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Ski Racks or Boxes

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I couldn't find a discussion on how bears like to get their skis to the mountain.

If you're not lucky enough to live slopeside, that is.

Boxes or open ski racks? Which brands do you like better? Any tips of protecting skis in open racks when the crud is blowing on the highway.
post #2 of 18
For the first 15 years or so of adult skiing, I had small cars and always used ski racks. Around here, there is always salt and dirt on the hwys during ski season, and I tried every sort of protection from simple binding covers to custom made zipperless bags (end loaders) made of cordura.

I never was happy with the results using binding covers. You have not lived until you try skiing on skis whose bottoms are coated with road grime and the corrosive salt went after the edges like nitric acid.

OTOH, putting the skis in the rack in bags kept them clean, but then you had to go through the hassle of dealing with a sopping wet and filthy bag, loading and unloading it, etc.

Next, I moved up to a bunch of Subaru's and SUV's which were large enough to keep the skis inside. This kept them clean, but was absolutely no fun because the skis always wound up buried under everything else, the skis wet the luggage and clothing, wet the interior of the car, yada, yada.

Finally, last year after about 30 yrs of such nonsense, I bit the bullet & bought a nice spacious roof-top box, a Thule "Mountaineer".

I could not be more pleased. I should have done it years ago.

You will occasionally run into someone who says that they do just fine with an external rack, but then, you usually find out that (a) they live close to the ski area; (b) live in a place where the roads are not salted; (c) never drive in bad weather (yes, really!); etc. etc.

My very strong recommendation is to spend a bit more money up front and save yourself a HUGE ammt of hassle.

Tom / PM

[ May 31, 2002, 08:00 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #3 of 18
I live 20 minutes from 4 major ski resorts. I have a box, and will never go without one again. It was a great investment. Skis are protected from the elements, the scum (theft), and road grime. Locks mean that I can take multiple pairs of skis to the mountain and know they will still be there when I need them (I have a soft top Jeep). There is enough room for luggage on trips as well. Of course, I have the largest Thule available at the time.

On a down side, wind noise and gas milage suffer.

I take mine off for my commute to work, takes about 3 minutes and two people.
post #4 of 18
AltaSkier: I have a Thule box on my Blazer but the wife has all the fun in her 60th Aniversary Edition Wrangler. The problem is how do you mount the box on your soft top? I take it you use an external frame system (I hope). I toyed with the idea of mounting a box on the hard top but the support would be lacking. Ideas?
post #5 of 18
Everybody in Salt Lake on this thread is gonna know who I am now.

Gavin-Industries makes a rack called the Wilderness Rack that mounts to the body mounts and windshield bolts. Its rated for 300lbs, but the dealer told me that the rep said 500 would be no problem. Its big, covers the entire roof area, and it will hinge back (with some work) to release the top. On that I have Yakima crossbars mounted so I can still use all my old roof rack attachments. The Thule mounts to that. Sounds complicated, but is very simple. A friend and me mounted it to the truck in an afternoon. Its solid and has been great!

post #6 of 18
Thanks! And..sorry for blowing your cover....*laughter*
post #7 of 18
Thule box, love it. All the reasons i have it were mentioned already. Oh and I got it due to the fact that I got if free!
post #8 of 18
Originally posted by Phil Pugliese:
Thule box, love it. All the reasons i have it were mentioned already. Oh and I got it due to the fact that I got if free!
I hate people like you.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help
-- confirms my suspicions.

Just got rid of our mini-van (Got to be rank among one the five happiest days of my life) and bought a Passat Wagon. I think the extra occaisional cargo capacity together with treating the skis right will certainly justify a little extra investment.

BTW what's the deal on this free thing?
post #10 of 18
I've been hauling skis in bags for a number of years but will be buying a ski box this summer for the Exploder. You can get them for under 200.00 not for free like some people.
post #11 of 18
> ...I think the extra occaisional cargo capacity together ...

Yup. In the off season, its sure nice to be able to put some of the lighter luggage up top and have more room in the car.

For some reason tho, I always find it vaguely humorous when I open up the ski box in the summer and find a row of little black carry-on's (ie, the ones with wheels) lined up head to toe inside the equally black ski box, fitting perfectly in the other two dimensions. ...sort of a "Men in Black" thing ... never mind ...


Tom / PM

Tom / PM
post #12 of 18
post #13 of 18
YUP- Gotta go with the box. When the first few came out, I laughed at 'em. They were SO small...

But then the larger ones came along, and I couldn't pass up the deal I got on a Yakima Space Case with all the trimmings.....

As a ski rep, there's no better way to go! Sometimes, I'll have as many as 20 pairs of skis in that box. To try to put that many inside the vehicle would be suicide!


[ May 31, 2002, 02:34 PM: Message edited by: vail snopro ]
post #14 of 18
I definitely recommend a box, as well. Keeps the skis clean and protected -- I feel safe leaving them up there as nobody can really tell whether it is worth the risk to break into the box for a questionable haul of goods. On rare occasions that I fill the box with other gear for a long haul, the skis end up on regular racks in cheap bags. I'm actually considering a second box (I've got a Yakima Rocket Box) to avoid even that situation....
post #15 of 18
Originally posted by AltaSkier:
I hate people like you. [/QB][/quote]

lol,So did I . I actually picked it out of a dumpster! Few years bck, Thule had a recall on boxes for a bad lock design. Instead of having to send the whole box back and having a huge shipping bill, they had the dealer cut out the lock assembly and return that! This particular bike store was thowing away 2 boxes, I snagged one. I fabricated a plate to coer the hole and now I have a fine box!
post #16 of 18
pick up trucks
post #17 of 18
Originally posted by t roller:
pick up trucks

post #18 of 18
toyota, nissan, dodge,and ford all make quad cabs that fit 5 adults and get very competive gas economy plus have utlity qualities that cannot be matched.
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