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 Tailgate Grill Station Plus 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.




Storing Your StowAway? The Wheel Kit Makes Storing and Mounting a Breeze

February 28th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Accessories - (Comments Off on Storing Your StowAway? The Wheel Kit Makes Storing and Mounting a Breeze)
Wheels are easily installed on the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier.

Wheels are easily installed on the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier.

You’ve been storing, hauling and easily accessing gear and supplies in your StowAway Cargo Carrier for miles and miles. But when it’s time to store the cargo carrier itself, how best to do that?

I may be dating myself here, but I’m reminded of the adage, “The shoemaker’s children go barefoot.” Would the ultimate solution in cargo storage leave you out in the cold when it comes time to store the storage device itself? Now that you’re ready to store the StowAway, exactly how are you going to get it off your car and into the garage? Will you be left with a cargo carrier hangover when all the fun is over?

Absolutely not.

StowAway Carrier Wheel Kit to the rescue! This simple and sturdy system let’s you easily attach three wheels to the frame of your StowAway Cargo Carrier. This enables you to roll your carrier effortlessly from your vehicle to its home in the garage. The StowAway Cargo Carrier is exceptionally sturdy, and can also be stored outside in any kind of weather.

(A note about durability: Boasting a 10-year warranty, StowAway boxes are molded with a super durable polymer, the same material used to mold high-performance whitewater kayaks. They have twice the wall thickness of some competitive boxes and are designed to take a beating without cracking. To test this theory, StowAway backed a delivery van over the lid of a box. The results: not a single crack.)

Wheel Kit PIeces

The StowAway Wheel Kit comes with 3 wheels, 2 U-bolts, and 4 nuts for quick and easy installation.

Fortunately you don’t have to be a rocket scientist, or a mechanic for that matter, to install the wheels. They mount directly on the frame, using the same attachment points you use to install on your vehicle – no drilling required. Everything you need comes in the kits, pre-fabricated and ready to go. You will be wheeling and storing the cargo carrier as one unit, even with the swing-away frame (which pivots 180 degrees to give you access to the rear of your vehicle).

It seems as though whenever I assemble pre-fabricated “kits” I always end up with leftover parts, which doesn’t boost my confidence at all. So it gives me great comfort to know that the StowAway Carrier Wheel Kit comes with exactly nine pieces: three wheels, two U-bolts, and four nuts. Voila! How easy is that? And no snarky little parts left over to haunt me.

With the ingenious wheel kit, the StowAway Cargo Carrier will follow you effortlessly wherever you go, just like your suitcase … or a new puppy.

The StowAway Cargo Carrier on wheels, while less adorable than a puppy, is, however, exponentially more convenient.


Tired of the Wobble? Check Out This Hitch Tightener

February 28th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Accessories - (Comments Off on Tired of the Wobble? Check Out This Hitch Tightener)

There are certain things in life that we don’t mind if they make a little wobble here and there. One-year-olds come to mind. A voice wobbling with emotion, for example. An egg on the counter. A Weeble, which will “wobble but it won’t fall down.” (And if that phrase isn’t familiar to you, it’s probably because you weren’t playing with toys in the 1970s. But I digress.) A wiggle in your caboose, a wobble in your walk, a jiggle in your girdle … it’s not all bad.

Eliminate hitch wobble with the StowAway Hitch Tightener

Eliminate hitch wobble with the StowAway Hitch Tightener

But a wobble in the hitch on your towing vehicle is not a good thing. Through prolonged use, it is common to have wobble with anything mounted to your hitch, including the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier. (The Hitch Cargo Carrier, if you didn’t know, attaches to the back of your car for easy access, carries up to 16 cubic feet of storage, and pivots 180 degrees to give you easy access to the back of your vehicle. But I digress again.)

By using a simple mechanism, the StowAway Hitch Tightener, you can eliminate hitch wobble, and drive more safely, more quietly, and in greater comfort.

Simply clamp the hitch tightener at the junction of your StowAway frame and receiver hitch to secure the frame and virtually eliminate side-to-side wobble. Watch a helpful installation video on the StowAway YouTube channel.

