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Old 02-09-2016, 06:54 PM   #1
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Aluminess Questions

Hi. I'm thinking about buying an Aluminess tire carrier and galley box. in the near future. But first I have a few questions.

I believe I can attach the tire carrier and galley box to their respective door and keep my stock bumper.

What is the advantage of that option versus buying an Aluminess rear bumper with swing arms and with out the swing arms (other than saving money)? If I buy the Aluminess bumper is it worth the added money to buy the swing arms? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:19 PM   #2
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On the Aluminess bumper, the driver's side swing arm is the tire carrier. The passenger side swing arm is made to have one of their boxes attach to it, which is sold separately. If you get the bumper without the swing arms, you would basically just have an aluminum bumper. The Aluminess bumper with swing arms and a galley box looks like its around $3,000.

If you want to keep you stock bumper and add a tire carrier and passenger side swing arm with a box, you can. Like the Aluminess bumper, the galley box attaches to the swing arm on the passenger side. I believe the pass. side swing arm is in the $600 range , the tire carrier is $675, and the galley box is $495. So you're looking at about $1,800 for those three pieces.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:37 PM   #3
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If you purchase a new Aluminess bumper you can spec out the hinges...I have 3 on the tire side and four on the box side as opposed to two on each side. Stuff can get heavy back there and I was surprised how heavy my spare tire was. The storage box (inside the bumper) is small but handy. I keep my chains and jacks in there. You also have a option for backup lights. Lastly the bumper is pretty tough. I crushed a new cars trunk in when this lady backed into me. I never knew she was against the van (she didn't either) and when I started to back up I applied throttle thinking I was crawling over a speed bump. Not. Anyway no damage at all to the Aluminess bumper but the Altima didn't look good at all.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:27 PM   #4
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I have the Aluminess tire carrier for stock bumper, and it is not perfect. The top support connects to the van door hinge in such a way that the carrier can flex away from the van body, causing the whole carrier to shake a bit over time on rough roads -- and the carrier's latch starts to line up poorly as the carrier sags. I need to do a lift-with-one-hand unlatch-with-the-other maneuver to unlatch the carrier for access to the rear door.

Still, I prefer the understated look of the stock bumper.

-- Geoff
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:40 PM   #5
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FYI, Aluminess has improved this somewhat lately, with the addition of a "swing arm rest" which prevents left/right movement when the rack is latched. This helps with opening/unlatching. But fore/aft movement still occurs.

I also modded the top connection to the van door hinge to not rotate as much, but my rack still rocks a quarter inch or so fore/aft on rough roads.
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:40 AM   #6
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Yeah they have made improvements over the years which is a good thing. I had mine brought somewhat up to date... the arm rests and the replacement of the all thread hinge bolts.
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wl1193 View Post
Hi. I'm thinking about buying an Aluminess tire carrier and galley box. in the near future. But first I have a few questions.

I believe I can attach the tire carrier and galley box to their respective door and keep my stock bumper.

What is the advantage of that option versus buying an Aluminess rear bumper with swing arms and with out the swing arms (other than saving money)? If I buy the Aluminess bumper is it worth the added money to buy the swing arms? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks.
I was looking into the same thing, as I already have their spare tire carrier. This was the response I received when I inquired about the passenger side carrier for a box:
"
Hello Greg,



We do make a stand alone swing arm for the passenger side that will hold a box. We do not advertise it because we have to limit the weight on the swing arm to 80 pounds. With one of our boxes weighing about 35 pounds this only leaves 45 pounds for cargo. Due to this limitation we cannot warranty the rack against breaking. We do not stock this product so there would be a 7 week lead time on it. The box rack runs $675 plus the price of whatever box you want.
I hope this helps, if you have any other questions please let me know.

Thank you,

Kenny Gorham
Winch Bumpers, Roof Racks, Tire Carriers | Aluminess
Aluminess Products Inc.
619-449-9930
"

My follow up question was what was the weight limit on the full bumper swing arm.
"
Hello Greg,

Our full bumper is capable of 150 pounds per swing arm. We have seen people put more more weight than that, but the 150 pound limit is what we feel comfortable with on a long term basis.

Our deluxe box weighs about 35 pounds and our galley box weighs about 30 pounds.
"

Hope this helps in making your decision.


-greg
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:10 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:29 PM   #9
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I had stock bumpers on my E350 RB50 4wd, with a spare tire/drivers side swing arm and then fabbed my own swing arm for the passenger side so as to be able to add a small Aluminess galley box to it. Had that setup for a couple of years as a money saving measure as well as liking the stock bumper look well enough to think the money spent on the full Aluminess wasn't something I wanted to do. Truthfully I always liked the full Aluminess look the best on these vans but that's not what I bought (used van).

Then I got stuck in the snow and mud one morning 10 miles off the highway. No help around, no winch, no straps, no recovery points if someone even came by. After getting out of that mess I decided even though I never would do real extreme off road travel, it didn't take much to get a 9000 lb van stuck. I got the credit card out and set up an order with Aluminess, retrofitted everything front and rear. Super happy with the look, capability and self reliance that comes with having good tools to work with -and after talking with Alan (SMB owner) at an expo - I decided I'd probably get my money's worth out of the mod if reselling the van. I also know that the money I spent on the interim upgrade (small galley box, fabbed swing arm, etc) was wasted as I sold the stock bumper setup for cheap...

All of this is to say that if I had it to do over again, I'd go straight to the full retrofit bumper system, Aluminess or other and be done with it. I am happier in the end and would be at least a $1000 ahead. Just my opinion. Cheers!
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:53 PM   #10
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One other noteworthy characteristic about Aluminess is their customer service. I had a swing out bike carrier that was dragging across the bumper during opening/closing. Mentioned it to Kenny at Overland Expo East and he took the time out of his busy schedule to take a look at what was happening. He took several angle measurements of the carrier in the locked position and as it tracked. After careful study, he offered to ship a replacement out right away. You just don't find that kind of customer service anymore. Highly recommended.
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