Local Vacation: Day-Trip Adventures with Your Hitch Cargo Carrier

May 24th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Bicycling | Camping - (Comments Off on Local Vacation: Day-Trip Adventures with Your Hitch Cargo Carrier)

Memorial Day Bike Day Trip

In its yearly Memorial day travel forcast, AAA predicts that 5.5% less people will travel through the air this year with only a 1.2% increase in car travel.  With less people deciding that a vacation is a valuable way to spend their money in these economic times, one way you can still have some fun on a budget is by packing up your hitch cargo carrier and going on a fun day trip.  Here are a couple day-trip ideas that utilize the StowAway hitch cargo carrier to have fun on a budget this Memorial day weekend.

The Beach

What better way to kick off summer than to take a trip to the beach to sit back and relax in the sun?  The waves crashing down on your feet, the breeze coming off the ocean, and unfortunately the sand that will somehow end up everywhere for the next three months because of that one trip.  Fortunatly with the Stow Away Hitch Cargo Carrier, you can help offset this sandy nuisance by putting your beach chairs, beach towels, beach bag and most importantly sand castle molds in your hitch cargo carrier instead of over crowding your back seat with beach trinkets and ending up with a never ending supply of unwanted sand.

Bike Ride

Bike riding is as much a part of spring as flowers, rain showers and, well, Memorial Day.  Why not take a day trip to explore a new town or area with a bike ride?  With the StowAway Bike + Gear Rack you can fit the whole gangs bikes with you, plus unlike a conventional bike rack you can fit other gear like a cooler and some backpacks as well.  Plus if you’re still getting some spring rain, with a hitch cargo rack you don’t have to worry about getting mud from the tires all over your trunk.  Simply store your bike on the outside of your vehicle and your upholstery will forever be tire mark free.

Camping

Although it’s technically not a day trip, camping is great for an inexpensive night away from the house with friends or family.  With the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier you can bring along all of your camping gear without the worry of breaking tent poles or risk not bringing something you may need because you can’t fit it.  Never leave a crucial piece of equipment like tarps home again to save space because you “don’t think it will rain,” only to have a torrential downpour ruin your night in the woods.  With the Stow Away Hitch Cargo Carrier never worry about bringing a couple extra “just in case” items that can save your trip.

So even though you may not be able to a afford plane tickets or a night in a hotel room this Memorial day, a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carriers can help you enjoy day trips that will remind you of one of the most important things about Memorial Day Weekend: spending time with friends and family. Safe travels everyone!

The Muck Stops Here

March 27th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Bicycling | Camping | Fishing & Hunting - (Comments Off on The Muck Stops Here)
Photo of muddy trail

You better slop around!

Spring is sprung,

the grass is riz

I wonder where the birdies is!

Anonymous

 

It’s been a long time coming. It always seems like an eternity. But Old Man Winter is slowly starting to take a hike. Which means you’re ready to start taking yours.

With the weather slowly improving and the days getting longer, hikers, bikers and golfers who have put their favorite activities on hold are now chomping at the bit to get back to the Great Outdoors and do their thing. But just because climatic conditions are a little gentler, doesn’t mean the landscape is.

Anyone who has done any early Spring hiking knows that, depending on the location, hiking trails can take quite a while to dry out, making some areas more suited to mud wrestling than to trekking. If you’re a golfer, you know that there are water hazards on the course in April that won’t be around in August. And what mountain biker hasn’t finished an early season ride without a new racing stripe down his or her back. But is that going to stop you? No way! Whose afraid of a little mud? Not us!

Not until it’s time for the ride home that is. Who wants all those wet and muddy hiking boots, gaiters, socks, jackets, backpacks, trekking poles, golf bags, pull carts and doggie wipe-off towels inside their clean, dry vehicle? No one, that’s who! You could bag everything up in plastic garbage bags, but what a hassle. And, you still have to snuggle up to them on the ride back home.

Golf ball in the mud

Play ‘er where she lies!

That’s where a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier comes to the rescue. Not only is a StowAway, with its 16 cubic feet of storage space and 200 pound carrying capacity a great way to haul your gear, it’s the perfect option for transporting that wet, filthy apparel and equipment home. Everything remains outside the ride. With it’s easy ground level access, you don’t have to lift all that drippy stuff above your head as you would with an inconvenient  rooftop box. Plus, there’s a built in drain plug to make the post-adventure cleanup easy as (mud)pie! (Have fun hosing out a rooftop carrier!) And if bikes are involved, the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier has been designed to be used simultaneously with the StowAway Hitch Bike Rack, a 4-bike and bike gear rack that can also be used separately.

