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Discussion Starter #1
'02 TJ w/Rock Crawler/tire-carrier bumper: Warn puts 'not for towing' disclaimer on the receiver. Anyone know the upgrade requirements for DOT certification? My proposed solution: reinforcing plate welded to the bumper (welds on all joints, exposed edges, etc.). Anyone see an issue with it?
 

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Knows a couple things...
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There is no DOT certification for bumpers specifically rated for towing. Warn, like most bumper manufacturers, was told by their lawyers to stop making any claims as to the suitability of their bumpers for towing. Some manufacturers were willing to pay the extra costs of liability insurance policies and offer some type of statement as to the suitability for towing, but others like Warn were not.

Even the first aftermarket bumper I bought in '98-99 or so was rated to tow 2,000 lbs, the Wrangler's max safe towing weight. Then, all of a sudden, that exact same bumper no longer included any statement that it was rated for towing. Their lawyers made them stop saying it was rated for towing.

That's the issue... liability and fear of lawsuits, not if it is up to the job. Which is why Jeep won't call our roll bars roll bars, they have to call them "sport bars" per their lawyers. Calling them a roll bar, per the lawyers, would give them an implied claim of suitable protection from rollovers.

Warn makes very high quality and well engineered stuff. If your Warn bumper has a 2" receiver hitch, it's up to towing anything your TJ is rated to tow which is only 2,000 lbs.. And don't forget, a 2,000 lb. trailer isn't putting a 2,000 lbs. load on the trailer. Its tongue weight is a max of 200 lbs. and its rolling weight is a few hundred pounds at most. Which is why you can roll a 2,000 lb. trailer around by hand... you certainly couldn't do that if it took 2,000 lbs. of force to move it.

I'd use that receiver hitch to tow a trailer suitable for the TJ without hesitation. As I tow behind my TJ with its Dirt Worx bumper with its 2" receiver hitch... which is stout, well design, strong, and well-welded... as your Warn bumper is. But mine isn't rated for towing like your Warn isn't. Because of the lawyers, not because it's not actually suitable and more than strong enough.

This is what I've been towing on my non-rated bumper for many years. Just attach a pair of bumper reinforcements that better tie the bumper into the frame... like this. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick and informative response. I suspected as much, but couldn't get a satisfactory answer from Warn customer service or tech people. It made no sense to me that a bumper attached with 8 face bolts, 2 bottom bolts, and 4 through-frame bolts would handle recovery stresses in the high thousands of pounds but not handle a couple hundred tongue-weight pounds and a few hundred rolling pounds. BTW, my install kit came with similar braces. Everything torqued to specs, etc. Guess I'm good to go. Again, thanks.
 

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