What Is A Ladder Rack?
In this article you will be able to learn a thing or two about what is a ladder rack and what is it used for. We will be reviewing the ladder racks for trucks, vans, SUVs, and vehicles with camper shells and hopefully you will find the best one for you and your vehicle.
A ladder rack is a device that when mounted onto a vehicle helps you transport some of the longer and bulkier cargo, mostly, as the name suggests, ladders such as those used by contractors. It can also be used to transport other bulky cargo such as lumber, kayaks, building materials, and anything that won’t fit into your vehicle. Don't wait any longer—equip your truck with a quality ladder rack and embark on a journey with confidence.
|Types Of Ladder Racks|
|Ladder Rack For SUV|
|Truck Cap Ladder Rack|
|Ladder Rack FAQS||All Ladder Racks|
Features To Look For In A Ladder Rack
Ladder Racks are especially useful for carrying bigger loads on your vehicle and can make transporting it very easy. Different ladder racks have different load-bearing capabilities. Ladder racks depending on the model can carry between 500 and 1200 lbs. of additional cargo. Some can even carry more.
There are different types of ladder racks. Some of them are very lightweight and don’t put a lot of weight on your vehicle while some are heavy-duty racks that can withstand a lot more weight. So, depending on what you need you will choose the correct one for you.
Ladder racks with adjustable height can be really beneficial for your truck. If you mount the one on your truck bed you can easily adjust the height so it goes over the driver's cabin if you need to haul something that might be longer than the truck bed itself.
Ladder Racks are known to be the safest option for carrying your cargo because said cargo is very easy to tie down to the rack itself and prevent it to move. The last thing you want is for your items to fall out onto the road while transporting them. There are even racks with a lockable gripping mechanism.
There are many places where you can secure your cargo onto the ladder rack using cargo ropes or tie-downs. Different bed racks have different ways of securing a shipment. Some of them have points where you can wrap around your rope and secure the haul that way.
Moreover, there are models that require you to use strap tie-downs in order to secure your cargo. Depending on what it is that you plan to transport and what vehicle you are using you will pick accordingly.
Types Of Ladder Racks
Ladder Rack For Truck
As the name states, they are racks that can be mounted onto your pickup truck bed and allow you to lift the platform and carry the cargo you wouldn’t be able to carry in that said bed.
Ladder Rack For Van
Van ladder racks are useful if the ladders are longer than the storage area of the van itself. Besides ladders, van ladder racks can also be used to transport other types of items such as roof top tents, lumber, or even canoes and board.
Ladder Roof Rack
An SUV ladder rack is a rack that is specifically made for an SUV type of vehicle. It is attached to the roof of said vehicle and is used for carrying different types of loads.
Camper Shell Ladder Rack
These racks are built specifically for trucks that have a camper shell or truck topper which is used as a small housing unit. These camper shell ladder racks can also be custom-built for each vehicle it would be used for.
If you don't need any of these, and instead are after a bed rack, you can find them by clicking the link
Ladder Rack For Truck
This section will cover what we think are perhaps the best ladder racks for trucks. Of course, this doesn't cover all the models of ladder racks in the world, but certainly the ones we have tested, used and we even sell. We like to be as trustworthy as possible, hence why we are recommending those we have used.
Leitner ACS Forged Tacoma Heavy Duty Ladder Rack For Truck
This is the newest version of the Leitner Designs Active Cargo System which is a stronger, more reliable, and just overall better-looking piece of equipment. This model is designed to fit Toyota pickup trucks however only a few can be mounted with it.
It weights only 85 lbs. so it won’t put unnecessary weight on your vehicle. It has forged aluminum construction and is fully upgradable to many different Thule, Rhino-Rack, and Yakima accessories.
Thule Ladder Rack
This is a heavy-duty, adjustable truck bed rack that was made by Thule and it can handle pretty much anything you put on it. It can hold up to 1250 lbs. Besides being able to adjust to any length it can also be adjusted to fit various vehicles.
The great thing about it is that it can be installed without needing to drill anything. It is also very aerodynamic plus it looks good. It can fit a variety of Thule accessories and it is also corrosion-resistant.
It can be fitted onto the Toyota Tundra, FORD F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, F550, DODGE RAM, GMC Sierra and Canyon, and CHEVROLET Silverado and Colorado.
RCI 18" Removable Ladder Rack For Ford Ranger
This rack is meant to be installed onto the Ford F150, F250, and F350, as well as the Ford Ranger Pick-Up Truck. A great thing about is besides giving you the ability to carry cargo on top of it you can also mount a roof top tent.
Thanks to the built-in mounting points you can attach many accessories to it. Moreover, it has an 18” clearance from the truck bed to the top of the rack. It doesn’t take much time to install it thanks to the easy bolt assembly.
