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Discussion Starter #1
I want to buy a ski-attachment for the winter and am debating whether to go with a roof-mounted rack or a carrier which can be attached to the hitch ?
Can anyone tell me the pros and cons. I personally am inclined towards the roof-mounted. However I have heard that installing the base-carrier(i have the base model which doesnt come with the base-carrier) and the ski-attachment will considerably reduce the mileage. Well I wont be always driving with my ski-rack attached and so am more concerned if just attaching the base-rack will reduce my mileage significantly.

Any inputs/thoughts will be appreciated.

-Dave
 

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The roof rack and ski carrier won't reduce mileage much, IMHO. I think it is more a function of how much do you carry and your own physical stature. Roof attachment carries 4 pairs of ski. So the cost to you is base carrier ($128) and the ski carrier is on sale in Nov for $130. If you need more than 4 pairs or two snow boards, then another $130. Now the X is tall with the base carrier. Adding the ski attachment makes it taller and it would ne hard to load and unload the gears, especially with those bulky and slippery snow footwear. Also check on the height of your garage door too. But, if you already have a hitch (if not $140 would buy an aftermarket one) then you can buy a bike hitch for $150 and the ski carrier (which attach to the bike carrier) for $140, then you can carry 6 pairs of skis or two snowboards + 2 pairs of skis. The loading/unloading is much easier with the hitch based and, yes, mileage may be a tad better. So your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks tdnone for the info. I think I will order the base-carrier and the ski-attachment from Tim. Can anyone tell me how easy or difficult it is to remove/install the ski-attachment. I am not sure if I can drive into my office garage with the ski-attachment on. Will it be a big hassle to install/remove it every time I hit the mountains?

Thx,
Dave
 

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Same query

davel,

I have the same question (but the concern is the garage at our house, not the office - see Tight Fit )

But looking at the installation PDF (available at tim's site) it appears that each bracket (front and back) has two bolts (total of four) that I hope are easily changed (or else it will be a LONG winter).

Can anyone who has these provide any comments?
 

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tdnone said:
.... But, if you already have a hitch (if not $140 would buy an aftermarket one) then you can buy a bike hitch for $150 and the ski carrier (which attach to the bike carrier) for $140, then you can carry 6 pairs of skis or two snowboards + 2 pairs of skis.
I never though about this. Any suggestions on where to get (1) aftermarket hitch (2) bike hitch and (3) ski carrier?

Thanks.
 

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Hitch vs. Roof bike & ski rack

My two cents on this as I went through the same decision making process.

In the past, I have used my Yakima system and have really liked the roof rack - but primarily on the sedans I have owned. After some trials, and being 5'8" (not short, but not tall either), I found it inconvienent to access a bike at that height (above the base carrier and then additionally, onto the rack and locking arms). I did not want to have to carry a stool in the back everytime I rode (probably a pride thing, did not want to have to keep climbing up on it to facilitate the ease of removal).

I finally settled on the hitch system (I have the whole tow system installed), especially with the nice bike systems available now that allow access to rear with/out removal of bikes (swing out), locking capabilities, and very convienent removal of the hitch.

I think I will use the base carrier, but maybe for skis (undecided yet) and maybe a cargo carrier type thing.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
 

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Re: Same query

donsev said:
davel,

But looking at the installation PDF (available at tim's site) it appears that each bracket (front and back) has two bolts (total of four) that I hope are easily changed (or else it will be a LONG winter).

Can anyone who has these provide any comments?
The two bolts on the outside is hard enough for me (I am 5'6"), I gave up for the two bolts on the inside (or middle of the roof). I got this same problem with my prior ride, a minivan. So I go with a hitch base system.
 

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tjwid said:


I never though about this. Any suggestions on where to get (1) aftermarket hitch (2) bike hitch and (3) ski carrier?

Thanks.
The price I mentioned is for a HiddenHitch (from www.etrailer.com), Thule Bike Hitching Post and Ski Carrier. The hitch post can be inclined to open the tailgate. A better, although more expensive (another $200~250) will buy you a swing away system. I do not use that much to justify a swing system and I need a 5 pairs of ski carrier.

Hope that will help.
 

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Update...

Upon further evaluation and with the recent new clamp Thule put out to fit the X factory rack, I change my mind and do the following (excerpt from my posting at other threads).

Thule clamps for factory rack

Today, I just baought from REI the Fat Mouth Clamp (part number FM-1), priced $29. The store has lots of them in Fremont, CA. It fits the factory rack perfectly. It is used to secure Thule ski rack (725, 726, etc.) to the factory rack (a perfect design fit). I also bought the 6 pair Thule Deluxe Pull Top ski carrier for $126 on sale. This is one which slides out to make mounting easier. The 725 is a the same but fixed one and is on sale for $79 this week all over CA I was told.

The store is not even aware of this clamp, only one experienced sales guy know about it. I came to the store and mentionned about the 91725 (which someone on this board told me - it is the 725 rack with the fat mouth clamp combined). This is a new Thule product which is not on their website, their customer service and dealer sales does not know about it either. So go to the store and ask for 91725 or specifically the Fat Mouth Clamp (FM-1) and their regular ski attachment. Their Snowboad Only Rack already have a similar clamp, so you won't need the Fat Mouth one.

If you want Thule ski attachment, go and get it while it is on sale now and have the real attachment for the X.
 

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Hi Ghost,

I will post pics by mid-week next week since I have a trip to LA tomorrow.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
 

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Thule roof ski racks - Update...

I just installed the Thule ski rack 726 (6 pairs of skis or two snowboards) on the factory rack using the new Thule Fat Mouth Clamps FM-1. The bolts to attach the clamp to the rack provided in either the 726 or FM-1 do not fit and are too long. You will need to go to Kragen's (or atuto parts store) to buy a different bolt - Hex Cap Bolts Coarse Class 8.8 M6-1.0 X 12mm. It fits perfectly. I have the rack on my roof now. It is 6 inch taller from the factory rack. If you use the 725 then you will not need to buy the bolt, it is provided. FM-1 is the clamp for MDX even though Thule customer service does not know it.

I will post pics later. Any questions about the clamp, PM or email me.
 

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tdnone

Thanks for all the info! Wouldn't have known what to go with since the MDX isn't listed in the fit guides yet.

Got our 725 and FM-1 last weekend. Saw a SS at REI in San Carlos, with the Thule setup also... could it have been you?? They were all out of the FM-1s there, so we ended up getting it at the Fremont store. We're all ready for our trip up to Tahoe this weekend... should be great weather and great snow! Can't wait!

One thing that you didn't mention was the number of locks... the guy at REI said we'd need the 6-pack... 4 for the clamps and 2 for the racks. After we took it home, we discovered that you only really need the 2-pack -- you can't put locks on the clamps. And besides, once you lock up the rack, everything is locked up (unlike our old Yakima rack where someone could easily unscrew the whole setup and walk away with the rack and equipment!).

Thanks again! :)
 
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