How to Choose a Cargo Carrier That Will Clear a Rear Mounted Spare Tire or Bumper

Hitch-mounted cargo carrier on Jeep Wrangler

Many SUVs carry a spare tire on the back of the vehicle. If you want to use a hitch-mounted cargo carrier on such a vehicle, you have to make sure it will clear the spare. The following information can help you find a carrier that will work with your vehicle and spare.



You need to know two measurements:

  1. Vehicle clearance - center of hitch pin hole to outer edge of spare tire
  2. Carrier clearance - distance from center of hitch pin hole to the front edge of the cargo carrier. If you want to be able to fold up a folding carrier, you'll also need to know the distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the closest edge of the carrier in the folded position.




Vehicle Clearance

To determine the amount of clearance required for your vehicle, you need to measure it. You will need a measuring tape and a straight edge, such as a dowel rod or a yardstick.


Step 1

Positioning vertical dowel rod for cargo carrier clearance

Hold the dowel rod or yardstick vertically against the back of your spare tire, making sure that the end of the straight edge extends lower than your hitch pin hole.


Step 2

Using tape measure to get distance from hitch pin hole to back of spare tire

Measure the distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the straight edge. Be sure to form a 90-degree angle between your tape measure and your straight edge. This measurement is the minimum clearance your cargo carrier will need to clear your spare tire.





Cargo Carrier Clearance

To determine if a carrier will work with your vehicle, you need to know the distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the front edge of the carrier. If you want to be able to fold up a folding carrier, you also need to know the distance from the hitch pin hole to the carrier in the folded-up position. At etrailer.com, we list these distances in our product specs for each cargo carrier.


Cargo Carrier Measurements

Distance from hitch pin hole to closest edge of carrier in down position

Distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the front edge of the carrier in the down position

Distance from hitch pin hole to closest 
edge of carrier in up position

For carriers that fold, the distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the front edge of the carrier in the up or stored position





Compare Carriers

Keep in mind these points when considering whether or not a cargo carrier will clear your spare tire:


To easily compare the clearances of our cargo carriers, you can use the tables below, which list all our hitch-mounted carriers. If the clearance given for a particular carrier is greater than your vehicle clearance, that carrier will clear your spare tire. Choose one of the following links to see a comparison of cargo carriers within a specific category.


Folding hitch-mounted cargo carrier in folded up position


Fixed flat hitch-mounted cargo carrier
  • Fixed, or non-folding carriers


Hitch-mounted cargo carrier with ramp in lowered position
  • Carriers with ramps for loading heavy, wheeled items such as wheelchairs, lawn mowers, and snow blowers


Enclosed hitch-mounted cargo carrier




Folding Carrier Clearances

Folding hitch-mounted cargo carrier in down position Folding hitch-mounted cargo carrier in up position

Folding carriers can be folded up when not in use. When folded up, the empty carrier is out of your way, which makes parking easier and helps prevent bruised shins. A folding carrier can be especially convenient when you have to leave the unloaded carrier on your vehicle, such as when you go on vacation. In this situation you would normally unload your luggage when you arrive at your destination, but you have no place to store the rack. If you can fold it up, it's out of your way until you need to load it up again. To use a folding carrier on a vehicle with a rear-mounted spare tire, make sure that the cargo that is stowed on the rack will clear the spare and that the rack will clear when folded up.


Folding Carriers
Part Number Manufacturer Distance from Center of Hitch Pin Hole
to Closest Edge of Carrier When Folded Down
Distance from Center of Hitch Pin Hole
to Closest Edge of Carrier When Folded Up
Fits 2" Hitch Fits 1-1/4" Hitch
SR9851SportRack22"10-1/2"X
C18153Curt19"9"X
52018FSurco Products17-3/4"5"X
DZ760083DeeZee17-1/4"6"X
K2HCC602K216-1/2"6-3/8"X
C18151Curt16-1/4"6"X
59550Rola13-3/4"7"X
M2205Carpod13"7"X
M2205-01-02Carpod13"7"X
M2205-2201Carpod13"7"X
6502Pro Series13"7-1/2"X
C18109Curt11-1/4"5"X
C18100Curt10-1/2"5"X




Fixed Carrier Clearances

Fixed, flat hitch-mounted cargo carrier

Fixed carriers without cargo usually won't interfere with a rear-mounted spare because they sit lower than the spare, but stowed cargo could. You can check here to see the distance from the hitch pin hole to the front edge of all of our fixed carriers.


