StowAway Around the World Photo Contest

July 19th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Specials & Contests - (Comments Off on StowAway Around the World Photo Contest)

We love seeing our StowAway hitch cargo carriers around the country in all of the beautiful locations our adventurous customers visit.  You name the national park, monument or famous location, and our customers have probably been there.

Next month we are holding a “StowAway Around the World Photo Contest” to see what you and your StowAway have been up to.  The process is easy: take a picture of your StowAway somewhere in the world (or use one you’ve already taken) and e-mail it with a description of your travels to contests@StowAway2.com before August 31st. The best submission will receive a $100 Amazon gift card.

Below are pictures around the country taken by Rob & Jan during their 2010 Sprinter Tour to give you some inspiration:

StowAway in Wrangell-St Elias National Park

Wrangell-St Elias National Park in Alaska

StowAway near Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier in Washington state

 

StowAway in Roosevelt National Park

Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota

 

We look forward to your submission and can’t wait to see what all of our StowAway hitch cargo carriers have been up to since they left our warehouse.  Good luck and have a great summer!

Happy Travels!

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!

StowAway Owner of the Month: Creative Hitch Cargo Carrier Storage

July 17th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in StowAway Owner Profile - (Comments Off on StowAway Owner of the Month: Creative Hitch Cargo Carrier Storage)
Jeremy's StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier

Jeremy’s car packed up for a family trip

Our hitch cargo carriers provide a creative solution for storage space outside the vehicle. But when you’re not traveling, where do you store the carrier itself?  Our StowAway Owner of the Month, Jeremy Drifter, has come up with a creative solution to store his MAX carrier in the garage.

Jeremy says “We take a lot of family trips.  There are five of us and once you load up with a cooler and some stuff for the kids, we need to get all of the luggage out of the car to have a comfortable ride.”

The Drifters, who own both a Dodge Magnum and a Ford Expedition, travel back and forth from their home in Florida to their cabin in North Carolina, as well as on their camping trips and scouting adventures.  Our MAX carrier provides them with a storage solution for their travels but between the family’s gear, two cars and everything else in their garage, they didn’t have any room to store their hitch cargo carrier.  So Jeremy did what any creative minded person would have done: found a solution.

StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier Wall Mount

Jeremy’s homemade hitch cargo carrier wall mount.

Jeremy welded a hitch mount on his own and mounted it to his wall.  Made from 1/4 inch sheet metal, the mount consists of a 10″ wide by 17″ high plate and a 7″ long 2″ box tube welded together and attached to the wall (which had cement anchors behind it).  He also drilled a hole for the hitch pin and put one triangle gusset under the box tube for support.  All in all a professional looking piece of equipment completely thought up, designed and manufactured by him.

I actually pull my Expedition in the garage and the hood sits under the StowAway when it’s stored on the wall.”

This set up cost Jeremy about $12.00 and took him about 30 minutes to weld, mount and paint.  He is now enjoying both the StowAway hitch cargo carrier on his trips and plenty space in his garage when he’s home.

Want to become our next StowAway Owner of the Month? E-mail us a picture and your story at contests@stowaway2.com

The Bear Necessities: Summer Camping Essentials

July 11th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Camping - (Comments Off on The Bear Necessities: Summer Camping Essentials)

The 4th of July has come and gone, summer is in full swing and who doesn’t love it?  Flowers are in full bloom, the sun in shining, farmer’s markets are filled with fresh fruit and outdoor activities are flourishing.  Maybe one of the best ways to enjoy summer?  Camping.  We may be bias but we think hanging out around the campfire and sleeping under the stars are some of the best ways to take in these beautiful summer months.  Camping is best enjoyed when you’re prepared, so it’s important to remember to bring some basic supplies in addition to just a tent, sleeping bag and marshmallows.  Here are some supplies that will help you stay comfortable and safe out on your summer camping trip.

