The Best Hitch Cargo Carrier


Editor’s Note – This list of the best hitch cargo carriers was updated on January 9, 2023, to add newly listed products and improve content relevance and usefulness. Paragraph on hitch cargo carrier accessories added.

Regarding vehicle storage capacity, especially those with limited features, few options are as appealing as a cargo carrier. For SUV owners like myself, it offers a similar storage capacity to a pickup without breaking the bank.

Hitch cargo carriers are relatively affordable, versatile, and functional. Their versatility is one reason why I will always recommend them over roof racks since some hitch carriers are also fully functional as converted bike racks. Perfect for cycling enthusiasts.

Our Pick!


Curt Basket Style Cargo Carrier 18153

The Curt Basket-Style Cargo Carrier is the perfect all-rounder. It can support up to 500 lbs of cargo and offers stability, durability, and ease of use. It also folds up for convenient storage.

Our Winners

  • Best Overall Hitch Cargo Carrier Curt 18153 Basket-Style Cargo Carrier
  • The Curt 18153 has been a top seller since it first entered the market in 2014. Its sizeable 60-inch steel basket base comfortably supports up to 500 pounds. Add the Curt 18153’s folding feature, functional design, and integrated light reflectors on its frame for additional visibility and safety. There is no doubt this hitch cargo carrier is so popular, which is why it is always one of my top recommendations.
  • Best Heavy Weight Hitch Cargo CarrierRola 59502 Vortex Cargo Carrier
  • The Rola Vortex 59502 has an impressively durable steel frame design that can support a weight of up to 600 pounds. Its heavy-duty, powder-coated steel construction is well-equipped to handle all weather conditions, so it’s a great option for year-round trips. Additionally, it has an upgradeable lighting option that uses Incandescent #20174 or LED #59516 bulbs to enhance visibility.
  • Largest Base Hitch Cargo Carrier Reese Explore ProSeries Rambler (63153)
  • The Reese Explore ProSeries 63153 has a large base with 60 x 24 x 5.5 inches dimensions. It can hold a lot of cargo and has a weight capacity of 500 pounds. Due to its large base, it is designed with a high-rise shank design that increases ground clearance. It is a fantastic practical feature if the cargo carrier is fully loaded. If you need a cargo carrier that offers a lot of packing space at a reasonable price, then the 63153 is my first recommendation.
  • Best Value For Money Hitch Cargo CarrierMaxxHaul 70422 Cargo Carrier
  • Retailing at $79.99, the MaxxHaul 70422 is a cargo carrier that offers excellent value for money. Made from lightweight Aluminum, it offers durability while at the same time not packing a financial punch, unlike some of its alloy steel counterparts. Although this cargo carrier has smaller dimensions than similar carriers, it can still comfortably support a weight of 500 pounds. A plain and simple-designed carrier, this little guy gets the job done and offers excellent value for money, in my opinion.
  • Best Flatbed Hitch Cargo CarrierTow Tuff TTF-2462KR
  • Flatbed cargo carriers offer more versatility regarding what type of cargo can be loaded. Higher side rails can sometimes make it difficult to fit larger or oddly-shaped cargo items, so flatbeds are a great option. The Tow Tuff TFF-2462KR is an excellent flatbed option as its unique design creates a 2-in-1 carrier; it operates as a general cargo carrier but can be converted into a 4-bike bike rack. Its carry capacity of 500 pounds keeps it on par with its competitors, but as far as versatile flatbed cargo carriers go, Tow Tuff is a top-notch option.

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For the Best Overall Basket Style Hitch Cargo Carrier, Get the CURT 18153

Curt offers a wide range of trailer hitch cargo carriers with various mounting options, including front and rear-mount cargo carriers, some of which have a folding shank, a feature I always prefer. The Curt 18153 basket-style cargo carrier offers everything you need from a general hitch cargo carrier; stability, practical functionality, affordable pricing, durability, and a lot of cargo space. And that is why I recommend this as one of the best hitch cargo carrier options overall.

1. CURT 18153 Hitch Cargo Carrier


Alloy Steel

60″ x 24″ x 6″


One of the main features I like about the 18153 is its 2-inch shank that folds up against the vehicle when it’s not in use. This is great as I don’t have to constantly remove it after using it now and then.

