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Old 12-09-2021, 01:08 PM   #1
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Hitch Cargo Carrier or Trailer

I need more carrying capacity for both toys (e-bike, inflatable boat), sniffle gear (stuff to make traveling more comfortable), and supplies.

Seeking thoughts on the use of hitch carriers vs trailers and experiences with limitations and frequency of issues where using either a hitch carrier or trailer was a problem.

I can probably get it done for the most part with a hitch cargo carrier and rearranging my roof top carrier leaving some less frequently used items at home. I do have to use a hitch extension due to the tire and box on the rear bumper. This option would be a bit more cumbersome day to day, but obviously eliminates the downside of towing a trailer. The departure angle becomes a problem although one could remove it for short periods when it is an issue.

A small adventure trailer would provide the space/capacity to haul what I want, but of course with the downside of having a trailer along. I have a 6x12 enclosed aluminum trailer, but really prefer not to tow it on trips with just Veeta (dog) and me. The trailer is partially setup, wired, etc. and lifted, and is pretty light at about 1100 pounds unloaded. I will finish setting it up as a bedroom/toy hauler as we get through COVID.


I have read various threads, but havenít seen one doing this comparison.

Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2021, 01:43 PM   #2
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For extras like you describe, I much prefer the hitch carrier especially for long drives. I always have bad luck with trailer tires, and the hitch rack doesnít affect fuel economy at all. I also use an extension and put the bike on the outer tray to maintain access to the back.

Note: do watch your hitchís tongue weight limits, and consider the added load-center compared to a trailer ball. I have a Buckstop towing bumper so I donít have to worry about it.
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Old 12-09-2021, 01:52 PM   #3
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Daytime pic with a cargo pallet for river gear instead of a shuttle bike.
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Old 12-09-2021, 01:54 PM   #4
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Thanks carringb.

I have a class IV/1000 pound tongue weight hitch. I won’t go over 250 or so pounds on a carrier. I have done some traveling with a hitch carrier.

I have a little Kendon single rail motorcycle trailer that weighs not more than 400 pounds unloaded. With a motorcycle there is no impact to MPG as it is tucked in behind the van. Backup camera is required…
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Old 12-09-2021, 09:21 PM   #5
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@Carringb, you have an advantage over most van owners with the rear duals, and you've been set up that way for a long time so you're used to it. I had a big slide out carrier on my first E-series EB van (CCV top, 2wd, Larrie's van now) and I didn't like all that back there bouncing around, but my setup was different than Marret's would be because it was an EB Ford with the already long rear overhang. I 'think' I added airbags on that van, can't remember. Don't you have them as well?

Chris, I'd say just try it, see if it's for you. I'm all about avoiding pulling a trailer when possible personally but it's all about comfort (as in confidence) when you're setting up a vehicle to travel long miles in with this kind of stuff.

I can definitely say that the double barrel receiver setup I built helped a lot. I ran the tubes just outside the frame rails on that EB so factory spare was unaltered. YMMV.
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Old 12-10-2021, 04:29 AM   #6
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Thanks Eric.

No perfect situation and a series of compromises as usual.

I wouldn’t feel comfortable with the 6x12 trailer above on some roads/trails I’ve been on, but think a small light weight trailer would have been ok.

I have made a few long trips with a hitch carrier, but they were mostly on hard surface roads. As mentioned, I could get by with one, but it wouldn’t be “perfect”. Those &@&#* compromises…

I do think about worse case scenarios out in the middle of nowhere and self recovery.

Of course it does not have to be the same every trip either, but for the purposes of this discussion I am talking a 2-3 month trip.
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Old 12-12-2021, 11:26 AM   #7
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I have one of these and I can get 2 road bikes in it with room for helmets and other bits. Have to remove the front wheels and use bike tights on the forks. Not cheap, but work quite well.

https://letsgoaero.com/gearspace-car...ier-dark-gray/

They make an even bigger one also.

https://letsgoaero.com/blackbox-pro-...losed-carrier/
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Old 12-12-2021, 11:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_382 View Post
I have one of these and I can get 2 road bikes in it with room for helmets and other bits. Have to remove the front wheels and use bike tights on the forks. Not cheap, but work quite well.
Thanks for the input and feedback.
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Old 12-13-2021, 10:39 AM   #9
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Beside rough roads you got to pull the trailer along, turning radius might be another consideration... not sure where you're going, but with my EB it got tight already...

Thought about adding some cargo on the side? like some guys have their surf board mounted there...
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Old 12-13-2021, 11:51 AM   #10
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Thanks E-350.

Trips are all over the US and Canada.

Turning radius and the ability to turn around are considerations. My van is an RB. Turning around on a tight double track or FSR is a concern. If I have to unhitch, I want to be able to turn the trailer around by hand because there may not be room to do it hitched. This turning around subject has been discussed before, but if I can turn my van around then I am going to assume there is room for the van and trailer side by side. The width of the two shouldn’t be more than the length of my van. If there isn’t room for that then I shouldn’t be driving it.

This doesn’t have to be a one size fit all situation either. In other words, a decision on hitch carrier or which trailer could be “driven” by the trip requirements.

Sides won’t work for what I want to carry.
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