Hitch Cargo Carrier

If you are an avid camper or traveler or even just someone who hauls items on a daily basis, then you know that picking a cargo hitch mount that suits your needs can be a daunting task. There are many brands out there and many things that you should consider before taking the plunge and purchasing any mount. Do you want a high capacity carrier?

Do you have a very strict budget? Are you wanting a carrier that has a specific shank type? We answered all these questions and more for you in this guide. This guide will go over the top 6 cargo hitch mounts that we recommend taking a look at and tell you what you should look out for before you make a purchase.

1.Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier

The Mockins Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier might be a good option for you if you are someone who wants all the added accessories without paying extra for it, and if you travel frequently. It has a 2-inch rise shank design that will avoid the cargo from being low to the ground and prevent the burning of your cargo. It also has a foldable basket, so you don’t have to keep attaching and reattaching it. It will work on any 2-inch receiver.

It can haul up to 500lbs of cargo. The rack is 60 X 20 X 6-inches so it’s very spacious with the side rails being high to protect cargo from falling out. The floor of the basket is of mesh which makes it easy for cleaning up and preventing water buildup. It’s coated with powder to prevent elemental damage. It comes with accessories like a waterproof hitch rack bag, 2 rainproof ratchet straps, a 6mm heavy-duty cargo net, and a free hitch stabilizer for added security of your trailer hitch.

Packaging

The Mockins weighs 52lbs and is made of steel. It comes in several pieces in addition to the added accessories. It works with 2-inch receivers. It has a 2-inch rise shank design and a mesh basket. The dimensions of the hitch are 60 X 20 X 6 inches with the side rails being 6 inches. The dimensions of the waterproof hitch rack are 57.7 X 19.4 X 24 inches with a capacity of 15.5 cubic feet.

Performance or Technical Issues

The main issue the Mockins hitch mount experiences is rusting from the paint coming off easily. Another issue that seems to occur is the holes being drilled off-center making installation a little tricky but despite this, it does go easily.

Pros:

  • Comes with added accessories
  • Has a large platform size
  • Has a mesh basket
  • The basket is foldable
  • Has a 2-inch rise shank design

Cons:

  • Rusting can happen if you don’t paint over it
  • The holes for assembly are off-center

Is it Recommended?

Overall, this mount is recommended for anyone who is an avid traveler. It comes with all the accessories you need without adding to the cost. It provides plenty of space for carrying and has a 500lb capacity. The quality is durable and if you can get past the possible rust situation with spraying with paint, then it just might be the right one for you.

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2. Curt 18153 Cargo Hitch

The Curt 18153 cargo carrier might be the one for you if you are a frequent cargo carrier user because of its ability to fold and stay attached to your vehicle. It has a 500lb capacity, platform dimensions being 60 X 24 X 6 inches, providing for a generous amount of space, and 6-inch side rails. It’s made of tubular steel that’s coated in E-coat and carbide black powder to help protect against damage and the elements. The platform is made of mesh which makes for easy cleanup and no water buildup. It has an angled shank for better ground clearance. The Curt 18153 also comes with reflectors for added safety and fits 2-inch receivers.

Packaging

The Curt 18153 has a 2 X 2-inch folding shank and comes in 4pcs. It has dimensions of 60 X 24 X 6 for the platform and the side rails. The carrier is mostly coated for protection against damage and the elements, except for the inside not being coated. It’s made of tubular steel and the floor is a mesh base. It weighs 70lbs. It features an angled shank design and works with 2-inch receivers.

Performance or Technical Issues

The issues that we found with the Curt 18153 are rusting in certain areas and the assembly might require extra work. The rusting happens due to the coating not being on the inside, leaving it susceptible to the elements and if they are open when inclement weather happens, it can have water reach the inside and rust from the inside out. The assembly seems to have issues with the holes lining up properly and the basket can appear crooked.

Pros:

  • Has added safety features like reflectors
  • Has high side rails to protect your cargo from falling out
  • It’s foldable
  • Has a mesh platform base
  • Has an angled shank design

Cons:

  • Rust can happen easily due to the design
  • Assembly doesn’t always go as planned

Is it Recommended?

