Best Hitch Mounted Cargo Boxes – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking for the best hitch mounted cargo box? If you are, then you are not alone. You are probably one of many looking for something that will fit on most hitches so you can transport whatever it is from one place to the next. If you can fit it into one of these bad boys, you can take them just about anywhere. We’ll be taking a look at the hitch-mounted cargo boxes that we believe are the best in the market. Before we get to the list, let’s talk about what these hitch-mounted cargo boxes are and what their purpose is. We’ll also talk about how you can choose one for your own personal use. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Hitch Mounted Cargo Boxes

PRODUCTDETAILS
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StowAway Max Hitch Cargo Box

  • Best overall
  • Taillights included
  • Holds up to 16 cubic feet and 200 pounds
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Thule Transporter

  • Runner-up
  • Pre-wired tail lights included
  • Central lock system for better security
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StowAway Standard Cargo Carrier

  • Best for the money
  • Holds up to 12.5 cubic feet
  • Swing out feature for easy access to your trunk or hatchback
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ROLA 59109

  • 250-pound capacity
  • Fits up to a 2-inch square hitch
  • Made from high-quality plastic
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Let's Go Aero H00604

  • LED lights for better visibility
  • Compatible with 2-inch hitches
  • Made from high-quality polyurethane
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What is a Hitch-Mounted Cargo Box and What is it Used For?

A hitch-mounted cargo box is used for storage purposes. You can carry pretty much you can think of in one of these containers. It can be camping equipment, tools, you name it. In fact, these can come quite in handy if you plan on moving from one place to the next and you don’t need anything like a Uhaul truck or trailer. Furthermore, you can use this as a nifty way to transport a handful of goodies and drop them off from one place to the next. 

What Should I Look For When Buying A Hitch-Mounted Cargo Box?

There are some things that will make a great hitch-mounted cargo box stand out. The question is: what are the features and characteristics that make these great? Here are a few things that you should keep your eyes peeled for while making a decision:

Price

As always, the price will play a role in a buyer’s decision. Yet, it’s more common when you’re on a budget. You should find the best quality affordable so you don’t have to settle for something that is cheap in quality and winds up lasting you a short period of time. 

Space/Capacity

One of the major features to look for is the amount of space. That’s completely up to you in terms of that regard. But consider what you are planning on putting into the cargo box yourself. Will it be tools? Will it be used for everyday things? It’s pretty much limitless what you can do with the right kind of space that these cargo boxes provide.

Resistant To Weather

These cargo boxes will sustain all kinds of weather. So it’s best to find a cargo box that will not only be tough on the outside as far as nature is concerned but also able to keep any water out of the box itself. It can get down and dirty and very easy to clean (depending on the material). 

Quick Take  - Best Best Hitch-Mounted Cargo Boxes

Before you get any further, here are our recommendations for the Best Hitch-Mounted Cargo Boxes:

  1. StowAway Max Hitch Cargo Box
  2. Thule Transporter
  3. StowAway Standard Cargo Carrier

Review of the Best Hitch-Mounted Cargo Boxes

Below is a list of the best hitch-mounted cargo boxes that are considered the best in the market as of this writing. It’s recommended (but not required) to take any notes regarding additional features and characteristics that stand out as interesting. That way, you can be able to make a decision based on what could be a dealmaker or a dealbreaker for you. Let’s start off with the “best overall” on our list:

StowAway Max Hitch Cargo Box with SwingAway Frame | Black

PROS

  • Easy to clean
  • Has plenty of space
  • Really solid in quality
  • Steel frame is really tough
  • Stays waterproof for miles and miles

CONS

  • Some say the water may still seep inside
  • Some warping may happen after short-term use

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers say that this cargo box was easy to install and had the ability to carry all kinds of stuff. They were using this for carrying tools, camping equipment and some were using it to carry groceries. Overall, the quality was solid and it could handle all kinds of weather like a champ.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What really makes this stand out among the pack is not just the quality and ability to go the distance. But it can swing open with the greatest of ease without making noises or making it really difficult to move. So if you want to access your trunk or your hatchback, then chances are you won’t have to suffer or struggle with being able to move this box. It’s easy to install and really fun to have when you want to use the extra space.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great cargo box for a good number of vehicles who are always on the go or taking long road trips. You have plenty of space at your disposal and you will certainly put it to good use if you must. For a tough frame and a cargo box that can handle all kinds of stuff, you can put all this space to good use any time, anywhere, no matter what it is.

Bottom Line

The StowAway Max Hitch Cargo Box deserves the “best overall” choice for all the right reasons. You’ll definitely want to install this on your vehicle if you feel that the need for extra space is necessary. It’s pretty tough in quality and will be useful for everyday needs or when you are venturing out on a road adventure.

