How to Position a Ski Rack

How to Position a Ski Rack
Transporting skis to the slope is just part of the experience surrounding winter snow skiing. There are typically two options available for attaching skis to a vehicle. Top, or roof-mounted, carriers such as the Yakima Powder Hound allow the skis to be carried in mounts attached to factory or after-market crossbars. Hitch-mounted ski racks such as the Yakima Hitchski connect to the vehicle's receiver hitch and position the skis vertically. Both methods provide secure transport for skis.


Difficulty: Moderate

Roof-Mounted Ski Racks

Things You’ll Need:
  • Skis
  • Roof-mounted ski rack or hitch-mounted ski rack
Step 1
Examine the crossbars attached to the vehicle. Make sure the factory bars are properly locked into position as described in the vehicle owners manual. Refer to manufacturers instructions to secure after-market cross bars such as Thule and Yakima.
Step 2
Install the ski mounts on the crossbars by placing the mounts on the bars and securing to a lower connection plate. Tighten all connections securely.
Step 3
Level the mounts visually to ensure they are level and positioned the same distance from the end of the bars. It is an advantage to position the ski mounts near the end of the rack, which makes accessing the skis easier.
Step 4
Place the skis into the racks with the bottoms of the skis facing together. Make sure the bindings have room between the front and back mount. Check the clearance of the top of the vehicle to the binding.
Step 5
Install a lift, such as the Yakima Skylift, to one side of both ski mounts to elevate the skis away from the vehicle rooftop. Reposition the skis in the mounts and check once again for clearance.

Hitch-Mounted Ski Racks

Step 1
Assemble a hitch-mount ski rack following manufacturers directions. Make sure all connections and adjustment points are securely tightened.
Step 2
Position the lower horizontal end of the hitch rack tube in front of the receiver tube. Insert the ski rack into the receiver tube and slide in as far as possible.
Step 3
Locate the hole on either side of the receiver tube. Slide the rack tube until the holes of both the receiver and rack line up. Insert a hitch pin through the holes and secure on the opposite side with a retaining clip.

Tips & Warnings

Follow manufacturers directions closely to prevent possible damage or injury.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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