Despite the gripes, it’s worth the purchase if you are an avid traveler who needs a cargo carrier frequently. It’s foldable so you don’t have to take it off your car as you do with most mounts. It has a high capacity limit with 500lbs and is spacious in the platform size, so it makes it a good option for someone who travels with extra items.

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3. Pro Series 63153 Rambler Cargo Carrier

The Pro Series 63153 cargo carrier might be the carrier for you if you are an avid camper or traveler. It’s sturdy and made of steel. The powder coat finish keeps the metal protected from scratches, dust, and the elements. It has a rugged mesh floor for easy cleanup and no water buildup.

It has a capacity of 500 lbs and a 60 X 24-inch platform, so it can hold your luggage, camping gear, coolers, and more with no issues. The 5.5-inch side rails keep your materials safely secured. The Pro Series can be attached to any vehicle and it includes a 2-inch receiver hitch. It also has a rising shank design that elevates your cargo for better ground clearance and easy loading and unloading.

Packaging

The Pro Series comes in 2pcs that are easy to install. It has round edges and is made of steel that’s coated on powder to protect against the elements, scratches, and dust. It has a 500lb capacity and weighs 62.9lbs. The dimensions are 60 X 24 X 5 inches. It fits 2-inch receivers, has a rising shank design and 5.5-inch side rails.

Performance or Technical Issues

Some issues experienced with the Pro Series are rusting and rattling. The rusting generally has been seen with the bolts, but there have been problems with the rusting splitting the rails. Another issue is rattling when traveling over any bumps or railroad tracks.

Pros:

  • Rising shank design
  • 5.5-inch side rails
  • Mesh floor
  • Has a generous amount of space on the platform

Cons:

  • Rusting of the bolts
  • Rattling when going over bumps and railroad tracks

Is it Recommended?

If you are someone who is looking for a mount hitch that is on the larger size for traveling or camping, then the Pro Series is one you’d want to take a closer look at. It has little technical issues, a large capacity at 500lbs, and very little technical issues. You can rest assured that because of the rising shank, you won’t have to worry about your cargo hitting the ground when going over bumps or being burned by your exhaust.

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4. MaxxHaul 70107 Hitch Mount Compact Cargo Carrier

The MaxxHaul 70107 hitch might be the cargo carrier for you if you are looking to haul extra items on a budget. You can haul up to 500lbs at one time whether that’s firewood, luggage, or camping gear. It’s made to work with Standard Class III and Class IV receiver hitches, and it must be attached to the 2-inch receiver. It’s made of heavy-duty steel that’s coated in resistant powder to protect against elements.

Packaging

The MaxxHaul hitch is made of heavy-duty steel. It’s on the smaller side compared to most with the outer basket being 53 X 19.5 X 4 inches, the inner basket 51.5 X 17.5 X 4 inches, and it weighs 27lbs. It’s coated with black powder for resistance to rust and corrosion. It also comes with reflectors for added safety.

Performance or Technical Issues

There are a few minor issues with this hitch. The main complaint is the alignment of the holes with the screws. You will have to try and maneuver things to get them to align but some just simply can’t be aligned. Another complaint with the assembly is the need to have several kinds of wrenches to install it, so those that are lacking tools might find this to be an inconvenience.

Pros:

  • Cheaper than most hitches
  • Made of heavy-duty steel
  • Coated to protect the hitch from elements
  • Comes with reflectors for extra safety
  • Fits for Standard Class III and IV

Cons:

  • Assembly requires extra tools and work to get the alignment right
  • Little bit on the smaller size compared to most

Is it Recommended?

For those that need a quality hitch mount on a budget then you might want to take a look into the MaxxHaul 70107. While it has some inconveniences with the assembly, it does perform as promised and will transport what is needed provided it’s not higher than the capacity limit. If you can afford to look into a different one, we’d recommend that. However, if you can’t then this is a good alternative.

