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Published Apr. 23, 2021

If your spare tire sits on the exterior of your vehicle, then it is open to the elements and at risk from damage from dirt, debris, and changes in weather conditions. A damaged spare tire is of little use, and while it sits on your vehicle the damage is visible and affects the overall aesthetic of the vehicle. This is important when it comes to considering the resale value of the vehicle. Investing in a spare tire cover is the best way to avoid damage to your spare tire and to protect the value of your vehicle. However, with such a wide range of covers available, it can be difficult to know where to start. Our panel of automotive experts has compiled a list of the best spare tire covers to help point you in the right direction.

These recommendations are designed to make your automotive needs simpler. We made this list identifying the industry standard, compiling detailed information, and aiming to help you save on these products without compromising quality. When it comes to your ride, you want parts that can keep up with your demands; tire covers that can make your life easier.  So, sit back and scroll through these recommendations as we pave the way to the ultimate new tire covers.

The Best Spare Tire Covers

If you’re looking for a basic, no-frills spare tire cover, consider this one from Classic Accessories. The cover is available in black, fits tires that are 26 to 28 inches, and is designed for trucks, vans, and RVs. The material won’t scratch the tire and is easy to wipe clean. It also comes with UV protection to prevent the wheel and tire from sustaining any sun damage.

You simply slip the cover on and make sure the elasticized hem is secure. It is fairly snug and doesn’t flap around in the wind. The item is also water repellent and backed by a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Key Features
  • Fits tire diameter 26 to 28 inches
  • Larger size available (30 to 33 inches)
  • Slip-on fit with elasticized back hem
  • Made from a durable, water-repellent, wipe-clean material
  • Soft, non-scratch interior
  • Safe and reliable for shipping
Specification
  • Brand Classic Accessories
  • Model 75347
  • Weight 12.8 ounces
PROS

Easy to fit

Protects your tire from UV damage

The water-resistant material reduces the risk of mold build-up

CONS

The cover potentially exposes users to Di-iso-nonly phthalate (DINP)

Some concerns over the durability of the cover close to the hem

The Camco Life is Better at Campsite 27” Vinyl Cover with Elastic Hem features a colorful fade-resistant design that will make your vehicle stand out. The cover is made from highly durable vinyl, and the seams are finished with durable thread to ensure they are strong and waterproof. The cover is designed to protect your spare tire from rain, sun, and dirt and is finished with an elastic hem to ensure it fits snugly around the tire.

This particular option fits 27-inch wheels and is black with a fun design, but other colors, designs, and sizes are available. Users like that it doesn’t flap around at highway speeds. While it may be wrinkled out of the box, the material eventually smooths out. Unfortunately, it may not last more than two years, depending on the weather conditions in your area.

Key Features
  • Fits 27” diameter tire
  • Durable vinyl material construction
  • Elastic hem
  • Waterproof seams
  • Fade-resistant printed design
  • Remains sturdy during shipping
Specification
  • Brand Camco
  • Model 53292
  • Weight 1.05 pounds
PROS

Protects from sun, rain, and dirt

The weatherproof seams ensure the interior stays dry

The elastic hem provides a snug fit

CONS

Some concerns of the vinyl cracking particularly in dry, hot conditions

The ADCO 1757 Polar White Vinyl Tire Cover J is designed to fit 27-inch diameter spare wheels. The heavy-duty vinyl cover is actually available in 10 different sizes, so it is the ideal choice for any size wheel. The cover protects your spare tire from everything from UV rays to bird droppings. The interior side of the material is flannel to reduce the risk of damage to your tire from scratching or rubbing. It is designed with a hollow bead welt cord and an elasticized back that makes it very easy to fit.

Users report that it fits snugly around the tire, so the wind won’t blow it off even at moderate speeds. This also gives it a cleaner look compared to a baggy spare tire cover. It’s heavy duty, durable, and reasonably priced. However, there have been some complaints that the elastic loosens after a short period of use, causing the cover to sag. Plus, it may only last about two years.

