Best Hitch Cargo Carriers that Will Get You Your Money’s Worth

Best Hitch Cargo Carriers that Will Get You Your Money’s Worth

A hitch cargo carrier is the best carrying solution when you want to extend your vehicle’s utility. Out of all the things that help make our lives easier, a hitch cargo carrier is on the top of the list, since you never know when you will need to haul big or heavy objects to or from home, right?

What is a hitch cargo carrier? It is merely a sturdy cage or platform you can attach to your car or truck and use it to carry things that may be very heavy, won’t fit in your vehicle, are dirty, or could damage your car or truck in some way. It is also a great option for adventure enthusiasts who want to bring everything with them on their trips or when they go camping.

Yes, you probably think about renting a truck but this can be quite costly, not to mentions that you have to pay a deposit and then pay for insurance, and all the miles you put on the truck, plus, fill the tank up with gas before returning it. In the end, it’s not convenient at all. Investing in a high-quality hitch cargo carrier still is the right solution.  Plus, for less than half of the total cost to rent a truck you could buy a trailer hitch and use it continuously.

We know that finding the best hitch cargo carrier might be challenging therefore we have put together this article to make things easier for you. They are many products available on the market with different features and advantages, so we have compiled a comprehensive buyer’s guide and reviewed the best hitch cargo carriers.

Best Hitch Cargo Carriers of 2020

Buyer’s Guide|Best Hitch Cargo Carrier

Who Needs a Hitch Cargo Carrier?

It’s not hard at all to answer this question. Nowadays, in one or another, almost everyone needs a hitch cargo carrier attached to their vehicles. The following are just some examples of whom a cargo carrier would really benefit:

Shoppers: If you shop a lot, you might require assistance to haul your purchases home, especially if you buy in bulk or purchase large items such as a big-screen TV, furniture, or large appliances.

Campers: A cargo carrier is necessary for campers who want to take along all of their camping gear. Sure, you can fit a bunch of stuff in your trunk, but just think of all the things you can take if you had a cargo carrier with so much space.

Handicapped: These carriers are a definite must-have for people who use a wheelchair to get around. You can take your wheelchair anywhere you go with a cargo trailer.

Construction workers/Painters/Handymen and more: Those who are in the construction business or any other business like that requires you to bring your own equipment and tools, so if you are in this industry you really should consider purchasing a cargo carrier.

Bands/Musicians: When going to play a gig or just to practice, a cargo carrier can be of great use as it is a convenient way to haul your equipment back and forth.

Travelers: If you find yourself frequently traveling from place to place, think about how handy a cargo carrier can be to transport everything you need.


What to Look for When Purchasing a Cargo Carrier

The first factor you should consider when purchasing a cargo carrier is its sturdiness. Make sure that the material the carrier is made of is solid and well attached so you won’t encounter any problems along the way and will get a lot of use out of it.

If you will be hauling expensive equipment, you might want to invest in a carrier that has a locking mechanism to keep everything locked up and safe from theft.

Look for a hitch that connects firmly to your vehicle and doesn’t wobble much while traveling.

Rust can also be a problem with cargo carriers since the majority of them are made of a material that tends to rust easily. So, try to ensure that your carrier is kept clean and dry. In addition, you should invest in a waterproof carrier cover to keep it dry and rust-free, if it doesn’t already come with one.

Also, hitch cargo carriers are not always so simple to install, therefore, you might need some help hitching your cargo trailer to your car or truck.

1. CURT 18153 Cargo Carrier (Basket-Style)

CURT 18153 60 x 24-Inch Basket Hitch Cargo Carrier, 500 lbs...

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Performance and Technical Issues
The Curt cargo carrier is the smart solution for traveling as it provides maximum storage space to help take your things along with you wherever you go. The heavy-duty carbide steel tubular mount holds strong, provides 500 lbs. capacity and it is easy to install.

Additionally, the shank folds up for easy storage when not in use. Mount the carrier to the front of your vehicle and you can add another carrier to the back for added space. The carrier is equipped with built-in tie-down straps, it has a durable black powder finish that helps it to remain scratch, UV damage, and rust-free, while the basket uses a mesh base for quick and easy cleanup.

Included is a Curt cargo carrier with tie-down straps, a waterproof vinyl storage cover, and an instruction manual. You can request a manufacturer’s warranty from customer service.

Is this Product Recommended?
Out of 565 product reviews, seventy percent gave the Curt 18153 Cargo Carrier 5 stars, therefore, it is highly recommended. However, there were major issues with the product that multiple buyers agree on, such as; non-matching halves, frequent rapid rusting, difficult assembly, missing hardware, and the folded bar reaching too far out.


Will it work for a Camaro or will it drag?
There were no issues with this cargo carrier and a 2006 Subaru Outback while driving from Wisconsin to Georgia and a Camaro probably has a bigger engine than the “4” in the Subaru.

