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Spare Tire Carriers

Spare Tire Carriers for Overlanding

Before heading out on your next adventure, being prepared is the most important step. One essential item that has to be included in your collection of Overlanding gear is a spare tire. However, simply stashing it in the back of your vehicle can take up valuable cargo space and make it difficult to access when you need it.

That’s where off-road spare tire carriers come in handy. There are a range of choices available with different mounting options and price ranges.

For drivers with vehicles where the spare tire is located under the back of their truck or SUV, ground clearance becomes a crucial consideration. Ground clearance refers to the distance between the lowest point of your vehicle, such as the undercarriage or differential, and the ground.

Spare Tire Carriers

When the spare tire is positioned beneath the vehicle, it can significantly reduce ground clearance, potentially leading to clearance issues while driving over uneven terrain.

Departure angle, in particular, becomes a concern as it determines the vehicle’s ability to clear obstacles without getting caught or damaged when exiting steep inclines.

Maintaining adequate ground clearance and a favorable departure angle is vital for off-roaders, as it ensures their vehicle can tackle challenging trails and obstacles without damaging the spare tire or decreasing the vehicle’s overall performance.

Additionally, it reduces the risk of damaging critical components underneath the vehicle, enabling a smooth and safe off-road experience.

Additional products that protect the underneath of your vehicle are skid plates. These should also be considered if you plan on traveling over rocky ground or trails with deep ruts.

Spare Tire Carriers

Why You Need a Spare Tire Carrier

Imagine finding yourself in a remote location, far away from civilization, when suddenly your tire has a blowout. Without a spare tire, your journey could come to a grinding halt, leaving you stranded and in a potentially dangerous situation. Off-road spare tire carriers provide a secure and convenient solution to carry an extra tire, enabling you to continue your journey with confidence.

Benefits of Off-Road Spare Tire Carriers

  1. Enhanced Accessibility: Traditional spare tire placements inside the trunk or under the vehicle can be inconvenient and limit access to other cargo. With a dedicated carrier, you can easily access your spare tire without having to unload or rearrange your gear.
  2. Increased Storage Capacity: By mounting your spare tire on an external spare tire carrier, you free up valuable space for more off road recovery gear, Overlanding supplies, or camping gear to be stowed away comfortably.
  3. Improved Weight Distribution: Placing the spare tire on the rear of your vehicle helps maintain proper weight distribution, reducing strain on the suspension and ensuring optimal handling, particularly on rough terrain. Also, the added weight to the rear of the vehicle improves the traction of the rear wheels.
  4. Added Protection: Off-road spare tire carriers relocate your spare tire shielding it from potential damage caused by rocks, branches, or other obstacles. This added protection ensures your spare tire remains in perfect condition when you need it.

Mounting Options for Off-Road Spare Tire Carriers

Rear Bumper-Mounted Carriers:

Spare Tire Carriers
2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Rear Aluminum Bumper with Tire Carrier Black – DV8 Offroad RBSTTB-01

This mounting option integrates the spare tire carrier with the rear bumper of your vehicle. Rear bumper-mounted carriers are known for their durability and ability to withstand rigorous off-road conditions. They often offer additional features such as built-in jerry can holders or recovery points, making them a versatile choice.

NOTE: Most bumper-mounted spare tire carriers fit a specific bumper made by the manufacturer. You will need the off-road bumper AND the spare tire carrier that fits it or buy the complete kit like the DV8 Offroad kit pictured above.

Hitch-Mounted Spare Tire Carriers:

Hitch Mount Spare Tire Carrier
Wilco Hitchgate Solo High Clearance Hitch Mount Spare Tire Carrier – UHG33187

Ideal for those who have a receiver hitch on their vehicle, hitch-mounted carriers offer quick and easy installation. They provide a secure attachment point for the spare tire, allowing for effortless access when needed. Some hitch-mounted carriers also offer swing-away mechanisms, enabling easy access to the rear of the vehicle.

Roof-Mounted Carriers:

Spare Tire Carrier
Roof Rack Spare Wheel Mounting Kit – RIVAL 4×4 2MD.0015.1

Although less common for spare tire storage, roof-mounted carriers can be a viable option for vehicles with limited rear space. They allow for efficient use of rooftop real estate and provide a convenient solution for carrying oversized spare tires. In general, these spare tire carriers mount to a platform-style roof rack or a roof basket.

Truck Bed Mounted Spare Tire Carriers:

Spare Tire Carrier
2020-2023 Jeep Gladiator JT Wilco Bed Rail Mount Spare Tire Carrier – UBM34507-J

As the name implies, these are mounted in the truck’s bed. They are securely mounted along the side panel, front panel or the floor of the truck bed. Many use the manufacturer’s built-in rail system as a connection point for the tire carrier. Those types are vehicle-specific so be sure to check the fitment before selecting one.

Tailgate Mounted Spare Tire Carriers:

Spare Tire Carrier
2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler JL Spartacus HD Spare Tire Carrier Kit – Rugged Ridge 11546.55

Mostly specific to Jeeps or the new Ford Bronco, these can be mounted by replacing the manufacturer’s factory hinge hardware with a more durable heavy-duty wheel mount, hinge brackets and pins. 

Wilco TireGate

Wilco Tiregate
Wilco TireGate Spare Tire Holder

For pickup trucks, one unique option for addressing ground clearance issues and maximizing convenience is the Wilco Offroad TireGate. The Wilco TireGate is a heavy-duty, rear-mounted tire carrier that replaces the tailgate of the truck, providing a secure and accessible solution for oversized spare tires. 

Top Brands for Off-Road Spare Tire Carriers

  1. Wilco Offroad: Wilco has gained a reputation for producing high-quality spare tire carriers. Their carriers are known for their robust construction, reliable performance, and innovative designs. Wilco offers a range of options, including rear bumper-mounted carriers and hitch-mounted carriers, catering to various vehicle types and preferences.
  2. Body Armor 4×4: Body Armor 4×4 specializes in manufacturing rugged aftermarket accessories, including spare tire carriers. Their carriers are engineered to withstand the most demanding off-road conditions, providing secure tire storage and peace of mind during overlanding adventures.
  3. Rugged Ridge: Rugged Ridge is a renowned brand in the off-road industry, offering a wide selection of spare tire carriers. Their carriers are designed with durability and functionality in mind, ensuring easy tire access and excellent protection against off-road hazards.

Before selecting an off-road spare tire carrier, it’s essential to consider factors such as vehicle compatibility, weight capacity, ease of installation, and additional mounting accessories. Assess your specific needs and preferences to choose the carrier that best suits your Overlanding requirements.

Investing in a high-quality off-road spare tire carrier is a wise decision for any Overlander. With enhanced accessibility, increased storage capacity, improved weight distribution, and added protection, these carriers ensure you’re always prepared for unexpected tire mishaps during your off-road travels.

Choose from reputable brands like Wilco, Body Armor 4×4, and Rugged Ridge to embark on your Overlanding adventures with confidence and peace of mind.

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