As is standard with most hitch cargo carriers, it has a 500-pound weight capacity, with its inner tray dimension being 60″ x 24″. This is quite spacious, more than adequate for me to load a bunch of camping and outdoor gear.

The basket is pretty well-designed and has a high-quality look and feel. I like that Curt tried to cover the entire carrier with a black powder coating to ensure it remains resistant to rust, scratches, and UV damage. This is just an extra measure Curt takes to ensure their products meet their high-quality standards.

The mesh platform, which I greatly appreciate, and 6-inch high side rails prevent luggage from sliding out during transit. This is a design feature that I strongly encourage. Furthermore, from a practical point of view, the high side rails also provide a convenient attachment point for a cargo net or cargo bag strap to hold down multiple pieces of luggage. This a something that tray or platform-style cargo carrier designs lack.

The Curt 18153 carrier also does well regarding additional safety precautions, as it has built-in light reflectors that greatly help with increased visibility when driving in low-light areas. Another greatly overlooked design feature.

Any Concerns?

My only genuine concern with this cargo carrier is that the interior of the steel tubes isn’t protected against rust. The tube ends are open, leaving the possibility of water getting in and rusting occurring. While this isn’t a guaranteed issue, if you want to protect your steel pipes against rust and corrosion, you can paint the inside or even plug the open tubes to prevent water from entering.

A Great Alternative

The Mockins steel cargo basket and the Oklead folding cargo carrier receive honorable mentions as they come in at a close second compared to the Curt 18153 cargo carrier. These alternatives offer mainly the exact dimensions as the Curt, with the most noticeable differences being the side rail measurements and the carrying capacity.


  • 500 lbs load capacity
  • Heavy-duty carbide steel and rust and erosion prevention powder coating.
  • Strong enough to handle uneven terrain and long-distance travel.


  • Open-ended steel tubes that aren’t erosion and rust-proof on the inside.

2. Oklead Folding Hitch Cargo Carrier

Oklead Folding Hitch Cargo Carrier

Alloy Steel

60″ x 24″ x 14.5″


I wanted to mention the Oklead, as this carrier is a fantastic blend of basket and tray-style designs. Unlike most basket carriers, it has a high 14.4″ side rail with a side rail height of around 6 inches. However, it’s versatile because the side rails can be folded entirely down, transforming the cargo carrier into a platform/tray design. This is such a helpful feature; I just had to include it. Additionally, the carrier itself also folds flat against the car’s trunk, making its overall design one of practicality and discretion.

This cargo carrier works well with general passenger cars and SUVs, perfectly fitting onto 2″ hitch receivers. This cargo carrier is ideally suited for camping enthusiasts, as its large base caters to various camping gear and necessities. The mesh base is, again, a great benefit as it keeps smaller items from slipping through and getting damaged or falling off during trips.

The newer model differs from the previous one due to its upgraded support bracket design, lifting the carrier’s base with about 5 degrees to support heavier cargo loads better. I also like that it is made from steel, adding to the carrier’s overall durability and sturdiness. The steel frame also feels solid, and there is minimal wobble during driving, even with nothing loaded onto the carrier.

Regarding safety, two red light reflectors are attached to the front of the carrier, helping with visibility in severe weather conditions or low lighting.

I like this hitch cargo carrier. It is a versatile yet practically designed solution for transporting various cargo or gear. With a load capacity of 400 lbs and pricing at $209.99, it doesn’t beat the CURT 18153; however, with its versatility, I feel it deserves an honorable mention as a top consideration.


  • Large carrying capacity
  • Can be converted into platform/tray style carrier
  • Folds flat


  • 400-pound weight capacity is lower than most cargo carriers

For the Best Heavy-Duty Basket Style Hitch Cargo Carrier, Buy the Rola Vortex

Rola has been around for quite a while and has built a reputation for creating strong roof racks and cargo management products. The Vortex steel hitch mount is no different. It effortlessly supported a cargo weight of 600 pounds when loaded to the brim. The heavy-duty steel framing makes it perfect for long hauls, and rugged terrains, which, in my opinion, makes this the best choice if you’re looking for an actual heavy-duty cargo carrier backed up by an established, reputable brand.