Which would work better on a big pickup truck like a Nissan Titan the straight or bent shaft?
My Tahoe is already high above the ground, and I have the bent shaft as it really helps when driving over sloped driveways or curbs with plenty of clearance. Just like my lift-gate, you may be limited when lowering your tailgate. So I would recommend you get the bent version.

Will I be able to open my rear door if I get the bent shaft with a 95 Jeep Cherokee?
Not so sure about a Jeep, however, I have a 09 Tacoma with the carrier attached and I can open mine.

From what I understand, the removable cotter pin is what keeps the carrier upright. My question is, can you remove the carrier from the shank if you take the pin out?
No. A bolt is also used to attach the shank to the carrier. Removing the shank from the carrier would require you to loosen the nut and remove the bolt.

When it is loaded, does it conceal your license plates?
It doesn’t cover up ours and we have a 2008 Nissan Quest. Although, it depends on where your license plate is. However, you can always take the plates off your vehicle and put it on the back of the carrier.

What is the difference between a regular folding shank and a bent one?
The regular shank allows the angle to change on the basket for easy storing when it is empty where the bent one also does the same along with changing the height of the basket.

• Can be mounted on the front or back of most vehicles
• Tilts to fold up for easy compact storage

• The carrier is somewhat heavy
• The bolts strip out fast but can be replaced

2. Reese ProSeries 63153 Explore Rambler

Amazon Basics 60 x 21-Inch Basket Hitch Cargo Carrier, 500...

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Performance and Technical Issues
The Reese Rambler is ideal for family road trips, camping, or anything that requires hauling things. Its side rails are 5.5” perfect for securing most objects while keeping them in place. The mesh rugged floors make it fast and easy to clean up and for improved ground clearance, the Reese Rambler elevates cargo with its rise shank featured design. Constructed with a powder-coated, durable finish that resists rust, scratches, and more, this model also comes with a one year warranty.

Is this Product Recommended?
Numerous individuals, who have used the Reese Rambler, claim it is a great product that they would recommend others use. Out of fifteen hundred reviews on this product, seventy-seven percent gave it five stars, which should answer this question. The only negative reviews were about one or two missing parts and the length being so long that it wobbles.


Is there a hitch pin included with this carrier?
No, but it is still a very good carrier.

Does the assembly require a torque wrench?
You may be mistaking an impact wrench for a torque wrench, but you can use any kind of wrench to assemble this carrier.

Can the rear of the rack be used as a receiver hitch?
No, because it isn’t big enough and therefore, would not be able to support it, since the steel gauge is not very thick.

Can you fold this model up for storage when not in use?
No. In order to put it away, you would have to remove it.

Would the cargo door of a Tahoe still open if this item was installed?
Yes, I believe it would as the rear door on our Nissan Pathfinder and Yukon opens fine.

What is it made of (materials)?
It is made of very durable and sturdy steel

What are the dimensions?
60 x 24 x 5”

How much does it weigh and what’s the hauling capacity?
Weighs 62.6 lbs. with a 500 lb. capacity

• Easy to assemble
• It doesn’t wobble or sway as most others do.

• Doesn’t fold for storage
• Does not include a hitch pin or reflectors

3. ARKSEN Black Folding Cargo Carrier

ARKSEN 60 x 25 Inch Folding Cargo Rack Carrier 500 Lbs Heavy...

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Performance and Technical Issues
Enjoy your trip knowing that your luggage is securely stacked away in this convenient cargo carrier that features a 60” hitch mounted foldable basket, a black powder-coated finish for protection from the elements, rust, and road grime, and a pull-pin design allowing it to fold up conveniently and out of your way.

Is this Product Recommended?
In viewing the reviews of this product, it is clear that the majority of people would recommend it, but little individuals did have some issues with it claiming; it rattles, wobbles, and rusts fast.


Would I still be able to pack stuff in the rack if I were to use it to hold my bike on the back of a Jeep?
Yes. It should fit fine as long as you are not using a trailer hitch as a bike rack.

As far as length is concerned, is it possible to put a storage tub on the smaller part of the rack, inside of this?
Yes, and you would still have plenty of room to spare. I added 3 beach chairs, an ice chest and a big storage tub on it and it fit perfect.

What are the dimensions?
47.5″(L) x 60″(W) x 9″(H) Overall Dimension

Does it come with a warranty?
Contact seller for warranty information

Do I need to get the trailer lights for the basket? I am going to take a trip to where I will mostly be driving at night and can use my four-way harness.
All you will really need to get is something to stabilize the basket when hitched. There are reflector strips included, so you won’t have to get more.