So what are you waiting for? The weather’s warmer. The days are longer. Get on out to that trailhead, singletrack, or golf course and get messy. With a StowAway Cargo Carrier you can leave the outdoors outside where it belongs.

 

 

Spring Break-away with StowAway!

March 20th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Road Trips - (Comments Off on Spring Break-away with StowAway!)
Group fo road signs photo

Which way you headin’?

All your bags are packed, you’re ready to go. You have been for weeks. Enough of Winter already. It’s time to get your motor runnin’ and head out on the highway.

It’s  Spring Break!

While a lot of folks have cut back on their driving recently due to rising gas prices, there’s still a good chunk of the population who refuse to let the situation at the pump deter their plans for that sacred annual March ritual. Full speed ahead!

So where are you bound for? A family trip to a theme park? A back to nature camping and hiking adventure? A golfing road trip with the guys (or gals)? Maybe a classic “Where the Boys Are” expedition to Bikini Beach? Well wherever you’re going, remember what AAA is saying about spring break travel this year – domestic destinations are viewed as less expensive and are likely to pull business from international hotspots, making them just as crowded or, gulp, even more so (all those financially strapped jet-setters, don’tcha know). Reservations are highly recommended.

If you’re a veteran Spring Breaker, you know that the destination isn’t the only place that can get crowded. Your vehicle can get pretty darn cozy, too. Luggage, snowboards, camping gear, golf clubs, coolers, pet supplies…whew! And don’t forget the passengers!

That’s why StowAway Hitch Cargo Carriers have become the most versatile and popular travel cargo boxes around. With up to 16 cubic feet of storage space and the ability to carry 200 pounds of gear, you can be sure that no boogie board gets left behind and that there will be plenty of stretchin’ out room inside the vehicle. Its convenient ground level access lets you get to your gear quickly and easily at rest stops, diners, trailheads, tourist traps and all those other must-see roadside attractions. Forget the hassle and fuel-ineficiency (gas prices again!) of a roof-top carrier.

People loading up StowAway Cargo Carrier with luggage

Map! We don’t need no stinking map!

Remember, crowded vacation areas can also attract the less reputable type of “vacationer”. It’s been said that at any time, at any rest area in the country, there is at least one felon lurking! (Sounds low). But with the StowAway’s secure locking mechanism, you’ll be able breathe easy knowing your stuff is safe while you’re in the club house or gift shop.

Taking the bikes with on your trip? No problem. The StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier has been designed to be used simultaneously with the StowAway Hitch Bike Rack, a 4-bike and bike gear rack that can also be used separately for bike-only outings.

So wherever your Spring Break travels take you, down the PCH , up the A1A, or from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters, a StowAway Cargo Carrier will help make your trip a comfortable one.

 

Hound for Glory!

February 28th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Dogs & Pets - (Comments Off on Hound for Glory!)
Mary Lou and Shazan on agility course photo

Mary Lou and Shazam tearin’ it up!

Rust… what rust?

After a several week layoff to due to her broken rib, agility dog trainer and competitor Mary Lou Hanlon and her three dogs made quite an impressive comeback at their return to competition.

At the three day event held Feb. 24-26 in Edinboro, PA., Mary Lou’s trio of Border Collies hauled in the hardware. Eleven year old Snap had two first place finishes and one second place finish. Seven year old Wizard scored one first place finish, along with two seconds. And three year old Shazam, recovering from an injury of his own (wrist) went to town with two first place and three, count ’em, three, second place finishes!

“My dog Shazam truly rose to the occasion,” Mary Lou said. “He not only won two first places and three seconds, but he also earned some points towards his world team tryout qualification.” WORLD team? Wow!

In dog agility competitions, trainers run with their dogs, guiding them through an obstacle course that requires the dogs to run, jump, climb, weave and hurdle through the course, trying to finish with the fastest time and the least penalties. Regional and national competitions draw hundreds of competitors from all over the country.

Mary Lou and her dogs with StowAway MAX Hitch Cargo Carrier

And there’s plenty of room for all those ribbons!

