Rear wheel carrier latch question

Bronco1

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I have a 2011, and I’m about to do wheels and tires, and I want to add a rear tire carrier, but I have a very specific question.

Between, the Tactical 4x4, the TerraFirma, and the Voyager, which one has the best/easiest latch for daily driving? We will be taking this truck into the mountains of North Carolina, but let’s face it, the majority of time, I’ll be driving it as my daily, and that means grocery runs, kid stuff, and taking the dog places, which means I’m in and out of the rear quite a bit. I had a Disco 2 where the tire was mounted on the door, so there was no issue. I also had an old Bronco, but it was a factory carrier and had a very convenient handle for unlatching it.

I don’t really care if I have to replace the bumper or not, so that’s not really a decision maker, and they all look visually the same, so I think it’s all coming down to the latch system. Which is the most convenient? Thanks for y’all’s help!
 

djkaosone

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I have the Terrafirma one and it's nice. The strut definitely was a nice touch to help swing out and keeps it there, but it only swings out about (guessing) 95°.

The latch is simple enough that my wife and kids can latch/unlatch it. I put a tiny pin in it to keep it from accidentally popping out, never an issue. It's easy enough for daily access.

The tire carrier doesn't have a weight capacity limit. I have an email thread with a vp level at Terrafirma and Lucky8 with me field testing a full 15 gallon fuel tank and a 255/70r17 KO2 spare tire hitting the trails hard without any issues. I didn't get any compensation or anything.

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djkaosone

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BMW style 130 and the tires are KO2s 255/70r17. Got a hellova deal on it, about $1300 for 6x installed with hazard a few years ago.
 

greiswig

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I find the Tactical 4x4 one a little fiddly, because it's a U-bolt mating up to a hook. But it works well and is very secure. It's fiddly enough that if I can get stuff into the back via the rear passenger doors, I'll do that instead. But it's a good tradeoff.
 

Bronco1

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I find the Tactical 4x4 one a little fiddly, because it's a U-bolt mating up to a hook. But it works well and is very secure. It's fiddly enough that if I can get stuff into the back via the rear passenger doors, I'll do that instead. But it's a good tradeoff.
That’s very valuable information. Honestly, I was looking at the Tactical, but the latch scares me. I have car seats in the back, so that’s not really an option.
 

AdventureTim

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Avoid the Voyager one at all costs -- their products are poorly made. I have spent as much as the swing arm cost just fixing it up.
 

AdventureTim

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Oh really??? What has all broken on it? I was also looking at them for sliders.
A bunch of problems:
1. They don't rust prep the steel before powder coating. All it takes is a small chip and rust will begin to form on the steel. Unlike with paint, rust propagates quickly under powder coat. I just had the whole arm sandblasted and powder coated by a reputable firm who added a zinc layer underneath to prevent this from happening.
2. The three studs that mount the wheel did not arrive square. The studs are simply bolts that are welded to a plate, and they were likely insufficiently supported while welding and shifted during cooling. When I contacted Voyager about this after purchasing they recommended I "bash on them with a heavy piece of wood."
3. The implementation of the gas spring is a joke; they use a cheap gas spring that has flat flanges on each end. It is attached to the vehicle and arm by a standard threaded bolt with two nuts acting as a locknut. The mount point on the arm itself is a tack-welded nut. I have since replaced this with a quality gas spring from McMaster with ball ends, and have proper pivots on each side.
4. The installation instructions are equally terrible. They supply JPGs without any scale or reference; you're forced to try and figure out where to drill holes in your bumper.
5. The installation bolts, used to affix the frame to the bumper, are cheap, coarse threaded machine bolts. A quality, fine thread bolt is not much more expensive -- just a continued disappointment to the whole kit.

Ironically (given your first question), the latch they use is actually fantastic. It's one of my favourite parts of the whole kit.

If you're considering one, my advice would be to purchase one uncoated at a discount (so that you don't need to have it stripped) and get it powder coated yourself, after you address the issues mentioned above. Now that I've sorted them out, it's actually a decent swing arm.
 

greiswig

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That’s very valuable information. Honestly, I was looking at the Tactical, but the latch scares me. I have car seats in the back, so that’s not really an option.
If you haven't seen how it works, let me know before you decide against. I can try to get a video of it or something. Even if you're having to get in and out a few times a day, the design may not be bad enough to totally discount their bumper. It is a beast!
 

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