Camping with the StowAway

A family doing some summer time camping with their StowAway hitch cargo carrier

Tarp

While many tents advertise their water resistance, it’s best to be safe and bring a tarp along to ensure that you’ll remain dry while camping out in Mother Nature.  There’s nothing worse than going to sleep on a beautiful night just to wake up with a puddle next to you after a freak rain storm.  Maybe the cheapest vacation insurance policy available, a tarp can save your family camping trip.

Hitch Cargo Carrier

It’s important to bring everything you need for your camping trip and not feel like you need to leave anything at home.  A hitch cargo carrier from StowAway will give you the ability to have everything needed for an enjoyable trip and not have to pick and choose what you might need.  Extra gear such as heavier clothes, extra blankets and an extra tarp can help your camping trip be that much better and less susceptible to disaster.

Sleeping Pad

A sleeping pad can be the difference between you waking up cold with an aching back and you waking up refreshed and ready for the day.  Sleeping pads will not only keep you comfortable against the ground, but it’ll also keep you warm by giving you a barrier between your warm body and the colder ground.

Headlamp

Trying to do two things at once with a normal flashlight is almost impossible.  Whether you need to complete a task with one hand, have a companion hold the flashlight for you or hold it in your mouth while you try to get something done, it never seems to place the light where it needs to be.  Headlamps allow you free range of motion and full control of the light source, giving you the ability to complete any task in the dark that you’d be able to do in the light.

Bear Bag

If you are camping in an area where bears are known to roam it’s imperative that you take whatever precautions possible to stay safe.  Keeping your food in your tent can be dangerous because of the increased threat of a bear attack.  Bear bags are strong vinyl bags which you put your food into and hang high on a tree.  This keeps the bears away from the inside of your tent and also keeps other animals out of it while it’s outside and out of your view.

So go out and enjoy the great outdoors this summer.  With these products you will be that much more equipped to confront the challenges that you may face while camping.  Make sure to check out StowAway2.com for all of your cargo carrying needs.

Happy Travels

Choosing the Right StowAway Frame

July 5th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Frames Only | Hitch Carriers - (Comments Off on Choosing the Right StowAway Frame)

The StowAway hitch cargo carrier is a great storage solution for a all different types of applications.  The versatility, quality and size are unmatched in the cargo carrying market.  But now that you’ve decided to purchase one, you need to decide which frame will work best for your vehicle.  StowAway offers three different frames for your hitch cargo carrier: swingaway, standard fixed and basic fixed.  All three offer their own advantages.

All our frames are made from heavy duty, thick walled steel tubing with a black powder coating.  They fit both 2″(class III or class IV) and 1.25′” (II) hitches and come with a five year warranty.  Here are the specifics of our three frames to help you achieve the right connection your new hitch cargo carrier

SwingawayStowAway Swingaway Frame

The swingaway frame is our most versatile frame.  Boasting a 5″ inch lift and a swinging feature that rotates up to 180 degrees, it enables you full use of your vehicle even with your StowAway hitch cargo carrier installed.  It comes in weighing 48 lbs. and supports up to 250 lbs. (2″) or 160 lbs (1.25″).  This is perfect for the driver who still wants to use their trunk while their StowAway hitch cargo carrier is in use.

Standard Fixed

StowAway Standard Fixed Frame

The standard fixed frame is similar to the basic fixed frame, but rises 7″ for improved ground clearance.  It’s designed for cars that don’t have as much ground clearance as a truck or larger SUV and need an added lift in order to safely attach a hitch cargo carrier to their vehicle.  It comes in weighing around 18lbs. and supports up to 250 lbs. (2″) or 150 lbs. (1.25″).  It’s perfect for a someone who doesn’t need a swingaway feature but still wants the additional lift to avoid it dragging.

 

Basic Fixed

StowAway Basic Fixed Frame

The basic fixed frame is a low profile frame that extends strait out from the hitch.  It’s mainly designed for vehicles that already have a good amount of ground clearance and don’t need the added benefit of the extra lift.  It comes in weighing 18 lbs. and supports up to 200 lbs. (2″ hitch) or 125 lbs (1.25″ hitch) of cargo.   The basic fixed frame is the most affordable way to attach a hitch cargo carrier to your vehicle.

