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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at a hitch receiver carrier, but I was wondering how many of you have one.

The one I'm looking at now is this one Click here to see it
But as you can see it's a class III hitch, and I have the factory tow package installed on our Odyssey which is a Class II. (2inch opening though).
The reason why I'd like the larger one is because I might put stuff there that is mostly 'big' but not necessairly heavy. It also has optional lights which I'd get and a water resistant bag.

Anyways, let me know what you guys think, especially if I should look for the 48inch wide instead of 60inch wide.
Also if the ClassIII rack would cause issues with my ClassII hitch.

Thanks in advance.
-Phil
 

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Class II is rated for 350# tongue load, Class III is 500#, the same as the capacity of the rack. The rack is cantilevered, so the load on the hitch will be more than the weight in the rack. I think your Class II hitch would be fine with 200# in the rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.

Also, if you have one of those carriers, did you need to get bags for the suspension?
Thanks.
 

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You don't "need" bags for the rear but it will prevent the rear from sagging. I had a Thule hitch cargo box fitted to my 2003 and when fully loaded the rear squatted a lot. Clearly noticeable as my wife commented and she never pays attention to the vehicle. A hitch along with a fully loaded cargo carrier has quite a lot of tongue weight that is pretty far back from the rear axle which would cause not only the rear to sag but also raise the front end a bit reducing front braking and steering response. We took it on a 2000 mile road trip and were fine but I had to compensate for the changes and had to pay more attention to braking and steering.
Also, if u plan on using the cargo carrier for luggage, I would reccomend a cargo box vs a cargo tray as it will keep everything dry and secure and you don't have to worry about things falling off. The cargo tray would be better for larger items or stuff like bags of mulch or lumber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your feedback, I was looking at the carrier, but when I get it, I was going to get the impermeable bag and also add brake lights to the carrier.

I'm leaning that route because I can store it more easily when not in use, also it's a bit more flexible.
I understand what you mean about the security of the box though, living in Florida, I have quite frequently seen a family's luggage spread accross the side of the interstate.
 

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The hitch carrier would also produce less aerodynamic drag than the rooftop box, and so save on fuel cost.
 

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I don't love the "squat" in the rear from the carriers in back. Agreed, they have less drag, but let me point out what a delight it can be to blow out a rear tire in the middle of nowhere with a carrier on back and already too little clearance. This happened to me once, and after I had the short spare on, I had maybe 3 inches of clearance in back. I'd keep that in mind and try to get the back riding higher if you go that route. Bags, heavier springs... whatever you like may help, but doing nothing can be scary if you blow a tire.
 

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Chances of a blow out are rare but your experience is valuable.
I've used hit h mounted carriers and would recommend you get one with trailer lights on it just in case you manage to obscure the tail lights.
 

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I don't love the "squat" in the rear from the carriers in back. Agreed, they have less drag, but let me point out what a delight it can be to blow out a rear tire in the middle of nowhere with a carrier on back and already too little clearance. This happened to me once, and after I had the short spare on, I had maybe 3 inches of clearance in back. I'd keep that in mind and try to get the back riding higher if you go that route. Bags, heavier springs... whatever you like may help, but doing nothing can be scary if you blow a tire.
Maybe with the extra room, invest in a cheap full-size steel spare to negate the ground clearance issue for long trips.
 

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I've used both a hitch mounted hard cargo box and a rooftop hard cargo box and did not notice a major difference in fuel economy. I took each on the same 2000 mile road trip within 4 months of each other with no other changes to the odyssey. I dont claim to be an expert on aerodynamics but rooftop boxes have gotten better with regards to aerodynamics and even tho hitch mounted cargo boxes are behind the vehicle it still affects aerodynamics. Another thing to consider is the ability to lift the rear tailgate and access the trunk. Most hitch carriers sit very close to the rear bumper which may prevent opening the rear hatch. The hitch cargo box I have swings out to have full access to the trunk. This was key as majority of interior space was used by passengers and road trip essentials such as food, pillows, toys, electronics, etc. would also make tending to a flat tire easier. If accessing the rear is not a concern then please disregard :)
as far as 48" vs 60" I would recommend the largest carrier that will fit safely. I think the odyssey is wider than 60 so it should not stick out the sides. U will never complain about too much room but u will always wish u had more :) good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to all the replies!
One reason why I'm leaning towards the rear cargo tray is that I have a 2011 Odyssey which didn't come with a roof rack. A benefit though, is the spare tire is now in the footwell of the 2nd row. You're right about access to the tailgate, that would be an inconvenience. I looked at ones that fold up or collapse down but they stick out too far, which would only exacerbate the rear squat when the carrier is loaded.
Regarding the fuel econ, I'm glad you brought that up autobot, my only experience was with a ski roofbox on a Jeep (slim and long) and it certainly affected fuel econ, but I never had a cargo carrier. It does make sense though, how you split the air is important, but so is how it gets put back behind the vehicle (turbulence). I measured 60 inches on the back of the van, and it comes close to the full widith, but with a large waterproof bag, it would definitly obstruct the tail lights.

