5 Life Hacks for Stress-Free Tailgating

October 7th, 2015 | Posted by Pacrec in StowAway in Action | Tailgating | Teams and Events - (Comments Off on 5 Life Hacks for Stress-Free Tailgating)

5 Life Hacks for Stress-Free Tailgating

Tailgating - Life Hacks - StowAway Grill - StowAway Cargo Carrier -5

Tailgating is fun – In fact, I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who disagrees. After all, 80 percent of the U.S. population tailgates at least once a year, with many across the country participating nearly every weekend. John Sherry, a University of Notre Dame marketing professor and cultural anthropologist who conducted a two-year study of college tailgating, says, “The idea of getting out of your house and feasting and drinking somewhere else is a pretty old tradition. People eat and drink and build up community in the process. It’s one last blowout before we hunker down for winter.”

And a blowout it is! But despite the friendly faces, great food, and enthusiasm of game day, that “blowout” is also really hard work – after all it is a party, and parties don’t throw themselves. It can be stressful, draining, and a bit overwhelming if you’re not prepared.

Avid tailgaters will tell you that the keys to stress-free tailgating are advanced planning, organization, and coordination. To help you make the most of game day and ensure you’re not worn out before the game even starts, we’ve pulled together five great tailgating life hacks to ensure a smooth and enjoyable tailgating experience.

  1. Even the most devoted tailgaters will forget something on occasion. If you don’t already have one, I suggest creating a checklist to be sure nothing is left behind. You can find hundreds of templates online with a simple Google search for “tailgating check list” (here’s a sample from simpletailgating.com). Once you find a list, customize it to meet your specific needs. Not only will it help you pack your rig before heading to the stadium, but you can use it to be sure everything makes it home safely at the end of the day. *Bonus life hack: Laminate your list to protect it from BBQ sauce, beer, rain, or tears (if your team is on a losing streak).
  2. If you’re in charge of the party, take time the week before to plan your menu, shopping list, and job assignments. That’s right – job assignments! While this is a party and should be loads of fun, there’s nothing wrong with recruiting your friends to help out. After all, if they want to eat your food, drink your beer and hang out at your tailgate, they can pitch in too. Assigning friends to help cook, clean, set up, tear down, and monitor beverage, ice and/or condiment levels will help alleviate stress and allow you to enjoy the tailgate experience along with everyone else.

    Tailgating - Life Hacks - StowAway Grill - StowAway Cargo Carrier3

    Keep tailgating essentials organized in a toolbox so you can grab-and-go on game day.

  3. Keep the essentials packed and ready to go. For instance, a toolbox is a convenient way to organize and store smaller items that you know you’ll need at every single tailgate party. Keep utensils (bottle openers, tongs, cutlery, can opener, etc.) in one drawer, while storing first aid supplies (Band-Aids, pain reliever, sunscreen, etc.) or favorite spices and seasonings in another. For larger items, you can use bins (I recommend clear ones so you can see inside easily without having to take the lid off) to store kitchen items such as dishes, aluminum foil, soap, and paper towels, as well as games, blankets, seat cushions, and more. Having the necessities packed and ready to go each weekend will save so much time, you just may have a shot at landing the best parking spot at the stadium!
  4. Bring extra! No matter what it is, bring more than you think you’ll need: ice, beverages, food, chairs, blankets, etc. This will help avoid a flurry of phone calls when you realize you’re almost out of hamburger buns or (gasp!) beer. And since half the fun of tailgating is making new friends, having extra to share with your tailgating neighbors and fellow fans is a bonus!
  1. So how do you get all of this stuff to the stadium?
    Tailgating - Life Hacks - StowAway Cargo Carrier - Oregon Ducks

    Fans of the University of Oregon football team use their StowAway Cargo Carrier for all of their tailgating needs on game day.

    Invest in a StowAway Cargo Carrier, of course! Mounted directly into your vehicle’s trailer hitch, StowAway carriers provide easy, ground-level access to your gear. Quickly and easily organize and transport all of your tailgating essentials, especially those bulky items like canopies, chairs, and even your cornhole boards or ladder golf. With either 12.5 or 16 cubic feet of storage space, a StowAway Cargo Carrier nearly doubles the average SUV’s functional carrying capacity – you’ll wonder how you ever tailgated without it!

