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10 Best Hitch Cargo Carriers: Review and Buing Guide 2019

Last Updated: 27 Nov 2018

Quite often, drivers have to deal with the need to transport bulky items, which, with all desire and skills, cannot be placed in the trunk or interior of a vehicle. Best hitch cargo carriers will solve this problem. The best hitch cargo carrier will become an indispensable device for people who are used to live an active life and are engaged in cycling, skiing, snowboarding. However, sometimes ordinary people also have to transport oversized household goods. Best hitch cargo carriers will help cope with everyday tasks. With their help, without any hassle, you can carry bags of products from a supermarket, packets with the long-awaited harvest from farm, tools, and products for building or repair, even doors, and boards.

In general, automobile luggage is divided into several types depending on the attachment method. These are platforms and roof boxes, tailgate, and tow bars. Each of them has several advantages and disadvantages.

Best hitch cargo carriers include several types of autonomous technical devices that have a single way of attachment to the tow hook. They can be used to transport goods behind a vehicle. This equipment is based on a cargo platform that can be equipped with additional deep baskets, closed boxes, or attachments for carrying bicycles. Distinctive features of best hitch cargo carriers for cars - with tow bar fastening - are the use of, especially durable materials. Among them, it is possible to find high-strength steel, cold-resistant plastic, medium-density polyethylene, etc. All of them offer reliable connections and the ability to fit any vehicle.

10 Best Hitch Cargo Carriers: the Ultimate Guide for 2019

1. Reese Cargo Carrier – Pro Series

1. Reese Cargo Carrier – Pro Series

This cargo carrier from Reese is large, sturdy, and a cinch to install. This carrier is a great choice for people who enjoy camping, and it has a 500-pound capacity, which means you can take anything and everything you need for a long trip.

The hitch of this carrier is made of durable steel with a powder coat finish, which means that durability is guaranteed. The floor of the carrier is made of mesh, so you have no worries about standing water.

Pros
  • Two piece design
  • Easy to install
  • Mesh floor, to minimize water damage
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with a hitch pin
  • Nuts rust easily

2. Curt Manufacturing Cargo Carrier – Basket-Style

2. Curt Manufacturing Cargo Carrier – Basket-Style

The Curt cargo carrier is a simple, yet durable and safe design. Those who need extra storage for their vehicle would do well to choose this option. It holds up to 500-pounds, and it has tall sides, which help to keep your cargo secure and safe. Made of steel, this carrier has a mesh bottom, and it can fold up when not in use, which is ideal for occasional users.

Pros
  • Steel construction for durability
  • Foldable, easy to store design
Cons
  • Some reviewers claim that the welds were not strong
  • You need extra tools to put it together

3. Rola Vortex Cargo Carrier

3. Rola Vortex Cargo Carrier

The Rola Vortex is a strong and sporty cargo carrier, that is great for vans, trucks, and SUVs. This carrier has a weight capacity of up to 600-pounds, and it can carry everything from fishing gear to luggage.

This carrier is made of steel, and it is black powder finished, making it a perfect choice for those out in the elements. It is also very easy to install, and it can fit on many types of vehicles.

Pros
  • Elevated design
  • Heavy steel design adds weight, but also strength
  • Fits on many makes and models
Cons
  • Hardware isn’t of the highest quality
  • The paint job isn’t the greatest

4. MaxxHaul Cargo Carrier

4. MaxxHaul Cargo Carrier

The MaxxHaul carrier stands out from the others thanks to the folding ramp that extends from the carrier. This makes it an ideal choice for things like scooters, wheelchairs, lawn equipment, and more. It has a 500-pound capacity, and it is built of aluminum, making it resistant to rust and corrosion.

Pros
  • Folding ramp
  • Lightweight, aluminum construction
  • Resistant to corrosion
Cons
  • Some reviewers claim that it cannot hold 500 pounds
  • The ramp folds, but not the cargo carrier

5. Tow Tuff Cargo Carrier

5. Tow Tuff Cargo Carrier

This carrier is also unique, as it can serve as either a bike rack or a cargo carrier, which makes it ideal for those who love the great outdoors. It has tie-down holes and wheel cradles, helping to secure your cargo. You can fit up to four normal-sized bikes, or up to 500 pounds in cargo.