Will I be able to open my Wrangler gate while using this carrier?
You should be able to, as it goes directly out of the hitch mount, but not when its folded while positioned flat. The rear of my Honda Pilot hatchback opens fine with this carrier attached.

• Includes multiple ports for connecting the hitch
• Has a great folding feature

• The rack is a bit too close to the road
• Does not include the required Class IV or III hitch pin

4. Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Carrier

ROLA 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier, Hitch-Mount,...

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Performance and Technical Issues
The Rola Steel Cargo Carrier has been utilized by Australians for over 30 years as it is ideal for camping gear, luggage, equipment, tools, and more. This high capacity system is easy to install and has attachment points for your license plates. The black powder coating is great for protecting against scratches, rust, and elements and the rise shank is specifically designed to raise the platform, providing more ground clearance while offering easy loading and unloading of cargo.

Is this Product Recommended?
Not only is this cargo carrier recommended by many consumers, but it also has the best ratings of all the carriers mentioned in this article.


Is it easy to assemble?
Yes. This cargo carrier consists of a 2-piece assembly.

Can this one fold upward against a vehicle?
No, it doesn’t. Possibly because it is too sturdy to make it fold.

What is it made of (materials)?
High capacity, strong heavy duty vortex steel construction

How much does it weigh and what’s the hauling capacity?
It weighs 74.2 lbs.and offers high-capacity cargo space of 500 plus lbs

Does it come with brake lights or do I buy those separately?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t contain brake lights. Although the photo shows lights on it, they are sold separately.

What are the dimensions?
56” x 23” x 5.25”

• It looks great and has a lot of space
• Easy to install

• You have to remove the carrier to open the rear door
• Does not fold up as most others do

5. Merax Foldable Cargo Carrier

Merax Hitch Cargo Carrier 59” X 24' X 15.4” Foldable...

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Performance and Technical Issues
This carrier allows you to haul bulky items around, safely with its deep basket that is removable and foldable for easy convenient storage. Made with a powder finish coating to well protect against outdoor elements, grime, and rust, the Merax carrier is easy to maintain and keep clean, while manufactured with high-quality steel and a built-in tube hinge.

Is this Product Recommended?
Yes. Others would definitely recommend this product as it has mostly 5-star ratings except for a few who mainly complain about rust issues.


Will I be able to load it with my luggage and just tie it down or will I need to purchase a bag?
The basket is very solid. It has good spring locks that connect the four corners. Sure it wouldn’t hurt to tie your luggage down with some bungee cords. Mine is attached to my Toyota Sienna and I use it to carry a lot of loads. One thing to think about is a bag will help to keep your things dry in bad weather, but it won’t prevent thieves from stealing your stuff.

Does it come with a warranty?
5-year warranty parts and labor

What kind of hitch do I need?
Weight varies with classes and it takes a two-inch hole to connect the basket.

Do the sides go down for loading and act as ramps?
No, they don’t fold straight down only horizontally and can’t be used as ramps.

What is included with this item?
Merax foldable cargo carrier with a hitch and mounted luggage rack basket

• This carrier has higher sides than most carriers
• The sides go down to remove cargo
• The meshing flooring makes cleaning simple and fast

• Not as easy as others to assemble
• The bumper reflectors could have been made a bit stronger
• Rusts faster

6. Titan MC500 Mobility Wheelchair/Scooter mounted Carrier Ramp

Silver Spring Steel Folding Scooter and Wheelchair Carrier...

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Performance and Technical Issues
With a name like Titan, it has to be good. The Titan mobility wheelchair ramp is designed to haul mobility devices, so you can take your wheelchair, scooter, or other, wherever you go. Although it can’t be used with 1 1/4” hitches, you can, however, use it with class IV or class III trailer hitches. It features spring-action pull pins to secure the ramp when in transport and folds vertically flat against the vehicle’s rear.

Is this Product Recommended?
It is recommended by most people who have used it, however, there are some complaints about it wobbling too much as well as some rust issues.


I heard that these carriers can bend at certain driving speeds. What is the max driving speed to go with these attached?
I haven’t heard of there being a driving speed and have pushed my limit more than 90 mph and mine was ok.

Can I put the ramp on the left side?
No. it is for the right side only.

Is the ramp tight-fitting or does it sway from side to side?
It swings out.


• It has a long folding ramp that’s longer than most others of its kind
• Folds up conveniently for storage

• Once installed, your vehicle will not fit in standard parking spaces due to the extra-long ramp
• It wobbles slightly

7. Tow Tuff TTF-2762KR Carrier with Bike Rack

Tow Tuff 62 Inch 500 Pound Capacity Steel Cargo Carrier...

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Performance and Technical Issues
The Tow Tuff Cargo Carrier can handle all of your hauling needs. It offers a 2-in-1 unique design allowing it to function as a bike rack or a cargo carrier by simply removing a few pins. Holds up to four bikes and includes a wheel holder that is adjustable with tie down holes for security.

