Let’s get something straight right away: You don’t have to break the bank to build your Jeep. I know, that may seem like common sense to many folks – but the reality is that sometimes it’s easy to forget and get frustrated when you see the prices of most aftermarket accessories you can easily get. In particular, bumpers have a very wide range of price points, with many of them clocking in well above the $600-$800 price point. I’m not saying they are over-priced – most of those high end bumpers are fantastic, and well worth the money. What I am saying is that if you are like me, and can’t always afford the very best of the best, then you still have options. Good, dare I even say great, options are out there.
Enter Barricade Off-Road products. Extreme Terrain is the exclusive reseller of Barricade products, they have partnered to bring high-quality, rugged parts to market – without the premium price tag. Sometimes that lower price means imports and lower quality items. Is that the case with the Barricade items? Read on to find out. By the way they make more than just bumpers, but winches, tops, skid plates, and more. This review will be focused on the Barricade Trail Force HD Front Bumper but fear not more will follow on the other items.
The Barricade Trail Force HD front bumper is a lightweight (79 lbs) design that looks really great on every Jeep I have ever seen it on. In fact, I was looking at more pricey options, and couldn’t help the fact that I really liked the look and design of this bumper. It offered all of the features I was looking for: light weight, not quite full stubby – but not full length, d-ring shackle mounts, simple bull bar that wasn’t obnoxious, factory fog light mounts, mounting tabs for auxiliary lighting, and a built in winch plate. This thing was exactly what I wanted! Here’s what Extreme Terrain lists for the features of this bumper:
- Heavy duty 5/32″ steel and 2″ x 0.120″ tubing
- High strength D-Ring mounts
- 9500lb rated D-Rings included
- Built-in winch plate for up to 12,000lb. winch
- OE size foglight housings
- Two stage textured black powder coat finish
- Weight: 79 lbs
- Fits 2007-2015 Jeep Wrangler JK
- 3 Year Limited Warranty
While it is lightweight in design, it is reinforced where needed to keep it strong. Additionally, the ends of the bumper are beveled to allow for a better approach angle when wheeling. All the necessary hardware is included, including screws and nuts for relocating your factory fog lights.
Speaking of fog lights, you can use the factory fog light harness for this install. There is no need to splice in additional wire or buy extension harnesses. There is a little prep work you need to do to get it to fit, as mentioned in the video at the bottom of this page, but it’s not difficult to do. Essentially, it just involves loosening up the wire loom to free a little more length from the passenger side to reach the new fog light location. This isn’t specific to this bumper and many aftermarket bumpers that can reuse the factory fog lights require this, shall we say, tweak.
Because of its light weight, and stock style bolts this install is easily a one-person project. The most challenging part for most folks will be removing the stock bumper to clear the way for the Barricade awesomeness. In the video below, I tried to to show you how the factory bumper is connected to the frame, and how I dealt with removal – plus a couple of tips that might prove helpful. As you’ll notice in my video, my lower factory air dam was already removed, but outside of that (and the fact that I cut mine into a stubby a few months ago) you should get a pretty good idea of what’s involved in the removal. Oh, and another bonus: This bumper does not require the relocation of the vacuum pump. That’s a huge benefit. I looked at a lot of bumpers that required the additional purchase of a vacuum pump relocation bracket for the install. This Trail Force HD goes on easy – and the pump isn’t even in the equation.
One more point that I want to make. When you buy a product, you buy into a company. I’ve made several purchases from Extreme Terrain, and I have always been satisfied. That was one of the key factors in my decision to install not only this bumper, but the Barricade winch that you’ll get to read about in an upcoming article. I’ve watched how Extreme Terrain takes care of their customers in the forums, and I feel confident that they’ll take care of me in the same way.
Let’s be real, sometimes magical things happen during the shipping process. I don’t mean that in a good way. I’ve read forum posts of people getting their bumpers with various chips and scratches from less-than-friendly handling somewhere between the warehouse and their front doorstep. It sucks when that happens to your shipment, but don’t despair if it does. I’ve watched how Extreme Terrain customer support deals with those issues. They want you to be happy, and I get a sense that they will continue to do what it takes to make things right – even when it’s a result of mishandling after they release custody to the brown truck. Whether it’s a paint touch-up kit or even a complete replacement, they will take care of you. I bring this all up to say that if you are one of the few who have a problem, please don’t hesitate to contact their customer service. They really want you to be happy.
Okay, before I start to tear up talking about my affinity for Extreme Terrain, I’d better just let you get to the video. If you’ve considered a bumper swap, but were hesitant about what it involves, I hope this gives you the confidence to go for it! As always, we’re here to help too, so if you have any questions, let us know!