Contributors to this thread:
Trailer Hitch carrier
Who uses a trailer hitch carrier for their 4x4 SUV or similar to haul out deer and the like.... is is folding or not ?? ... advantages of one style vs the other/pros-cons ... any brand better than another and I dont want to drop a fortune on one either, some of the aluminium ones looks to be pricey ....... Ive been leaning towards the folding ones, just to get it out of the way driving to the hunting spot, I guess I could leave it down and put the game cart on it too instead of putting it in the back end... looking for suggestions ...
I think you are on the right track JTV with a folding one. I hauled a deer out once on a non-folding hitch carrier on a Tahoe. Going through ditches and rough roads it would drag occasionally. I think it was a Reese carrier. With a deer on a hitch carrier that is a lot of weight. You might want to make sure to check the weight capacity to make sure it doesn't fold the wrong direction on you. Good luck.
I have a non-folding one and had some of the same issues as KS. I would get a high capacity folder if I was doing it again.
You can get them with a 'Z' shaped receiver arm which raises the carrier basket and helps when going over ditches, etc.
Most of the roads are solid/paved, other than 2-3 miles of gravel leading to and from where I hunt..... I'd use a large tarp under the deer and wrap it over and around it for the trip home, which would then be all paved other than that little gravel distance... I'd use ratchet straps and bungee's to secure it all ..... I'd also get a hitch lock or two to prevent theft ... I may look into that Mark ..... most have a capacity of 500+ lbs and wouldnt get anything that has less
Mark is this what your talking about... see link
I used one for years on my Jeep. I used the tarp on the bottom and strapped the load down, no problem.
I've packed out elk with one several times as well as taken hogs to the butcher from Shiloh Ranch. 55 gallon trash bags help to keep the quarters clean and dust free.
Ours is not a folder, but that hasn't been a problem, either. If it is a problem on some serious 4 wheeler trails, I'd just take it off and put it in the Jeep or on the rack.
I use one on my CRV. As said above, I have a z shaped receiver bracket that raises it a lot more than the picture you posted. Tractor Supply had several from just a slight rise like shown in your picture to a steep one.
Mine is steep enough with a cooler on the carrier the back hatch does not go up. It works great for carrying a deer.
Usually the deer has hung overnight and cooled, so I tarp it to keep dust off during transport.
I have this one. It has more of an offset & helps with rougher roads. It has drug a couple times in really rough roads. I'm also sure I have reached that 300lb max with coolers & gear. Put a board on it to haul the grandsons dirt bike to Texas too.
HfW, there is a TS about 10 miles from me, I'll go in there and check them out in a week or so ... that was that one a folding design(?) ...
I also use one I built mine it folds in half I put my cart on the folded half so I can get in the back of my truck shell. I put a tarp down pull the deer on it fold it like a Christmas present and poeple going down the highway don't know what it's is
I built one years ago and use it all the time. I travel back and forth to my place in Kansas several times a year transporting treestands, meat, etc. This is a picture of the crate I made to take my bison mount to Omaha. I drove about 2000 miles with that on the back. It weighed about 150#. I would not hesitate to buy the $50 model from Harbor Freight. Get a 20% off coupon on your phone before you go in and you get it for $40.
Just be aware that your backup camera may or may not work. Doesn't work with the wife's SUV.
JSW, likes like you're about to do a wheelie
I bought a cheap one from Harbor Freight. I thought about buying one of the nicer aluminum folding ones, but just to haul a deer out I could not justify the price difference.
Jsw that is a fantastic idea,..good job making it happen...not beautiful,,but 100% functional
I got the one like the one in the Harbor Freight link for the wife's CRV. I think it is a 4" rise? Never had a dragging problem. Two thoughts. First...if you put it on at night, confirm 110% you put the retaining pin in the carrier's hole!! Otherwise about 500 miles down the road you will have the carrier fall out of the receiver on I-75 going southbound!!! I suggest putting a witness mark on the carrier when it is properly inserted and pinned. Second, before you go too far with any brand, insert it into the receiver and make sure it sits level and not leaning to one side. Otherwise the holes tend to wear and elongate over time exasperating the tilt. I re-drilled new holes to get it level again. Other than that....I find the carrier very handy.
