If you need to transport extra gear with your vehicle, it makes sense to have the best hitch mount cargo carrier. This simple piece of equipment allows you to haul and transport additional cargo, besides what fits in your vehicle. To find the best-rated hitch cargo carrier, you need to look at several aspects, including the build quality, price, and features. We will help you find the trailer hitch cargo carrier that fits your needs.


Preview

Product

Dimensions

Weight Capacity

Check Price

Pro Series 63153

Pro Series 63153

60 x 24 x 5 inches

500 lbs.

StowAway Max Hitch Cargo Box with SwingAway...

StowAway2 Max 024.3Dual

51 x 23 x 26 inches

200 lbs.

ROLA 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier,...

ROLA 59502

48 x 26.5 x 11”

600 lbs.

ARKSEN Folding Cargo Carrier Luggage Basket...

ARKSEN

47.5 x 60 x 9 inches

500 lbs.

Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier with Cargo...

Mockins

60” L x 20” W x 6” H

500 lbs.

CURT 18153 500 lbs. Capacity Basket Trailer...

CURT 18153

60 x 24 x 6 inches

500 lbs.

MaxxHaul 70275 52-1/2' x 29' Aluminum Cargo...

MaxxHaul 70275

53 x 31.8 x 8.2 inches

500 lbs.

Northbound Aluminum Cargo Carrier/Hauler...

Northbound 116873

24″ X 49″

500 lbs.

Apex UC500-XL Steel Basket Folding Cargo...

Apex UC500-XL

60 x 33 x 6.5 inches

500 lbs.


How Does a Cargo Carrier Work?

Instead of cutting back on the amount of gear you take camping, you can use a cargo carrier to put more equipment or luggage in. This takes the components out of the car to make more space. Whether you use a roof-mounted cargo carrier or the rear hitch cargo carrier, you are effectively creating more room, while having all of your gear nearby.


Hitch Cargo Carrier Buying Guide

Size & Compatibility - Usage or Purpose

The first step to determine what the best hitch-mounted cargo carrier is for your vehicle and to decide what your needs are. Will you need something small to hold a few pieces of luggage, or do you want to carry a motorized vehicle on the back? Make sure you choose something large enough to be versatile for any trip you plan to take.

Hitch Class/Receiver Hitch Size

It doesn’t matter how much capacity the hitch-mounted cargo carrier can handle if you can’t get it installed. You need to look at the receiver hitch size on your vehicle to make sure it is compatible with the equipment you want to purchase. Your hitch receiver size should also conform to what your vehicle is capable of towing. Check these figures in the owner’s manual before purchasing any towing equipment

Platform Type

The most popular option is the hitch basket cargo carrier. It has sides that keep all of the cargo in place. You can use the basket style for a variety of cargo, but don’t overlook the benefits of a flatbed carrier. These don’t contain the high rails but often have raised edges. You might also prefer a cargo carrier with a ramp if you plan to transport a wheelchair or anything with wheels. Aside from these options, you can also choose a box or shaft type.

Build Material

A heavy-duty hitch cargo carrier will be made from steel. Of course, these add extra weight and cost but tend to support more gear. If the steel is coated with black powder, you receive corrosion-resistance and more durability. You can also choose the best aluminum hitch cargo carrier, which reduces the weight but can't support as much. A select group of carriers is made from polypropylene mixed with a steel frame. These aren't just lightweight but also resistant to corrosion.

Weight Limit/Capacity

For most carriers, you can expect to carry around 500 pounds. You might not need this much and could choose a lower weight capacity of about 200 or 300 pounds. The lower the weight limit is, the more you will save. When you buy a carrier, make sure you consider all of the cargo you might haul in the future.

Ease of Assembly, Installation & Flexibility

If you need simple storage, consider looking for the folding hitch cargo carrier. If you don’t want the hassle of disassembling it, this is your best option. You also want to make sure that your hitch haul cargo carrier is simple to install unless you plan on having a professional installation.