Another great thing that you can install it on an RCI Riser Kit which will help you solve your problem of not having the desired height. This will be useful as your roof top tent will not scratch the top of your cab.
Leitner ACS Forged For Nissan Frontier
This is another option that was designed by Leitner. It was meant for the Nissan Frontier as well as the Nissan Titan PickUp. It is a very durable and reliable piece of equipment and because of the Active Cargo System, it allows you to carry larger items such as motorcycles and mounted bikes with just a twist of the knob.
Weighing only 85 lbs., it has a forged aluminum construction and can fit many Thule, Rhino-Rack, and Yakima accessories.
Leitner Designs Ladder Rack with Tonneau Cover For Ford
The ACS Forged Tonneau stands out as a prominent contender in its market segment, providing ample space for cargo, enabling a swift escape from urban environments and an adventurous embrace of the great outdoors. Specifically designed to fit Ford vehicles, this versatile accessory seamlessly integrates with TONNEAU COVERS and other add-ons to deliver unparalleled boldness and excellence during off-road expeditions.
Unveiled towards the end of 2019, the ACS Forged perpetuates the renowned traits of durability, adaptability, and personalization exhibited by its predecessor, the ACS Classic. Boasting a sleek and contemporary design, this rack is proudly manufactured by skilled craftsmen on American soil. The Leitner Designs ACS Forged Tonneau represents the culmination of an extensive five-year journey, involving rigorous testing spanning hundreds of thousands of miles across diverse off-road terrains.
Ladder Roof Rack
As to this section, much like the one above, we are going to focus on some of the SUV ladder racks we have available. We can openly say, almost all roof racks or crossbars can safely carry a ladder if properly secured to the rack, but this section highlights some of the most popular and easy to use roof racks for ladders on SUVs.
Prinsu 4Runner 5th Gen Roof Rack
This model that was made by Prinsu Design Studios is a durable and reliable roof rack that doesn’t require drilling in order to install it. It is made to fit the Toyota 4Runner and it is ideal for roof top tents, cargo boxes, fishing rods, MaxTrax, RotoPax, and more.
Installation doesn’t take much; in fact, you could get it done in less than an hour. The static rating on this roof rack depends on the number of crossbars they have but you can be sure that it can withstand 500 lbs. at least.
Front Runner Slimline II Roof Rack For Lexus GX460
Designed by Front Runner this roof rack for Lexus GX460 is a very reliable piece of equipment that can be mounted with various accessories thanks to all the tying points and can withstand well over 1500lbs. It is made of stainless steel and has black epoxy powder-coated aluminum.
It is a great roof rack to have whether you are in need of transporting heavy cargo or just need more space to put your items while going on an off-road trip. It is also an aesthetically pleasing rack.
Ladder Rack For Van
Just like on the two other sections, we are mentioning and recommending the racks we have tested and used and installed, hence this section goes over the best ladder racks for vans that we have used. May we also add, these systems are great due to how long they are, and how many tying points there are on the rack for the ladder!
Aluminess Aluminum Ladder Rack For Ford Transit 2015+
This is a very lightweight rack made of aluminum that can withstand a lot of weight and can be used to carry cargo you cannot fit inside of the vehicle. That aluminum construction is also black powder coated to protect it from corrosion.
This Ford Transit roof rack is mounted using the factory fixed points. It can also be floored with slats or perforated sheets so you can safely stand and walk on it. Having said aluminum construction it saves you fuel because it weighs significantly less than other roof racks.
Front Runner Slimpro Van Rack Kit For Mercedes Benz Sprinter
This roof rack is a perfect piece of equipment that you would want to have if going on a long-distance trip or just wanting to transport that heavy cargo. It has an adjustable slat system so you can carry any roof-mounted equipment such as air conditioning, air vents, or skylights.
Moreover, you can mount this roof rack is that you can mount many accessories onto it. It is made from stainless steel and is able to be mounted onto the Mercedes Benz Sprinter 2007 up to the current model as well as the L3H2 and 170 LWB with high roof.
Truck Cap Ladder Rack
This section will highlight the best truck cap ladder rack options we have used, tested and that we know are safe and reliable!
Front Runner Slimline II Rack Kits For Canopy/Caps Or Trailers
This is another great kit by Front Runner that can be easily installed onto your canopy, cap, or even a trailer. It is made out of stainless steel so you can be sure that it will be sturdy enough to withstand the cargo you are going to carry.
If you pick a taller kit, you will be able to place some things underneath the rack itself such as a Front Runner stainless steel camping table. It is very easy to mount this tray as it slides into the tracks that are on the camper shell.
Eezi Awn K9 Roof Rack For Truck Shell
This is a rack that is mounted on top of the vehicle's shell as the name suggests. It is made in South Africa and tested on some of their harshest roads so you can be sure that it is a very reliable and durable rack to have.