The StowAway Hitch Tightener kit comes with:

  • Stainless steel U-bolt ring
  • Powder coated steel tightener plate
  • 2 Washers
  • 2 Lock ring
  • 2 Nuts
The Hitch Tightener installs easily, in just a few minutes

The Hitch Tightener installs easily, in just a few minutes

All you need to install the hitch tightener is a 3/4” wrench or socket. The combined action of the steel tightener plate and the U-bolt ring eliminates the side-to-side wobble that is pervasive in hitch cargo carriers.

The StowAway Hitch Tightener is compatible with 2” and 1.25” hitches, fits all Stowaway frames and will work with most hitch racks. It also comes standard with many StowAway carrier models.

But don’t take my word for it. Here is a sampling of the many 5-star reviews the StowAway Hitch Tightener has received:

  • “Wish I found this product sooner, immediately stopped the loud rattle noises and shaking [of] the vehicle.”  – Louis A.
  • “Fantastic! Bought this to keep my receiver mounted recovery winch from moving around in the receiver so much. Holds it nice and tight!” Richy R.
  • Worked perfectly!  Installed in 5 minutes. Wobble gone!” – David P.
  • “Best by far. Pulled new trailer with 5,000# tractor 500 miles to the largest classic Tractor Parade and this tightener worked perfect. I use it on all my hitches. Good price, very well made, works perfect. – W.M.
  • Fantastic!! I use this with both my cargo trailer and my hitch cargo carrier. Fast shipping and is an excellent product. Bob W.

Celebrate your shake, wiggles and jiggles, but with the StowAway Hitch Tightener, you’ve got one less wobble to worry about.


Ski Trip: The StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier

January 16th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Hitch Carriers | Skiing - (Comments Off on Ski Trip: The StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier)

Hit the Slopes with More Stuff in More Comfort and Safety

Skiing 18w x 14h revised

Ski trip to Mt Hood with the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier

“Skis, boots, poles?” This is what we always ask ourselves when we’re pulling out of the driveway on a ski trip. Because if we leave anything behind, we absolutely, positively must have our skis, boots, and poles.

But what about the other gear – the jackets, pants, hats, gloves, and helmets? What about the extra clothing, bedding, food, games, toys-for-all-ages, and – dare I say it – hair care products?

And that doesn’t count the kids – with all their extra stuff. Where will you put everyone and everything in a safe and comfortable manner? Unless you want to be packed in like little sardines for the whole trip, the other “must-have” is a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier.

Here’s the beauty of the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier: It attaches to the back of your vehicle instead of the top, giving you easy access to your things. And the SwingAway frame pivots up to 180 degrees from the rear of your vehicle, so you can open your liftgate, door, hatch or tailgate, allowing full access to all your other needful things.

Here are my Top 5 Other Favorite Things about the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier:

  1. Easy Installation: I can install a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier in a matter of seconds. I simply insert the carrier into my trailer hitch and lock it into place. Voila! Work done.
  2. Carrying Capacity: With two sizes (either 12.5 or 16 cubic feet of functional storage space) a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier nearly doubles the average SUV’s functional carrying capacity. And that means I have the capacity to add another 200 pounds of gear to my adventure.
  3. Security: The StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier locks to keep my valuables secure when I’ve made a pit stop on the road, or I want to keep my things in storage overnight.
  4. Durability:  I know my StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier is going to last because StowAway boxes are molded with a super durable polymer, the same material used to mold high-performance whitewater kayaks. They have twice the wall thickness of some competitive boxes and are designed to take a beating without cracking. To test this theory, StowAway backed a delivery van over the lid of a box. The results: not a single crack.
  5. Versatility: All of the StowAway rack systems—bike racks, rod racks and cargo racks—are fully interchangeable with the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier. That means we can easily take our bikes up to the trailhead on one day, load up the carrier with soccer balls the next day, head to the lake with our fishing rods on the weekend, and host a tailgate party on game day. No sweat.

For more details, including information about rear taillights, side reflectors, and the 10-year warranty, as well as photos and product specifications, visit StowAway2 Cargo Carriers, the Rooftop Alternative.