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5. ROLA 5952 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier

The ROLA Vortex carrier might be a good option for those who own an SUV or truck. This high capacity carrier can hold up to 600lbs of weight. It can easily transport your luggage, camping gear, or other items that you need to take with you on your trip. It has a rise shank design that lifts the carrier off the ground for better clearance and easy unloading. This mount also can be upgraded with a light system. It’s made of heavy steel and has a generous amount of space available with the size of the carrier.

Packaging

Rola has a 2pc assembly that comes with attachment points for license plates. It can be used with 2-inch receivers and is made of heavy-duty steel with black powder coating that helps with resistance to the elements, rusts, and scratches. The dimensions are 56 X 23 X 5.25 providing plenty of space. There is even an optional light system available with LED or incandescent lights. It weighs 73.2lbs and can hold up to 600lbs.

Performance or Technical Issues

The main issues this mount seems to see are rusting, paint easily comes off the mount and initial assembly. The bolts and nuts seem to not align well with the holes or come threaded. The other issues are rusting on the mount itself and the bolts, the paint comes off easily which leaves room for rusting and exposure, and the bolts for license plate don’t align with the holes either.

Pros:

  • Has a rise shank design
  • Made of heavy-duty steel
  • Has a high capacity of 600lbs
  • Able to upgrade the mount with a light system

Cons:

  • Rusts easily
  • Assembly takes work to align bolts with the holes

Is it Recommended?

The Rola Vortex is worth a second look since it doesn’t really suffer from any major issues that will impact your use of the mount. Once you are able to get it assembled, despite some of the bolts needing some work to align properly, it will do just as promised.

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6. OKLEAD Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier

The OKLEAD cargo carrier might be the carrier you’re looking for if you need a high capacity at 500lbs and has a generous amount of space being it’s 60 x 24.4 x 13.8 inches. It has high foldable side rails for unloading cargo and the rails are designed to hold and secure what you put in it while traveling. The spring hooks attached to the side rails allow for the hitch to be opened or folded with ease.

The folding cargo basket mount can fit 2-inch vehicle receivers meaning it will work well with SUVs and trucks. The high folding leg keeps the items you add to the cargo basket far from the ground allowing for heavier items to be transported without having to worry about it being low to the ground.

Packaging

The cargo hitch comes with 1pc for the main body basket 62 x 25.5 x 3.5 inches and weighs 59.6lbs. It has a matte black powder coating finish that resists elements, scratches, and rust. The hitch has foldable side rails up to 2.8 inches and a foldable cargo basket.

Performance or Technical Issues

There are some issues that you may face such as the assembly and rusting. We noticed that assembling this carrier doesn’t go so smoothly. The holes don’t line up with the screws, leading to making bigger holes and the instructions aren’t very clear. Despite it saying it’s resistant to the elements and rust, rust does seem to happen even within a week of use.

Pros:

  • 500lbs capacity
  • Anti-rattle
  • Generous amount of space for hauling
  • Can fit 2-inch receivers
  • Has foldable side rails and basket

Cons:

  • Assembly doesn’t always go well because of the misalignment of the holes
  • Rust is possible even after a single-use

Is it Recommended?

Overall, this hitch is a great option for those who need a high capacity hitch for long trips and like the foldability on the sides and the basket. Despite the assembly issues and possible rust, this hitch does do what it says it will by holding up to 500lbs and traveling long distances without any rattling or sagging.

Check price and availability on Amazon

Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to purchasing the right carrier for you, there are many factors to consider. Depending on what you plan to use the carrier for, some of the standard features may be enough for you or you may need more. This guide will tell you the main things you should look at before you purchase a cargo carrier.

1. Size – The size of your carrier is a huge factor because you will need it to transport all of the stuff you are bringing to your destination. They usually start from 24 inches in length and 48 to 60 inches in width. You may need a big carrier, but your vehicle might not support the size of what you need so keep that in mind too.

