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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an Armada (rear air bags) but was hoping I could get some opinions on a hitch carrier. This weekend I had to put a core areator (~ 250 lbs.) and a dethatcher (~200 lbs.) in the back of the truck and take them out by myself and I'm not planning on doing that ever again.

I found these two models and wondered if anyone had experience or opinions. I would only use them for short trips with perhaps 50 miles max. My research has indicated that the hitch can take 500 lbs so I should be good there:

My constraints (able to hold a 30" snow blower) will be satisfied by two models:

Amazon.com: Cargo Carrier W/ramp 36"W - To Load Snow Blowers, Equipment, Power Wheelchairs, and Scooters. Dimensions: 48" Long X 36" Wide: Automotive

$379 + $28 shipping = $407 ($359 for 32" model)
300 lbs. weight capacity (it says "conservative")
Item weight = 56 lbs.
Material Aluminum - won't rust
Ramp folds 90 degrees
48 long x 36 wide x 5 high



UC500-XL Heavy Duty Trailer Hitch Rack
$389 (on back order so not sure what the shipping is)
500 lbs. weight capacity
Item weight = 164 lbs
Material Powder Coated Steel = may rust
Ramp folds flat and the entire thing folds up towards the truck which is a nice feature
60" long X 33" wide x 6" high




The black one seems to be better quality but man lugging that thing around and putting it on is gonna be a nightmare. I would likely put it in the truck as I drove to where I needed to use it and lifting 164 lbs would be alot less fun then the 56 lbs.

Opinions?
 

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I don't have any experience with either of those models, but I have a slightly smaller one without the ramp that I've stacked pretty good.

Before I had the Titan I used to use it on my wife's old QX56 to make the Home Depot runs and put on large amounts of woodchips and sod tied down. Easily had it at a couple hundred lbs and never had a problem with it. Also threw my dads large Dewalt power washer on it once and it worked great for that as well...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. How heavy is yours? My biggest concern is lugging the weight from the shed to the truck and then installing it solo which could be in rain or snow.

If the black one was aluminum I would get that in a second but it doesn't look like they have many that are 32" or wider....these were the only two I could find.
 

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It's not very heavy, I can easily carry it around with one hand. I think I bought it at Home Depot. I use it with the Titan as well, I'll strap my huge Igloo cooler to it, it's awesome for long trips or tailgating :)
 

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I have a smaller one also that we use on my wifes Pathfinder when we load up for family trips. I usually put two coolers on it and strap it down, we've also used it to stack firewood, etc. I can easily stand on without a problem (200# in case your wondering) when I load the luggage rack on top. Mine probably weights about 30#. The longest trip was over 1000 miles, couldn't even tell it was back there. As long as you strap your stuff on good you should be fine with the smaller one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a smaller one also that we use on my wifes Pathfinder when we load up for family trips. I usually put two coolers on it and strap it down, we've also used it to stack firewood, etc. I can easily stand on without a problem (200# in case your wondering) when I load the luggage rack on top. Mine probably weights about 30#. The longest trip was over 1000 miles, couldn't even tell it was back there. As long as you strap your stuff on good you should be fine with the smaller one.
My issue is that I need it to hold a 30" snow blower - and for it to have a ramp. I found a few more but they are all made out of steel (rust and heavy) and the aluminum ones don't fold flat (for storage).

I guess I could go with a steel one but I really want one where the ramp will fold into it so it stores easily as well as the tray fold up towards the truck when it is not in use. They make these but they are way too heavy - I would be better off just loading the equipment in the back as I would only use this when I needed rather than keep it on al the time.
 

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What about just getting one without a ramp and just get some of those ramps that normally go up to a tailgate? Mine is steel and I've had it for about 5 years and hasn't rusted yet...if it does, I'll just bedline it :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Alternatively you could buy a set of z-fold ramps to get the equipment in. But fitting them in the back of an Armada is a pain and could tear up the interior and tailgate. I have the z-fold ramps that I use with my Honda HS928TAS snowblower. They work great but I'm using the ramps with a Titan. Maybe you should sell the Armada and buy a Titan? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alternatively you could buy a set of z-fold ramps to get the equipment in. But fitting them in the back of an Armada is a pain and could tear up the interior and tailgate. I have the z-fold ramps that I use with my Honda HS928TAS snowblower. They work great but I'm using the ramps with a Titan. Maybe you should sell the Armada and buy a Titan? :)
In order to get the equipment out I used a piece of 3/4" plywood as a ramp. Because I actually had to be on the ramp it didn't work out so great.

I would never trade my Amada for anything...except another Armada! Though if I won the lottory I would likely have a Titan as well :)
 

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The z-fold ramps are strong enough that you can be on the ramp at the same time as the equipment - unless you're something like 300 lbs. Traction on the ramps is pretty good, but it's aluminum so I imagine it could get a little slippery when wet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The z-fold ramps are strong enough that you can be on the ramp at the same time as the equipment - unless you're something like 300 lbs. Traction on the ramps is pretty good, but it's aluminum so I imagine it could get a little slippery when wet.
I got the hitch tray (gonna try it this weekend) but I'm curious about these ramps. Do you have a link?
 

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This is pretty close: Aluminum Trifold ATV Ramp. I would like to know what ATV fits in the back of that pickup with the bed cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Finally getting around to posting a review. The first one I received had a dent but the company was really good about swapping it out for a non dented one. I used it about a month ago to move a Troybilt 3090 XP Snowblower (30" clearing width). With the skid shoes and bolts sticking out of them it just fit.

Getting the snow blower up and down the ramp was no issue (sorry, no pics of the loading / unloading) and two ratcheting straps held it in very securely. I really liked the ample holes for hooking as well as the raised lip around the boarder to keep the snow blower from rolling off.

It was raining when I did it and noticed that although the powder coated finish was holding up fine, the hardware that held it together already started to rust. I'm not sure if it is worth getting stainless steel hardware (or if I can even find some of the exotic pieces like the spring pins).

When transporting the snow blower I didn't even know it was back there. At first when I pulled out and over the driveway / street hump the carrier did sway from side to side (the center mounting point acts like a fulcrum) but the snow blower stayed put. I didn't really get over 40 mph so I would be curious to try it at highway speeds (next spring I will get a chance when I pick up my lawn aerator).

The carrier is solid and when folded up I was flying down the highway at 90 MPH and didn't even know it was on.

Very happy with the purchase...here are some pics:













 
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