3. Rola Vortex Cargo Carrier


Alloy Steel

56″ x 23″ x 5″


Starting with aesthetics, I consider this cargo carrier a well-suited choice for larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs. It looks better on larger, bulkier cars due to its robust design. The Vortex fits vehicles with a 2″ hitch receiver, and its helpful rise shank offers more ground clearance, especially when the carrier is loaded to maximum capacity.

Sticking to design, a feature that I like, as mentioned before, is the mesh floor. I prefer this as it prevents smaller options from slipping through larger openings, especially when driving over rough terrain. This mesh floor is fully supported by steel bars, preventing the carrier’s base from caving in or bending due to heavy loads.

The side rails are an average height for basket cargo carriers. Still, they have ample space for tying ratchet straps and cargo nets, as with the Oklead and Curt 18153. The Rola Vortex also has two light reflectors to alert other drivers of its presence at night.

If you want to buy an additional lighting kit for this cargo carrier, I recommend the 20174 Red Cargo Carrier Light Kit. It’s one of the best lighting options for this specific carrier.

At $209.99, the Rola Vortex offers good value for money, especially considering that it has an above-average weight limit of 600 pounds and its build and design are clearly of a very high standard.

A Great Alternative

The King Bird upgraded folding hitch mount cargo carrier is a close contender to the Rola Vortex steel cargo carrier and is more affordable. Its basket is a few inches longer but takes second place in weight capacity and overall durability next to the Rola Vortex.


  • Straightforward installation
  • Durable and solid materials
  • Optional lights included


  • It cannot fold up
  • It’s relatively expensive in comparison to other carriers

For the Best Basket Style Carrier With the Largest Base, Buy the Reese Explore ProSeries Rambler

Significantly few cargo carriers beat the Reese ProSeries regarding size and build quality. However, bigger doesn’t always mean better; as even with its larger-than-average frame (60″ x 24″ x 5″), the ProSeries Rambler has an average weight capacity of 500 pounds. This large, high-quality steel carrier frame and affordable pricing are why the Reese Explore ProSeries Rambler is my number one recommendation for those who need a large carrier.

4. Reese Explore ProSeries Rambler 63153


Alloy Steel

60” x 24” x 5”


The ProSeries’ main feature is the massive cargo space stretching 60 inches. The basket design is standard, with an average rail height of about 5.5″ and ample space to hook on a cargo net. As with the previous hitch cargo carriers on this list, the carrier’s base has a mesh design, which is much more secure than larger gaps. When fully loaded, the powder-coated steel frame feels sturdy, solid, and well-balanced.

As with most cargo carries, the ProSeries 63153 has a rise shank design, giving it more ground clearance should you drive over uneven terrain. One feature that is noticeably missing is the ability to fold the cargo carrier flat against the trunk when it’s not in use. This is a significant oversight on Reese’s part, in my opinion. The 63153 is perfect for most vehicles with a 2″ hitch receiver.

I have to mention that unlike the other hitch carriers previously mentioned on this list, the ProSeries doesn’t have any light reflectors. It’s not a huge deal, but I still found this disappointing. So if you prefer more visibility on your carrier, I suggest you get tail lights or reflectors and add them separately. These are essential to alert other motorists of the trailer behind your car.

As a suggestion, the Rola 59516 Led Light Kit is an excellent choice. The ProSeries 63153 also has cutouts that are compatible with the lights.

A Great Alternative

The Tow Tuff hitch cargo carrier is a solid alternative if you’re looking for something with a similar base size. The Tow Tuff’s steel construction offers a stable platform/tray-style mesh base with a weight capacity of 500 pounds and the same price range.


  • 500 lbs weight capacity.
  • An open mesh floor makes cleaning very easy.
  • Powder-coating helps to prevent rust and corrosion.


  • Assembly bolts may rust over prolonged exposure to the elements.
  • Usually obstructs brake lights and tail lights.

