Originally Posted by nathanj04011
... we had a welder weld 2 solid steel bars to the frame of the trailer and back to a steel plate he welded to the bumper. That same plate, which was welded to the bumper, was also welded to the outside frame of the Casita...
I know Casita used "L" shaped frame supports underneath, and "I" beams on the outside of the frame (I think both can be seen). That very well might be more substantial than the tube frames that Escape uses, I don't know. Just seems that there have been some frame issues with the Escapes that I don't recall reading about with the Casita (though my memory fails me a lot so I wouldn't want to be quoted!
Anyhow, could something similar be done to reinforce the receiver on the Escape?
In general, solid steel bars are not suitable for any kind of load except tension (being pulled apart), and those braces on the Casita are loaded in compression when weight on the hitch tries to pry the bumper down. Tubing (square for convenience of fabrication) would be more efficient (more strength for the same weight, or less weight for the same strength).
What these braces are trying to do is the same as the role of the brackets on each end of a common towing receiver under the back of a tug, where the receiver tube is being twisted by load on the hitch and needs to transfer that load to the vehicle's frame. The usual solution there is simple plates, tapering toward the front, with the top edge folded 90 degrees to provide a bolting flange (although on the trailer they could just be left flat, run up against the inside face of the frame, and welded) and ideally with the lower edge folded for stiffness. This sort of bracket could work with reinforcement of the bumper tube to make a stronger receiver structure, instead of building on the system that Escape uses of spreading the load between the bumper and the next crossmember forward.
Casita apparently uses angle ("L" shaped) crossmembers; Escape uses stronger Z-shaped members in other locations, but the rearmost one (at the rear edge of the body, just ahead of the bumper) is a square tube to handle the role of bracing the bike rack receiver. If this not strong enough it could be reinforced or replaced with larger tubing, but if forces are that high I would wonder whether the load being carried is suitable for a small travel trailer.
The rear section of the Casita frame appears to be C-channel (with the open side facing outward), not I-beam. I-beams are common on larger trailers, but not in this size; C-channel is not as strong as I-beam or box section of the same dimensions and weight, but is easier to work with. Escapes all have 1.5" x 3" box section tubing for the rear section of the frame, and I've never heard of an issue with the frame in the rear.