Rear bar wheel carrier

Submitted: Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 13:21
ThreadID: 110208 Views:5938 Replies:8 FollowUps:14
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I am considering having a rear bar wheel carrier fitted to my vehicle.
One brand I am considering would be MCC. Could anyone who has an MCC rear bar wheel carrier please provide me with feedback.
Also interested in feedback, positive and negative, about having rear bar wheel carrier fitted.
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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 14:09

Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 14:09
I don't know how yours will be setup but I have one on my little
KIA, every time you need to open the rear door you also have to
open the wheel carrier, I know sounds a minor thing but it is a pain
after awhile. If you need one though then not much choice, make sure
it has a look to keep it open else you may end up damaging the rear door.

Cheers
Leigh

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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 15:25

Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 15:25
Make that "lock to keep it open"

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Nov 28, 2014 at 08:01

Friday, Nov 28, 2014 at 08:01
And make sure the "lock" to keep it open is strong enough for the weight of your spare tyre.

We now have a dual carrier, not MCC, and it has heavy duty struts to keep it open. Our larger set or wheels weigh 52 Kgs each. The new bar does the job superbly but the previous single carrier was a bit on the weak side.

Neither had an actual physical locking mechanism like our sons rear bar, (pin in a hole) but I do like the strut system as there is nothing else to fiddle with to get it to stay open.
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Reply By: Ken - Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 14:59

Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 14:59
K, don't have a rear carrier myself but mates with them would agree with Leigh, it can be a pain getting into the back and having to open the wheel carrier and fight it off as it it tries to eat you !
If I was getting one I'd make sure it was one that is easily removed for round town stuff.

Cheers, Ken
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 15:46

Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 15:46
Agree with Ken. What follows may just stir your creative juices.

What I did recently for our Forester was a custom job attached to the towbar. It swings DOWN to allow tailgate access. ANY type will be a PITA but a swing-down isn't going to fight you or attack the tailgate. The alternative of roof-loading wasn't considered for noise/drag reasons.

Being bolted on to the towbar in place of the towing tongue, it was easily removed once back in "civilisation". Probably isn't a solution for serious 4x4 vehicles, but worked for us - even SWMBO could easily lower and raise it. Worked a treat, never flinched on the GCR.
Description and pics in another place ....

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Follow Up By: Zippo - Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 15:47

Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 15:47
Which obviously doesn't work if you're towing!!
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 19:16

Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 19:16
I've done the same thing and if I am towing our off road box trailer, I simply place the extra spare in the trailer
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 16:00

Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 16:00
Kumunara,

We fitted a single tyre carrier, to 2 80 series wagons we had, and worked well, especially on the 2nd one, as we fitted a Longranger tank, so lost the underhung spare position.

Fitting a full bar, with 2 spares, is going to add a lot of weight behind the rear axle, so you may have some chassis dramas later on. And especially towing your camper.............

Agree with the others about PIA opening and closing, to get into the tray too. Would be 3 times as bad with 2 spares mounted there. :-). From our experiences, I'd be inclined to mount 2nd spare in the tray, or just carry an extra tyre case, in case a tyre gets destroyed.

They are a lot of money, and am sure there's cheaper, and as robust alternatives.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil H (NSW) - Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 16:20

Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 16:20
Fitted to my 1998 100 series for off road . It is a bit of a nuisance until you need to change a wheel.A few years ago we attached a twin jerry can holder to it for additional fuel rather than on roof . Removing the swing out not too hard if staying on the tar.Hope this helps.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 18:20

Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 18:20
Reminded me of a couple of pluses, Phil.

Easier to take the spare off the rear carrier than scrambling on hands and knees, on hot bitumen or powdery bull dust, to retrieve the spare from its normal abode.

Also, if you are unlucky enough to total a tyre, the remnants are easy to bolt onto the carrier, depending on how much wire is protruding from the tread.

Bob

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Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 20:35

Friday, Nov 21, 2014 at 20:35
G'day Kumunara (NT),

we have a Powerful 4x4 rear bar on the back of our 80 series. It's been excellent value for the four years we've had it on.

Me and a mate fitted in an afternoon in his driveway, so fitting is easy enough.

We can carry two spares plus the high lift jack with a extra bit I bought. On big trips I throw the second spare back underneath and fit a two jerry can holder.

We knocked up a holder for the rear work light and got that wired up for next to nothing.

Sometimes we put a tarp between the holder and the tailgate to carry firewood too.