 

So make sure to use the right frame for whichever vehicle you are going to attach your new hitch cargo carrier to.  Make sure to check out StowAway2.com for all of your cargo carrying needs.

Happy Travels!


Increased Travel? Decrease Your Gas Consumption With These Tips

June 28th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Road Trips - (Comments Off on Increased Travel? Decrease Your Gas Consumption With These Tips)

With AAA reporting that there will be nearly a 5% increase in car travel this 4th of July, people clearly seem to be catching the travel bug after a couple years of down travel.  While this increase is both exciting and hopeful, it does bring up one part of the economy that is still hurting us all: the gas tank.  While gas prices are down slightly, it’s always great to save a bit whenever you’re traveling.  Here are a few tips to help you get more out of a full tank of gas while traveling this 4th of July weekend.

Skip the Drive Through

Not only are they bad for your health but they’re also bad for your gas tank.  Sitting in line while you wait for your food wastes gas since the car is still running while you sit idle.  Instead you could think about packing a cooler and stopping to enjoy lunch at a park in the fresh air and sunshine.

Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated

Make sure to check your tires before you embark on your voyage.  Under inflated tires kill your gas mileage by 3%.  They will also wear out longer in the long run and be more susceptible to a blowout.

StowAway hitch cargo carrier

Family Traveling with a StowAway hitch cargo carrier

Skip the Roof Rack

Roof cargo carriers make your car less aerodynamic which causes drag and extra gas consumption.  Try a StowAway hitch cargo carrier instead.  Hitch cargo carriers attach to the back of your car which does not affect your aerodynamics. You’ll save money at the pump and have plenty of storage space for everything you need.

Don’t Speed

While speeding is always a safety hazard, it’s also bad for gas mileage as well.  Speeding leads to increased RPMs and frequent change of speeds, both of which will drain your gas tank.  Just put your car on cruise control at the speed limit and enjoy the smooth ride of savings.

Avoid Traffic and Stop Signs

While it’s not always easy to avoid traffic, a less traveled route will use a lot less gas than a congested highway.  Having to constantly stop and go will cause your gas to disappear.  It’s best to plan ahead and find a highway that will not have any traffic lights or stop signs and be void of traffic.

Don’t Stop!

While stopping to go to the bathroom and for more gas are both inevitable, frequent stops will cause you to do a lot of the things already mentioned.  Try to plan your stops so that you’re getting food, going to the bathroom and getting gas all at the same time.  Leaving your cruising speed as little as possible will help you stay on course and keep your gas tank filled.

Make sure to stay safe, have fun and keep your gas tank filled this 4th of July wherever you may be going.  Also make sure to check out StowAway for your cargo carrying needs.

Happy Travels!

 

A Big Catch: Try Surf Fishing for a Fun New Summer Hobby

June 20th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Fishing & Hunting - (Comments Off on A Big Catch: Try Surf Fishing for a Fun New Summer Hobby)

Surf Fishing Rod Rack

Are your favorite hobbies getting old?  Now that it’s summer it’s time to try something new. Something you’ve always wanted to do but never quite got the chance to.  One new hobby that you can give a try is surf fishing, which gives you the ability to get out to your favorite beach and have fun fishing from the comfort of the sandy shore.  Here’s a list of gear you will need to get you started in the right direction in the sport of surf fishing.

Rod

Using a proper surf rod is crucial in order to have any type of success surf fishing.  You will need a rod that is at least twelve to fifteen feet long. The rod will need large guides in order to get the line out the distance necessary to catch any fish.  It’s also recommended that you use a rod that’s either graphite composite or 100% graphite.  Graphite rods are higher quality than fiberglass models and are a much better investment.

Reel

A big saltwater spinning reel is necessary in order to have the amount of line  that you’ll need for surf fishing.  Any test fishing line between 20-25 lbs.will work best for most situations.

