Spare Tires

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Gone_xtrkn

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So far from what I’ve seen on this site almost everyone recommends carrying at least one full size spare. Those of us with small rigs have to be very conscious of space and weight, what do you use for a spare and how do you carry it?

My Crosstrek came with a compact spare and the compartment won’t fit a full spare without alteration. I turned the spare compartment into the trunk into a gear locker and had a hitch-mounted carrier fabricated by Detours of Maine Overland Solutions. Only weighs 19lbs and Takes 5 minutes to install. I usually leave it in the garage unless I’m planning a trip and will just toss the spare in the back for the commute to work.
 

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eriefisher

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I'm just in the planning stage right now but I will either have something like yours or a roof mount??? I have a full size truck and the spare is under the bed. I don't know yet if the space will accommodate a larger tire or not but I really don't like/want it under there. I may also be building a trailer. If that happens then the spare will be carried there if needed. If I do build the trailer I may just carry 2 tires or 1 complete spare and one tire. We'll see. Larger tires are pretty easy to swap right on the truck without having to remove the wheel. Also, I plan on carrying a repair kit. Anything from plugs to patches and glue.
 
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eriefisher

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The standard spare is the same size as the others. I wouldn't dream of anything other than the same size. The standard mounting is on the rear door. Works perfectly.
Yes of course. I meant when you upsize all the tires not just the spare. I'm just not sure how much bigger I can go under the bed where the stock location is. Like you mentioned you needed to relocate yours from inside the vehicle.
 

Alanymarce

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Yes of course. I meant when you upsize all the tires not just the spare. I'm just not sure how much bigger I can go under the bed where the stock location is. Like you mentioned you needed to relocate yours from inside the vehicle.
Oh OK understand now.

Our tyres are basically one size up from standard, and fit the wheel wells with no problems - we don't want to go any bigger - this adds mass (unsprung), increases stress, is less easy to work with if changing wheels, and is more expensive. That's not to say that bigger tyres are unsuitable for you, simply that we don't have any reason to increase size.

Our standard spare wheel location is the rear mount, which is more convenient than below the vehicle (and a lot more convenient if you need to change a wheel when in deep mud or sand). The increase in size of the spare tyre is also within the size limits of the standard spare wheel cover. I like this position, it's protected from mud, grit, sand, etc.,and a lot easier to get to and remount.

Hope you find a good solution.
 

El-Dracho

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So far from what I’ve seen on this site almost everyone recommends carrying at least one full size spare. Those of us with small rigs have to be very conscious of space and weight, what do you use for a spare and how do you carry it?

My Crosstrek came with a compact spare and the compartment won’t fit a full spare without alteration. I turned the spare compartment into the trunk into a gear locker and had a hitch-mounted carrier fabricated by Detours of Maine Overland Solutions. Only weighs 19lbs and Takes 5 minutes to install. I usually leave it in the garage unless I’m planning a trip and will just toss the spare in the back for the commute to work.
That looks like an interesting solution to carry a fullsize spare tire in a small rig. Have never seen something like that before! Intersting! Thanks for sharing!

I am ususally carrying one fullsize spare plus a comprehensive tire repair set and some tire valves. On long distance trips I add a tube to the spareparts box and two tire levers.
 

IceBear505

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That looks like an interesting solution to carry a fullsize spare tire in a small rig. Have never seen something like that before! Intersting! Thanks for sharing!

I am ususally carrying one fullsize spare plus a comprehensive tire repair set and some tire valves. On long distance trips I add a tube to the spareparts box and two tire levers.
I also recognized that a smaller, emergency spare was not an option for anything strenuous. In fact, Subaru makes a point that the temporary spare is only to be installed on the rear wheels, which is probably where most of the rig weight is during a camping or overland trip. Bottom line, it's possible, but suboptimal to rely on a temporary spare. Carry a tire repair kit (I found one at Harbor Freight for about $5, but better quality and more thorough kits are out there) and a full sized spare. Ideally, lower is better. I opted for the Wilco Hitchgate Solo because it's an out of the box solution (although the lug pattern for smaller rigs can be a challenge) and it gets the tire completely out of the way.

Wilco Hitchgate Solo ready to roll
Wilco Hitchgate Solo wide open

They aren't "inexpensive" (cost), but they aren't "cheap" (quality) either... and there are plenty of options that are also helpful for small rig shortcomings (horizontal space and external storage options like Rotopax).
 
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IceBear505

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Oh OK understand now.

Our tyres are basically one size up from standard, and fit the wheel wells with no problems - we don't want to go any bigger - this adds mass (unsprung), increases stress, is less easy to work with if changing wheels, and is more expensive. That's not to say that bigger tyres are unsuitable for you, simply that we don't have any reason to increase size.

Our standard spare wheel location is the rear mount, which is more convenient than below the vehicle (and a lot more convenient if you need to change a wheel when in deep mud or sand). The increase in size of the spare tyre is also within the size limits of the standard spare wheel cover. I like this position, it's protected from mud, grit, sand, etc.,and a lot easier to get to and remount.

Hope you find a good solution.
Another important consideration is tread type and wear... what performance aspect to you want from the tire? Bigger doesn't always translate to better. Often the unsprung weight leads to either premature wear (and damage) to stock suspension and drivetrain components and systems, or forced upgrades to these systems. You have to think of tires as part of the overall vehicle system. For some of the smaller rigs getting attention for "soft road" or "off road" use traction is likely more important than size. The right tread upgrade from all seasons to all terrain or mud/snow may provide better driving characteristics over just size alone. Or, when upgrading you may be contributing performance enhancement to size when in reality it is due to having the right tread and traction. Consider what you need with regard to performance: what are the conditions and terrain you need first, then consider size. You're gonna have to make the tread decision eventually anyways...

If you need size to increase clearance tires can help, but you're probably going to get better clearance by proper suspension mods and articulation (which may help the unsprung weight problem with upgraded tires).

Tire manufacturers have recognized the need for lighter (less unsprung weight) but better performing tires. Many are offering smaller CUV type tires (such as the Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail series that I upgraded to on my '18 Crosstrek) as a way to increase performance but maintain the OEM weight (within reason) and on-road performance characteristics.
 

MegaBug

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While towing I have a fair bit of tongue weight so move the spare to the front of the roof rack. I'd rather not have the weight so high but prefer the forward location. When wheeling unencumbered I leave the spare (full size) under the back in its stock location. Access isn't great there but it helps offset the weight of the ARB front bumper. Always thinking about weight distribution, and the spare is significant.