One of the first mods for any Jeep Wrangler owner is a lift and bigger tires. That eventually brings up the dilemma of where to mount a full-size spare tire. The most obvious choice is to put it right where the factory spare was. The problem is that mount wasn’t designed to handle the increased weight of a larger tire. It might work in a pinch, but eventually more weight on it will cause the tailgate to sag and deform. Beat on your Jeep hard enough and the whole thing can snap off. Having our spare tire bounce down the trail (or worse…the freeway) isn’t our idea of a good time.

A solution to this problem is Rugged Ridge’s Spartacus HD Tire Carrier for the Jeep Wrangler JL (a JK and TJ version is also available). The stock tire carrier only bolts into the tailgate placing the load directly onto it. Rugged Ridge’s Spartacus HD Tire Carrier bolts into both the tailgate and to its hinge mounts. This ties it into the rear quarter panel distributing weight better across a wider area. The Rugged Ridge mount is also a lot beefier than the flimsy factory piece. Made from precision die-cast aluminum, it is lightweight but strong. The forged steel hinge brackets and hardened steel pins also add to its strength. And, we would say that it looks good too.

The Rugged Ridge Spartacus HD Tire Carrier is also easy to use. The tailgate opens up just like it does with the factory setup. You don’t have to unhinge and swing a tire carrier out of the way first like with some bumpers. It is also easy to install and works with most aftermarket bumpers. Let’s take a closer look.