January 04, 2017
DV8 TC-1 Tire Carrier
The carrier arrived at my house after about a week. It was shipped directly from DV8 in California. The box had seen some damage along the way, but only a minor scuff ended up on the carrier and a spot that is difficult to see. It is understandable to have a part this large get a little abused when traveling across the US.
The carrier itself is very well-made. It surprised me how heavy it was when I pulled it form the box. The welds are very nice and the powder-coating is even.
The hinges are about 3 times thicker than the stock ones on the Jeep and appear to be very heavy duty. Also, the plate for closing the carrier is very heavy and appears to be well-constructed.
You are going to need a friend when installing this. Once the hinges are installed, lifting the carrier into the hinge brackets and getting it lined up is a two-person job. Everything else can be done easily by one person with some hand tools and a grinder.
All that being said, a few things could have been better (although I still think it deserves 5 stars).
The instructions are rather terrible. It is not that there was a problem installing it, but the instruction sheet is black and white photocopies of a few sheets of paper and they are not clear what hardware should be used at each step. It can be figured out, but the instructions feel like an afterthought.
The plate for closing the carrier is very heavy but attaches to sheet metal on the driver's side of the Jeep. Even something as simple as larger and thicker washers on the inside would be a nice addition and make the setup stronger.
On to the license plate delete cover and license plate bracket. The cover is held on by double-sided tape. Don't get me wrong, the metal cover is nice, but had they drilled two holes and included screws (black, preferably), it would be held on better. As far as the new plate bracket - without plate lights it is not legal in most states, so it would have been nice if they were included along with the necessary wiring. Not having them is probably saving them $5 in parts - charge us a little more and include everything, please. Also, having a holes to run wiring inside the carrier would have been really nice.
It also seems like the manufacturing cost of including an entire tailgate hinge rather than having to cut apart the stock ones would not be a significant cost increase. It is fine as-is, but including the entire tailgate hinge would be great and also eliminate the most difficult part of the install (although it's not that hard).
Finally, my pet-peeve is poor hardware. I was surprised to find that most of the included hardware was pretty nice. Only a few included nuts are going to rust (have some touch-up paint ready and you can stave that off). It might have been nice for some of the visible hardware to have been black instead of silver, but the included hardware even had nylon-locking nuts where necessary and that is a pretty nice thing to see.
Overall, it is a very nice carrier and, if you like the look, an excellent price for it.