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Front bumper options - winch access and approach angle

penns_woods

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Hi! I have a 2020 Custom Trail Boss, and I'm seeking advice on front bumpers. I would like to mount a 12k winch, and I could use your advice on bumpers which will provide reasonable visibility and access to the spool as well as not lower the approach angle too badly. Most of the options I see are in of two groups: totally stealth, with zero winch spool access, or massively protruding and down low, which ruins the approach angle.

Advice? Thanks!
 

vezePilot

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So you consider mine to be "massively protruding" ? I have 14 inches of ground clearance under the winch. And ... the winch is kept in the bed until it's needed, because it is receiver-mounted. It cannot impact rock crawling when it isn't there.

ColoradoMtnsWinch.jpg

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penns_woods

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The receiver mount is a terrific idea, and I'm definitely interested in it. Please note that I didn't say "all" options were massively protruding. What I said was "Most of the options I see are in one of two groups", which includes stealth and massively protruding, such as the EXO Winch Mount. Since that style of mount is fixed, it could impact the approach angle, just as your setup would if you left it on there. Of course a removable solution is not going to affect approach angles, since it is not on there until you need it. An accessory that is not in place is obviously not going to affect geometry. I'm mostly looking for a fixed installation that allows spool access without sticking out 12" in front of the truck down low, which, with basic geometry, could affect the approach angle. I find it interesting that most of these types of products do not include a direct side profile view in the marketing materials. I wonder why that is.

I have considered the hitch mount, and I like the idea. In fact, I already saw your thread about the project, and it took quite an effort for you to get this front hitch mount system going, and it required fabrication. I would much prefer a vendor solution, if available.

Ideally, I would like a front integrated bumper or lower profile mount system that still allows winch spool access, something which other truck platforms have in abundance from an array of vendors. It seems that the Silverado in general, and particularly the Trail Boss, have limited support from the marketplace in general. 99% of the fixed mount solutions are in one of two groups: 100% stealth, with no spool access and limited spool visibility, or they stick out like this EXO kit shown below does. Since there are no side profile views available, it's hard to say if this affects approach angle or not. I just want to be able to mount a new bumper with a winch platform in it, that actually allows me to see the spool, and not just by peeking through the fairlead.

Capture.JPG



Also, with a hitch mount, I would love the convenience of it, and the ability to winch from the rear receiver. I would also be concerned about torsion forces concentrated in the front center of the frame if a front pull had to go sideways, since the load will be concentrated in the center of that frame member, and not spread out as wide as if it was using bumper mounts on the frame. Thoughts?
 

vezePilot

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It may be that Front Receivers from Draw-Tite and Curt will easily fit your 2020 Trail Boss, without modification. Apparently, the changes are to the 2021 model year trucks. I also like the idea of being able to use the winch from the rear of the vehicle. And also the fact that the winch is not susceptible to the elements because it is kept in the bed which in my case is always covered by a tonneau.

Note also that the winch in my installation extends less than 8 inches out in front, not close to 12 inches at all. I had to change the position of the electronics box on the winch because it is mounted so tightly against my license plate.
 

vezePilot

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I need to finish the welds on my front receiver, so I will be removing it from my TB today. While I am doing this, I'll try to measure the angles with the Winch installed. These are the Angles published for the stock Trail Boss, as well as the numbers for a popular competitor.

Chevy Trail Boss Angles
Ground Clearance 10.7 inches
Approach Angle 28.7
Breakover Angle 16.8
Departure Angle 27.2

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4-door
Ground Clearance 10.8
Approach Angle 43.9
Breakover Angle 22.6
Departure Angle 37.0

There are so many differences between these two vehicles it makes no sense for me to discuss them. We all know why we have made our choices. And I REALLY like owning and driving my Chevy Trail Boss. I have had mine out in many different conditions, including climbing steep, rocky and difficult trails. It performs VERY WELL for my uses.
 
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penns_woods

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I need to finish the welds on my front receiver, so I will be removing it from my TB today. While I am doing this, I'll try to measure the angles with the Winch installed. These are the Angles published for the stock Trail Boss, as well as the numbers for a popular competitor.

Chevy Trail Boss Angles
Ground Clearance 10.7 inches
Approach Angle 28.7
Breakover Angle 16.8
Departure Angle 27.2

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4-door
Ground Clearance 10.8
Approach Angle 43.9
Breakover Angle 22.6
Departure Angle 37.0

There are so many differences between these two vehicles it makes no sense for me to discuss them. We all know why we have made our choices. And I REALLY like owning and driving my Chevy Trail Boss. I have had mine out in many different conditions, including climbing steep, rocky and difficult trails. It performs VERY WELL for my uses.