That’s a lot of traveling. And how does Mary Lou handle hauling three dogs, their crates, bedding, bowls, food, treats, toys, grooming and beauty supplies, not to mention her own stuff? Why, with her trusty, dependable StowAway MAX Hitch Cargo Carrier, natch! Mary Lou, as well as many of her fellow competitors and other dog owners, have found the MAX’s 16 cubic feet of storage space, 200 pounds of carrying capacity and easy ground level access a great way to alleviate crowding inside their vehicles. In fact, Mary Lou digs her StowAway so much, she allowed us to sponsor her! How cool is that?

So, Mary Lou, what’s next on the agility agenda?

“Our next show will be back in Edinboro, March 9-11,” Mary Lou said. ” Wish us luck!”

 

Tailgating With the Tea Freaks

February 9th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Tailgating - (Comments Off on Tailgating With the Tea Freaks)
McAlister's Jeep and StowAway MAX tailgating UNCvsNCState

Partying hardy at the UNC vs. NC State game

They tailgated at some of the biggest college football games of the 2011 season. Auburn vs. Clemson, Georgia vs. Ole Miss, Tennessee vs. Arkansas, North Carolina vs. North Carolina State (Civil War!) and… Holy Cow… LSU vs. Alabama –  a preview of the National Championship game (with much different results).

This past fall, McAlister’s Deli, a restaurant chain with over 300 outlets  in 23 states,  launched their inaugural “Win Our Sweet Ride” contest. Two new Jeep Wranglers were driven weekly to different ACC and SEC football games throughout the season. The “Tea Freaks” as they affectionately call themselves on their Facebook page, tailgated with the local fans, showcasing their “Sweet Rides”. Guests at all McAlister’s restaurants could enter a contest to win the Jeeps at season’s end.

And guess who was invited to tail along at all the games? Why, the StowAway MAX Hitch Cargo Carrier, natch! (Each Jeep was equipped with one). As any serious tailgater knows, the StowAway is the go-to player when it comes to transporting all your brats, buns, beverages, coolers, grills, canopies, chairs, foam fingers and other pregame paraphernalia. Who better to haul all the freight the McAlister’s folks were toting to all those games? With 16 cubic feet of storage space and a 200 pound capacity, the StowAway MAX will hold enough refreshments to last you from pregame warm-ups to post-game interviews! Plus, the special Tailgate Package  includes a 23” x 19” cutting board  for food prep and serving. No more pounding out patties on the top of that old ice chest.

StowAway MAX with OSU tailgate option

Now those are some great team colors!

While the McAlister’s gang needed to be non-partial on team support, you don’t have to! You can proudly support your favorite team or alma mater by customizing your MAX Cargo Carrier with reflectors in six different color options to match your team’s colors (orange on black looks great). Plus, there’s a flat surface on the front of the lid designed to fit a standard bumper sticker (like… Go Beavers!).

Obviously the Tea Freaks needed all of the MAX’s impressive cargo space as they road tripped from campus to campus. But If you’re a tailgater that’s just looking for extra storage for ice chests and grills, and wants a flat sturdy surface for cooking and serving, the StowAway Tailgating Station is a game winner. A rugged StowAway Hitch Cargo Rack, mounted on a convenient swingaway frame (for easy access to the rear of your vehicle, just like the MAX), comes with a 20 ½” x 25” wooden grill platform, cargo net and hitch tightener.

When the regular season ended, McAlister’s awarded the Jeeps ( StowAways included… the  extra point is good!) to two lucky winners who are destined to have many more excellent tailgating adventures in store. A new season will be coming up before you know it, so, if you want to put a “W” in your tailgating win column, insert a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier into your starting lineup. It just might be your MVP!

 

 

 

Skiing… Snowboarding… Snowshoeing… Oh My!

February 2nd, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Skiing - (Comments Off on Skiing… Snowboarding… Snowshoeing… Oh My!)
StowaWay with winter sports gear photo

Transport that winter sports gear in a StowAway!

Well that big dumping of winter snow you’ve been chomping at the bit for has finally arrived. About time!

So what have you got planned? A trip up the mountain for some skiing or snowboarding? Maybe some back country cross country skiing or snowshoeing? Tubing or sledding on the bunny slope is a blast. Well whatever your winter sport is, it probably requires a lot of specialized gear and clothing – boots, parkas, snowshoes, poles, coolers, food, car chains, blankets, emergency safety gear… wow, that’s a lot of stuff! Depending how many folks are making the trip, things can get pretty snug inside your vehicle. Yeah, it’s cold out, but not a-couple-of-hours-crammed-together-in-a-packed-SUV cold!

