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Which ski transportation system for car

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am looking for a ski transportation system for my Alhambra and my main hope is to avoid having to book a high vehicle shuttle (over 180 cm) to mitigate potential delays because of we all know what Toofy Grin

Alhambra is 172 cm and mine has a glass roof, so as far as I am aware after googling and talking to several specialist suppliers, that rules out all roof mounting systems.

The only possibility then is tow racks and even then I am not sure if there will be enough clearance. I was thinking of potentially reversing the skis (mine are 175 cm) tips down before boarding to win a couple of inches...

Does anyone have a similar experience? All ideas are welcome. General chit chat about roof racks, roof boxes and the likes is also welcome, as the season is approaching and many people will be researching.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
How about 'soft roof rack' that are basically padding that straps around the inside of the car. They are only about £20
You could maybe put the ski's in a soil pipe for extra protection.

lots of images on google

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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I put mine in the car. We even managed to get 4 people and 3 sets of skis + loads of extra luggage into a Fiat 500L

I have known people just take the skis off the roof rack (and the rack of course) and just put them in the car for the crossing then reconstruct on the other side
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Just a word of warning here:
If you mount the skis on the roof or on the back of the car don't leave them naked without a bag.
The salt spray from the road will play havoc with yours skis and in particular the bindings.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
how may to travel in the vehicle? Can you drop the rear seats down and slide them through. All roof mounted systems knacker the fuel efficiency, co2 etc.
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@Mr.Egg, I am not sure about those due to a) security during service stops b) Many people complain about water dripping onto the seats due to small gaps and absorption

@johnE, @twoodwar, there will be 5 of us including a 3 y.o who can sit on the laps during the crossing, so it's actually a possibility to take the skis in

@DrLawn, That's a good point, not sure the bag will work with the rack. May be industrial cling film? Also will protect passengers from sharp edges during the crossing
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Just out of interest, does a High Vehicle actually mean delays? I ask because recently, due to mis-clicking, we got classified as a high vehicle. In the end we got on well ahead of the other 'ordinary' cars - by my judgement, at least a train before the one we would have been on, if not two. But this wasn't at the peak period.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Oleski, I would use roof bars and tie the skis on in bags and take them off for the crossing for which IIRC the height limit is 185 cms. Alternatively use a Thule ski rack if under 185cms and mount the skis unpaired and upside down if space. You could indeed use some cling film around the bindings and wash them down when you reach your destination.
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LaForet wrote:
Just out of interest, does a High Vehicle actually mean delays? I ask because recently, due to mis-clicking, we got classified as a high vehicle. In the end we got on well ahead of the other 'ordinary' cars - by my judgement, at least a train before the one we would have been on, if not two. But this wasn't at the peak period.


We've travelled on a whole train of high roof capacity that would take coaches, and on other trips, mixed height single/ dual deck rolling stock. It would seem it's dependant on what is being used on the immediate schedule that would prioritise specific vehicles.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@LaForet, I am not suggesting that high vehicle will automatically mean delay. There is however a risk of freight delays due to additional customs check (please no politics ) and as a way to mitigate it I am trying to avoid using freight trains.
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Oleski wrote:
......There is however a risk of freight delays due to additional customs check (please no politics ) and as a way to mitigate it I am trying to avoid using freight trains.

Those customs checks will be made well before a truck gets anywhere near a train.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
spyderjon wrote:
Oleski wrote:
......There is however a risk of freight delays due to additional customs check (please no politics ) and as a way to mitigate it I am trying to avoid using freight trains.

Those customs checks will be made well before a truck gets anywhere near a train.


Freight trucks travel in completely separate open freight trains and do not impact normal high passenger cars and busses.

Any delays are usually caused by lower capacity available for high passenger vehicles in the trains where half of the carriages are single storey dedicated for such vehicles.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Interesting, I thought lorries use the same single decker trains
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Oleski wrote:
Interesting, I thought lorries use the same single decker trains


Freight lorries use totally separate infrastructure and checkin / customs. You will be fine with a high vehicle but availability during peak holiday days is reduced due to increased demand (roof boxes and bikes) vs less capacity. Your best bet to avoid this is to squeeze the skis in ski bags in the car for the crossing which you can do in the “departure lounge” car park.
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Oleski wrote:
Interesting, I thought lorries use the same single decker trains


Freight lorries use totally separate infrastructure and checkin / customs. You will be fine with a high vehicle but availability during peak holiday days is reduced due to increased demand (roof boxes and bikes) vs less capacity. Your best bet to avoid this is to squeeze the skis in ski bags in the car for the crossing which you can do in the “departure lounge” car park.
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I know there's a physical 1.85M-high gantry across the lane before the loading area, but isn't the height initially checked at the arrival gate? So you'd have to remove the stuff from the roof before you go through the ticketing gate? Has anyone taken a high vehicle through on the understanding that you'll remove the roof stuff before boarding? Just that the last time we travelled, we again got recorded on the booking as a High Vehicle, then when we arrived at the ticketing gate, the person looked at something and said "I can see you're under the height limit, I'll change your ticket to be a standard vehicle." So I assumed that she had a camera or similar that told her if a car was under/over the High Vehicle limit.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Oleski wrote:
.......Alhambra is 172 cm and mine has a glass roof, so as far as I am aware after googling and talking to several specialist suppliers, that rules out all roof mounting systems......

IIRC the Alhambra has roof bars so just get a proper roof box and do the job properly. As said above, you'll be crossing with coaches, minibuses and other high cars and nothing to do with commercially freight etc.