I love your setup! I think it's the most versatile, and as you mention, keeping the winch out of the weather is a terrific bonus. It's a very cool configuration. I'm a little on the lazier side, and would rather replace my winch now and then, trading lifetime of the winch for ease of use overall. Just as with vehicle specs, I'm willing to make compromises here as well, to suit my use cases. However, you have given me the idea of keeping maybe a 9k secondary unit in the recovery kit and toss that onto the back hitch when needed.

I am thrilled with this Trail Boss, too. I had it out in 8" of snow on some fairly sketchy trails the other day and it was pretty insane for bone stock. Like you say, we chose this truck with certain applications in mind. I'm jelly of those Jeep angles, though :) I just don't want to lose the little sub-30 angle I do have. That's an interesting wrinkle about the 2020 vs 2021. Thank you for discussing this with me.
 

vezePilot

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Uuhhg ... I'm in taking a break from removing my front receiver. It was jammed very tight, because we had to weld it up with the plates bolted in place. Not the kind of heavy mechanic work an old guy should be doing.

But I made measurements of the Approach angles before removing the receiver. I get a stock approach angle of 30 degrees.
At_30_deg.jpeg


... while taking the measurement like this (there is a tape across the front tires):
StockApproach.jpeg


Using this method, I also measured the Tip of the front receiver, and the bottom of the installed winch:
ReceiverApproach.jpeg


WinchApproach.jpeg


Those figures are 25 degrees for the tip of the receiver, and finally 20 degrees for the bottom of the winch.

These numbers validate your concern for the limited Approach Angles caused by a front mounted winch. Just the front receiver alone reduces the approach angle significantly.

One caveat is that when folks in their Jeeps and Buggies are doing extreme rock crawling, they always Air Down their tires. I would guess that this also reduces their Approach Angles ...
 
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PHXPHOTOG

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I have been pretty vocal about not liking the total stealth models, so I have been looking at this one from FabFour. It looks like there is two holes for spool access. It comes with or without a bull bar.



There is a shortage of aftermarket accessories for these trucks. I believe thats for two reasons. It was retooled in 2019 right before COVID hit and there is not a lot of demand for real off road accessories because very few guys actually 4wheel them. I have never seen one single Trail Boss or Raptor on the trails I frequent. I see them at trail head parking lots unloading Razors. I love my truck because it is a very capable off roader.

Be careful airing down. I do it all the time. Duratracks have notoriously weak sidewalls. Couple that with the extream weight of a TB and its trouble if you go to low. Three of my tires have been replaced due to sidewall damage. 25 PSI is my air down lower limit, any less than that and you do loose clearance.

Steve
 

PHXPHOTOG

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VesePilot, I follow your builds they are awesome. I have a 2021. With your discovery of something being "diferent about the 2021" does that mean some of these bumpers listed as 2019/2021 compatible might not fit a 2021?
 
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penns_woods

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I have been pretty vocal about not liking the total stealth models, so I have been looking at this one from FabFour. It looks like there is two holes for spool access. It comes with or without a bull bar.



There is a shortage of aftermarket accessories for these trucks. I believe thats for two reasons. It was retooled in 2019 right before COVID hit and there is not a lot of demand for real off road accessories because very few guys actually 4wheel them. I have never seen one single Trail Boss or Raptor on the trails I frequent. I see them at trail head parking lots unloading Razors. I love my truck because it is a very capable off roader.

Be careful airing down. I do it all the time. Duratracks have notoriously weak sidewalls. Couple that with the extream weight of a TB and its trouble if you go to low. Three of my tires have been replaced due to sidewall damage. 25 PSI is my air down lower limit, any less than that and you do loose clearance.

Steve
That's a sharp looking bumper. Thank you. I bought this to wheel, also. I haven't done much with it yet, but what I have done, I have enjoyed. I'm confident this could take on a lot of action. Even stock like mine is, it goes pretty darned well, and I'm happy with the G80 and even the ground clearance is decent.
 

vezePilot

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VesePilot, I follow your builds they are awesome. I have a 2021. With your discovery of something being "diferent about the 2021" does that mean some of these bumpers listed as 2019/2021 compatible might not fit a 2021?
That is the first thing I thought of when I went to the links you provided. Have they REALLY test-fitted these products???

When I found that a $200 Front Receiver did not fit, that was not too much trouble. But if I were to get halfway through putting that bumper on, only to find that IT DOESN'T FIT AT ALL ... I would likely become rather upset. I am very skeptical of something fitting to the front end of both a 2019 and a 2021. And I say this as one who is very familiar with the geometry and fasteners under the front of my truck.
 
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