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Hi peop, I swear I have really tried searching and finding the answer to this on my own, but I just cannot find the bottom line or even many opinions at all. Is there or is there not some kind of bumper guard type thing available for a 2005 RAV4? Saw them for older models (Waag, Westin) but apparently not for recent models. Would consider a trailer hitch if I have no choice, would just like to know the options. I live in downtown Chicago, will be street parking a lot, and think I'd be nuts to just hope nothing will ever happen.

But I also heard someone say that his body shop told him that adding a bumper apparatus may cause the rear crumple zones to be bypassed and shift the impact to the side frame, which wouldn't be good... I'm so confused, this has to be a popular subject, I just cannot find anything. I was hoping to pick something and have it installed over the holidays where I'm visiting. Thanks!!!
 
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Discussion Starter #2
...oh, and calling four Toyota dealers including the one I bought the RAV from turned up no recommendations either. Strange, for a car so notoriously lacking a bumper, isn't it?

Oh, happy holidays everyone. :)
 

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I have the same concerns, seeing as the spare tire is so vunerable to impact which buckles the door and pops out the rear window. I plan to have a trailer hitch installed and then have a horizontal nerf bar made up to slip into it. It'll also serve as a step to access the roof rack.
 
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That sounds like a good idea Bluenoser, I hadn't realized what nerf bars were or that they could go on the back. (I'm brand new to anything about car/truck accessories!) But maybe that's what I was seeing in pix of protectors for older models, where it looked like a nice simple tube. Don't suppose you have any links/pix of the setup?

Here is a link to a bumper guard at eBay, that I also saw at another site somewhere and can't remember where! I do remember that it is by Waag, but it is not pictured at their own site so I hope it wasn't a flop functionally or something. I emailed Waag for local dealer info as their site instructs, but it's over a week later and they haven't answered. Guess I'll call instead. What do you think of this one? It comes in stainless too, or did.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8024403707
[link edited by kelly]
 
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(EDIT: Oops, disregard the following, I don't think this was the place after all.)

Oh, I think I did save the link to that guard, I believe it is in here somewhere:

http://www.autoanything.com/sg/suv-accessories/Toyota/Rav4/index.aspx

See, I thought I could surf around and pick a style, then easily find out where to pick it up locally to save shipping costs. But maybe I will have to buy from a website after all.
 
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Turns out the WAAG one I linked to at eBay doesn't clear the spare tire, but I guess none may, for any such vehicle. But if anyone is out there... What do you think of using this thingy? I saw in an ad for it elsewhere that it can indeed also serve as a bumper guard. (Could even get an available 8" hitch extender to use with it if it still doesn't clear the spare, but suppose that might be getting a bit ridiculous.)

http://www.autoanything.com/products/product_sp.aspx?p_id=2434&se=go_rhino_hitch_step

(FYI, that site does list a RAV bumper guard specifically, but WAAG itself didn't seem to think it really is available for the RAV. And I don't think it comes in stainless.)
 
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Sorry semiclue, but I had the Go Rhino and it still doesn't clear the spare tire. Someone in a low car hit me and it crumpled the hitch step but if it had been a taller vehicle I wouldn't have been so lucky. I have ended up keeping a hitch with the ball which goes past the spare tire but it doesn't cover much area. :?
 
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Thanks Julia, it's really good to hear from someone who has personal experience with this. Sounds like there is no *good* solution, but do you think your current set up -- with the hitch & ball that surpass the spare -- is more protective of both the bumper area and the spare than the hitch step was... Or the WAAG RAV bumper guard linked to at eBay would probably be? (Even if the hitch doesn't cover much area.) Since neither of those clear the spare, and probably only help if hit by a low car, like you were.

I take it your current hitch set up sticks out farther than the Rhino/hitch combo did? Is it a certain type of hitch that sticks out that far, or is it the ball that makes it stick out that far? Sorry, maybe I should take the "semi" part off my name, lol!

Any opinion appreciated! :)
 
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The Go Rhino hitch step would have been perfect for me if they had made it to stick out farther. The only reason the ball clears the spare tire is that the makers made the bar that holds it to the hitch(whatever that's called), longer than the maker's of Go Rhino did. The width of t he Go Rhino was great because it covered a large area, it just needs to stick out farther IMHO. I'm up for any suggestions too. :idea:
 
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I'm out of town for the holidays but when I get back to Chicago in about a week I'm gonna get serious about seeing what the possibilities are for something customized to some extent... Maybe even just so that the hitch thingy of the Rhino could be longer. (I did see an 8" hitch extender meant for a bike rack, maybe it could be cut down just a bit if necessary....) I have a friend with an auto body shop in the family so maybe they can help rig something at a reasonable cost. (And also, someone at WAAG is supposedly checking into the feasibility of the type of setup that another poster mentioned -- a hitch with horizontal nerf bar -- and will call me next week.)

