PDA

View Full Version : ATF: Gateway - Clarification on adding a 2" hitch receiver to GW 3650BH



ppieplow
07-14-2015, 03:30 PM
Hey,

I am interested in adding a 2" receiver hitch to the frame of my GW 3650BH. Not to the bumper but actual rear frame. I want to add a cargo carrier to the rear for things like coolers and possibly a vertical kayak rack in the future.

But, it has been mentioned on here that it possibly voids the warranty on frame. My questions are: Is this true? Does this only apply to Gateway models? How long is frame warranty? Because under some of the other brand forums the Heartland brand manager has stated that it is okay to make this addition.

If a receiver hitch is not an option, than does anyone have ideas for hauling/transporting kayaks with a Gateway?

danemayer
07-14-2015, 05:09 PM
Hi ppieplow,

Heartland can't really answer your question because it's Lippert that makes and warranties the frame. I believe the Lippert frame warranty is one year.

On some of the higher-end 5th wheels like the Landmark and BigHorn, Lippert had a set of brackets attached to the frame on which a 1-1/4" receiver hitch could be mounted to carry bikes. Our Landmark came with those brackets. I spoke with Lippert about the receiver hitch and even though they make the frame, the brackets, and the receiver hitch, all designed for the Landmark, they cautioned me that my warranty would be void if I installed it.

I asked why and they replied that they had no way of knowing whether I would use it responsibly. They feared that I might attach a boat or car to that receiver hitch and cause damage to the frame. All sounded pretty ridiculous to me. Nevertheless I bought the receiver hitch from Lippert and have used it with a bicycle carrier to transport 2 bikes.

It's barely strong enough to carry 2 bikes. Many people have commented in the past that it's not even strong enough for that.

I would not recommend using the 1-1/4" receiver hitch to support a cargo carrier.

Since you want to add a 2" receiver hitch, the more relevant question is whether you can follow the example of others who have had custom 2" receiver hitches fabricated and installed. I think those have probably been on rigs that have the 12" frame and I don't think anyone has reported any frame problems as a result of their modifications.

If you have a 10" frame, you'd probably have more risk. Maybe a lot more.

Some people have noted that Federal Law puts the burden of proof on the company issuing the warranty, to prove that your modification caused the damage. That's good if you have an issue in year one.

If you experience a frame problem in year two or later, your one year Lippert warranty is not in play. Rather, you'd be asking Lippert to help you out of good will, in the name of customer satisfaction. Based on what I've read on this forum, I would say there's a pretty good chance that Lippert would help you.

But if while examining your frame, they find a modification was made, they could easily stop right there. They wouldn't have to deny warranty. They wouldn't have to prove cause of failure. They could just explain that your warranty has expired. You'd be on your own.

So again, based on what others have done, if you have a 12" frame, a custom 2" fabrication may be what you want. If you have a 10" frame, you might have greater risk going down this path.

ppieplow
07-14-2015, 08:02 PM
Thank you for your awesome and thorough response! That makes absolutely no sense for a company to have a bracket built in and then tell you not to use it.

First, I went and rechecked the frame measurement and I do have a 12 inch I beam frame.

Second, my unit turns 2 years old in November.

Here is a link of the model I am thinking of adding when I decide to go with a vertical kayak rack. I am somewhat concerned about clearance because the Gateway already rides low in the rear. I will also need to modify the length of the LP line to the outdoor kitchen for the gas grill, but that should be easy fix.

http://www.etrailer.com/Specialty-Trailer-Hitches/Curt/13703.html

For the meantime, I will probably just get a model that just sits on bumper. With a cargo carrier hauling a cooler or my fishing cart, it will not be much weight to worry about.

Bones
07-16-2015, 07:12 AM
Thank you for your awesome and thorough response! That makes absolutely no sense for a company to have a bracket built in and then tell you not to use it.

First, I went and rechecked the frame measurement and I do have a 12 inch I beam frame.

Second, my unit turns 2 years old in November.

Here is a link of the model I am thinking of adding when I decide to go with a vertical kayak rack. I am somewhat concerned about clearance because the Gateway already rides low in the rear. I will also need to modify the length of the LP line to the outdoor kitchen for the gas grill, but that should be easy fix.

http://www.etrailer.com/Specialty-Trailer-Hitches/Curt/13703.html

For the meantime, I will probably just get a model that just sits on bumper. With a cargo carrier hauling a cooler or my fishing cart, it will not be much weight to worry about.

