You might find that all of your essential camping supplies don’t quite fit neatly into your rig’s standard storage areas, especially if you have a smaller travel trailer or truck bed camper or you don’t want to complicate your camping trip with packing and hauling challenges. This is where a hitch cargo carrier comes extremely handy.
A hitch cargo carrier is a one of the best solutions and give you some breathing room inside your vehicle by adding extra cargo space If you’re going camping or taking a road trip with a lot of gear.
Along with a waterproof cargo bag or a set of heavy-duty storage containers, a cargo carrier attached to your vehicle’s hitch receiver will provide a safe means of carrying anything that you otherwise couldn’t fit underneath or on top of your RV.
Carrying your extra gear in a cargo carrier attaches to the tow hitch of your vehicle also makes it easier to access. You won’t have to get a small step ladder or climb on your wheels to access rooftop storage.
You also won’t have to compromise your rig’s fuel economy by towing a small trailer to fit the rest of your belongings.
That being said, there are several different models and designs for these receiver hitch cargo carriers on the market these days.
Luckily, we’ve canvassed the world wide web to find seven of the best hitch-mounted carrier options for you to choose from. And we’ve also included our favorite hitch carrier cargo bag for rainproof storage.
We’ll also discuss the most important criteria you should consider when you’re buying a hitch-mounted cargo carrier for your RV, truck camper, travel trailer, or 5th wheel.
That way, you’ll be able to identify the model that best suits your travel storage needs!
8 Best Hitch-Mounted Cargo carriers To Buy
While the functionality of a hitch mount cargo carrier isn’t overly complex, there are certain specifications that will tell you if a given design is right for you.
Pay close attention to the bullet points of what we liked (and didn’t like) about each of these cargo carriers so that you can begin to narrow down your choices before you read through our hitch carrier Buying Guide!
A receiver hitch cargo carriers are the perfect solution to expanded cargo capacity on your camping trips If you are out of space inside your vehicle. Here are the best hitch-mounted carriers for hauling extra gear.
1. Best Overall Hitch Cargo Carrier: Reese 63153 Rambler ProSeries Hitch Cargo Carrier
If you’re looking for the best hitch cargo carrier you can buy, the Reese Explore ProSeries 63153 Rambler offers one of the largest base sizes on the market.
It also features a black powder-coated finish for superior durability and corrosion resistance.
This finish will help the carrier last for years. At just 60 pounds, it’s certainly not the heaviest cargo carrier on the market.
So you won’t have to strain yourself to take it on and off your RV or towing vehicle.
It’s compatible with standard, two-inch square hitch receivers and boasts a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds.
The dimensions of the base of this carrier measure 60 inches across by 24 inches deep.
The sides of the basket are also five inches high to provide extra security for your belongings.
And, speaking of security, you can also purchase additional bike clips and lighting attachments to improve the functionality and visibility of this carrier.
The manufacturers of this hitch basket decided on two-piece construction so that there are a minimum number of welding points at which the integrity of the carrier could be compromised.
And they also included a rise shank design that elevates the basket and provides additional ground clearance for off-road applications.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
2. Best With Cargo Bag And Net: USSerenaY Waterproof Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier
If you’re looking for a hitch mount cargo carrier that also comes with a bunch of accessories to help you organize your gear, then look no further than the USSerenaY Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier.
This model comes with its own cargo bag to help you keep your carrier’s contents dry and protected while you’re driving.
In addition to the cargo bag, it also comes with a cargo net and two ratchet straps.
This gives you plenty of options for how to secure your gear in the basket. It also makes this carrier super adaptable to carrying gear of all different shapes and sizes.
Speaking of size, this carrier offers a maximum weight capacity of 550 pounds.
It’s also meant for you to be able to leave it on your rig permanently because it folds up to a vertical position when you don’t have anything in the basket.
This means you can keep it attached to your trailer hitch without having to worry about its extra length if you’re trying to fit your RV into a tighter parking lot.
It also has four red reflectors on the side of the basket that help to improve its visibility at night and in other low lighting situations.
This reduces the likelihood of it being damaged by a fellow driver who may not realize that your RV is a bit longer than usual.
The dimensions of the basket itself measure 60 inches wide and 20 inches deep. It’s also six inches tall and is compatible with all standard, two-inch square hitch receivers.
