1.) Maximize Your Space
Riding in the back of an SUV with skis poking over your shoulder isn't ideal for a relaxing vacation. The first step to getting the most out of your space is picking the right rental vehicle for Colorado excursions. Consider the type of storage you'll need based on the amount of gear you'll be taking with you. Upright ski racks are excellent space savers! Be sure read up on dimensions before you head out to ensure there's a space for all of your adventure essentials.
2.) Load Your Gear Correctly
The best rental cars for Colorado vacations come equipped with a space for your gear. Learn how to load ski racks and roof boxes before you head off on your big adventure. This will allow you to navigate with confidence and avoid any damage to your gear (or vehicle!). To begin, always position your skis with the tails facing the nose of the vehicle. Next, run through the following steps to secure your skis in place:
Open the ski rack from the side of the vehicle (typically the passenger side).
Pair the skis together bottom-to-bottom and place them in the middle of the roof rack with the tails facing forward.
Be sure that the binds are between the front and rear roof rack bars.
If loading more than one set of skis, distribute them evenly across the rack, leaving at least 1 inch between them.
Close and lock the ski rack bars and ensure the skis are properly affixed.
Loading a rooftop cargo box is similar, only your skis will be completely enclosed from the elements. If there are any items you'd prefer to keep extra safe, opt for a covered roof box. These can also come in handy during inclement weather conditions such as a wayward Colorado snowstorm.
3.) Take it for a Test Drive
Once you've secured your gear, make sure the contents of your cargo box or ski rack do not shift while driving. Take your vehicle for a spin around the block a few times before heading into the mountains. Familiarizing yourself with your rental car will help you drive with confidence. Rental cars for Colorado vacations should provide enough space to hold all of your essentials without jostling your skis around during the ride.
Be mindful of your speed when testing out your ski rack. Remember to take it slow. The most familiar you become with your adventure vehicle, the more you'll be able to tell when accelerating speeds are unsettling your gear.
4.) Don't Forget Your Boots!
Even us locals sometimes make the critical mistake of leaving our boots in the roof box overnight. The cold feet you'll experience in the morning is a stark reminder to check your roof box before settling in! Not only will your boots be a little chilly, but freezing temperatures will cause them to become stiff and inflexible. This can be on your feet and ankles, leading to injury on the slopes.
We recommend always doing a double check when unloading your gear. Make sure you've got your boots in hand and haven't left behind anything important. It's easy to be forgetful after a long, tiring day on the slopes. Set a phone reminder or leave yourself a note on the dash to ensure you won't wake up to cold boots or misplaced belongings.
5.) Always Lock Up
Don't forget to lock your roof box when leaving your vehicle unattended. This will ensure your gear stays safe and secure. Most roof boxes will not allow you to remove the key unless the box is fully latched. Be mindful of this to avoid struggling with your roof box while trying to secure it. As with all high tourism areas, petty theft can sometimes be an issue. Having a safe place to store your belongings will ensure a stress-free adventure on the slopes.
6.) Double Check Your Ski Rack or Roof Box
Make sure your ski rack or roof box is securely closed before pulling out. Many great skis were lost to forgetful owners on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains! Don't let your gear become a cautionary travel tale. Take the extra time to ensure the box is fully closed, latched, and secured. Be careful not to lose the key either. Run through a mental checklist whenever exiting your vehicle to ensure everything is in its proper place.
7.) Avoid Car Washes
Let the fresh Colorado powder wash off your car and keep your ski rack safe from wear and tear. Car washes and ski racks are always a bad idea. Not only do you risk damage to your skis and the rack itself, but soap and water on the ski rack elements can cause rust. This alone can lead to a broken ski rack and scratched or damaged gear.
Every Colorado adventure needs the right gear for the excursion. Renting a vehicle that's equipped with a ski rack or roof box is the best way to manage your skis and other equipment while traversing the mountainous terrain. These top 7 tips from expert ski bums will help make your travels as seamless as possible.
Are you looking for more fantastic Colorado adventure hacks? Reach out to the team at Cars for Colorado! Our community experts are your trip planning professionals and go-to rental car resource for the Rocky Mountains.