I have a 33 12.5 15 spare on the way and heard the extra weight can put a beating on the tail gate. I've heard of 33's bending tail gates. Is this true? Is there something I can do to use the stock carrier to keep this bending/stress from happening? Is there a simple carrier I can buy that does not cost a lot that will keep it from getting beat up?
I don't think a 33 spare will even fit on a stock carrier because it hits the stock bumper. Mine didn't fit, at least with a 15x8 wheel with 3.75" backspace.
I've got the Rugged Ridge HD carrier, but the most important thing is making sure that you extend the rubber bumpers on the tailgate that push against the tyre when it's mounted. They are fundamental in keeping the tyre stable and take a lot of the load off the tailgate. It's not really a weight issue. My 33" tyre on an alloy wheel is only about 11lbs heavier than a stock steel wheel and tyre.
If you don't like the hockey pucks, you can do the same thing by using a second set of the factory type bumpers (available at Quadratec) then cutting the round end off to whatever length you need to make extensions.
I have a 33X12.5 spare on the stock swing. When I close it, it hits the stock bumper just a bit. Gotta give it a good push. Seems as if bumper holds some of the weight. No problems with my swing in the last year and a half.
I bought a bumper with a tire carrier. The 33 was squeaking and rattling on the stock spot on the tailgate. My Jeep came without a rear bumper, so I had no proper recovery points. My cross frame was bent a little from the former dude using it to recover at some point. So I beat it straight and we just welded the bumper to the Jeep. With the receiver, I can put the rack back there and carry extra stuff too. The one I chose is a direct rip off of Smittybuilt, but waaaaayy cheaper. shipped.
I had to widen the slot for the release handle, drill a hole to drain water out of the back of the catch, slot the holes for the tire carrier, took a dead blow to assemble the top part of the tire carrier. . . No biggie.