Tailgating - Life Hacks - StowAway Grill - Notre Dame

Fans tailgate with the StowAway Hitch Grill Station at a Notre Dame game.

And for those who really want to take their tailgating to the next level, check out the StowAway Hitch Grill Station that features a Cuisinart gas grill. The SwingAway frame pivots and locks at 90° to create a safe, convenient, and easily organized kitchen/grilling space, complete with a jumbo-sized (25.5” x 18.5”) commercial-grade cutting board. And the rack provides ample room for hauling coolers and other gear too.

Yes, tailgating is hard work… But with a little advanced planning and these life hacks, it can also be one of the most enjoyable, stress-free ways to spend a weekend this fall. You’re welcome! 🙂

How Sweet It Is! 5 Terrific Grilled Fruit Recipes That Will Wow the Crowd

September 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Tailgating | Tailgating Grill - (Comments Off on How Sweet It Is! 5 Terrific Grilled Fruit Recipes That Will Wow the Crowd)

How Sweet It Is! 5 Terrific Grilled Fruit Recipes That Will Wow the Crowd

grilled peaches recipe for hitch grill stationAnyone can throw on some burgers and ribs on the grill. In fact, who doesn’t? But you – griller extraordinaire – you can take grilling to a whole new level with some juicy, ripe fruit. Good thing tailgating season coincides with the peak harvest times for peaches, that’s all I have to say. But you don’t need to stop at peaches, I’ve found some sweet and savory recipes for your tailgating grill that involve cantaloupe, pineapple, bananas, and bourbon-glazed plums for good measure.

Grilled Peaches & Ice Cream

Oh. My. Goodness. Peaches are in season in the Pacific NW right now, and I just had some fresh grilled peaches over vanilla bean ice cream. The combination of flavors is unbelievably seductive. I recommend serving in small bowls … or you just Will. Not. Stop. Total time to prep and cook: 15 minutes. Photo and recipe from FoodNetwork.com

Skewered canteloupe AllRecipesSkewered Cantaloupe

Butter, honey and mint make this recipe pop off the grill and into the hearts of naysayers, who might otherwise scoff at the idea of putting a melon on their manly grill. It cooks quickly, tastes delicious, and makes for great dessert … and conversation. Recipe and photo from AllRecipes.com.

Grilled Pineapple AllRecipesGrilled Pineapple

Toss some slices of pineapple in a bag with honey, melted butter and a dash of hot pepper sauce and salt. The savory ingredients give these yum-yums a little kick and cut the sweetness, so you can serve as a quick-and-easy appetizer before the meat goes on the grill.  Recipe and photo from AllRecipes.com.

Grilled Banana Boats Betty CrockerGrilled Banana Boats

How can you go wrong with bananas, chocolate, marshmallows and Betty Crocker? We used to make these hearty confections in the campfire when I was growing up, and now you can make this family favorite at your tailgate party or campsite grill station. Add chopped pecans for the added crunch that people love. Photo and recipe courtesy of BettyCrocker.com.

Grilled Plums Food NetworkGrilled Fruit with Bourbon Glaze

Whoever invented the concept of combining fruit and liquor is a genius (or a college student). Paula Dean, “the queen of Southern cuisine,” offers this recipe that has a decidedly sophisticated yet indulgent appeal. Add brown sugar, fresh lemon juice and butter to the bourbon, melt and mix it all together, and brush it over ripe plums. If you haven’t died-and-gone-to-heaven yet, plop on some ice cream. Photo and recipe courtesy of FoodNetwork.com.

Follow us on Facebook for more tailgating/camping/road tripping ideas for the grill.

7 Ways to Score Big at Your Next Tailgate Party

September 8th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Road Trips with the StowAway Carrier | Tailgating | Tailgating Grill - (Comments Off on 7 Ways to Score Big at Your Next Tailgate Party)

Tailgating party buffet table decorationAnyone can wear a logo sweatshirt or a giant foam finger. In fact, who doesn’t?  But in the spirit of competitive sports, why not score some tailgating points with a few unexpected plays? With tailgating season upon us, I scoured the web for fun tailgating ideas, from recipes to games to decorations. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Turn Your Buffet Table into a Football Field Ask the “Hostess with the Mostess” how to decorate for a tailgate party and Jenn Sbranti, founder of the popular party blog, has plenty of ideas. One of my fav’s is the football field table cover. Sbranti explains, “Make a bold statement by covering your main buffet area with inexpensive artificial grass in order to mimic the look of a football field. Artificial turf is available at home stores like Home Depot and Lowes, and they can cut it down to size for you. Dark green felt or fabric will also work as an alternative option. Use white ribbon to add “yard lines”, or paint them on if you’re feeling extra crafty.”