Key Features
  • Designed to fit a 27” diameter tire (with other size options available)
  • Heavy-duty vinyl with a flannel interior
  • East to fit
  • Hollow bead welt cord and elasticized back
  • Weather resistant
  • Remains durable during shipping
Specification
  • Brand ADCO
  • Model 1757
  • Weight 1.01 pounds
PROS

The elasticized back makes the cover easy to fit and holds it securely in place

The cover is weather resistant and protects for dust, dirt, and grime

The flannel interior reduces the risk of damage from rubbing and scratching

CONS

The vinyl used to create the cover is not very thick

Some concerns over sizing and fit

The Boomerang 32” Rigid Tire Cover is specifically designed for 2007-2017 Jeep JKs and JKUs. The durable cover consists of a molded plastic faceplate and a heavy-duty vinyl band. We like the heavy-duty performance of this spare tire cover and the fact that it is easy to secure into place. Users like that it costs less than a full hardshell cover yet adds a nice, finished look to your Jeep for less money. Many users add logos for added personality.

Overall, it provides a snug fit, and it holds up well even in hot weather. Also, the sides are thick enough so the tread on the tire doesn’t show. You can even order an optional lock kit separately. One downside is that it may trap some water after it rains, and some report the fit is almost too tight.

Key Features
  • 32” rigid tire cover for the Jeep Wrangler
  • Molded plastic faceplate
  • Heavy-duty vinyl band
  • Can make off-road travel easier
Specification
  • Brand Boomerang
  • Model 5823925287
  • Weight 3.8 pounds
PROS

Perfect fit for factory installed Jeep Wrangler spare tires

Durable and easy to fit

Stays intact during shipping

Offers excellent protection

CONS

Only suitable for specific Jeep Wrangler models and spare wheel types

The ADCO 1787 Printed Vinyl Tire Cover J is designed to fit spare tires with a 27-inch diameter. For added convenience, the cover design is available in seven different sizes. It is made from heavy-duty vinyl with a hollow bead welt cord. The elasticized back makes it easy to install and ensures that it remains in place while you are on the road. The cover comes with a clear and bright flag design and is capable of protecting your spare tire from bird droppings, road debris, and UV rays.

One downside is that it can take a bit of patience to install the over. However, once it warms up in the sun, it’s simple to make final adjustments and put it firmly in place. Unfortunately, the front seams may pucker the circumference of the tire. It may also not be as thick as you’d like.

Key Features
  • Fits 27” diameter spare wheels (6 other sizes are available)
  • Heavy-duty vinyl construction
  • Hollow bead welt cord and elasticized back
  • Flag design
  • Weather resistant
  • Lightweight enough for easy shipping
Specification
  • Brand ADCO
  • Model 1787
  • Weight 5.4 ounces
PROS

Protects against weather, UV rays, and road dirt and debris

Easy to fit with elasticized back

Constructed from durable heavy-duty vinyl

CONS

The paint on the flag design fades with use

Some concerns over the quality of the stitching

The Fasmov Wheel Spare Tire Cover checks all the boxes for spare tire covers. There’s no problem with installation since this product doesn’t require any tools to set it up. The elasticized back hem provides a quick and snug fit. The waterproof backing lets you travel confidently in any weather and protects your tire from sun, rain, mud, and more. Plus, it’s easy to wipe clean or hose off if it gets dirty.

Users like the affordable price of this spare tire cover as well as its near-perfect fit. It has a generous amount of overlap to cover the tire’s tread. While it’s fairly basic in design, it looks good. However, it may retain its wrinkles, and you may need to clip or bungee it to make sure it stays in place.

Key Features
  • Made out of vinyl material
  • Fits 27 to 30-inch tires
  • Waterproof and resistant to UV rays
  • Requires little maintenance service
Specification
  • Brand Fasmov
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 500 grams
PROS

Works better thanks to corrosion-resistant material

New cover that excels in categories of protection and waterproof abilities

Keeps you free to travel on a rough road since vinyl protects against mud damage

CONS

Problem with losing elasticity over time

Vulnerable to getting scratched or punctured

The Leader Accessories Universal Spare Tire Cover fits tires from 26 inches to 28 inches in diameter, but other sizes are available. Designed in black, premium black, and white, the cover features waterproof vinyl and a soft cotton non-scratching backing. The cover is easy to install, and the elasticized back hem ensures a snug fit to your tire.

