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How-To Guide

How to Choose the Best Hitch-Mounted Cargo Carrier

 Updated on: October 21st, 2021

If you are out of room in your trunk or just want to free up some room inside your vehicle, a hitch-mounted cargo carrier will add real estate to your car or truck with plenty of room for those bulky items. Before you buy, there are several factors that will determine the type of hitch-mounted cargo carrier that can best suit your needs:

Have an idea of your motorcycle’s size

Determine what hitch class your vehicle has

Some smaller cars and sedans come without hitches, and if that’s the case then your first step will be to have one installed if possible for your make and model. If your car does have a hitch, you will need to know what type, or class, it is. You can find this out by measuring the hitch opening, or doing a quick internet search..

Take frequency of use into account

Think about the type of cargo you will be transporting

Some cargo carriers come with built-in ramps to easily roll objects like lawnmowers or mobility scooters on and off; others are a simple supportive frame with wide gaps that might not be suitable for transporting smaller items. If you are looking for a compact hitch-mounted solution, this stacked hitch-mounted rack design is discrete and versatile. Ultimately, when transporting something simple like boxes or tubs, your carrier needs will be different than someone looking to transport a power wheelchair, so be aware of the type of cargo you will most frequently move with your carrier.

Estimate the weight of your cargo

Estimate the weight of your cargo

While most of Discount Ramps’ vehicle-mounted carriers are designed to withstand up to 500 lbs., some value-priced or lighter-duty models may have a lower weight capacity. When loading up a cargo carrier, the rule of thumb to use it for larger, bulkier items such as coolers, camping gear, buckets, etc. Heavier items like nine 50 lb. bags of cement, for instance, are best transported in your vehicle to ensure that you’re not exceeding your carrier’s weight rating.

Think about the weather

Think about the weather

Will an open hitch cargo carrier be ok for what you’re transporting, or does a covered solution make more sense? Covers are usually available for power scooters and wheelchairs, and there are lots of options for weatherproof and weather-resistant cargo boxes to ensure that any other cargo stays dry. If you live in an arid climate you might not need covered transportation, however during winter or unpredictable weather keeping your load dry will be a lifesaver.

Assess how frequently you will use your hitch cargo carrier

Assess how frequently you will use your hitch cargo carrier

Repeatedly installing and uninstalling your hitch-mounted cargo carrier can be a pain, especially if you need to remove it to fit in a parking space or garage. It is important to know how often you plan on using it, because you might be able to install an accessory like a folding hitch adapter to fold the carrier up against your vehicle when you aren’t utilizing it.

Disclaimer: This educational article contains general information only; Discount Ramps cannot confirm the compatibility of an individual’s vehicle with our hitch-mounted products as every vehicle’s suspension is unique. It is the vehicle user’s responsibility to confirm the vehicle hitch capacity of the vehicle and weight capabilities when using Discount Ramps’ products. Discount Ramps cannot be held liable for damage, injuries, or accidents that occur after reading this article.