Vanagon – hatch mounted spare tire carrier

Last spring I finally gave up on my swing away tire carrier project. I couldn’t get it stiff enough for my liking. I’ll post something about that fandango and my new front bumper later. The stock location for the spare was taken over by the big assed battery so I have been using a paulchen rack to carry my spare. I really didn’t like that and last week I made a quick and dirty aluminum ladder type rack to carry the spare. I’m going to give it a bit of testing before clean up and painting, then I will post more on construction details etc.



  1. #1 by Stephane on September 11, 2015 - 12:14 am

    Hello fellow vanagon driver. Looking at your rear mounted spare tire I was wondering if you know that the spare tire plays a great role in protecting you when in its original location?

    • #2 by albell on September 11, 2015 - 7:57 am


      I’ve heard that before but never seen any documentation to back it up.

      I seriously doubt it is true, for the following reasons:

      – no mention in any VW publications
      – no warnings in owners manual that one has to keep a properly inflated spare in stock location at all times
      – VW did sell a hatch mounted spare tire carrier
      – the unbelievable idea that a car maker would integrate a routinely removed item in the vehicle crash structure.

      Nope, I don’t believe a spare tire is required in the stock location for crash protection.



  2. #3 by Carl on January 4, 2016 - 3:26 pm

    Not sure where to post this comment. So I’ll try here! I have a Paulchen rack I use to carry my mountain bikes. The only problem is that the tray is not wide enough to fit my mountain bike tire. So I am constantly deflating my tire to wedge it into the rack. Is it possible to measure the width of your tray? I am wary of purchasing a whole new rack system, and the system is function. Just trying to figure out if I should be dedicating more effort to try to scavenge spare parts for another Paulchen rack. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • #4 by albell on January 6, 2016 - 10:55 pm


      Sorry about delay in response. I’m still having some issues with comments.

      I measured the trombone on my paulchen and its 2 1/6″ inside measurement. I barely manage to get the tire on my mountain bike in that space.



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