Pros
  • Can serve as a cargo carrier or a bike rack
  • Tie down straps for extra security
  • Easily attaches to vehicles
Cons
  • Only has a one-year warranty
  • Some reviews state that it was missing hardware for assembly

6. Highland Hitch Cargo Carrier

6. Highland Hitch Cargo Carrier

If you want a more affordable option, this cargo carrier from Highland is lighter than most other carriers out there, but it carries up to 500 pounds. Made of steel with a powder coat finish, this carrier is fully protected from the elements, including dust and dirt. It is also a bit more narrow than other options, so keep that in mind as you shop.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Easy installation and assembly
Cons
  • Flimsy construction
  • Missing hardware according to some reviewers

7. Vault Cargo Management Cargo Carrier

7. Vault Cargo Management Cargo Carrier

If you like fishing, traveling, or camping, this hitch rack from Vault Cargo Management is a wonderful choice. Made of steel, this trailer can be mounted on almost any vehicle, including cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, and RVs.

This cargo carrier is a standard size, and it can hold up to 500 pounds. With this cargo carrier, you can transport everything from tents and sleeping bags, It has a lightweight, sleek design, too, which helps to save a bit of gas on long trips.

Pros
  • Elevated shaft
  • Universal hitch
  • Lightweight design
Cons
  • No hitch extension
  • Rusts easily

8. Arksen Folding Cargo Carrier

8. Arksen Folding Cargo Carrier

This compact and durable cargo carrier is the best option for people on a budget. It is a bit smaller than other carriers, but it also folds up, which ensures easy storage. This cargo carrier also fits on any 2-inch trailer hitch, so you can use it with many different types of vehicles.

Made of steel, it is protected from the elements thanks to a black epoxy powder coating, and it can hold up to 500 pounds.

Pros
  • Easy to assemble
  • Foldable for storage
  • Steel construction
Cons
  • Rusts easily
  • Low profile

9. Best Choice Products Motorcycle Hauler

9. Best Choice Products Motorcycle Hauler

It doesn’t matter if you have a motorcycle, an off-road bike, a scooter, or even an electric bike, this hauler from Best Choice Products will help you get it from point A to B with ease. This hauler has an anti-tilt feature, too, as well as a ramp, ensuring your vehicle remains safe during transport.

Pros
  • Anti-tilt locking device
  • Easy assembly
  • Load from any side
Cons
  • Rusts easily
  • Difficult to constuct

10. Goplus Carrier for Cargo

10. Goplus Carrier for Cargo

Affordable and well-made, this cargo carrier from Goplus is another good option for budget shoppers. It is smaller, but it can still handle up to 500 pounds of cargo and is protected from the elements thanks to its steel-construction and powder coating.

Pros
  • Easy installation
  • More size than other cargo carriers
  • Lightweight design
Cons
  • Cross bars do not line up well

WHY A HITCH CARGO CARRIER?

Every driver knows that the primary purpose of the tow bar is towing other vehicles. On this basis, you can safely load your hitch cargo carrier with things of almost any weight, without the fear of excessive load. It can be used for various purposes. With its help, you can quickly and conveniently transport bicycles, snowboards, sleds, prams, wheelchairs, household luggage (bags and sacks) and even individual boxes for pets and with pets.

BEST HITCH CARGO CARRIERS BUYING GUIDE - WHAT TO LOOK AT?

When choosing your best hitch cargo carrier, you need to take into account the following key points:

1. Load Capacity

First of all, you need to make sure that your vehicle supports the installation of such a device. Such racks and boxes are 1.25 – 2-inch long. Usually, cargo carriers support about 200 lb of cargo, but there are models with an exceptional 500 lb load capacity. You need to decide what you are going to transport.

2. Easy Installation

Usually, it is straightforward to mount the best hitch mounted cargo carrier if you chose the right size of the receiver. Carrier racks are already pre-assembled, so you will be safe from stress and won’t spend a lot of time on a process of installation.