I bought one several years ago from the Cabelas Bargain Cave. It was supposed to be a folder, and I guess it was, just not on any vehicle I ever owned. Bought it for an Excursion but it would have hit the back of the truck before the pin lined up. Ditto an F250 and an F150. I still used it a bunch, and I will again because I have a topper on my F150. My Excursion was my out of state hunting vehicle and it transported a very large ice chest full of ice from Douglas to wherever I was hunting in WY and several pronghorn from where we killed to the nearest place we could skin and quarter.
This old guy finds it a lot easier to get a deer onto a carrier than in the back of my truck by myself.
Just don't forget to grab a bag of .99 bungee cords to "secure" the load like I see so often going down the road. One for the gas can, one for the milk crate full of mama's gardening tools, one for the push mower, one for the Styrofoam cooler, and maybe two to hold down the kiddie pool.
People...this is why they make pickup trucks!
I have a 'Truck', a 4x4 Sonoma, but it is old and Ive had it for 16 yrs and road cancer is taking over, so the 4x4 SUV Mountaineer will be used most of the time now .. I still use the 'truck', just not for longer trips and daily hunting, it is now the back up vehicle .. so, I need a hitch carrier ... Ive carried back dozens of deer in the bed of that Sonoma 4x4 thru the years, its done me well... it may get some work this season, I'll see, the replaced motor is great, the tranny, is so so and has glitches and I'm not putting any more money into it !!
Work great, keeps those smelling swamp bucks out of your suvlol. Make sure you have some sort of waterproof tarp to wrap your game so road dirt and water doesn't get to it on the drive home. Get the widest carrier available and make W sure you have the 3 sides.
Finally able to get a picture of my set-up. Yes guys, you can laugh. It gets twice the mileage of my Tundra. I would have taken this to Canada this year if I had not hit a deer 10 days before leaving. Plenty of room.
I take it to the farm with my dog in the back. Cooler on the carrier, clothes and bow in the cargo top. I have a bigger carrier for a deer to go to the local processor, or if coming home have a small trailer that will fit the deer, cooler and carrier.
I use one of the nets to keep stuff on the carrier.
man, that thing sticks waaaaaaaaaaaay out the back end .... the carrier looks good, but holy moly with the extension ... ;0)
I use one of the commercial nets made to fit that specific carrier. I have not lost anything yet. I agree about the need to be safe.
Jeff, I added the extension otherwise when my biggest cooler is on there the hatch will not open. This also gives room for the dog to jump up in there. It looks terrible but is functional.
I’ve got one that I use on my F150, Sequoia and Sienna minivan. It’s a folder that I paid about $100 for. Only issue I’ve had is if you have any steep ditches, etc to cross. They don’t have to be long, just a sudden short dip in the road and I drag bottom regularly. I’d kill that one Frank has in the picture. It would be bent about 45 degrees by the time I made it to where I hunt.
Whoa, don’t think I’ve ever seen one sticking that far out...
It sags and doesn't even have a load on it yet! No way..
Hauling deer in a soccer mom vehicle....SMH.
I have a home made hitch hauler with an offset bracket to get it up higher. Yes it's on my soccer mom in disguise mobile. Anyone who can't see the value in saving money on fuel is compensating for other inadequacies in your big bubba truck.
Not the bracket I have but similar.
So you save, what, maybe $20-30 in fuel on a 300 mile trip? Not worth the embarrassment and hassle for me. I'm just teasing, mostly. But, whenever I see an SUV decked out with a large cargo box on top, and one of those silly hitch carriers hanging off the back, I usually think to myself "why not just buy a pickup?"
I have the same CRV as HFW's. I do not have any extensions on my carrier, just the 4" rise built into the carrier. It does not appear to affect gas mileage any. It will get 27/28 mpg on a flat interstate at 70 mph. The heaviest load I have carried on it so far is a 25" stick ladder and Big Bear hang-on stand. It serves the purpose.
I bought a cheap one from Cabelas and kind of wish I'd have bought a nicer aluminum one. I thought I might want a fold up one, but I'm kind of glad I didn't. I use one on my Suburban and it is plenty high enough it won't drag unless I'm really on a rough road. I think constantly folding it up and down to access the rear door of the Suburban would be a pain. I totall wrap the animal in a tarp because scar finga is right, it would be a dusty mess if you don't. I'm not much into gritty venison.
I did the Viking Solutions game cart/hitch hauler and also made it into a towable trailer for my ebike. This is will be my first year using it so hope it works out.