Is this Product Recommended?
Many buyers claim this is a great product and recommend it to others. However, numerous individuals also claim there were missing parts.


Is this rack strong enough for two bikes?
That depends on how much they weigh but they should be fine.

I’m a single woman and want to get a rack, is it possible that I can assemble this myself?
Absolutely not, it is too heavy for anyone to install themselves. You will have to get someone to help.

How much does it weigh?
It weighs 62 lbs.

What material is it made out of?
Strong aluminum


• It is very versatile
• Easy to assemble and well-constructed

• It is very heavy
• The rack sits kind of low to the ground

8. Stowaway Swingaway Black Max Cargo Box

StowAway Max Hitch Cargo Box with Swingaway Frame | Black

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Performance and Technical Issues
The Stowaway Max Cargo Box is great for taking trips or lugging equipment around. Designed to fit almost any vehicle, it offers the easy ground level loading, swings open up to 180 degrees to allow access to the rear door and contains everything needed for easy cleaning.

Is this Product Recommended?
You won’t find any negative reviews on this one as everyone who purchased the product has only good things to say about it. Therefore, it comes highly recommended by other customers.


Is this box waterproof?
No, but it is water-resistant and I had it in heavy downpours without any issues.

Does it have locks attached for antitheft?
It only has a locking latch. You will have to buy locks separately.

How much weight can it heal?
It offers 200 lbs. capacity

What does it come with?
Includes max box Cargo Carrier, taillights, swing away frame, hitch tightener, license plate holder, drain plug, handholds, and locking latch.

• Very easy to attach and remove
• Great customer service
• It swings out behind your vehicle, giving you access to the rear door

• Due to its heavyweight, it is not easy to slip it through the hitch
• Water seems to seep in the box when it rains

9. Apex Steel Cargo Carrier Ramp with Basket

Apex Hitch-Mounted Steel Cargo Carrier with Ramp - 500 lb....

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Performance and Technical Issues
The Apex Steel Cargo Carrier was specifically designed for easy transport of things like power equipment, lawnmowers, snow blowers, and more. Features black powder-coated finish to keep it free of chipping and rust and can be used with Class III and Class VI two-inch hitch tubes, and a ramp that folds down to make loading simple. In addition, the mesh surface was specially designed so that moisture and dirt will pass right through it easily.

Is this Product Recommended?
Out of numerous product reviews by customers who purchased this, there are very few negative reports. Most buyers would highly recommend this.


Is it hard to put it on then take it off for storing?
Not everyone will be able to do this by themselves, you should ask for assistance.

Does it fold against the tailgate?
No, the hitch bar is solid.

Is there a warranty if purchased?
Yes it comes with a one year warranty that must be requested through customer service

What does it come with?
48” Cargo Basket with anti-rattle hitch device, loading ramp, cover, and complete instructions

• It’s easier to roll your things into the basket
• Very quick and easy assembly
• Locks right into position with just two pins

• It’s a lot shorter than normal Carriers
• Have to roll your stuff in backward as its handles won’t allow the ramp to fold up

10. Carpod Cargo Carrier

CARPOD Cargo Carrier Basket with 4' Raised & Folding Shank...

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Performance and Technical Issues
Whether you and the family are planning a camping trip or will be traveling to grandmas for the weekend, the Carpod Cargo Carrier got you covered with comfort and space for your belongings. Featuring 22” high sidewalls that can be raised up to keep your belongings safe and secure while hauling or folded down for convenient easy storage when not in use.

Is this Product Recommended?
This product is highly recommended by all its users. You won’t find one bad review on this one.


Does it have a top?
No, but you might be able to buy one

Is the fold-up adapter included with components?
Yes, it is

How hard is it to assemble?
It is moderately easy to install but you may need a little bit of help as it’s heavy.

What does it come with?
A Carpod Cargo Carrier with a folding shank and a basket

• You can park in a regular space as these fold up and out of the way
• It’s sturdy and can haul maximum weight without hitting the ground as it contains a raised shank

• It is longer than normal and sticks out far



You will never know how useful a hitch cargo carrier can be until you have to move something from one place to another, and then you will wonder how you ever lived without a hitch cargo carrier. We hope this guide offered you valuable insight into the world of the best hitch cargo carrier so you can make the most informed decision.

Take care of your carrier, keep it clean, dry, and rust-free and you will get a lot of use out of it for years to come.


One thought on “Best Hitch Cargo Carriers that Will Get You Your Money’s Worth

  1. That’s a good idea to have an extra cargo space behind your truck. I didn’t know that you could have an extra box or shelf that attaches to the hitch. That would be useful when you need a smaller cargo space without getting a trailer. I’ll have to look into getting one for my next trip.

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