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When winter comes, me & family like to downhill ski about twice a week. There are 3 people, and therefore 3 sets of skis that need to be stored.

We live in an apartment with no garage, and it is sort of a pain to carry the skis up and down stairs every time we ski. I have been dutifully carrying them in and out to prevent rust. I am trying to find a way to avoid all this ski-hauling.

We have an SUV that comfortably holds all of the skis. How can I store them for several days in the SUV without rust? Has anyone found a way to do this?

Here is my idea, which is untested: (1) After skiing, brush most of the snow off the skis (2) Place the skis on a rack inside the back of the SUV before driving (3) During driving, the heat in the car will melt any remaining snow. (4) Leave skis in car for 3 or 4 days until we ski again.

(If it matters at all, I'm in Michigan)

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  • Why do you think skis are more likely to rust in a car than in an apartment? Sep 4 at 16:38
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    @DJClayworth Because my apartment temperature is consistently > 70 F and dry, so the skis will dry properly. OTOH, my car be at a temperature consistently < 30 F, so the snow & ice will sit on them, in all their damp glory, and rust it up. The internet is legion with advice to "always take skis inside or they will rust"
    – axsvl77
    Sep 4 at 16:53
  • Is a bit of surface rust on the edges really a problem? It’s probably a good idea to use grease or threadlocker for the ski binding screws.
    – Michael
    Sep 5 at 10:11
  • @Michael I'm new to skiing, so I don't know if surface rust is an issue. Can you expand on this?
    – axsvl77
    Sep 5 at 11:38
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Never done this but let's answer from a physics perspective.

The issue isn't the temperature - skis will rust slower in a cold environment, all else being equal. The issue is water and damp. A warm environment (like an apartment) will melt snow and (more importantly) evaporate water. Without water things don't rust. So the key is to remove water.

Unfortunately it isn't just about the water (or snow) left on the skis after a ski session. Lower temperatures at night will cause water vapour from the atmosphere to condense on skis (and just about everything else) so you need to guard against that.

Suggestions. You can do some or all of these depending on the effort you want to put in.

  1. Dry the skis thoroughly after you use them. Don't just brush the snow off. This is probably the most important.
  2. On the drive home put the skis somewhere warm - like inside the car, not the trunk or the roofrack. This will dry them out.
  3. When leaving them in the car, put them in a ski case. The bag stops water from the atmosphere outside the bag condensing on the skis. If you don't have a bag wrap them in something waterproof. This won't work unless the skis are dry to start with.
  4. Consider greasing the metal parts of the ski with something water-repelling like vaseline.
  5. If you are really dedicated get some water-absorbent silica packs and store them in the ski bag with the skis.

I believe all of the above will help to some extent. It depends how much effort you want to put in.

Also skis are fairly hard to damage with rust. Bindings are usually stainless steel, which is very rust resistant. Edges rust more easily, but they can be reground if they get rusty.

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    I don't think thoroughly drying skis by hand then coating the edges with petroleum jelly is realistic.
    – axsvl77
    Sep 4 at 17:11
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    I would think thoroughly drying should be fine. I admit I wouldn't bother greasing the edges, I'd just get the edges ground at the end of the season to remove any rust, but I have cheap skis. Sep 4 at 17:29
  • I see. Drying the edges of the skis is easy - just a wipe with a rag. Drying the my bindings is kind of a pain.
    – axsvl77
    Sep 4 at 17:34
  • It's worth keeping a (rechargeable) silica gel pack in the car at all times. It would help with this, and is generally useful in reducing windscreen/window misting. Not expensive, and highly recommended. Sep 4 at 20:53
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    @axsvl77 Is drying the bindings more or less of a pain than carrying the skis up the stairs? Either will work. Sep 5 at 1:02

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