I have an issue with that setup because it does not truly mount to the frame. It appears to mount to the thin wall tube that holds the bumper. When in design this bumper is suppose to give when hit from behind from a car or something else. ie crush zone. That thin wall tube is spot welded to our frame. The problem I have heard about the 2 inch receiver is that people where hauling boats cars trailers and creating a triple tow situation which is banned in most states. I believe triple tow with campers the way they are set up with the axles so far forward is a very unsafe situation. What I would suggest is to have a custom bracket made up, that will mount to your I-Beam frame. It can be bolted on and you have 3/16 or 1/4 inch plate which will then weld to a square or round cross tube that will hold your 2 inch receiver. The other thing you have to keep in mind when doing this is the torque stress that will occur as you place more weight on the receiver hitch. It is this torque that stresses the frame and all of it's components. It acts like a lever arm. Just my 2 cents worth.:cool:

ppieplow
07-20-2015, 08:20 PM
I have an issue with that setup because it does not truly mount to the frame. It appears to mount to the thin wall tube that holds the bumper. When in design this bumper is suppose to give when hit from behind from a car or something else. ie crush zone. That thin wall tube is spot welded to our frame. The problem I have heard about the 2 inch receiver is that people where hauling boats cars trailers and creating a triple tow situation which is banned in most states. I believe triple tow with campers the way they are set up with the axles so far forward is a very unsafe situation. What I would suggest is to have a custom bracket made up, that will mount to your I-Beam frame. It can be bolted on and you have 3/16 or 1/4 inch plate which will then weld to a square or round cross tube that will hold your 2 inch receiver. The other thing you have to keep in mind when doing this is the torque stress that will occur as you place more weight on the receiver hitch. It is this torque that stresses the frame and all of it's components. It acts like a lever arm. Just my 2 cents worth.:cool:


Bones,

http://www.rvkayakrack.com

This is the product I am interested in using. I am really not sure of any other way to haul kayaks. Unless you have idea.

The etrailer product I sent was what kayaK rack rep said I should look into. When I looked underneath, it seems you can mount that hitch system behind where bumper beam comes in directly to I beam. You would need to use a heavy duty extender, but it might work.

Otherwise, I would need to find someone to build and weld a custom.

Just a thought

Bones
07-21-2015, 05:47 AM
Bones,

http://www.rvkayakrack.com

This is the product I am interested in using. I am really not sure of any other way to haul kayaks. Unless you have idea.

The etrailer product I sent was what kayaK rack rep said I should look into. When I looked underneath, it seems you can mount that hitch system behind where bumper beam comes in directly to I beam. You would need to use a heavy duty extender, but it might work.

Otherwise, I would need to find someone to build and weld a custom.

Just a thought

That is a good idea for the kayak's but mounting the hitch further back and using an extender might be worse. On the hitch you want to use will the mounting location reach above the bumper mount and attach to the frame as well? I was thinking about it when you add a hitch a person is going to run into that first before they crush the bumper.

ppieplow
07-21-2015, 07:00 PM
That is a good idea for the kayak's but mounting the hitch further back and using an extender might be worse. On the hitch you want to use will the mounting location reach above the bumper mount and attach to the frame as well? I was thinking about it when you add a hitch a person is going to run into that first before they crush the bumper.

I am really not sure until I purchase the hitch and see. I've looked underneath and notice how the bumper has a small square piece attached to frame, so I was looking at hitch photos and was thinking it would fit right adjacent to the bumper piece as it ends on frame.

But, will not know for sure unless I bite the bullet and buy one.

Bones
07-21-2015, 07:37 PM
I am really not sure until I purchase the hitch and see. I've looked underneath and notice how the bumper has a small square piece attached to frame, so I was looking at hitch photos and was thinking it would fit right adjacent to the bumper piece as it ends on frame.

But, will not know for sure unless I bite the bullet and buy one.
I saw some post on here with kayaks on top of the roof and support from the front bumper area. Just food for thought. Or you can go to a truck shop and have them make you a hitch. Probably would be stronger than what you would buy. Or you can bu that hitch and do complete welds of the box tube holding the bumper. Make sure you put spacers in the tube before you bolt them to together or you will crush it when tightening the bolts.

JeffFreeman
03-27-2016, 09:02 PM
I got rid of my rear bumper. I just cut off the extremely little welds holding it on! I bought some 2"x2"x1/4" box tube and welded some extension pieces off of the rear, extending them from the main frame beams, and made a frame that goes into both of those "reese" type extensions. I haul 7 bicycles and a generator on it but am confident that I could haul way more than that if ever needed. You just don't want to put a lot of weight on the rear for no reason.

- - - Updated - - -

I almost forgot. Then I took the spare tire off that used to be on the so called "bumper" and mounted it under the Gateway directly behind the axles with a piece of 2"x2"x1/4" angle iron that I welded onto the frame. I made a long bolt that secures it like under a vehicle.