Runner-up: 
Thule Transporter

Thule Transporter Combi Hitch-Mount Cargo Box

PROS

  • Fits on most vehicles
  • No water leakage ever
  • Handles up to 150 pounds
  • Build for the long haul. Can be reliable up to 3500 miles
  • Lock system does a good job keeping everything locked and secure

CONS

  • Locks might be a bit flimsy
  • May be challenging to assemble
  • Pre-drilled holes may not be in the correct location

​What Recent Buyers Report

New users were pretty impressed. They said that the design was perfect and it made fitting all kinds of things a lot easier. They said it made everything well organized and nothing looked cluttered. One user said that he uses this for storing his biking equipment and said that this kept everything nice and dry even when he was driving through bad rainstorms and mud puddles.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This cargo box is neatly designed to help improve the aerodynamics of most vehicles. But let’s not turn this into a physics class. But the design is also one of the reasons why it will give you a good amount of organized space whenever you need it most. It’s made for the daily trips around town or it can be used for extra space for groceries or even moving things from your old place to the new.

Who Will Use This Most

If you want a good amount of space but not too much, this might just be what the doctor ordered. No, it’s not a really big cargo box. But it ain’t small either. If you just need enough to carry you through a few errands or if you are traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles, this is the cargo box that will be worth trying out.

Bottom Line

If you want something that will give you the best in protection against the elements and will keep everything you transport from point A to point B dry, the Thule Transporter will definitely take the cake (icing and all). It keeps everything airtight, secure, and well-organized. This might just be the new best overall at some point in the future. But it all comes down to how you like it.

Best for the Money: 
StowAway Standard Cargo Carrier

Stowaway Standard Cargo Carrier with SwingAway Frame for 2' Hitch- Black

PROS

  • Easy to install
  • Excellent cargo expansion
  • 10-year warranty included
  • Plenty of space for storage
  • Keeps everything airtight and waterproof

CONS

  • May hang a little lower than usual
  • Some say the container could be larger
  • Exhaust plates may cover the drain hole

What Recent Buyers Report

According to most buyers, they said that adding on this carrier to their vehicles was a cinch. Of course, they were very happy with the amount of space they got out of it. The overall quality was excellent and it was able to keep water out be it from the rain or mud puddles they ran over. Security features were absolutely tight and never loosened once during transport.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a slightly smaller version of the StowAway container that we have reviewed awhile back. It has a small amount of storage space, but it can still hold up to 200 pounds worth of whatever it is that you plan on loading. It can be tools, the equipment you need for a weekend outdoor excursion or anything else that might be worth taking with you. Of course, you still have the easy access feature to where you can be able to swing it open and access your hatchback or trunk. Of course, if it doesn’t have enough space for anything you need to carry, at least you have a cargo box to work with.

Who Will Use This Most

While this might be the more affordable of the two, this StowAway carrier will be great for smaller vehicles or for anyone who doesn’t need a whole lot of extra space but will keep this handy just in case they do. It takes minutes to install and will keep everything well-organized and dry. It’s built to last and will go for miles and miles.

Bottom Line

The StowAway Standard Cargo Carrier could be what you need for all of your storage needs on the go. It’s super durable, waterproof, and will give you so much space to work with when you need the right kind of stuff you need for whatever activities you may have planned. If you need a cargo box that won’t break the bank, this might be right up your alley.

ROLA 59109 Adventure System with Swing Away

PROS

  • Really durable
  • Keeps water out
  • Has plenty of room for storage
  • Resistant to all kinds of weather and dirt
  • Swings easily for access to hatchbacks and trunks

CONS

  • Brake lights are not secure
  • Lock quality could be better
  • Handle areas could be useful on the racks

What Recent Buyers Report

This was a great cargo box for most users who purchased it. They said that adding this onto their vehicles wasn’t as difficult as they expected. But it took a bit of time to get it installed. Once completed, it stayed secure and managed to provide a great deal of space for those who needed it for additional storage. One user said that he uses it for jumper cables and other vehicle equipment just in case his breaks down. He said this gave him the opportunity to be prepared for the worst when on the road.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a cargo box that provides you with all kinds of space with a nice little window that will allow you to see what’s inside. That way, you know what you’ve got in there and if you notice anything missing right away you can just get it and store it before you even leave the house and realize that something is amiss. It’s durable, resistant to bad weather, and is perfect for any road trip no matter how long it is.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are just looking for a simple cargo box that will make transporting whatever you need necessary, then you may want to consider giving this a closer look. Yes, it’s made from high-quality plastic but it is nowhere near as cheap and flimsy. It can still handle some bad weather and whatnot. And with a good amount of space to work with, how can you say no to extra space.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a pretty simple cargo box without the bells and whistles, the ROLA 59109 is probably what will work best for you. Be sure to put this to good use whether it’s for a weekend or if you are using it for everyday transport. You’ll never know if and when you need this much space. But it will be nice to have on your vehicle just in case.

