Need another storage area for your RV? There may be a spot you haven’t thought of. In this article we’ll look at some RV bumper storage ideas. We’ll look at some storage accessories you attach to the RV’s rear bumper, and some ideas on what to store inside your bumper.
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RV Bumper Storage Ideas
Sometimes it seems you never have enough room inside your RV. Your RV storage bay is stuffed with camping gear and you’ve maximized your RV kitchen cabinet storage possibilities. So where else is there?
Well, using your RV’s rear bumper can be a great way to add some extra storage space to your RV.
But there are things you need to know first. (Important things to consider.)
An important piece of safety information to keep in mind is that you should not add much weight to the rear end of a bumper-pulled trailer such as a travel trailer or pop up camper.
The extra weight at the rear of these trailers decreases tongue weight at the front trailer hitch which can lead to dangerous swaying.
You may have seen the scary videos where trailers are swaying back and forth while being pulled down the road. Inappropriate loading of the trailer and not enough trailer tongue weight (weight pushing down on the ball hitch at the front of the trailer) is a common cause for this excessive swaying.
Contact your RV manufacturer to find out how much weight your RV bumper can hold.
And make sure you have a sturdy, frame-mounted bumper…not something just barely held on. You can contact your local RV dealership and ask them to evaluate your bumper to see if it is sturdy and strong.
The folks at Yakups RV Racks have some additional information on this topic.
1) Hitch Receiver to Fit your RV Bumper
One of the most basic ways to add functionality to your RV bumper is to add a hitch receiver like the one shown in the picture above.
It bolts on to standard 4-inch square RV bumpers and acts as hitch receiver so you can stick a whole bunch of hitch-mounted accessories into this. (This is for holding racks and cargo…not towing stuff. This particularly hitch receiver can hold up to 200 pounds.)
Many of the RV bumper storage ideas listed in this article rely on you having such a bumper-mounted hitch receiver.
Below you can see the hitch receiver with a bike rack attached into the hitch.
You can probably find a bumper-mounted hitch receiver like this at your local RV parts store.
Do you need a hitch receiver that holds more than 200 pounds?
Perhaps you have ebikes?
The one below by TopTow has a 350 pound tongue weight capacity, so it is better suited for holding ebikes.
Just remember the more weight you hold, the stronger your bumper has to be. If in doubt, have it inspected by your local RV dealership.
2) Bike Rack (for non-motorized Bikes)
Cycling can be a great way to explore a new area, but packing your bikes on a camping trip can be a nuisance.
Many travel trailer owners put their bikes in the back of their pickup truck, or on the roof of their tow vehicle.
But this isn’t an option for 5th wheel owners because the RV is taking up the bed of the truck.
To remedy this you can add a bike rack to the back bumper of your 5th-wheel or motorhome. (Or to your travel trailer if your manufacturer states you can have that much weight at the back of your trailer without causing sway.)
There are a variety of bike racks out there. Finding the right one for you will depend on several factors such as the weight of your bikes and bicycle tire width.
The RV bike rack shown above is made by the company Swagman. It is intended to hold 4 regular, non-motorized bikes that do not exceed 30 pounds per bike. This rack doesn’t come with straps or anything to secure your bike, so you need to buy those separately.
There are also lots of hitch-mounted bike racks that can work on your RV if you have a 2-inch receiver bolted onto your bumper.
3) RV Bike Rack for Electric Bikes
More and more people are riding electric bikes.
But with that luxury of having a motor and battery comes the downside of having heavier bikes.
To support your ebikes on the back of your 5th-wheel, motorhome or camper van, you’ll want to a buy a bike rack specially designed for ebikes.
The rack above is a hitch-mounted bike rack: the Hollywood Racks RV Rider.
It can carry 2 ebikes that weigh up to 80 pounds each.
(This same company – Hollywood Racks – makes a different bike rack that the popular ebike manufacturer Rad Power Bikes recommends and sells on their website.)
Keep in Mind: this RV Rider rack itself weighs about 70 pounds. If you have 2 electric bikes on there, weighing about 70 pounds each, the combined total tongue weight may exceed your RV bumper hitch receiver. So make sure to keep this in mind. Make sure your RV bumper can handle the weight, and buy an appropriate hitch receiver attachment for your bumper.
4) PVC Pipe attached to the Bumper for Extra Storage (DIY bumper storage)
Some clever RV owners attach a length of PVC pipe either underneath or on top of their RV bumper depending on their RV. Just keep your ground clearance in mind. If you travel rough roads to get to remote camping sites, mounting anything below your bumper could result in a smashed pipe.
There are lots of YouTube videos showing the different methods of attaching PVC pipes to your RV.
What you could you store in a PVC pipe?
RV Sewer Hose Storage inside a PVC Pipe
Some people choose to store their RV sewer hose inside a PVC pipe instead of inside their bumper because many common RV sewer fittings do not fit inside the standard 4-inch square bumper. (We have more RV sewer hose storage ideas in this article.)
