Need a carrier

Sure, he's got plenty of space right now, but how much more stuff can he cram in the back of that car? This guy needs a cargo carrier, fast.

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With the effectiveness of modern fertility drugs and the seemingly endless amount of stuff children require when traveling, a family car can get awfully cramped. Fortunately, parents today don't have to choose between leaving one of their kids at home alone to make room for an extra suitcase. Thanks to cargo carriers, a lot more much-needed space comes in a long-overlooked place: outside the vehicle.

A number of companies manufacture cargo carriers that can hold everything from plain old luggage to high-end mountain bikes. These simple marvels of ingenuity make it possible for a person to enjoy his or her favorite (and space-demanding) activities without having to shell out tens of thousands of extra dollars for a larger truck or conversion van. How else can someone speed down the highway with a pair of skis attached to the roof or all of their luggage in tow without buying a big conversion van or pick-up truck? Cargo carriers, that's how.

OK, so you're sold. You can finally put those water skis to use again, or maybe it's time to get back into cycling. There are a lot of choices depending on what kind of uses you'll have for your cargo carrier. If it's extra luggage you've got and a station wagon you drive, a roof rack might work best. If you have a mid-size SUV and like to camp, then a trailer hitch cargo carrier should suit you just fine.

Regardless of whether your cargo carrier is roof-mounted or hitch-mounted, HowStuffWorks can help you install it. You'll be surprised how easy it is. When you're ready to learn, turn to the next page.