you are seeing that I am missing? Thank you.
American is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2023, 10:13 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,724
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Quote:
Originally Posted by American View Post
What is telling you the bumper can not handles a small load? What is it you are seeing that I am missing? Thank you.
1 ton of weight in a trailer isnít a giant load but it isnít a bike rack either.

Your posted solution looks borderline. Sorry, just my 2 cents. Who knows I could be totally wrong.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2023, 01:42 PM   #19
Bus Nut
 
nikitis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 359
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 29
The proper trailer hitch is one where it mounts to the underside of the frame so it can pull long ways. The bumper is on the curved piece that is bent at the very tail end of the frame.


It's not going to be as strong as say a "Curt Model 14082" which is the proper frame attachment you should use for a bus chasis.

https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai=...QgHEM4B&adurl=

Price $264, can carry up to 10,000 lbs.



Could your solution work? Yes for awhile, but the bumper is not designed to pull weight and could bend and stretch out, and potentially pull your 2 frame rails inwards towards each other if you overweight it.


Your solution may be stronger if you added a steel plate on the back bumper from the bolts that connect to the frame rail to bolts on the other frame rail on the back of the bumper, welded it in and then bolted your piece, but if you did all of that it could cost you close to the $264 for the official one anyway for the steel plate, and welding material.
nikitis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2023, 05:04 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 28
I used to go to bus auctions. The guys from Mexico would drill and mount hitches onto the bumpers and put a tow bar onto another bus. They would go back to Mexico this way. They were towing full sized buses.

I never got close enough to see the full rig though.

I have two short buses. A 1995 and a 1997. Both are chevys. I have van hitches bolted onto the frames of both of them. You have to check your location as it is different than the van. I used a jack to press my drill hard enough to drill the frame.
Lkn4it is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
hitch

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.