Cake that looks like a fottball2. Bake a Football Shaped Cake Liz Ward, contributor to eHow, promises that cakes shaped and decorated like footballs are easy to make. (One might say “easy as pie” to make. Er … make that “a piece of cake” to make.) “You don’t need special pans or recipes to make football shaped cakes,” writes Ward. “And it doesn’t take a professional cake decorator to get professional results.” Link here to get a recipe for chocolate cake as well as decorating instructions.

3. Make Your Own Cornhole Game Cornhole has become the most popular pastime at tailgating parties, second only to the consumption of food and beverages. You can purchase a custom cornhole game, resplendent with your team colors from companies such as Victory Tailgate. Or you handy folks who have a saw and some sandpaper – and know how to use them – can construct your own. Download free diagrams and instructions to build your own cornhole game set. Learn more about cornhole, what it is and how to play, as well as the official rules from the American Cornhole Association (yes, there is such a thing!). More about playing the hottest new tailgating game here.buffalo chicken cupcakes

4. Serve Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes Touchdown! What’s not to love about this recipe? What started out as something of a joke, turned into a great, crowd-pleasing recipe. Served as an appetizer, the cupcakes – which include hot sauce and blue cheese in the batter – are topped with your favorite chicken wings. They’re sweet, because they are also made with sugar, but not as sugary as say a double- chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles would be. Note: They are only as spicy as you choose to make them. Give them a try and let me know how it goes! Get the recipe here. tailgating cocktail decorated

5. Customize your Cocktails I’ve seen several ways to give your drinks a little extra splash this season, including Astroturf coozies, sweet and simple labels to keep things straight, and – my fav – colorful drinks served in mason jars, dyed with a school color, and topped with a cupcake liner. Turn the back of your car into a cocktail bar

6. Convert the Back of Your Car into a Cocktail Bar Of the 41 tailgating ideas that BuzzFeed dubbed “borderline genius,” the cocktail bar most exemplifies the reason tailgaters can get a bad rap for inebriated guests. That said, it’s a cool idea. With a set of wooden shelves, you can store bottles, mixers, glasses, paper towels, ice bucket, etc. for easy access. (Please drink responsibly.) You could do the same with condiments, plates, cups, bowls, napkins, tongs, silverware, etc. to make your grilling station the most convenient kitchen in the parking lot.

Trailer hitch tailgate open frame

The Tailgate Grill Station attaches to your trailer hitch

7. Set Up a Convenient, 90-Degree Kitchen Space

Speaking of a grilling station … by using a hitch-mounted grill on a pivoting frame, you can create the perfect grilling kitchen for your tailgate party. With complete access to the back of your vehicle – where you’ve stored coolers, condiments and chairs – you’ll be able to reach, grill and serve in your own personal tailgating kitchen. The Tailgate Grill Station includes a Cuisinart Grill (available in 3 colors) that runs on propane, and a jumbo-sized, commercial-grade cutting board. Stow the cutting board on the bottom of the rack and you have plenty of room to haul the cooler on the back of your rig, because the rack supports over 200 pounds.   Decorate-cooler

Extra Point: Decorate Your Cooler

Here’s one more great idea for your tailgate party: Decorate the cooler. Your cooler can be so much more than a place to store cold food and beverages when you paint it with your team spirit. Here’s a tutorial on painting coolers, which gives you the inside tips on making paint stick to plastic.

A little extra effort earns you lots of extra points at your tailgate party. For more tailgating ideas, games and recipes, join us on Facebook.

Fly! Wrigley Fly!

Wrigley and Meghan travel to competitions with their StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier

Wrigley jumped over 26 feet to land the longest jump of the Dock Dogs Regional Championships in August

The farthest dock-jumping Weimaraner in the history of the sport, Wrigley, owned and trained by Meghan Williams, didn’t seem to be a born leaper. He started late in life (4 years of age), never swam before, and had to wear a life jacket to dock-jumping class.

