One of many used SUVs for sale, a green 2024 Ford Explorer, is shown parked off-road.

SUV Swag: Storage for Adventures Big and Small

Looking at used SUVs for sale and wondering how a particular model can be maximized to enhance your next adventure? Maybe it’s missing the roof rails you want to increase cargo potential or a bike rack for when you want to hit the trails. If you’ve found the right SUV, but it’s just missing a few bells and whistles, we’ve got you covered. Upgrading your pre-owned SUV isn’t just about essential practicalities but can be done to unleash your SUV’s potential and take your next adventure to a brand new level. So say goodbye to so-called ‘limitations’ and hello to endless possibilities!

It’s time to gear up and go! Maximizing your SUV’s cargo potential to meet your lifestyle is easier than you would think. There is a world of storage options and enhancements available that will take your daily ride from standard to supreme in no time flat. Looking to gear up and not sure where to start? You’re in the right place. We’re taking a look at some of the best exterior cargo enhancements for your SUV. Whether you want to ensure you’re making use of every inch of space or you simply want to add a little flare and show off your style, having additional storage options and investing in upgrades means you won’t be limited by your trunk size, no mechanical or engineering degree is required!

A blue 2024 Ford Expedition is shown parked near a family.

Bring Along Your Bike

It’s easier than you think to upgrade your SUV to carry one or multiple bikes. Enhancing your SUV’s bike storage makes it easy to load up the whole family for a day of fun. Keep in mind that you should always make sure to consider your make and model and whether you’ll need additional components to ensure a safe and sturdy installation. Installation can vary depending on if you’re installing on your roof or tail/hitch. Mounting at the rear of your SUV might be easier if you have a large model, while if you have a shorter or compact frame, mounting on the roof would work.

What if you’re a solo rider and normally only carry one bike at a time? Check out the RockyMounts MonoRail. This is an expandable platform hitch rack that can carry up to 60 lbs. This particle platform has the potential to be expanded with an add-on for a second bike, in which case it could carry two 45 lb bikes at a single time. We like that this model folds flat or can be tilted down for easy access to the rear cargo.

Looking for lots of flexibility? The Kuat NV Base 2.0 offers a variety for those who need it. An adjustable front tire cradle system allows you to carry up to two 60-pound bikes with assorted tire and wheel sizes. Drivers who aren’t the most mechanically inclined will appreciate that it is easy to install and requires zero tools. If you’re looking to stick your bike up on the roof and are worried about its safety, we recommend the highly-rated Thule UpRide roof rack that works well for a single bike of up to 44 lbs. It offers straightforward installation and keeps your bike in a safe upright position with the ratcheting wheel strap and rubber hooks.

If you have a taller vehicle or lifting your bike isn’t an option, going for a hitch mount is a smart way to safely bring along your bike. Opting for a system like the KAC Bike Rack gives you increased flexibility to carry up to two bikes or even upgrade with a 4 bike option. The easy-to-install system offers you heavy-duty protection and lets you load up the bikes without straining. The bike system is capable of hauling a maximum of 120 lbs, and the locking anti-wobble hitch system ensures your bike is safe from rough patches. The system includes a quick-release tilt lever that makes it easy to access your vehicle’s rear cargo hold without having to remove the bikes.

Extra Cargo? No Problem!

What if it’s not just a bike you want to bring along but additional cargo as well? Opting to upgrade your exterior with a roof-mounted cargo box is a great way to make use of every surface your SUV has to offer. Whether it’s luggage or camping gear, you want to ensure whatever you’re hauling is safe and sound when you get where you’re going, so investing in a worthy cargo box is a smart move.

The Yakima GrandTour 16 makes loading up extras fast, so when adventure calls, you’re ready to hit the road. Not only does it offer you convenience with features like a dual-opening lid, but it can be had in either 16 or 18-cu ft models depending on the driver’s needs. The smart flat bottom design of this particular cargo box makes packing and organizing simple. The black glossy color and low profile make it look good riding atop a variety of vehicles. If you’re looking for value and style points, the GrandTour 16 makes a great investment.

It might be a little pricey, but the Thule Vector is considered a top-of-the-line cargo box that includes desired extras like an interior light and felt lining. For those who travel a lot and need the extra space that makes their trip a little smoother, the Thule Vector won’t disappoint. Not only does it look good, but dual-side openings add to the convenience factor.

For the most value for the money, drivers will appreciate the Yakima RocketBox Pro 14. It’s affordable, durable, and adds extra storage to your roof. It might be as sleek as other boxes, but it’s sure to get the job done. It’s friendly when it comes to installation and offers ample space for the price. If you simply need to expand your SUV’s storage potential and aren’t worried about having all the bells and whistles, you’ll appreciate the value of the Rocketbox Pro 14.

A blue 2024 Ford Bronco is shown parked near a pond.

Get a New Roof Rack

A roof rack is a great investment as it increases your SUV’s flexibility and cargo potential. It’s perfect for extra gear, bulky cargo, or securing items that wouldn’t otherwise fit inside your vehicle’s interior. For a fast and easy installation upgrade with the beefy Rhino-Rack Quick Mount. This rack fits a variety of vehicles and can easily be installed with only one person. This is great if you’re a solo adventurer, more often than not. This is a great, easy-to-use system that works well for overflow, gear, bags, etc.

If you’re hauling something a little more specific, like a kayak, having the right rack is essential. The Thule Hullavator Pro is a lift-assist rack that handles up to 40lbs. So, if you’re taking a trip alone, you’ll have no problem loading and unlocking with the Hullavator Pro’s help. Eight points of support give you the peace of mind that your kayak is secure and in good hands. The expandable nature of the rack makes it ideal for a variety of sizes. The aluminum, double-coated steel is corrosion-resistant, ensuring that you’ll get your money’s worth.

Surfs up? Not everyone surfs, but those who do need a rack that can accommodate the gentle curve of their board. The Surfboard Soft Rack is capable of hauling two boards at a time. The advanced ‘lockdown’ system of the rack encircles your board and eliminates issues like fluttering or sliding even if hit with strong wind.

Last but not least, skis! For those who like to get into nature all year long, bringing along skis just got easier with the Rhino-Rack Ski and Snowboard Carrier. This rack can carry either two snowboards or four skis at a time. The cases can be quickly loaded and secured so you can hit the slopes before noon. We also like that it locks for extra security. Easy opening and closing means you can load or unload without having to remove your gloves.

Extra Storage Made Easy

So you’ve got an awesome SUV, but sometimes not everything fits. If that’s the case, it sounds like you need extra storage. Cargo boxes! Roof Racks! Bike Racks! Surfboard or skis? Please, it’s no problem. It’s easy these days to explore the long list of upgrades that can take your vehicle’s storage potential and stretch it to its max.

Find the perfect storage solutions for all of life’s adventures. You don’t need to be handy to install them either. A wide range of products offers endless flexibility and the potential to fit on small or large vehicles to make installation or removal simple. If you want to take your SUV from good to great, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to do it. Exterior upgrades are available to increase your SUV’s cargo potential and create a fun and stress-free adventure the next time you hit the open road.