One of the most difficult jobs as a traveler isn’t always the job itself, but finding enough room in your vehicle for all of your belongings to take on your next assignment. This is especially true if you are not traveling alone. No matter how well you think you’ve done limiting supplies, there are almost always a few items that get left behind for lack of room. Curt offers a very affordable solution for those of you that have a hitch installed on your vehicle.
The Curt Cargo Carrier requires that your vehicle have a 2″ size receiver (this is common on most hitches) and does not require any electrical connections. It is as simple as pushing the Curt square bar into your vehicle’s receiver and securing it with a pin. Although this can be done with one person, the carrier does weigh 60 lbs and is much easier and safer to install with one person on each side. Once installed, you are ready to start loading it up.
Curt rates the total allowed capacity at 500 lbs. This should be more than enough to safely fill the carrier without items falling out the sides. The dimensions are 60 in x 20 in x 6 in. It is almost as wide as the rear of most vehicles so you shouldn’t have to worry about it sticking out on either side. It is also deep enough that you could set plastic totes in the carrier and as long as they are strapped down, you shouldn’t have to worry about them falling out.
You can also install an optional attachment that will allow you to extend the carrier away from your vehicle to allow clearance for a rear SUV or hatchback door to be opened. This attachment also allows for the carrier to be folded up when not in use. Keep in mind though that this extension may cause bottoming-out problems on steep driveways and parking lot entrances. If you do not need the convenience of being able to open your back door or being able to fold the carrier up, you should probably not use the extension. Some retailers include this attachment and some offer a discount if you do not need it. The Amazon link below is without the attachment.
A few things to remember:
- What goes in must come back out. If your trip can be made in one day, this may not be an issue. If you have to stop at a hotel for one or more nights, you have to make a decision. Will you leave the carrier and everything in it outside overnight, or will you unload it and load it back up the next morning? This might not seem like a big deal but depending on what you plan on packing and how tightly packed you have it, it can become a major time vampire.
- Everything in the rack will be exposed to rain, snow, dirt, oil, bugs and anything kicked up by your tires. If you plan on using totes, this probably isn’t a major issue. You can also purchase waterproof or water resistant bags that fit inside the carrier, such as the Rola 59102 waterproof cargo bag. Just use common sense and keep the electronics and anything that is sensitive to moisture and heavy vibrations inside your vehicle.
- Make sure everything is secure before heading out. Once you hit the road, you will not have a visual of the carrier or its contents unless you have them stacked high enough or out to the sides. Make sure if you have totes, the tops are secured down with either tie-down straps or at least bungee cords. Straps are relatively inexpensive and much more reliable. They will also do a better job of keeping items from jumping around and either working loose or becoming damaged. The mesh bottom and frame of the carrier offer several places to hook into and tighten your straps down.