Looking for input. Going on my 2012 JK. AEV tire carrier swings independant or w/rear gate, XRC only independant. Integrated hitch on the XRC. AEV has biult in in hi-lift safety "catch". AEV 2X the price, but is it 2X the bumper?
Not looking to cut corners, or go for "cheap". I think both bumpers are upper end in quality. I've been able to see the Smittybilt up close in the local 4X4 shop, but I haven't had the opportunity to check out the AEV. I have someone who does metal fabrication so the "add ons" won't be that much of an issue. I really like some of the aspects of the AEV, but at the end of the day would that extra $700 to $800 be better spent on additional recovery/protection for the JK?Sounds like you are trying to decide between the top dog and the cheap bumper. I think it really comes down to what do you want to spend? You can buy the XRC and then bolt on brackets to carry shovels and stuff if you are a little creative or spend the money and get an all in 1 package.
I opted for the XRC for my rear bumper/tire carrier on my LJ. Fit was good except the frame reinforcement brackets were a little to long and I had to chop a little off. The bolts that came with it were grade 8 I think but I managed to twist the head off one so getting new hardware for some would be a priority. There is a slight rattle with the latch at high speeds on gravel. I paid $300 for it and I feel it's worth every penny and I couldn't justify a higher price tag to carry a tire around.
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Not saying it's any better, just sayin...AEV fuel caddy comes with a super siphon hose. The don't use any sort of pump. Maybe thinking about the pump they have for the bumper water tanks.I wouldn't do either. I have an AEV front bumper on my JK now and the rust is bad. I live in Nebraska (we don't use salt) and it's rusting . . . doesn't say much for the quality. I had looked into their gas caddy system and honestly looks like a bigger problem than an advantage. I'm not a supporter of pumping fluid out and my overall experience with hand bumps hasn't been that great.
On my old TJ and YJ I had Hanson and Wilderness bumpers. They had plenty of accessory mounts for jerry cans, cargo, jacks, and so on. They're a better price and had better powder coating too. I wouldn't limit your search and I would definitely go with portable gas cans. Not only could you use a portable can for something else (lawnmower) but you don't have to worry about a pump breaking because gravity is all you need.
I shouldn't have said "pump" its a shaker siphon type deal. I'll continue to turn a portable gas can up for $300.00 less. These Daystar Cans seem like a better/more versicle value.Not saying it's any better, just sayin...AEV fuel caddy comes with a super siphon hose. The don't use any sort of pump. Maybe thinking about the pump they have for the bumper water tanks.