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6 Best Hitch Cargo Carriers – (Reviews & Buying Guide 2021)

Do you lack the space in your car to carry extra cargo? Going camping may be difficult because a standard sized car may not have the space you need for tents and equipment. To solve this problem all you need is the best hitch cargo carrier on the market.

A hitch cargo carrier is a device that provides extra carrying capacity on standard cars. It’s attached to the back of a car like a trailer to transport goods that may be too big to fit into a vehicle. They’re easy to attach and they come in various sizes and capacities to suit your requirements.

To find the correct hitch cargo carrier for your car you’ll need to know more about their specifications and features. In order to help you find the correct device we are providing you with six hitch cargo carrier reviews.

Continue reading to find a hitch cargo carrier that will fit onto your car perfectly.

Best Hitch Cargo Carrier Reviews

1. Pro Series Rambler Cargo Carrier Basket

Pro Series 63153 Rambler Cargo Carrier BasketThe Pro Series cargo carrier is a robust trailer ideal for camping, road trips or road crews for small town bands. This hitch cargo carrier is a large device that has a 60″x24″ platform. The 5.5″ side rails ensure that your cargo is secure so your belongings don’t fall off the platform.

This carrier is extremely durable because it’s made with constructed steel that’s powder coated. It can withstand the elements so it won’t corrode over time. The carrier is able to carry 500lbs of weight so it’s ideal to transport heavy equipment.

The Pro Series Rambler carrier is user friendly because it has a rising shank that makes loading and unloading effortless. This hitch carrier fits onto any standard sized car, SUV or van because it comes with a 2″ receiver styled hitch.

There are optional light kits that you can purchase for this carrier but these are sold separately.

2. CURT Basket Trailer Hitch Cargo Carrier

CURT 18153 500 lbsThe CURT hitch cargo carrier is a convenient device that’s easy to install and maintain. It’s a durable carrier made from tubular steel that’s lightweight. The entire construction has an E-coat finish and is coated with carbide black powder. The carrier is strong with a weight capacity of 500lbs.

This hitch cargo carrier has a large platform that’s 40″x20″ in size and walls with a height of 6″ to keep items securely in place. The carrier’s rails allow you to attach a CURT cargo bag that’s placed over items when it’s raining and to provide extra security.

The carrier has a fold up design so when you’re not using it you can push it up so you don’t have to uninstall it. What’s more, is that you’ll love how sturdy this carrier is. It won’t wobble or affect the performance of your vehicle when you drive. The CURT carrier can be attached to SUVs, vans and any standard sized car.

3. Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier with Cargo Bag and Net

Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier with Cargo Bag and NetThe Mockins hitch cargo carrier comes with accessories that will provide you with additional security and protection for your items. This carrier comes with a waterproof cargo bag that can easily be attached to the rails. It also has two ratchet straps, a cargo net and a hitch stabilizer.

This hitch cargo carrier is robust because it’s made with heavy duty steel that’s powder coated. It can withstand the elements so it won’t corrode or tarnish over time. The large platform has dimensions of 60″x20″ and the rails have a height of 6″ to keep your cargo secure.

The heavy duty steel and large platform can accommodate loads of 500lbs. It has a 2″ shank rise so it’s easy to load your cargo onto the trailer. The carrier is a foldable device so you can push it up when you’re not using it. This cargo carrier is easy to install and can be attached to vans, cars and SUVs.

4. ROLA Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier

ROLA 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo CarrierThe Rola cargo carrier is a heavy duty device made from high quality steel that’s powder coated. This is so your carrier has a long service life. It won’t corrode or tarnish over time. It’s easy to install this device because it comes with a two piece assembly and 2″ receiver that can attach to SUVs, vans and cars.

This carrier is the perfect device to use when going camping, transporting musical equipment or off road motorbikes. The platform is large with dimensions of 56″x23″ and the side rails have a height of 5.25″ providing ample safe packing space. What’s more, it has a weight capacity of 600lbs, surpassing many others in performance.

Upgrade the carrier with a convenient lighting kit from Rola that’s easy to install and will provide safe travels for you. The Rola cargo carrier is effortless to maintain thanks to the powder coated finish. Simply wash it off with soapy water and rinse it off when it gets dirty.

5. MARKSIGN Waterproof Hitch Carrier Cargo Bag

MARKSIGN 100% Waterproof Hitch Carrier Cargo BagThe Marksign is not a cargo carrier trailer. This product is a bag that keeps cargo secure and protected from the elements. It can be placed onto any hitch cargo carrier with a platform that’s 59″x24″ in size.

