Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com and this is my review and installation of the Smittybilt XRC Atlas rear bumper with tire carrier, fitting all 2007 to 2017 JKs. This piece is available with just the bumper, just the tire carrier or both pieces together. Today we're going to talk about the features, the installation and the pricing of this bumper setup. This bumper is for those of you who want a bumper tire carrier combination that can hold a lot of additional stuff aside from just your tire. This is going to have mounts for a lot of different accessories, so if that's what you're looking for I'd definitely recommend taking a look at this. This is going to be an expensive bumper and tire carrier setup and it's going to be very heavy, but again if you're somebody who's looking for a lot of features and a lot of storage, this is a nice option.
This bumper and tire carrier are made of three-sixteenths inch steel and they're covered in a two stage textured black powder coat finish. A lot of Jeep accessories are covered in this textured powder coat finish, so this will match a lot of other accessories you will already have on your Jeep and it'll also do a nice job of matching the factory plastic accents on your Wrangler.
As I mentioned, you can purchase this tire carrier and this bumper separately, but in my opinion the bumper and the tire carrier are really designed to work together and the bumper without the carrier does look a little bit funny because it has all of the mounts for it. The nice thing about being able to purchase them separately is that because this is an expensive setup you can purchase one and the other and not have to come out of pocket for the whole setup all at once.
Now having a tire carrier that's mounted to the bumper is a really nice feature. Mounting a large heavy spare tire to the factory spare tire mount can cause a couple of different issues. One, you can wear out your tailgate hinges so every time you open and close the tailgate you'll have to lift up a little bit on the handle. The large heavy spare can actually break the welds on your tailgate causing rattling. And, the factory spare tire mount is really not designed for the additional weight of a big heavy spare, so that metal can fatigue and eventually crack as well. Having a bumper mounted spare tire carrier like this will fix all of those issues.
This tire carrier, like I said before, has a ton of different features, of course the first being the tire mount. You have a bunch of different holes in the front here that you can mount your tire on, so no matter what size tire you're running you can get it as low as possible so you have the best viewing out of your back window but as high as it needs to be to clear your built in hitch. The tire carrier is also adjustable in and out, so depending on the width of your tire and the back spacing of your wheel you're going to be able to get everything nice and tight up against the carrier to keep things from rattling around.
Aside from the tire carrier, you have a third brake light bracket that's included with this bumper tire carrier setup. That will allow you to use your factory third brake light so you don't have to purchase a new third brake light and you also don't have to cut up your factory third brake light. You simply unbolt it from the factory mount and bolt it into the mount that comes with this tire carrier. Some of the other bumpers on the market do require you to cut up that third brake light which makes this whole process irreversible. I like this a lot better.
Aside from the tire carrier and the third brake light, you have a built in two and a half inch hitch which is tow rated so you will be able to pull some cargo, a light trailer, with this bumper because this does take the place of your factory tow hitch. So if you already have a factory tow hitch, you'll have to remove that to install this bumper. But don't worry, you'll still be able to move around that trailer with the hitch that's included on the bumper. Down below here you have a couple of mounts for recovery points. You can put some D-rings in there. This is going to be a very solid mount so that you can use the bumper as a winching point or as a snatch strap or tow strap recovery point.
On the tire carrier you also have a lot of other mounts and I mentioned that before. Up here you have areas that are compatible with both Molle Pal and with Rotopax so you can put water or fuel in those areas. On the back side of the tire carrier there are two spots for typical jerry cans so you can again carry fuel and water in that area. Right up top here you have a mount for a Hi-Lift jack so you have that for recoveries as well. Down in the corner you have a spot to actually jack up the Jeep. The Hi-Lift jack can be a little bit unstable, so having a spot for the jack to actually go into the bumper makes jacking up a little safer and a little bit easier.
Now, I know a lot of you guys are thinking that is a ton of weight, and it is. This bumper is really designed for that. The pivot mechanism that's over here is adjustable, so when you do add a bunch of weight onto the tire carrier you can adjust the angle of the pivot to make sure that everything still closes and opens seamlessly and without any sort of rubbing. And the latch on the other side is also different from a lot of others. This is an innovative latch system that is a little bit more complicated but actually uses a striker plate and latch almost like your door would, to open and close. Again, it just makes it a lot easier to use this tire carrier when you have it loaded down with a ton of weight.