For the Best Flatbed Cargo Carrier, Buy the Tow Tuff TTF-2762R

Best flatbed and versatility, Tow Tuff offers something special with this 2-in-1 cargo carrier, a removable bike rack. Innovative and dedicated, Tow Tuff manufactures and distributes high-quality, durable automotive and trailer management tools and equipment. And this cargo carrier is just that. The Tow Tuff TTF-2762KR, with its large base platform, substantial weight-carrying capacity, and bike rack versatility, is the top choice if you prefer flatbed cargo carriers.

5. Tow Tuff TTF-2762KR Cargo Carrier with Bike Rack


Alloy Steel

62” x 27” x 3”


I liked the Tow Tuff due to its innovative and versatile design. Its tray/platform-style base has a length of 60 inches, offering ample space to transport various cargo options. I was impressed with its dual-purpose design as a general cargo carrier or a 4-bike hitch rack, making it a fantastic all-rounder for any regular traveler or outdoors person.

When I converted it to its bike rack form, the adjustable wheel cradle and tie-down holes secured the bikes perfectly. I only loaded three bikes onto the carrier, just for reference. There was minimal wobble between the cycles when driving.

Unlike most cargo carriers, the Tow Tuff has a tray/platform style design. I am more prone to go for this type of carrier, as it is less restrictive in the kind of cargo that you can load onto it since there are no high-side rails.

As with many carriers, this carrier is also made from heavy-duty steel. The frame itself seems solid. However, the mesh flooring isn’t as compact as the Rola Vortex or Curt. On a positive note, the Tow Tuff comes with decent tie-down straps, a pull-out bar, and adjustable four-wheel cradles. However, I am not convinced about the wheel cradles’ longevity as they do not seem like they will handle frequent use of the well before degrading. The wheel cradles have a universal design, so they should fit most public road and mountain bikes.

Converting the cargo carrier into a bike rack is an easy enough task. There are allotted openings on the side rails of the carrier into which the wheel cradle rack is locked. This is not overly complicated and takes a few minutes, making the Tow Tuff practical and user-friendly.

The Tow Tuff TTF-2462KR is well-fitted to 2-inch receivers, but I would’ve been more impressed if it had a raised shank for additional ground clearance or could fold flat against the car’s rear. Converting the carrier to a bike rack is done by simply connecting the bike rack pins to the allotted openings on the hitch rails.

I like this hitch cargo carrier’s design and versatility. Tow Tuff might not have the prestige of Curt or Maxxhaul, but this is still a solid and functional dual-purpose cargo carrier with a large base and 500-pound weight capacity, and at $193.99, it gets my seal of approval.


  • The 2-in-1 design of a cargo carrier and a 4-bike rack.
  • Large loading capacity.
  • Tie-down strap and pull-out bar included.


  • The rack wiggles around in the hitch when driving on bumpy or uneven terrain.

For the Best Value for Money, Get Yourself the MaxxHaul 70107

Maxxhaul is a reputable brand in the cargo carrier space. Their entry-level products, like the 70107 cargo carrier, offer impressive durability, practicality, and strength at a budget-friendly $80.99. If you’re looking for excellent value for money but don’t want to break the bank, I recommend getting the MaxxHaul 70107.

6. MaxxHaul 70107 Hitch Cargo Carrier

MaxxHaul 70107


49” x 22” x 3”


As mentioned, MaxxHaul has long been one of the most popular recreational towing and hitch-mount product manufacturers. High quality and value for money are why this brand is so respected and esteemed.

The 70107 hitch carrier is a bit more compact (53.7″ x 20.7″ x 4.7″) than some of the other entries on my list, making it an excellent fit for most cars with a 2-inch Class III and IV hitch receiver. Considering its price range, I am impressed at the solid steel construction of this carrier. Although I am not fond of carriers that do not have meshed bottoms, this carrier feels sturdy and secure when attached. The powder-coating finish is always a nice touch.

I loaded the carrier to its maximum recommended weight capacity of 500 pounds and was impressed to see no wobble when driving over smooth and uneven terrain. However, considering the different types of cargo you might load onto it, I would suggest using a cargo bag or cargo box as a safety precaution.

The gaps between the rails and base of the carrier are pretty significant, and smaller or loose items may fall through. Another recommendation is to pay attention to weight distribution when loading cargo and ensure that everything is evenly distributed.


  • Powder Coated underside support.
  • Very lightweight and compact for more minor transits.
  • Huge load capacity.