Go Prepared: Bike with a StowAway Rack

October 30th, 2013 | Posted by Pacrec in Bicycling | Bike Racks - (Comments Off on Go Prepared: Bike with a StowAway Rack)

Between now and the onset of winter, several weeks of great biking weather are ahead. Regardless of whether road biking or mountain biking is your preference, StowAway2.com is all about making it easier for you to enjoy your bike. Same, too, if you commute to work by bike.

Trends in Cycling

Bike to workBiking is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and is gaining more recognition as an alternative form of transportation in the U.S. Bicyclists seem to be gaining more perks in many natural areas and parks. Last year, the Virginia State Park System announced a policy to give touring cyclists designated camping spots even when campgrounds are full. The Virginia Bicycling Federation helped promote the new idea.

Joe Elton, Virginia’s State Parks Director, was quoted on the federation’s website as stating: “I credit the Virginia Bicycling Federation with helping us understand the special circumstances that long-distance touring cyclists can find themselves in when the campgrounds are full and there is no reasonable alternative place to overnight.”

Along with this trend, many cities are bolstering infrastructure to support the biking lifestyle.

A recent study released by the University of Massachusetts shows that bicycle project spending creates jobs and supports the economy.  In this study, on average, every $1 million spent on cycling related infrastructure projects creates nine jobs within the state.  If you add interstate employment through the supply chain, another three jobs are added per $1 million spent.

One bike blogger, Elly Blue, who wrote Bikenomics, says that bicycle infrastructure can be an economic, social, and public health boon for cities. Blue writes: “Bike lanes cost anywhere from $5,000 to $60,000 per mile to add to an existing road … Freeway construction in Michigan’s countryside clocks in at $8 million per mile.” That’s a lot of taxpayer money.

Some cities have successfully removed old highways from downtown areas in favor of smaller roads and bike commuters. It’s happened in Seoul, which tore down the Cheonggyecheon Freeway; in San Francisco, which decided not to replace the Embarcadero Freeway after the 1989 earthquake; and in Milwaukee, which replaced its aging Past East Freeway with a boulevard.

Commuting by Bike? What to Know

If you are commuting by bike, here are some things to remember:

  1. You don’t need the most expensive bike on the market.
  2. Make sure you are comfortable with the equipment you have and take it to a shop for a quick tune-up.
  3. Scope out your route. Take traffic under consideration.
  4. Carry spare tools: a tube, patch kit, pump, and tools to make a quick tire repair.
  5. Consult local traffic rules and wear the proper protective equipment.
  6. Secure front and rear flashing lights to your bike for cycling after dark. Reflective clothing also is a good idea.
  7. Have Fun!  Unlike your job, commuting by bike shouldn’t be stressful.

Be Prepared with a Car Rack

roof bike rack

Hard-to-reach rooftop bike racks (above) are less convenient than StowAway’s rear-mounted hitch racks.

StowAway has many bike rack options for your other mode of transportation — your vehicle. Our racks are rear-mounted and are available on fixed or swinging frames, which make them much easier to load up when distance is an issue. Our racks also are available with a cargo rack to carry your helmets and other biking gear.

Cycling benefits your health, the environment and even the economy.  So give cycling a try, whether it’s commuting to work or taking your bike to your city’s new trail. You’ll love it.

How Much Does a Hitch Cargo Box Hold?

October 2nd, 2013 | Posted by Pacrec in Hitch Carriers - (Comments Off on How Much Does a Hitch Cargo Box Hold?)
Vacatuib with a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier

“Now where are those marshmallows?”

Camping? On vacation? Planning a road trip? Your weekend trip can be daunting to plan. You’ve got luggage, sporting equipment, food, maybe a tent, sleeping bags, cooking gear, lighting, furniture. Where will you put all this stuff? Where will the kids and the dog sit? The answer may be in a hitch mounted cargo box.

How Much Does a Cargo Box Hold?

One question that is often asked by StowAway customers is: How much can a cargo box hold? Surprisingly, more than you might think. StowAway’s largest and most popular cargo box adds 16 cubic feet of extra storage to the rear of your vehicle. How much is that really? Well, for most vehicles, the box easily doubles your vehicle’s capacity.

