By Matt Marine
I first heard about the Trasharoo from a friend of mine who saw one at an Overland Expo. And I have to admit I was a little bit skeptical. A trash bag attached to the spare tire carrier?
Not that I couldn't see the driving need for one (pun intended). I HATED putting flimsy plastic trash bags filled with smelly trash inside my Jeep. But I was concerned about the Trasharoo's ability to withstand not only highway speeds, but the rugged trails we traverse. Would it come flying off while doing 65 mph or rip open when struck by a tree branch?
I cautiously waited for a few months until I began seeing reviews and personal accounts trickle in from the Internet. Hmmmm. Looked like this may be something good.
Meanwhile, I began my DITO program (cleaning up trails a little bit at a time every time you stop). The first time I went out, I forgot my plastic trash bag, the second time, we found some really smelly trash that I double bagged and wished I'd hadn't picked it up. I couldn't wait any longer. It was time to get a Trasharoo.
It came within a few days and I was immediately impressed by its heavy-duty construction and design. This thing was designed for the rugged demands of four-wheeling! It had over-sized buckles, wide straps, double-wall construction and waterproof lining. And it just felt tough.
I went out to my Jeep to put it on. I'm not going to lie to you. It's not super easy to put on (at least the first time). Not that it isn't a simple design (it is), but the space between my spare tire, rear gate, CB antenna, etc. is a little tight. Threading the straps through there and lining up the buckles can be difficult. Don't worry, after a few times, you'll get the hang of it. Trasharoo also offers some videos to help if you want to view them.
But this brought up my biggest issue with the otherwise almost flawless product: the buckles on my Trasharoo could "unsnap" when you're tightening the straps. This has happened to me more than a few times. When I pull on the straps to really tighten them down, the buckles can pop open. This had never happened on the trail, but it is was something I was concerned about. Update: Recently, I emailed Trasharoo about this problem and they immediately sent replacement buckles with an updated design. These appear to be much stronger and I haven't had any issues since. One additional detail about this transaction that needs to be stated. Their customer service was top notch. I had an issue. They resolved it immediately. Way to go Trasharoo.
Now for the real test. Heading out four-wheeling and picking up some trash! Oh, what a joy! It's so easy now. Just open the flap and throw your (and other people's) trash right in. It's also interesting that I've found if you're the only one in the group with a Trasharoo, others want to use it because it's so convenient and they don't have to worry about food stuffs leaking in their vehicle. I don't mind. Let's fill the sucker up!
I've also found it a good place to put other things I've found on the trail like not thoroughly cleaned skulls and bones, large pieces of trash and rusty, sharp objects. When you get home, it's super easy to clean. Dump out your trash, hose it out and let it dry.
I also picked up a "grabber" tool to help me pick objects up and found it to be a perfect companion to the Trasharoo and DITO-ing. I can pick up trash without bending over and put it in a rugged container and not have to worry about it.
For about $50 (including shipping), this should be a no-brainer for anyone hitting the trails. You also can by sponsored editions of Trasharoo (Tread Lightly, etc.) or have your own logo put on for an additional fee.
Good price for what you get.
Appears almost indestructible.
Fastens securely to spare tire carrier.
Holds a lot of trash and keeps the smelly stuff out of your vehicle!
Well thought out design from drain holes, to zipper in flap, external pockets, big buckles, wide straps, etc.
A perfect combination for DITO-ing!
Usually easy to install.
Super easy to clean.
The main strap buckles. I've had two issues with these. One, sometimes the buckles seem to snap in, but they aren't completely lined up and it takes a few times to get it right. Two, they come unsnapped when pulled on hard. This hasn't resulted in the Trasharoo flying off my Jeep, but I am concerned. Update: This has been resolved with updated buckles. See note in review above.
The cinch at the top doesn't work as well as I would have liked.
I LOVE my Trasharoo! I wish I'd had this 30 years ago. If you four-wheel-drive, camp, hunt or do just about anything outdoors with a vehicle, you should buy a Trasharoo. I think you'll be as pleased with it as I am. A big thumbs up!
Trasharoo's Website: Trasharoo
July 8, 2014: From Member Cameron D.
I've got to agree with you. I think all the time about how much I love my Trasharoo. It's one of the most satisfying purchases I've ever made. It's one of those things that just seems exactly right.
Having said that, I have some cons, too. I absolutely hate taking it off and putting it on. So much so that I try to never take it off unless I'm already dirty from a ride. Because I'm definitely going to get dirty handling it. I also have a hard time putting it back on. Sometimes the buckles don't quite connect (you noted this). I find it hard to get it on really tight. Once I almost lost it when the straps slid down the tire...it was kind of hanging there just above the road on the way to Sheep's Bridge. Fortunately the following Jeep warned me. I tied the straps together at the top with a piece of rope that time. I really think the design should include a connecting strap along the top of the tire. (I think I saw they started selling that as an accessory).
I've had mine for maybe 6 months, and it has three wear holes in the back, presumably from rubbing on the tire. I found that a bit disappointing since it otherwise looks quite rugged.
However, those issues aside, it's an awesome product. I pick up a lot more trash now (although I've been too lazy to take pics for the DITO page). Also carry firewood outbound and various found treasures inbound in it. I carry trash bags in the zippered flap and two Harbor Freight trash grabbers in the main pouch. I don't think you mentioned the various pockets and possible uses in your review. I've seen people carrying oil in the net pockets, for instance.
I also get to carry most of the trash for the group now. At first everyone makes fun of the name Trasharoo, then they can't live without it--even if it's on my Jeep instead of theirs! :)