I have a large steel foldable for my truck and a medium sized aluminum foldable one for the girlfriends Cherokee.
We took her Cherokee to WY last year and it worked great. As other have said, they will drag on steeper gullies/ditches. But it worked fine without having to fold it, for the relatively flat areas we were hunting.
Definitely wrap your game in a trap for transport. Dust and road grime will get on it otherwise.
Every pin, every connection, every adapter is something that could possibly fail and ruin your trip. I prefer not to be looking in the rear view mirror the whole trip home praying my big buck is still there when I pull in the driveway. So, if your vehicle needs a "Strap-On", maybe it's you that is trying to compensate for something there scrappy;)
You funny south farm, do you have a six or eight inch lift on your bubba truck? ;)
It works great. 246 mile round trip to the farm, just about every weekend, the savings adds up.
By reducing my demand for fuel I help keep prices lower, and climate change in check.
After that picture I was expecting at least a half dozen guys to mention me on the 'Most Admired' thread.
If I am feeling less than a man, I sit in my parked Tundra and just smile.
Just hang a pair of those fake bull testicles off your soccer mom ride, and you should be good to go.
I have an aluminum, straight-tongue connection, carrier that I have used for several years. Works well. I bought it at Harbor Freight on sale. It really helps to allow more hauling capacity on vehicle and 4-wheeler ( if equipment has proper connecting system).
The only con is: need to put something under the item to protect from dust or mud.
I would, but the extra weight might tip it over;-)
Someone needs to bring the hunting rig back ttt soon. I may never click on another “hitch carrier” thread
C'mon lv2, it's all in good fun! Where we supposed to express ourselves now that the CF is no longer?;) In reality I don't give a hoot what anyone drives or hauls their stuff with...just so long as they not holding up traffic in the left lane!
I am with you. I don't give a hoot about what anyone else drives, or what anyone else thinks about what I drive.
", I usually think to myself "why not just buy a pickup?"
Most of the pickup drivers around here don't use the box. They tow a trailer or use a hitch hauler. IMO that makes a lot less sense than driving a CR-V or other small SUV and saving gas.
I bought a large steel one for an Expedition I owned years ago. More recently I bought a device made by "HitchHaul" that converted it to a folder, and I use it on my current SUV, an XTerra. I like the folder for many reasons, mostly because it gets it out of the way most of the time. The hitchhaul also includes a spot for a hitch ball. Really handy device.
"Most of the pickup drivers around here don't use the box. "
Huh? Where is "around here"? In my neck of the woods, 8 out 10 vehicles are pickups, and we use them as intended.
Matt, I live north of Chippewa Falls WI. I see a lot of people with the hitch haulers on their new trucks. I admit a lot of them have Illinois/MN plates. So it's probably city people that bought a truck to go to the lake in and because it's cool.
Hmm....I don't think I've ever seen a hitch hauler on a pickup.
I'm sorry, but that contraption Frank has on his SUV looks down right unsafe to me. I wouldn't want to drive behind him when he's hauling a load on that thing.
That contraption is DOT approved.
GG now you can say you have seen one on the back of a truck.
I’ve had 150 lbs on my hitch hauler and it’s the small one(1 7/8ths?).
One hunt last season we got 3 guys and all our gear(including stands) in my Subaru Forester. Still had plenty of room for a couple deer on the hitch hauler!
WHO needs a TRUCK???!!! ;-)
I was in Walmart today, they had one just like that ^^ .. 60", Folding/ 500lb capacity for $59.97 ....
JTV should have bought that one!!
I may go back for it .... you know, it may have been $79, the 48" one was $59 I believe .. still $79 is a good price ..
Rut Nut's Link
I don’t believe one of those CRV’s would make into where I hunt. I know the hitch carrier wouldn’t still be attached if it did somehow make it. I do however admire you guys that are confident enough in yourself to drive a CRV. I prefer my Truck mostly or my FJ40 when I’m feeling a bit less refined.
I don't know about a CRV........................................but I've taken my Subaru Forester everywhere I used to take my Toyota 4x4 pickup. Took it up a washed out S. F. road a couple years ago- got to a spot where the road was gone and people were going around the washed out section thru the woods with 4x4's and quads for a couple hundred feet. It was rutted and muddy and at one point the right front AND left rear tires were off the ground! ;-)
I think most people would be surprised at what the average Forester can do!
