Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from ExtremeTerrain.com, and this is my review of the Smittybilt XRC Gen2 Tire Carrier, available for all 2007 to 2016 JKs that are currently running the Smittybilt XRC or SRC Gen2 Rear Bumper, or those of you who have the 10th Anniversary Steel Rear Bumper. Today I'm gonna tell you a little bit about the product features, the installation and the pricing of this carrier setup.
As I mentioned, this is really for those of you who are currently running the Smittybilt SRC or XRC Gen2 Rear Bumper, and are looking for a tire carrier for a larger-than-factory spare tire. When you try and run a larger-than-factory spare in the factory spare tire mounting location, you can run into a few different problems. One of those is wearing out the hinges of the tailgate, which will require you to lift up on the tailgate every time you open it and close it. Another issue is breaking the welds of the tailgate themselves, causing the tailgate to rattle, and finally the factory spare tire mount is really only designed for a factory weight spare tire. And when you put in a much heavier spare tire on it, you can fatigue the metal and actually cause it to break.
So having a bumper-mounted spare tire carrier like this one will solve all of those problems. If you already have the Smittybilt SRC or XRC Gen2 Rear Bumper, this will bolt on very easily, and ends up being a really nice seamless piece.
This tire carrier is made of steel and is covered in the same textured black powder coat finish as the rear bumper, so it's going to match and everything. Again, it's going to look seamless, almost like one piece.
There are a lot of tire carriers out there that will mount to a pivot point that is welded directly into the top of the rear bumper. This, because it does have Rotopax mounts, so it's designed to carry a little bit more weight, has a little bit of a stronger mounting point.
This pivot point actually gets bolted directly to the frame rail and you drill one hole in the bottom of the frame rail for even more strength. So the pivot point is actually on the frame rail and not on the bumper, giving you plenty of strength for all of the weight that you could put on this tire carrier.
This is designed to hold up to a 37-inch spare tire, it is adjustable up and down, so if you have a slightly smaller spare, you can put it as low as possible, giving you the maximum view out of your rear window. But if you do have a larger spare, you can move it up a little bit, giving you plenty of clearance with your bumper. You can also adjust your spare tire in and out. So, regardless of what width tire, or what back spacing wheel you're running, you can make sure everything stays nice and tight, pressed up against the tire carrier, which will eliminate any rattles or any metal fatigue down the line.
This setup does come with a third brake light mount, which allows you to use your factory third brake light. All you have to do is remove it from its current mount and bolt it in. There's no cutting, no hacking it up. So if you do ever wanna reverse this process, you can do that. And as I mentioned, you have the ability to mount a couple of Rotopax for either water or fuel right on the carrier itself. You can also purchase a Hi-Lift Jack mount that will go in this area, which is available separately. So, if you wanna put even more accessories on your tire carrier, you can do that.
But, let's talk about the big thing that separates this bumper-mounted tire carrier setup from a lot of other ones. This setup allows you to open and close your tailgate with one hand, in one motion. A lot of other bumper-mounted tire carriers first require you to swing-open the tire carrier, and then swing-open the tailgate. This has a turnbuckle system that attaches it directly onto the tailgate with this mounting plate here, so everything opens and closes in one smooth, easy motion. That is a really nice feature if you're somebody who goes camping or just uses the rear cargo area of your Jeep a lot. It makes opening and closing the tailgate a lot simpler.
Because this is designed to mount with your Smittybilt SRC or XRC Gen2 Rear Bumper, the installation is a little bit different than some of the other tire carriers out there. The first step in the installation is to remove your factory spare tire mount, which will also require you to remove a plastic trim piece from the inside of the tailgate and unplug the factory third brake light. But hang onto that, you are going to use it in this installation. After that, you can remove the block off plate from the top of your bumper, and a couple of the mounting bolts for the bumper itself. This will also require you to support the bumper with a tall jack stand. You don't have to remove the entire bumper, just a couple of the mounting points on the pats of your side to get this pivot point bolted on.