Surf Rod Rack

Because of the length and weight of a surf fishing rod, they’re not easy to get from point A to point B.  This is why getting a rod holder like a StowAway surf fishing rod rack is a great option for surf fisherman when driving to the beach.  It holds six rods upright so you don’t have to worry about them fitting in your car or SUV, and also includes a storage rack that can fit a cooler, tackle box, chairs or anything else you may need while out on the beach catching fish.

Sand Spikes

While surf fishing it’s imperative that you have a good, stable spot to put your rod while it’s in use.  A sand spike is a three or four foot long PVC pipe with a sharpened edge that sticks into the sand, providing your rod stability when a big fish hits.  Just stick your rod in and you’re good to go.

Terminal Tackle

While the types of leaders and hooks that are best varies from region to region, a good old pyramid weight is always a necessity.  Because of the current of the ocean, a heavy weight like a pyramid is needed in order to keep the line from going too far out.  For which types of leaders and hooks to use in your area it’s best to talk to local store owners and fisherman.

Bait and Lures

The best types of bait and lures, again, will be based on the specific area and types of fish you will be trying to catch.  Feeding habits can change depending on the season and time of day, so its best to ask people in your area who know what type of bait works best for specific situations.  That being said, there are still staples that every fisherman should know about and have.  For live bait, a chunk of mullet is always great for larger fish, while shrimp or squid work well for smaller fish.  For lures a couple staples that every fisherman should have in their arsenal are spoons, top water plugs, and a five inch swimmer plug.

So get out, enjoy the summer and start a new hobby that you can enjoy for a lifetime.  Also remember to check out StowAway2.com for all of your cargo carrying needs.

Happy Travels!

 

Give the Dad Who Has Everything the Ability to Bring it All with Him

June 13th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Hitch Carriers - (Comments Off on Give the Dad Who Has Everything the Ability to Bring it All with Him)

If there’s one thing that remains the same in this world it’s that Dads love their “stuff”. Fishing gear, bicycles, tailgating equipment, tools… the list goes on and on.  Who can blame them?  They like doing things their own way and want to use their own equipment to do it.  Naturally, they love bringing this gear with them when they go anywhere from their buddies house to the beach, so this Father’s Day why not give him something he can use to carry all the gear he already loves?  A hitch cargo carrier from StowAway is the perfect Father’s Day gift for the Dad who has everything since he can put what he loves most in it: his “stuff”.

Tailgating with the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier

Support your team and bring everything you need withe the StowAway hitch cargo carrier

With sixteen cubic feet of space inside of StowAway’s MAX hitch cargo carrier, Dad will have enough room to bring along everything he needs.  Whether it’s tools to help his friend build a deck, tailgating gear for the big game or equipment for the kid’s baseball practices, he’ll never have to worry about not having his own gear again.  The only thing Dads may love more than their stuff is their team, which makes a MAX hitch cargo carrier with tailgate package so appealing.  With six different reflector colors to choose from, a spot for a bumper sticker of his favorite team and a fitted interior cutting board for his famous tailgating feast, he’ll be the life of the pregame festivities.

If fishing or bicycling is more his jive StowAway has a hitch cargo carrier specialized just for him.  With both a surf fishing rod and bicycle hitch cargo carriers they won’t have to worry about how to squeeze their prized goods in the car or struggle to put them on a roof rack.  With the additional space that the storage rack provides (standard with surf rod carrier, optional with bike carrier) Dad can fit not just his favorite piece of equipment, but the rest of the stuff he may need wherever he’s going.

So this Father’s Day instead of getting the Dad who has everything something that he won’t use, get him a hitch cargo carrier from StowAway so he can put the everything he has into it.  No matter what your Dad loves to do there is a StowAway hitch cargo carrier to meet his needs.

Happy Father’s Day!

Road Tripin’ Tips from StowAway Cargo Carriers

June 8th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Road Trips - (Comments Off on Road Tripin’ Tips from StowAway Cargo Carriers)

Spring has come and now we’re headed full bore into summer: the season of exploring.  What better way to explore than to gas up the car, pack up your stowaway, grab the family, and see a new part of the country on a good old fashioned road trip?

