Top Five Winter Hotspots for Snowbirds

October 14th, 2015 | Posted by Pacrec in Bike Racks | Hitch Carriers | Hitch Racks | Road Trips | Road Trips with the StowAway Carrier | Tailgating Grill - (Comments Off on Top Five Winter Hotspots for Snowbirds)

Heading south for the winter?

Along with Canada geese, many retirees begin flocking to warmer climates this time of year to avoid the doldrums that accompany the cold, wet winters in the north. And who can blame them? After all, while it’s snowing and blowing with temperatures below freezing up north, these lucky folks will be wandering about the golf course, basking in the sunny warmth of a balmy 75-degree day.

Once things begin to thaw again in the spring, those who choose to make this yearly trek head north once again to their permanent residence. It’s this yearly migration that sets these fortunate few apart, and earns them the nickname of “snowbird.” (more…)

StowAway Lid Rack – What Can You Carry?

April 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Hitch Racks - (Comments Off on StowAway Lid Rack – What Can You Carry?)
Strap bulky, wet, dirty or extra items to your StowAway Lid Rack

Strap bulky, wet, dirty or extra items to your StowAway Lid Rack

Packing lightly has never been my strong suit. I need choices … many, many choices. I might change my mind. I might go mountain biking instead of hiking. I might go mountain biking in addition to hiking. I might stay an extra day or two, or three. I might need extra beach chairs, a rubber raft, or a duffle bag full of diving gear (or hair care products).

Which is all just to say that I pack lots of gear and supplies. More is more, right? So in addition to my Hitch Cargo Carrier, which attaches behind my vehicle instead of inconveniently on top, I have added a StowAway Lid Rack.

The Lid Rack lets me strap bulky items, wet items, and dirty items to the top of my cargo carrier, giving me extra room inside my vehicle to help keep it clean, organized and accessible. The Lid Rack mounts to the top of the StowAway cargo carrier lid with heavy-duty brackets and anodized aluminum tubing for strength and security … because my gear is precious to me and I want to make sure it arrives in the same condition in which it was loaded.

Other gear you can safely load onto the StowAway Lid Rack include:

  • Wet suits and dry suits
  • Duffle bags
  • Tents
  • Air mattresses
  • Sleeping bags, bagged bedding
  • Small boogie boards
  • Umbrella awnings
  • Life jackets

Having the option to add more gear – safely and securely – takes a lot of the stress out of packing for me. I don’t have to choose. I don’t have to leave things behind that I may need or want. I get it take it all with me.

Installation of the StowAway Lid Rack is easy, though it requires two people and some tools. These are the parts included with your StowAway Lid Rack:

  • Pre-drilled Lid Rack with outside mounting brackets and three tubes
  • Inside mounting brackets for inside of lid
  • 1/4” Phillips head screws
  • 1/4” Locking Nuts
  • Washers

Tools of your own that you will need for installation:

  • Electric drill with 1/4” drill bit
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 7/16” wrench or socket
  • Tape measure

When I don’t need the extra carrying capacity, the StowAway Lid Rack is unobtrusive and doesn’t get in the way. But it calls to me … elegantly, patiently, beckoning me to load up all my goodies and take those one, two, three extra days on the road. No limits, nothing left behind.


Tired of Your Overhead Rack?

March 20th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Hitch Racks - (Comments Off on Tired of Your Overhead Rack?)

Never wear white pants when you’re on a road trip. It always goes badly.

The StowAway Hitch Rack attaches to the back of my rig, not the top.

The StowAway Hitch Rack attaches to the back of my rig, not the top for convenient access

So here I go, cruising down the road, doing everything in my power to keep taco crumbs and Diet Coke out of my lap. It is in the nature of road trips to stop and start, take breaks, eat on the road. And one of the last things I want to do is arrive at my destination with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup on my butt.

So why, why, why do I store my cargo on the roof of my Jeep … knowing that I’ll have to climb on a door jam to get access to my stuff? There go the white pants. After all the effort of staying clean – no matter what I’m wearing – I always get dirty hauling my gear off the overhead rack.

Overhead racks are also inconvenient, unwieldy and often require two people get everything unloaded without dropping or damaging anything – including the side of the vehicle.

Fortunately, StowAway has a terrific solution: a rack that attaches to my trailer hitch instead of the roof. Ingenious! And – to give me access to the cargo in the back of my Jeep – the StowAway Hitch Rack has a unique swing-away frame that pivots 180 degrees. Sweet!

The rack pivots 180 degrees to give me easy access to the rear of my vehicle

The SwingAway frame pivots 180 degrees to give me easy access to the rear of my vehicle

You can get a base package, that includes the heavy-duty frame and rack, the SwingAway frame for clear vehicle access and a hitch tightener to eliminate wobbling and vibration. Then you can add on features if you’d like, such as a cargo net, hitch lock and cargo bag.

If you’re fond of tailgating, or want to add a grill station to your campsite, you can get the Hitch Grill Station package, which includes a Cuisinart Grill and acrylic snap-on cutting board.

They really have thought of everything.

Vital Stats: The StowAway Hitch Rack fits 1.25″ or 2″ hitch models, carries up to 250 pounds, and measures 53″ in length, 25″ in width and 5″ in depth. The heavy-duty, steel cargo rack has a black powder coat finish to resist corrosion, 5” side rails to keep your gear secure, and comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

The StowAway Hitch Rack with SwingAway Frame gives me extra room for my gear and clear access to the rear of my vehicle. Which means me, my gear and my vehicle, all arrive in terrific form.

The ingenuity doesn’t stop there. Additional StowAway customization options include a bike rack for four bikes and rod holders to carry fishing rods. You can also remove your cargo rack and add one of their StowAway cargo boxes.




Rooftop vs. Rear Cargo Racks

July 15th, 2011 | Posted by Pacrec in Hitch Racks - (Comments Off on Rooftop vs. Rear Cargo Racks)

This week at the blog, we want to compare the differences between a rooftop rack and a rear cargo rack.  So as we all know the main advantage of rooftop racks and rear cargo racks is the added carrying capacity to your vehicle.  We have all been on road trips where the luggage is crammed at the passenger’s feet or it’s stacked so high you can’t see out the windows.  Both styles can accommodate bikes, skis/snowboards, and cargo boxes.  Any kind of cargo rack makes bringing additional item for a long road trip easier.roof rack, rooftop rack, cargo carrier

So how do the different rack styles differ?  First, hitch mounted rear cargo racks attach to the rear receiver hitch, whereas the rooftop version is on the top of a car or SUV.  Let’s break it down, what are the advantages and drawbacks of the two cargo carrier styles?



rear cargo rack, stowaway

Rear cargo racks are easier to mount due to their location.  Rooftop racks are above ground level and make access to the carrier contents more difficult than their hitch mounted counterpart.






Both types of cargo racks increase the profile of the vehicle.  Rooftop racks make the vehicle taller and can reduce handling with its higher center of gravity.  Roof carriers can also cause clearance issues in parking garages too.  Rear cargo racks increase the length and can possible make city driving more difficult.


Rooftop carriers are inherently more secure due to their location above the vehicle.  Both styles are equipped with locking mechanisms on the boxes, and either the roof rack or hitch.