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Old 11-01-2015, 11:33 AM
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Jeep Karma Tire Carrier, Install and Initial Thoughts

In a couple of threads recently, I've seen owners looking for a solution to carry an over sized tire once they've upgraded and lifted their Jeep. While there are many solutions on the market, most involve replacing a bumper with an after market and adding or purchasing it with a bundled swing away. Other solutions strengthen the tail gate brackets and give an alternative for those that want to keep their stock bumper or simply aren't in a position to replace theirs.

For those that are considering either, Jeep Karma came up with a carrier that gives you a swing away while keeping your stock bumper. This was important to me since just a few months ago, I installed the Aqua Bumper kit. Well, when I decided to get a full size spare to match my set, I realized I had limited options to carry it. So, in speaking with John at Jeep Karma, he let me know that his solution was about to go into production.

A few weeks later, I had one installed and I couldn't be happier. This thing is rock solid and although I've only had it for a day, I don't hear any rattle. It locks up tight and looks great!

First of all, the install is unbelievably quick and easy. It's literally 4 bolts and if you have an existing factory hitch, simply replaces it. From the carrier sitting on my garage floor to being fully installed, it was UNDER 5 MINUTES!!! I had already removed my stock spare carrier and stock hitch so it really was as simple as bolting it on. I recommend having 2 people that REALLY trust each other as one will be on their back lining up the bolts and the other will be holding the carrier over them. Here's how it looks.

Delivered:


How it mounts:


And 5 minutes later!


Adjusted for tire depth:




Tire mounted:




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Old 11-01-2015, 03:07 PM   #2
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Very Nice tire carrier. Good design and idea.

For $630 I would rather spend extra money and get a new steel bumper.

But for those on a budget and who like their stock bumper its a great option!

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Old 11-01-2015, 04:16 PM   #3
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Excellent write up, thanks for posting!
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:36 PM   #4
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:57 PM   #5
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I like how it takes all the weight off the tailgate. It doesn't look like it helps the departure angle though.
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gawdly View Post
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How many threads you going to reply to with just a period?
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Eagle Jk View Post
I like how it takes all the weight off the tailgate. It doesn't look like it helps the departure angle though.
That was big for me too. I didn't want any weight on my tailgate. As far as departure angle, it didn't help but it didn't get any worse than the factory hitch. Same mount points and positioning.
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:35 PM   #8
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Looks good. Interesting that it swings right versus the tail gate which swings left. First I've seen like that.
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:00 PM   #9
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If it swung the other direction the tailgate wouldn't be able to fully open. It's a unique idea for sure and definitely an alternative to a full replacement bumper. John is a really nice guy and I've had his Aqua Bumper kit from almost the beginning. His products are really innovative, but I do feel that this bumper should be a couple hundred cheaper to meed the demand of people that would run this type of system. For the $630 list price I would go the Teraflex direction over this, for ease of entry to the back tailgate alone. For the same price or a little more you can get a full metal rear bumper/tire carrier combo (though admittedly not one of the premium brands). I do like his bumper idea though, I think it's a great idea for those that want to keep the stock bumper. It fills a gap in the marketplace for sure.
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Old 11-02-2015, 12:00 PM
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Swing direction was initially a concern of mine. Then after discussion and realizing it was to keep a narrower profile for the carrier, I understood. It can also be a benefit in some cases. Either way, it wasn't enough of a concern of mine to sway me away.

I also have near future plans to do the tailgate drop conversation. Once that's done, the swing direction becomes irrelevant.
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:26 PM   #11
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Great write up.

I wish Jeep Karma had more info on their site. The "aqua bumper" is an intriguing idea, but it's hard to tell what it comes with, what the install entails, and how it works. I know I can call the guy, but a bit more info would be helpful.

I like the tire carrier design a lot. I've been about ready to pull the trigger on the Teraflex, but this has put the brakes on it...I need to consider this some more.

One thing I'm wondering (and it would be a deal breaker) is if the carrier would clear a hinged Yakima (or other brand) bike rack. My bike rack swings down so I can open the tail gate. I wonder if the carrier would clear it.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:34 PM   #12
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The aqua bumper comes with a pump, fittings, hose, and the nozzle. It's a fairly simple install if you can drill holes into plastic lol. Just unbolt the bumper, drill the holes, install the parts, remove the tail light, install the pump, wire it up and you are good to go. I've had mine for awhile.

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