2. Receiver Size – This is probably one of the most important aspects to consider. As it was mentioned above, you might need a carrier that is 60 inches in width, but your vehicle may not support that. The standard size of cargo hitches is 2 X 2 inches. However, they do come in smaller sizes too so you want to be sure the one you pick can match up with your vehicle.

3. Capacity – The capacity is something to consider when choosing a carrier. Every carrier you look at will list their load capacity. This is not something you ever want to ignore. Doing so can result in your carrier breaking, your cargo falling out, or sagging of the mount causing damage to your items and the mount itself. It’s best to weigh the items you plan to haul before piling them all in the platform.

4. Shank Style – There are several shank styles that each have their advantages. The first one commonly found is the rising shank. The rising shank is ideal because it’s not mounted low compared to the other styles. This means you have easier access to unload and load your cargo and it prevents damage from your exhaust pipe and your when traveling over bumps or up hills. The straight cargo carriers are sturdier than rising shanks and there is usually less bouncing since they don’t raise the height of the cargo. The Z-style increases your height similar to the rising shank, but it provides more sturdiness. Many foldable carriers use this type of shank. The only drawback is that it does increase the hitch weight.

5. Types of Cargo Carriers – There are lots of different types of carriers out there but there are 3 main types that are the most popular. The type that you choose is a personal one and depends on what you plan to haul. The first type is the box carrier. This carrier is enclosed so your belongings are protected from the weather. Being that they are enclosed, you can only place certain types of items in them and they have designs that limit space. The next type is the most common. The basket is popular because you have a plethora of options with this type. They are durable, have side rails for cargo protection, and range in sizes. The last type is the tray. The tray usually has removable sides or doesn’t have sides that give it an edge. This type is best for those who are hauling bigger items because they have more leeway when going past the edges when properly secured.

6. Types of Materials – The majority of cargo hitch carriers are made of steel. This is because they are able to support more weight, are more durable, and within rust and elemental damage if coated with black powder. This does make them more expensive and heavier. Another material they are made of is aluminum. Aluminum carriers are lighter and cheaper, but they can’t hold as much weight. They do have the advantage of being able to withstand rusting longer than steel. When both steel and aluminum are combined, they can haul up to 500lbs.

7. Safety – While hitch mounts are generally safe, there are some hiccups you can face with them. Your taillights and visibility can present some issues. Since most will cover these, you will have to be extra careful when driving and depending on where you live or are traveling to, you made need to add reflectors or upgrade to a light system.

8. Assembly – Cargo carriers should be able to be installed with ease. However, there are popular brands that do have harder installations. This is often because the directions are unclear or confusing, but it sometimes can be due to manufacturer errors. While this may seem like a non-issue to some, struggling to put together a piece of equipment can be a dealbreaker. Some carriers do come assembled, but if it’s not one of the ones you prefer then you may have to consider a different one if the assembly isn’t what you’re interested in. The best thing to do when you find the one you prefer is to look to reviews and see what people had to say in terms of installation.

9. Cost – The cost will almost always be a deciding factor for anyone. There are many options available that will do as it promised for a lower cost, but you may have to sacrifice certain features in exchange. It all depends on what you are willing to spend.

FAQ:

Q: What kind of accessories should I buy for my cargo carrier?
A: Some of the accessories you may want to purchase are hitch tighteners, ratchet straps, cargo nets, cargo carrier bag.

Q: Do I need to buy a receiver with my carrier?
A: This will depend on whether it comes included. Most brands will not include a receiver to connect the hitch to.

Q: Can I change the type of shank I have?
A: Each carrier has a preset type of shank that they use. If you don’t want the one it has, you will have to purchase a different carrier. Many brands will carry multiples types of shanks.

Q: Do I need to buy special tools to assemble my carrier?
A: Most brands can be put together using a torque wrench, but depending on the kind you buy, it may need screwdrivers or other wrenches.

While we have shown you our top picks for the best cargo hitch mount, you should take the time to consider what’s in the buying guide before purchasing. There are many brands out there that are just as good or can even be better than what we have shown, but this will depend on what you need to haul. Take your time when making a purchase and pick the one that will suit your needs best.