"I think most people would be surprised at what the average Forester can do!"
For a longer trip, need more room.
I don't think I could get a deer home with out one.
Rutnut, the Forester in your link is not stock. I'm not knocking it, just saying. You can equip pretty much any vehicle with aftermarket parts so it will be more capable off road. Your imagination and checkbook are the only limits.
I think I was kind of an above average forester. Imagine what I could do!??
1988 Land Cruiser with Montana Mule Dear on a single wheel game hauler that is called a "Mule".
1988 Land Cruiser with Montana Mule Dear on a single wheel game hauler that is called a "Mule".
This was a folding model purchased in the mid-1990's that has since been modified. Is now ridged and taller and will not drag when entering or exiting a gas station. The trade off is I can't lower the tail gate on the Land Cruiser with the hitch hauler in place. It will handle a lot of weight. I would guess 300# might be the limit. Good spot for a propane bottle, fuel can or anything that you don't want inside the vehicle. LaGriz
I have no worries with the SUV, better ground clearance than a CRV, and better towing also ..... I'll go with the folding 500lber from Walmart ..... I can always get a short extension to raise it if needed .... I'm not going off trail in the thing...
Paved roads all the way from my house to my farm except the last one mile which is gravel. I have no need to tow anything with it.
You got me on ground clearance, of which I don't need anything more than I have. You got me on towing, of which I don't do with that vehicle.
I have you on fuel economy.
This thread has created some smiles. I also use a hitch hauler on the back of my Tundra for a big cooler when the bed is full with 3 point equipment like a seeder/ sprayer. Oh well, I guess;-)
Gas mileage is averaging 17- mid 19's ... I can live with that ..... we took a trip up to Van Buren State Park in Michigan a few weeks back, averaged 21 for that trip on I94 coming back ... I'm glad I kept the Sonoma 4x4 as a back up/second vehicle, nice to have two, no matter how old they are ;0) ..
2500 miles since last oil change, dash electronics say average is 29.7 mpg. I can rejoice with that.
Rutnstrut- That Forester may not be stock, but it’s pretty darn close! ;-)
If I want to tow I have a 3/4 ton Suburban with a big block and built transmission. I'm glad I don't tow long distances anymore. The Suburban gets 8 MPG when towing a large load. Then again it only gets 10 when not towing. I really like the versatility of the CR-V. It's pretty decent off road, great in snow, and gets 26-29 MPG. But it does lack in towing prowess. Towing my utility trailer with 4-wheeler and other equipment is its max or probably exceeding it. I don't care what I drive to and from my hunting areas. It's the actual hunt I am focused on.
Slade always asked for proof Jeff, so I thought I would provide it.
Slade always asked for proof Jeff, so I thought I would provide it.
Question - where do you haul your purse on the carrier or in front?
Some of these pictures make me wonder where do you plan on putting your dead elk if you get one...or do you just pray you don't get one?!?
Used my man's truck two times this weekend. Haul my tractor and pick up 100 bags of mulch for Robin. Plenty of room for her, me, Buddy, and her purse:-)
Will use the CRV this weekend to go to the farm with Buddy.
Lovehunt11, Is that one of them things that has the gate that swings both ways? Always a little suspect of fellas driving them rigs. :)
Yes, Honda Ridgeline gate swings both ways. I bought ATV hitch it hold atv very tight and secure a gate fail.
Please tell us how bad that goat tasted after you wrapped it in a tarp burrito and strapped it to a hitch hauler. Wow. It didn't go all the way back to Tennessee that way I hope.
There's 30-35 pounds of meat at best on that thing. Just quarter it and throw it in a cooler in the back of your SUV or cooler on the hitch hauler. It would take 30 minutes. About the same amount of time it took you to burrito your goat and strap it to the hitch hauler. You'd have much better tasting goat-a-lope.
Use mine all the time for extended stay hunts.
This is my next purchase.
very darn interesting ^^^^^ ...... I did watch the video ... I like it except the wheels are sold separate and the 'handle' seems short for going thru the woods... good Idea however ..
Years ago before I had a PU truck I used a hitch hauler all the time. I never had an issue. In fact, once I had a Doe and a small buck both on my rack. Ha, that was comical. Anyhow, a friend of mine did have an issue that I would like to warn guys about.