Thanks again for the feedback
 

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If the 60" fits within the width of the Odyssey, then I say go with that one! With the waterproof bag and the optional tail lights, you should be good to go. Does the optional light kit come with a license plate relocation kit and light since the license plate will also be obstructed by the waterproof bag?

another nice thing about the rear cargo trays is that you can buy attachments to convert it to a bike carrier if you feel the need.
 

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Agreed. That was my my last true "blowout" since I was a teen in the early 1980's. Murphy's Law in action, I suppose. Freeway side, middle of nowhere, after midnight... I still have an outboard rack, and I use it now and then, but since that blowout, I'm extra cautious.

That said, when I DO use it, I use it with added tail lights lights. In fact, I also re-mounted the tag on the carrier behind the luggage, and I put a small camera dead center in the bottom if the rack as well for safer backing with the rack in use. (I put a metal plate over the end of the 2" x 2" square tube with a camera in it.) I also have the carrier mounted on a hinged boom so I can keep the rack on the car when I get to our destination (usually a hotel) without the danger of such a large, flat thing sticking out behind the car. Lights or not, I think the rear racks are a real hazard when they are on vehicles but empty-- they are just too hard to get perspective on for other drivers. This was all on our '01 though. Now with the Touring model, I worry that someone might auto-open the hatch if I use the rack again. I guess there is a fuse I could pull though. Maybe I need to put a manual cut-off in that blank switch spot for such occasions...

The bottom of my rack it expanded metal, so you can see the tag somewhat through the carrier when it is folded up, but I generally just mount the tag through the metal so it is completely visible on the back/bottom of the folded carrier behind the car when we're running around in our destination city. It takes maybe 2 minutes to switch back for the drive home... The tag and tail lights are cheap insurance. I've probably used the setup on a half-dozen trips and never gotten stopped once. I figure a bored policeman would surely have stopped me with the tag obscured by now if the tag were on the hatch all those times; several thousand miles...
 

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Thanks to all the replies!
I looked at ones that fold up or collapse down but they stick out too far, which would only exacerbate the rear squat when the carrier is loaded.
I bought a unit without the tilt and a tilt boom by itself as well. A couple of big bolts are all it takes to change the rack from one to the other. I didn't see very much more squat with the tilt as it really was close to the same distance back. Part of why is that I mounted the rack to the tilt boom myself, measuring very carefully to tilt it very close to the car.

On the plus side, the tilt boom raises the cargo from the ground by a tube thickness (about 2") and my particular model tilts the cargo slightly towards the car; enough to help with stability PLUS it shifts the weight a bit towards the car. On the down side, it probably adds another 15 or 20 pounds and it does indeed push the load back slightly so it does add to squat.

Not having a roof rack changes your options clearly. I like the full-sized spare idea though we were too full to add one in that setup. (Kitchen sink had to go SOMEWHERE, LOL) It COULD have gone in the Yakima basket up top I guess, "Safari Style" but that is not an option unless you add a roof rack.

If there is space in the back of the car, a full sized spare makes sense to me, but then again, that's more weight, so more squat as well.

I had actually bought (expensive) custom springs to increase load capacity by 300#-- actual springs, not helpers, but I never installed them because I finally bought a Suburban for really heavy hauling. Bought it before the springs were here and ready to use for the Honda. The rear carrier has been handy on the Suburban as well. Quite a difference though. The Suburban can be loaded as heavy as you like and the back is just rock solid. I think I could carry boulders on that rack and the car would not care. Puts me in a real dilemma now. For short to medium trips, the Honda is the winner, hands down, and it gets 27 MPG on the freeway vs. no better than maybe 19 with the Suburban. The Suburban also drives about in a congested city with all the convenience of a tank, plus the back seats don't recline, and on and on. There are always trade-offs. We just keep trying to figure out how to travel lighter and take an Odyssey when possible...