A great alternative to vehicle stuffing is a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier. Sliding quickly and securely into your vehicle’s receiver hitch, the Stowaway has up to 16 cubic feet of storage space and can haul loads of up to 200 lbs. of winter sports gear. That’s a lot of goggles and gloves! With its convenient ground-level access, you can easily get to your food and gear, or those chains should you suddenly need to strap ’em on. Plus, it makes a great companion to your roof-top ski or snowboard carrier, if that’s your bag. With its unique latching and locking mechanism you can pop into the lodge for an après-ski hot chocolate without worrying about the security of your gear.

But don’t forget about the ride home. After a day of playing in the white stuff, things can get pretty wet. And the last place you want all that wet gear and clothing is inside your vehicle. The StowAway is a great place to carry your wet boots, jackets, bibs, hats and other damp gear. Not only will the ride home be warm and toasty, but you won’t have to endure that eau de wet dog that can accompany a moist day on the mountain. And, a well placed drain plug makes your after-adventure cleanup the easiest run of the day.

So whether you’re a skiier or snowboarder, a snowshoer or sledder, or just out for a family snowball fight, have fun and enjoy those winter sports while you can. The snow won’t last forever, dang it.

 

Revvin’ it up at the Auto Show

January 27th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in More! - (Comments Off on Revvin’ it up at the Auto Show)
StowAway Cargo Carrier on a Toyota Camry photo

Class up that Camry with a StowAway!

The Auto Show’s here! The Auto show’s here!

Yep, it’s that time of year again when the auto makers roll out their latest models in an attempt to seduce you to purchase a new ride. It’s their big chance to get potential buyers to check out the selection, compare prices and  maybe do a little test-driving. And with Americans holding on to their cars longer due to economic issues, dealers see this as a great opportunity to get you to part with that junker and slip behind the wheel of… a… BRAND… NEW… CAR!

While a lot of folks head to the auto show to just look at or sit in a car they would never buy because of practicality issues (Camaros… Challengers… Corvettes…Oh my!), or could never afford (sorry, the Ferraris and Lamborghinis are roped off, so no test sittings for the great unwashed), many attendees are serious buyers. In fact, most dealers experience an upswing in sales during the event.

So, if you’re someone who’s actually considering buying a new vehicle, what have you got in mind? The focus in recent years has been on smaller, fuel-efficient, earth-friendly vehicles. But people also love their outdoor adventure wheels, like SUVs and Jeeps. Many people are stalled out between downsizing to a smaller SUV for budget-tightening reasons, or space issues (small garage, sketchy street parking) and still wanting the room and storage space of a larger SUV or truck for their camping, biking, travel, snow sports, hunting, fishing and other gear. What’s an eco-conscious sportsman to do?

Easy! Shift your storage solution into high gear with a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier. With 16 cubic feet of storage space and a 200 lb. capacity, the StowAway slides easily and securely into your receiver hitch, providing convenient ground level access to all your gear, putting the brakes on the inconvenience (and fuel-inefficiency!) of a rooftop carrier. A secure locking mechanism keeps your gear safe while you’re stretching your legs at rest-stops or chowing down at roadside diners, and a weather tight seal keeps everything nice and dry. Plus, a well-placed drain plug makes your post-adventure clean-up as easy as a Sunday drive.

Tesla Roadster at Portland Auto Show

You can look, but you better not touch!

So go enjoy the auto show. It’s a cool event whether you’re “just-looking” or ready to buy. And with a StowAway Cargo Carrier, the decision of choosing economy or size will be in the rear-view mirror.

 

Back on the Chain Gang: Be Prepared for Winter Driving

January 12th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in More! - (Comments Off on Back on the Chain Gang: Be Prepared for Winter Driving)
installing tire chains

Back on the chain gang!

So the family all got new snowshoes for Christmas and you can’t wait to get up to the mountain and try them out, right? Or maybe you’re just going for a day of tubing on the bunny slope. Or you could be saying to heck with winter altogether and are heading out of the frigid north to the sunny south until things thaw out.

Well whatever winter adventure or expedition you have planned, if it involves winter driving you need to be prepared for the worst. Winter driving can be treacherous, hazardous, and heck, downright scary (The leading cause of death during winter storms is transportation accidents. Yikes!). Weather conditions can change very quickly. But with proper preparation (the old ounce of prevention) you can greatly reduce the risks of a winter driving mishap.

