It used to be you’d rarely see a Land Rover Defender without a spare wheel mounted on the bonnet. It was one of the most distinctive things about Landies, right up there with the boxy front fenders and rattly windows.
As iconic as the Land Rover spare wheel mount is, though, it does have its problems. For a start, it doesn’t do a lot for visibility. Slapping a big tyre right in front of the windscreen instantly cuts forward visibility from pretty good to average at best, and that’s bad news. On road it doesn’t make a lot of difference; your sight line is high enough that you can see the traffic in front no problem. The trouble is, once you get off road it’s not so great. Especially if you’re rock crawling or crossing rough ground, you want to be able to see as much of what’s in front of you as you can – and the closer to the front wheels you can see, the better.
A popular alternative is to mount the spare wheel on the rear door, but we’re not fans of this. It works fine if your Land Rover spends its life on roads, but once you start playing on rougher ground it can cause problems – and even some serious damage. When the vehicle is bouncing up and down that heavy wheel and tyre is putting a lot of stress on the door, and things can easily get bent out of shape.
A much better solution is to fit one of our Front Runner spare wheel carriers. This is a rugged steel mount that bolts onto the back bumper and rear body panel, taking the weight off the door. Three bolts with heavy duty spacers hold your spare securely in place until you need it, then give you easy access when you do. The carrier swings easily out of the way when you need to get the door open, and can be locked in position to keep thieves from grabbing your spare.
Front Runner are experts in off road equipment – their products are made to cope with the harsh terrain of South Africa, which can be even more demanding that Australia. All their gear is well made from top quality materials and shows amazing attention to detail. This spare wheel carrier kit is no exception.