It also comes with a hitch tightener to help you achieve a secure connection and eliminate wobbling and noise that can be common to some other hitch mount carriers.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
3. Best With Hitch Stabilizer: Mockins with A Hauling Weight of 500 Lbs Cargo Carrier
If you like this idea of a hitch mount cargo carrier that comes with a lot of the accessories you’ll need to secure gear to it, then you might also check out the Mockings Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier with Cargo Bag.
This model is slightly more expensive than the previous cargo carrier and it also offers a slightly lower maximum weight capacity.
It’s rated to hold up to 500 pounds while still offering the same dimensions (60” W x 20” D x 6” T) as the previous design.
But it does come with its own cargo bag, cargo net, and a set of two ratchet straps for securing everything down.
While this basket doesn’t quite offer as many tie-down points as the previous carrier, it still provides plenty of points to secure those ratchet straps to before tightening them down.
This design also comes with its own hitch stabilizer to help you ensure a tighter connection with a standard, two-inch square hitch receiver.
That hitch stabilizer is super useful for preventing wobbling if the fit with your particular hitch receiver isn’t perfectly snug.
And, just like the USSerena Y carrier, the entire basket can fold up when it’s not loaded down.
This means you have the option to leave it permanently affixed to the back of your RV whether you’re actively using it or not.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
4. Maximum Storage Space: CURT 18109 Tray Hitch Cargo Carrier
If you’re looking for a cargo carrier with a simple, minimalist design, then check out the CURT 18109 Hitch Cargo Carrier.
The great thing about this design is that, despite its minimal design, it still offers comparable storage space to some of the bulkier carriers out there.
The dimensions of the basket itself measure 60 inches wide and 19.25 inches deep.
But the sides of this carrier are a bit lower than some of the cargo baskets we reviewed early. In fact, they are less than four inches tall all the way around the basket.
This might be a negative point for some of you if you’re looking to secure taller items in the cargo carrier.
But, to be quite honest, the height of the items you can store in one of these baskets isn’t going to change much from a carrier with four-inch walls to a carrier with six-inch walls.
At the end of the day, the security of the items you place in the basket is going to depend on how well you strap those items down.
Getting back to this particular carrier, it offers a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds and it fits all standard two-inch square hitch receivers.
The receiver arm is a total of 33 inches long, so the basket will extend a total of 52.25 inches back from your hitch receiver.
But that arm does have a hinge feature that allows you to fold the basket up and reduce your RV’s length when it’s not loaded down.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
5. Best Budget-Friendly Carrier: MaxxHaul 70107 Compact Hitch Mount Carrier
If you need to expand your storage and hauling capabilities but you’re working on a tight budget, you might like the MaxxHaul 70107 Hitch Mount Compact Cargo Carrier.
While it offers a slightly smaller basket than some of the other carriers we’ve already mentioned, it’s also available for one-third of the price of some of the higher-end cargo carriers on the market.
The dimensions of the inner basket on this carrier measure 51.5 inches wide and 17.5 inches deep.
The interior walls are four inches tall and the outer walls are five inches high to provide a bit of extra security for your gear and supplies.
Unlike some of the other baskets, this one doesn’t include a mesh bottom.
That simply means you’ll probably need a large tote or storage bin that’s not at risk of falling through the metal brackets in the bottom of the basket if you choose this hitch mount cargo carrier.
That being said, it does offer a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds and it’s designed to fit all standard two-inch square hitch receivers.
It’s also made of heavy-duty steel with a powder-coated finish to protect it against rust and corrosion.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
6. Best Folding Carrier: TITIMO Luggage Basket Folding Cargo Carrier
If you’re sure that you want a cargo carrier you can attach to your RV’s hitch receiver and leave there, you should think about getting a folding cargo carrier like the TITIMO Folding Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier.
The folding ability of this design is highly useful because it allows you to keep the carrier up and out of the way when you’re not using it.
This can help to protect the carrier (and your RV) from damage and it will also make it easier for you to navigate tight city streets or narrow parking lots without having to remove your carrier entirely.
This carrier also has large basket dimensions that measure 60 inches wide and 21 inches deep.
The walls on the edges are also six inches tall to provide an extra degree of security for any taller items that you decide to store in your basket.
It fits standard two-inch square hitch receivers and it boasts a maximum weight capacity of 550 pounds.
And this carrier also comes with a lot of the add-ons that you’ll need to help you secure down all of your favorite gear.
It comes with ratchet straps, a cargo net, a waterproof cargo bag, and a hitch stabilizer to minimize wobbling and bouncing while you’re driving.
And it also comes equipped with four reflective red strips around the sides of the basket to increase its visibility at night and in other low-light conditions.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
7. Best For Extra Ground Clearance: CURT 18153 2-In Folding Shank Cargo Carrier
One of the best cargo carriers for anyone that needs a little extra ground clearance towards the rear of their recreational vehicle is the CURT 18153 Basket Hitch Cargo Carrier.
This design came in a close second to the TITIMO model because it’s slightly more expensive and it also has a slightly lower maximum weight capacity.
It’s rated to hold a maximum of 500 pounds, but it does have a larger basket size than the previous model.
The basket on this cargo carrier measures 60 inches wide and 24 inches deep. Those dimensions provide a full 10 square feet of cargo space behind your RV.
This cargo carrier fits standard two-inch square hitch receivers and the walls are a full six inches high for added security.
The mesh bottom of the carrier also makes it easier to secure a wider variety of items in the basket without worrying about smaller items falling through or tipping over.
This hitch mount cargo basket also features an angled shank that slightly raises the height of the basket up from the level of your hitch receiver.
This provides additional ground clearance, which can be great for off-grid RVing or truck camping.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
8. Best Cargo Bag: ROLA 59102 Rainproof Wallaroo Cargo Bag
If you’re set on one of those cargo carriers above that doesn’t come with a waterproof cargo bag, you might consider picking up the ROLA 59102 Wallaroo Cargo Bag to complete your hitch-mount storage system.
This cargo bag is expandable depending on how much you need to store inside of it. It can expand from 9.5 cubic feet up to 11.5 cubic feet in total.
The exterior is made from a high-quality, rainproof material and the seams are sonically welded to protect against water ingress.
You’ll need a cargo carrier basket with dimensions measuring 60 inches wide and 24 inches deep in order to fit this cargo bag inside.
The dimensions of the bag itself measure 48 inches long, 19 inches deep, and 22 inches tall when it’s fully expanded.
When collapsed, the bag folds down to dimensions of just 9.2 inches long, 11.6 inches wide, and 5.7 inches tall.
Inside the cargo bag, there are two separate pockets so that you can organize smaller gear according to your preferences.
On the outside of the bag, there are a total of six straps to help you secure it down to your hitch mount cargo carrier.
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
Buying Guide Of Hitch Cargo Carrier in 2023
The table is now set. You can see all of these options before you. Now it’s time to narrow things down to decide which particular hitch cargo carrier is perfect for your specific setup.
In this Buying Guide, we’ll cover the most important features and specifications to pay attention to when you’re choosing a hitch mount carrier for your RV.
There are five main hitch classes to be aware of when you’re towing anything behind your RV, pickup truck, travel trailer, or 5th wheel.
The primary distinction that separates these categories is towing capacity (i.e. weight). But the receiver size and tongue weight also come into play in these classes.
Basically, they break down as follows:
Gross Towing Capacity (lbs.)
Tongue Weight Capacity (lbs.)
Up to 2,000
100 - 200
Up to 3,500
200 - 525
Up to 8,000
300 - 800
Up to 12,000
500 - 1,200
2”, 2.5”, or 3”
Up to 25,000
1,000 - 4,000
Luckily for you, almost all RVs, pickup trucks, travel trailers, and 5th wheels are equipped with a Class 3, 4, or 5, hitch.
And these hitch classes are also plenty sufficient to support the maximum additional 600 pounds that most hitch cargo carriers are rated to carry.
The type of cargo you plan on carrying also comes into play when you’re choosing a hitch mount cargo carrier.
For instance, you should always choose a carrier with a mesh bottom if you’re planning on loading in multiple smaller items.
This will keep those smaller items from tipping over or falling out of the basket.
And it will also make clean up easier if anything falls into the basket when you’re loading or unloading.
Conversely, you may also be able to get away with a carrier that only has metal bars spaced several inches apart on the bottom of the basket if you plan to store everything neatly inside a cargo bag or waterproof plastic storage bin.
But, of course, that means you’ll need to spend extra to get a bag or bins.
Additionally, taller items will require more creative strapping techniques to keep them from falling out of once of these cargo baskets.
If you plan to try to store bikes in one of these baskets, for example, you might choose a design that is compatible with optional bike clips so that your precious two-wheel vehicles don’t fall over as you’re heading down the highway.
Frequency of Use
Before settling on any one hitch mount cargo basket, make sure you ask yourself this all-important question: how often do I really anticipate using this cargo carrier?
The answer will help you determine several important factors that you should look for in a hitch basket.
For starters, more frequent users will probably want something that they can leave on their vehicle once they install it.
That being said, there may be times when you want to drive your RV or pickup camper without anything loaded into the cargo basket.
These kinds of instances are where a folding cargo carrier can really come in handy.
If, on the other hand, you’re one of those RVers that only uses their rigs on a few special occasions every year, it might be easier to have a carrier that you can simply attach in place when you need it.
If this sounds like you, you’ll probably want to opt for a lighter weight model that’s easier to move around.
In addition, more frequent users are bound to encounter a much wider variety of roadways, driveways, parking lot entrances, and the like.
While many of the cargo carriers with angled shanks and increased ground clearance are more designed for off-road applications, they can also be beneficial for frequent users because they can help you avoid scraping the basket on the ground if you just so happen to pull into an especially steep gas station entrance.
Obviously, the weight of the cargo that you plan to load into your hitch cargo carrier will also come into play when you’re choosing which model is best for you.
The catch here is that there actually isn’t a whole lot of variation in weight capacity amongst the very best hitch cargo carrier models on the market these days.
Generally speaking, the maximum weight capacities of most cargo baskets are going to be somewhere between 500 and 600 pounds.
So, you’ll have to decide whether having the ability to bring along that extra 100 pounds of gear is worth the extra money that those heavier duty cargo carriers are going to cost.
And, on the flip side of that coin, you’ll also have to ask yourself whether paying an additional 20-40 dollars is worth having a more durable cargo basket that you can really load down if you’re heading out for an extended road trip.
Ease of Installation
The great news is that these hitch mount cargo carriers all pretty much require the same installation process. It’s right there in the name.
As long as you have a tow package on your truck camper, RV, travel trailer, or 5th wheel, you’ll be able to slide one of these baskets into the appropriately-sized hitch receiver, lock the pin into place, and start loading it up.
That being said, there can be some minor variation in the exact inner dimensions of some hitch receivers.
That variation is usually dependent on the year, make, and model of your recreational vehicle. Sometimes, if the inner dimensions are actually larger than advertised, you’ll find that your hitch carrier wobbles around more than you’d like it to.
If you want to avoid this problem altogether, look for a basket that comes with a hitch stabilizer.In some cases, these are also advertised as hitch tighteners, but their function is the same.
They help to tighten down the receiver arm of the cargo carrier so that it doesn’t wobble around and create annoying noise while you’re driving.
And reducing that wobble also reduces the risk of your cargo accidentally tipping over or falling out on especially bumpy roads.
Finally, you’ll also have to reconcile with how much money you really have in your budget to get one of these hitch mount storage baskets.
Thankfully, there are far more expensive RV and trailer accessories out there that you could be forced to spend your money on.
The price of a quality hitch cargo carrier is going to range from $50 at the low end up to more than $200 at the upper end.
For our money, however, we’d recommend finding a model that you like with a price tag somewhere in the $100 to $150 range.
So, Which Is Best For You?
The answer to this question can really come down to two basic criteria: how much you want to carry and the type of travel rig you have at home.
So, let’s summarize things briefly by providing some clear recommendations for the best cargo carrier for various RV situations.
If you want a carrier with exceptional durability and cargo capacity, we chose the Reese Explore ProSeries 63153 Rambler as the best overall carrier for a reason.
While it’s a little more expensive than some other models, Reese is known for quality products and that makes us more confident that this cargo basket is built to last.
For those of you that want a cargo carrier that comes with all the essential accessories you need to start loading gear into it as soon as it arrives at your doorstep, we’d recommend the USSerenaY Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier.
