Getting Your Gear From Here to There

By Kathryn Reed | Monday, December 4, 2023

Gear. It’s the four-letter word that defines those who live and play in the greater Lake Tahoe area. Everyone has some, whether it’s skis or snowboards for the resorts or backcountry, bicycles for pedaling through the forest or high desert, or kayaks for hours of paddling on the lakes and rivers. 

Unless you can play right from your doorstep, you need a way to haul that gear to your playground of choice. And it can be quite an undertaking getting the right set up for all your toys.

The solution is Rack2Roam in Reno. 

This is not your typical rack store. In the 2,000-square-foot showroom, employees are eager to show people how the various systems work. It’s not about hard sales or commissions. It’s about getting the best rack to meet an individual or family’s needs and budget.

“Empathetic sales are important to us,” says owner Mark Tieszen. “We make sure our staff members are the easiest people to work with. We don't rush you. We help you make an educated decision.”

Mark and his wife, Erika, opened the store in 2021. He had been a professional skier; she was a professional mountain bike rider. They had lived and traveled all over the world, even called Truckee home for a bit. It was the outdoor lifestyle that drew them to the Sierra.

“What you can do in a day here is pretty incredible compared to where else you can live,” Mark says. 

They appreciate that their business affords them the opportunity to interact with people who also love the outdoors. “We really enjoy the people and the playground,” Mark says.

Everyone at Rack2Roam knows the importance of moving gear from Point A to Point B on a vehicle that could be going 70 mph on the highway or bouncing on a dirt road. 

“We do the most mundane things and then the most crazy things,” Mark says of Rack2Roam’s services. “We can do custom applications to drilling and mounting in the vehicle to pulling headliners to make an application fit.”

An SUV is not required. Rack2Roam has not found a vehicle yet that it cannot equip, except for convertibles because soft tops can be problematic. Bumper installs on Teslas, BMWs and Audis are possible, with the hitch hidden because of how it’s installed behind the bumper. Mark says they can even outfit a Prius to carry four bikes, a tent and a kayak.

“One thing we really focus on is installation with high-quality products,” he says. “The difference with us is that we do dealership-quality work. There is no cutting corners.”

And what if you want to transform your vehicle into overnight accommodations instead of sleeping on the ground or in a hotel?

Again, Rack2Roam is the answer. They sell rooftop tents that allow people to turn most any vehicle into sleeping quarters. This is known as overlanding, and it is a growing trend in which people want to sleep in their vehicles in remote areas off the grid. Hunters, mountain bikers and hikers are all proponents of overlanding.

Rack2Roam also outfits those who are living in their vans or other recreation vehicles in a more permanent way instead of being weekend warriors.

“It’s about investing in a lifestyle,” Mark says about all the gear they sell.

(775) 507-4153 | 9728 S. Virginia Street, Suite E., Reno, NV

About the Author Kathryn Reed
Kathryn Reed is an award-winning journalist who has been visiting or living at Lake Tahoe since she was a child. She loves the outdoors – whether it's hiking, biking, snowshoeing, skiing or playing tennis. She is the author of Sleeping with Strangers: An Airbnb Host's Life in Lake Tahoe and Mexico; The Dirt Around Lake Tahoe: Must-Do Scenic Hikes; Snowshoeing Around Lake Tahoe: Must-Do Scenic Treks; and Lake Tahoe Trails for All Seasons: Must-Do Hiking and Snowshoe Treks.