I've not had good luck with my tire carrier, and the stock setup was silent, and simple to get in and out of the back. That's why I was wondering about the adapter, that raises the tire and spaces it out a bit. No doubt the sheetmetal on these Jeeps is paper thin, I would consider a tailgate cover but I don't like the looks, and definately don't want to be drilling holes in the sheetmetal, it's so thin any rust taking hold would trash the panel.
What would be nice is an aftermarket rear door, a beefy one, with an integrated higher mount carrier for larger tires. That should be quiet, only one door to open for access like stock, and make bumper designs easier and more varied. But I'm sure that would be too costly to produce, so we have what we have.
I'll probably get the adapter, and take the tire off for wheeling.
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