Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means we will earn a commission on the products or services you purchase using the links. There is no additional cost to you and the earnings help keep this website running. Read the Affiliate Disclaimer for more information.
Once we decided to travel around the United States in a RV, we knew we would need a tow vehicle and decided on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The next step was figuring out how we would flat tow the Jeep. The two options we decided between were an integrated solid off-road bumper or a tow plate. We decided to get the bumper because the tow plate would reduce clearance in the front and were concerned that it may get damaged during off-roading. With many integrated bumper options on the market, we did quite a bit of research and ended up with a Rock Hard 4×4 bumper. The company also makes adapters for their bumpers to address the towing need in the RV community.
Rock Hard 4×4 Patriot Aluminum Bumper Review
What We Ordered:
Rock Hard 4×4 Aluminum Patriot Series Full Width Front Bumper
MSRP: $1,195.95 (at time of publishing article)
Rock Hard 4×4 Blue Ox Bracket Kit
MSRP: $69.95 (at time of publishing article)
What We Like:
Light weight. At just 37 lbs (compared to 137 lbs for the steel version) the aluminum version of the Patriot series bumper is about the same weight as the stock Jeep bumper which meant we could keep our front stock suspension (if we do not add a winch). The weight of the steel bumper, would have caused the front end to drop a few inches and we would either have to add spacers or a lift in order to even out the Jeep. The light weight made installation a piece of cake because Kait could hold the bumper while I was under the Jeep lining up the bolts (it’s a good thing she loves me). Although the bumper is light, the aluminum is 1/4” thick all the way around and can hold up to quite a bit.
Best solution for towing. Rock Hard 4×4 brackets are machined perfectly and bolt directly into the frame of the Jeep. The bumper had two sets of bolts a few inches apart where the brackets could be attached. The hitch on our Class A Motorhome lined up perfectly with the brackets secured to the top set of bolts. This makes the process of hooking up the Jeep to the tow bar very easy.
Looks great. What can we say, we also love the look of the full width Patriot Series bumper. The powder coating on the bumper looks great and the ends of the full width bumper line up with the stock fenders. The factory fog lights also bolted right into the bumper. The bumper looks like it came right out of the factory and makes the Jeep look tough.
Made in the U.S. We try to support quality products made in the U.S. as much as possible.
What We Don’t Like:
There is nothing we don’t like about this bumper.
Other Points: The bumper was custom made for us with the options we wanted (this did not affect the price), however it took about seven weeks from order to delivery. The bumper was delivered via FedEx freight on a pallet due to the size which we picked up at a local FedEx freight center. This method of shipping is much cheaper than having it sent to your home as they need a forklift to get the bumper off the truck. It was well packed in a cardboard box with lots of foam. Since we have the 4 door Jeep, we were able to BARELY fit the bumper in the Jeep. The good thing about shipping via freight is that they can add multiple items to the pallet and the price of shipping remains the same.
Although the aluminum version of the Patriot bumper is $296 more than the steel version, in our opinion it was worth every penny. We didn’t have to upgrade the stock suspension and we’re not pulling the extra 100 lbs behind the motorhome. If you’re a hardcore off-roader, then we can see where the steel bumper would make more sense, but for our purpose this was perfect. The bumper fills the roll of being a tow point for the Jeep as well as a solid bumper very well and doesn’t compromise on either.
We highly recommend the Rock Hard 4×4 Patriot Series bumper for anyone considering replacing the stock bumper on their Jeep Wrangler. If you happen to purchase any Rock Hard products, let them know the Russo’s sent you!
14 thoughts on “Rock Hard 4×4 Patriot Aluminum Bumper Review”
Did you have to drill a hole in the bumper for the brake wire and breakaway cable?
Forgot to ask, did you install the Ready Break or did you have someone else do it (the cable from the bumper to the break pedal). Same question for the Break away device. Thanks again.
I installed everything myself.
I did for the brake cable but bolted the breakaway to the frame and ran the cable through the jack point on the bumper. There’s a hole there for hi-jack lifts.
We have a 2012 jeep wrangler Rubicon 4 door. We are going to shamelessly copy your bumper choice! I didn’t see what tow bar model you chose. I see its likely blue ox, but they have many versions. Also could you send pictures of bar, hooked to the jeep so I can see the connection point? We bought our class A 6 months ago and have been trying to see which way is best to tow the jeep behind it. (Wanted to break the engine and tranny in before towing)
We are now officially missing a Toad when out and about in the RV. We also need a winch on the jeep so this bumper looks like it will accomplish this as well.
2017 Jayco Alante 31V
2012 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon
Hey Richard – This article should answer all of your questions. There is a video as well as picture to see how the Jeep is hooked up. https://weretherussos.com/how-to-flat-tow-a-jeep-wrangler/
If you find the article helpful and purchase anything, please consider using our affiliate links in the through Amazon and 4Wheel Parts, located in the article. It doesn’t cost you anything more but we get a small commission.
Let us know if you have any other questions and good luck with everything!
We have made the decision to buy a Jeep Wrangler to replace our current tow vehicle. What options did you request for the bumper that required it to be made?
Hey Chris, congrats on the decision to buy the Jeep! When we ordered the bumper, we didn’t want the recessed winch mount. We prefer the flush mount and they had to make one for us since they didn’t have any in stock. If you click the link in the review where it says what we ordered, it will take you to the exact bumper we have and the site says it will ship in 5-7 business days (plus it says that it qualifies for free shipping, which we had to pay for when we got ours).
Thank you for the quick response. Did you do the installation of the bumper yourself?
We are trying to decide between a new 2016 or 2017 JKU Sport S or a 2015 JKU Sahara. Do you wish add any of the options of available on the Sahara that are not available on the Sport?
Hey Chris – we did the installation of the bumper and found it to be easy and straight forward. It helped that the aluminum bumper is light enough that Kait could easily hold it while I was underneath and bolted it up. We didn’t want any of the options on the Sahara. There are a few things on the Rubicon we wish we had like rock rails, etc.
With your info, I went ahead and ordered a Rock Hard bumper 🙂
With the RH4x4 bumper, I was originally concerned about the bolts holding the towbar brackets but with your info I decided to do it 🙂
Plus, after looking closely at my Roadmaster baseplate setup, this system also ends up using only 2 bolts per the bracket where the towbar attaches.