But don’t tell him that. Wrigley just leapt away with two titles at the Dock Dogs North Central Regional Championship in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, August 8-10, 2014.

“It’s not natural for Weimaraners to jump into water,” reports Williams. Given this, and the fact that there are only ten competing across the country, Willams calls Wrigley’s success “astonishing.” At 9½ years of age, for example, Wrigley was the most decorated veteran jumper at the regional championships, with invitations to compete in the World Championships. His average jump is 25 feet; his farthest is nearly 28.

To travel to competitions, Meghan, Wrigley, and their family of four pack themselves into a small Trailblazer. “We wouldn’t be able to go anywhere without our hitch cargo carrier,” says Williams. “We’ve got two children and Wrigley in the back of the car. Everything else goes in the StowAway. It’s incredible.”

‘Everything else’ includes suitcases, chairs, all of Wrigley’s gear – leashes, collars, toys, dog food, and water bucket, plus a 24-pack of water bottles for the family, and more. “It’s amazing how much stuff will fit in there,” says Williams. “Once we put in a double stroller, and they’re huge!”

Meghan and Wrigley after the toss

Meghan has perfected the timing of the toss that enables Wrigley to jump nearly 28 feet

The wife, mother of two, full-time employee, and Wrigley’s trainer/partner, Williams is a busy woman. Add to that, her skill at throwing Wrigley’s toy off the dock is 50% of the team effort that has brought them so much success.

Kudos to Wrigley and Meghan for these amazing results at the Dock Dogs Regional Championships, where they competed in Big Air Elite and Big Air Veteran Divisions:

  • 1st place in Elite Division, earning a World Championship Invitation
  • 1st place in Veteran Division, earning a World Championship Invitation
  • At 9-1/2 years old, Wrigley out jumped every single dog at the competition, with an incredible 26’1″ for the longest jump of the weekend – of all dogs, all ages
  • Re-titled himself into the Super Elite Division (25’+ average) by having countless jumps over 25′ during the weekend competition. (This has only happened a handful of times in the history of the sport)
  • 16th overall world ranking in Big Air (out of 600 dogs)
  • Ranked 2nd in the World for DockDogs Worldwide Veteran Dogs
Wrigley and Meghan travel to regional and national championships with the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier

Wrigley always travels with the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier

Where’s Wrigley Going Next?

Wrigley and Meghan’s next event will be September 6-7 in Springfield, Illinois at The Super Retriever Series. They will also be jumping in Carol Stream, Illinois at the Ultimate Air Dogs on September 14. Follow them on their Facebook page, and the StowAway Facebook.

 Congrats Wrigley and Meghan! All of us at StowAway Hitch Cargo Carriers are so proud of you.

Cornhole: How to Play the Hottest New Tailgating Game

September 4th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Tailgating | Tailgating Grill | Teams and Events - (Comments Off on Cornhole: How to Play the Hottest New Tailgating Game)
Cornhole tailgating game

Cornhole is the #1 tailgating game in America. Photo courtesy of Victory Tailgate

In the olden days, we used to throw around a football at tailgate parties and call that good for gaming. Not anymore. Tailgaters today require a most diverse and sophisticated “palette of choices”. (As opposed to “palate of choices”, which requires special menus. But more on that – and the best tailgate hitch grill on the market – another day.)

According to the folks at Infographics Mania, who illustrated a national survey, cornhole is the most popular game at tailgate parties these days. (Other than the game of football going on inside the stadium, of course.) Ladder Ball, also known as the – ahem – “balls toss” for reasons that will become apparent once you’ve seen it, comes in second, followed by Beer Pong. Then comes the Washer Toss, in which players attempt to throw large metal washers into a small hole.

Seeing as cornhole is # 1 in the competitive arena of tailgate parking lots, I decided to take a closer look at this phenomenon, which reportedly originated in the Midwest, where reserves of whole kernel corn are available in abundance. The corn goes in a bean bag, which is thrown in the hole on the board. Ergo, “cornhole”. Imagine a group of farmers sitting around one evening, wondering, “What are we going to do with all these extra kernels of corn laying around?” Answer: “I know. Let’s sew them inside little square bags and throw them into a hole on a big board. Like horseshoes, except not.” Thus was the game of cornhole born. (except maybe not.)