If I ever get something unique figured out, I'll come back and post it on this thread! Thanks for your input. :)
 

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Here's what i had on my 96 RAV4. Toyota tow bar with integrated rear nudge bar. It only stuck out past the spare wheel with the tongue in place. Same thing is available for RAV4.2s but that one's a bit narrower. I sold my tow bar/rear nudge bar set up earlier this year. Blue RAV4 is mine, Black RAV4 used to belong to CM208 before he sold it.





 
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Thanks Mohit, that's pretty cool! I take it the "tongue" is the ball part of the hitch.

What brand is that thing? I sure didn't see it anywhere in my web search. I wonder if it is available in the U.S. or not.

Thanks!

P.S., my friend with the body shop left me a message that he does think they can weld something onto a hitch for me... But I'll have to review options with him when I get back there, don't want to end up with something really weird looking. Since it so obvious that peop with vehicle models that have the spare on the back would want their bumper guard to extend that far, I figure there must be a reason there don't seem to be any made that way...! And I can't think of any except looks....
 

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i saw a nice integrated oem bumper guard for the 05 rav4 in europe, but its not available in the US. it looks like the bumper guard for the landcruser prado. as for the rear, there is also a rear bumper step for the rav4, it sells for $400 here and is made of aluminum from toyota japan, called rear bumper step. Europe and asia has lots of OEM accessories for the rav4, made in japan. US toyota only out sources accessories made by aftermarket companies which is very much incomparable with those from japan.
 
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Hi Bruno! Yeah I don't know why the U.S. market for a good bumper would be so small that no one bothers. And I've contacted many Toyota dealers as well as corporate, and they don't even have outsource ideas for this, act like they never heard of such a question! I'm trying to make sure putting something custom on it won't void any warranty or insurance (not easy!!), then will do that. I see the new RAV has a bumper that sticks out half as far as the spare, but I just don't get those, how much good can that possibly do, especially with so many SUVs out there.
 
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Ok this just in... I've been dragging my heels a little now because I recently got my hand slapped by Toyota corporate. I contacted them to ask if a customized bumper guard -- or even something like a standard bike rack or other accessory that might "happen" to serve the same purpose -- would void any warranty coverage (i.e., through changing intended design engineering, crumple zones, etc.). They replied Yes, and that they do not advise any such "modifications."

I wrote back to say that from everything I've seen/heard, something like a bike rack or other standard trailer hitch thingy is never considered a vehicle "modification," only an accessory. And I was like Come on, you can't possibly be saying all people who have them are doing something wrong and voiding their warranties. (I admit I never looked for or read any related material in my vehicle documentation.) The real slap was that they replied, basically, Yes that is what we're saying, and if you still don't get it Ms. <MY REAL NAME HERE!>, please call us. Your correspondences have been filed at headquarters. (!!!)

I had sent the question through the website, totally meant to be anonymous in case they WOULD keep track of me and be at the ready to deny some warranty-related coverage in the future. I did not think I had ever given them that email address, but obviously I was wrong, and they matched it up!!! Now I do think I would be up a creek if I ever go in for any kind of rear end repairs or post-mishap evaluation, if I've had any accessory (excuse me, "modification") on the rear. Grrrr!!! And I had such a warm fuzzy feeling about Toyota up til now. Wonder if I could make them "prove" that they really handle all such cases that way, or only in my case since I "gave" them this one.

(Yes, living in downtown Chicago, I do think it's not unlikely that I'll have rear end incidents.)

Guess the bottom line may be what my insurance co. says about it. But if I disclose what Toyota said, which may come out in the case of a mishap anyway, I'm sure they'll say Sorry missy, you can't install anything. O how do I get myself into these things!
 
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P.S... I can swear that when I first started browsing vehicle websites, I did see a "warning" at the bottom of one of the ("old") RAV specs pages saying that trailer hitches are not intended to serve as bumpers. I did think that odd at the time, since I didn't even realize yet that the RAV had NO rear bumper. So I guess a lot of people must try to handle things that way, and Toyota has a clear position against it for some reason...
 
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