Fiberglass Rear Bumper…
#1
We love our 2nd Gen 2009, 995 but the awkwardly narrow and high rear fiberglass bumper is of poor utility and makes entry and exit highly difficult, especially when resting atop a 4x4 truck…Yet due to the flimsy fiberglass substrate, I’d found no practical way to attach what might be a far better folding, aluminum stair case set that’s capable of resting atop ground level enabling ingress and egress a far easier and confident proposition…

Heretofore, it’s been difficult to brainstorm a practical modification that might help overcome this hinged single step, and high narrow bumper that would make door access far more accessible and safer, especially so while now in our retirement years…

But as the old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention” so I’m now forced to revisit and finally address this poor bumper design, this due to transitioning from our present Ram 3500 DRW to a new Ram 5500 (on order) with a 6” taller steel flatbed (e.g. 6” taller than a conventional 3500 bed).

So finally I’m now working on a concept and fabrication, and as this develops I’ll post the build and final product…

3 tons - our present rig:


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#2
Here’s an update, I first built a test mockup from wood which attaches to the rear jack bolts, followed then by a fabricated steel platform…The platform extends out 9.5” beyond the factory bumper, and the side mounted step allows sufficient clearance when trailer tongue is in place…When completed, the platform will be at the same height as the factory bumper, thereby creating a porch effect, with a Torklift aftermarket mid-step in between to bridge the gap up from the factory fiberglass bumper to the entry door…

In the end, I’ll be using Torklift’s aluminum accordion type stairs to attach to the new platform step…

https://www.etrailer.com/RV-and-Camper-S...A7804.html

Still a bit more to do including powder coating…


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#3
Thanks for the images - it's an interesting build.  How does it attach to the jacks?  Will you be using existing bolts?
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#4
Hey Rich, yes I’ll be using the HappiJac attachment points (two per side), and for a timely update the project build is nearly complete, except for acquiring the 19” wide (i.e. north to south) metal decking overlay (pending) that’ll fit atop the plywood subfloor - this width also makes for a great spot (left of the door) when using our small Weber grill!!…The skirting was made from a piece of 6” 20ga SS that was donated as scrap…I’d estimate the finished weight to be about 150#…Somewhat of a weight penalty, but I chose steel for strength and ease of assembly…On a test drive, the 3500 DRW handles it well and with no sag, and from a safety perspective and ease of ingress and egress, my sense is the upside far outweighs the downside…

Tomorrow I’ll be ordering the metal deck overlay (cut to fit) and taking the entire assembly in for powder coating…And lastly, I’ll be adding the aforementioned Torklift aluminum mid-step just below the rear entry door…

In the pics, the robust structure is mostly hidden behind the SS wraparound skirting.

The majority of the steel is 1/8” angle, except for the 3/16” angle *vertical jack leg attachments and 3/16” main horizontal box members…

* note the upper 45 degree cut-outs used to hang on the top threaded jack studs - the lower holes are drilled for regular bolting…(click on for proper orientation)


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#5
Should get it back from powder-coating sometime next week Smile

3 tons
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#6
Just back from powder coating!! Added an aluminum diamond-plate deck overlay (over plywood and extends over F/G bumper) and a small folding step beneath the entry door which still allows entry into the basement - all that remains is to add the folding accordion step to the new fixed step (TBD…)!

(Note, click on pic’s below for proper orientation…)


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#7
Got the bracket for the new TorkLift accordion step attached to the fixed position step, but due to the additional 6” or so of additional bed height (over my present 3500 4x4) because of the new soon to arrive Ram 5500 4x4, final installation of TorkLift’s 4 step unit will have to wait until the 5500’s arrival…

Standby….


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#8
It's looking good. And I was wondering about the truck.  Any word on delivery day?
I traded in the problematic 2014 Lance for an 1150 Arctic Fox - wish EC made the 1150.
The rig looks similar to this - nothing exceeds factory weight limits.
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#9
(07-04-2023, 04:43 PM)admin-rich Wrote: It's looking good. And I was wondering about the truck.  Any word on delivery day?

Ram 5500 Laramie chassis cab has finally arrived Smile now just awaiting bed install…Should have it in my hands early next week!

Note the wheels are 19.5” and normally run 110# air pressure…GVWR goes up from 14k# on my previous 3500 DRW, to a whopping 19.5k#…


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#10
That is one heck of a spring pack!  Do you think you need air bags?  Tongue

Question about insurance and registration; Does the truck have to be registered as "commercial" and what is the cost difference between it and the one ton?
Insurance?
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