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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking around for a replacement rear bumper and tire swing. From what I have found it seems like Smittybuilt is the cheapest but not very well made. Is there a better option that is around the same price or is this just a typical "you get what you pay for" instance?
 

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I have a Body Armor rear bumper with the tire carrier. This is also made to carry to Jerry cans and a high lift jack. I have NO problems whatsover with the swingout tire carrier. Nice and firm with no squeaks. The lock handle is also adjustable if you ever need to firm it up.

The bumper is strong as any. The downside is, I don't think they sell this anymore.



 

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I'm no fan of combo bumper/tire carrier products. Such designs place all of the tire's weight on just one pivot point and there is a lot of leverage against it. The second point the swing-away attaches to is really just a point to latch it closed to and provides no real structural strength. Not to mention they require you to use their bumper.

The type of spare tire carrier design I really like doesn't use the bumper at all. A bumper isn't even needed. Instead, the 3-point spare tire carrier I prefer bolts to hidden brackets behind the tub that are bolted to the rear rollbar mounts. You don't get a stronger place to support a spare tire from than the rear rollbar mounts. It has three structural attach points, two when it is open.

One such manufacturer is Offroad-Fabricators in Arizona. I have installed their design onto both of my TJs. The first one was on my previous TJ that was stolen and it had ten years and 120K miles on it carrying two full jerry cans and a heavy 35x12.50 MT/R spare the last time I saw it. Until the day that TJ was stolen, the ORF carrier never rattled or sagged. It swung straight into its driver's side latch without needing to lift it even 1/32"... completely sag free after all that time because of its beefy design that uses the rollbar mounts for strength.

OR-Fab | Off-Road Fabricators | HOME

They aren't cheap but they hold up long-term to even two full jerry cans and large heavy spare tires.
 

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Jerry, what are your thoughts/feeling about the Bestop carrier?
 

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I haven't been around Bestop's carrier enough to know how it holds up long-term but its design is similar to what I like... it mounts to the tub using special reinforcement brackets and it has two main support points, not like the single support point like bumper mounted carriers use.
 

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I actually had a Besttop Tire Carrier on my original '97 TJ SE. My observations:

Good:
1) The tire carrier and tailgate swing open together, instead of seperately, just open the stock latch and swing them open, MAJOR convenience in a daily driver.
2) The cost was only $245 back then, it is probably higher now.
3) I was able to mount a HiLift Jack to the right of the tire with two U-bolts that cost me $3 total.
4) I was able to put two 4-gallon RotoPax gas containers between the tire and tailgate using a cheap 1" ratchet strap that I paid $7.50 for, although the plastic cans were pricey at $75 each. They rested on the stock bumper which I padded with a rag. Looked funky, worked perfectly.

Bad:
1) The Besttop tire carrier is rated for a 35" tire only.
2) I had to modify the bottom mounting bracket to install it because I had a 1" body lift.
 

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how hard was the bracket to modify? I've got a body lift and I've been looking at the Bestop carrier.
 

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Not bad, you will have to cut it and extend it by whatever amount of BL you have, so that the weight rests on the frame cross member below the rubber mount. The best way is to weld in a new piece of 1/4" steel. You will then need to paint over the new steel.
 

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If you prefer to go the tub-mounted route instead of bumper-mounted swing-away, here's the link to the Bestop Oversize Tire Carrier on Amazon. Just under $300 shipped (if you have Prime). I particularly like that it opens with the tailgate and has multiple support points. Looks like you could rig it to hold a jerry can or two between the tire and tailgate, which is what I would want to do. Haven't heard about this model rattling, so for the same price as some bumper + swing-away combinations (Smittybilt and equivalent), I wouldn't hesitate to go for it, myself.
 

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I have the JCROffroad and its very strong and well made.. no rattles or squeaks and it comes with all the options. rear lights, rotopax carrier; hi lift jack mount; hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bumping an old thread because I am finally ready to buy a new bumper. Any more suggestions?
 

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I've been super happy with the quality and strength of my Garvin. Take it or leave it but the pivot bolt is something they would use for a bridge. It locks down tight, holds my 2 jerrys and high lift, and has a trail rack easily mountable if you want. And it braces against the tub so the load is distributed out.


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I've been super happy with the quality and strength of my Garvin. Take it or leave it but the pivot bolt is something they would use for a bridge. It locks down tight, holds my 2 jerrys and high lift, and has a trail rack easily mountable if you want. And it braces against the tub so the load is distributed out.
I love my Garvin. Great bumper and can take a beating offroad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I like the JCR but I need a bumper that stores full size jerry cans, not rotopax. I like the looks of the Garvin system. You have to buy the rack with the jerry can mounts separately though correct?
 

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Right now I have the Bestop bumper and tire carrier on my TJ love the design and actually have had no problems with it but getting it to me was a nightmare to say the least it took 3 times(over 2 months time frame) before I finally got one that wasn't damaged badly enough that I would accept it. Now I fault UPS for most of it but the packaging was pure garbage, Finally on the 3rd one they had bounce checked it on the end and it was missing powder coat and bent a brackett but I straightened it out and painted the bare spot to match the rest of the powder coat .... that the hell of it you pay almost $800.00 and still have to fix it when you get it.... but on another note, I used a Jeeperman on the front because I needed a 2" receiver for pushing aircraft around..... now this is one class act, really nice bumper and it came packaged in plywood, UPS damage the box but it never touched the bumper call it (sacrificial packaging) being all said and if I had to do it again I like the way the tire swings with the rear gate but I probably would have gone with a Jeeperman in the rear too.
 
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