Our step van improvement – the rear bumper

LUVe 2.0 did not come bumper-less, but the questionable metal bar in the back needed replacing. It was crooked, flimsy and sickly looking. Not anything that would protect our step van in case of collision. Ugly or unsafe isn’t part of our philosophy. So the decision was made: a new bumper that is.

Let’s back track a little bit. LUVe 1.0, our first step van, had some bumper trouble of its own. To rescue its reputation, we decided to install a sleek aluminum bar which would replace the badly mangled metal pretending to be the back bumper. However, LUVe 1.0 did not have a long life and died before its new accessory got installed. We regret that LUVe 1.0 had an extremely short existence as our Step Van, but we are thrilled that we could salvage and reuse such valuable piece of metal.

LUVe 1.0 was a tall 23-feet courier van. We beefed up its bumper to match the size of the vehicle. Now LUVe 2.0 a much smaller 21-feet Step Van needed to somehow accommodate this monstrous structure. It took a week or so, many broken drill bits and, a kaleidoscope of profanities to mount the heavy attachment to the back of our current LUVe.

Step van bumper flaws

Last winter we had an opportunity to test the bumper on the North American roads. It did not take too long before we realized that the mount had flaws. They were especially pronounced in mountainous regions of Texas, New Mexico, and Alabama. Every time we drove up or down on a steep entrance the bumper kept on scraping. The worst was BLM land in Arizona, where we drove on a rocky desert that featured steep inclines and dips. We nearly got stuck a few times. That convinced us that the bumper needs additional upgrades.

After returning back to our base camp the plan was to reposition the bumper so that hills, valleys, and rocky driveways wouldn’t stop LUVe in its tracks. Repositioning did not take long, maybe a day, maybe two. The bumper went up about 2.5 inches. It looks good, but we are yet to test if it works. That will be next year when we depart for our next road adventure.

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