This cargo carrier bag is 100% waterproof so you can transport items when it’s raining or snowing. It also protects sensitive items from dust and debris. The bag is made with UV proof 500 denier tarpaulin fabrics and nylon mesh with double sided vinyl coatings.

The straps that are used to attach the bag to a hitch cargo carrier are extremely durable because they’re made with strong UV proof nylon. These straps won’t snap or tear when transporting heavy cargo. The D rings on the bag are made with stainless steel so they won’t corrode. These rings are used to tighten the straps.

Furthermore, the bag has waterproof zippers so water won’t leak into the bag. The zippers are durable and UV proof.

6. ARKSEN Folding Cargo Carrier Luggage Basket

ARKSEN Folding Cargo Carrier Luggage BasketThe Arksen cargo carrier is a basket styled device that’s extremely robust and lightweight. It’s made with heavy duty steel that’s been coated with an epoxy finish to protect it from the elements. The carrier may be durable but it’s also lightweight so it won’t weigh your vehicle down.

This carrier has a mesh platform to prevent smaller items from falling through the grid. Furthermore, the platform has a large surface area of 45″x59.75″ and railings that are 6″ in height. The railings allow you to attach ratchet straps to keep your cargo securely in place.

There is a 2″ hitch opening that allows you to attach the carrier to any standard sized vehicle as well as SUVs and vans. The carrier accommodates cargo that weighs up to 500lbs so you’re able to transport heavy loads safely. It provides even weight distribution so the carrier doesn’t wobble while you’re driving.

Hitch Cargo Carrier Buyer’s Guide

There are a variety of hitch cargo carriers on the market. That’s why we’ve provided an extensive buyer’s guide to assist you with picking the correct hitch cargo trailer. It’s important to read through this section carefully because it will provide important information about cargo carrier size, weight capacity and durability.

The buyer’s guide section will help you select a hitch cargo carrier that’s ideal for your specific transportation requirements.

Best Hitch Cargo Carrier

5 Aspects to Consider When Buying a Hitch Cargo Carrier

First, we will start with what you should consider before selecting a hitch cargo carrier. In this section, you’ll find out whether hitch cargo carriers are safe and if they’re affordable. Furthermore, it will give you information on lighting kits and why you need them.

  1. Are You Shopping on a Budget?

    Hitch cargo carriers are for people who are on a serious budget because they are incredibly affordable and economical. You can get a high quality hitch cargo carrier between $150 and $200.

    There are cheaper carriers but the ones in the $100 price range are durable, sturdy, easy to install and they have large weight capacities. A hitch cargo carrier tops other budget carriers on the market because of the attractive price and its ability to carry more items at a time.

  2. Do you Need Lights on a Hitch Cargo Carrier?

    It’s advised that you purchase a hitch cargo carrier that has a light kit or comes equipped with lights. This is for safety reasons because the lights will indicate to other drivers when you’re braking or making a turn.

  3. What Are the Different Shaft Types?

    There are three shaft types to pick from:
    Rising curved: A hitch is located on the rear bumper on your car which is typically low. So when you attach a cargo carrier to the hitch it will be at the same height of the ball. Some manufacturers will equip their cargo carriers with a rising or curved hitch attachment that will lift the device up for easier access.

    • Straight shaft:

      These shafts are straight and protrude directly out from the receiver. This type of shaft doesn’t increase the height of the carrier but it’s sturdier so it transports heavy loads without bouncing.

    • Z-style shafts:

      The Z-style shaft increases the height of the carrier similar to a curved device but it’s sturdier. Instead of the shaft curving to give more height, it’s straight so it provides more stability when you’re driving. This shaft style has a design that allows your carrier to fold up when you’re not transporting items.

    Your personal preferences will determine which one works best for you.

  4. Does it come With a Proper Warranty?

    Although hitched cargo carriers aren’t expensive you still need a device that comes with an excellent warranty. Purchase a cargo carrier that has a warranty that covers the construction of the device, as well as the corrosion resistant coating and extra parts it comes with.

  5. Can Your Hitch Cargo Carrier Fold Up?

    Some cargo carriers are fixed items so when you’re not using it you’ll have to detach the device from your car. But there are cargo carriers that can fold up easily when you’re not using it. The folded up carrier won’t obstruct your view when you’re looking in your review mirror. What’s more, you won’t have to detach the cargo carrier when you want to streamline your car again.

Hitch Cargo Carrier Buying Guide

4 Important Hitch Cargo Carrier Features and Specifications

It’s important to select a cargo carrier that has a long service life and one that’s easy to install. In this section, we’re giving you the four most important specifications and features to look at before buying your hitched cargo carrier.

