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Ski racks or cargo boxes for best gas mileage?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Did I screw up? I'm skiing by myself and driving cross country to do it, so I bought the Yakima round crossbars and Big Powderhound Ski Racks.

I'm now concerned about the decrease in gas mileage of the ski racks because they are really just flat upright surfaces directly facing into the wind.

Should I get something like a Thule Dynamic roof cargo case? Would that have less impact on gas mileage and would they fit the round Yakima crossbars?


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post #2 of 13
I've had both thule and yak racks over the years. Personal preference is yak. A stronger bar. As to mileage, both lower it don't know which is worse. My understanding all boxes fit all racks for the most part.
post #3 of 13

Either way your gas mileage is going to drop at least a little. For a cross country trip I'd prefer a box because it keeps your gear out of sight (and out of mind) plus it keeps everything out of the weather.

post #4 of 13

^^^ That's your answer.   Where you headed fuzzybabybunny?

post #5 of 13

Boxes are better for multiple reasons, but cost also matters.  It depends on how much skiing you actually do and how much other uses you have for whatever you purchase.  My ski box probably costs about 1 MPG on average.  In the end, if such a miniscule difference is a big concern I'd hate to think how much you fret over other decisions hahaha.  Loss of a little gas mileage is a very small price to pay for the pleasure of getting to ski.

 

If you're really are trying to be frugal and keep your costs down I can relate.  Think of it this way.  You probably saved about $400 by purchasing a rack instead of a box.  I'd still be using a rack if I hadn't found my ski box on Craigslist for $50.00  Dropping $500 on something I don't use while actually skiing, even something that useful,  just hasn't ever been in my ski budget..

post #6 of 13

One of the advantages with a Yakima round bar and ski rack is that when not carrying skis the scissor ski rack can be rotated on the round bar to a low profile flat position thus reducing wind drag.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

^^^ That's your answer.   Where you headed fuzzybabybunny?


Colorado! Well, at least until Jan 5 eh or so frown.gif Short visit.

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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Boxes are better for multiple reasons, but cost also matters.  It depends on how much skiing you actually do and how much other uses you have for whatever you purchase.  My ski box probably costs about 1 MPG on average.  In the end, if such a miniscule difference is a big concern I'd hate to think how much you fret over other decisions hahaha.  Loss of a little gas mileage is a very small price to pay for the pleasure of getting to ski.

 

If you're really are trying to be frugal and keep your costs down I can relate.  Think of it this way.  You probably saved about $400 by purchasing a rack instead of a box.  I'd still be using a rack if I hadn't found my ski box on Craigslist for $50.00  Dropping $500 on something I don't use while actually skiing, even something that useful,  just hasn't ever been in my ski budget..


Yeah, 1 mpg is nothing. What box model and car do you have?

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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post

Colorado! Well, at least until Jan 5 eh or so frown.gif Short visit.
 

 

Nice.  Way to hit the best April/May ever in CO, then also a really good Dec!   Great timing.   

 

I'd just find a cheap box on CL as @crgildart suggests.   I spent real money on a yak skybox lopro this summer just because it was the only box that would allow us to fit our SUV in the garage.  If it were not for that requirement I would have just gone with whatever I found on CL that could lock up the gear well.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I did a lot of reading on aerodynamic shapes last night and I'm bummed out by the shapes of boxes. They are not optimized very well for aerodynamics.

You would think that something this sleek would be the most aerodynamic out there...

http://www.takboxar.nu/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMAG0044-1024x682.jpg

http://www.tuning-market-ural.ru/files/cat/thule-dynamic-800-bez-imeni-2442921374804.jpg

The front is thin and should cut into the wind like a knife right?

Nope. The back is flat which creates a lot of turbulence in the rear which is what actually contributes to drag.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1exOXa-5WYo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

That tail turbulence at 0:54? Not good at all.

http://exploration.grc.nasa.gov/education/rocket/shaped.html

Instead of a sleek bullet shape they need to have a tapered back end.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/most-aerodynamic-cargo-box-18000.html

The gist is to mount as far back as possible and to mount the boxes *backwards* so the tapered end is pointing towards the back.

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post #11 of 13

I'd say a mere 1mpg drop is pretty damned good.  You could always stuff all your guano inside the cabin of the car and not lose any mileage or need to buy anything.

post #12 of 13

I have the large size Thule Evolution box. I'd say I lose 2-3 mpg when it's on the car.

post #13 of 13

I've heard one or two folks claim that their mileage actually went up a skosh with the box on... thanks to the same effect that putting a rear spoiler has on some vehicles.. causing a disturbance that stops the suck factor on the rear..

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