Whether you’re going camping or taking a road trip, expanded cargo capacity is almost a necessity. No matter how large your vehicle is, there’s a good chance you can’t fit everything you need when you’re taking a trip, which means leaving some things behind. That’s when cargo carriers are extremely handy, expanding your cargo capacity without impacting the actual interior space of your vehicle.
There are plenty of different cargo carriers out on the market, but hitch-mounted units are convenient and expand your cargo capacity with ease. Designed with practicality in mind, some hitch-mounted cargo carriers even have a foldable design, allowing you to easily store it when it’s not being used. Other products come in the form of a cargo bag, which is great for protecting your contents from weather conditions.
Most cargo carriers can be easily mounted on today’s crossovers, SUVs, and even some passenger vehicles. Naturally you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is equipped with a hitch receiver, and if not, you can outfit nearly any vehicle with an aftermarket offering.
To learn more about hitch cargo carriers, refer to our table of contents.
Updated 12/23/2020 with a new featured product recommendation!
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: Reese Pro Series Rambler (63153)
- Featured Product: Tricam ACC-1F Hitch Mounted Aluminum Cargo Carrier
- 2. Best Cargo Bag: ROLA Wallaroo (59102)
- 3. Best for Versatility: Curt Basket-Style Cargo Carrier (18153)
- 4. Best Bundle: Mockins Cargo Carrier with Cargo Bag and Net
- 5. ROLA Rainproof Cargo Carrier Bag (59119)
- 6. MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Compact Cargo Carrier (70107)
- 7. MaxxHaul 49" x 22.5" Hitch Mount Aluminum Cargo Carrier (70108)
- 8. KING BIRD Folding Cargo Carrier
- 9. MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Steel Folding Cargo Carrier (70103)
- 10. Leader Accessories Folding Cargo Carrier
- How to Choose the Right Hitch Cargo Carrier
1. Editor's Pick: Reese Pro Series Rambler (63153)
One of the highest rated and most popular hitch cargo carriers on Amazon is the Pro Series Rambler. Sporting a 60″ by 24″ platform, this cargo carriers offers 500 lb capacity, while 5.5″ side rails helps keep your cargo secured within the platform. It’s also extremely easy to maintain and clean, thanks to a rugged mesh floor. This product fits 2″ square vehicle receivers and features a rise shank design to elevate your cargo, delivering improved ground clearance.
Sporting a 2-piece design, this cargo carrier has a durable powdercoat finish to resist elements, scratches, and rust.
Featured Product: Tricam ACC-1F Hitch Mounted Aluminum Cargo Carrier
Shopping for a large cargo carrier that’s both lightweight and easy to handle? Look no further than this hitch-mounted carrier from Tricam. The company uses a combination of steel and lightweight aluminum to create this cargo carrier, with a loading area that measures 50 inches by 20 inches and a capacity of 500 pounds. This leads to a carrier that has the same basic dimensions as many other options, but the Tricam ACC-1F weighs in at just 25 pounds. That makes it easier to move around when not in use, while also making it easier to attach to your vehicle.
The Tricam ACC-1F Hitch Mounted Aluminum Cargo Carrier works with a two-inch hitch receiver with a level design, preventing the carrier from getting in the way of your SUV’s rear lift gate. The cargo area features an open-bottom base as well, making for easier cleaning following a weekend excursion.
Finally, with the majority of the cargo carrier exterior being made of aluminum, you won’t need to worry about stone chips leading to rust issues.
*This is a sponsored placement.
2. Best Cargo Bag: ROLA Wallaroo (59102)
If you’re looking for a cargo bag, the ROLA Wallaroo is a great choice, offering up to 11.5 cubic feet of storage space—expanded from 9.5 cubic feet when the extra zipper is unzipped. Manufactured from a premium-quality, rainproof material with sonically welded seams, this cargo bag will keep all its contents dry, clean, and protected no matter where you’re heading.
With 6 straps, this product is designed to be a universal fit with most hitch mounted cargo strays and baskets. Inside the bag are 2 interior pockets that can hold small items and help with organization. It tips the scales at 6.5 lbs, so it won’t add any significant weight to your carrier.
3. Best for Versatility: Curt Basket-Style Cargo Carrier (18153)
This basket-style cargo carrier from Curt features a folding shank (1-1/4″ or 2″), so it can be tilted up when it’s not in use. Measuring 60″ by 24″, this cargo carrier has 6″ tall sides to keep items more securing during travel. It is made from heavy duty carbide steel with a tubular construction that has been powdercoated and has a carrying capacity of 500 lbs. At the bottom is a mesh base, allowing for easy cleanup of debris.
Installation is fairly easy with this product, thanks to a bolt-together design. This cargo carrier can also be mounted to a front hitch if your vehicle is equipped with one.
4. Best Bundle: Mockins Cargo Carrier with Cargo Bag and Net
Want a single solution that covers all your bases when it comes to hitch cargo carriers? This recommendation from Mockins includes a waterproof cargo bag, a cargo net, hitch stabilizer, and a pair of ratchet straps—in addition to the hitch carrier. The carrier is constructed from heavy duty steel with an anti-rust coating, and has the capacity to hold up to 500 lbs of cargo. Once assembled, the tray measures 60″ long by 20″ wide by 6″ tall and features a simple-to-clean mesh floor.
Attached to the carrier is a hitch hauler with a 2″ shank rise for better ground clearance, and it’s foldable for when you’re not having to use it. It’s designed to fit 2″ receivers. The included cargo bag has a capacity of about 15.5 cubic feet, allowing you to store personal belongings without having to worry about weather conditions.