Safety & Security

The last thing you want is luggage falling off of the carrier. This could cause an accident and leave you without some of your personal belongings. Check the features to ensure there are hitch locks or latches that are secured. It also helps to use the strapping points to hold everything down. On top of that, you want a model with reflectors or lights, especially if you plan to drive at night.

Weather Protection/Wind Resistant

The best rear hitch cargo carrier keeps your gear protected from the weather. Plus, the hitch-mounted carriers don’t see as much wind as the rooftop carriers do. This might make a difference when it comes to your vehicle’s fuel economy. You will pay more to achieve weather protection, but it will be worth it if the cargo you are carrying is valuable.

Price & Warranty

Everyone wants to find the best receiver hitch cargo carrier for the money, but you can't solely look at the price. Instead, you need to focus on value. Balance the features and capability to the cost to determine if it is a good buy. You also want to choose a model with a long-term warranty for additional protection. 


9 Best Hitch Cargo Carriers Reviewed

1. Pro Series 63153

Pro Series 63153
Pro Series 63153
Our Top Pick

Dimensions

60 x 24 x 5 inches

Weight Capacity

500 lbs.

Design

Basket

Wall height

5.5”

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

The Pro Series is made from Reese, a leader in the market. This company makes a high-quality SUV hitch cargo carrier that holds up to 500 pounds. You can fit a lot of gear on the 60" x 24" platform. Use it for your next camping adventure, road trip, or tailgate event. With durable 5.5" side rails, your cargo is bound to stay in place. You can use this carrier with 2-inch receivers. Plus, the shank design elevates the cargo for improved ground clearance.

The unique two-piece construction is simple to install. It's constructed of heavy-duty steel for maximum durability. Plus, the company added a powder coat finish for maximum dust, scratch, and element-resistance. Even if the carrier gets messy, cleanup won't take long with the rugged mesh floors. Simply spray it off and continue with your day.

This carrier isn’t the lightest on the market at 59 pounds, but it’s not bulky either. You should be able to install it on your own. Plus, the company provides a one-year warranty, which offers further peace of mind. One look at the exceptional customer reviews proves this is one of the top 2-inch receiver hitch cargo carrier models, and it's our top pick. Plus, you don’t need to spend a small fortune to own it.

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Durable steel construction
  • Powder-coated finish
  • Large size
  • Holds up to 500 pounds

Cons

  • None

2. StowAway2 Max 024.3Dual

Best Enclosed Hitch Cargo Carrier

Dimensions

51 x 23 x 26 inches

Weight Capacity

200 lbs.

Design

Box

Wall height

Enclosed

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, 10-year

If you plan on transporting gear that needs to be protected from the weather, you want a hitch-mounted enclosed cargo carrier. This highly rated box comes on a rugged SwingAway frame. This unique design swings out to provide unobstructed access when you need to get into the back of your vehicle. The box itself measures 51 x 23 x 26 inches and will hold 16 cubic feet of gear, weighing up to 200 pounds.

While this isn't as much as some of the flat or basket-type options, the additional weather protection is what sets this model apart. Plus, no one can see what you are transporting in the box, which adds another level of security. This secure box includes a license plate bracket, drain plug for easy cleaning, taillights, and a locking latch.

This model is constructed of heavy-duty plastic and fits a Class 3 or above 2-inch receiver hitch. It does weigh a little more than you might think at 94 pounds, so you might need a little help with the installation. This box is constructed in the United States and comes with a ten-year warranty. If that doesn’t offer the assurances you need, read through the satisfied customer reviews. The only downside is the increased price due to the weather-resistance.

Pros

  • Exceptional warranty
  • Durable construction
  • Weather protection
  • SwingAway frame

Cons

  • Expensive

3. ROLA 59502

Best Rated for High Capacity
(Heavy-Duty Option)

Dimensions

48 x 26.5 x 11”

Weight Capacity

600 lbs.

