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Driving: Lash skis directly to crossbars?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Anyone ever lash a board (or skis) directly to their crossbars?

I ran in to a situation where, due to the amount people & gear, I just plain ran short of room packing everything in to the car and cargo box. We got creative, but it wasn't pretty. (Let's just say that I wish I had the dog gate installed in the back of the wagon, because there was truly a "wall of gear" that would have been disasterous in a short stop).

In any case, this weekend I saw a produce called a "Lashlock", essentially a thin cable on a ratcheting cinch, intended to strap boards 'n stuff right onto the crossbars.

http://www.orsracksdirect.com/lashlock.html




Taking this idea a half-step further, I don't see any reason I couldn't do this with nylon webbing -- the same stuff used to secure motorcycles to trailers and heavy loads to flatbeds.

I figure as long as I protect the nylon webbing from the sharp board or ski edges, and use an "Oh s*it" safety strap for secondary retention of the bindings to the crossbar, I ought to be in good shape for those occassional times I have to carry more than I'm set up for.

Anybody have any success or horror stories they'd like to share?
post #2 of 22
Good idea, lets us know how that works out for you.

Sounds like it should work, like you said just becareful of the edges.
post #3 of 22
What's wrong with just two short bungee cords? I've used them countless times since I don't have a ski carrier ... only bike trays.
post #4 of 22

2 points about doing this.

- nylon absorbs water

If the webbing gets wet under tension, it will loosen. If it then dries out the webbing will be even tighter than when you first tensioned it.


- bungees lose elasticity in cold.


- putting the skis in a bag takes up enough room and provides enough friction with the rope/webbing to overcome the above disadvantages. I've been lashing bags to the bars directly for years.

4mm accessory cord and a trucker's hitch work wonders; cheap too.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
What's wrong with just two short bungee cords?
Maybe I'm not following you... are you using the bungee as a lash? That'd make me nervous -- I've seen a few bungee failures, and I fear that could get ugly fast. But if it's working ok for you, then I'd have to suspect that nylon web would do fine.

Do you lash your skis directly to the cross bar, or do you have padding between the two?
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
Maybe I'm not following you... are you using the bungee as a lash? That'd make me nervous -- I've seen a few bungee failures...
Yes, bungees are used to lash things to the roof ... that's what they make them for.

Bungee failures? Never had one fail, but then again I'll buy new bungess every ... what, 10 years or so!? C'mon ! Are we over-engineering this a bit or what? I've been using bungess to lash to my cross bars for as long as I can remember, and have never, ever had any problems - they don't even need to be that tight!
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
- nylon absorbs water

If the webbing gets wet under tension, it will loosen. If it then dries out the webbing will be even tighter than when you first tensioned it.
My only argument here is that thousands of loads hit the pavement on a daily basis using nylon webbing -- everything from Hogs on their way to Sturgis, to loads of PVC stacked 50' high, to a mattress on top of pop's Caravan. So I'm not hugely concerned about the effects of four hours of driving through the snow and rain.

Some good poly cord and a trucker's hitch is my old favorite, too but only on big loads where I have some free span to snug up the knot. Seeing as how I have the nylon web already (from another successful project: lashing a third mountain bike to the roof of the car 'cause I only have two racks), I think I owe it to myself to try it out.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
Bungee failures? Never had one fail, but then again I'll buy new bungess every ... what, 10 years or so!? C'mon ! Are we over-engineering this a bit or what?
No, seriously. I've had a few that just mysteriously lost tension as I was pulling on them. No fraying or anything -- and not particularly old, either.

I've also had a couple that pulled out from the wire hook at the end. Just dangling by the time I got to where I was getting to.

The fact of it is (and really, no offense intended), I dislike bungees like I dislike WD-40 and duct tape. There's almost always a better tool for the job. In my case, I'll pick rope or webbing 99% of the time. The 1% of the time I'd pick bungee is probably when I'm about to jump off something tall... and you know how often that (never) happens!
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
My only argument here is that thousands of loads hit the pavement on a daily basis using nylon webbing -- everything from Hogs on their way to Sturgis, to loads of PVC stacked 50' high, to a mattress on top of pop's Caravan. So I'm not hugely concerned about the effects of four hours of driving through the snow and rain.
Fair point, with the remise of the size of come-along used to tension those.