Plus we hang our rubbish/firewood/dirty strap/skull collecting bag off it too.

If I don't want the second spare on I can take off the arm in five minutes, sometimes six.

It's been a really good value purchase.

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Reply By: 671 - Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 12:48

Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 12:48
One point to consider if you are putting this wheel and carrier onto the VW dual cab shown on your post is the weight your camper trailer is already putting on your tow ball. The weight of a wheel and carrier on the back of a car might as well be added to the tow ball because they will be right above the ball or maybe even a little further back. I noticed the specifications for your car say a maximum of 300 kg on the ball so it would appear you have nothing to worry about but that 300 kg will not be unassisted. The assistance will come from a WDH that will lever the rear end of the car up and transfer some of the weight forward to the front wheels. If you look in your owner’s handbook, it should list a ball weight cut off point above which a hitch must be used. It could be half of the 300 or maybe even a little lower.

Car manufacturers know the rear of their cars will sag when tow ball weights exceed a certain amount. Their solution is to lift and transfer with a hitch, not lift with heavier aftermarket springs or air bags and leave the weight there.

If you can not find anything in the book then contact VW, not a dealer, and ask them. To ignore this could result in the car operating outside its design limits and that could easily lead to serious damage, particularly to your chassis which is not supported along its full length by the body of the car.
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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 14:23

Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 14:23
Thanks for your reply. I am going to do a trip on the Canning Stock Route and for this trip will not be taking the camper trailer. I am looking at the rear wheel carrier as a means of taking an extra spare and two extra jerry cans.

I have had OME suspension / lift to the vehicle and the rear suspension is heavy duty so that should take it.

For other trips where I take the camper trailer I would not have the jerry cans on the rear bar but may take the extra spare depending on the trip.

I would have the extra weight of the rear bar, wheel carrier, wheel and tyre. As you suggested I will add this weight to the ball weight of my trailer and check if they are within the manufacturers limits.

Thank you very much for your advice. I had not considered this when I thought of getting the rear bar.
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Follow Up By: 671 - Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 20:53

Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 20:53
"and the rear suspension is heavy duty so that should take it."
===============================

It will certainly support extra weight but it will not transfer weight forward to the front wheels. Few people seem to realise this and it has resulted in many suffering major damage to chassis, wheel studs and axle housings even though the total weight of the car may have been a few hundred kilos under maximum.

The problem is the distance from your rear axle back to the tow ball or the end of the body/tray is a lever. As you would know, you can put a little bit of force down onto the end of a lever and lift a lot of weight at the other end of it. This is what is happening to your car. The more weight you put well back behind the axle, the more it will force the back down causing the chassis to pivot on the rear axle and lift the front. This causes the rear suspension to sag but that won’t break anything while the car is stationary. The whole scene changes dramatically when the car is in motion. You will soon see what I mean if you place a brick carefully on your bare foot then pick it up about 300 mm and drop it onto your foot. Imagine the effect on your chassis, axle housing etc. when the forces generated by a few hundred kilos way out the back about one and a quarter or more metres behind the axle come crashing down when the rear wheels drop into a depression or washout in the road. It gets worse when the end of the chassis has to catch that falling material and instantly heave it back up again as the wheels come up out of the hole.

Car manufacturers are aware of this which is why they will tell you to lift the rear up with a WDH and transfer some of the weight to the front wheels. They don’t recommend or supply heavier springs or air bags because they lift but don’t transfer weight anywhere other than straight up an inch or two.

To get an idea of how a WDH works, imagine the two bars of the hitch attached to your tow bar without a trailer. If you lifted their ends up and kept going you could not only lift all the weight off the rear axle but lift the axle up as well. The weight of the car would now be supported by the front wheels and you.

Springs can not do that. They can make the chassis sit up a little higher but all the weight that was out the back and on the axle is still there. Nothing has been transferred forward.

The next problem with all of this is a WDH can be a real menace on off road camper trailers or vans. If the car is climbing up out of a creek or whatever while the trailer is going down into it, the angle between the two could be so high that the tow bar or car could be damaged or the bars on the hitch bent beyond their elastic limit and rendered useless.

The final point is if you are not towing anything , you can’t use one which is all the more reason to pay very close attention to what you hang off the back. There is no shortage of examples of chassis damage on the net on cars that were not towing.

The question could then be asked, how do I carry all of my gear, with a lot of it having to go down the back, when I am not towing anything and can’t use a WDH? The answer is you should be towing something. A small purpose built box trailer can carry a lot of the heavy stuff. All of its weight is so close in front of and behind the axle that is does not have long heavy ends to swing around and therefore does not need much ball weight. The car should now be well under its maximum carrying capacity and miles under its towing limit.