First of all, if you can avoid driving in bad weather, well then… avoid driving in it! Check local, regional and even national weather reports beforehand to check for possible winter storms on the agenda. But if you still insist on traveling under sketchy conditions, make sure your vehicle is ready for the worst that Ma Nature can hurl at it. Your vehicle’s ignition, battery, headlights and taillights, brakes, wiper blades, fuel and exhaust systems, heater/defroster and your anti-freeze level (whew!) need to be at the top of their game. And your tires. Especially your tires. Many states require traction tires, or that chains be carried in the vehicle when traveling through mountain passes and at higher snow-zone elevations.

And don’t forget an emergency safety kit in case you’re stalled or stranded in inclement conditions. In addition to the aforementioned tire chains, your grocery list should include blankets and warm clothes, flares, shovel and scraper, flashlight and batteries, candles, lighter or matches, first aid kit, booster cables, non-perishable food and plenty of water.

old man winter photo

Old Man Winter

Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff. Along with all your luggage and/or winter sports gear things can get pretty tight in your vehicle. That’s where the extra cargo space of a  StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier can come to the rescue. With up to 16 cubic feet of storage space and a 200 lb. capacity, it has plenty of room for your chains, blankets, food and other safety equipment, as well as all your winter sports gear. Sliding quickly and securely into your vehicle’s receiver hitch, it provides easy ground level access to all your gear. (Do you really want to be climbing up to a roof-top carrier in a blizzard?)

So have fun and enjoy the snow, whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sledding, or just traveling to a warmer climate. Just make sure you’ve got your winter driving gloves on in case you have to duke it out with Old Man Winter.

 

StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier | Spare Tire/Ladder Clearance

January 6th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Hitch Carriers - (Comments Off on StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier | Spare Tire/Ladder Clearance)

Hitch Cargo Carrier ClearanceHere at StowAway Cargo Carriers, we often get questions from customers about a proper fit for their particular vehicle.  While our hitch mounted cargo carriers fit almost any vehicle with a hitch receiver, certain vehicles like RVs, conversion vans, and Jeep Wranglers may have an attachment behind their hitch.  Whether it’s a spare tire, bumper, or ladder mounted behind a vehicle, any attachment that extends beyond the hitch may require a longer frame to clear the extra distance.  Fortunately, our cargo carriers are custom built to accommodate various vehicle specifications.  We’ll simply need a measurement from the hitch pin hole to the rear edge of the attachment.
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The Yuletide Traveller

December 10th, 2011 | Posted by Pacrec in More! - (Comments Off on The Yuletide Traveller)

Ah, yet another Christmas season is bearing down upon us like a Himalayan avalanche. And like most people, yours is likely to be action-packed. And some of that action probably includes Christmas travel, whether a short distance to visit relatives or a familyvacation to take advantage of the long Holiday break (Two weeks! Yikes!).

But be prepared. Christmas is peak travel time, so you’ll have plenty of company out there on the roads. This can add to an already stressful season. So breathe, stay calm and relax. Go to your happy place. We’ll get you there.

First, give yourself plenty of time. Pack up the night before. Leave a day or two early. Take the scenic route. Add in plenty of time for rest stops and a roadside attraction or two (extravagant light displays, giant gingerbread houses,etc.). And if you’re not staying with friends or relatives, make sure to book your room reservations well in advance and double check that you’re confirmed. You may have reservations about staying there when you see the place, but at least you’ll have a reservation! Plus, by booking early you may get a better deal, which might allow you stay in a fancier place. (Great room deals can often be obtained in many cities the four or five days before Christmas Eve, i.e., Las Vegas!).

Wherever you’re bound for, you probably know by now that family + luggage + gifts = cramped driving conditions. Which in turn can lead to not only physical discomfort, but emotional trauma (Are we there yet?!) You can take some of the pressure off with a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier. With up to 16 cubic feet of storage space and 200 pound capacity, it will seriously ease any in-car congestion issues, making for a more comfortable and relaxed ride. There’s also plenty of room for the gifts you receive! With it’s secure locking mechanism, you’ll be able to avoid leaving your gifts and valuables in plain sight. And with all that vacation time on your hands, you’ll have plenty of room to take the kids skiing or snowboarding!

Speaking of kids – keep them occupied! Bring books, games, puzzles, CD’s, or, more likely, their favorite electronic device (portable DVD players do the trick nicely). And have plenty of snacks on hand. Kids are always hungry.

Okay, looks like you’re set (except for the shopping thing). Whether your Christmas travels take you a hundred  miles to visit the grandparents for a few days, or on a longer, get-away-from-the-madness vacation to the beach or the ski slopes, drive carefully and have a safe journey.