  • Not as stable and may need some extra modification to help it stabilize on uneven terrain.

For a Great Ramp Option, The Maxxhaul 70275 Takes the Cake

With Maxxhaul dominating this list, it is no surprise that their products are consistently considered a top choice for many. Hitch cargo carriers are an efficient solution for those who don’t own pickups but want to haul seriously bulky or heavy cargo items. So adding the added benefit of a ramp on which large objects can be wheeled, we’ve got a whole different ball game. This is where the Maxxhaul 70275 shines as my top recommendation for hitch cargo carriers with ramps.

7. MAXXHAUL 70275 Aluminum Cargo Carrier

MAXXHAUL 70275 Aluminum Cargo Carrier


53.5″ x 29.7″ x 8″


The 70275 isn’t the sleekest-looking cargo carrier out there, but its functionality makes up for what it lacks in aesthetics. Its aluminum frame is quite strong, yet you can easily feel the difference in weight when handling this carrier compared to its steel counterparts. Considering that it’s made from Aluminum and is lightweight, it has a maximum loading recommendation of 500 pounds, which is the average weight for most cargo carriers, regardless of their construction and material.

The ramp itself is around 60 inches long and folds out quite quickly. This ramp is perfect for wheeling larger items such as wheelchairs or lawnmowers. However, I will not recommend using it for larger cargo like snowmobiles. The ramp folds in half and can be placed vertically or horizontally inside the cargo carrier while driving.

This is quite a large cargo basket, and I would say it is best on vehicles with a Class III & IV standard 2″ hitch receiver. Upon closer inspection, I realized that although the carrier is made mainly from high-grade Aluminum, the entire under-support system and the hitch shaft are made from powder-coated steel. I felt this was a nice touch to balance the lightweight Aluminum with some heavy-duty steel.

The only thing I had to complain about regarding this cargo carrier was its price tag. At $428.43, this is the most expensive cargo carrier on this list. Taking into consideration its relatively large size (53.5″ x 29.7″ x 8″), its lightweight aluminum frame, and its 60-inch folding ramp, I’m not quite sure how I feel about its asking price.

A Great Alternative

Alternatively, to even out the relatively high price tag of the Maxxhaul 70275, the much more affordable Ecotric hitch cargo carrier is a great option also. The powder-coated steel Ecotric is noticeably smaller and more compact than the 70275, but it also has a maximum recommended weight of 500 pounds. Again, I prefer the mesh-floor design of this cargo carrier over the Maxxhaul mentioned above. I also like how the 42″ ramps fold utterly flat onto the carrier’s base, fitting perfectly. And the best part is it is priced at a much more pleasing $205.45.

The Different Cargo Hitches

When shopping for hitch cargo carriers, you’ll notice variations in the materials used and the style in which they are designed. These variations all offer their own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. How you intend to use your hitch-mounted cargo carrier will define what type of style you want.


Basket Style Cargo Carrier

It has railed sides to keep cargo secure and provides a convenient location to attach cargo straps or cords for added security. Baskets are ideal for transporting bulky items and are very popular as it suits people’s general transportation needs.

Hitch Cargo Flatbed

Flatbed Style Cargo Carrier

The flatbed design does not have high rails on the sides but has slightly raised edges, with most of them having anchor points for cargo straps, nets, and bungee cords. This is a perfect consideration if you transport oddly-shaped or large items frequently.


Ramp Style Cargo Carrier

The ramp cargo carrier is perfect for transporting large or wheeled cargo. Like the basket and flatbed style, a folding ramp slides onto ground level, loading large or heavy-wheeled items much more conveniently.

Selecting The Right Hitch Cargo Carrier – Important Considerations

Carrier Use

What is going to be the primary use of your cargo carrier? And what items will it be carrying? These answers should indicate whether a box, rack, or another style of hitch cargo carrier would meet those needs.

Vehicle Type

The type of vehicle your cargo carrier would be hitched to is essential to determine the tongue weight capacity of the trailer and whether or not your vehicle would support it. The tongue weight capacity is the maximum vertical weight a vehicle’s hitch can support during ordinary driving conditions.

Check out our quick and helpful guide on how to measure Gross Tongue Weight (GTW).

