How to Choose the Best Cargo Carrier for Your SUV or Car

Steel Tray Cargo Carrier - 500 lb CapacityFor those times when you need more storage room than the space inside your vehicle for a haul or trip, has a wide selection of cargo carriers which allow you to transport cargo on your roof, in a trailer, or using your vehicle’s hitch. The purpose of this page is to educate you in the different products that offers for transporting cargo and to assist you in making the right purchase.

Please contact us if you have any questions not answered on this page, and our experienced and knowledgeable customer service team will be glad to assist you!

Vehicle Cargo Carrier Styles

Let’s Go Aero LittleGiant Utility Trailer - 1,500 lb CapacityCar Top Carriers / Roof Racks - Car top carriers and roof racks are great for long items that won’t fit inside your vehicle such as canoes, kayaks, skis, snowboards, and ladders; however, there are also roof bags and roof boxes for storing smaller items. Please note that, for some people, lifting items to the roof can be difficult, even with our portable wheel step.  See how to choose the best car top carrier or roof rack for more information.

Hitch Cargo Carriers - Great for hauling extra gear on road trips, hitch-mounted cargo carriers are available in a wide range of weight capacities and materials, and are available for most hitch classes. Because hitch cargo carriers extend the length of your vehicle, we also offer a folding hitch adapter to allow your hitch carrier to easily fold up against your vehicle when it is not in use. For more information on hitch cargo carriers, see our article on how to choose the best hitch cargo carrier.

Trailers - Whether you need to transport something large like a motorcycle or ATV, or a sizable quantity of smaller luggage, trailers can offer a safe and reliable way to transport just about any cargo. Please note that trailers add a significant amount of length and weight to your vehicle which must be considered at all times. Turning, accelerating, and braking with an attached trailer must be done slowly and carefully to prevent an accident. See how to choose the best trailer for more information.

Bicycle Racks / Carriers - If you’re simply looking for a way to transport your bicycle(s), there are a variety of carriers for every type of vehicle. You can learn more extensively about these types of carriers on our page on how to choose the correct bicycle carrier.Bicycle rack on an SUV

Questions to Consider

What type of cargo are you transporting? It’s important to consider the specific needs of your cargo, for example, we offer waterproof bags and boxes for items that must be kept dry.

Where on your vehicle are you capable of mounting storage space? Many vehicle cargo carriers mount onto your vehicle’s hitch, so you need to consider whether or not your vehicle has a hitch and determine what type of hitch it is. On the other hand, you may want to mount something to the roof of your vehicle but may not have roof bars, in which case you’ll need to add some aftermarket roof bars first.

How heavy is your cargo? It is important to pick a cargo carrier that is designed to withstand the weight of the load you intend to put on it to ensure that it doesn’t break or fail during transportation.

Waterproof roof top cargo bag on a truckHow often will you be transporting cargo? While some cargo carriers such as rooftop carriers can be left on your vehicle without becoming an obstruction, others may need to be removed and reinstalled between each use in order to avoid becoming a hazard. If you don’t envision yourself using your cargo carrier often, you may want to find one that installs and uninstalls easily, or one that won’t need to be removed when not in use.

Do you have the proper tools to secure your cargo? Contrary to popular belief, you should never use bungee cords to secure cargo to your vehicle during transportation. Most bungee cords are not designed for more than a light load, almost none of them will have a weight rating anywhere on them, and as a result they are prone to snapping after repeated use. Ratchet straps, however, are designed to repeatedly handle heavy loads. For more information on ratchet straps, please see our page on the basics of tie-down straps.


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