Fixed Flat Carriers
Part Number Manufacturer Distance from Center of Hitch Pin Hole
to Closest Edge of Carrier
Fits 2" Hitch Fits 1-1/4" Hitch
59502Rola12-7/8"X
63153Tow Ready12-3/4"X
PS1040100Pro Series12"X
SR9849SportRack11-1/2"X
C18152Curt11-1/4"X
6500Pro Series11-1/4" to 5-1/4"X
PS1040300Pro Series11-3/16" for 1-1/4" receiver
6" for 2" receiver
XX
6501Draw-Tite11" to 6"X
63154Tow Ready11"X
63155Tow Ready11"X
59500Rola10"X
HCR222Let's Go Aero10" or 4"X
59507Rola9"X
MT70422MaxxTow9"X
MT70108MaxxTow8-1/2"X
CR-114NPilot Automotive8-3/8"X
CC-100Stromberg Carlson8"X
C18150Curt7-1/2"X
C18108Curt7-1/4"X
C18110Curt6-3/4"XX
HCR215Let's Go Aero6-3/4"X
MT70107MaxxTow6-1/2"X
52017Surco Products6-1/4"X
C18145Curt6"XX
52018Surco Products5-1/2"X
M2200Carpod4"X
M2200-2201Carpod4"X
M2200-01-02Carpod4"X




Clearances of Carriers with Ramps

Hitch-mounted cargo carrier with ramp in up position
Hitch-mounted cargo carrier with ramp in down position

A carrier with a ramp makes it easy to load and unload heavy, wheeled items, such as scooters. You can check the clearances of our cargo carriers with ramps here to make sure cargo will clear your rear-mounted spare.


Carriers with Ramps
Part Number Manufacturer Distance from Center of Hitch Pin Hole
to Closest Edge of Carrier When Folded Down
Folds Up Distance from Center of Hitch Pin Hole
to Closest Edge of Carrier When Folded Up
Fits 2" Hitch Fits 1-1/4" Hitch
SC500-AL105Rage Powersports17-1/8"X8-5/8"X
SC500Rage Powersports15-1/2"X6-1/2"X
MT70106MaxxTow14"X4-3/4"X
MT70260MaxxTow14"X4-3/4"X
PS10401-10402Pro Series12"X
HCK666Let's Go Aero11" or 5"X
HCK642Let's Go Aero10" or 4"X
HCK659Let's Go Aero10" to 5"X
HCK673Let's Go Aero10" to 5"X
MT70100MaxxTow8-1/2"X
MT70275MaxxTow8-1/2"X
MSCRBrophy7"X
5801600Highland5-1/2"X
MSLFBrophyUnavailableX6"X




Clearances of Enclosed Carriers

Hitch-mounted cargo carrier with ramp in up position

Whether the box of an enclosed cargo carrier is full or empty, it will take up the same amount of space. For this reason, you should be sure to check the clearance of an enclosed carrier to make sure it will clear your spare. Some enclosed carriers allow you to remove the box and fold up the platform. Check the folded-up clearance if you want to use this feature.


Enclosed Carriers
Part Number Manufacturer Distance from Center of Hitch Pin Hole
to Closest Edge of Carrier When Folded Down
Folds Up Distance from Center of Hitch Pin Hole
to Closest Edge of Carrier When Folded Up
Fits 2" Hitch Fits 1-1/4" Hitch
M2205-01-02Carpod13"X7"X
59109Rola13"X
59110Rola12"X7-1/2"X
59108Rola10-3/4"X
HCK741Let's Go Aero10" to 5"X
HCK710Let's Go Aero10" to 5"X
HCK789Let's Go Aero10" to 5"X
HCK659Let's Go Aero10" to 5"X
HCK673Let's Go Aero10" to 5"X
HCK697Let's Go Aero10" to 5"X
HCK727Let's Go Aero10" to 5"X
TH665CThule7-1/2"XX
M2200-01-02Carpod4"X

Updated by: Raymond P.

Last updated: 7/6/18





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