I had a spare tire mount that went into the hitch, it swung down, and was a pain in the a**, i have a trocko rack now with the tire mounted on the roof and its much better, dont even know its there. Much better. Take a look
Think it boils down to preference, a friend of mine doesn't want the rear mount since his wife DD's the rig periodically. A little harder for her to move the tire out of the way and such so he is choosing the roof.
I love the look of rear tire carriers and roof mounted tires. But the rear mounted tire always seem more "efficient" to me because when you start thinking about a lifted jeep running 33" + tires its going to be hard as hell getting that tire up and down from the roof if you need it. Where as on the rear of the vehicle its easily accessible. With this said i still went with a roof mounted spare time for a couple of reason. First reason is most rear tire carriers are extremely expensive. Second, when running larger tires you can pretty much count your rear viability out of the question. Lastly and what was the deal killer for me, is that every time i want to get into my hatch i have to open and swing that damn tire carrier. I know it seems minimal but i get into my hatch a lot and it would be a huge inconsistence. So i went with a roof mounted!
Just my .02 cents.
1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport (red) - 6.5" RC Long Arm, 33" Mickey Thompson MTZ, RC 2.2 Steering Stabilizer, 2.2 Performance Shocks, OR-FAB Rock Slider Bumper, Smitty Built XRC 8.0 Synthetic Line Winch, Kargo Master Safari Rack with HiLift, Spare tire, and Jerry Can. *TOTALED* Stupid drivers! *US Army*
rear mounted carrier would be superior IMO. less drag, easier accessability, less top heavy, protects rear of jeep, strengthens rear unibody. now if none of those matter and you want to do it on the cheap, then the roof would be a better option. i have my 33" spare sitting in my cargo area at the moment.
Completely stock, and keeping it that way...
Also thanks for that, I'm leaning towards rear carrier..
there are advantages to both, personally i love the look for both, but for the roof the wind drag is a HUGE issue to me with MPG loss. and the loss of visability on the rear is another big issue, i personally dont keep my spare with me. im rarely ever far from home as to where i couldnt have someone bring it to me. if i am going far or on a wheeling trip i may throw it in the cargo area, but even that doesnt happen much. eventually im going to be running bigger rear shocks through my floors and there will be a bar ataching both shock hoops together, and it will be mounted to that.
bu what size tires are you running? theres w thread somewhere about modding the rear seat latches up a little to clear a 32" tire, im sure a 33 aired down it would fit. im on 35's and tried to stuff that in the stock lotaction multiple ways but that was a huge FAIL
Just be indecisive like me ..... and cover all the bases ....
Either location has faults ... Its just a matter of working out which way has the least faults for your requirements.
As for the additional fuel use with a roof mount .... How many hundreds of miles are you going to travel non stop at highway speeds, to notice the difference ?? .... My little stock wheel only costs me about 1mpg on a trip - but maybe the larger and knobby tyres have more effect ??