Vehicle Design

The rear design of your vehicle will determine how suitable a specific hitch cargo carrier type is. Does your car have barn doors or a rear spare tire? Will your car’s tailgate be a problem?

Vehicle Class Hitch

There are five trailer hitch classes. Each class is based on the strength and size of your vehicle and the design of the hitch itself.

Hitch Class Classification Infographic

Buyer’s Guide – What To Look For In A Hitch Cargo Carrier

If you will be using a cargo carrier regularly, it is essential to pay attention to certain things before buying a specific carrier.


Most cargo carriers are made from steel or some form of alloy steel. However, there are some made from other robust metals as well. The build of your cargo carrier must be of high quality.

Steel is incredibly durable and doesn’t bend under heavy pressure. If you settle on a steel carrier, it has been powder-coated to prevent damage and rust from environmental elements.

Another popular material is Aluminum which is much lighter than steel, durable, and can take a lot of abuse. Additionally, Aluminum doesn’t rust like steel, but it is more prone to scratches.   

Rear Hatch Access

If rear hatch access is crucial, consider buying a carrier that doesn’t have a curved hitch for better ground clearance. Carriers with no rise built into the shank could give you access to your rear hatch. This is hardly possible with curved/high carriers. Note that you would be giving up better ground clearance.

Proper Attachment

Ensure that the receiver and main shaft fit correctly and that there is no wiggle room. It is essential to know what the attachment mechanism of your vehicle looks like, as most carriers will be able to fit a standard 2-inch receiver. Still, bigger or smaller vehicles might have a different-sized receiver. 

Poor attachment may also result in road noise due to your cargo carrier rattling and wiggling on rough or uneven terrain.

Weight Capacity

Your cargo carrier should be heavy-duty and able to comfortably support the weight of whatever is loaded onto it. Generally, carriers can support between 500 lbs and 600 lbs.

The Weight Of The Carrier

Your hitch mount cargo carrier’s weight affects many things. The heavier it is, the more effort it will take to install it. Aluminum carriers are very lightweight and easy to assemble and install. This is perfect for single-person installation. However, steel carriers can also easily be installed with the combined help of two people.

The Cargo Carrier Base

The design of a cargo carrier’s base should be practical. The base must be strong enough to support a heavy load and properly secure the cargo without letting things fall through, and it should also not be a hassle to clean.

Side Rails

High-side rails are often preferred as it does a great job of securing cargo and keeping it from slipping off the carrier, especially on uneven terrain. Most commonly, the rails are set at a height of 6 inches. 

Alternatively, high side rails make it difficult to load and transport oversized items that are oddly shaped or bigger than the carrier base.

Base Dimensions

Before buying a hitch cargo carrier, consider the base dimensions that best suit your needs. How much room do you need, and what sized objects will you transport?

Rear Or Front-Of-Vehicle Hitch Options

Certain cargo carriers can be attached to the vehicle’s front. Certain people prefer this option as it makes them feel more comfortable seeing the cargo before them.

The Locking Mechanism

Most cargo carriers have an anti-theft locking mechanism, such as a locking hitch pin which prevents the carrier from being taken off the vehicle. This is an essential feature for many people as it gives them peace of mind that their belongings are safe and secure.

Weather Protection

Weather protection is vital. You don’t want rust in your carrier after a week of use. In this case, aluminum carriers have better rust resistance. On the other hand, steel is more sturdy, and when coated with black powder, which is well looked after and protected, it resists rust long enough.

Another thing you should look at is the bottom. If it is a full pan or tight mesh, it could hold water. This water affects rust resistance too. Another thing is if there are open tubes where water can get in. If the pipes are not powder-coated, they will rust faster. If you plan on using your carrier for years, ensure you check this out.

Useful Hitch Cargo Carrier Accessories

To make the most of your hitch cargo carrier, various accessories can help you customize it for your specific needs. Accessories for hitch cargo carriers can include straps, locks, covers, and more.

Straps help to keep your items secure and can be adjustable for different sizes and shapes. Locks help to protect your belongings from theft.

Covers can protect your items from elements like rain and sun. Accessories such as lights, racks, and baskets can help you safely store and organize items.

