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The Best Hitch Cargo Carrier 2021

Hitch Cargo Carrier

Unless you are already using your trailer hitch for a hitch mounted bike rack, you can use it to transport other cargo. This can be achieved by using a hitch cargo carrier, which is easy to attach and able to carry between up to 600 LBS and over.

The best hitch cargo carrier is the Rola 59502 Vortex, which is made from heavy duty steel with the dimensions of 56 x 23 x 5.25 inches and weight capacity of 600 LBS.

Before purchasing any hitch cargo carriers, be sure to check the size of your hitch receiver. The majority will fit a 2 inch hitch but if not, you will need to purchase an additional adapter in order to be compatible with the carrier.

Table of Contents

Best Hitch Mounted Cargo Carrier

Hitch Cargo CarrierWeight CapacityDimensions
Rola 59502 Vortex600 LBS56” x 23” x 5.25
CURT 18153 Basket500 LBS60" x 24" x 6"
ARKSEN Folding Cargo Carrier500 LBS47.5" x 60" x 9"
MaxxHaul 70108500 LBS49.25" x 22.5" x 7.25"
Reese Explore ProSeries500 LBS60" x 25" x 5"

When you are travelling in your car with your family or friends, there can be a lot of luggage on board. Rather than forcing it all inside the car, using a hitch mounted cargo carrier will ensure you are travelling in comfort.

Installing a hitch mounted cargo carrier is fairly straight forward and most come with a license plate holder as you will be blocking the visibility to the plate located on the car. All that is required is a trailer hitch and you are good to fit the carrier to your car.

When purchasing a carrier, its also advised to get an additional license plate because it will be required because of the obstruction of the view. Below is a list of the best hitch cargo carrier that are built to last and have large weight capacities.

Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier

The Rola Vortex cargo carrier is one of the most durable on the market, and it is a great investment for anyone who enjoys camping or traveling. It’s large enough to carry a huge amount of gear and storage, but the steel construction and innovative design keeps everything safe while you are on the road.

It’s also very easy to install and use, with intuitive attachment points. Here are some of the notable features of the Rola Vortex steel cargo carrier.

  • 56 x 23 x 5.25 inch dimensions
  • 600 LBS weight capacity
  • Made with heavy-duty steel and a black powder coating
  • Two piece assembly is quick and easy
  • Can attach to vehicle license plates or 2 inch receivers
  • Can be upgraded to include a lighting system, sold separately

The Rola Vortex steel cargo carrier is one of the best choices for an avid camper. It’s so durable that it can withstand the challenges of life on the road, and it has enough room for all of your important goods. Overall, it is the best hitch cargo carrier and offers great value for money too.

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CURT 18153 Basket Hitch Cargo Carrier

The CURT basket-style cargo carrier is one of the best choices on the market for keeping your items safe and secure while you are traveling. It is very sturdy and is designed to keep your items inside without any movement due to the high side rails.

It also has a very durable construction and design that won’t waver even in the toughest outdoor conditions. It can be folded up for easy storage when it isn’t in use. Here are some of the specs of the CURT-basket style cargo carrier.

  • 500 LBS weight capacity
  • 6-inch side rails
  • 60 x 24 inch base
  • Made from tubular steel
  • Folding shank for easy storage
  • Angled shank keeps cargo off the ground
  • Mesh base is durable and easy to clean
  • Blank mount can be placed on both the front or back of your vehicle

The CURT basket-style cargo carrier is a versatile device that works for many different outdoor adventures and travels. The durable construction is something you can trust in tough conditions, but it’s still easy to fold up and configure to fit the unique specifications of your car.

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ARKSEN Folding Hitch Cargo Carrier

The ARKSEN luggage basket is a durable and high-quality cargo carrier that is suited for those on a budget. It has a welded design that can withstand weight and some serious wear and tear, and it is large enough for all your luggage needs.

Here are some of the specifications of the ARKSEN folding cargo carrier.

  • Square tube construction with a fully welded basket
  • Foldable basket for easy storage
  • Black epoxy coating limits scratches
  • Steel mesh base is supportive and durable
  • 6 inch side rails
  • 500 LBS weight capacity
  • Fits 2 inch trailer openings for easy attachment
  • Huge 47.5 by 60 inch base.

In addition to being durable and affordable, the ARKSEN folding cargo carrier luggage basket is also very large, with an incredible length of 47.5 inches. The large base means you can arrange your items more securely for better peace of mind.

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MaxxHaul Aluminium Hitch Cargo Carrier

The MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Carrier is another affordable hitch cargo carrier option for the camper on a budget. It is very large and good for a variety of different types of cargo. Although it has a large weight capacity, the carrier itself is quite light, so it is easy to attach and remove from your vehicle.

Here are some of the notable features of the MaxxHaul Cargo Carrier.

  • 500 LBS weight capacity
  • Interior basket dimensions of 47.25 x 20.25 x 6 inches
  • Made with lightweight extruded aluminum
  • Resistant to corrosion
  • Attaches to 2 inch receivers

The only thing to note about this cargo carrier is that the basket does have quite a bit of space where aluminium could fall through, so you need to be very careful when loading up the carrier. However, the MaxxHaul option is the best aluminum hitch cargo carrier and will offer the durability that you need on long-haul trips.

