What is a cargo carrier? Why is cargo carrier used for

An extra compartment installed in the vehicle, which is used to stow heavy luggage, gears, or other needed things without deducting the space inside the vehicle is known as a cargo carrier. When you are ready to go on a long drive or trip, these carriers become a lot handy.

One needs to choose the right size of a carrier that accommodates the vehicle he has. By installing this carrier, he can carry anything that he might have left behind before. The carrier will make the trip much comfortable for them without compromising the inner space.

What is a cargo carrier

Why is cargo carrier used for

When you need extra storage in your car to store more equipment, a cargo carrier can prove a much efficient companion in this regard. You can safely haul your accommodating things in there. The carrier also makes things easily accessible for any user.

Extra storage

Your car may have enough space to carry your needed gears on a short trip. But you might not have enough storage to carry a lot of gears of your family members while you are heading for a long trip. That is when you should install a cargo carrier in your car and create some extra storage.


You can ensure the safety of your gears by stowing them inside the cargo carriers. They are strong enough and some cargo boxes come with a locking mechanism to keep the things safe inside. If you don’t want any unwanted touch to your gears, you can safely keep them inside the cargo carrier.

Easily accessible

If the luggage or your carrying bag remains inside the car here and there, you will find it difficult sometimes to reach them when needed. Because there is already a lot of gathering inside the car and you also don’t know where the bag actually is.

But by storing them in a cargo carrier, you already know their exact location, which makes it easier for you to access your required gear in time.

Make more space for people

Storing heavier and larger gears inside the car will ultimately reduce the space for people. But if you attach a cargo carrier, space inside the car remains the same. The persons going on the trip won’t feel disturbed or gathering inside then. And comfort is really crucial for a swift trip.

Types of cargo carriers

Depending on the installing positions, there are basically two types of cargo carriers, rooftop cargo carriers and hitch cargo carriers. However, there are few more cargo carriers available depending on the style. Among them, cargo boxes, cargo racks, and cargo bags, Truck Bed Cargo Net are most common.

Types depending on the position

Rooftop cargo carrier: This type of cargo carrier is installed on the top of the car, and so they are called rooftop cargo carriers. Many cars come with a pre-installed rooftop for hauling luggage or so on. But in case there is none, you can install one manually.

Compared to hitch carriers, rooftop carriers are bigger and also can carry more loads on top. One can use boxes, bags, or racks on the top of the car as a cargo carrier.

Hitch cargo carrier: When you attach a cargo carrier to the car’s hitch, it becomes a hitch cargo carrier. Basically, you need a strong installation for these carriers as they are going to remain at the backside of the car. Using cargo boxes is the safest option to use as a hitch cargo carrier.

You need to choose a moderate-size cargo carrier for that position as well. A huge carrier might not go with the size of your car. And also a rack or bag won’t ensure maximum safety there.

Types depending on the style

Cargo Box

Cargo boxes are the safest cargo carriers to install on both rooftop and car hitch. The weather-proof and UV-resistant design makes the boxes appropriate for all-weather use. The feature that attracts the user the most is the locking mechanism. The riders don’t have to worry about thieves on the way.

When safety is your main concern, you should probably choose such cargo boxes. They are found in different sizes and designs to install on top of your car and also in the hitch. However, these boxes are a bit tough to install and they can’t carry taller items as well.

Cargo rack

For larger and uneven-sized items, you should rather choose cargo racks. They can be also installed on both rooftop and in-car hitch, but mostly they are used on top. The reason behind using them on top is to load carriage.

It is easy to load and unload items on a cargo rack. You won’t find any difficulties in carrying taller items as well. These carriers are also easy to mount. But the problem is regarding safety. They don’t come with any built-in locking mechanism. Only by using straps you can ensure safety a bit.

Cargo bag

If need a cargo box with an easy installation process, you should choose a cargo bag. The bags are made with waterproof synthetic materials, which make them appropriate for any weather. Some uneven items can be easily loaded inside the bags. They have straps to attach to the rooftop.

It can also be installed on the hitch cargo racks as an additional cargo carriage. However, it doesn’t offer much safety to the user.

Cargo frame

Cargo frames are typically made for hitch cargo carriers. They are used to install bags or boxes into the hitch of the car. They are mainly made of metal, which ensures a strong and long-lasting construction for the carrier.

Are cargo carriers legal

The legality of cargo carriers depends on the state you are living in. Different states have different rules regarding this. But one thing that is found common, if the cargo carrier hides the license plate of your car it may become illegal on the road.

In such circumstances, the owner needs to use a temporary visible paper license plate. Also, when you are carrying too much load on the carrier, and it has chances of falling, it may become illegal on the streets.

How to install a cargo carrier

As there are two types of cargo carriers, there are two installation methods for these cargo carriers. Now let’s talk about them in detail.

Installing rooftop cargo carrier

  • First, you need to decide which type of cargo carrier you want to install on top of your car.
  • Then select the middle of the top for the installation and put the carrier there.
  • Then use straps to lock the carrier securely on top.
  • After you have ensured the safety load items in it.

Installing hitch cargo carrier

  • To install a hitch cargo carrier, you need to attach a frame to the hitch of the car.
  • Use adequate wrench and screws to install the frame properly.
  • Lastly, install a cargo bag or box on it following the same rooftop installation process.

How to clean a cargo carrier

It is quite obvious to have a dirty cargo carrier after a ride because on the way it will come close to dirt, mud, or other dirty substances. You should make it clean to extend its lifetime.

  • Take a cleaner and mix some soapy water with it. Then spray it on the carrier surface.
  • Use a microfiber, soft cloth to wipe down the dirt.
  • Then use a fast water flow to remove the remaining soapy water from the surface and use another soft cloth.
  • Lastly, keep it in a dry place and let it get dry.

Concluding words 

After knowing the benefits and usage of cargo carriers, you might like to install one in your car when you are out for a long trip with your family.

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