Are There Benefits to Having Hitch Cargo Carrier Accessories?

Hitch cargo carrier accessories are great additions to any vehicle and can provide several benefits.

They are an ideal way to transport luggage, camping equipment, sports equipment, and other items you may not be able to fit inside your vehicle. These accessories provide a secure and convenient way to carry larger items without worrying about them sliding around in the cargo carrier or falling off during a trip.

These accessories are designed for user-friendly installation, attachment, and removal and are often made from durable materials to ensure they last for many years.

These accessories are typically very affordable and can be a great way to save money on trips needing extra storage.

Hitch Cargo Carrier Safety Tips

The primary safety concerns for cargo carriers are clear visibility and proper load security.

Keep in Mind that Your Vehicle’s Length has Increased Significantly

Cargo carriers can take up as much as three feet behind the vehicle they’re attached to, increasing chances of backing up into things. With this, you must also remember that your car’s rotation space has increased significantly when turning, which is necessary to compensate for that. Before heading out on long trips, try practicing at home and getting used to incorporating the added length in your driving and parking styles.

Always Consider the Bumps When Driving Over Uneven Terrain

It’s easy to lose your cargo when you forget that bumps are felt much harsher when your carrier crosses them. Make sure your load is strapped down securely, and when you stop, check to see whether or not the straps are still tight enough. Also, ensure no straps are flapping, hanging off, or alongside your vehicle.

Check that Your License Plate is Visible

Carriers covering a license plate can result in you being pulled over and receiving a ticket. It is not legal to have your license plate covered. To remedy this, temporarily relocate your license plate to your cargo carrier using a universal license plate bracket. Take care that it is 12 inches off the ground with adequate lighting if relocated.

Invest in a Hitch Tightener

Invest in a hitch tightener or trailer tie-down when purchasing your hitch cargo carrier. This helps minimize or eliminate any shifting or rattling from your cargo carrier.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Accessories Can I Use With My Hitch Cargo Carrier?

The most commonly used hitch cargo carrier accessories are:
– Stabilizing straps
– LED indicator lights
– Hitch stabilizers 
– Receiver adapter
– Cargo net
– Cargo bag

Are Hitch Carriers Legal?

Yes. They are legal, but overloaded cargo carriers may violate law if they collapse and cause damage or injury to vehicles or their occupants around them.

What Max Speed Can I Drive With a Hitch Cargo Carrier?

It is recommended that drivers not exceed 90 MPH, which may result in collisions or the cargo carrier collapsing.

Are Hitch Cargo Carriers Better Than Roof Carriers?

When deciding between the two, consider what is most important to you in a carrier. A hitch cargo carrier is the best option if you’re looking for something that can be easily accessed and packed.

Does a Hitch Cargo Carrier Affect Gas Mileage?

A hitch cargo carrier has an almost unnoticeable effect on your gas mileage when driving standard speeds, especially roof cargo boxes.

Timo is an outdoor enthusiast and gear specialist who is constantly exploring. As an avid hiker, he has completed the ADK 46ers, South Beyond 6000, GA4000, and the Colorado 14ers. He's ice climbed Mt. Hood, hiked up half a dozen mountains in the Alps, and spent three consecutive summers constructing a sustainable trail through the Colorado high country.

4 thoughts on “The Best Hitch Cargo Carrier”

  1. I need a cargo carrie for the back of my rv. Rv has 2″ receiver hitch. The depth of the carrier needs to be 28″ or more to fit a champion 7500 watt dual fuel generator. I also need to carry 2 mountain bikes. The generator’s weight is 205 lbs. If I could get a cargo rack with it’s owner receiver hitch, I could put a standard bike rack on it. Otherwise, I would need a very high mount so the bikes would ride over the generator which is around 29″ in height. Do you have a solution for me 🙂 Darrel

  2. I searched for days for a cargo carrier that included a receiver at the back end. I wanted to add a bicycle rack after the cargo carrier or plugin some steps for our truck camper. Finally, I found B-DAWG cargo carriers. Why don’t cc manufacturers offer this? Also, having to add plywood to protect the mesh bottoms is just another modification that manufacturers should resolve. All in all, I was not happy with the quality of cc on today’s market…


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