At any rate, cornhole is great for the entire family, according to the folks at VictoryTailgate.com. “Cornhole, also known as ‘tailgate toss’, ‘bean bag toss’, ‘baggo’, ‘corn toss’, or just simply ‘bags’ is a lawn game in which players take turns pitching cornhole bags (duck cloth bags filled with whole kernel corn) at a raised wooden platform with a hole in the far end. There are several versions and sizes but the most well-known size is 2 feet wide by 4 feet long with a 6 inch hole centered 9 inches down from the top. The surface sits 12 inches high off the ground in the back and 4 inches high in the front. A corn bag in the hole scores 3 points, while one on the platform scores 1 point. Play continues until a player reaches the score of 21. The game can be played as either doubles or singles and uses two boards with 8 bags (4 of one color and 4 of another).

“Ok, so why is it fun? It’s fun because the entire family can play. It doesn’t matter if you’re 8 years old or 80 years old. Just about anyone can play. It’s great for parties, special events, tailgating, or just for some fun in the backyard to get your family out of the house every once in a while. It’s easy to learn and can be challenging at any skill level. You and your opponent alternate throwing the 8 bags at the hole, which almost always results in some humorous situations and/or precise throwing strategies at the higher skill levels of play.”

You can even order custom cornhole boards and bags created in your team colors, with logos from all the college football, NBA and major league baseball teams.

Whoever your team is, and whatever your favorite tailgating game might be, we invite you to share it on our Facebook Community Page. Happy tailgating!

Friends, Food, Tradition (& Grilling): A Winning Tailgate Recipe

September 1st, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Tailgating | Tailgating Grill - (Comments Off on Friends, Food, Tradition (& Grilling): A Winning Tailgate Recipe)

Oregon Duck fans are setting the stage with the Tailgate Grill Station

A great friend and all-around great person, Joni Carlson is an avid booster of the Oregon Ducks football team. She bakes cookies for the players.  She serves on the Oregon Club board of directors. And she tailgates from dawn ‘til dusk.

“Tailgating is a great way to be a part of the college football scene,” says Carlson. “At Autzen, everyone is your friend when you get there.” Carlson has been tailgating for 30 years with the same four or five families. After a week of preparations, the crew pulls into the stadium parking lot at about 10am on game day. “Then we roll out the Astroturf and the fun starts!”

If you wander onto Carlson’s patch of Astroturf, you’ll find green and yellow flowers, and matching balloons, cups, plates, silverware and chairs. Everyone sports clothing head-to-toe in team colors, of course.  They grill everything from tri-tip to burgers and dogs, and Carlson makes duck-shaped sugar cookies frosted in bright yellow confection called Quackies.

“The three main ingredients to successful tailgating are friends, food and beverages,” says Carlson. Having perfected the tailgating scene over three decades, Joni is willing to offer up her recipe for “Winning Poppers,” the crew’s post-win tailgate tradition.

Banana peppers tailgating recipe

Photo courtesy of RecipeGreat.com

Nelson’s Winning Poppers

  • Fresh banana peppers, sliced down the center, seeds removed
  • Fill with:
  • Jalapeno cheese, shredded
  • Bay shrimp, rinsed and dried
  • Cooked Italian sausage (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Squeeze of fresh lime

Grill on barbecue, seam side up, until cheese is melted and skin is softened.


If you’re looking for a great grill to take to the tailgate party, check out the Tailgate Grill Station from StowAway, with a Cuisinart Grill and SwingAway Frame.

Trailer hitch tailgate open frame

The Tailgate Grill Station attaches to your trailer hitch, pivots to give you access to the rear of your vehicle, and creates a perfect outdoor grilling space

  • SwingAway Frame: Pivots 90°/180° and locks to create a safe and convenient grill station
  • More Space: The grill stays outside your vehicle to create more space inside – and keep gas and grill odors outside
  • Extras Included: Cuisinart Grill, commercial-grade cutting board, patented Swingaway frame, rack for your cooler/tailgate gear, and hitch tightener
  • Hitch Grill or Tabletop: Grill converts to a tabletop for homegating, camping, fishing and hunting
  • Best Warranty: 10-year warranty on the Swingaway Frame & Rack; 3-year warranty on the Cuisinart Grill

Tailgating Grill Recipe: Sesame Shrimp

August 29th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Tailgating | Tailgating Grill - (Comments Off on Tailgating Grill Recipe: Sesame Shrimp)
Sesame Shrimp for the Tailgate Grill Station

This tangy recipe is great on the grill at tailgate parties

I tried out this recipe last weekend on my Tailgate Grill Station (though I took off the Cuisinart Grill and put it on the back patio, lickety split) for more of a “homegating” experience.

