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Trailer hitch recommendation

JMT

The Jeep Guy
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The aftermarket tow hitch bars that fit under the bumper take away clearance. I sold mine and opted for a Warn bumper with a built in hitch, through-welded, frame tie in's and reinforced crossmember bracing.

Dirtworx is a great bumper at a great price.

Amazon is fine for a good bumper (e.g. they carry Warn)

Rock Hard 4x4

Loaded down for a 2,300 mile trip.
487E7139-B441-4F12-B968-323A79687E25.jpeg
 
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robert_tj_ski

robert_tj_ski

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The aftermarket tow hitch bars that fit under the bumper take away clearance. I sold mine and opted for a Warn bumper with a built in hitch, through-welded, frame tie in's and reinforced crossmember bracing.

Dirtworx is a great bumper at a great price.

Amazon is fine for a good bumper (e.g. they carry Warn)

Rock Hard 4x4

Loaded down for a 2,300 mile trip.
View attachment 127477
Cool I'll look at Amazon, I have some gift cards to use:D
 

PCO6

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I Installed a Hidden Hitch on my TJ and a Draw-Tite on my LJ. Both are Class III hitches that I bought used through Kijiji ads. I think I have about $150 (app. $90 US) in to the pair of them. Both were easy to install (new Grade 8 hardware) and have been great for the trailers I tow (utility, tear drop & expedition). I was looking at a Kijiji ad a few days ago for a used Curt front hitch at $125. Curt is also a good brand and I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.
 
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Farmboy666

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Dec 31, 2018
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Why stay away from Amazon? They don't make anything they are just a place to sell things. Reese, Curt and Roadmaster all sell on Amazon.
 
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robert_tj_ski

robert_tj_ski

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Why stay away from Amazon? They don't make anything they are just a place to sell things. Reese, Curt and Roadmaster all sell on Amazon.
I ment if you guys recommend to buy directly from a producent website or I could look on amazon as well.
 

billiebob

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But most of these types of bumpers says they were not rated for towing capacity...... hmmm
absolutely correct.
all is good until some lawyer gets involved.
if it matters, get a frame mounted hitch with a rating sticker.

Most of the frame mounted hitches are model specific and bolt on using existing holes in the frame.

a lot of after market Jeep parts are labeled "For Off Road Use Only"
including the tubular doors on my TJ. Which is why tubular doors are illegal in BC.
 

LukesfirstJeep

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If interested, I have this hitch from Quadratec, new never installed, with the hardware and instructions, but no box


You pay shipping, and it's yours.
 
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LukesfirstJeep

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Steel City 06

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Jerry,

I don't understand. How do these brackets help when the receiver is in the middle of the bumper, but the brackets are on the ends?
The bolts on the right side of the bracket are the bumper bolts. The thin piece of metal sandwiched between the frame brace and the bumper is the rear crossmember. The rear crossmember is significantly thinner than the average 3/16" steel bumper and 3/16" frame rail, and doesn't have a lot of reinforcement.

Thus, the crossmember is known to peel or tear off the frame in various loading conditions on the bumper, such as torque from a heavy tire carrier with cargo racks, tension from a recovery strap, or combined loading from a bouncing trailer.

(Imagine how much it would suck to find out you not only tore the bumper off the frame, but tore a piece of the frame itself off the Jeep.)

The brackets take the majority of the load and transfer it directly to the 3/16" frame rail, thus preventing any significant damage to the rear crossmember. There are other alternatives, such as welding on a crossmember reinforcement (Genright sells one) and gusseting where the frame brace would be, but it turns out a bolt on solution is completely adequate and much simpler for the average person to install.
 

Willys LJ

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Oct 26, 2018
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Dyer TN
I think mine is a Curt. Rated to a 400lb tongue weight and 4000lb. I peeled the sticker off when I installed it. While I do on occasion pull my utility trailer around with it, mostly I have a wheel chair carrier in it for my wife's electric wheel chair which weighs about 300lbs by itself, not counting the carrier.

Rear Bumper.jpg
 

LukesfirstJeep

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The bolts on the right side of the bracket are the bumper bolts. The thin piece of metal sandwiched between the frame brace and the bumper is the rear crossmember. The rear crossmember is significantly thinner than the average 3/16" steel bumper and 3/16" frame rail, and doesn't have a lot of reinforcement.
OK,that makes sense. The numerous times I've removed my bumper, I never looked at how the frame and cross member are connected. I assumed the the two bolts on the end where connected a member that was part of the frame.

I like bolt on solution because I don't have a welder.
 
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robert_tj_ski

robert_tj_ski

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Im still confused what to pick Haha.. I like the idea of upgrading the bumper with new one, but feel more comfortable with the hitch itself that was rated and etc.
 

Steel City 06

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You can do both.

If you’re on the fence, get a receiver for now. They’re cheaper and it will give you more time to select a bumper you like. Some bumpers I would trust just as much as the receiver hitches, if not more. They generally bolt in the same locations, at least when the frame braces are used. Many bumpers can be simultaneously installed with a hitch receiver, so you can keep two receivers until the rear receiver becomes an issue off-road.

I wouldn’t be concerned at all about using a bumper for towing, as long as it has a frame brace kit. Rock Hard 4x4 has claimed they have never seen a bumper tear off the frame when a frame brace kit is used. And that’s with people putting massive amounts of stress on it with winches, snatch straps, etc. if it can handle a 3500 lbs trailer on an LJ it will handle a 2000 lbs trailer on a TJ. RH rates their front bumper to a 12,000 lbs winch. So the strength difference is likely negligible on a quality bumper with a frame brace.

If you plan to use a cargo carrier or similar, there are a few other options you can consider. You can also install a front hitch receiver, just like the rear, that can be used for cargo racks, recovery, and even pushing trailers into tight spots. Much easier to push a trailer on the front of a car than to back it up a tight spot. Many front bumpers come with front hitch receivers, just like the rear. You can also get a tire carrier rear bumper that can support cargo and gas can racks. You can also get a full on roof rack. The high end racks for the TJ tend to be rated at about 300 lbs on/off road, and up to 800 lbs static.

Another thing to consider is the tongue height of the trailer. A bumper is going to mount the hitch receiver 3-4” higher than the OEM location, which may be an advantage for a tall trailer and stock-ish Jeep, or a disadvantage for a low trailer and lifted Jeep. The bumper receiver will be advantageous for cargo carriers, as the extra few inches will go far in preventing the cargo carrier from contacting the ground.
 

InOmaha

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Sep 26, 2019
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Omaha
I added one recently and drilled 4 extra holes and added oversized washers and lock washers in the rear. The bumper could be installed with the 6 points on the TJ or in the 8 holes on a YJ. By drilling additional holes I installed 10 bolts with the two bumper tabs directly bolted to the frame like the old bumper. That should be fine for what I do and the tabs bolted to the frame are lined up with the recovery points.

It works like this, but my bumper is a different design with a tab that's shorter. This shows the typical 3 bolts per side on a TJ bumper.

J-barricade-classic-rear-bumper-w-tire-carrier-011.jpg


If the bumper comes with hardware to bolt it to a different Jeep, just add more holes and a reinforcing backing plate or large washers.

J100585-cust-wrangler-Rock-Crawler-Rear-Bumper-001.jpg


If you're still worried, add the reinforcing plate or you may be able to just bolt the OEM recovery points back on the frame depending on the bumper design. But it's going to take some serious forces to pull a bumper bolted to the support with 8 bolts and the frame with 2. At that point, you should probably be finding a different method to get unstuck or be hauling much less.