One year my friend Doug shot a real nice buck. Strapped it on a hitch hauler but did not secure the head well. Somehow the face flipped out and he ground down the nose of the buck as he went down the road. Had a couple scuffs on the rack as well. Just saying be careful guys, yes obviously a truck is better but I get it. I live in IL, we just got a 19c/gallon tax added on to our gas.... My 8 speed RAM gets decent MPG but that sure stings.
So Jeff, you get one yet...?
nope, not yet... wont need it till Oct. ....... I'm still leaning towards the 60"/500lb folder I saw at Walmart for $79 .... I'm also looking at a rack I can put on the factory Roof rack on the vehicle .. I want to put the spare tire on top using a tire carrier ..... any suggestions from the crew on here ??
X-man, that is the one that I bought that I have hooked up to the bike. Mine came with the wheels. Seems to tow behind the bike quite easily. Haven't tested it too much as far as the hitch hauler yet other than loading the bike on it as a bike carrier. Seems to be fine for that.
I just had to add for the back of the truck questions. . . . :)
This one was home made by a friend. And it held WAY more weight that it should have with those coolers full of ice and a full grown bull elk and a calf elk too
This was from a buddy and I's first elk trip. . . . man it brings back memories. we do it different now
The folder I have sucks. It comes out to far and with loaded cooler sitts to low to the ground. I need to cut about 3 inchs off the bar and re drill the point hole.
OK, I got the one from Walmart today .. $79.99/60"x20"/folder/500lb cap. .... for those that used them and used tarps to wrap around the critter, what sized tarp do you use ( deer can be 100lb+ doe to 200+lb buck) ..... I saw 6x8's /8x10's/10x12's/12x16's ..... it will be one of the cheapie blue ones ..... ??????
Did you try to fold it up ? I ask because I bought one at an out of state Cabelas once and discovered after I got back home that it does not. I still use it but it doesn’t fold without hitting the truck. I could fix that, but I just never have.
Havnt bolted it together yet .. just trying to figure what size tarp to get right now
I lost one going down the road,Had a good pin and it just failed after a 10 hour drive.Kind of scary seeing it flipping down the road chasing me and thankfully it was a gravel road with no traffic.In some state you can't carry game open to public without being completely covered.
I use a Walmart tarp that I had. Its huge like maybe 16x20, I double it then lay across the hauler, then put the deer on it. I then fold each end up, then grab the other two ends and roll them up. A couple ratchet straps makes it all tight with no loose ends to flap and come loose. No dust can get in either cause I'm usually a few miles down a gravel road.
I would go with at least a 10x12 so you can roll it all up tight.
Got it all bolted together and tried it in the hitch, folds up no problem, clearance is good ... l'll get a larger tarp, it can always be folded and tucked ... I'll also get a locking hitch pin so someone dosnt walk off with it ... also it needs some reflectors .... ratchets and bungee's I have plenty of ......
"Mountainman, Please tell us how bad that goat tasted after you wrapped it in a tarp burrito and strapped it to a hitch hauler. Wow. It didn't go all the way back to Tennessee that way I hope."
Quinn you sure assume a lot when you know absolutely nothing about the situation.
Hmmmmm, where to begin.
I saw the animal fall, so it was field dressed within 10 minutes of it taking the arrow. Then it was wrapped, to keep all the dust and road grime off of it, for the 10-15 minute drive from the field to the hotel. A hotel which I happened to know had a huge ice maker.
It was then packed with ziplock bags full of ice(inside cavity and outside) to cool it down.
It was brought to the processors the next morning, still nice and cold.
I picked it up from the processor, vacuum sealed and frozen. It then rode in the cooler(along with dry ice), for the next ten days as we made a loop through Colorado and eventually back to Tn.
How did it taste? It tasted great.
And to keep this within the thread, I use mine on my F-150 sometimes to carry coolers when I have a Quad in the back.
It will do as I need it to, I'm so use to my open bed truck, this will be a learning year with the SUV 4x4 .... I dont expect problems ........
Curt is what I have for my Roof Rack ..... this new hitch carrier dosnt have the high rails around it like that one, but it will work ....
Just an fyi, I never gave it much thought in the past but I will be relocating my license plate to a lighted bracket on the back of our hitch hauler this trip. Cooler covers up the plate otherwise. Either that or stay a long ways from Chicago:)
You guys will be happy to hear you can save even more fuel and take a neon.