So, this summer I installed a Explorer rear axle with a Aussie locker. Now, with that type of locker, there is no way I can run a smaller spare tire. I decided to get a pre-runner type carrier for inside my bed and a full sized spare. Looking around the internet, I saw that there werent very many options. You have the Fabtech which is a great company but their carrier is not removable and it seems kinda cheep. The next level up is a Ratcage. Sort of expensive but well made and available in many options. If you had unlimited cash, there is the tiregate. This is a very cool product but for around $800-$1000+, it was way out of my price range.
I decided on the Jeeper series Ratcage because it's made for a smaller truck which is perfect for our Rangers. After looking at the different on-line stores that carry the Ratcage, I saw a huge difference in prices so I decided to order directly from the Company. It was later in the day when I called so I thought they may be closed but I was able to get somebody. I didn't get his name but he was very knowledgeable about the product and I think he may have even been the owner. We talked a while about the carrier and the different options that were out there. He was a great guy, was very honest, and easy to talk to. I even told him about this site which he already knew about and even expressed interest in giving a discount to a group buy. He also gives discounts to "service" workers like firefighters, police, military, etc.
So I ordered my carrier which was in stock and shipped from NY. I received it in good shape and packaged well. When putting it together I ran into two problems. First, the hardware was missing. Normally this would have been a big deal but I like to use grade 8 bolts whenever I can so I didn't even bother contacting the company. Second, it is nearly impossible to get all four legs even. I was able to get them close and I would use washers to make it perfect during the install. Once together the carrier seems very strong. I was told by the person I talked to at the company that some people have even used this carrier off-road to drive on to make for a better approach angle. I don't think I will ever be doing that but, he also said that he never received a returned Ratcage because of damage. The carrier is removable by taking out four pins and the whole assembly comes out.
Installation was very easy. You need to drill two 7/16 in. holes for each foot. Then bolt down the brackets and put the carrier in. You will need to buy your own hardware for this considering each truck is different. There is nothing in the way of drilling the holes in a Ranger because the Gas tank is dropped down away from the floor of the bed by at least 6 in. Everything went smooth and I think it looks great.
If you are interested, here is their site: http://www.rat-cage.com/
Because of the weather, I was able to get great pics but, here you go for now.