Anyway, the recipe was fantastic. Tangy, sweet and flavorful. I can highly recommend it for your next tailgate party.

The recipe comes from former NFL tight-end, Reggie Kelly, who certainly knows his way around a football field, and also has a terrific line of barbecue and other sauces that you can buy on the world wide web from KYVAN Foods.

With this recipe, I sprung for the jumbo-jumbo shrimp, because they have the best flavor, and grilled for 4-5 minutes on each side. Yum City!

KYVAN™ Sesame Shrimp

  • 2 lbs. jumbo shrimp
  • 1 cup KYVAN Sesame Garlic BBQ Sauce
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Season shrimp with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate up to one hour. Cook shrimp on grill set to medium heat, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and in a large bowl combine with Sesame Sauce and toss thoroughly. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve. Enjoy with fresh vegetable and rice.

Recipe and photo courtesy of KYVAN™ Foods.


Trailer hitch tailgate open frame

The Tailgate Grill Station attaches to your trailer hitch, pivots to give you access to the rear of your vehicle, and creates a perfect outdoor grilling space

If you’re looking for a great grill to take to the tailgate party, check out the Tailgate Grill Station from StowAway, with a Cuisinart Grill and SwingAway Frame.

  • SwingAway Frame: Pivots 90°/180° and locks to create a safe and convenient grill station
  • More Space: The grill stays outside your vehicle to create more space inside – and keep gas and grill odors outside
  • Extras Included: Cuisinart Grill, commercial-grade cutting board, patented Swingaway frame, rack for your cooler/tailgate gear, and hitch tightener
  • Hitch Grill or Tabletop: Grill converts to a tabletop for homegating, camping, fishing and hunting
  • Best Warranty: 10-year warranty on the Swingaway Frame & Rack; 3-year warranty on the Cuisinart Grill

Let the Games Begin! And Take Your Tailgate Grill Into the End Zone

August 28th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Tailgating | Tailgating Grill - (Comments Off on Let the Games Begin! And Take Your Tailgate Grill Into the End Zone)
trailer hitch tailgate grill

Fans at Notre Dame gather for tailgating reverlies

With football season upon us, I found myself wondering who first thought up the idea of tailgating. Who woke up one morning and said, “Hey, I know. Let’s drive our rig to the parking lot, pull out a cooler of beer, slap some dogs on the Hibachi, and pre-function ourselves into a frenzy!”?

As it turns out, the first partisan-based pep rally/picnic in America can be traced to the Civil War. Stephen Linn, in The Ultimate Tailgater’s Handbook (Rutledge Hill Press) explains, “Consider the Battle of Bull Run in 1861. Enthusiastic Union supporter from the Washington, D.C. area arrived with baskets of food and shouts of ‘Go Big Blue!’ to watch the opening battle in America’s Civil War. Historians generally agree this was a case of the right idea at the wrong time, war not being a spectator sport. Still, for those who attended, there was socializing and tradition, tension and excitement.”

Most legends, however, set modern tailgating firmly in 1869, when the first football game was played between Rutgers and Princeton in New Brunswick, New Jersey (Rutgers 6, Princeton 4, FYI). Fans traveled to the game in carriages and arrived hungry and thirsty. So they collected themselves at the – ahem – “tail” of their horses to eat, drink and socialize. And thus, a great American tradition was born.

Today, 240 million people tailgate at least once per year, according to a report published by Quicken Loans Racing and Beckon Media . And some organizations, such as the Tailgating Industry Association, estimate that fans spend $10 – $20 billion per year on tailgating for football alone. (Other popular tailgating sports include NASCAR racing and baseball.)

Many tailgate parties have become elaborate bacchanals, involving RVs, satellite dishes, corn hole games, gas grills, themed menus, and super-secret recipes. These are civil wars of a different kind: Michigan vs. Michigan State, Texas vs. Texas A&M, Army vs. Navy, Ducks vs. Beavers, etc., etc. – in high tailgate style.

