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Thread: Vehicle Ski Racks

  1. #1
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    Default Vehicle Ski Racks

    Situation: after a multi-year hiatus my family is skiing. Both of our cars (a minivan and suv) have 'bare' roofs; no rails or cross bars. The SUV has a 2 inch trailer hitch for the bike rack. The SUV is our preferred mountain/snow car and putting the skis in the back will cut down on seating space for the kids.

    There is a new car in the future (lease ends in Feb) but (a) we will ski before then and (b) the next one will likely be bare-roofed since that's what the dealers are stocking and I won't want to pay a hefty up-charge for rails on a lease.

    My last roof rack for skis was a Yakima. Mounts and bars are long gone. $700 to get the mounts, rails and ski holders. Thats a lot for a few trips a year. The only hitch mounted one I've come across is also by Yakima but it requires a mast-style bike rack to clamp onto.

    There's got to be a less costly roof option that I'm missing. Suggestions, please.

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    Default Re: Vehicle Ski Racks

    Do any of the local shops rent them in addition to skis? Or maybe spring for the whole thing with the bars/ racks and then when you lease the next car maybe you only need to buy the new « feet » part of the system. At least that’s how my Thule work. I use the same bars and ski holders on both cars but have to change the feet that attach to the part above the door.
    Jon Mandel

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    Default Re: Vehicle Ski Racks

    Does your SUV have raingutters?
     

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    Default Re: Vehicle Ski Racks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bongobob View Post
    Does your SUV have raingutters?
    Nope

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    Default Re: Vehicle Ski Racks

    I just remembered...at one point I had a hitch mounted Thule bike rack, I think The Parkway. There is a ski rack that you can get that mounts on it. Now, I have to say the kid’s rental snowboard flew out of it on a turn on the Taconic. But I think that was probably user error in putting the board in the carrier. It was why her mother (my practice wife) made me go to the racks on the top of the car though (she wasn’t buying the one time that I admittted that I had made a mistake but that’s another story).
    Jon Mandel

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    Default Re: Vehicle Ski Racks

    I'd look at Seasucker. Cars are so individually tailored for aerodynamics, that even changing model cars within the same line can mean 1/3 to 2/3 of the price for the base rack on car A is not usable on rack B. And if Yakima/Thule also change their design, then you may not be able to use your mounts either - though this is less the case with ski mounts than it is with bike mounts. But seems like the ideal use for a Seasucker rack.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Vehicle Ski Racks

    I always put the skis inside the car. I used to carry 2 adults pairs inside a mazda 2, surely you can put more inside a minivan ?
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: Vehicle Ski Racks

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    I'd look at Seasucker. Cars are so individually tailored for aerodynamics, that even changing model cars within the same line can mean 1/3 to 2/3 of the price for the base rack on car A is not usable on rack B. And if Yakima/Thule also change their design, then you may not be able to use your mounts either - though this is less the case with ski mounts than it is with bike mounts. But seems like the ideal use for a Seasucker rack.
    Good idea. I hadn't considered suction cups!
    My issue with the Thule/Yakima is that from year to year they change the clips and baseplates as the car models change. So I could buy a set today for the SUV but it probably wouldn't fit the minivan and it might not fit the 2020 model I get in Feb. I know from past experience that the minivan needs longer bars, which would overhang the SUV. I'm looking for something more interchangeable from vehicle to vehicle, if possible. Having said that, the minivan doesn't handle as well in the Adirondack snow and ice as the SUV with AWD capabilities, so my wife is never enthusiastic about taking that car skiing.

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    Default Re: Vehicle Ski Racks

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Ok. I have one question and it applies to both the Seasucker ski and bike products: What's stopping someone from just popping the suction cups off the roof while I'm in the diner eating dinner?
    And are they really secure at highway speeds?

    Yes, that was 2 questions :)

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    Default Re: Vehicle Ski Racks

    Friends drove across country with two full suspension mountain bikes on the top of their car. No problems. Another friend has the original model and uses it on his Aston Martin. No problems. I think skis are pretty low risk compared to bicycles. Of course, you have to mount it correctly.

    I don't know enough about the current Seasucker racks to tell you whether there are locks or not. I know on the original model there are not. That's the only one I have seen "in the flesh".
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Vehicle Ski Racks

    Thanks. The ski racks lock the skis into the rack. I'm probably overthinking the theft risk of someone coming along while I'm having dinner and popping the suction cups off the roof.....
    I wonder how they handle temperature changes, come to think of it. The last time I was in Lake Placid, it was near 40 when I drove into town and 6 degree the next morning!

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    Default Re: Vehicle Ski Racks

    I don't know if this helps you out at all but I have a set of the Thule rooftop carriers that I don't need anymore. In nice shape just have to make sure I still have the keys for them. I think they are the snowsport model from a few years ago.

    OR

    If you want to get roof rails I can loan you an Atlantis roof box for your trip. I know I have the keys for that.
     

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