A New Home for the Spare Wheel

11 10 2014

The original position for the spare wheel in a T2b Volkswagen microbus is upright in the rear left, in a section that protrudes downwards into the engine bay. But with the rock-and-roll bed this now takes away too much bed space. In the panel van it is stowed away under the passenger front bench. Does not work anymore when there is a walk way to the back of the car. I very much like the look of a kombi with a spare wheel on the front, and a previous owner had one installed and got it registered in the car’s official paper work. (Not easy nowadays – the technical surveillance (TUEV) in some German states refuses to accept this modification because crash tests showed it increases the risk of injuries in a frontal crash.) But when I bought Taiga Lily, another previous owner had worked really hard to close those holes on the front again and to give her a new paint job. And I now got a bit attached to the clean and simple look of a front without a spare wheel.
So this year I tried something new and put it on the roof. My roofrack is a pretty solid (and heavy) steel-and-wood construction. Not as elegant as the original one from Westfalia which all the cool kombis have, but way more affordable. I bought it in 2006 from some German distributor, but it turned out they had imported it from JustKampers in the UK where you can still get it (Part number J12629).
It looks pretty cool but the wood suffers from sun and rain. So every two or three years I sand off the loose paint bits and give it another layer of clear varnish. I found a bay window front wheel holder on Ebay and some matching wheel bolts at a local workshop and used both to fasten the wheel securely to the roofrack. On came a plastic bag, and on top an old spare wheel cover I borrowed from our second bus. And there we go!

Front wheel holder after sanding and a coat with rust converter.

Front wheel holder after sanding and a coat with rust converter.

And after adding a layer of primer and a final layer of white.

And after adding a layer of primer and two coats of white.

Wheel holder attached to the roofrack.

Wheel holder attached to the roofrack.

Spare wheel in its new position!

Spare wheel in its new position!


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2 responses

12 10 2014
Greg

’tis interesting that the TÜV rule on such precise details. As you have no doubt seen there are a lot of T2 transporters here, in Australia, carrying the spare wheel on a bullbar… Anyway I like your solution. I have been trying to resolve the same myself and have a spare (actually a spare spare) strapped to a (Sopru style) roof rack. Might investigate this further. The only thing, though, is to make sure it can be easily unloaded without a ladder!

31 07 2015
Getting ready for the summer! | Campervan Crazy

[…] kitted out: The bike rack and roof rack re-emerged from the cellar and went onto the van. With the spare wheel now on the roof, my beloved roof box with stickers from former camping trips does not fit there anymore. So this […]

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