Let's Go Aero H00604 GearDeck Slide-Out Cargo Carrier with LED Tail Light Kit, 17 c.f. - Black

PROS

  • Easy to clean
  • Latches and locks easily
  • Super durable construction
  • Provides ample storage space
  • Resistant to weather and corrosion

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost every new buyer of this had nothing but positive things to say about this cargo box. They said that it was really stout and secure on the outside. On the inside, they were able to keep everything stored away nice and dry. Overall, they said that it was rugged and able to handle the on-road and even off-road excursions. One user said that he used this to store his camping equipment and it wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty when he took it off-road.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

Of all the cargo boxes on this list, this one is probably one of the most durable of the bunch. And why not? The polyurethane makes it easy to keep clean and it’s hard to warp or crack. So it can withstand nature’s elements no matter what. You can add this to two-inch hitches with ease and be able to use it on the same day if you want to.

Who Will Use This Most

This might just be the right fit for you if and when you need it for either the long road trips or if you are spending the weekends off the beaten path. It can handle so much stuff and will leave plenty of more as long as you have everything organized. For a cargo box that will stand the test of time and whatever use possible, this could be your cup of coffee.

Bottom Line

The Let’s Go Aero H00604 is mighty in size and strength. And it excels at space when it comes to storage. You won’t find anything bigger, better, and badder than this anywhere else. For a great cargo box that will fit on your hitch no problem, this would definitely be the best choice for you if you plan on using it day after day, year after year.

Pros and Cons of Hitch-Mounted Cargo Boxes

While these hitch-mounted cargo boxes are cool to have, they do come with its set of pros and cons. Let’s take a look at the pros first:

Pros

Below are the main pros:

Perfect For Extra Storage

Addressing the obvious, these cargo boxes will provide extra space for those who may need more but can’t find a way to clear off any in their trunks or hatchbacks. So it would make a whole lot of sense to install one of these on here just in case those situations start to arise.

Fits Most Cars and SUVs

These will be ideal for those who are drivers of these vehicles. They’re not necessarily useless for those who drive trucks. But those who have cars or SUVs with not so much space in their trunks and hatchbacks, they can certainly benefit from putting these cargo boxes to good use. Even if the box is twice the amount of space compared to the trunk itself. 

Mostly Weather Resistant

Considering that these will be mounted on your hitch, it will obviously be built well enough to handle all kinds of weather conditions. Let’s not forget that it can also get dirty and wet depending on how many mud puddles you splash through. Thankfully, these are waterproof and really easy to clean. So nature’s worse won’t harm these no matter how hard they try. 

Cons

With the pros always come the cons. Let’s take a look at the common shortcomings that these cargo boxes have:

Some May Be Heavy In Weight

This is expected for things like this. The larger they are in size, the better the chance it will be heavy in weight. Not to mention, it might weigh down on your vehicle a bit. While it won’t likely harm the structural integrity of your vehicle, loading up more additional weight can be risky. Be careful what you load when using a cargo box. 

They Won’t Always Fit on Every Hitch

If you need to find a good fitting cargo box, you’ll need to make a few measurements. Not all cargo boxes will fit on say two-inch hitches. Know the measurement of your hitch prior to choosing a mounted cargo box of your choosing. You want it to be perfectly fit, not too small or large. 

How To Assemble A Cargo Box

If you don’t know how to assemble a cargo box, then you can learn how following this guide below. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Find the keys and instructions located inside the box. 
  2. Make sure your component kit has all the parts needed for installment. 
  3. Slide the stinger part of the hitch bar until all the holes are aligned perfectly. Next, insert the hitch pin or lock and make sure it’s secure.
  4. Place the washers on the end of the hitch bar and add the swingarm over it. Drop the pivot pin and secure the washers and pin in place. 
  5. Tighten the T-Bolt and insert the secondary safety pin.
  6. Place the box base on the frame and make sure they are aligned with the holes.
  7. Locate the bolts and the drain plug and fit them into their respected places. Be sure they are tightened securely. 
  8. Position the lid on the box at a 45-degree angle and then install the hinge pins with a hammer. Test the lid if and when needed.
  9. Loosen the T-bolt and release the plunger pin and swing open the Stowaway.
  10. Fasten the wire harness to the frame using wire ties.
  11. Plug the wire harness into the vehicle’s electrical receiver.
  12. Drop the hitch tightener U-bolt over the stinger and secure it properly.
  13. Check to see if everything is secure and in place. At this point, you should be finished.

Conclusion

The best hitch-mounted cargo box might be one of the ones listed above. It’s important that you find one that will fulfill your carrying needs and able to fit your vehicle. These can last you quite a while and will give you all kinds of additional space, if and when you need it most. 

People Also Ask

The following is a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to hitch-mounted cargo boxes. Use this as a guide in case you want a better understanding of how these work and what to expect from them. Here are the following questions:

Do You Need Lights on a Cargo Carrier?

It would be a good idea for a cargo carrier to have lights. They should be included for the sake of safety purposes. That’s because a cargo carrier may be large enough to obscure tail lights. 

Are Roof Cargo Boxes Safe?

Yes, they are. In fact, they are designed to a point where they won’t obscure your view while you are backing up onto the road. Some of them are designed to lessen the amount of drag on your vehicle. 

How Much Weight Can a Hitch Rack Hold?

On average, a hitch rack can hold anywhere between 200 to 300 pounds. This will depend on the make and model.