An experienced off-roader knows the importance of always having a spare tire when out on the trails.
All vehicles from the factory come with a spare tire; the problem is you just upgraded your off-road vehicle with a new set of larger beefy off-road tires. Your vehicle’s factory spare tire is now useless. Furthermore, your vehicle is not designed to store a large tire.
With rough, demanding terrain, needing a spare tire is an inevitability, and having the right accessory to carry a spare tire is a necessity. This is where a tire carrier comes into play. They are specifically designed to securely carry large tires and offer easy accessibility while out on the trails.
Depending on your vehicle type, there are different options of tire carriers; tailgate carriers, standard carriers, or vertical carriers. Let us look at the differences to ensure you make the right choice for yourself and your vehicle.
Why Upgrade Your Tire Carrier?
Your vehicle was engineered and designed to specifically hold the weight and size of the factory spare tire. Adding bigger, heavier tires can potentially push the limits of what your factory tire carrier was designed to support.
The added weight can add strain on the factory tire carrier. If your vehicle utilizes a tailgate tire carrier, you may find that the latches and hinges no longer line up, impeding your tailgate from closing correctly.
In some extreme cases, the added weight might cause your factory tire carrier to completely fail, causing your spare tire to fall off your vehicle, potentially causing harm to you and other motorists.
The Right Tire Carrier For Your Vehicle
Tailgate Tire Carrier
A rear-mounted tire carrier is the most viable option for vehicles such as a Jeep.
These tire carriers are mounted directly to your vehicle’s tailgate and designed to operate with the tailgate, so there is no impediment to opening and closing your vehicle’s tailgate.
One thing to note is that an oversize tire carrier can potentially block your factory brake lights. Most reputable brands will solve this problem by offering a brake light extension kit to ensure the brake light indicator is visible over the tire carrier.
Truck Tire Carrier
Unlike a Jeep, there is no viable mounting point for a rear-mounted tire carrier on a truck.
For trucks, you have two options, a standard tire carrier or a vertical tire carrier. Both tire carriers are installed directly on the cab of your truck and provide a safe, reliable way to store a full-size spare tire.
Hamer makes excellent products; they offer standard and vertical tire carriers that look as good as they function. If you already have a Hamer roll bar installed, they also make a tire carrier that installs directly to the roll bar.
What Tire Carrier Should You Choose?
Hamer Tire Carrier
A standard tire carrier is mounted on the back of the truck’s bed. Because it is mounted slightly elevated, these tire carriers are great for saving space for additional equipment and cargo that needs to be hauled.
However, because the tire carrier is placed directly behind the vehicle’s rear window; some may find that the tire carrier may impair their view.
Vertical Tire Carrier
A vertical tire carrier may be a better option if you are concerned about being visually impaired by a standard tire carrier. As the name suggests, vertical carriers are placed directly on the truck’s bed and designed to hold the spare tire vertical.
This gives you the advantage of the tire not impeding your view from the rear window; however, because they are placed directly on the truck’s bed, you will sacrifice cargo space for other equipment.
Furthermore, unlike a standard tire carrier, you can place multiple vertical tire carriers on the bed of your tuck. This will give you the advantage of carrying more than one spare tire for demanding difficult terrain.
Ultimately the tire carrier you choose will come down to the function, the aesthetics, and the specific vehicle you have.
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