Bumpers, Bike Rack and More!

An esthetically pleasing and utilitarian bumper upgrade.

Last time we visited Gowesty we were generously outfitted with an amazing bumper setup including  front and rear plate steel bumpers, bolt on front hitch, hi-lift jack and mount, skid platetwo rear swing aways, two universal carriers with rung kit, bike carriers, spare tire, reverse spare tire carrier and Rotopax water system.

Bike Rack:

For most of our travels our bikes lived on a Fiamma bike rack made especially for VW Vanagons.  This Rack worked well, but made it impossible to raise the rear hatch with while the bikes where loaded. Checking oil and coolant was also not fun with the bikes on the rack.

The cat’s meow for a bike rack solution all starts with the Gowesty Plate Steal rear bumper. Then, you need to add a Gowesty Swing Away with a Universal Carrier including the Rung Kit. This system allows you to mount normal roof top bike carriers providing great stability and security. The Swing Away System allows you easily swing you bikes to the side and give you access to you rear hatch.

The Gowesty rear bumper can also have a 2″ reciver installed so that you can use hitch mounted bikes racks.

Spare Tire and Water:

Using the same base setup as the bike rack (swing away, universal carrier) a spare tire carrier can be added. In our case a reverse spare tire carrier and storage kit was added so that we could use the spare tire a storage also. Over the spare tire a Trasharoo was added, which has come in very handy,

For extra water storage a Rotopax carrier and extension was installed so we could carry our 2 Rotopax water jugs.

Front Bumper

In the van’s front, a Gowesty plate steel bumper was installed. A 2″ hitch reciever was mounted to the bumper. Mounted in the reciever is a hi-lift jack mount. If you plan on going with a hi-lift set up a hi-lift jack adaptor is a must.

Due to a full size 15″ spare being mounted on one of the rear swing aways the 14″ spare under the cab was removed and a skid plate was added.


You may also like


  • danes July 10, 2015  

    Hey! Love your blog.

    Where are you guys now????

    Hope you’re safe and well!

    • Emily king July 13, 2015  

      Hi! We are in Santa Cruz currently, then probably headed into the Pacific Northwest.

  • Kevin Mckinnon April 29, 2016  

    Are you still traveling? Haven’t seen any recent videos
    I have a 85 vanagon with a 2.5 suburu motor i camp in .
    I’m going to the colorado mountains for a couple of weeks of
    Boondocking next week ,any advice??

    • Emily king May 5, 2016  

      Oh yeah we are still on the road… in Sedona, AZ now. Not sure if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, but all of our latest videos are there. Unfortunately we don’t have any advice for you because we haven’t yet explored Colorado!! We hope to this year. Enjoy it!