Trailer hitch tailgate open frame

The Tailgate Grill Station attaches to your trailer hitch, pivots to give you access to the rear of your vehicle, and creates the perfect outdoor grilling space

We’ve also come a long way from throwing a few hotdogs on the Hibachi with potato salad on the side. Thanks to propane-fueled grills, tailgate menus now include more elaborate cuisine, such as kebobs, barbecued ribs, pork tenderloin, and chili poppers – as well as the traditional burgers and dogs.

If you’re a tailgater (or homegater) you can take your grilling game into the end zone with the Tailgate Grill Station – a hitch mounted grill that goes where you go and always stay outside your vehicle. Also great for picnics, camping, fishing and hunting trips, here are 5 of my favorite things about this groovy trailer hitch grill:

  1. Swingaway Frame: The patented frame pivots 90 degrees to create a safe and convenient kitchen/grill station – while giving me complete access to everything inside my vehicle. The grill also stays outside my rig to create more space inside – and eliminate gas and grill odors.
  2. Versatility: Not limited to tailgate grilling, the grill station is also great for camping, fishing and hunting. I can also take the grill off and use the frame/rack year-round for hauling up to 250 pounds of cargo.
  3. Hitch Grill or Tabletop: The Cuisinart grill converts to a tabletop for “homegating” – parties on the patio, dinner on the deck, or barbecues on the block.
  4. Extras Included: The Tailgate Grill Station includes a Cuisinart Grill, commercial-grade cutting board, patented Swingaway frame, rack for your cooler/tailgate gear, and hitch tightener.
  5. Best Warranty: It gives me great confidence to know that there’s a 10-year warranty on the Swingaway Frame & Rack and a 3-year warranty on the Cuisinart grill. Better, by far, than anything else I’ve found on the market.

Now that football season is here, I’m reminded of the great traditions, games and gatherings inspired by this sport – from as far back as the 1800s and well into the future.

Helping Angels Soar – Hitch Cargo Carrier Supports Relay Racers

August 27th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Teams and Events - (Comments Off on Helping Angels Soar – Hitch Cargo Carrier Supports Relay Racers)
hitch cargo carrier sponsor

The “Almost Angels” team walks 100 miles from Portland to Seaside, Oregon each year to raise money for cancer research

Every year, more than 12,000 people gather into 1,050 teams and spend roughly 24 hours getting themselves – on foot – 199 miles from Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood to the coastal town of Seaside, Oregon. The Hood to Coast Relay celebrated 16 years in 2014 and has become the self-proclaimed “Mother of all Relays.” This year, the first place team finished in 17 hours, 32 minutes and 17 seconds.

StowAway is proud to support the team, “Almost Angels” in the Portland-to-Coast version of the event, with 12 women walking 127 miles to the Oregon Coast. Hats off to these champions who begin the grueling relay at 5:30 in the morning … Those of us snug in our beds at that hour salute you! Our “Angels” completed the relay event this past weekend in 30 hours and 26 minutes.

Tina Lingenfelter, co-captain of the “Almost Angels,” says the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier they use makes for a terrific picnic table – as well as an invaluable place to stow pillows, blankets and bottles of water for the team. On the challenging  route, sleep deprived and psychologically weary, the team relies on each other for support. “The comradery of the women you travel with is second to none,” says Lingenfelter. “We all face personal demons and confront our physical challenges head on with amazing support from one another. You leave it all on the road … with the support of these ladies, you feel like you can do anything!”

The "Almost Angels" haul pillows, blankets and water bottles in their hitch cargo carrier. Closed, they say it makes a great picnic table!

The “Almost Angels” haul pillows, blankets and water bottles in their hitch cargo carrier. Closed, they say it makes a great picnic table!

The StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier is a super-durable cargo container that attaches to your trailer hitch, instead of the roof, for easy access. The patented SwingAway frame pivots up to 180 degrees to give you full and complete access to everything in the rear of your vehicle. The StowAway Max holds as much as four carry-on bags and two camp chairs, plus two duffel bags. The Standard Cargo Box fits four carry-on bags and two duffel bags. Both hitch cargo carriers hold 200 pounds of payload and fit 1.25” and 2” trailer hitches. The cargo box and frame are made in America and come with a 10-year warranty.

