The Curious Double Life Of The Trailer Hitch

By Dan Armitage

Your vehicle is already equipped to tackle many more tasks than just pulling a boat, from the practical to the just plain zany.

Surf Mate Rod Transport Racks

Designed to be secured to a receiver mounted on the rear or on the front of your tow vehicle, the latter location freeing up the aft hitch for towing your boat and trailer. If you are an angler, you have probably learned the hard way the threat that doors and tailgates pose to fragile fishing rods transported inside the tow vehicle.Surf Mate racks minimize those possibilities by allowing you to transport your rods and reels where they are safely secured outside of the vehicle. Handy options for the racks include tackleprep/ cutting boards, cooler, and bait bucket holders starting at about $120 | | 888-763-7225

The Auto-mo-brella

Excellent for reducing overhead exposure. For portable overhead protection from the elements while dining, entertaining, working, or relaxing at the transom of your tow vehicle, consider the hitch-mounted Auto-mo-brella. It's made of heavy-gauge, powder-coated steel with a 9-footdiameter, water-resistant, market-style umbrella. $129.95 |


Offers a welcome leg up and swings out of the way when not in use. A handy step for man and animal alike, the hitch-mounted Twistep was primarily intended to help pets get into high-profile SUVs, but has become popular with people who want better access to their roofstop carrier systems.The Twistep has a capacity of up to 400 pounds, swings out of the way beneath the receiver when not in use. $249.95 | | 888-722-5240

Party King

Offers three versions of the hitch-mounted Swing'n Smoke grill package. For tailgating at the launch ramp, campground, or stadium parking lot, the Swing'n Smoke grill from Party King brings a lot to the game. The top-of-the-line 9200 model includes a three-burner, stainless steel, MVP propane-fueled grill, and an ice chest. $699.99 | | 877-788-5464

Tailgate Cargo Box

Hauls gear and can convert into a self-contained picnic area. At the launch ramp, work site, stadium parking lot, or camping area, the hitch-mounted Tailgate Cargo Box provides a portable picnic or work area in a kit complete with a container for accessories and gear that converts into a pair of tables and a bench. The Cargo Box weighs 45 pounds when empty, and has a carrying capacity of up to 500 pounds. $399.99 | 864-346-3644


A hitch-friendly option for hanging out with a friend. A comfortable alternative for hanging around the launch site between boat rides is the hitch-mounted Hammaka combo Cradle Chair. With adjustable, swing seating for two. $199.99 | | 877-375-4647 

This article was published in the Spring 2012 issue of Trailering Magazine.


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