At one point, I had looked into the idea of finding a frame mounted storage box that could mount below the spare tire well for tool storage. Unfortunately, it appears the closest thing only exists for pickups and it's unlikely I could adapt that and feel safe with it under there.
The next option was to find a way to maximize the space in the spare tire well, in particular, inside the spare tire rim. The big piece of foam holding the tire changing tools wasn't going to cut it.
I sifted through my ample collection of various sized tool bags I've collected to find the best fit. None made really good use of the space. I was literally fitting a square peg into a round hole.
I began researching round bags. I thought I had a good line on a round tool bag, but it appears to no longer be made. My search continued until I started to think carefully about what might be round, need to be transported and need the protection of a padded bag.
That's when it hit me: drum roll, please.....a drum case! More specifically, a snare drum case.
After consulting a few musician friends, I settled on a 14"x5.5" snare drum case made by a company called "Protection Racket". From what I can tell, they make cases that even pros rely on. I figured if it could protect a snare drum on the road, it would protect both my tools and the inside of the spare tire rim.
Because it's one big compartment, I bought a few small zippered tool pouches for small tools so they wouldn't rattle around loose in the bag.
Here is the case with the tools in it, which include the following:
- Socket set (inch and mm) with additional spark plug socket and other common deep sockets
- Compact 4 way lug wrench
- Several screw drivers
- Adjustable wrench
- Needle nose pliers
- Hex keys
- Tow rope
- Ratchet straps (pair)
- Star bits
- Large and small utility snap knives
- Electrical tape
- Zip ties
The bag fits nicely inside the rim of the spare tire. It's a bit tight due to the rather robust carry handle, but it does slide in there with little trouble. The height is no more than an inch above the height of the tire, which keeps it below the level of the loading floor over it. Nothing is going to be squashed.
I had previously bought an inexpensive door mat (all of about $2.50 at the Home Depot) to provide something to kneel or lay on when making repairs or changing a tire on the side of the road...probably in the rain...likely in the rain...definitely in the rain...
It lays over the bag and the tire.
Finally, here is the cargo area all closed up. Nothing to see here, folks....move along...these are not the tools you're looking for....
Unfortunately, the stock jack won't fit. The only way it will is at the angle provided by the foam block. So, I guess I have an excuse to buy a bottle jack that will work much, much better. That should fit in one of the bins around the tire once I move some stuff around.