All of this comes down to owners paying close attention to their car and trailer specifications before buying them. When you see specifications like a tow ball limit of 300 kgs, you should think now that will force the rear end of the car down considerably and have the head lights up in the trees so what is the manufacturer’s solution? There will be one if you look in the book or ask them.

The other issue to keep in mind, particularly with a dual cab, is a large portion of their carrying capacity should be in the five seats. You can’t for example have a sub 200 kg family of five up front and the rest of its capacity out the back without running into problems.

Sorry to have to bring all of this up but a road like the Canning needs 100% reliability and anything less is unacceptable. No part of the car should be overstressed.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Nov 27, 2014 at 20:22

Thursday, Nov 27, 2014 at 20:22
671,

you've got a lot of weight up front with an engine, particularly a diesel engine. A rear bar with two large tyres wouldn't weigh more than 150 kgs. A camper or caravan would have a ball weight of under 300 kgs. Plus the weight from behind the driver's seat to the tailgate.
The engine is sitting over the front axle in a lot of cases but they weigh a lot.

Just a thought.

Steve
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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Thursday, Nov 27, 2014 at 20:50

Thursday, Nov 27, 2014 at 20:50
Steve


Thanks for your reply.
I am looking at a rear bar with two jerry cans and one spare wheel.
If I had the camper trailer on I would only carry the one spare wheel as the camper has 3 jerry cans.

The ball weight on my camper trailer if approximately 100 kgs.
The rear bar I am looking at weighs 50kg. To that I would have to add the weight of the wheel and tyre.
In all the total weight would be about 200 kgs.


Tjilpi
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Nov 27, 2014 at 23:05

Thursday, Nov 27, 2014 at 23:05
We have that setup on our Landcruiser.

The bar has been on for over 4 years and we haven't had any major problems with the bar or vehicle in that time.

The picture I posted above was taken up at Mc Gowan's Island north of Kalumburu. The roads we have have travelled in that time have generally been the road less travelled, so it's been well tested.

Ours is sold by Powerful 4x4. We have the older model. Their new bar has had some changes but they are very similar.

Steve.
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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 16:18

Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 16:18
I know of 2 rear wheel carriers that don't use latches to secure the swing shut. They use a push release and shut. A hell of lot easier. ARB do one, can't remember who makes the other.
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Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 16:19

Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 16:19
Gas strutted as well.
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Reply By: bockstar1 - Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 17:34

Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 17:34
I fitted one that I purchased from 4WD Systems for my 80. I wanted to take 2 spares for a CY trip that we did in July.

Generally agree with some of the other comments, a PITA around town but I wanted because I really didn't want to be caught without a second spare.

If I was to do it again, I'd invest in a Kaymar. The 4WD systems was troublesome to fit and it isn't a gas strut meaning that it can take a bit of effort to open and close the thing. It also took 6 weeks from initial order to delivery as they don't have them made up - they make to order. I didn't take this into account when I did it and it almost missed the trip.

Needless to say, having BFGs Muds meant that the 2 spare I took had a lovely trip to the Cape and back and didn't see any action whatsoever - but I digress.

AB
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 20:39

Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 at 20:39
When we bought our rear bar the waiting time caught us too.

We ordered in December for a May pick up but checking two weeks before the due delivery date the new date was early July with no guarantee. We were due to leave in late July.

Other businesses were a minimum 6 week wait, so we bought ours 2nd hand off Ebay.
It turned out to be a great buy. Because we had been prepared to pay for a new one we had a budget that allowed us to put in a good offer and we bought a one year old bar for $600 cheaper than new.

Checking the delivery date is important.

Steve.
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Reply By: TomH - Friday, Nov 28, 2014 at 11:34

Friday, Nov 28, 2014 at 11:34
What hasnt been mentioned so far is that adding all these things onto your vehicle reduces the amount of other stuff you can carry.
Eg a 100ser Cruiser has a payload of approx 650kg depending on the model.

So weights= Fuel 135kg towball 150 kg you and mum 145kg rear bar and extra wheel 80kg = 510kg leaving 140 kg max for anything else.

In my case towball was 300kg so dramatically reduced what I could carry.

All has to be considered. We had to leave roofrack and other stuff behind to stay legal

Rear axle weight limit would also need to be observed.
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