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! 🙂

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!

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

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!

 

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!

 

 

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!

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.

 

Hitting the Thanksgiving Travel Trail

November 21st, 2011 | Posted by Pacrec in More! - (Comments Off on Hitting the Thanksgiving Travel Trail)

Stowaway cargo travelWell, the economy may be down, but it seems that Thanksgiving travel this year is going to be up.

AAA is predicting that 42.5 million Americans will travel during the Thanksgiving week this year, up 4% from last year. And with airfares up 20 percent (plus all those pesky fees), more stringent security, cancelled, delayed and overbooked flights, 38.2 million of those Americans will be driving.  That’s a lot of Buicks on the blacktop.

Whether you view it as a welcome tradition or guilt-laden obligation, the Thanksgiving road trip is an American classic. Over the river and all that. But just because you’re not dealing with the insanity of an airport doesn’t make driving a piece of cake (or pumpkin pie). Here are a few tips to take some of the kinks out of that long and winding road.

Let’s face it there’s going to be traffic. So if possible try to avoid the peak rush hours, like Wednesday afternoon and evening. If you can leave a day or two early, and if that’s not too much family face time for you, go for it. If you don’t have too long of a drive ahead of you, get up early and leave on Thanksgiving morning. The traffic is usually light and it can make for a mellow drive.

Or try an alternate route, like a state or county road. It may take a little longer, but the scenery is better and you’ll probably find it much less stressful than being on the Interstate, which can unknowingly take it’s toll tension-wise. This is also a good back-up plan in case of freeway wrecks and closures.

Make sure everyone is comfortable. Too many people and possessions crammed in a small space can cause not only physical discomfort but emotional trauma as well with all the whining and complaining. A good way to alleviate crowding is with the addition of a cargo carrier, like the StowAway MAX Hitch Cargo Carrier. With 16 cubic feet of storage space and 200 lbs of gear capacity, it comes complete with taillights, side reflectors, lock and weep holes on a swingaway or fixed frame.

Make sure you take frequent rest breaks. The act of just walking a little bit, even if it’s just to use the facilities or stretch out will significantly reduce stiffness in muscles and joints, especially in the “chronologically gifted”. And it helps keep those nasty blood clots at bay.

So now you’re ready. Get packed, load up and head out. Join that other 38.2 of your fellow Thanksgiving travelers and have a fun, and most importantly, safe trip.