The vinyl is thick with a nice texture, and it covers the entire tire. The premium option includes straps that provide added security to keep it in place. Overall, it stays in place and protects a tire from the sun and road debris. Some users, however, have complained that the cover is a little too tight even if you order the correct size.

Key Features
  • Designed to fit tire diameters from 26 to 28 inches
  • UV and mildew resistant
  • Waterproof vinyl construction with non-scratching soft cotton backing
  • Elasticized back hem
  • Easy to install
  • Durable for sturdy shipping
Specification
  • Brand Leader Accessories
  • Model 5823925166
  • Weight 13.4 ounces
PROS

The waterproof vinyl cover protects from rain and sun damage

The soft cotton back reduces the risk of damage to your tire from road debris and scratches

The elasticized back hem ensures a snug fit and keeps the cover firmly in place

CONS

Some concern over the durability and quality of the elastic cord

The weather-resistant Bully CM-02 Large Universal Spare Tire Cover is designed to protect spare tires with diameters from 26.5 inches to 29.5 inches. The vinyl construction includes an elasticated hem for easy installation and to provide a snug fit to your spare wheel. The cover protects your tire from dirt and road debris as well as from harsh weather conditions and UV rays.

This is a well-made, inexpensive cover that protects your spare tire and makes your vehicle look good. It stays in place when you’re on the road at highway speeds or when your vehicle is sitting in inclement weather. One downside is that it may be slightly oversized for some tires. Also, the creases and wrinkles can be tough to remove.

Key Features
  • Designed to fit tires with diameters from 26.5 to 29.5 inches
  • Vinyl construction with elasticated hem
  • Weather resistant
  • Easy to fit
Specification
  • Brand Bully
  • Model CM-02
  • Weight 1.5 pounds
PROS

The weather resistant cover protects from harsh weather conditions, water damage, and UV rays

The elasticated hem provides easy installation and ensures a secure fit

Strong product design can help make shipping easier

CONS

Loosely fitting, which can cause water to pool in the cover

Some reports of the cover tearing easily with very little use

Designed to fit 27-inch diameter spare wheels, the ADCO 9757 Silver Diamond Plated Steel Vinyl Spare Wheel Cover J is designed to match the diamond-plated look on your vehicle. The cover is constructed from heavy-duty vinyl and includes elastic inside the hem to ensure a secure, snug fit. The cover is UV and cold crack treated and includes bottom drainage that helps to prevent moisture build up.

One of the best things about this cover is that it stays snugly in place in windy conditions as long as you correctly measure your tire. It’s good quality for the price and is easy to install. Plus, the material is thick and heavy. However, the pattern is only faintly embossed and not shiny. It definitely looks plastic and not metallic.

Key Features
  • Designed to fit 27” diameter spare wheels with 9 other sizes available
  • Heavy duty vinyl construction with elastic inside hem
  • UV and cold crack treated
  • Bottom drainage
  • Diamond plated steel design
Specification
  • Brand ADCO
  • Model 9757
  • Weight 1.5 pounds
PROS

The cover is easy to fit and the elastic inside hem ensures a secure and snug fit

It protects against harsh weather conditions including cold and UV rays

Bottom drainage prevents moisture build-up that can cause mold

CONS

Sizing comes up small

Some reports of tearing as the cover is fitted

Best Spare Tire Covers Buying Guide & FAQ

The main purpose of a spare tire cover is to protect it from damage; however, the right spare tire cover can actually enhance the visual appeal of your vehicle as well. Acting as partners, your tire cover helps avoid any problem with debris while adding aesthetic value. It is the ideal way to add a personal touch to your vehicle and make it stand out from other similar makes and models. In this section of the buying guide, we explore what you should look for when buying a spare tire cover for your vehicle, what the benefits are of having such a cover, and the different types of spare tire covers that are available. We also offer some tips on using a spare tire cover and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about spare tire covers.