StowAway tried this theory out at our manufacturing facility. Staff brought in luggage and gear and loaded the box down with ordinary items travelers might take on a trip. Once the cargo box was all packed and closed, then we took a good look at its capacity. Essentially, the MAX Cargo Carrier was able to hold four roller bags, two carry-on bags and two folding chairs. Our bags of average size weren’t overstuffed and all of them fit inside the carrier. Customers also dissemble bikes and store them in the cargo box.

Cargo Box Dimensions and Weight Capacity

The dimensions of our largest carrier are 51″ x 23″ x 26″ and supports up to 200 lbs. on a Class 3 hitch, which is 2″. Our Standard Cargo Carrier is slightly smaller but can also accommodate a good deal of luggage and gear. Its dimensions are 49″ x 21″ x 24″ and adds 12.5 cubic feet of extra storage. The standard cargo box can be used with a Class 2 hitch, which has a weight limit of 125 lbs., still a generous amount. It’s a whole lot more than you can take on an airplane.

Advantages of a StowAway Cargo Box

The StowAway is the ideal combination of storage, security and convenience. It slides quickly and securely into the receiver hitch of nearly every make and model of SUV, minivan, truck and RV. More importantly, it offers easy ground-level access to all your gear, making it a snap for any family member to grab what they need at rest stops or destinations. This convenience is preferable to the rooftop car rack. A lock secures your gear safely while you’re at diners, trailheads and other roadside attractions, and protects your cargo.

Manufactured in the USA, the StowAway is mounted on a steel frame and tigthened onto the hitch to minimize wobble as you’re heading down a rugged back-country road to your favorite remote campsite. A weather tight seal keeps everything nice and dry should the weather turn wet, and there’s a well-placed drain plug for easy clean-up.

So grab your gear and head on out. With a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier you’ll have plenty of space to haul everything safely and securely on your next great adventure.

Tailgate Parties are Huge Trend

September 20th, 2013 | Posted by Pacrec in Tailgating Grill - (Comments Off on Tailgate Parties are Huge Trend)
Tailgate Grill

StowAway is seeking fans to use the Tailgate Grill Station.

Tailgating has become a multi-million dollar pastime for American sports fans. New tailgating websites and publications are focusing on the American leisure sport of pre-game parties.  StowAway is showing off its team spirit this year for college football by offering one of its tailgating products to avid fans in a partnership deal.

StowAway is looking for super fans and avid tailgaters to help spread the word about the versatile and new Tailgate Grill Station. If you tailgate at football games or large sporting events, make your voice heard. Fill out this interest form and let StowAway know about your interest in using the new versatile grill station this season. A limited number of qualified partners will be selected to use the product in the continental U.S. Candidates will be chosen first-come, first-served, based upon your answers. If you qualify, a representative of StowAway will contact you about the terms of this offer as soon as possible.

Features of the Tailgate Grill Station by StowAway

The tailgating grill station hitches to vehicles, RVs and SUVs. Now in its second season of production, StowAway has arranged with Cuisinart to supply the grill in dark green. The company is considering developing other colors. The most-popular standard grill comes in stainless steel.

The station is one of the more unique barbecuing products on the market because of its ease of use. The grill is locked onto a hitch cargo rack attached to the vehicle by a patented frame, a swinging arm that extends the station as much as 180⁰ from the back of the vehicle, SUV or RV. The grill stays outside for transport.

StowAway is hoping any extra spirit the company can infuse into college football is worth the effort to make the product unique. Not that the staff in the office isn’t above face-painting.

For more information about the tailgating grill station by StowAway, see the product at www.StowAway2.com and click on Tailgating Grills. Grills are on display at the company’s headquarters in Tigard, Ore., at 7291 SW Tech Center Drive. The number is (800) 943-5377.

Happy Tailgating!

Advantages of StowAway Tailgate Grill Station Vs. Stationary Grill

September 13th, 2013 | Posted by Pacrec in Tailgating Grill - (Comments Off on Advantages of StowAway Tailgate Grill Station Vs. Stationary Grill)

Super-charged tailgate parties have become the biggest trend in college football. From tailgating websites to magazines to spicy wing recipes, tailgating is hot, hot, HOT. We’re into our second full season of tailgating mania at StowAway2.com by offering the StowAway Tailgate Grill Station to fans who want an even better experience at their tailgate parties. We designed our Tailgate Grill Station with convenience and accessibility in mind. Here’s why the grill station on our swing out frame is head and shoulders above the stationary grill you might be hauling with you in the back of your vehicle.