Outdoor RV Patio Rug
Another thing that some people store inside the added PVC pipe is their rolled-up RV patio mat. Just sweep it off, roll it up and tuck it away. If you have a large patio mat though, it may not roll up tight enough to fit inside the pipe.
Store your Fishing Rods inside the Bumper-mounted PVC pipe
You may even be able to store your fishing rods inside the PVC. Just make sure you have good end caps. And probably a lock if you have expensive fishing gear.
For more RV Fishing Rod Storage Ideas check out our article.
5) Vinyl Fence Post attached to the Bumper (another DIY option)
Another popular option that is a DIY special is to mount a hollow vinyl fence post to your RV’s rear bumper.
This is a similar DIY option to the PVC pipe mounted to the bumper as mentioned above.
You can store your RV sewer hose inside a fence post, or use it to store your fishing rods or RV patio rug.
6) Hitch Mounted Cargo Carriers
As I mentioned at the start, travel trailers and pop up campers shouldn’t have much extra weight added to the rear end.
But since 5th-wheel trailers, motorhomes and camper vans have a different weight distribution, you’ll see different RV bumper racks added to their rear bumpers.
Cargo carriers can make a convenient spot to carry plastic storage boxes and totes, or weather-proof cargo bags.
You can use this additional storage space for stuff like fresh water hoses, sewer connection fittings and hoses (inside their own dedicated tote and maybe inside a garbage bag too).
The picture above is a metal hitch-mounted cargo tray. You insert the cargo tray inside a 2-inch receiver as shown in the picture below. (Note the RV bumper hitch receiver bolted to the bumper.)
Remember to not exceed the weight capacity of your bumper, your hitch receiver attachment or your cargo tray.
7) Bumper Mounted Cargo Carriers (by Elevate Outdoor)
Here is an RV bumper cargo tray that doesn’t require you to have a 2-inch receiver.
This one by the company Elevate Outdoor mounts directly to a 4-inch square RV bumper. It’s a great way to add extra space at the back of your RV.
The metal tray can hold up to 200 pounds and it provides lots of spots for you to strap down cargo. You could bungee cord down your sewer hose, water hoses, tackle box if you fish, and other weather-proof storage containers.
It does flip up when not in use…but I could see things like the ladder and spare tire potentially getting in the way on some RV’s.
Will this work for your RV?
8) Tidy Tank Holder for your RV Bumper
Portable waste tanks – sometimes called honey pots, tidy tanks or tote tanks – can be a convenient way to take your black water and gray water waste to the dump station without having to pack up camp.
(You empty your RV black tank and gray tank into this portable tank and then transport this tank to the campground’s sani dump for emptying.)
The RV parts company Camco makes this tote tank holder (model 390101) that bolts onto your RV bumper.
They say it’ll work for 4 different sizes of their own Rhino tote tanks (15, 21, 28 and 36 gallon sizes), plus many other competitor tanks too.
If you have a tote tank – or are thinking of getting one – check this out.
9) Generator Mount Support Arms
One of my family members has a fifth wheel trailer and he wanted a solution for hauling around his generator. He hated lifting the generator in and out the trailer. So he decided to get a cargo tray for the bumper that supports the weight of the generator.
But another option for hauling your generator on your RV bumper is to get support arms like the ones shown above.
The manufacturer (ECOTRIC) claims that a pair of them will hold up to 200 pounds. If you have a heavy generator you can mount several of these supporting arms to help carry the load. And once again, make sure your bumper will hold the weight.
(Note, these are just the arms. They don’t come with a tray or rack.)
10) Spare Tire Mount
You can buy spare tire mounts that attach to your RV’s rear bumper.
If you don’t have a convenient place to store your RV’s spare tire, have a look at this option.
11) Store Items Inside your RV’s Hollow Bumper
Campers commonly stored their 3-inch RV sewer hoses inside their hollow 4-inch rear bumper.
But the sewer hose fittings usually do not fit inside the bumper so you may have to remove them first.
Make sure you have bumper end caps with ventilation holes to allow water and smells to escape.
You don’t want water pooling and potentially rusting through a steel bumper.
Some campers dry out their flushed out sewer hose at home for a couple of days after dumping. And then they put it back inside the RV bumper.
12) Swing Out Grill Holder for your RV Bumper
I guess this isn’t technically an RV bumper storage idea because most people disconnect the grill from the swing-out arm during travel. But it is a cool RV bumper accessory.
The company Fleming Sales makes this metal, swinging arm that attaches to a 4-inch RV bumper. It provides a spot to attach your camping grill.
Is this something you’re interested in?
Will any of these RV bumper storage ideas work for your RV?
Whichever one your choose remember it is a great idea to first have your RV bumper inspected to see if it is strong enough to utilize these storage solutions.
If you have a bumper that is barely holding on, well you sure don’t want to be putting any extra weight onto it.
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