While Hollywood and great American literature have made road trips out to be something only for young people to do on the cheap, they are not the only ones that can experience the joys of a road trip.  Spending time on the road and having new experiences with the people close to you can bring you even closer together in a way that flying somewhere can’t match.  Here is a list of useful resources and products that can get you started on your next road trip.

Road Trip America

www.roadtripamerica.com is a great one stop shop for all things road trip.  They have a list of exciting routes in every area of the country, a hotel finder, maps, and articles on trip ideas.  While other resources combined may provide a more detailed trip planner, no one website has you covered for all things road trip like roadtripamerica.com

Extra Storage

StowAway Stow Hitch Cargo Carrier

The Stow Away being used on a road (or beach) trip

A storage solution like a hitch cargo carrier from StowAway can help you bring along everything you need for your road trip.  Camping gear, food, water, extra clothes, and everything else you need on the road adds up quick when packing up the car for a road trip.  A StowAway will help you fit everything you need so that you won’t be cramped for your long hours on the road.

A GPS System

While maps are great and a physical copy of anything is useful, nothing is more frustrating than going an hour in the wrong direction because you read the map wrong.  GPS systems (either in your smart phone or in a stand alone unit) can help make the most efficient use of your time on the road and save you from getting lost on an old dirt road or in the wrong part of town.

Travel Guide

Area specific travel guides like the ones created by Lonely Planet and Fodors can be an extremely useful resource when traveling in an area you don’t know much about.  They generally provide must see attractions, good local restaurants, and will make sure that you don’t miss anything when out exploring a new area on a road trip.

Friendliness

The most important resource when out on a road trip is to be outgoing and friendly to everybody you meet.  Talk to the locals and see where they recommend you go.  Because they live their, they will most likely know best.

So enjoy your summer and try to experience a new part of your state, region, or country.  Also remember to check out StowAway2.com for all of your hitch storage needs.

 

Happy Travels!

 

Camper Vans and Space: How the StowAway Can Help

June 1st, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Hitch Carriers | RVs - (Comments Off on Camper Vans and Space: How the StowAway Can Help)

It’s hard not the love the versatility of a camper van.  The size, fuel efficiency, maneuverability, and price are attractive to travelers who are looking to own a motor home but don’t want the size and commitment that larger RV’s bring.  But while they do have a lot of positive attributes, camper vans can be lacking in one major way: Space.  Because of the excellent use of space inside the camper for appliances and furniture that make your camper feel like home, space for personal belongings can be lacking.  One way to get some extra square footage for your camper van is to get a hitch cargo carrier.

Hitch Cargo Carrier on a Class B Motor Home

A StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier with optional swingaway feature

Able to carry up to 200 lbs. of whatever you need, the StowAway hitch cargo carrier can give you that extra bit of space that every traveler needs.  Whether it’s the extra blanket you wish you had on that especially cold night, some extra camp chairs for friends you meet on the road, or just a place to relocate some items that currently seem to be getting in your way inside, a hitch cargo carrier can help make your life on the road a little bit more civilized and relaxing.

While there are a couple other options to meet your storage needs, hitch cargo carriers provide a better solution than those other options.  Firstly, there is no need for a roof base rack in order to install it since unlike most cargo options, it’s not on the roof.  All that is needed is a hitch and your hitch cargo carrier is ready to go.  Secondly, because it doesn’t attach to the roof, you don’t need to reach up to it to access your extra cargo. On a larger vehicle like a camper van this is a lot more practical since you might want to access it every day and don’t want to be constantly climbing up onto the roof.  Last and certainly not least is the better fuel efficiency.  Since it is behind the camper it will not affect the aerodynamics and your fuel efficiency will remain the same, unlike a clunky rooftop cargo carrier that will add wind resistance.

So if you find yourself wanting items that you can’t fit, just want more space in your camper van, or want a more convenient and practical option than your current roof cargo solutions, check out the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier.

Happy Travels!