  1. Materials

    One of the most important features to look at when buying a hitch cargo carrier is the type of material it’s made from. Materials have an impact on the longevity of your carrier and since it’s an outdoor device it must be able to withstand the elements.

    The most common types of materials used to manufacture carriers are aluminum, polypropylene and steel. Carriers that are made with heavy duty steels are the best on the market because they won’t corrode or bend under pressure.

    Aluminum is also an excellent material because it’s durable and won’t oxidize but it’s lightweight. Polypropylene isn’t as durable as steel or aluminum but it’s perfect to use for lighter loads.

  2. Dimensions

    The second most important feature is the dimensions of the carrier platform. Smaller hitched cargo carriers can carry general items such as camping equipment or off road motorbikes. Medium to large cargo carriers are able to carry musical equipment such as drum kits or large speakers.

    Furthermore, cargo carriers must have a railing height between 5″ and 19″. The railings ensure that your cargo doesn’t slip off the platform when you’re driving. What’s more, is the railing allows you to attach ratchet straps so you can secure your cargo.

  3. Receiver Hitch Size

    Most cargo carriers are able to attach to hitches that are 2″x2″. However, there are carriers that require smaller hitch receivers with a size of 1.25″x1.25″. It’s important to check the size of your hitch so you can purchase a carrier that will attach to it easily.

  4. Weight Capacity

    The weight capacity is how much weight the cargo carrier can accommodate. Most hitch cargo carriers have a weight capacity between 500lbs and 600lbs. Carriers that are able to bear heavy loads have strong platforms that won’t break or buckle under pressure. Consider what you’ll be carrying and then pick the capacity accordingly.

Hitch Mounted Cargo Carriers Types

There are three types of cargo carrier platforms to pick from.
hitch cargo carrier types

  • Tray:
    A tray cargo carrier doesn’t have railings or sides. The advantage of this is that it’s easier to load items onto the carrier and it’s lighter than models that do have sides. Although, if you pick a tray carrier you’ll need ratchet straps to hold your cargo down securely when transporting it.
  • Basket:
    Hitch cargo carriers that are basket-shaped are the most popular devices because they have strong mesh platforms and high rise railings that are between 6″ and 19″ in height. The railings provide extra security for loads to ensure items don’t slip off of the platform.
  • Box Carriers:
    A box carrier is similar to car top devices. They are fully enclosed so it protects your cargo from the elements.

Folding Vs. Fixed Carriers

A folding carrier typically has a Z-style shaft that allows you to lift the platform up so that it’s flat against your bumper. This allows you to streamline your car when you’re not using the cargo carrier. The benefit of a folding carrier is that it’s lightweight and you don’t have to detach it when you want to streamline your car again.

Cargo carriers with fixed shafts can’t be folded up. These carriers will have to be detached from your vehicle if you want to streamline your vehicle again. The advantage of these carriers is that they are incredibly sturdy so they won’t sway or bounce when you drive.

No matter which cargo carrier you pick, ensure you have a cover to protect your items from the elements. Take a look at tonneau cover reviews to find durable waterproof coats to protect your cargo from rain and UV rays.

6 Useful Hitch Mounted Cargo Carrier Accessories

Select a hitch cargo carrier that comes with convenient accessories that will make transporting items safer and easier. Here are a few accessories that you should purchase with your carrier if it doesn’t already come with the device.

  1. Cargo Carrier Tie-Downs
    Tie-downs are extremely important because they provide extra security when transporting heavy loads on a cargo carrier. Use strong ratchet straps with durable clips or a net to hold your cargo down.The advantage of tie-downs is they can be used for rooftop cargo carriers as well as hitched devices. If you’re looking for a different type of device to transport items then take a look at a rooftop cargo carrier buying guide. These devices are installed on the top of your vehicle instead of at the rear of your car.
  2. Anti-Rattle Devices
    When transporting items on a hitch cargo carrier it may produce rattling or noise that might annoy you. If you don’t want any movement or noise when driving with a carrier then purchase any anti-rattling device. An anti-rattling device will tighten the load in your carrier so there are no rustling sounds when you’re transporting items.
  3. Hitch Extenders
    There are hitch adapters or extenders that allow you to increase the size of a receiver or attachment so it’s compatible with your carrier parts. An adapter can transform a hitch into a bigger or smaller size.The extender will provide more space between the carrier and the bumper which is ideal if you have a spare tire attached to the rear of your car.

