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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All. I've just spent over 3 hours reading posts looking to answer my question below. Either I missed the answer or it didn't exist in any of the hundreds of posts I read. Here's the background: I have 2011 Limited V-6 with an original VIN tag tire specification of 225/65R17 including the full-time spare on the back door under a stock, color coordinated hard spare tire cover.

I have already replaced the original OEM sized tires once with upsized 235/65R17's without any issues whatsoever. However, last time I did not replace the original steel mounted 225/65R17 spare tire and I know this could pose a problem if I ever had to use the spare and mix it with the larger sized tires. Now I wish to replace all 5 tires (including the spare) and make them a uniform 235/65R17 sized tire.

My question to those who know for sure is: Will a 235/65R17 tire (Michelin Defender LTX in fact) fit under the rear, spare tire hard cover? I want all 5 tires to be the same size and if a 235/65R17 tire doesn't not fit under the factory, rear spare tire hard cover, I'll have to go back to using the factory spec'd 225/65R17 size again.

I can't believe the number of tire/spare cover threads that exist and yet I could not find a definitive answer to this question. All help appreciated.
 

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Since you have the Limited it means you have a full hard tire cover. It does not stretch so it is probably not going to fit since the difference is 1/2 inch in height. The spare cover may fit differently so I don't really know how much gap there is but the only way to find out for sure is take one tire off and mount it with the spare tire cover. Another problem is tire thread depth can vary with different manufacturer so the diameter may be slightly off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
UPDATE: I just came back from my local tire dealer (Kal Tire). I took the RAV's spare tire hard cover into the showroom and played with a couple different sizes of unmounted tires just to see how tight the fit may be. I was able to place the 235/65R17 Michelin Defender T+H (not the Defender LTX tire) into the hard case spare tire cover while it was laying on the floor. The fit was tight and there was very little room between the tire tread and the hard case's mounting clips to easily slide and connect the corresponding clips on the door mounted tire holder.

By comparison, there is about 1/2" of room between the tread and mounting clips on the OEM sized (225/65R17) mounted spare tire on the back door when I returned the hard cover to the vehicle. This makes it easy to slip the hard cover back into place and button it down.

After playing with things for a while I decided that going back to the 225/65R17 OEM size would keep everything consistent including my original 225/65R17 Toyo spare ... and ... my 225/75R16 winter Hakka's. Also, going back to the 225's vs. the 235's was also substantially cheaper by nearly $40 per tire. Go figure. So I can not definitively say that the 235's won't fit the hard cover, but ... I will say it was very tight and I wasn't going to take the risk of having it not fit with a fully mounted tire or have the hard case retaining clips break because I tried to forced them to fit.
 

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UPDATE: I just came back from my local tire dealer (Kal Tire). I took the RAV's spare tire hard cover into the showroom and played with a couple different sizes of unmounted tires just to see how tight the fit may be. I was able to place the 235/65R17 Michelin Defender T+H (not the Defender LTX tire) into the hard case spare tire cover while it was laying on the floor. The fit was tight and there was very little room between the tire tread and the hard case's mounting clips to easily slide and connect the corresponding clips on the door mounted tire holder.

By comparison, there is about 1/2" of room between the tread and mounting clips on the OEM sized (225/65R17) mounted spare tire on the back door when I returned the hard cover to the vehicle. This makes it easy to slip the hard cover back into place and button it down.

After playing with things for a while I decided that going back to the 225/65R17 OEM size would keep everything consistent including my original 225/65R17 Toyo spare ... and ... my 225/75R16 winter Hakka's. Also, going back to the 225's vs. the 235's was also substantially cheaper by nearly $40 per tire. Go figure. So I can not definitively say that the 235's won't fit the hard cover, but ... I will say it was very tight and I wasn't going to take the risk of having it not fit with a fully mounted tire or have the hard case retaining clips break because I tried to forced them to fit.
That is the problem with going with a much bigger tire and fitting it in a spare tire cover which does not stretch. Fitting the tires without air may fit but once you add air it may not fit. You made the right call.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for confirming IC. Seems I made the right choice.
 

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Yep. I bought 4 tires suspecting the spare would not fit. I used the best stock tire for the spare. It's close enough for temporary use if something happened. My wife did NOT want an exposed spare on the back, lol. I prefer to have them covered to deter theft, especially with meaty tires that people seem to love.
 
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