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Old 07-14-2012, 02:42 PM   #1
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Question If you could buy your JK a hitch carrier ...

Which one would you go for? Expert weigh-in much appreciated!

I have seen some folding ones, but guess they will not clear the spare if folded so those may not be worth looking at.

I am looking at having to buy off of Amazon Prime or going to Harbor Freight tomorrow - I need to have it installed and ready to roll on Wednesday.

I have a 2012 Sahara Unlimited. This is her first big road trip.

Thanks for the newbie help!

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Old 07-14-2012, 04:44 PM   #2
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Looking too.
The higher off of the road would seem to be a better choice. Anything carried there is going to get extremely dirty, at least where I travel.
I am not sure Harbor Freight merchandise is high quality. Just my opinion.

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Old 07-14-2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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Harbor freight

They have some cheaper crap but most of their stuff is pretty good now. I havn't looked at their carrier but some of the hitches and otherstuff. They look pretty good

Ken
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:32 PM   #4
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Just an FYI, Lowes sells a hitch carrier as well. I saw you mentioned Amazon, so not sure on how you planned on paying, ex. giftcard. May be worth a look, no shipping and a logal place to return if needed. I got one from my dad a few weeks back, had to install it upside down cause the rail interferes w/ my spare, or vice versa! I plan on getting a new bumper/carrier so I'll just mount the spare a bit higher to gain the needed clearance on the 35's.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
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just remember get what u pay for. i paid 200.00 for one i have but it will hold almost 800 lbs.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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I paid $59.99 for my Harbor Freight carrier -- haul all kinds of crap/debris (bathroom renovation) and it works just fine.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dano0726
I paid $59.99 for my Harbor Freight carrier -- haul all kinds of crap/debris (bathroom renovation) and it works just fine.


Love HF. Can't get enough of that place.
Nothing has failed me yet. I have their 3 ton low profile jack, stands, combo wrenches, Earthquake brand impact which rocks, etc
From China but oh well
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Harbor freight

They have some cheaper crap but most of their stuff is pretty good now. I havn't looked at their carrier but some of the hitches and otherstuff. They look pretty good

Ken
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I purchased a 12" hitch extension a couple weeks ago from Harbor Freight so I could use my hitch carrier I got from Walmart several years ago for about $50. The extension got the hauler out past the spare tire so I could use the rain tight bag that goes on the hauler. I just made a 1500 mile trip to Texas and it worked out perfectly.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:56 AM   #9
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Here is my HF unit plugged in.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepester12 View Post
just remember get what u pay for. i paid 200.00 for one i have but it will hold almost 800 lbs.

What hitch do you have? Most JK hitches are rated for a max of 350lbs tounge weight.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:34 AM   #11
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We have the aluminum carrier from HF and it is about perfect... Light weight, and sturdy enough to haul crap for 4 people 1200 miles. Price was good too with a coupon. Get a net and some ratchet straps to secure everything and you'll do fine.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:56 AM   #12
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Depends on what you want it for...

I bought a Rola Polypropylene carrier off of Amazon, and the matching Rola bag to put stuff in. Reasoning was to use it for "road trips", so car-camping, to-and-from mountains to ski, etc. I can load it up with my large tent, other loose gear, it is up out of the way of the exhaust, and the bag keeps things dry. It is also lightweight (35 lbs) and flat, so I can pull it off the vehicle at my destination and stash it easily, and store it without consuming as much space in my garage (up against the wall next to where I park the jeep.) The Rola was pretty decent for the price also, I would have spent more to get a steel one since the basic steel ones look really cheep.

If I wanted something to carry more diverse, utilitarian things (lawnmowers, tools, heavier equipment, etc.) I would have considered a steel one. I did not want to deal with the size, weight, and corrosion issues. But obviously a steel basket is a lot stronger and can carry heavier, more random-shaped items.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:53 AM   #13
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Just got the HF aluminum ($90) for a 2000mi trip to CA (behind my Grand Cherokee). Highly recommend and its lightweight easy off/on.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepester12 View Post
just remember get what u pay for. i paid 200.00 for one i have but it will hold almost 800 lbs.
Just before it twists the rear cross member...

300# on a trailer tongue is what it's rated for???

move that 18" back on that carrier and the torque
applied to the frame is the same with only about 70#
on the carrier...
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:59 AM   #15
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I got one from Auto Zone, had a $10 off coupon , for $50 after the coupon was applied. Used it for a week down Hwy 101 to California and back with 4 people and a weeks worth of camping stuff. Worked great. Rated for 500#. Stayed at the KOA cabins and stored it under the beds there when not in use.

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Old 07-15-2012, 12:09 PM   #16
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I also have the 2" HF aluminium carrier and it held up on 60 miles of some horrible rough baja off roads. I do have an issue with slop in the receiver which causes the carrier to droop down. The slop exists on different receivers so it is the carrier and not the receiver.

Anyone know of a proven method to shim the receiver?
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:52 AM   #17
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i just got a cargo carrier from VIP for $82ish, its good for up to 500lbs.
just not 100% sure what the jk hitch can hold.
i got it for deer hunting & taking trash cans to the dump.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandbaja View Post
I also have the 2" HF aluminium carrier and it held up on 60 miles of some horrible rough baja off roads. I do have an issue with slop in the receiver which causes the carrier to droop down. The slop exists on different receivers so it is the carrier and not the receiver.