What to Look for When Buying Spare Tire Covers

While you want your spare tire cover to look good, the color and design need to be secondary to its function and durability. It doesn’t matter how good it looks if the stitching splits as you install it or the wind blows it away the first time that you go for a drive.

The most important thing when looking at products, especially tire covers, is to gather all the information you can. This is even more true with new models. 2020 saw a lot of development in textile science, helping new tire covers work better and last longer. You’ll want to check out all the new features, and the only problem is the risk of missing out on something new and exciting which will work better. With this in mind, these are the key things to look for when buying spare tire covers:

Durable Materials

Your spare tire cover is going to take a lot of punishment. It will be open to the elements in all weathers. It needs to be made of a strong material that will withstand temperature changes, objects striking it, and being caught by the wind. Heavy-duty vinyl is a good choice as it meets all these requirements and has the added benefit of being water resistant.

Lasting ability is something that’s important to account for. As we all know, broken tire covers are a problem.  It’s a huge reason people order new tire covers is due to damage. In 2020, the most common material is vinyl, but it helps to know that it needs to be thick enough so you don’t get a problem with scratches or punctures with tire cover products.

Strong Stitching

Once in place on your spare tire the cover will be under continual strain. It doesn’t matter how durable the material is if the stitching is of inferior quality. The stitching that holds the faceplate to the sides and that creates the hem needs to be created from a strong thread that can withstand temperature changes without fraying or snapping. Look for straight stitching that is not too close to the edge of the material. Check for fraying, dropped, or missing stitches that may cause weak points to appear.

Of the categories to assess in your search, it’s possibly most important to know to look for tough, proper stitching. In order for the products to keep a good hold, without letting your tire roll free, the stitches need to be reinforced. Textile connoisseurs know that it does a service to fortify a hem with an extra layer of stitches. While, in 2020, most products are mass manufactured, it doesn’t mean that quality stitching fell off the products menu.

Waterproofing

As well as the material itself being water resistant, you need a design that is waterproof. This means checking edges and joins for potential sites where water could enter. Any break in this part would leave moisture free to make its way in. Also, check the hem and space around the hem. Can water enter here or create pools anywhere around the tire?

Among the categories you’ll encounter in your search for tire covers, water-resistance is critical. It’ll certainly make you a happy customer. Have you ever tried to pick up a tire with water in it? The water accounts for most of the weight. The good news is that, in 2020, most of the tire covers you can order have waterproof features on the menu. So long as you keep it in like-new condition (with proper maintenance), new tire covers that are waterproof will be long-lasting products and carry you far beyond 2020.

Fit

The fit of the tire cover is one of the most important aspects to check. If the tire cover is too small, it simply won’t fit. However, if you choose one that is too big, you risk it not fitting correctly causing spaces where water can enter and pool, resulting in damp and mold build-up. More significantly, if the cover is too big, it could easily be blown off or fall off while you are driving. This risks the cover becoming a hazard for you and other road users.

Tire covers are pretty easy to maintain and don’t tend to lose their fit easily. Choose products that, if they are soft, state on the features menu that they won’t lose their elastic hold. To become a satisfied customer long-term, opt for products that tout durability as tire covers should. 

Installation

Look for a cover that is easy to fit and remove. Most have elasticized hems that make them easy to position over your spare tire. They may then have clips or ties that help to keep them in place. Check the quality, materials, and durability of any additional parts as a flaw here could easily make the whole cover fail.

When looking at the menu of features for the tire covers in question, be sure that it specifically states ‘no tools required’. If not, to ensure that you’re a happy customer, stick to products that come with installation gear. Tire covers that come with all the setup equipment tend to result in higher customer satisfaction.

Over land

Benefits of a Spare Tire Cover

The right spare tire cover will offer the following benefits. A happy customer is one whose search is easy because the tire covers have a full menu of features. Don’t sell yourself short, opt for products that have all the advantages you deserve.

