Is a swing out tire carrier worth it, or more of a PITA than it is worth?


I have a Tactical 4X rear bumper on my LR3 with swing out tire carrier. Great investment. The design wizard that thought it was a good idea to put a spare under a vehicle should be shot. weight is not a huge concern on a vehicle as heavy as an LR, another few pounds won't make that much difference. Not in the way of the departure angle. Good for the Trasheroo. I incorporated two Nato cans into the space that originally held the spare, fabbed up a great skid plate that is not in any way a hinderance to off road travel. Gas down low for weight concern.


West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Unfortunately I have an inside mount to frame, class V receiver hitch with 3/8's thick plate hangers that eat up that space diminishing it down to a max of 33 inches. If I didn't need the hitch so often I would do as my bro John did and just remove it altogether. You know, I have a theory about why my short bed RAM has so little flex under the TC. I think the Class V hitch, bolted on in 6 places with 5/8's inch bolts acts as another, even stiffer cross member at the rear of the frame.
BPD53, good solution to the spare problem. When I replaced my entire exhaust system with an aluminized, 4 inch tube model, the exhaust pipe was pushing on the spare. So when I got new tires, I had the technician beat a dimple in the pipe to keep it away from the spare. Maybe not as slick as your modification, but it worked. It is a tight fit down there, but like I said, over the 18 years and 175K miles I've owned the truck I've had two flats, both on account of operator error. I think for some folks a spare hanging on the back is is eye candy or some kind of badge touting how off-road you are. Not me. Form follows function.
Last edited:


I took the spare tire off my tailgate and put a swing-away spare tire carrier on my TJ. The spare tire carrier also allows me to carry a five-gallon jerry can. Doing this allowed me to convert my tailgate to a drop-down tailgate. Now when I go overlanding, I've got a flat surface to use as a table. I'm running 285/75/16" tires (~33" diameter). The spare and jerry can "fit" between the factory TJ tail lights.
The rear swing-away bumper was made by Dirtworx to my specs (just a modification of the basic one he sells). He was very easy to work with:
The kit to convert the tailgate is made by Swag Off Road:


Last edited:


I think it really depends on your application. I had a swing out on my jeep a few years ago (similar to rnArmy) but it only lasted maybe 6 months or a year. Its really a big pain in the butt especially on hills. Now if you don't access the back often then maybe not a huge deal, but for me, accessing the back multiple times in a day (for work), then it is a major inconvenience. I removed the swing out and put the stock carrier back on - much easier and more simple by a long shot. The other recovery gear I just stuffed inside the jeep, and it made a positive impact for handling also.

Now for my truck, unfortunately I will have no choice but a swing out carrier as the tires will be too large for the stock location, and I will be carrying two. The roof is an option many use, but that is a lot of weight to go on a roof and can affect handling, especially in off camber situations. So though the swing out will impact access to the truck bed, its the best option.

If I were you, I would suggest keeping it in the stock location unless you get larger tires and can't fit it there. My .02

Lucky j

I have a home made spare tire carrier on my LJ. Had it before on my YJ, would not go w/o it. It does not rattle, allows me to carriy my hi-lift jack (never used a bottle jack to lift the jeeps in more than 20 years, only the high lift or garrage floor jack or pneumatic stand jack) outside the limited and better used for other stuff inner space, allows me to carry 2 5 gallons jerry cans and I do not care less about the extra step it takes to get in the back of the jeep. I did install a lock pin acctuated by a wire that is right at the locking clamp. Holds the carrier on 3 different location on the swing out. Also carriy my hight rear brake light and cb antenna and a trasharoo on trips.

The only thing, on most occasion, I wish the tail gate would open on the curb side and not on street side.


The offset Hitchgate is the perfect solution for my needs. I can remove it easily enough. It allows me the ability to now carry two full size spares (one on the stock location) if we feel the need. I normally keep it on the truck with only the spare wheel attached, and can add extra fuel, water, the Maxtrax, shovel, Hi-Lift, and Trasharoo if I want. It doesn't move around at all, and it also provides a great place to hang stuff when we are camping or picnic'ing . I don;t find having to open it much of an inconvenience at all. Getting caught in the middle of nowhere with a flat and no spare that would be an inconvenience.



Some nice opinions :)
I'd never thought of spare fuel mounted on the back that only gets mounted for trips, and leave the spare where it is. Putting an extra tank under there is a lot of cost for occasional use.


I have a Slee on my 80 and just ordered an Expedition One for my Power Wagon. I don't find them annoying at all, well built ones are quite, protect your body (at least the Slee's will) when you drop of a shelf, extends your range via fuel, and/or water, get's your trash out of the way. I've got gullwing doors on both trucks though, so I can get in the back to stuff without needing to open the hatch or shell to get to contents inside without always opening the swings...


