Are Hitch Cargo Carriers Legal?

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Last Updated on August 1, 2022

Hitch carriers aim to combine plenty of storage space with easily accessible at waist height. Because of the easy accessibility and, as a whole utilizable capacity, numerous people preferred hitch carriers to rooftop carriers. 

Hitch carriers are fastened with a hitch pin or hitch lock in the vehicle’s receiver hitch. Because of their position at the back of the vehicle, hitch-mounted racks and even cargo boxes experience very little wind resistance. 

They are best suited to vehicles that have been designed and classed for a hitch and have a tongue weight capacity of approximately 200 pounds.

Hitch carriers come in a variety of styles, including specialty hitch racks, hitch cargo, bike racks, and hitch cargo racks.

Are Hitch Cargo Carriers Legal?

What exactly is a Hitch Cargo Carrier?

A hitch cargo carrier offers additional exterior space for all that stuff that doesn’t seem to fit in the back. There are numerous cargo carriers to choose from. 

Baskets, flat trays, bowls, and even ramp-equipped trays are among them. For frequent travelers, investing in a hitch cargo carrier seems to be a good idea. 

Is A Cargo Carrier Hitch Required?

A hitch cargo carrier has a number of advantages over rooftop cargo carriers and some other cargo carriers.

Your belongings are easily accessible thanks to the hook on the back. It’s always a pain to get the cold beverage you want on a long trip with the cooling system hidden away in the back. 

That is what distinguishes the carrier as a game-changer for passengers. Don’t stress about unloading the vehicle that you spent almost the entire day struggling to squeeze everything into.

This accessory is relatively safe and simple to operate. There’s no need to be concerned about your luggage falling off the vehicle’s roof. 

Is it Safe to Use Hitch Cargo Carriers?

It is said that Hitch Cargo Carriers seem to be safe. A pin and clip are usually included to keep the carrier secure. The cargo would also have a reduced center of gravity, making it less likely to fall off. 

Choose a fold-up hitch cargo carrier just for added security if you want to be sure the cargo is secure. The weather is also not an issue. A few waterproof cargo carrier bags are also available. 

Are hitch cargo carriers legal?

Towing and cargo carrier use are governed by various rules and regulations in many states. However, you should check with your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) to see what their policies are. 

Most cargo carriers offer light kits to assist drivers behind you in judging distance. Cargo carrier lights are recommended if the carrier and cargo overlook your taillights. 

Hitch cargo carriers are legal as long as your vehicle’s license plate is fully visible. It is, however, illegal to transport flammable or explosive items and items that could fall off and endanger other drivers on a hitch carrier. 

Before You Buy a Hitch Cargo Carrier, Here’s What You Should Know

Hitch cargo carriers can usually support up to 500 pounds of weight. It’s best not to overwork the carrier. 

As a result, fill the rack in a logical manner, placing heavy things inside first. Probably rent a trailer if there are too many items for the carrier. 

Every cargo carrier carries a great deal of responsibility. Depending on your state, if the cargo carrier obscures your license plate or even taillights, it may be illegal. 

Make your decision based on how much you’ll actually use it. 

The Summary

A hitch cargo box is indeed a suitable option for people who would like their gear to be safe, secure, and out of the elements. You’ll get better gas mileage and won’t just have to get to the roof of the vehicle every time you would have to load or unload.

Even if an overloaded cargo carrier isn’t illegal in and of itself, it may be if something problem occurs. If your hitch cargo carrier fails, the cargo would then fall onto the road, seriously damaging or injuring other motorists.

Make sure you do your homework on your local laws before buying a hitch cargo carrier to prevent fines and penalties.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the safest type of cargo carrier?

The most suitable technique to haul cargo is with a high-quality locking box and a locking hitch receiver.

Do hitch cargo carriers require lights?

You don’t have to get a light kit if the cargo carrier and even the cargo loaded on it don’t overlook the vehicle tail lights, but it’s still a good idea for safety.

What is the safest speed to drive with a trailer?

Maintain a 55-mile-per-hour speed limit. Excessive speed could cause dangerous issues such as trailer sway and mixture disturbance.

This site is full of hitch reviews & guides. Some interesting guides are mentioned below:

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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