Now, even though this is a heavy and quite frankly bulky tire carrier and bumper setup, it does install on the Jeep in a very similar way as a lot of other aftermarket bumpers. The first step is going to be removing your factory bumper which can be done by removing the two bolts on each frame rail and the two bolts on the rear cross member and then removing the eight bolts that are holding your factory tire carrier and third brake light onto the tailgate. You will have to remove one piece of trim on the inside of the tailgate in order to unplug the third brake light, but make sure you hang onto that because, as I said before, you're going to be reinstalling that onto your new tire carrier. After that you can slide the two nut plates inside the rear frame rails and then go to installing the rear bumper. It'll bolt right onto the frame rails into those nut plates that you installed. After that it's just a matter of installing the sandwich plate and the four bolts that go in the center of the bumper on the other side of the rear cross member, giving you plenty of strength for towing and for recovery.
After the bumper is installed you can install your tire carrier. Now, this does install a little bit differently than a lot of other ones on the market. A lot of other tire carriers will simply slide over a pre-existing pivot point that's on the top of the bumper. This pivot point is actually built into the bumper, so you'll install the tire carrier then install your pivot point through the top and finally that pivot plate that goes on top. That again is adjustable depending on how much weight you're putting on the carrier. After you have everything bolted onto the Jeep you can load up your carrier with a typical weighted load and adjust that pivot plate to make sure everything opens and closes smoothly. The whole process is probably going to take you around two hours by the time you have everything installed and everything adjusted properly. You won't need any specialty tools to get this job done, just some typical hand tools.
There are a few reasons that this bumper and tire carrier setup is a little bit more expensive than some of the other ones on the market. Everything from the latch to the adjustable pivot point to just all of the mounts that are built into this thing make it more expensive. That along with the engineering to get it to all fit on the back of the Jeep and the additional metal and fabrication that it takes to build this thing in my opinion warrants that additional cost. However, I realize that between the tire carrier and the bumper and the cost of those two pieces, it does put it out of some of your budgets.
If you're going to be using all of the mounts that are included on this tire carrier setup, which in my opinion is for those guys who are doing overlanding or more long term camping, you need a spot for additional fuel, for additional water, and you like this look then it's completely worth the price. This is a really well built piece. If you're just looking for something that's going to hold a larger spare tire, I would probably look at one of the other brands available, whether it be something else from Smittybilt or Rugged Ridge or even Barricade because those are going to be able to hold a large spare tire for less money than this. Again, if you need the mounts, this is worth it. If you want something simpler, we have those options available as well.
So if you're somebody who's looking for a rear bumper and tire carrier combination that is going to give you mounts for a ton of different accessories and you have the budget for it, this thing is well built, it's solid and I would definitely recommend taking a look at it. If you're just looking for something simpler, you can probably save some money and go with one of the other brands that are available. So that's my review of the Smittybilt XRC Atlas rear bumper and tire carrier, fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.
Overhaul the look of your Jeep for a more aggressive appearance with an all-black XRC Atlas Rear Bumper. The Smittybilt XRC Atlas Rear Bumper is designed for serious off-road use, and being made from steel plate it as tough-as-nails. This Rear Bumper features a hitch as well as D-ring shackle mounts for adding additional accessories. This heavy duty Bumper will last a life time. Cold Rolled Steel Construction.
Smittybilt manufactures their XRC Atlas Rear Bumper to precise specifications from 3/16" cold-rolled steel plating for superior strength and rigidity. Smittybilt then completes their Bumpers in a two stage textured black powder coat finish for long lasting durability. The D-Ring mounts are welded both inside and outside for extra strength.Bolt-on Installation.
The Smittybilt XRC Atlas Rear Bumper was designed to be a direct bolt-on replacement for your JK's stock bumper. As a direct fit replacement, this Smittybilt Rear Bumper uses all factory mounting points and requires no additional cutting, welding, or fabrication for installation. This Bumper even includes marine-grade stainless steel hardware.Recommended Upgrade.
Smittybilt designed their XRC Atlas Rear Bumper to be directly compatible with their XRC Atlas Tire Carrier - sold separately, see buy together options listed above.Lifelong Protection.
This Smittybilt bumper is protected by a limited lifetime warranty for superior coverage over time. It's the type of protection that you can depend on over time, and that should inspire confidence in the bumper itself. Application.
This Smittybilt XRC Atlas Rear Bumper is an ideal upgrade for any 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK model.
- What's in the Box
- Installation Info
Installation Time: (approx) 1 Hour
Difficulty Level:Simple installation for anyone
- 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