Masterbuilt Original Hitch-Haul Carrier

By: Sean Sutherland
Masterbuilt Original Hitch-Haul Carrier

Sure, an SUV roof rack is a good place to carry tents, skis and other lightweight items, but it won't support the weight of a cooler full of food, beverages and game.

Before a waterfowl expedition to Saskatchewan, a friend and I planned a packing list. When it was finished, we realized that more room was needed to comfortably fit a dog box, layout blinds, decoys and a cooler in the pickup bed. The Hitch-Haul® quickly came to mind, and in a few days I was assembling the unit's steel frame on my living room floor. Instructions are easy to follow, and the unit was ready to install in less than 30 minutes. The trickiest part of assembly was the awkwardness of the heavy steel frame. For one person, lining the Hitch-Haul with the receiver took a bit of practice. A hitch pin was not included with the unit, so be sure to have a spare one handy.

Sean secures a 145-lb. load on the Hitch-Haul.

We decided to keep a medium-sized cooler and a large tub on the Hitch-Haul. Together, they weighed approximately 145 lbs., well under its 500-lb. weight capacity. Loading the Hitch-Haul proved to be a simple task – I purchased four 6-foot, cam-style pull straps to cinch down the items. They attached solidly to the frame's convenient anchor points, tightly securing our cargo for piece-of-mind travel. The cooler and tote rode well through the entire trip, even when bounced across numerous barley and pea fields and careening over choppy grid roads.

An unexpected benefit of the Hitch-Haul was the convenient level that it put our tote and cooler. The cooler contained a wealth of processed game and beverages throughout our weeklong Saskatchewan stay. Accessing the cooler at a waist-high level was a subtle, yet impressive convenience. The tote held a spread of just over 300 tightly compacted snow goose decoys. While the tote was removed while setting the spread, repacking the silhouette/windsock decoys was made much easier with the tote resting on the Hitch-Haul.

Upon our return, I closely inspected the unit for damage. Except for a coating of baked-on Saskatchewan mud and a few rock chips, the Hitch-Haul was unfazed by the 1,800-mile expedition. If you've ever wanted a more convenient way to travel with bulky or heavy items, I highly recommend the Hitch-Haul. It's been a handy addition to my vehicle, and will continue to be used extensively on trips of all lengths.