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Reese Explore ProSeries 63153 Rambler

The Reese Explore ProSeries Rambler is one of the largest options available on the market for hitch mounted cargo carriers. If you find that you struggle to fit all your gear in a vehicle or even in other cargo carriers, this might be a good option for you. It’s easy to install and set up, but it’s designed to keep everything in place for peace of mind while driving. Here are some of the important features of the Reese Explore ProSeries 63153 Rambler.

  • 500 LBS capacity
  • 5 inch side rails for safety
  • 60 x 24 inch floor dimensions
  • Mesh floors are strong but easy to maintain
  • Powder coat finish to prevent scratches, rust, and other damage
  • Fits in 2-inch vehicle receivers
  • Elevated design keeps cargo safely off the road
  • 1 year limited warranty

The Reese Explore ProSeries Rambler is one of the biggest and most rugged hitch carriers on the market. It’s great for carrying serious heavy cargo on long trips due to its large dimensions, and works well as a trailer hitch cargo carrier.

The sturdy construction will give you peace of mind while you are traveling, so you can worry about finding your destination instead of worrying about your cargo.

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Hitch Cargo Carrier Buying Guide

If you’re an avid camper, you know how helpful it is to have extra space on your vehicle. A good hitch cargo carrier gives you plenty of secure space that’s perfect for things like tents, coolers, sleeping bags, and other items that take up plenty of space.

The alternative to a hitch mounted cargo carrier is of course a roof cargo box but they have limited weight capacity and is more awkward storing luggage. However, the hitch cargo carrier defeats both of those drawbacks and is far easier to install. Here’s what you should look for when shopping for a cargo carrier to ensure that you are getting the best quality product possible.


The material the cargo carrier is made of will give you a good indication of how durable the product is going to be. Steel cargo carriers are usually the best choice because they are very heavy duty and won’t bend or break under pressure.

You should also look for a hitch cargo carrier that is powder coated. A powder coated cargo carrier is designed to be resistant to scratches and rust. This is very helpful when you’re driving on back roads or in bad weather that could damage the carrier.

Rail Height

The higher the rail on your cargo carrier is, the safer it will be when you are driving. Cargo carriers with low rails can result in items shifting around while you are driving.

A carrier with high rails is going to be much more effective at keeping everything in place, which will give you peace of mind on the road. Of course, no matter how high your rails are, you should still always use thick, strong cords to ramp down your cargo while you are driving.

Base Dimensions

Another feature to look at when selecting a hitch cargo carrier is the base dimensions of the device. The larger the base dimensions, the more you will be able to comfortably carry. You should also consider what items you are going to realistically need while traveling.

If you only need to carry a few items, you can save money by purchasing a smaller carrier, but if you have larger things to carry, it may help to measure them to figure out how large of a carrier you need.


Most hitch carriers will easily connect to a 2 inch vehicle receiver. These receivers are typically found on large vehicles such as SUVs or vans. Some carriers will work with a smaller size receiver or even attach in the license plate slot.

Look at the attachment mechanism on your car before purchasing a carrier to make sure that it will fit.

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity on your carrier is another helpful specification to look at when selecting your carrier. The carrier should be able to comfortably hold several hundred pounds without bending or shaking.

If you are looking to carry a particularly heavy item, it will help to weigh it before making your purchase to ensure that you can transport it safely.

Base Design

The design of the base of the carrier is another helpful thing to look at when shopping for a cargo carrier, because it is what will be supporting your items while you are driving.

The more tightly woved the base metal is, the smaller items you will be able to safely put in the carrier. Many carriers are made using a steel mesh, which is one of the best options because it will really support your cargo carrier.

Safety and Durability

The overall construction of the cargo carrier should be very safe and durable. Before making your purchase, check to see if there are any safety ratings for the carrier online.

Not only does the carrier need to be made from durable materials, but the design of it also needs to be completely damage-proof. It should also be easy to attach cables to the carrier to tie your items down.

Locking Mechanism

When you aren’t near your car, you need peace of mind that you can leave the cargo carrier without anyone stealing it. That’s why it’s helpful to have a locking mechanism that you can use to keep the carrier securely attached to your car while you are away.

Many carriers come with a locking hitch pin so that they can’t be easily removed from the car. This will also save you time, because you won’t need to lock and store your carrier every time you park the car.

Front Of Vehicle Option

Some hitch cargo carriers also have the option to attach to the front of the vehicle. For many people, this is very convenient to be able to switch the location of the carrier. This makes your items much more accessible while you are camped out on the road.


If you frequently travel, a hitch cargo carrier is a vehicle accessory that’s worth the investment. The added storage space will allow you to carry much more and feel more at home while you are camping or road tripping. Of course they are not the only type of carrier you can install to your hitch. For example, you can use a motorcycle carrier to transport a range of scooters, motorcycles, dirt and cross bikes.

When shopping for a hitch cargo carrier, you need to make sure you are purchasing one that will keep your items safe and secure while you are driving. The last thing you want is to be dealing with loose cargo while you’re traveling on the highway. Using our guide, you can find the best cargo carrier options for your needs.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always likes to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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