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Rental Cars with Ski Racks?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Have plans for Park City Utah next jan-feb '05. First time for skiing outside of my local area (Seattle/Tacoma). The thought occured to me as to what to do with skis when picking up a rental car at Saltlake City Airport?

Do auto rentals supply ski racks in these destination resort areas?

Also, would like any tips on taking skis on an airliner and how to do Park City/Canyons. Thanks - Rux
post #2 of 13

Do you like your ski's??

Most ski area destination rental car agencies have ski racks available for an additional charge of $5.00 to $10.00 per day. I have found you should be able to haggle for the $5.00 price.

The problem is most racks I have had experience with on rental vehicles are not very good. No locks, not that they are a major deterrent and the quality is poor...at lot of beat up barrecrafter racks has been my experience. Last January we lost 2 pair of ski's from the rooftop rack and fortunately the rest of our party was following us and were able to stop before driving over them!

I have always tried to give the benefit of the doubt to a new car rental company offering racks on their cars...to see if this one is better than the last, but usually come out disappointed.

The best solution I have found is to bring along my own. I try and call the rental counter (sometimes kind of difficult) where I'm going to be renting from....I usually rent SUV's since I don't want to be snowed out...without 4WD, and find out what specific vehicles they have to offer. Then I pick up the mighty mounts (Yakima) for those specific vehicles and hope I'm right. I now own 3 different pair of mighty mounts so I usually am set now from having to purchase new ones. I have spent about $60.00 (on sale) for the mounts but have saved over $150.00 on rack rentals, plus I know my rack is secure. I think the mounts now cost in the $25.00 range...so you do the math to see if it is worth your while.

I have only not been able to do this one time....due to the rental not having factory crossbars, otherwise it has worked great....I just put the old Yakima Powderhound in my ski bag...wrapped in fleece garb or whatever! I have even had the rental car checkout people help me put the new one on once, and also have had checkout people tell me I can't do that...so I piled the ski's in the back....and put it on later. Nothing in the rental contract I could tell that says I couldn't do it....just will not insure if something happens to the equipment. If I'm not mistaken, they won't cover any damage that may happen with their rack either since it is not factory!
post #3 of 13
I'm not proud to admit it but last time I was in Park City we actually rented a Van and it worked out perfectly. More than enough room to throw all of our stuff in and it was perfect for putting on boots and getting ready to go in the mornings.
post #4 of 13
Bringing your own is a good solution. The type that clamps to the window is small and inexpensive.

The last few trips we've had trucks we could put them inside (F-150 Supercrew with a locking toneau.)

An unpleasant surprise last trip to NM is that it is illegal to have skis inside the passenger compartment in the Land of Entrapment. A rack is a must.
post #5 of 13
I have a magnetic roof top rack that I bought as a low cost and low hassle way to equip my other car for occasional back up ski transportation duty. Obviously not a theft deterring rack, but it does hold the skis securely when on the road.

I hadn't thought about it before, but it would work well for take along use on a fly in trip with a rental car.
post #6 of 13
Unless you have a full car consider folding down 1/2 the rear seat and sticking them in the trunk. Not only will you not have to hassle with a crappy racks but you'll also keep your skis much cleaner.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I have a Thule Ski Rack with the wide clamps for factory crossbars. That's an option if we got an Suv and had to carry lots of people. There's only two of us on this trip, so folding down the back seat might work. I do the fold down trick in my little chevy geo - takes my 185's just barely.

Park City has shuttles to provide rides from the resort rooms to the slopes. Anyone know how well that works?

Like to hear some more stories about traveling with skis. Thanks - Rux
post #8 of 13

I Can't Watch......!

I try to put everything and anything I can into my ski bag to pad them for the special handling they get from the baggage people at the airlines! I thought about purchasing a sport tube....until I watched one of them get dropped from the plane by a baggage handler onto the ground and completely shatter the unit. I listened as the customer argued with the airline and heard the airline state well it wasn't their fault...and what would expect when it was sub-zero outside and you had them in a plastic tube. Hmmmm.....since skiing and traveling....does occur occasionally at those temps I opted for the canvas...and knock on wood..have been lucky so far. I just really take precautions....and will not watch them unload my ski's from the belly of the plane....I did once....don't want to watch again, it raised my blood pressure too much and took three beers to calm down.
post #9 of 13
The rental car racks are worthless. They are too close to the roof for bindings & particularly bindings with lifters. So you have to separate skis and put them side by side, can only get 1/2 as many skis on rack. We fold 1/2 the back seat down and stack them in the rig. We always rent a small or medium size SUV & as said above a AWD van works great. skis slide under seats.

The racks don't have locks and scare me about staying on, plus they charge you for them!
post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by Ruxpercnd
Park City has shuttles to provide rides from the resort rooms to the slopes. Anyone know how well that works?
The bus transit system is great. Mostly clockwork and convieniently fast. My ski club is returning to the Radison Park City again partly because of this great service. Also, there are easy arranged additional transit to Alta/Snowbird.

Make sure your accommodations are on or near one of the Park City transit lines.
post #11 of 13
Use Park City Transportation. About $58/person I think for a round trip ticket. Great company, great guys.

For rentals, I usually get a mid-size and transport my babies in the passenger side. In SLC and that area, putting your skis up on the rack is a bad idea. Salt, rocks, dirt, etc. can really screw up your skis. Plus, the dirt and the grime. No thanks!
post #12 of 13
Get the rental with racks & pack Bunji cords.
The bunji's are extra security against your skis coming off.
The racks I've had on rentals don't stay clipped in.
post #13 of 13
I have just left the skis in our travel bags and bungeed them onto a rack!
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