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In this article you will be able to learn a thing or two about ladder racks, what are they, and what are they 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.
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 ladder rack 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 ladder 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 ladder racks have different ways of securing a shipment. Some ladder racks have points where you can wrap around your rope and secure the haul that way. Some ladder racks 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.
As the name states, these are the ladder 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ladder rack is designed to fit Toyota pickup trucks however only a few can be mounted with it.
This ladder rack is 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.
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.
This ladder rack 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.
This ladder 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. This ladder rack 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 into this ladder rack is 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.
This is another ladder rack 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.
This ladder rack weighs only 85 lbs. and has forged aluminum construction. It can fit many Thule, Rhino-Rack, and Yakima accessories. You will also find rubber wind diffusers that will keep your cargo from shifting. It is designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA.
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.
This ladder rack 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 5the Gen 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.
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 1500 lbs. 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 and won’t interfere with the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
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, van roof racks are excellent ladder racks due to how long they are, and how many tying points there are on the rack for the ladder!
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.
This roof rack by Front Runner 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.
Another great thing about this roof rack is that you can mount many Front Runner 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.
This section will highlight the best truck cap ladder rack options we have used, tested and that we know are safe and reliable!
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.
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.
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.
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.
While there are many ladder racks that can fit a variety of vehicles and models there isn’t a single ladder rack that can fit them all. Ladder racks are built for a particular vehicle model however there are some adjustable racks that can be fitted onto a few more models as well.
The answer to that is no. While ladder racks 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.
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.
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.
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