StowAway Hitch Carrier Options for Your Ford SUV, Van or Truck
Ford SUV’s, Vans and Trucks enjoy a strong reputation among families, businesses, outdoors people and road trip enthusiasts. While Fords offer ample room for people and luggage, there are times when you need more room for your gear. The StowAway hitch carriers meet this need. Hitch mounted for easy ground level loading, the StowAway includes a swingaway frame for clear access to the back of your vehicle. While the StowAway will fit just about every Ford SUV, Van or Truck, choosing the right StowAway should be done based upon your needs.
Things To consider When Choosing the right StowAway Hitch Carrier for Your Ford
A StowAway hitch carrier provides a simple way to expand your vehicle's gear capacity. All StowAway carriers slide into your hitch for easy access from ground level and are tightened in place with the StowAway hitch tightener. But which StowAway might be best for your Ford vehicle and needs?
- Is your Ford designed for a hitch cargo carrier or cargo box?
The compatibility of your vehicle with a hitch carrier depends on a few factors. First is Tongue Weight Capacity (TWC). This refers to how much weight your vehicle's hitch receiver can support. Generally, smaller vehicles will have a lower TWC and larger ones will have a higher capacity. To find out a specific TWC, consult your owner's manual or your dealer.
Next what size hitch do you have? Hitches typically come as a 1.25" or 2" square receiver, and occasionally 2.5” for larger, heavy duty vehicles. StowAway Racks and the Standard Cargo Box are available for either the 1.25” and 2” hitch size, while the Max Cargo Box is made only for a 2” hitch.
- What kind of and how much gear will you be carrying?
Racks can be the best choice for gear that does not have a regular shape – bikes, grills, inflatable boats and more. The StowAway Cargo Boxes may be a better option if you have multiple pieces of luggage or gear that you want to keep covered. 1.25” hitches typically offer tongue weight capacity ranging from 100 lbs up to 300 lbs. Vehicles with 2” hitches typically have a tongue weight capacity of 300 – 500 lbs. The StowAway Carrier is not suitable for the lighter (Class 1) 1.25” hitches but can be used with hitches with capacities of 200 lbs and higher. Always be sure to stay within the stated capacity on your hitch and your vehicle.
- How important is protection from the elements, and security?
If you are concerned about the security of your gear and protecting it from the weather, a hitch cargo box might be your best bet. StowAway Cargo Boxes are molded from a strong flexible polymer and include a locking latch, taillights and a water channel to prevent water from getting to your gear.
- Will you be doing more than transporting gear?
StowAway offers several models and accessories If you plan on doing more with your StowAway than transporting gear. The buffet board option provides a platform for preparing or serving food. The StowAway Ski Carrier converts the Ford Transit Van into a ski shuttle for carrying skiers and skis to the mountain. The StowAway Grill Station is your ideal tailgate party grill for college or pro games.
- How important is clear access to the back of your vehicle?
If you need clear access to the back of your Ford without having to unload your gear, the swingaway frame is a definite must. Remove the frame safety pins, lift the release pin and swing open your frame for access to your back doors, liftgate or tailgate.
OK, you’ve assessed your needs and looked over your vehicle and hitch. Now select the StowAway that will work best for you.
StowAway Model Review
- Hitch Cargo Boxes
If your choice is a Cargo Box select either the Max at 16 cubic feet capacity or the Standard at 12.5 cubic feet capacity. Both boxes will protect your gear from the elements, include a locking latch for security, and taillights for safety. A drain plug is included for cleaning your box. Both boxes come in either black or ivory.
- Hitch Racks
The StowAway cargo rack provides a flexible storage option for irregularly shaped and large pieces of equipment. Use the rack for bikes, grills, fishing rods and more. For added security, StowAway also offers specialty racks tailored for specific equipment such as grills, skis and snowboards.
- Hitch Frames
StowAway offers two frames, one a fixed frame and the other a swingaway frame. Both frames are welded from heavy duty tube steel and are powdercoated to resist rust and corrosion. All StowAway Boxes and Racks mount to either frame or you can bolt your own box or rack to either frame.
Ford SUVs, Trucks and Vans Vehicle Overview
Ford offers a range of models in each of the popular SUV, van and truck categories. All offer excellent design and functionality.
- Ford SUVs
Ford sport utility vehicles combine a comfortable interior with increased room for passengers and gear. Whether you are taking a weekend camping trip, a visit to grandma, or a multi-week road trip Ford SUV’s offer the flexibility and comfort to make your outing enjoyable. Ford styling combines ruggedness and function into their entire SUV product line.
- Compact SUV’s – Ford EcoSport, Edge and Escape
Each of these models offers excellent features and utility. As compact SUVs they offer limited tongue weight capacity versus the larger Explorer or Expedition, so you will want to confirm tongue weight capacity before selecting a hitch cargo carrier. The 1.25” hitch models offer a lower carrying capacity compared to the 2” hitch models. The factory tow package for each vehicle is a good choice if you plan to tow or use a hitch carrier.
- Mid-Size SUV’s - Ford Explorer and Ford Flex
The Ford Explorer remains one of the strongest contenders in the mid-size SUV category. Explorers generally, but not always, come equipped with a 2” hitch and 500 lbs tongue weight capacity. The Ford Flex represents an alternative design with ample room for a family or group of passengers. With its straight back exhaust pipes the Flex requires exhaust diverters or shields to prevent melting the StowAway box or your gear that might be strapped to a hitch carrier.
- Large SUV – Ford Expedition
Ranked first in the U.S. News Large SUV rankings for 2019, the Ford Expedition offers size, ruggedness and styling to the SUV owner. With its eight-passenger seating capacity the Expedition is an excellent choice for large families or groups.
- Ford Vans
Vans have been a major Ford product line since the company's early days. Used for both recreational or commercial purposes Ford vans offer excellent function and performance across the line. The StowAway Carrier is an excellent addition to the Ford van owner needing additional room for gear, whether it be skis or gear.
- Econoline and E-Series
Originally known as the Econoline, this passenger/cargo van began being branded as the E-Series starting in 2000. Although it has undergone numerous upgrades over the years, this van remains a traditional full-size van, capable of providing safe, comfortable transportation and a lot of room.
- Transit Connect
The passenger version of the Transit Connect is on the smaller side. It seats between five and seven, along with cargo space.
- Transit Van
The Ford Transit is a full-size van that can transport up to 15 people. Recent models feature cutting-edge technology and a range of options. Ski Shuttle services at Vail and Winter Park use Ford Transit Vans with a StowAway Swingaway frame and a ski carrier to shuttle skiers back and forth to their resorts.
- Ford Trucks
Ford trucks enjoy a solid reputation for quality and reliability. Many professional tradespeople and outdoor enthusiasts like the versatility of a Ford truck and its capacity for transporting gear and equipment. The StowAway Carrier on a swingaway frame will swing out to allow the tailgate on most Ford trucks to fold down completely.
Though it initially started producing the Ranger as a small truck, Ford has brought the Ranger back as a mid-size. It now offers a powerful engine, strong towing capacity and good fuel economy in addition to its excellent styling.
The F-150 is one of Ford's most popular products. This is a full-size truck with strong performance and a comfortable interior. Its towing and hauling capabilities are top in its class.
- Super Duty
The Super Duty is a heavy-duty truck with a powerful engine and a towing capacity of up to 12,500 pounds. Interiors have various option for customization, ranging from stripped-down to high-tech luxury.