Originally Posted by burton861
Does any one know the difference between these two tire carriers that makes the bestop one almost $200 more? they seem to be almost exactly the same to me. And why is one of these even necessary? whats the point of a different tire carrier that doesn't even move the weight to the bumper/frame?
You're right, they look suspiciously alike. But a lot of companies sell items made by others, and re-branded with the vendor's name. Quadratec does this with it's floor liners and grab handles, both of which are made by Rugged Ridge.
As for the $200 price difference...wow, talk about getting fleeced.
Anyway, tire carriers like that just fill a niche. There's a lot of folks out there who do tires/lift and then have to wait awhile before they can afford a bumper with a tire carrier, which is pretty serious $$. So, in the meantime, they get the Smittybilt, which is far sturdier than the stock carrier.
Some people may get the Smitty and decide to leave it, complete with a 35" tire hanging off the back. Problem is, that kinda weight COULD break the welds in your tailgate, especially if you wheel with it. Operative word being could. I've read posts where people said they'd had one for years, with no problems. And others where someone went on a fairly light trail and busted up their tailgate.
To each his own.
In the interest of full disclosure, I've got one of the Smitty's on the back of my rig at the moment, holding my 35" DuraTrac spare. I've got it snugged up against the bumpstops (Daystar aftermarket) so tight an atom couldn't squeeze through.
But in the spring I'm gonna replace it with the OR-FAB tire carrier, which mounts to the hinges on the Jeep's tailgate. Now that puppy will hold a tire...and puts no strain on the tailgate welds.
But, it also costs around $500, and is kind've a pain to install.