c J Wagner 20230209 Collage-COSCO cart & NASCAR CLASH

Compact COSCO cart makes hauling luggage to your hotel room easy (plus a sneak peek at NASCAR’s 2023 Busch Light CLASH in the LA Coliseum)

Do you dread hauling luggage from your car to your hotel or motel room, and then back to your car again after your stay? I know that I do, and I’ve been on the lookout for something to help me for years.

Of course, the easy solution to this age-old problem is to simply drive up to the front entrance of your hotel and ask to have your luggage taken to your room. Instead, I prefer to use self-parking and then take the luggage up to my room myself.

As a photojournalist, I travel with bulky, heavy camera gear. Furthermore, when I cover major trade shows I also bring along several large, empty suitcases and storage containers, which I use to hold the various review samples, literature and other materials that I gather throughout the show. When I check out, I haul all of those suitcases and containers back to my vehicle (a Toyota RAV4 mid-sized SUV).

In the past this has necessitated multiple trips back and forth from the parking structure; through the hotel lobby — and a massive casino, when I cover trade shows like the Consumer Electronics Show and the SEMA Show, in Las Vegas; into and up the elevator; and along the corridor of my floor to my hotel room. As if the multiple trips were not annoying enough, each piece of luggage — even if it has wheels, presents it own challenges to move along. Just picture me with outstretched arms, pulling a large, heavy garment bag on one side and a full-sized, similarly heavy suitcase on the other, while wearing a loaded backpack. Now multiply doing something similar for two more trips. Due to the long distance involved from my vehicle to my room, that process could easily take half an hour.

Borrowing a hotel’s luggage cart would be a great solution, but hotels understandably frown on agreeing to that — if they will even do so — because that leaves them without luggage carts for the porters to use.

I’ve tried loading multiple pieces of luggage on a light weight, folding dolly that can easily fit into my RAV4, but various shapes and weights of miscellaneous pieces of luggage do not stack easily or securely on a dolly — at least not my compact, folding one.

I have shopped at Costco (and, before that, Price Club) for decades. They have great prices on a wide variety of merchandise staples that I buy. They also sell more specialized items, but they often are only stocked for a limited time and then they may be gone forever. If I see something I like, I’ve learned to buy it immediately. Thankfully, Costco has a very liberal return policy.

Shopping at Costco

Very recently I received a sale flyer from Costco Wholesale’s Business Center. These locations tend to have more business-oriented merchandise than the regular Costcos. I shop at both. Inside this most recent flyer I discovered the light-weight, flat-foldable, COSCO Shifter XL 2-in-1 hand truck/four-wheel cart — now improved with an extendable handle and a longer hand truck platform. Better yet, it was being promoted with a $10-off special price. I rushed over to my nearest Costco Wholesale Business Center and bought one.

COSCO Shifter XL 2-in-1 hand truck/four-wheel cart

It does sacrifice some capacity for portability. Its load capacity is rated at 300 pounds, whereas my older, larger, and much heavier COSCO 3-in-1 combination cart is rated at 1000 pounds. However, that one is not suitable to take with me on trips.

I can happily report that it was MUCH EASIER hauling luggage back and forth between my vehicle and the motel where I was staying this past weekend, while I covered NASCAR’s 2023 Busch Light CLASH at the LA Coliseum. Check out the sneak peek here and be on the lookout for coverage, with more photos of this amazing event, in an upcoming installment of “AutoMatters & More.”

Pulling or pushing this is a lot easier than dragging around luggage of various sizes and shapes

Needless to say, I heartily recommend the COSCO Shifter XL, although be very careful not to pinch your fingers when folding it. Also, I wish it included a protective carrying case. Check it out at COSCO’s website: https://www.coscoproducts.com/collections/hand-trucks-and-dollies/products/2-in-1-folding-hand-truck-with-extendable-handle?variant=41836706758841.

Watch the video at: https://youtu.be/AvMx7G6TeEA. It is available at Costco Business Centers and from Amazon.com.

To explore a wide variety of content dating back to 2002, with the most photos and the latest text, visit “AutoMatters & More” at https://automatters.net. Search by title or topic in the Search Bar in the middle of the Home Page, or click on the blue ‘years’ boxes and browse.

Copyright © 2023 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #778r1

Jan Wagner


  1. David Sperry on February 10, 2023 at 10:13 am

    Jan, I followed your link to last year’s column to refresh my memory. I posted a link to that column on my current site Race Director, and eventually attracted one person to go to your article. It was David Olsen-Fabien aka Dofphish who we used to chat with on DriveTribe. David

    • Jan Wagner on February 10, 2023 at 10:21 am

      Thanks, David S., and welcome, David O.

  2. David Sperry on February 9, 2023 at 11:26 pm

    Jan, the Costco XL Shifter does look like a useful device, especially for your profession with all the gear you have to carry. I could have used one when my family and I made many road trips across the US and Canada. With age and lifestyle changes, we don’t do much of that anymore.

    In the days when our son was a teenage, we would prepare for a month’s visit to Halifax NS where our son would attend two ice hockey goalie camps. Just imagine three adults in a Jeep SUV with enough luggage for a month, an entire goalie equipment regalia AND a bike hooked on the rear.

    At every overnight stop, for safety’s sake, we would have to lug all this stuff into a hotel/motel, often up multiple sets of stairs. The Costco device would have been useful, but even in its flat position, there was no room left in the Jeep for stowage.

    I’ll look forward to the full NASCAR Busch CLASH column. I believe you covered it last year. Is this the event where they build (and then tear down) a temporary track? David

    • Jan Wagner on February 10, 2023 at 8:40 am

      Hi David,
      The hockey camp trip scenario that you described would have been a great use for the COSCO XL Shifter — most likely in its four-wheel cart configuration. I’ll bet if you had one you would have found some way to stuff it into your Jeep, just like I found a way to stuff it into my Toyota RAV4 for last weekend’s trip to Los Angeles to cover the Busch Light CLASH.
      Yes, your recollection is correct. This was a return trip to the LA Memorial Coliseum, where they once again built and paved a track inside the Coliseum (which is celebrating its 100th anniversary) for this one NASCAR race weekend. For last year’s column, you can either enter Busch Light CLASH (or some form of that thereof) in the Search Bar in the middle of this website’s Home Page, or simply click on this link, where you will be able to see and read about last year’s race weekend: https://automatters.net/gutsy-busch-light-clash-at-the-coliseum-revs-up-a-large-new-audience-for-nascar/
      The track was the same both years but, unlike last year, this year’s feature 150-lap race started much later in the day and there were more cars on track for the action packed race. The weather was also a lot cooler, which compromised the traction of the tires and, no doubt, contributed to lots of minor collisions. The cars are tough and can often survive those, which is a good thing because to pass other cars on this exceptionally short track required nudging the other cars out of the way!
      P.S. Don’t be surprised if I use a lot of this part of my reply to your comment in my subsequent column about the 2023 Busch Light CLASH at the Coliseum.

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