Anyone know of a proven method to shim the receiver?

I too bought the Harbor Freight Aluminum receiver carrier for the weight savings. Got it on sale with added coupon for $58.

I added this deviceAmazon.com: StowAway Hitch Tightener: Automotive to tighten up the "slop" in the receiver. Once installed, I never heard it rattle at all on a 1500 trip. It also gets rid of the "droop" associated with using a receiver carrier. Carrier rides nice and high with the Hitch Tightener installed.

I added thisAmazon.com: Bully CR-007A Tail and Brake Light: Automotive and thisHopkins 47115 48" 4-Wire Flat Extension : Amazon.com : Automotive , to increase visibility and safety when using the carrier. Light MUST be model CR-007A for it to work properly when brakes and turn signals are used. Light functions as additional Tail and Brake light.

I also redrilled the Harbor Frieght Aluminum carrier receiver square tube to move the carrier box further back to allow for clearance of my spare tire.

Just remember that once the Aluminum carrier is mounted to your JK, you cannot open the rear door without removing the carrier.

Also remember the proximity of the exhaust pipe to the carrier may effect whatever you are carrying in the Receiver Carrier. Aluminum foil or a cookie sheet tie wrapped to the carrier box may help as heat shield if needed.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:50 AM   #19
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I have had my eye on this one. It seems larger than most. Looks well built and lots of good reviews.

24x60 Railed Cargo Carrier for 2" Trailer Hitches Pro Series Hitch Cargo Carrier 63153

I wonder if anyone here has it and how they like it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:58 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tluke View Post
I have had my eye on this one. It seems larger than most. Looks well built and lots of good reviews.

24x60 Railed Cargo Carrier for 2" Trailer Hitches Pro Series Hitch Cargo Carrier 63153

I wonder if anyone here has it and how they like it.
I just used that exact one Elk hunting. Probably had about 200 - 250 lbs in it. Covered a couple hundred miles and it did fine, no issues. I have a aftermarket rear bumper with a built in class 3 hitch (bolts to the frame on both sides, not just the cross member). I would be a little cautious about using the standard OEM hitch with too much weight in the carrier.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:04 AM   #21
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i have that one you are looking at, bought it from amazon.....dont remember the price i know it wasnt too expansive but is well worth it. i was looking for one of the biggest on the market to haul my tools/crap around. in other words just do it!!! you wont be sorry
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:14 AM   #22
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:30 AM   #23
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Quote:
Just before it twists the rear cross member...

300# on a trailer tongue is what it's rated for???

move that 18" back on that carrier and the torque
applied to the frame is the same with only about 70#
on the carrier...
JK crossmember is plenty strong. I've been hauling bikes to track and trail since 2007. No cracks, no twist.
Just make sure your RECIEVER is rated class III and your suspension is up to the task.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #24
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I thought this was funny: I clicked on this thread and the banner ad on the side was for ETrailer.com and had a picture of a hitch mount carrier. Gotta love how the forum indexes everything and gives 'helpful suggestions'.

Link goes to this page:

Cargo Carriers for Trailer Hitch, Roof, Bags and Tie Downs | etrailer.com

Has a bunch of different hitch mount options.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJ. View Post
I just used that exact one Elk hunting. Probably had about 200 - 250 lbs in it. Covered a couple hundred miles and it did fine, no issues. I have a aftermarket rear bumper with a built in class 3 hitch (bolts to the frame on both sides, not just the cross member). I would be a little cautious about using the standard OEM hitch with too much weight in the carrier.
SJ,

What rear bumper do you have?
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:45 AM   #26
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Thanks for the information. I thought that one was a good choice.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #27
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I have 1 that was made for 4 wheeler it is bent kind of like a z so its good off road
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:50 PM   #28
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I just got the Harbor Freight aluminum one that others have mentioned. I put it on my 2013 Sahara and problem is it barely butts up to the spare tire. It actually is touching it in order for me to install the bolt that holds it in place to the hitch. Does everyone else's do this? I can get the extender but was trying to avoid going that route.

I was thinking about just putting a little piece of foam or carpet b/n the two to avoid tire rubbing......what ya'll think???
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:36 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archerdan View Post
I just got the Harbor Freight aluminum one that others have mentioned. I put it on my 2013 Sahara and problem is it barely butts up to the spare tire. It actually is touching it in order for me to install the bolt that holds it in place to the hitch. Does everyone else's do this? I can get the extender but was trying to avoid going that route.

I was thinking about just putting a little piece of foam or carpet b/n the two to avoid tire rubbing......what ya'll think???
My was "close" when I had the stock spare on the tire carrier (225/75-16 on steel wheels).

Now that I've installed 285/70-17's, my cargo carrier is all but useless.

I ordered this.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:05 PM   #30
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I was just looking at the hitch extenders to be able to use my bike rack with!! good point to use it with the hitch'n haul!! I bought my hitch carrier at bass pro a few years back think it was 79 bucks on sale and I grabbed a canvas bag that goes with it too!! great investment

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