No matter how big your vehicle is you are eventually going to run into the problem of storage space.
Whether you are going on a cross-country road trip or merely moving to a new home across town, extra storage can be the difference between a rental truck and a single trip down the street.
What are some of the best ways to increase storage in your vehicle?
We’re glad that you asked. Today we are talking about hitch mounted cargo boxes.
What is a hitch mounted cargo box?
Driving down the highway you’ve no doubt seen cargo box carriers attached to the back-end of cars. They are typically large, and durable, boxes that allow for excess storage. Sometimes they are equipped directly to the back receiver hitch. Other times these cargo carriers are latched down inside of an actual cargo carrier. There is a fundamental difference between the two options and we’ll break them down in quick summation.
Top Options on the Market.
We decided to dig deep and find some of the best options available. We took into account: price, storage capacity, brand name, and durability. While these are our personal favorite cargo boxes they are far from the only ones out there.
StowAway Carriers Max Cargo Box – SwingAway Frame.
We get our list started off with one of our favorite options on the market. This hitch mounted cargo box is designed in an elite fashion to take advantage of a swing away frame. The swing away frame, which we pointed out above, gives you rear access to your vehicle by simply using the frame to move the box out-of-the-way. This cargo box fits into a 2″ hitch receiver and it can carry up to 200 lbs of storage. Just make sure that the tongue weight on your receiver hitch is rated for at least 300 pounds of weight. You have 16 cubic feet of storage space which allows for plenty of room to pile in luggage, bags, boxes, or odds and ends. StowAway Carriers hit it out of the park with this cargo box.
Thule Transporter Combi Hitch Box.
Simplicity can be wonderful, especially in the world of storage and travel. The Thule 665C hitch mounted cargo box does everything you need with little fuss. First off we’ll point out that this luggage box fits into a 2″ receiver that is rated class II or class III. You have a 13 cubic foot storage area that can hold up to 150 lbs of gear. You can tilt the box down on its short hitch arm in order to make loading up your items even easier. A license plate adapter allows you to move your plate onto the cargo box to keep it visible while you are traveling. Add in your own security lock to this carrier and you have a budget cargo box that does everything you could possibly need.
ROLA 59109 Adventure System with SwingAway Frame.
Next, we have the ROLA 59109 which utilizes the swing away frame that is so popular with people who are always on the go. This carrying system mounts on a 2″ receiver hitch and is weighted at up to 250 lbs of capacity. What is special about the ROLA 59109 is that it utilizes a tray system as well. You can use your cargo box or merely use the tray with appropriate lashing down materials in order to keep it open. You have 13.4 cubic feet of storage space and the entire model is weatherproof, allowing you to travel in comfort wherever you go.
60″ Waterproof Hitch Cargo Carrier Rack Bag by Rage Powersports.
We are closing out our list with the most affordable option around the Rage Powersports Waterproof Hitch Cargo Carrier Rack Bag. This hitch mounted cargo box comes built out of flexible waterproof PVC nylon rather than the hard plastic in the options we had listed above. You get the cargo tray that mounts off of the back 2″ hitch receiver and you have an assortment of lashes to keep the bag latched down. You don’t have easy rear entry access but if you are willing to push the bag around then you’ll be able to get to what you need. This cargo carrier is 60″ x 19″ which means that you will have plenty of space to load up whatever it is you need to haul around. You can get a pair of nice padlocks to run through the zippers if you are worried about someone digging through your stuff.
You can find a variety of different cargo carriers that are not beholden to actual mounted style cargo boxes. These carriers are essentially trays that fit into your receiving hitch. They tend to be made of either steel or aluminum with an actual weight of 50 pounds at the top end. Cargo carrier trays come in either the fold up or fixed shank variety. You can also mount them on your roof.
Selecting your first hitch mounted cargo box.
Alright, selecting a hitch mounted cargo box should be pretty simple right? What can possibly be complicated about picking a big storage box to latch on to the back of your car? Well, as it turns out, there are quite a few things that you’d be better served remembering. We’ll break down some key components to consider when purchasing your first mounted cargo box.
The first consideration you make when looking for a hitch mounted cargo box is just what you can put into it. This means that you’ll have to prioritize what goes into the box. The majority of cargo boxes are going to be rated at anywhere from 150 lbs to 250 lbs. Does that sound like enough space for you? Cargo boxes are designed to be compact so as to fit tightly against the back of your vehicle. If you have a spare tire, you might need a hitch extender.
We’re focusing on receiver hitch mounted cargo boxes in this article. This means that everything we talk about will be focused on being affixed to the back of your car. Still, you have some options within the hitch receiver subset. There are cargo boxes that fit flush against the back of your car, thus negating your ability for rear entry access. There are other cargo boxes that come mounted on a long arm that can be folded out, thus giving you entry to the back of the vehicle — these are called swing away frames. Swingaway frames may cost more but they are much more flexible.
The majority of cargo boxes are going to be completely weather proofed for travel throughout the year. The big benefit for mounted cargo boxes in comparison to carrier trays is the weather proof factor. Still, if you plan to travel in some adverse conditions it is worth double checking the durability of your potential options.
A key aspect of your hitch mounted cargo box will be in direct relation to just how secure it is. You probably aren’t always going to be driving and unloading your stuff immediately. Knowing that your cargo box is safe and secure is an important aspect. Many of these cargo carriers come with excellent lock slots that allow you to pick the best security you can afford.
Rear Entry Access
We touched upon the swing away and fixed frames above but we’ll go into some more detail here. If you have a vehicle that mandates rear entry access then you’ll want to opt for the swing away frame. If you can’t afford or don’t like the swing away options then at least consider cargo boxes that are made to be removed at a moments notice. This way you don’t have to constantly be fighting with the back-end of your car when all you need is to get into the trunk.
Feel free to supplement our advice with your own research in order to come up with something perfect for your needs.