Have you spoken to roofbox.co.uk as they're the experts.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@spyderjon, yes I do have rails and have spoken to roofbox. All roof rack systems require cross bars and they alone take me above the limit. There are low profile magnetic holders, but the glass roof prohibits them.

Sounds like the best solution for me is to use a roof or tow rack and take the skis (and cross bars if it's roof system) in for the crossing. Another advantage being that it's much easier to store than the massive roof box

Thank you all for the ideas!


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 1-10-19 9:48; edited 1 time in total
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Doesn't the Alhambra have a through load capability? Put them inside down the middle of the car assuming you're not carting 5 people.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
As already noted above, HGV circuit is completely separated from other traffic from arrival through to loading so doesn't impact general consumer traffic.

The first height bar is a metal one hanging on chains (so you know you've hit it Very Happy) going into the que/ stack lanes. Got caught in a mates car there and had to remove snowboard (late addition travelling with us) that we had strapped on top of ski bags Embarassed took it in car for tunnel and sorted it on exit for journey.

Think it's right that flexi-plus Lane is also low vehicle only (booking has usually matched this, you can use the lounge by showing your ticket even if you can't que in that lane) as when they get to loading door they can initially be put into any compartment to help the immediate logistics.
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@Richard_Sideways, I do carry 5 people (4 pax + me) Very Happy But for the crossing we can make do with the youngest one sitting on someone's lap as she always does anyway
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Oleski wrote:
@spyderjon, yes I do have rails and have spoken to roofbox. All roof rack systems require cross bars and they alone take me above the limit. There are low profile magnetic holders, but the glass roof prohibits them.

Sounds like the best solution for me is to use a roof or tow rack and take the skis (and cross bars if it's roof system) in for the crossing. Another advantage being that it's much easier to store than the massive roof box

Thank you all for the ideas!


@Oleski, you're trying to find a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. It's absolutely no problem having a roof box on and going in the taller carriages - I do it all the time. And as has repeatedly been said, there's absolutely no conflict with commercial traffic!

You've got roof rails on the car so use them. A roofbox, stored standing up, takes up a minimal footprint in a garage/shed and (if you leave the roof bars attached to the box) it can be removed/installed on the car in a few minutes. The impact on mpg is boogerall. There is a little bit of noise but if you get aero roof bars you won't notice it. But the big advantage of a roofbox is that you can get loads more in that just skis and that the contents will stay dry and secure.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I store my box with 2 pieces of rope in loops suspended from garage beams, lucky we have a very tall garage and the car goes underneath no issues at all. ( bars attached)

Got to get new bars and feet to fit current car, so may get some aero ones, have had the rectangular ones for 20 odd years.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Eurotunnel 'tourist' trains you have two sorts of carrage - the twin-deck for 'low' vehicles and single-deck/full height ones for 'tall' ones.
Eurotunnel 'commercial' trains have a passenger coach at the front and a load of open wagons. You drive on to the open wagon, then get out and are bussed to the passenger coach for the crossing.

I think a Transit-sized minibus or non-commercial van would go to the single-deck of a 'tourist' train (right-hand lanes as you leave the M20 and via the 'motorway services'), but a Luton van or above or a commercial transit (where you need to show customs paperwork) would go to the 'commercial' trains (left-hand labes as you leave the M20 and straight in to the boarding queue).

I've never done a coach crossing so not sure what happens with them. From the announcements you stay on the coach so I'd guess they go in the single-deck carrages?
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@Mjit, yes coaches go in the single deck carriages.

As an aside anyone with an exceptionally low-clearance or wide car (or precious about their alloys) should select a high carriage.
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I have the Thule system. Bought it all off eBay so I was out of pocket around £200 to include ski rack and roof bars.

https://www.thule.com/en-gb/gb/sport-rack/ski-racks/thule-snowpack-l-_-732600

The ski rack clips to some roof bars which are very easily secured to the roof tracks of my Volvo XC60.

Much less drag than anything large like a roofbox. Will use this system going forward, very happy with it.

Went on the eurotunnel and phoned up the day before, said I was 4 cm over the height limit and was moved FOC to the high vehicles train and sat in between a couple of vans.

My skis and the board were completely naked and had no issues with any rusting from the road spray. If that is a concern a good rinse off on arrival at resort would sort it. or just ski in some powder.



Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Tue 1-10-19 11:27; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
leave them behind and rent - it will be cheaper than racks, bars, bags and extra fuel consumtion
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Charliee wrote:
leave them behind and rent - it will be cheaper than racks, bars, bags and extra fuel consumtion


Savings rack up over time. I'm quids in owning skis and I still rent for at least a weekend every year and could save more but can't be bothered with the hassle all the time.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Legend. wrote:
....My skis and the board were completely naked and had no issues with any rusting from the road spray. If that is a concern a good rinse off on arrival at resort would sort it. or just ski in some powder.....

I've seen plenty of skis with badly rusted edges after a 'naked' drive back from the alps, although that can be sorted relatively easily - the issue is the crap that works its way in to your bindings. If you must carry them like that then at least wrap the bindings in some cling film.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
had friends who used to strap theirs to the internal grab (jesus) handles for the whole trip ... not that I would recommend it...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thule Extender bars
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I carry mine at the back and not on top. I would also recommend Thule. I use this for my Jeep: https://www.allmoparparts.com/sku/thsc9033.html. This can hold 6 pairs.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

Much less drag than anything large like a roofbox. Will use this system going forward, very happy with it.

Do you have a different system for reversing?
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