There are too many that don't understand physics; I've seen lots of spares in the backs of pickups and SUVs and also up top, only held on by ropes or smaller straps or even nothing at all if inside a bed. A really sudden stop will turn the wheel into a very big missile. I've also seen factory spares that hang low at the back by design. An under slung spare is a liability off road as there's no guarantee you will be able to get it out from under the vehicle. Huge over-size rims and wheels up top are a danger to get up and down even if fastened properly; another liability off road. They also contribute to overloading many roof racks. They also take up too much space when in the truck bed.

My '16 Colorado has bigger wheels and a lift so the factory spare wouldn't fit the front positions and hung way too low anyhow so it's gone and replaced with an offset Wilco Hitchgate as shown in Trikebubble's pics above. The Hitchgate has a wedge-lock mechanism in the hitch and doesn't wobble around and make noise. Pulling one pin and swinging the thing out is no big deal; takes an extra whole second of my time to get into my truck bed. As already noted, they can also be used to carry bags, extra fuel, whatever. The biggest downside for me is the extra 2' added to my already long truck but the camera works fine and with a few seconds of practice after installing the thing, I knew exactly how far I could back up before hitting something.

For these reasons, I think a rear mounted swing out carrier makes a lot of sense but don't cheap out and get a good, solidly made one.
Last edited:


Good and bad.. for all the reasons noted....
I wish a had faith in the latch on my liftgate, I'd have gone with a hatch mounted carrier, and a lower profile bumper.... one less thing to worry about.

I have a work van, so I don't "DD" my Jeep, but, it's my primary non work vehicle.

I'd make sure it doesn't rattle(mine doesnt), and either locks/latches open, or has a cylinder assist, as it can become a MAJOR PITA, HURT you or someone...

Only thing on my carrier is the spare, and CB antenna.


Sent from my SM-T827V using Tapatalk


If you don't use one, you'll find that opening the rear hatch of a vehicle that has one is annoying. Specially if you have two swingouts.

However, if you decide on it, you get used to it pretty quick. Off course it involves extra effort and fiddling, but it takes a couple of seconds to open the swingouts.

There are a few valid points for swingouts however, specially spare tires:

If your vehicle has the spare beneath the truck, and you get a flat tire while bogged down ayou will be unable to get to it before recovering the vehicle. Recovering a vehicle with a flat tire will be much, much harder (ask me how I know)

If you get a spare tire swingout, you can install fuel cells in the OEM spare location, or keep two spares.

Every pound you can avoid having on a roof rack is worth relocating.

IMO, a steel rear bumper without swingouts is just useless extra weight. If you don't need swingouts, don't get the bumper.


I had several reasons to go with a rear bumper. Opens up the space underneath for adding a secondary fuel tank, MUCH better departure angle and my top reason. Several years ago my wifes 2000 4Runner was rear ended while she was at a dead stop by a drunk girl at 60mph. The impact was so severe that it crushed the vehicle up to the back seat, which also ripped free and tilted back. Allowing my then 6 yr old daughter to slide out of her car seat and be ejected from the vehicle and end up on the road. Miraculously she did not hit the tailgate, nor by either vehicle that by then had spun on the road. Terrified but aside from bruising and road rash she was ok. Wife took more damage and she remained buckled in the driver seat. Took over a year before my daughter would ride in an SUV without being visibly distraught though trying to be brave. When I bought and started building the Land Cruiser she immediately asked about the big steel bumpers she saw on some offroad videos. The smile my daughter had when she told her mom that she wasn't scared to ride in the Land Cruiser cause it was the toughest truck ever made and Daddy had put armor on it for her was worth it.


Your family is more important and anything you can do to alleviate their fears and give them more than the illusion of safety the better. Losing a few MPG's is no loss in my book. Keep the kids smiling.


Then you have to ask the question, "how often do I get a flat tire?" I've had very good luck over the years with tires not going flat, even though I abuse them regularly which shows the gains in toughness made by tire mfgrs. the last decade or so. It could be I just picked the right tire. As a former hard core rock crawler running tires at a variety of pressures down to 3 pounds in jeeps and down to 20 pounds in my RAM/Lance camper rig I've gone hundreds of miles at low pressure with no deleterious effect. Success in this realm had in some measure to do with preparation. We always carry a tire plug kit called, "Safety Seal" in any off road rig. It is by far the best one. The secret is the glue they use on the caterpillar-like cord used as plugs. Most likely, in my experience, 95% of flats, short of a catastrophic tread separation or blow out can be plugged with the Safety Seals. How many plugs did we use in this tire and it held air for 3 days enough time to get back to civilization and get a replacement? A rock cut was through the sidewall:

I recently started this thread about overlanding without a spare tire. Thanks for this amazing pic and the anecdote to go with it, and for the recommendation for Safety Seal. Gives me a nice shot of confidence that even seemingly catastrophic tire wounds can be repaired in the field. (y)


Badger Wrangler
Those swing out things are great, especially if you have rug ra---

Pardon me; lovely children. Just have them stand on the bumper section, then use duct tape to securely attach them to the uprights. Leaves a lot of room inside for the dogs...
Last edited: