A carrier cargo is an essential addition to have in your vehicle, especially if you love to go on road trips, camping, and even tailgating. On trips like this, the space in your RV might not be enough, especially if you are traveling with your family and even pets.
If you need to load in some spare cans of gasoline along with a power generator that is portable, the entire car will smell of gasoline. In situations like this, a cargo carrier can be a great option.
However, finding a good carrier can be difficult to do. To make things easier, we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best RV cargo carriers available in the market.
Comparison of the Best RV Cargo Carriers
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What Size Cargo Carrier Do I Need?
When it comes down to the size of the carrier, 500-pound weight capacity is considered a norm. Now, you may not need this entire size, but something around 200 to 300 pounds can be helpful on your trip. Having 500 to 600 pounds with you is nice insurance, this way you can easily purchase more things and not worry about finding the space to keep it along the way.
Carriers that come with a 200 lbs. maximum capacity are cheaper, so if you think that you do not need something that holds up to 500 pounds, you can go for a 200-pound capacity. Apart from the weight capacity, you must also consider the dimensions of the product. If you tend to pack a lot on your trip, then you must grab a carrier with dimensions of 60x24 inches, at least. One other option to opt for if you do not pack a lot of stuff is 48x19 inches.
However, when buying cargo carriers, it is essential that you pay more attention to the inside of the product than the outside. This means that if the dimension is 48x19 inches outside, then the dimension of the inside will definitely be smaller. Take this into consideration as you make your choice.
How to Choose a Cargo Carrier For Your RV
When buying a cargo carrier for your RV, there are many things you will have to focus on. These include:
When investing in the best cargo carrier, the material used in the making is the first thing to focus on. Most people tend to choose steel construction and the reason behind this is durability. Steel has the ability to go through the harshest conditions without bending or breaking. With this material, you can be assured that there are not going to be any weak spots.
However, if you are going for steel, then it is a good idea to go for a carrier that is powder-coated. This prevents the unit from rusting, breaking, and even getting scratched when kept under the sun.
Many people tend to not focus on the noise of the cargo carrier. However, when on a long trip or even a rough road, your cargo carrier rattling can be very annoying. This is a noise that cannot be drowned out by singing or listening to music. Also, the noise of your belongings rattling around can make you nervous and worried. So make sure you invest in a model that does not make too much sound that it renders you unable to sleep during your overnight journey.
Staying away from your belongings can be incredibly difficult, especially when you are traveling. You can step away from the carrier or go into a store for a quick snack, however, this increases the chances of people running away with your things, especially if you do not have a lock on it.
Most carriers have a locking hitch pin that makes it difficult to run off with your belongings. This provides you with the peace of mind that you need.
Review of the Best RV Cargo Carriers
Now that you know the features an ideal RV cargo carrier must have, let’s have a look at some of the best options available. Make sure you go through the reviews thoroughly to determine which one fits your needs best.
Pro Series Black Reese Cargo Carrier
Having a car top carrier is never a bad idea. However, many such carriers come with a maximum weight capacity of only 200 lbs. or less. This makes it difficult to carry items that weigh more. Also, lifting such a heavy item and taking it off from the roof rack can become a difficult process. However, that’s not the case with this cargo carrier.
This product is a hitch-mounted carrier and can carry weights up to 500 lbs. Moreover, it has a cargo platform of 60x24 inches, making it the perfect size, since it offers a lot of space. Even though the carrier can easily carry heavy weight due to its metal and durable build, don’t get too excited.
The reason behind this warning is that most people do not check the tongue weight rating of their vehicle before considering accessories like this for their vehicle. Vehicles come with limitations and not all of them can hold an exceptional amount of weight.
Also, if you are scared of your cargo carrier scraping the floor of the car, then you will love the Pro Series carrier. This unit comes with a rise shank design that keeps your cargo elevated and also increases the distance between the carrier and the ground. This way, your car’s rack remains protected and is high enough.
Also, with this carrier, there is no additional drag that may decrease your gas mileage. This will only take place if you overload the carrier, making it a great product to invest in.
This product has some great advantages and features that make it ideal to invest in. Even though it can rust internally, this process takes time, and it can be easily overlooked. Also, the noise vibrations of this cargo can easily be drowned out by music.
Best for the Money:
Goplus Cargo Carrier Basket Hitch Mount
If you do not have a big budget and still need to grab an RV cargo carrier, then this Goplus Cargo Carrier is for you. This is the ideal carrier which does not cost too much money and still features good quality.
This is long-lasting and durable due to its heavy-duty steel tubular construction. Since steel tends to get affected easily by rust, manufacturers have added a black powder coating to protect it. You can also spray-paint it for longer resistant to corrosion.
This unit is easy to assemble and put together due to its user-friendly abilities. It is also very light, which makes it easy to carry around by a single person. In addition, this unit comes with mounting accessories such as a hitch pin, which is very beneficial to carriers.
Moreover, the instructions are very easy to understand and can be used by a single person alone. The bottom of the product is made without mesh and it uses steel panels placed horizontally. These panels are sturdy and also tend to support weight evenly. On this cargo carrier, you can place items that weigh around 500 pounds or less. Its dimensions are 53x19, and this may not be very wide, but it’s good enough for most usages.
This is a great cargo carrier with plenty of benefits. This product stands out due to its numerous features. It comes with a reasonable price point that allows everyone to invest without worrying about emptying their pocket.
Best Frame (Hitch) Mounted Option:
ROLA Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier
The ROLA cargo carrier has been around for a long period of time. It has a good reputation and even though it does cost slightly more, it is a good carrier. This unit is one of the best frame mount option present in the market. This unit provides you with good support and even better quality. It can carry around 600 lbs, allowing you to load camping gears, coolers, and even bags.
It comes with a mesh floor which most people do not like. However, below the mesh floor are steel bars that support it. This protects the floor and does not let it cave when heavy luggage is placed onto the carrier. Moreover, this unit comes with holes that help fix the straps and hold your cargo down.
Despite the huge weight capacity this unit has, its dimensions are not too impressive. But with so many different features, this drawback can be ignored. Moreover, if after strapping luggage down, you still feel nervous about it not being held tightly enough, then you can make use of the side rails present. These rails prevent baggage from falling from the sides.
This model comes with a secure and easy design, along with a built-in area for license plate movement. This makes it easy for you to avoid traffic tickets due to luggage covering the plate on the cargo.
This is a great product to invest in if you want the best frame-mounted option. It has excellent features, such as side rails and strapping, easy attachment, and even a large capacity. While it costs more, the extra money does get you some excellent benefits.
Best Bumper-Mounted Option:
Mount-n-Lock GennyGo Cargo Carrier
Mount-n-Lock brings you the best bumper-mounted option present in the market. This product has the ability to stay solid and stick to one place. It does not produce any kind of noise or vibration, making it the perfect unit to invest in. Like many other hitch-mounted designs that can shake, rattle, and even roll, this one is entirely different.
It comes with easy assembly and allows you to build the kind of platform you need. With this product, you can even add in trays for extra width. It can be assembled in three entirely different configurations. Another great thing about this unit is that it is time-tested, road-tested, and even lab-tested.
Cargo carriers like this one are ideal for allowing you to transport your expensive gear safely. This product is made with premium quality materials and coatings. It is protected from rust and even looks good once it is mounted. Another ideal thing about this unit is the included installation guide that is easy to understand and follow.
This is an exceptionally good unit; it has a good capacity and great features. This unit is made from durable materials that allow it to last long. Overall, this is the best bumper-mounted option present in the market and is worth investing in.
Best Heavy Duty RV Cargo Carrier:
What Recent Buyers Report
According to recent buyers’ reports, this product is exactly what buyers needed. It is sturdy and very lightweight. It fits their large items safely and carries them for hours without any problems. This product well-suited them and provided them convenience in transporting their items.
Why it Stands Out to Us
MaxxHaul 70108 cargo carrier is made from high-quality aluminum, making this product quite tough and durable. It also features heavy-duty steel to support the frame. It weighs only 500 lbs. It also has built-in reflectors and red corners that provide a clearer vision of the carrier, especially at night. It is also very easy to maintain as the steel would not rust out. It is also very compatible and fits well with all kinds of vehicles.
This product offers many benefits and makes users’ life comfortable. Its 6-inch side rails help keep the items in place and stop them from falling out. You can even strap down your suitcases with it. It has high visibility and is one of the best RV cargo carriers in the market due to its high durability yet lightweight.
Best Roof Option:
JEGS Performance Rooftop Cargo Carrier
This JEGS Cargo Box is the best roof option present in the market. It helps in making your journey comfortable and easy since it does not reduce the space in your car. It is made with premium quality material, which makes it incredibly durable. Since this unit has a large interior, you can carry all your essentials in this unit safely.
Due to the aerodynamic design of this product, there is no wind drag to cause your vehicle to slow down and use too much gasoline. It is compact and easy to mount by a single person. It has great quality overall and is also very durable. It can carry cargo weight of around 110 pounds. Since it is small, it does not occupy the entire roof surface of your car.
You can set this unit up on your own. The round and square design of this product allow you to fit it on any vehicle you want. Since it has a space of 18 cubic feet, you surely won’t find it small, even if you plan a trip with your whole family. The overall construction of this product provides this cargo carrier with the durability it needs and protects it from the harsh weather. It allows your belongings to stay clean and dry and protects it from the sun’s UV rays.
Rooftop cargo carriers such as this one make your trips long lasting and memorable. They take your worry away due to the incredible features and advantages. Investing in such a cargo carrier is surely a good idea, particularly if you’re going on a trip with a large group.
Best RV Folding Cargo Carrier:
Merax Trailer Hitch Cargo Carrier
What Recent Buyers Report
Reports suggest that buyers loved it. It is a well-made product and is quite practical for users. It worked great for them as the amount of load they put in it was safely carried out. It came in handy for them as it is foldable and easy to store. Buyers highly recommend it to other users.
Why it Stands Out to Us
Merax Trailer Hitch Cargo Carrier has become the users’ favorite cargo carrier due to its amazing features. It is a well-constructed product made from high-quality steel, and coated in a powder finish, preventing it from rust, road grime, and other external elements. It is also easy to clean as it comes with a mesh base that helps you to clean it very easily. The sides are tall enough to keep the items secured in it.
Overall, this unit is quite a versatile choice for you to transport a variety of items. It comes with a removable basket. The material used in it makes it highly durable. If you want a cargo carrier that safely and conveniently transports your items and is also very easy to store when not in use, this model is the ideal pick.
8. Tricam ACC-1F Hitch Mounted Cargo Carrier
The Tricam ACC-1F is a cargo carrier made from aluminum. This is one of the best cargo carriers and even though many aluminum carriers are unable to hold too much weight and are flimsy, this one is different. This is because Tricam makes use of a mixture of steel that makes it incredibly sturdy, so if you are planning on hunting without hauling around heavy cargo, then this carrier is for you.
This carrier can carry weights up to 500 pounds, but you cannot decide on this cargo based entirely on its capacity. This product, apart from its ability to hold too much weight, is still very lightweight due to its aluminum construction. The unit itself weighs only 25 pounds and is easy for a single person to lift and carry around.
Another good thing about this carrier is that it is very simple to assemble it. All you have to do is connect the four bolts and this will join the aluminum basket onto the steel frames. Moreover, both these parts make use of rivets and it comes pre-assembled. This way, you do not have to screw and unscrew many bolts to fix this unit up.
Apart from the large carrying capacity this has, it also comes with a platform with the dimensions 50 x 20 inches. This provides it with a lot of space to spread your stuff on.
To sum up, this cargo carrier is a great pick in terms of weight, capacity, and dimensions. It can easily carry many different things at once and is easy to use and assemble. It is worth investing in.
Are Cargo Carriers Universal?
Cargo carriers come in different models and with different features, but most importantly, they come with a universal installation kit or hardware. This allows the cargo carriers to be fixed or attached to any type of crossbar. Just ensure your rear hatch is capable enough to open without harming the cargo box.
Cargo carriers are of different kinds; they are made using different materials, which translates to a difference in their constructions. The question is, which one is better? Let’s have a look:
Aluminum vs. Steel Cargo Carrier
Cargo carriers are generally constructed from either steel or aluminum. Both materials are quite tough and durable. However, there are some factors you may want to consider before choosing between the two.
Steel cargo carriers tend to be relatively cheaper, yet they are heavier to carry. Their weight can depend on the carrier's size and quality, but, on average, it weighs 50 pounds. However, one major advantage that steel has over aluminum is that most aluminum carriers have plastic corners, and when they are installed on the same vehicle, the corners melt due to the position of the exhaust.
On average, an aluminum carrier weighs between 20 and 30 pounds, but this depends on the size and quality of the carrier. The biggest advantage that it has over steel carriers is its corrosion resistance. You do not have to worry about maintaining an aluminum carrier frequently.
Soft vs. Hard Cargo Carrier
Soft and hard cargo carriers differ in many factors, including their flexibility, cost, storage capacity, etc.
The former is relatively cheaper and, on average, costs $100 to $200. Meanwhile, the average cost of the latter is between $300 and $600.
A soft cargo carrier is designed to be much more flexible than a hard one and can fit in different places, but hard cargo carriers can only fit in a particular place due to lack of flexibility.
Also, the two cargo carriers may differ in their storage capacity. Make sure you check the instructions and features of the model before purchasing it. Do not assume that hard cargo carriers will have more space than soft ones as manufacturers now have products with all kinds of space capacities.
Pros and Cons of Having a Cargo Carrier on Your RV
An RV can greatly benefit from having a cargo carrier, especially during long road trips. However, these carriers don’t come without their fair share of drawbacks. Let’s have a look at both aspects:
Let’s first have a look at the advantages you can get:
Safe and Easy Transportation of Cargo
An RV cargo carrier allows you to easily store your large items without worrying about them falling or slipping away. Instead, you can transport your items safely to your destinations.
These hitch carriers have much easier access than rooftop cargo carriers. They are right there at the back of your trailer. You can easily get whatever you want from the carrier.
Protection of Cargo From Bad Weather Conditions
Cargo carriers are generally safe and self-contained. They provide complete coverage to the carrier's items and protect them from rain, sun, etc.
Increase Storage Capacity
Having a cargo carrier helps you increase your trailer’s storage capacity. With its help, you can load more things that might not come easily inside your trailer and can even load some other things you want to bring with you along the way.
No Special Skills Required to Hitch up the Carrier
Installing a cargo carrier is easy and does not require any special skills to back up your trailer.
On the other hand, some limitations you might come across include:
Parking the Trailer May be a Challenging Job
Due to the extra length of the cargo carrier, parking the trailer will become an inconvenient and skillful job.
Attached and Held at the Rear of the Vehicle
Since the cargo carrier is held above the vehicle’s rear, the carriers' usable dimensions will be affected as vehicles that have a low profile will be unable to provide much space to the carrier.
Best Things to Store in a Cargo Carrier
Whether you are looking for a good space to store your luggage or to simply carry a generator with you, these cargo carriers are the perfect option. These products allow you to even carry a golf cart with you while traveling. Moreover, they act as the ideal companion, due to their multiple uses. In fact, you can carry your hunting equipment, as well as things that you usually travel with.
Some items you can easily store in this product are:
- Your golf gear
- Rifles and gear for hunting
- Camping bags and other essentials
- A portable and small generator
- Water cooler and picnic products
Cargo carriers are essential for people who tend to pack a lot of stuff when traveling and they act as a perfect companion for RV users. So whether you are traveling with a large group of people who come with their own luggage or you have heavy-duty equipment that you cannot leave behind, RV cargo carriers are the perfect solution for you.
People Also Ask
Despite all the information mentioned above, you might still have some questions in mind. Therefore, we have answered some common questions so you might also find the clarity you’re looking for in the following section:
Can You Use an RV Cargo Carrier For a Generator?
A generator is a necessity for an RV. But carrying a generator may be a problem as it may require a lot of space and will be heavy. So to carry it, you may want to load it on a cargo carrier.
You can weigh your generator and then buy a cargo carrier that is capable enough to carry that, but a capacity of 500 pounds should be able to handle your generator’s weight easily. It will be best if you purchase a cargo carrier with a ramp.
How Much Weight Can a Cargo Carrier Hold?
Different models have different carrying capacities. The maximum weight that a cargo carrier can hold is 500 pounds, and purchasing it will be ideal as you may buy more things along the way.
Are RV Cargo Carriers Safe?
RV cargo carriers are quite safe and are an easy option for transporting extra items, but it is good to always take necessary precautions. After you have loaded your cargo on the carrier, check the hitch locks or latches. Check the strapping points as well, and if you do not have one, then buy it.
Also, evenly distribute the weight on the carrier. Many cargo carriers come with reflectors, making them more visible at night and preventing other vehicles from hitting it by mistake. If your carrier does not have in-built reflectors, you can install them on your own too.