Beware of RV bumper junk

12

By Jim Twamley
In my RV travels I have seen all kinds of “bumper junk” attached to both the front and rear of RVs. It’s understandable RVers want to take along things that make RVing more fun. Some don’t have the extra storage capacity required to stow things like ladders, BBQs and bikes. The only places left are the roof, ladder and bumpers. But beware of all the RV bumper junk.

Bumper junk is a safety hazard

RVers need to be careful how they store this stuff because “bumper junk” can block signal lights, a major safety hazard. The biggest culprits in this regard are ladders. I see ladders strapped on the back of one out of three RVs on the road. I wonder what non-RVers think when they see a ladder strapped to another ladder on the back of an RV?

Sometimes we forget how long our rigs are while traveling down the road. If the person passing us on our driver side doesn’t see the signal, it could easily result in an accident. Always check and double-check your mirrors to make sure you are clear to merge or change lanes.

Ladders on the back of RVs and more bumper junk

If you are going to hang a ladder on the back of your RV, be sure the taillights are clearly visible. I use a fold-up ladder that is tall enough to wash the rig but can be neatly stowed away. I don’t particularly like these ladders because they aren’t as stable as a standard ladder, and the rungs are skinny and make your feet hurt when you’ve been standing on them for awhile. This type of ladder, however, does not interfere with the taillights and I don’t use a ladder often enough to warrant hanging a standard ladder on the back.

Bicycles can also block your taillights. Whether you mount them on a ladder or on the back of a towed vehicle, be sure they don’t obstruct your signal lights. Send a clear signal that safety comes first.

Related:

How to carry extra propane safely (Hint: It’s not on the bumper)
Get a “bumper crop” from your RV garden! (If you’re staying put for awhile.)

If you’re in the market, here are fold-up and telescoping ladders on Amazon.

##RVDT1510

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Bill
3 months ago

Hahahaha… On the SAME DAY I read 2 emails. This one, warning against bumper junk. And one from Lippert boasting they sell the CURT Cargo Carrier, “the best hitch-mounted equipment to make more room before you hit the road for your next trip.”

Don N
3 months ago

We had to dodge a brand new stuffed chair last night after dark in the center of the left lane. It still had the new plastic rap on it. This was at a time when many were going home from work in Forest Grove OR. Didn’t see anyone stop and pick it up. Luckily there was room to go around it.

Bobby
3 months ago

It just gripes me to see a travel trailer with 4 bikes covering every inch of their stop, signal lights. No consideration and it is all about me and my stuff – watch out for me! Perhaps when you get into an accident from someone passing you or running into you will it become evident to you how you caused this accident and endangered your family and everyone around you.

Donald N Wright
3 months ago

No matter how big their RV is, some folks just have to take more stuff. I met a couple at an Aliner Rally, who put their stuff in plastic totes, then put the totes inside their trailer instead of hanging it outside. Inside, what a unique idea.

Gary Broughton
3 months ago

Lots of junk being carried, front and back.
I saw a handicapped motor chair carrier with 6 plastic totes on it and the carrier was bent and dragging and everyone was waving at driver and he did finally pull over.

Tom
3 months ago

It fits, must be okay.

Joe
3 months ago

I often wonder how strong the bumpers are on a tag behind RV. I sometimes see lots of weight hanging off them and question what the weight rating is.

Bob P
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I know they not rated for towing even a small utility trailer or a boat trailer with even a 12’ John boat.

Glen Cowgill
3 months ago

Did you ever try to dodge a bicycle coming off the back of a travel trailer doing 65mph on a 4 lane? We were in North Carolina going west on the Interstate and came upon a travel trailer that looked like it was riding on a pogo stick with bicycles strapped to a rack that was really dancing. Just as we were about to overtake them, one of the bicycles came flying off the rack and onto the roadway.

The bicycle was tumbling and going in different directions on each tumble. The airbrakes locked up and the heart beating 200 beats a minute which seemed like an eternity but in reality about 30 seconds when the bicycle finally cleared the road surface. Of course the truck and trailer were out of sight. Got going again and caught up with them several miles down the road and with horn blaring and lights a flashing, wife waving and motioning, they finally pulled over. We left them there scratching their heads.

Walker
3 months ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

Glen, I admire your alertness, no kidding! Seems like you were both observant and prepared to take evasive action. Reminds me of my old driver ed instructor who hammered into our heads to constantly scan the traffic around us for possible hazards and to mentally envision possible escape actions. Good job!

Glen Cowgill
3 months ago
Reply to  Walker

I must have had the same instructor.

Jeanne
3 months ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

I think I had him, also!