    There are also hitches that are designed to distribute weight evenly so your carrier doesn’t sway or bounce when you’re driving. Choosing a weight distribution hitch is easy: all you have to do is look at our reviews and buyer’s guides to find the best one for you.

  4. Locks
    If you’re worried about the security of your cargo in high crime areas purchase a hitch lock. The lock will ensure that no one can detach the carrier from your car without a key.
  5. Bags
    Cargo carrier bags are important if you want to protect electronics or other sensitive items from the elements. These bags are waterproof, durable and secure and they typically come with ratchet straps to attach it to a carrier.A cargo carrier bag can accommodate your best truck toolbox so it doesn’t get damaged by rain. They’re also suitable storage for items made from delicate fabrics or even when transporting plants.
  6. Lighting Kits
    As mentioned before it’s important that your hitch cargo trailer has lights attached to the rear. Most carriers come with a light kit but if it doesn’t you may have to purchase it separately. Ensure that you buy a lighting kit that’s compatible with your cargo carrier and it’s easy to install.

hitch cargo carrier reviews

Are Hitch Cargo Carriers Safe?

Hitch cargo carriers are designed to safely transport heavy goods using standard cars, SUVs and vans. Provided they are attached to your vehicle correctly and you’ve installed a light kit onto the rear of the device it won’t pose any risk while you’re driving.

There are some hitch cargo carriers that come with strong ratchet straps to secure your items for additional safety. The carriers are also designed with even weight distribution so it doesn’t wobble or sway when you drive. Overall a cargo carrier is the safest way to transport items when you need to.

Why You Should Use a Hitch Cargo Carrier

There are many advantages to using a hitched cargo carrier. These small trailers are designed to accommodate extra cargo when you have no space in your car. This extra cargo can be camping gear garden equipment and even bicycles. Furthermore, a cargo carrier can transport heavy items that are too big to fit into your vehicle.

What’s more, it’s effortless to load and unload items with a cargo carrier. You’re able to transport different sized items that would make long-distance traveling uncomfortable if they were placed inside the car.

A hitched cargo carrier is easy to install and they’re sturdy. These carriers provide a secure and affordable way of transporting small and large loads.

3 Tips for Long-Lasting Hitch Cargo Carriers

It’s important to maintain your hitch cargo carrier so it has a long service life. Here are a few tips for a long-lasting cargo carrier.

  • Keep It Clean

    If you’re transporting items that make the floor of your hitch trailer dirty then you may have to clean it with soapy water after every trip. It’s important to keep your trailer clean so debris, oil and sand don’t make other items dirty when transporting them.
    Some cargo carriers may only need a thorough rinse with water or you can use a high-pressure cleaner to keep your device clean.

  • Coat it With Paint

    If you notice that some of the coating has chipped off or the carrier is rusting in a few places, apply a primer and paint to the surface. This will stop the rust from spreading and it will give it an extra layer of protection from the elements.

  • Use a Hitch Cargo Carrier Cover

    Hitch cargo carriers will last longer if you cover them. Use a durable UV protected cover to place over your carrier when it’s stored outside to protect it from rain and dirt.

choosing a hitch mounted cargo carrier

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  • Q: Are hitch cargo carriers easy to install?
    A: Anyone can install a hitch cargo carrier provided the hitch is compatible with the receiver. Your carrier may come with a manual. So if you’re not sure about how to install the carrier refer to the directions and follow it step by step.
  • Q: How do I prevent my cargo carrier from swaying
    A: Tighten up your connections so that your cargo carrier doesn’t bounce or sway uncontrollably on the road. Use a hitch receiver immobilizer to tighten up your connections or to prevent rattles or shifting while you drive.
  • Q: Why won’t my trailer hitch release?
    A: There may be too much weight on top of the hitch ball that’s making it difficult for a proper release. Use a trailer jack to lift the carrier off of the release.

You can check also : Rooftop Tents

Wrap Up

We hope our buyer’s guide helped you find the best hitch cargo carrier for your requirements. If you want to transport heavier loads then purchase a hitch cargo carrier with a large weight capacity. Although, if you’re simply using the cargo carrier for camping trips’ luggage, select a device that has a smaller platform at an affordable price.

As you can see there are many hitched cargo carriers to select from. Simply make sure the one you decide to purchase is durable, sturdy and comes with all the items you need for safe and secure traveling.

Did you find a device you’re looking for in our hitch cargo carrier reviews? These cargo carriers are the best on the market at the moment. They all have large weight capacities and they have big loading platforms so you can transport any size items.

Now you know how to make your trips safer and more convenient. Simply order you strong and handy hitched cargo carrier.