Weather Protection

Continuous exposure to the elements is not good for your spare tire. Temperature changes, damp, and exposure to UV rays will wear away at the rubber. Over time this can cause issues with the composition and stability of your tire, leaving you with a spare tire that is at best useless and at worse dangerous. A tire cover protects your tire from these issues and protects it from uneven discoloration.

Perhaps the key piece of information in your search is whether the tire covers in question can resist the weather. The menu of features usually includes water and dust-proofing since these traits are essential to customer satisfaction. Still, it helps to search for products that are fitting for your environment. Arid desert is different from muddy backroads, and the tire covers should accommodate that. 

Dirt and Debris Protection

Of course mud, dust, and dirt wash off, but it all adds to your upkeep time. Having a spare tire that is covered in mud also increases the risk of mold and bacteria growth that could affect the tires usefulness and performance over time. Some other dirt, such as bird droppings can also carry elements that scratch your wheel and can even carry diseases. This is much easier to deal with on a flat washable surface, rather than on your spare wheel, just as you need to change the tire on your vehicle.

It’s common for a tire cover customer to search out health and safety information. Sure, these products don’t usually showcase on the menu of features. However, it doesn’t mean the trait isn’t there. So long as the tire cover makes it easy for the customer to clean it off with products they have on hand, it should offer sufficient protection.

Security

Spare tires, particularly for some vehicles, such as Jeep spare tires are not cheap to replace. Given this, easily identifiable tires are often the target of opportunistic thieves. Buying Jeep spare tire covers helps to protect your spare wheel. Not only does it make it a little less obvious, but it means it will take more time and effort for the wheel to be removed. This can be enough to deter many thieves.

If you are unsure that the cover itself will be enough, then you can get an additional locking system to complement the tire cover. That said, most thieves do a quick search and will be deterred by tire covers. At the very least, these products can encourage them to move along. The more secure things look, the less likely someone will be to think it’s free for the taking. 

Rodent Protection

There are a wide range of little furry critters that are always on the lookout for somewhere warm and dry to sleep, something to scratch at, or even something to gnaw. Your spare tire fits all these criteria. However, using a tire cover can help block access to your tire and protect is from sharp teeth and claws.

If you’ve ever handled a pest issue, it’s helpful information that, if your tire is sealed, mice and rats can’t nest in it. A happy tire covers customers is one that doesn’t have to fish a nest out of their spare tire. Check the specs for information on the textile density during your search. The thicker it is, the less likely you will have to deal with rodents running free.

Humidity

This can cause damage to your spare tire and potentially to your vehicle as well. Spare wheel covers are a great way to reduce humidity build-up. Most new products have moisture-control features on their menu of offerings. This lets you drive comfortably in all environments. 

Customization

Adding a spare tire cover to your vehicle allows you to add a personal touch to the exterior design of your vehicle. Whether you choose plain Jeep tire covers or go for one with a unique design, it makes a personal statement. The search for new tire covers is more than looking for function, it’s about your personal style (and every customer is different). In 2020, plain tire covers were a popular choice from the menu. Perhaps it’s because it leaves you free to search out your own style and airbrush something onto it. 

Different Types of Spare Tire Covers

There are two types of new spare tire covers; hard and soft. As the name suggests the difference is in the type of materials that are used in their construction.

Hard Covers

These are created from rigid materials such as stainless steel or molded plastic; often hard covers use a combination of both. A hard cover consists of a face plate and a ring. The ring sits around the tire, while the faceplate covers the front. The ring locks the faceplate in place, keeping the whole thing secure and providing full tire coverage.

Hard spare tire covers tend to last longer and provide better resistance to mold and mildew. They also offer better security than soft covers. However, they are also much more expensive than soft covers; up to twice the price in most cases. Hard covers are also much more difficult to fit, and you may find that you need to modify your tire mount to ensure the cover fits correctly.

While these tire covers can be harder products to install, they tend to result in happy customers. In the search for quality tire covers, it’s tricky to find new models that check all the boxes. However, for durability and shear strength, this type was one of the more popular orders in 2020.