The Hood-to-Coast and Portland-to-Coast relay races are “helping to find a cure for cancer through the world renowned Providence Cancer Center,” according to the Hood to Coast website. Teams raise money, as well as awareness, to help fund the latest technological research in cancer treatments and patient care programs. “Each of us on the team has been touched by cancer in some way, either through direct loss, or as a caregiver or family member,” says Lingenfelter. Motivation is easy when your with a great group of ladies, relying on each other for support and encouragement to reach personal goals and it benefits cancer … what’s not to love?”

There isn’t one of us under this roof at StowAway whose life hasn’t in some way been touched by the dark hand of cancer. It is our pleasure and our privilege to support a team supporting the cure. Together, let’s finish cancer forever.


Top Photo (left-to-right): Julie Hajduk (co-captian), Melissa Harrington, Tina Lingenfelter (co-captain), April McFarlan, Monica Eckrich, Nancy Bieber, Myra Mendoza and kneeling in front from left to right, Linda LaGraff and Diana Moses

Roadtrek and the StowAway Carrier: The Perfect Team

June 6th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in RVs - (Comments Off on Roadtrek and the StowAway Carrier: The Perfect Team)
The StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier adds 16 cubit feet of storage space to Class B RVs, such as the Roadtrek

The StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier adds 16 cubit feet of storage space to Class B RVs, such as the Roadtrek

I love having a Home-On-The-Go, a little RV that serves as my second home when I’m on recreational pursuits. A Roadtrek gives me the convenience and comforts of home, and a roof over my head – like a little hermit crab, taking my castle with me wherever I go.

Living the RV lifestyle doesn’t have to be a big, expensive endeavor. If you downsize your Class A motorhome to a more compact Roadtrek, for example, you can save greatly on fuel and still enjoy many of the top-tier amenities of larger recreational vehicles. Your trips don’t have to be cramped, pared-down affairs either, just because you opted for a smaller RV. For avid rubber-tire travelers, a Roadtrek and the StowAway Carrier make the perfect team.

With 16 cubic feet of space, the Max StowAway Cargo Carrier has the capacity to hold 200 pounds of gear and supplies. Many of the things you would normally store inside your motorhome can now be stored outside, in the sturdy, secure, easy-access cargo box behind your vehicle.

In my case, I always travel with the essentials: hair care products and the dog. In case “hair care products” don’t speak for themselves, here’s the lowdown: shampoo, conditioner, gel, Morrocan oil, styling spray, hair drier, two curling irons, hairspray, one comb, two brushes, hair clips and rubber bands. All too true.

Even more importantly, I take Pippin, my Golden-Retriever-On-The-Go, on all my recreational pursuits. Pippin loves to travel, but he has his essential needs, too, including: crunchy food, gooey food, food and water bowls, treats, his favorite bed, spare leashes, toys, and plenty of towels (he’s a water dog; no doubt he will always get wet and will often get muddy).

Then, of course I need the essentials of my recreational pursuits, which include always special gear, clothing and shoes. Biking, for example, requires clip-in shoes, padded shorts, helmet, gloves, water bottles, maps, tops of many pockets, and, well, the bike.

With the StowAway Cargo Carrier, I have plenty of room for all my essentials and even more room inside the RV for Pippin and me. And, conveniently attached to my trailer hitch, the unique SwingAway frame pivots 180 degrees to give me complete and easy access to the back of the vehicle.

Key Features of the Cargo Box:

  • Molded from the same high-impact polymer used in white water kayaks.
  • 16 cubic feet of storage capacity
  • Carries up to 200 pounds
  • Lockable lid for security
  • Fully functional taillights and wrap-around reflectors
  • Built-in carrying handles and a drain plug for easy clean up
  • Weep holes to deter water in wet weather
  • Box in black or white
  • Dimensions 51″ long x 23″ wide x 26″ high
  • 10-year limited warranty

Key Features of the SwingAway Frame:

  • Rises 5″ for ground clearance
  • Pivots up to 180º for clear access to your vehicle. Locks at 90º for tailgating.
  • Rugged steel with dual safety feature

No matter what I’m packing or where I’m going, I know I don’t have to sacrifice my essentials – or a reasonable amount of indulgences – when I’ve got the StowAway Cargo Carrier behind me.