This recommendation is great if you need both a cargo carrier and cargo bag. You won’t have to worry about whether or not the cargo bag fits your cargo carrier, since these products are designed to work with one another.
5. ROLA Rainproof Cargo Carrier Bag (59119)
If you need more storage, ROLA offers another rainproof cargo carrier bag offering up to 20 cubic feet. Measuring 59″ by 24″ by 24″, this is one of the larger cargo bags available on the market and it will fit on cargo baskets measuring 60″ by 24″ and up. Like the Wallaroo, this cargo bag comes with a 6-strap system to help keep everything in place.
Constructed of quality waterproof materials and sonic welding technology, all the zippers on this product are protected by rain flaps. ROLA offers a 5-year warranty on this cargo carrier bag.
6. MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Compact Cargo Carrier (70107)
MaxxHaul has several cargo carriers available, one of which is this option measuring 53″ by 19-1/2″ (outer dimensions). Constructed from heavy duty steel, this carrier boasts reflectors for added safety and high side rails to keep your cargo securely in place. This product fits standard Class III and IV 2″ by 2″ receiver hitches and weighs 27 lbs. It supports a fairly standard 500 lb capacity.
Unlike similar carriers however, this one doesn’t have a mesh base. This may not affect you, but it’s something to keep in mind. Overall, it’s an inexpensive and fairly basic cargo carrier that does the job.
One major complaint for this product is that on some vehicles, it sits really low and close to the car’s exhaust. Take some measurements or use caution if that’s the case with your car, since the exhaust can get hot and could melt your cargo—or worse, set it on fire.
7. MaxxHaul 49" x 22.5" Hitch Mount Aluminum Cargo Carrier (70108)
If you’re in the market for something lighter weight, another MaxxHaul offering is is this aluminum cargo carrier. Designed to fit Class III and Class IV 2″ by 2″ hitch receivers, this aluminum basket is resistant to corrosion and easy to install, featuring reflectors for increased road safety just like MaxxHaul’s other products. It has a maximum distributed weight capacity of 500 lbs and measures 49-1/4″ by 22-1/2″ by 7-1/4″ (outside dimensions).
The high side rails helps keep cargo secure, while this carrier’s design provides limitless tie down points for your loads. The under support for this product is made from heavy duty gauge steel with a powdercoat finish to resist rust and corrosion. The carrier itself weighs 30 lbs.
8. KING BIRD Folding Cargo Carrier
Another option that comes with a few extras is this folding cargo carrier from KING BIRD. Before we get into the accessories, this cargo carrier measures 60″ by 24″ by 7″ overall with 59″ by 22″ by 6″ inner dimensions, and has a maximum capacity of 550 lbs. An angled shank provides additional clearance, while the red reflectors are a nice addition to improve safety while driving at night. The exterior of the carrier is baked with a carbide black powdercoat finish, making it resistant to rust.
The included shank provides 19″ of clearance so you can easily access your vehicle’s back door, and this carrier is foldable even if you have a rear-mounted spare tire. As for the accessories, you’ll also receive a cargo net and two packing straps to help secure all your belongings, as well as a hitch pin.
9. MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Steel Folding Cargo Carrier (70103)
Yet another MaxxHaul product on our list, this steel folding cargo carrier has outer dimensions of 60″ by 21″ by 6-1/2″. The all-steel construction features a durable black powdercoat finish to resist rust and corrosion, while the mesh-style basket helps accommodate all sorts of cargo. It has a maximum 500 lb weight capacity and also comes with red reflectors for increased visibility at night.
This product can be folded up when not in use and uses locking pins to keep it securely fastened. It’s a bit on the heavier side, weighing 53 lbs. It fits 2″ by 2″ Class II and Class IV hitch receivers.
10. Leader Accessories Folding Cargo Carrier
If you’re looking for an option that’s fairly basic but does the job well, consider this recommendation from Leader Accessories. Measuring 60″ by 24″ by 6″ with a 500 lb capacity, this cargo carrier comes with a foldable shank, allowing you to tilt up the cargo carrier when it’s not being used. It’s designed to fit standard 2″ receivers and features a two-piece construction with a durable powdercoat finish. You’ll also be able to apply red reflectors for safer nighttime driving.
While this cargo carrier is pretty standard, there is an option to purchase it with a stand, which can come pretty handy when camping or tailgating. It’s a patented feature where the legs open up underneath the basket, giving you a stable table you can use for all sorts of activities. Out camping and want to grille up some food? Just drop the legs on your cargo carrier and you’re set. Even better, it can still be useful when it’s not attached to your car and being used as a cargo carrier.
How to Choose the Right Hitch Cargo Carrier
There are a few things to take into account when choosing the right hitch cargo carrier for your vehicle. You want to start off by determining what hitch class your vehicle has, especially if you installed an aftermarket hitch. You’ll want to make sure the hitch cargo carrier you’re purchasing is compatible with your specific hitch class.
Next, determine the type of cargo and how often you’ll be using your cargo carrier. Do you need a solution that folds up when it’s not in use? Or perhaps you live in an area that often experiences rain, which means you’ll want a weatherproof cargo bag to protect your gear. If you believe you won’t need to use your cargo carrier that often, then you might want to choose a carrier that is easy to install/uninstall.
Lastly, make sure you estimate the weight of your cargo and purchase a cargo carrier that will support that weight. Some cheaper cargo carriers will have a lower weight capacity, so keep that in mind if you plan on hauling heavy items.
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