Design

Basket

Wall height

5.25”

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, 5-year

With this Vortex Steel carrier, you have everything you need to take that next adventure. ROLA has created carriers for more than thirty years, so they are a leader in the industry. The company is based out of Australia and built to handle the harshest conditions. This heavy-duty carrier will hold up to 600 pounds, which is more than most products on the market. Even with the extra capability, the price doesn't really go up.

It's constructed of steel and will hold everything you have with ease. The finish is black and features a scratch-resistant powder coat, so it always looks new. The side walls measure 5.25-inches to secure all of your gear properly. If you want to stack items, just strap them down for security.

This model works with all two-inch receiver hitches and features a two-piece assembly for a quick installation. You only need one tool to get it installed – a socket wrench. There is also a spot for your license plate. It does weigh a little more at 73 pounds, mainly to hold the extra weight, but this product comes with a five-year warranty. Combine that with the reviews, and you will know you've made a good selection with this heavy-duty model.

Pros

  • 5-year warranty
  • Holds 600 pounds
  • 2-piece construction
  • Strong frame

Cons

  • Heavy

4. ARKSEN

Best Folding Hitch Cargo Carrier

Dimensions

47.5 x 60 x 9 inches

Weight Capacity

500 lbs.

Design

Basket

Wall height

6”

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, 10-year

If you want a large hitch cargo carrier, this ARKSEN might be exactly what you are looking for. It’s a folding hitch cargo carrier that works well if you don’t want to remove the equipment when it’s not being used. Instead, simply fold it up and forget about it. This carrier features a heavy-duty steel frame complete with black epoxy powder coating for maximum durability.

Not only is the square tube construction sturdy, but the basket is fully welded for additional support. The mesh surface helps to keep smaller objects where they belong. You won't have to worry about items falling through the bottom. Plus, it comes with six-inch raised tubular side rails for additional protection. You can use this model with any two-inch hitch receiver to hold up to 500 pounds.

The price is exceptional, plus the company adds several other purchasing options to choose from. You can add on a cargo net or cargo bag for more versatility. Despite the heavy-duty construction, this carrier is incredibly lightweight at just 53 pounds. You would be able to install it by yourself. In addition, the company places a ten-year warranty on this carrier, which is one of the highest terms in the market.

Pros

  • 10-year warranty
  • Lightweight
  • Low price
  • Tall walls

Cons

  • None

5. Mockins

Best Hitch Cargo Carrier for SUV

Dimensions

60” L x 20” W x 6” H

Weight Capacity

500 lbs.

Design

Basket

Wall height

6”

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, Limited lifetime

This hitch carrier comes with two ratchet straps, a cargo net, a hitch stabilizer, and a waterproof cargo bag. It’s constructed from heavy-duty steel for maximum durability. Because of this construction, it can effectively hold up to 500 pounds of cargo. Use it to carry your camping gear or luggage. The tray measures 60 inches, so you will have plenty of room for whatever you need to haul. We have named this model the best hitch cargo carrier for SUV.

This rack is designed with an easy to clean mesh bottom, so you won't have to worry about getting it dirty. This is ideal for camping or tailgating. This hitch hauler also includes a two-inch shank rise to improve the ground clearance. Plus, it has a foldable basket for when it's not in use. Attach this carrier to any compatible vehicle with a two-inch receiver.

One thing that sets this model apart is the limited lifetime warranty. You won’t have to worry about anything going wrong because the existing customer reviews suggest that the company is very easy to work with. At just 52 pounds, you should be able to attach this cargo carrier yourself, but you could always employ the use of a friend. Some people did note that the installation instructions aren’t very clear, so you might need a little patience to get started.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Includes several extras
  • Durable construction
  • Mesh floor

Cons

  • Confusing assembly instructions

6. CURT 18153

Best Trailer Hitch Cargo Carrier

Dimensions

60 x 24 x 6 inches

Weight Capacity

500 lbs.

Design

Basket

Wall height

6”

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, Limited lifetime

CURT is a leader in trailering equipment, so it makes sense to purchase a trailer hitch cargo carrier from the company. If you want to keep your items secure on the move, you will appreciate the six-inch-high walls located around this cargo basket. You can use the wall to fasten down a cargo bag or net. Plus, it comes with a folding, angled shank so you can stow it away when it isn’t in use. Plus, the angled shank provides extra ground clearance.