3. Weather Protection

If you want to protect things you are carrying in a hitch cargo box, think about models that offer weather protection. It means that you may need to choose models that support accessories that are weather-proof and resemble a closed construction.

4. Quality

Give preference to those best hitch cargo carriers that are made of high-quality materials. You need to be sure that a chosen rack won’t be broken suddenly, especially when you are traveling on bad roads. This is a purchase that shouldn’t often repeat, so it should serve you for numerous mountain trips, for example.

5. Easy Access

In case that a carrier is mounted to a fixed frame, you won’t be able to access your car trunk quickly. At the same time, a swing away structure will give you more possibilities. In another way, you will need to remove the carrier to have access to the rear part of the vehicle.

6. Security

All your gear should remain secured. Various box latches are responsible for safety and can be used for both racks and cargo boxes.

HITCH CARGO CARRIER PROS AND CONS

Benefits of Hitch Carriers

  • Durability
All hitch racks mounted on a tow hook have an impressive margin of safety. And thanks to the use of the patented system of fasteners, an additional platform or box on the tow bar, as they say, tightly.
  • Convenient Location
The car trunk is located at a suitable height for a driver. You don’t have to lift a heavy load over your head, as it happens when it is transported on the roof.
  • Accessory Support
Depending on the driver’s needs, luggage platforms can be equipped with additional accessories. These might include padlocks, floor coverings that reduce the sliding of the load, dividers for the load, or special boxes with air vents for transporting animals, etc.
  • Ability to Transport Bikes
When transporting bike equipment, the best hitch carrier allows you to carry several bikes at the same time. The top mount is calculated using the formula “1 bike = 1 trunk”. When transporting bicycles, it is impossible to avoid road dust, dirt, and rubble from under the wheels. Therefore, many drivers still prefer the boot, located on the roof. Among drivers, there is a perception that the upper loads are more accessible to take into account in the course of the movement than the rear ones. Thus, when transported on the roof, the risk of damage to the precious cargo is much less. In the case of an accident, the safety of the load carried on the roof is somewhat higher. Disadvantages of Hitch Carriers
  • Limited Luggage Safety
There is an option for car enthusiasts who often carry loads of different types and like to travel with their family. That is to install different types of luggage carriers (hitch carrier and roof carrier). First, this will allow simultaneously transporting a higher volume of cargo. Second, it will provide an opportunity to fasten more valuable things on top of the vehicle for safety purposes.
  • Limited parking abilities
It is essential to understand that no matter what you carry, items fixed behind your car should not obstruct the view! If the load, due to its size, overlaps the rear lighting, use external position and brake lights. The sizes of transported goods are not unlimited. The width of cargo and its excess rear dimensions are governed by rules of road and operation of transport.

HOW TO INSTALL HITCH CARGO CARRIER? STEP BY STEP GUIDE

The mounting process usually takes only a couple of seconds. To do this, simply follow several steps below:
  1. Put your hitch mounted cargo carrier on a ball of the tow bar.
  2. Use a lever to secure it.
  3. Fill it with the gear you need to transport.
  4. Check whether it doesn’t bother you on the road.
The process is carried out on an intuitive level so that installing the trunk on the hitch does not require special skills. Universal models allow you to fix it on all models of vehicles.

THE BEST HITCH CARGO CARRIER. FINAL ADVICE

Now, when you know everything about best hitch cargo carriers and how to choose them right, let’s talk a bit more about our top pick. According to our professional review, CURT 18151 Basket-Style is the best hitch cargo carrier in 2019. People prefer choosing it for their luggage transportation when they need to take a lot of things with them and even when their way comes on harsh roads. Such best hitch cargo carriers by Curt are simple in design but are very efficient. Moreover, this model is of a foldable style and is easy to install. Based on our hitch cargo carrier reviews, CURT 18151 shouldn’t be removed even when you don’t need to carry extra luggage. Besides, this model offers excellent load capacity, fits the majority of hitch receivers, and doesn’t block rear lights of the car. So, when you are looking for the best hitch cargo carriers, this product should be number one to consider.
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