L&K Seims Install and Review Our ProMaster Ladder Tire Carrier

L&K Seims Install and Review Our ProMaster Ladder Tire Carrier


After watching L&K Seims interesting climbing route to the top of their van to clean solar panels on their Youtube channel, we handed off our ProMaster Ladder Tire Carrier for them to install and see how it improves their Van Life. Watch the full video for the complete install, and their honest review at the end.

The First Step To Installation: Parts Overview

When a ProMaster ladder tire carrier leaves Dark Star Offroad, it comes complete with all the hardware you need for a DIY install. These include your hinge brackets, mounting hardware, bushings, etc. 

Press Fitting Your Ladder Tire Carrier Brackets

To build your hinges, using both hands, press the bushings in to each side of the brackets as shown in the video. Next, slide the pins into the bushings. Note, these are press fit bushings: we recommend using a C-clamp, but it can be done by hand and a little elbow grease. 

Installing Your Ladder Tire Carrier Brackets

Once you have press-fit your pins into your bushings, line up your clamps and hinges using the holes. This should create a sort of "hand in hand" type of connection between the two pieces (shown below). 

Once you have aligned your clamps and hinges and clasped them onto your ProMaster door hinge, use the provided 1" hex screws and 9/16" lock nuts to complete the bracket installation. 

PRO TIP: Make sure your bolt heads are facing outward (toward the taillight) to make the install look as clean as possible. 

Now that you've installed your lower bracket, simply repeat this process to install the upper bracket. 

Now the Satisfying Part: Install Your Ladder Tire Carrier

Now that your brackets are installed, we're going to attach the ladder tire carrier to our installed brackets. 

PRO TIP: Having an extra set of hands and a rubber mallet can make this step much easier. 

Once the ladder is hanging from your brackets and aligned, use the provided 3.5" hex bolts and washers to mount the ladder to your brackets. Washers should be placed on each side of the bracket and a nylock nut should be installed to complete the mounting process. 

Once you have bolted both the top and bottom bracket to your ladder tire carrier, you should now have a functional, swinging ladder tire carrier.

This will still need to be anchored to the van, but this still gives you a nice sneak peek into how this carrier will function once completely installed. 

The Parts You'll Need to Anchor Your Ladder Tire Carrier

To build your anchor bracket, align your bushing holes with the holes on your anchor bracket. Then slide one of the provided bolts (with a washer on each side of the bracket) into the bracket receiver. Once together, it should look like the picture below: 

To complete the bracket, add an additional washer on the lower end of the bolt and add a nylock nut. Then tighten your nut. You've now built your secondary hinge point. 

Next, grab the provided carriage bolt and thread it through the square hole on the bracket. Once this bolt is in place, screw on the rubber stopper to complete the anchor bracket. 

Adding Your Anchor to Your Ladder Tire Carrier

Now that you've completed your bracket, you will need to line the hinge side up with the rear of your tire carrier. 

Once you have aligned your hinge and carrier, drop the provided bolt through but do not add the washers or nuts yet. We will be removing this bolt in the next step. 

Next, you will attach the provided double-sided tape to the rear of your anchor point bracket. 

Once your tape is installed, press the tire carrier and anchor bracket against the rear door of your van. Remove the bolt, and release the ladder carrier from the bracket to ready your rear door for anchor point installation. Once applied, it may look a little odd (pictured below) but rest assured this is the correct location. 


This bracket will look slightly tilted, but you can confirm the location by replacing the bolt in the tire carrier through the bracket as we did in the steps above. 


Drilling Your Anchor Point Holes

In order to drill the holes for your anchor point, you can now use the anchor point as your guide. Note that you may need to remove a panel or two from your rear door interior to get access to your anchor point drilling locations. 

Now, you will drill your pilot holes. Start with a smaller drill bit than you will use to finalize the install. We suggest a 1/8" bit to start. 

Drill pilot holes in each of the bracket holes of your anchor point. This pilot hole will make it much easier to center and drill through the door with your 3/8" drill bit.

Installing Your Anti-Sag Spacer

Once you have removed the interior panel of your rear door, you will install your anti-sag spacer / receiver. 

To install this piece, rotate the spacer vertically and push it up into the gap in your rear door panel. You will then need to rotate the spacer to be perpendicular to the door to align the threaded holes with your drilled anchor point holes. 

The spacer will sit in the door panel as shown above with the threaded holes facing the rear of your van. These threaded holes should line up with the holes you drilled for your anchor point bracket install. 

Connecting Your Ladder Carrier Anchor Point

Once you have appropriately aligned the spacer / receiver use the provided 1" hex bolts to attach the bracket to the spacer / receiver in the rear door panel.

Thread the 1" bolts into the receiver and tighten to secure your anchor point to the rear door of your van. 


Now, we're going to re-install the bolt we used to locate the mounting area for the anchor point. put a washer on one end and slide the bolt through the tire carrier and into the anchor point bracket (shown below). 


Add a washer and nut to the bottom of the bolt and tighten to complete the connection between your anchor point and ladder tire carrier. 

Adding Your Safety Leash

Now you may think that the carrier is installed and ready for a spare tire, but there is one more step before we're ready for that. 

To install your strap, you'll need to first pop one of the covers off of the inside of your rear door using a flathead screwdriver.

PRO TIP: Add some aluminum tape to keep the moisture out once the cap is removed from the access port. 


To start the strap install, run the provided bracket through the loop in the strap before install as shown below. 


Align the bracket with the access port and push the provided bolt through to the inside of the door panel. Attach a nut and tighten. 

Now that the strap is secured to the door we will turn our attention to the other end of the strap. 

Using the provided bolt and black U-bracket, create the mounting point bracket for your strap (shown below).

Fasten the bracket to the existing holes in the rear panel of your van (shown below) next to your taillight using the provided hardware. 

PRO TIP: There is a small bump in the body of your ProMaster above the install point. You will need to lightly thread the lower bolt of your bracket into the hole then drop your long bolt through BEFORE tightening the bracket. 

Slide the strap onto the end of the bolt and seat the bolt through both holes on the bracket. Add a nylock nut onto the bottom of the bolt and tighten to complete the safety strap installation. 

This strap allows the door to catch itself before the spare tire smashes into your rear quarter panel when the ladder tire carrier swings open. 

Attaching Your Spare Tire to the Ladder Tire Carrier

To attach your spare tire, you will need to purchase some lug bolts that are not provided in the kit. 

Once these lug bolts are installed, simply lift your tire onto the bolts and tighten your lugs down using a tire iron. And that's it! You've officially installed your ProMaster ladder tire carrier! 

Need More Install Assistance? 

If you're having trouble installing your ladder tire carrier or you want to learn more about the parts offerings from Dark Star Offroad, talk to one of our experts here! 

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