This K9 Roof Rack System is lighter, more functional, more aerodynamic, stronger, more durable, and more aesthetically pleasing than other racks out there. The load capacity will vary depending on the suspensions on your vehicle but the rack can easily withstand over 1000 lbs.
This roof rack can be used to carry bikes, kayaks, shovels, axes, and recovery gear, and can be mounted with a variety of Thule and Yakima accessories.
Ladder Rack Accessories
Ladder rack accessories are an excellent addition to any truck or van that needs to transport long items such as ladders, pipes, or lumber. These accessories can be a game-changer for contractors, DIY enthusiasts, and anyone who needs to transport bulky items on a regular basis. By adding ladder rack accessories, you can increase the carrying capacity of your vehicle and make it more efficient and versatile.
Leitner Designs Gear Pod XL
Let's start our list with the Leitner Designs Gear Pod XL - a solution for all your storage needs on your next off-road adventure! Crafted with precision and built to last, the Gear Pod XL is the perfect addition to your truck bed setup. Featuring a sleek, aerodynamic design, the Gear Pod XL is made from high-quality materials that are both lightweight and durable. With a weight capacity of up to 150 lbs, you can store all your gear and equipment with ease.
The Gear Pod XL is designed with versatility in mind, allowing you to customize your setup to fit your specific needs. The unique design allows for easy installation and compatibility with a variety of accessories, including bike racks, cargo nets, and more. With its weather-resistant construction, the Gear Pod XL is built to withstand even the toughest of conditions.
Front Runner Double Jerry Can Holder
The Double Jerry Can Holder by Front Runner is the ultimate solution for any outdoor enthusiast looking to carry extra fuel on their next adventure. This compact holder is designed to securely and safely transport two 20-liter jerry cans, keeping your fuel supply close at hand and ready for any unexpected detours. Crafted from durable steel, it is built to withstand even the toughest off-road conditions.
It features a black powder-coated finish that not only looks great but also protects against rust and corrosion. The holder is also designed with a locking latch mechanism that ensures your jerry cans stay in place, even when the going gets rough. Installation is a breeze, thanks to the included hardware and easy-to-follow instructions. The holder can be mounted to any flat surface, making it a versatile addition to any vehicle or trailer.
Front Runner Quick Release Roof Top Tent Mount Kit
Crafted with utmost precision and durability, our Quick Release Roof Top Tent Mount Kit guarantees effortless installation and removal of your roof top tent. Say goodbye to tedious and time-consuming setups, as this kit allows you to securely mount and dismount your tent in a matter of minutes. No more struggling with complicated hardware or fumbling with tools - we've made it a breeze to hit the road and embark on your next adventure.
Built to withstand the toughest terrains, our mount kit is constructed from high-quality materials that are built to last. Engineered for superior strength and stability, you can have complete peace of mind knowing that your roof top tent will remain securely in place throughout your entire expedition. No matter the weather conditions or rugged landscapes you encounter, this mount kit will keep your shelter safe and secure, enabling you to focus on enjoying the great outdoors.
Ladder Rack FAQS
Is A Ladder Rack Worth It?
This is a very common question and truthfully the answer depends solely on your needs. If you are someone that goes on off-road adventures and has lots of gear that needs to be carried or you use your vehicle to regularly transport heavy cargo then yes, it is worth it.
How Much Should A Ladder Rack Weigh?
There is honestly no right answer for this. There are so many options to choose from and they all have different features. Some of the bulkier, heavy-duty ladder racks could be more durable and able to withstand more weight.
On the other hand, some of the lightweight racks are good because they do not put a lot of additional weight on your vehicle and thus enabling it to move easier however they may not be able to carry as much weight on them.
Are Ladder Racks Universal?
While there are many models that can fit a variety of vehicles and models there isn’t a single ladder rack that can fit them all. They are built for a particular vehicle model however there are some adjustable racks that can be fitted onto a few more models as well.
Are Ladder Racks Just For Working Vehicles?
The answer to that is no. While they are being used by working vehicles to carry ladders, shovels, and other pieces of equipment they are also being used by outdoor enthusiasts to transport their cargo while on an off-road trip.
What Are Good Ladder Rack Accessories?
Some of the items that could be useful to have on your ladder rack would be; crossbars, mounting brackets, ladder rack straps, ladder rack clamps, PVC conduit carrying kit, and many more.
Do Ladder Racks Work To Carry Other Things?
As we already mentioned besides being able to carry ladders as the name states it is also being used to carry other things such as logs, pipes, shovels, axes, bikes, kayaks, and other construction equipment, and some can even be mounted with a roof top tent.
All Ladder Racks:
Front Runner Slimline II Roof Rack Kit For Lexus GX460
Front Runner Slimline II Roof Rack For 144-170" Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2nd Gen (906) 2006-Current
Front Runner Slimline II Roof Rack For Ford Transit Passenger XLT 2013-Current