No Mess, No Odor

Tailgate Party at Oregon

A good tailgate party is about great food, good times and grilling! StowAway2.com

The grill stays out of the car for transport. Our grill attaches directly onto our durable steel rack and doesn’t need to come inside your vehicle, RV or SUV at ANY time. Screwed in place directly onto the rack, the Cuisinart gas grill on the StowAway Tailgate Station stays put. Leave the odor and the grime where it should be — outside.

No Setup Required

Once you park at your tailgate party destination, there’s no setup required for the StowAway grill station. It’s already in place at the back of your vehicle and ready to use.

Easy Access to Supplies

All the food in coolers and bins for your party goers is a few steps away from the grill station once you pivot out our patented SwingAway frame. The movable frame allows you to swing the grill 90 degrees or 180 degrees from the back of your vehicle. It’s a mobile kitchen. Use your gas grill to cook while the back of your SUV is the fridge and pantry.

Station Turns into Buffet

Our Tailgate Grill Station comes with an acrylic cutting board which doubles as a serving area. With a generous countertop space of slightly more than two feet by one-and-a-half feet, you can prep food then serve it. The rack is the right height for everyone to grab a wing, burger or dog and chomp down. Plus, the grill can be detached and another board can be added for double the serving space.

StowAway Tailgate Grill Station

The Cuisinart gas grill has plenty of room to cook up a mess of barbecue favorites on game day. StowAway2.com

Use Our Grill or Yours

Got a fancy tabletop grill you love? Then our tailgate station can be purchased without the Cuisinart. Use your own grill on the rack.

Customizable Grilling Accessories

Need a grill cover? An extra cutting board? A hose adapter to hook a bigger gas tank to the grill? We’ve got all the accessories you might need to optimize your party and do it in style.

Everybody wins with the StowAway2 — fans, hosts and the cleanup crew! Have a great time this year throwing your party.





Trim Shine Keeps Your Cargo Carrier Looking Like New

September 11th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Hitch Carriers - (Comments Off on Trim Shine Keeps Your Cargo Carrier Looking Like New)


A StowAway2 before Trim Shine.

Your StowAway2 Cargo Carrier works hard for you, stowing a lot of gear while being continually exposed to the elements and road grit and grime. In exchange, you want to take good care of it so that it will be in tip top shape for your next adventure. Stoner Trim Shine makes it easy to do just that.

Trim Shine is a vinyl and plastic coating used by professional auto detailers to restore color and brilliance to bumpers, running boards, dashboards and more and it can do the same thing for your StowAway2.

Trim Shine couldn’t be easier to use—simply spray it on and watch it instantly restore the shine and brilliance of your StowAway2.

A StowAway2 after Trim Shine.

While you’re at it, you could even take “before and after” photos and send them to us…you just never know when that may be the next “picture of the month” on www.stowaway2.com!

Monthly Maintenance Tip: Maintaining Your StowAway Frame

July 19th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Frames Only - (Comments Off on Monthly Maintenance Tip: Maintaining Your StowAway Frame)

This month’s tip is about preventing rust and corrosion on your StowAway frame.  The StowAway frame is manufactured from heavy gauge steel and coated with a black powdercoat finish. The frame hardware is either stainless steel or zinc chrome plated.  Both frame and hardware will naturally resist rust and corrosion in most conditions, except when exposed to salt.  Road salt is particularly corrosive and can eat through a powdercoat or plated finish if left on the surface for any period of time.  To prevent this, it is imperative that you rinse your StowAway frame thoroughly after using it on salted roads, and pat it dry with a towel.  Apply a coating of light oil to all hardware and moving parts and store the carrier for your next use.

We’ve seen StowAway frames that look great after 10 years of use, and others that show rust and corrosion after only one year on salted roads.  The difference is how the frames are cared for after driving on salted roads.

Do you have any good tips that you’d like other StowAway owners to take advantage of?  Email us at contests@stowaway2.com to give us your tip and possibly see your tip featured as our tip of the month.

Happy Travels!