BTW, if somebody needs a new set of +300# springs for a Gen 2 Odyssey (they were made for an '01) mine are probably available. I can't see needing them again. Wish I had that option for the '06 but they are expensive and I guess that wouldn't work anyhow-- these are strut rears now, right? Has anyone found a similar solution for a Gen 3?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I bought a unit without the tilt and a tilt boom by itself as well. A couple of big bolts are all it takes to change the rack from one to the other. I didn't see very much more squat with the tilt as it really was close to the same distance back. Part of why is that I mounted the rack to the tilt boom myself, measuring very carefully to tilt it very close to the car.

On the plus side, the tilt boom raises the cargo from the ground by a tube thickness (about 2") and my particular model tilts the cargo slightly towards the car; enough to help with stability PLUS it shifts the weight a bit towards the car. On the down side, it probably adds another 15 or 20 pounds and it does indeed push the load back slightly so it does add to squat.

Not having a roof rack changes your options clearly. I like the full-sized spare idea though we were too full to add one in that setup. (Kitchen sink had to go SOMEWHERE, LOL) It COULD have gone in the Yakima basket up top I guess, "Safari Style" but that is not an option unless you add a roof rack.

If there is space in the back of the car, a full sized spare makes sense to me, but then again, that's more weight, so more squat as well.

I had actually bought (expensive) custom springs to increase load capacity by 300#-- actual springs, not helpers, but I never installed them because I finally bought a Suburban for really heavy hauling. Bought it before the springs were here and ready to use for the Honda. The rear carrier has been handy on the Suburban as well. Quite a difference though. The Suburban can be loaded as heavy as you like and the back is just rock solid. I think I could carry boulders on that rack and the car would not care. Puts me in a real dilemma now. For short to medium trips, the Honda is the winner, hands down, and it gets 27 MPG on the freeway vs. no better than maybe 19 with the Suburban. The Suburban also drives about in a congested city with all the convenience of a tank, plus the back seats don't recline, and on and on. There are always trade-offs. We just keep trying to figure out how to travel lighter and take an Odyssey when possible...

BTW, if somebody needs a new set of +300# springs for a Gen 2 Odyssey (they were made for an '01) mine are probably available. I can't see needing them again. Wish I had that option for the '06 but they are expensive and I guess that wouldn't work anyhow-- these are strut rears now, right? Has anyone found a similar solution for a Gen 3?
Do you have a link to the folding arm you used?
Based on your reply, I do think I should re-vist buying a tray with a folding arm. I too was thinking "when I reach a destination, such as hotel, if I can't fold the thing, what do I do with it?"

about the rear suspension, I was certainly not planning on changing the springs, only getting airbags in the coils at most.

thanks,
-Phil
 

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Airbags would be sufficient to keep the car level. As for roof boxes, much easier in my opinion, everything stays dry, you can access the rear of the car, and as for fuel mileage, how much is it really going to cost you in fuel mileage for the few times a year you might use it? I do have a custom hitch rack that was made for my Wrangler. I intend to use it on the Odyssey once I get a hitch, for bicycles or in a pinch for something I don't want to put in the car...
 

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I have class III round hitch and cargo tray on my 06 EXL. At heavy load it sagged quite a bit and the tray actually scrapped when you entered/exited driveways with a bit of a steep angle. I also have a Yakima cargo tray on the roof sitting on top of Yakima bars and towers. For ski trips, or light road trip, the cargo tray is great since i can just throw a big plastic container in the back and throw all the outdoor stuffs in there - shoes, snowboots, etc... On long camping trips, I use both the roof rack and the try.

If you have a Harbor Freight near you check them out. They have a aluminum tray for a very good price. I'll be replacing my steel tray with this aluminum before the summer. Steel is great but it's too heavy.
 

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it better use a roof box,at first i also use the hitch trailer carrier,but there a big problem when the car in a bad road,always worried about the trailer whether lost,and also can't carry much things and dirty.so i select the roof rack and match the thule 1355 pads.that's all fine,there about one year i haven't changed antgthing,...
 

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I purchased an aluminum cargo carrier from hitchsource for $109 freeshipping a few months ago. It replaced my old one which weights a ton. The new aluminum is light and fold up out of the way so it's great. I'm planning to add a raiser extension to raise it a bit too.

This is the one in case someone is interested.

Aluminum Cargo Carrier - By Curt Mfg
 

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I can recommend raising the rack up just a bit. I bought a rack for our CR-V and attached two Rubbermaid tote boxes to the rack with bungee cords, for bringing some stuff back from Iowa in winter time. The boxes were nice and waterproof, keeping out the snow/salt from the road, but the car exhaust actually melted the bottom on one of the boxes. Next time, I'll get the roof box, or this hitch rack: Rola 59502 2" Steel Cargo Carrier - 2 Piece : Amazon.com : Automotive
 
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