Not only do you get to keep your messy cargo items out of the car, but you can easily clean this basket carrier. It features a mesh bottom for quick cleaning. There are also integrated reflectors built on the frame for a safer ride and additional visibility. Because this cargo carrier is constructed out of tubular steel, you won’t have to worry about durability.

This construction is completed with a carbide black powder coat to ensure corrosion resistance. The hitch carrier isn’t too heavy, so you may be able to complete installation by yourself, but it would be safer to do with a partner. Plus, this model comes complete with a limited lifetime warranty for further peace of mind.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Durable tubular steel construction
  • Integrated reflectors
  • Foldable

Cons

  • Might need help with installation

7. MaxxHaul 70275

Best Hitch Mounted Cargo Carrier with Ramp

Dimensions

53 x 31.8 x 8.2 inches

Weight Capacity

500 lbs.

Design

Basket

Wall height

8”

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, 90-day

Are you looking for a hitch cargo carrier with a ramp to load your scooter or motorized vehicle? This aluminum hitch cargo carrier holds up to 500 pounds of distributed weight. It’s made from lightweight aluminum but contains a corrosion-resistant finish. The extra-wide carrier is specifically designed with mobility devices in mind, so it’s not difficult to use, once the installation is complete.

Use the included anchor points to secure your load. Plus, the reflectors help to increase on-road safety. The eight-inch side rails are higher than most and provide extra stability. On top of that, when you use the ramp, you will be pleased to see the close-spaced rungs that are perfect for equipment with smaller wheels.

At nearly 80 pounds, you will need some help getting this product installed. Another downside is the short 90-day warranty. While it doesn’t look like you will need to file a warranty claim, it seems exceptionally short considering the higher price point. Still, existing customers assert that this model is the best option if you want to tote your scooter around with you. It offers versatility, durability, and plenty of room. You can take your motorized equipment anywhere you go with this hitch carrier on the back of your vehicle.

Pros

  • Includes ramp
  • Designed for motorized equipment
  • Integrated reflectors
  • High side rails

Cons

  • Short warranty
  • Expensive

8. Northbound 116873

Best Aluminum Hitch Cargo Carrier

Dimensions

24″ X 49″

Weight Capacity

500 lbs.

Design

Tray

Wall height

2”

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, 90-day

This is not a cheap folding aluminum hitch cargo carrier, but instead, a model featuring a heavy-duty aluminum steel frame. It’s probably unlike anything else you’ve ever used. This premium carrier was constructed in the United States and features a bolt-on tongue to provide more storage. You will notice that it uses a 2 X 2 X 1/4" tongue with a 2D tube cross support and 1/8-inch top angle uprights for durable construction. 

Because it is welded together, you won't need to worry about anything falling apart or wearing out. It will effectively hold up to five hundred pounds of gear. This spacious carrier will hold your lawnmower, lots of luggage, and so much more. Just use support straps to hold everything down. Plus, assembly is simple. One you fit it into the hitch, you only need to add two screws.

The downside is that a small company makes this product. There isn't much of a warranty to talk about if there is one at all. Besides, you are paying for the quality, which is why the price is so much higher. According to the customer reviews, you won't be disappointed spending more on this unit, and you won't care about the warranty coverage either.

Pros

  • Welded construction
  • Spacious
  • Simple assembly
  • Highly rated

Cons

  • Expensive

9. Apex UC500-XL

Top of the Range

Dimensions

60 x 33 x 6.5 inches

Weight Capacity

500 lbs.

Design

Basket

Wall height

6.5”

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

If money isn’t a concern for you, then you should choose a top of the range option with a durable construction such as this Apex model. The heavy-duty steel construction is complemented by a black paint finish for a long life, free of corrosion. This hitch carrier basket is perfect for holding utility equipment, wheelchairs, generators, power scooters, or other cargo that weighs up to 500 pounds.