With the included ratchet straps, cargo net, and waterproof cargo bag, this is the best plug-and-play carrier on our list.
The CURT 18109 Hitch Cargo Carrier would be our recommendation for anyone that wants a lightweight cargo basket that still offers enough storage space to be worthwhile.
This would be an excellent choice for part-time RVers that will only be installing a cargo carrier for a few trips every year.
If your RV is way too crowded and you absolutely need more storage space, but your budget is really tight, we’d recommend checking out the MaxxHaul 70107 Hitch Mount Compact Cargo Carrier.
For less than what you probably pay to fill up your RV’s gas tank, you can get a highly functional cargo carrier with a solid weight capacity.
The TITIMO Folding Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier would be our suggestion for full-time RVers that don’t want to take their carrier on and off their rig several times a year.
It’s the best folding carrier out there that allows you to pull the basket up and out of the way when it’s not loaded down.
And it also comes with all the accessories to strap your gear down securely with no need for additional purchases.
If you already have a cargo carrier picked out but it doesn’t come with a waterproof cargo bag, the ROLA 59102 Wallaroo Cargo Bag is the perfect way to round out your hitch-mounted cargo carrying system.
It’s a waterproof bag with up to 11.5 cubic feet of dry, protected storage space.
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing the right cargo carrier for your RV, travel trailer, pop-up camper, or 5th wheel is the first step towards increasing your storage capabilities.
But, in this Frequently Asked Questions section, we’ll cover some important information you should know about installing, maintaining, and safeguarding your new hitch mount cargo carrier.
Should I put lights on my cargo carrier?
While it’s not required, many responsible RVers choose to install a compact brake light kit to the tail end of their cargo carrier.
If, however, you can confirm that your specific carrier doesn’t interfere with the following driver’s ability to see your taillights and brake lights (especially at night), then you probably don’t have to worry about putting additional lights on your cargo basket.
However, you can also make sure that the cargo basket you choose has some sort of red reflective strips on it that increase its visibility in low-light conditions.
And, if the carrier you choose doesn’t have those reflective strips, you can also buy and install them yourself.
Where should I store my cargo carrier when I’m not using it?
The best places to store your cargo carrier when you don’t have it attached to your recreational vehicle are in your garage, a storage shed, or in the crawl space underneath your home.
While most of these hitch cargo carriers are powder-coated to minimize rust and corrosion, keeping them in a dry, covered space is the best way to maximize the longevity of your carrier when it’s in storage.
What risks come with cargo carriers?
To be honest, one of the biggest risks of getting a cargo carrier is not securing your gear to it properly.
This is almost always the result of user error, but the consequences can be much higher than something falling out of one of the upper compartments inside your RV.
In addition, it might take some time for you to get used to having an additional 30 to 50 inches behind your rig.
That extra length can make it more tricky to navigate crowded parking lots or tight campsites. But, over time, you’ll get used to accounting for that extra length because you’re already driving one of the larger rigs on the road!
Can you put a bike rack on a cargo carrier?
The short answer here is no. Most bike racks require use of an open hitch receiver in order to adequately support the weight of your bikes.
Because your cargo carrier also requires an open hitch receiver, it’s going to be hard to use a bike rack in tandem with a cargo carrier.
That being said, there are many different types of bike racks for RVs. If you choose a design that mounts to the ladder on the back of your RV or the tongue at the front of your trailer, for example, you should be able to use both a cargo carrier and a bike rack.
While you could always make the painful choices to leave more of your favorite gear behind, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have all of your tools and recreation gear at your disposal when you’re out on the road.
And a cargo carrier that mounts right in the hitch of your rig is an effective method for increasing your rig’s total storage space.
The cool part about these carriers is that they can also be installed and removed quite easily. That means it’s not a permanent option if you eventually decide to switch things up.
But the resale market is generally quite friendly for sellers of hitch mount carriers, so you probably won’t have much trouble recovering some of your investment if you do decide to sell down the line.
Anyhow, we hope that you’ve found this collection of cargo carriers for RV hitches useful today.
And we hope you have identified one or two designs that fit well with your specific travel rig and your road trip lifestyle.
As always, we wish you the safest and healthiest of RV travels for the remainder of this year and into the next!