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How to Install a Spare Wheel Carrier on a Van

A spare wheel carrier is an absolute necessity for a van. Many vans will already have a spare wheel carrier installed (likely underslung to the bottom of the van) - but some will not. The previous owner of my van snipped off the spare wheel mount so I decided to do a DIY job and install one on the backdoor (added bonus: it looks badass!). Oftentimes, the spare wheel will be exposed to the elements and you will need to install a spare wheel cover. In this guide I will show you the simple approach to installing a spare wheel carrier on your van!

I'm Shane, I've been teaching people to convert campervans for many years, I'm the van conversion instructor at Udemy, author of The Van Conversion Newsletter, and the proud owner of a beautiful self-build campervan called Beans. So let's jump in and have a look at how to install a spare wheel carrier (and spare wheel cover) on your van!

How to Install a Spare Wheel Carrier on a Van

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Supplies List 🛒

Bosch power drill

​Bosch power drill (800W)

For driving and drilling

Heavy duty nuts and bolts

Bosch ratchet set

Ratchet set

For nuts & bolts

​Hammerite metal paint

For protecting bear metal from rust

Sikaflex 522

spare wheel mount

​Spare wheel mount

Sheet metal

​Sheet metal

Backing flange for the mounting bracket

Backing rubber

How to install a spare wheel carrier on your van

NOTE: Be careful which spare wheel carrier you buy - they are not one-size-fits-all. They vary from three, four, or five bolt, with different diameters between the bolts. So do a bit of research on what your spare wheel size is. There is a fantastic website called which will give you all the information on which spare wheel carrier to buy for your specific van.

1. Place the spare wheel carrier against the back door and mark the four drill points with a pencil

2. Drill pilot holes into each of the four points

Drill spare wheel mount van

3. Apply metal paint to the exposed metal to prevent rusting

  • Ensure you clean up the metal shavings too!

4. Place the spare wheel mount against the metal sheet (backing flange) and mark the four drill points with a pencil. Then drill those points

  • The metal backing plate is so that the weight of the spare wheel carrier is more evenly distributed, rather than solely hanging on the door.

  • My spare wheel carrier didn't come with a metal backing flange, so I went to my local DIY shop and picked up some sheet metal.

Drill backing flange spare wheel

5. Attach the spare wheel carrier to the door of your van

  • You will need some thin foam and a metal backing plate to attach the spare wheel carrier to your van

  • The foam is for shock absorption and for preventing any scratching to the metal of the van. It also adds a waterproof seal to the van.

  • If your spare wheel carrier didn't come with foam, you should be able to pick some up from your local DIY store.

  • In terms of layers, it should be: spare wheel carrier, foam, van door, foam, backing plate

  • So go ahead and put the spare wheel carrier up against the door and pop your bolt right through all those layers.

6. Add some sealant around the bolts

  • Before you fully tighten the bolts down, add some sealant to be 100% sure it's waterproof!

  • You can fully tighten the bolts

7. Attach the spare wheel to your van

  • Careful - it weighs an absolute ton! I had to get my Pa to help out.

  • You can easily bolt the spare wheel to the spare wheel carrier.

  • I also bought a spare wheel cover for the spare wheel to prevent rusting of the metal on the spare wheel.

Putting spare wheel on spare wheel mount


I hope you found this guide to installing a spare wheel for your van conversion useful! You are well on your way to a beautiful self-build campervan!

Don't forget to subscribe to The Van Conversion Newsletter for everything you need to get started with your own van conversion.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Metalwork guides. Related articles include: Van ladder installation, solar cable entry installation, Bulkhead removal.

If you're converting a van but unsure of how to do it, you could also check out the Van Conversion Course on Udemy. In the course, you'll learn directly from me how to convert a van into your dream home - no prior experience needed!

Until next time,

Shane ✌️

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