Use this versatile cargo carrier with a two-inch hitch receiver. You have a 17-inch clearance pin for the unfolded carrier and a 5.75-inch clearance pin with the folded carrier. This system comes with a lot of extra gear. For the higher price, you will be happy to know that five carrying handles, an anti-tilt stabilizing bracket, and ten tie-down points are included.

The biggest downfall for this system, other than the price, is the weight. At 153 pounds, this equipment is delivered on a pallet and won't be simple to install on your own. You will need at least one other person to help you out. Unfortunately, it only includes a one-year warranty. This doesn't seem like enough coverage for such an expensive piece of equipment, but the customer reviews suggest that you have nothing to worry about.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Folding design
  • Includes anti-tilt stabilizing bracket

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Roof Cargo vs. Hitch Cargo Carrier

Both the rooftop and hitch cargo carrier will hold your gear and create space inside the vehicle. With a rooftop cargo carrier, you don't need a hitch, and you get weather protection. They also tend to be cheaper. The hitch cargo carrier creates less air drag and holds more weight. These also tend to be easier to install since you don't need to climb on the roof. Plus, you can't get rooftop carriers that work with pickup trucks.


Folding vs. Fixed Carriers

A folding carrier creates more convenience, but the fixed carrier is more stable. The decision comes down to how you plan to use the carrier. If it will remain on your vehicle at all times, it makes sense to choose a folding carrier. This design is easier to keep out of the way when you aren’t using it. On the other hand, if you only plan on installing the hitch carrier when you go on vacation, you might be fine with the fixed carrier instead.


Hitch-Mounted Cargo Carrier Installation

To install a tow hitch cargo carrier, you will want to read the manual that comes with the product. For the most part, you will follow these simple steps.

  1. 1
    Ensure that the trailer ball insert isn’t in the hitch receiver.
  2. 2
    Ask a friend to help with the installation.
  3. 3
    Line up your hitch cargo carrier with the hitch receiver.
  4. 4
    Insert the carrier shaft carefully into the receiver.
  5. 5
    Secure the carrier by inserting a hitch pin.

If you want some visual instructions, this video should prove to be useful.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How much weight can a hitch cargo carrier hold?

The majority of carriers hold between 200 and 500 pounds. If you need more capacity, you will want to look for an extra-large hitch cargo carrier. Just make sure your vehicle and hitch can handle the additional weight.

Are hitch cargo carriers safe?

The best hitch cargo carrier box models are completely safe. Most safety-related incidents involve errors on the part of the operator. If you want to stay safe while towing, you should follow some basic safety guidelines.

Are hitch cargo carriers legal?

You don’t want the cargo carrier to obstruct your taillights or license plate, or you might face a ticket. There are some exemptions, but the only way to tell is to research your state laws.

Do I need lights on a cargo carrier?

If your cargo carrier and the additional cargo don’t block your vehicle lights, you won’t need to have an additional light kit installed.

What are some tips for maintaining a long-lasting hitch cargo carrier?

When you are done using the cargo carrier, you will want to clean it off with soap and water. It’s important to keep it free of debris if you want it to last many years.

What are the Top Brands of Hitch Cargo Carriers?

We recommend several brands when looking at the best tow hitch cargo carrier. Look at some options from Reese, StowAway, ROLA, Arksen, and CURT.

What are some essential Hitch Cargo Carrier Parts & Accessories?

There are lots of accessories you can use with the carrier to create more versatility. Consider looking for the best hitch cargo carrier bag, cargo net, straps, and waterproof coverings to protect your gear. You may also find ratchet straps, bungee cords, a locking hitch pin, and hitch stabilizers to be useful.


Conclusion

If you need the best hitch cargo carrier for Jeep Wrangler or another vehicle, we find the Pro Series 63153 to offer the best value. It holds up to 500 pounds and comes with some of the highest ratings. You can’t go wrong with a quality cargo carrier behind your vehicle. Create more room for that next trip with the family.

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