Topic: How Much Weight Can I Carry? - Luggage Rack and Other Rack Considerations
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Racks designed to attach to the top of your SUV and racks that are mounted on the rear all have weight limits. You can usually find those weight limits in the owners manual for the rack. Ski and bicycle racks are not so much of a problem because skis and bicycles are light but cargo carriers are another matter. Stick to the weight limits specified for the rack you are using and you will avoid accidents and damage to your sport utility vehicle from overloading.

Receiver hitches (shown in the middle photograph) are an excellent accessory to both tow trailers and to haul skis, bikes, and cargo carriers on the rear of your SUV. The hitches are rated as follows: A Class I hitch is limited to a tongue weight (amount of weight pressing downward, as shown by the red arrow in the bottom photo) of 200 lbs. A Class II hitch is limited to a tongue weight of 300 lbs. Class III & IV hitches are limited to 350 to 500 lbs. When you consider a cargo carrier for the rear of your SUV, size the receiver hitch to the size and rated weight capacity of the cargo box.

Receiver hitch accessories, including bike, ski, and cargo carriers plug into the square hole in the hitch (blue arrow in the bottom arrow). There are 1.25 and 2 inch holes so be sure to buy the rack that fit your particular hitch.

Caution: Do not exceed the weight limits specified by the rack or the receiver hitch. Overloading the rack will cause extreme stress which could lead to failures at the connection joint (red arrow).
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