Soft Covers

Generally made from high-quality vinyl, soft covers wrap around your tire and are held in place by an elasticized hem or cord. Most higher end soft covers also have a felt or cotton interior that provides extra protection from scratches and other damage.

Soft covers are generally much cheaper and are easier to fit. However, they are likely to need replacing more often than a hard cover and offer less security. New vinyl textiles tend to be better at balancing the two features, leaving you free to get the best of both tire covers features.

Tips for Using a Spare Tire Cover

The most important thing to remember when using a spare tire cover is to make sure you get the right size. As your search will showcase, these products are almost always true to size, especially the top new options from 2020. Most spare tire covers are sized by the diameter of wheel that they fit. Remember when measuring the diameter, you need to do this from the outside edge of the tire, unless the cover states otherwise.

The features menu for new tire covers is pretty comprehensive in 2020. Thankfully, this means less upkeep. Check your spare tire cover regularly, at least once a month to look for mildew or moisture build-up. Also, check for wear and tear and remember to replace the cover at the first signs that it is beginning to fail.

Maintain your tire cover correctly by following the manufacturer’s instructions in terms of washing and general care. It might take a couple of extra minutes to service tire cover products, but it’s worth the investment. Plus, it has such a limited menu of requirements that, in order to care for it, all you need to do is wash it and let it dry.

The Jeep Wrangler

Best Spare Tire Covers FAQ:

Q: What size spare tire cover do I need?

Measure the diameter of your spare wheel from the outside edge of the tire. This will give you the size cover that you need. Check with the manufacturer’s manual if you are unsure of your measurements fall between two different cover sizes. Many tire covers account for an extra inch and usually show a size range. To get the best results with your new tire covers order, be sure to check the size first. 

Q: How do I measure for a spare tire cover?

Spare tire covers are fitted using the diameter of your spare tire. You should use a tape measure to carefully measure the diameter of the wheel from the outside edge of the tire. Ensure you measure straight across to the opposite outside edge. Alternatively, or to check your measurements, you can check the information printed on the tire’s sidewall.

Q: Can I paint my spare tire cover?

This depends on the material that the spare tire cover is made from. Most are made from heavy-duty vinyl that can be painted effectively with the right materials. If you are going to paint your spare tire cover, then take your time, ensure you plan out your design, and use the right materials for the best finish. Acrylic paints are ideal for this task and clear coat can be used to protect your design from the elements once it is finished. Alternatively, find a professional artist that can create a unique design for you and who can airbrush the design onto your spare tire cover. When you contact the artist (or order your own airbrush set), be sure to have all the information on your cover including size and material. This will help you pick the right set.

Q: How do I install a spare tire cover?

Installing a soft spare tire cover is very simple. However, it is worth remembering to take your time and not to try forcing the cover as this risks tearing either the material or the stitching. For the best results, follow these steps:
Remove the new cover from its wrapping or box and line it up with the spare tire.
Stretch the elastic over the tread, but only to around halfway across. Keep the cover as even as possible as you work it onto the tire, as this will prevent you from overstretching or damaging the cover.
Check that the cover is straight if you have a design on the cover check that this is positioned correctly.
Now gently stretch and pull the cover over the remained of the tire until you have achieved a smooth finish.
Connect any clips or addition attachments as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Your tire cover is likely to stretch over the first few weeks so you may need to adjust the fit carefully to ensure it remains tight and in place over your spare wheel.

Our Top Pick

Our top pick is the easy to fit Classic Accessories OverDrive Universal Fit Spare Tire Cover. It features an elasticized back hem that provides a secure fit over your spare tire. The cover is created from a durable, water-repellent, wipe-clean material that offers protection from the elements, including from UV damage. It also protects your tire from dust, dirt, and other debris that can be thrown up from the road surface while you are driving. This helpful service results in many happy customers. The interior of the cover is soft and non-scratch to ensure that it does not damage the tire during use or when being placed over the tire.

Source:

  1. How to Paint on Vinyl Tire Covers – It Still Runs

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