Once the pivot point is bolted in place, you can use it as a guide to drill the hole in the bottom of the frame rail and add that additional bolt for even more strength. Once that's done, it's really just a matter of bolting this mounting plate onto the tailgate itself, then sliding the tire carrier over top of your new pivot point and attaching the two together. From there, you'll attach your new third brake light mount with your factory third brake light, re-plug it in, you'll attach your tire carrier itself and make the necessary adjustments for both height and for the in and out adjustment to make sure everything is nice and tight. And you'll also install your Rotopax mount if you plan on using that for additional accessories.
The whole installation for this setup shouldn't take you more than an hour, and you won't need any specialty tools to get it done, just a good set of sockets.
When comparing the price of this tire carrier versus some of the other ones on the market, it becomes a little bit difficult. This is almost a hybrid system. This isn't a tub-mounted tire carrier that can just be run with any bumper on the market, but it's also not a bumper-mounted tire carrier system. It actually attaches to the Jeep and goes more through the bumper than attaching to it. So, there are those additional hardware pieces included.
All in all, I would say that this is a pretty good value for what you get. This system is going to be incredibly strong, it does give you mounting points for Rotopax, for a Trail Jack, and you get that one-handed opening and closing, which is a really nice feature. That, coupled with being able to use your factory third brake light so you don't have to go out and buy another one, means that this does have a lot of features that I really do like.
However, by the time you purchase this tire carrier and you purchase the bumper, either the SRC or the XRC, you are going to be at the upper end of the price range when you just compare this setup to any other bumper-mounted tire carrier and bumper. So if you're going to use the additional features, the additional mounts, and you like the one-handed tire carrier and tailgate opening like I do, I would recommend this setup. However, if you're somebody who's on a bit more of a budget or you're not looking for quite as many accessory mounts, there are other options from Smittybilt and some of the other brands on the market that will do this for a little bit cheaper.
So if you have the Smittybilt SRC or XRC Gen2 Bumper installed on your Jeep and you're looking for not only a spare tire mount but also an accessory mount, I would definitely recommend taking a look at this. The whole system is a little bit pricey, but it looks seamless and it's incredibly functional.
So that's my review of the Smittybilt XRC Gen2 Bolt-On Tire Carrier fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs, that you can find right here at ExtremeTerrain.com.
Bolt On Carrier.
Designed for compatibility with the XRC and SRC Gen2 Bumpers, this Gen2 Bolt On Tire Carrier comes from the name you know and trust, Smittybilt. If you've upgraded your factory bumper with Smittybilt and you're ready to take the next step with a custom tire carrier, look no further. It bolts directly onto your existing bumper, including the stock 10th anniversary bumper, and includes Roto Pax® and CB antenna mounts. Tuned one-handed opening operation makes this Smittybilt tire carrier a no brainer for your 2007-2018 JK.Durable Construction.
Manufactured from solid 3/16" cold-rolled steel, this Gen2 tire carrier is the perfect option to safely haul your spare while out on the trail. Finished in a two-stage textured matte black, this bolt-on tire carrier will provide rugged good looks while the frame pivot mount delivers increased strength and stability. Built-In Accessories.
Perfectly balanced and tuned for easy one-handed operation, the Smittybilt XRC Gen2 Bolt-On Tire Carrier operates with a grace that belies its hefty construction. This heavy-duty tire carrier features an integrated Roto Pax® gas/water can mount as well as a CB and jack mount for your added convenience. Straight Forward Installation.
Designed to be a bolt-on carrier, this Smittybilt Gen2 tire carrier installs easily onto your Wrangler. There is no cutting or modifications required for a direct straightforward installation that can be done within 2-3 hours.5-Year Limited Warranty.
To ensure the highest quality of their materials and craftsmanship, Smittybilt backs their products with a 5-year limited warranty. Some exclusions may apply, please see manufacturer's warranty for details.Application.
This Smittybilt Gen2 Bolt On Tire Carrier is specifically designed for use with XRC, SRC Gen2 and 10th anniversary rear bumpers mounted on 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK models, including 2- and 4-door models.
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
- What's in the Box
- (1) Bolt On Tire Carrier
- Installation Hardware
- Installation Instructions
- Installation Info
Installation Time: (approx) 2 Hours
Difficulty Level:Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
- Tech Specs
- Will it fit my Wrangler?
- JK Rubicon 2 Door - 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
- JK Rubicon 4 Door - 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
- JK Wrangler 2 Door - 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
- JK Wrangler 4 Door - 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18