PS I've Yak (round) bars and cut-up inner tube slipped around them gives a bit more friction.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
... The fact of it is (and really, no offense intended), I dislike bungees like I dislike WD-40 and duct tape. ...
: Blasphemy! How dare you discount the virtues of duct tape ...
post #11 of 22
I lash skis to the crossbars all the time, but only in a ski bag. I don't think I'd trust bungies, but any stout strap will do the job (old mt. bike tires work pretty well). I always marvel at the people who have skis and boards unprotected on the top of their cars. Nothing like ramming road grit and salt into your bottoms and bindings at 60 mph to buff that base tune and raise your DIN.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
PS I've Yak (round) bars and cut-up inner tube slipped around them gives a bit more friction.
Genius... GENIUS... GEE-NEE-US! I'm all over it, brother! That might just be my edge protection around the nylon straps, too. Thanks for the great idea.

Shoot, I'm going to rig this all up and head out this weekend with my skis lashed to the bars and my cargo box empty, just to test everything.

I love it when a plan comes together!
post #13 of 22

Yes, that works

I would always bag the skis and bindings to avoid road dirt. Straps attach things to the bars just fine. I use a polypropylene set but I've used nylon. http://www.strapworks.com/ sells straps pretty reasonably.
post #14 of 22
Bungies have worked fine for me in the past. Go under the cross-bar, over the skis, back under the cross-bar. If you have multiple pairs, weave in and out of all of them. Wouldn't hurt to have at least one backup tie-down.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
: Blasphemy! How dare you discount the virtues of duct tape ...
When the 1st Apollo Astronauts were allowed to take a single personal item with them on the moon shots, they all took rolls of duct tape.

Urban Legend: Maybe, too lazy to find out myself.

Powdr
post #16 of 22
We tie our skis to the roof rack crossbars all the time, we have never found a ski rack that will accommodate skis IN a bag, no way I would ever put them on the roof without the protection of a bag.

We use those nylon webbing straps with the self-ratching 'latch', not sure best how to describe them. We've driven 12 hours at a time without them moving an inch.

What you call 'bungee cords', those elastic things with the hook on the end have been banned from sale here for some time, they can cause injuries when they release suddenly, I wouldn't use them.
post #17 of 22
If you split the skis rather tan keep them together, the edges may fray the bungess, etc. I've had similar failures; it doesn't take long.

Directly tying the skis to the crossbars couples the road vibrations directly to the skis, inducing vibration and load. Could it cause core wear? Who knows, but it's a thought.

And of course, a naked ski should never be out in the road salt.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellBee
We tie our skis to the roof rack crossbars all the time, we have never found a ski rack that will accommodate skis IN a bag, no way I would ever put them on the roof without the protection of a bag.

Not sure what kind of bags/racks you're using, but my Yakima ski mounts take skis with or without bags. All the bag does is add a layer of fabric around the ski as it's clamped in the rack.
post #19 of 22
speed - What kind of vehicle do you have? Do you have a trailer hitch? If so a good alternative is to get a trailer hitch rack like this http://www.thuleracks.com/thule/prod...id=9&sku=987xt

This is what I am getting instead of a roof rack.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellBee
We use those nylon webbing straps with the self-ratching 'latch', not sure best how to describe them. We've driven 12 hours at a time without them moving an inch.
I just call them 'Kayak Tie Down Straps'

Example: http://www.clcboats.com/transport.php

Clamp the loose end inside the door and it's fairly theft-secure too.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL
speed - What kind of vehicle do you have? Do you have a trailer hitch?
Matt, it's a Subie wagon and I've already got cross bars and a cargo box. I have a hitch which I use when I need to carry three or four bikes, but I purposely switched from hitch to roof a few years back just to get around the lift-gate clearance issues.

The Thule is creative, but mMy preference here is to avoid any unnecessary expense and complication, since my cargo box handles ski & board duties adequately. It's just for those every-so-often trips where I have more boards than space that I need to find a workable alternate.

The straps look like the easiest, most portable, and least expensive way to go.
post #22 of 22
If you are going to use bungee cords at least use some good ones ,these are awsome , http://overtons.com/cgi-bin/overtons...arge.cgi?23867 . They don't fatigue due to temp. and are made for marine use so are salt resistant . Personally I would use rope before any bungee and better yet webbed strapping.
On a related note , in Canada it is now illeagal to fasten anything down to the roof with bungee cords of any kind , it falls under cargo securment laws that came into effect Jan. 1 ,04 . I believe the US is involved as well at the same time because this was generated by the transportation industry . This all stems from accidents that were caused by a vehicles load coming undone and covers everything from heavy trucks to your sport utilities roof rack . I don't think it will be enforced like the feds. intended but if you lose an object because of poor securement and you have a cop involved thats going to use the applicable laws it could turn into a headache . I do know of one situation in Calgary that involved a few 2x4's , bugee cords and Deerfoot Tr. that the driver is wishing he never saw a bugee cord .
If I'm not mistaken bungee cords started out as tarp straps for the trucking and farming industries and evolved into another marketable product because people didn't want to use rope and tie a knot.
I would use duct tape over a bugee any day.
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