A Spare Tire Carrier on your Subaru Forester
An Overland Mod Must Have
Yes, I have a custom built spare tire carrier on my Overland Subaru Forester! I always have a lot of questions asked about this spare tire mount so I decided to share everything about it in this article. From how I DIY this spare tire carrier to the pros and cons of this convenient spare tire storage to the hitch mounted alternative. You are gonna know everything about this Subaru Forester Spare Tire Carrier, which by the way, is an awesome overland mod!
How I built my Subaru Forester Spare Tire Carrier
The Spare tire carrier you see on my Overland Subaru Forester is a custom DIY build.
My good friend Robert helped me with it and especially with the welding part!
About the design, I never wanted a custom steel bumper for my Forester. I wanted to keep my stock bumper and get a low profile and nicely integrated spare tire mount. I decided to go for a swing out spare tire carrier and more precisely a dual swing arm spare tire mount. That way, the length of each arm is shorter and it’s more convenient to use in small areas when you have to open the hatch. Plus, the weight is divided in a better way and the integration of a gas can holder is easier.
Basically, you don’t need a lot of materials to build your custom spare tire carrier for your Subaru.
So, what do you need to build you rear spare tire mount?
You will need:
- Some rectangular steel tubing
- A tire carrier swing out hinge kit (in my case the AtoZ Fabrication Tire Carrier Hinge Kit)
- One or two locking latch
- You can also find a spare tire carrier builder’s kit which includes everything’s mentioned, except for the tubing.
- And obviously you will need all the tools to cut and weld everything together.
After that it’s only measurements, cuts and welds! The best place to strongly bolt your custom spare tire carrier to your Subaru is directly to the frame of the car, where the hitch receiver is bolted.
Here you have a detailed view of how my custom spare tire carrier is mounted to my Subaru Forester
Something you will have to be careful of is to not block the tail lights for obvious safety reasons but also to not block the opening of the hatch! Indeed, the design of the Subaru Forester’s hatch does not leave a lot of room for the wheel carrier and the fitment is pretty tight.
Watch the step by step DIY video of my spare tire build!
PROS and CONS of a Spare Tire Carrier on your Subaru Forester
The rear tire mount is an important mod for your Overland Subaru so you better really think about it before getting one.
Plus, if you don’t build it the DIY way, it can be pretty expensive.
So, to help you decide if you should go for the carrier or not, I put together this list:
Pros of a Rear Spare Tire Mount:
- The Spare tire is easily reachable compared to the roof or the spare tire well (even more with gear on top)
- It gives you more room on the back for gear storage, the spare tire well can be used for gear storage aswell
- While you’re at it, you can add a gas can holder to the spare tire carrier
- You can mount recovery boards and/or a trasharoo to the spare tire
- It can be use as a reversing camera! You are gonna know when you hit a tree or a wall (been there, done that)
- It looks BAD ASS!
Cons of a Spare Tire Carrier:
- The spare tire is under the sun (but a spare tire cover could easily resolve this problem)
- More weight on the back
- Less visibility in the rear mirror
- The vehicle becomes longer
- You need more space on the back of the car to open the spare tire carrier in order to open the hatch (exemple: at a grocery store with a wall behind you)
- The spare wheel is gonna be easier to steal or vandalize
At the end, I would say that if you feel the NEED for a spare tire carrier on your Subaru is that you probably really need it and should get it.
Rear Hitch Mounted Tire carrier : The Alternative
If you don’t have the time or the skills to build a custom spare tire carrier for your Subaru or if you don’t have the budget to make it custom built by a fabrication shop, you still have a solution!
And this solution is a hitch mounted spare tire carrier
You probably understood: all you need to get a rear hitch tire carrier is… a hitch receiver! And there are several brands out there !
You can check the following ones:
Check out the Rigid Armor Drop Down Hitch Carrier on Joshua’s awesome Forester! You can follow his buid on IG:
The price range is from $500 and up to $1500.
The advantage of this solution is the versatility of it. If your Subaru is your daily drive but also your overland vehicle you may not want something permanently mounted to the back of it. So, with the hitch mounted spare tire carrier you will be able to mount it for your adventures and then, remove it for daily use. That’s pretty convenient!
After Many Years... What do I think about my Spare Tire Carrier?
Honestly, the spare tire carrier is my favorite mod of my overland Subaru Forester!
Indeed, I needed all the space of the spare tire well and the cargo area. Plus, the roof of my Subaru Forester was taken by my roof tent.
So, the spare tire holder was my only solution! And after many years of use (and abuse!) I can sincerly say that all the pros of a spare tire carrier are way stronger than the cons. It is definitely an overland mod must have for your Subaru Forester!
I love DIY stuff, so to make a custom spare tire carrier was pretty logical to me but I couldn’t have made it without my good friend Robert from Dragonriders Travel (thanks again!)
So, custom built or hitch mounted one… I think you really should consider a spare tire carrier!
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