Thule TracRac SR Sliding Truck Bed Ladder Rack Installation - 2020 Ford F-150

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How to Install the Thule TracRac SR Sliding Truck Bed Ladder Rack on a 2020 Ford F-150


Ryan: Hey, everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today, on our 2020 Ford F-150, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Thule TracRac SR Sliding Ladder Rack.And to complete this kit, you are going to need to pick up some Thule TracRac Base Rails, which are sold separately. When it comes to ladder racks, there's a ton of different options available, and you're going to want to choose one that's best going to suit your needs.I will say I'm pretty impressed with this one, for one big reason. And that reason really separates this rack from many of the others available. That's the fact that our cross rails here are actually adjustable. So say, if you have a small ladder, or some pieces of lumber, or something like that, you can actually push these two closer together, and accommodate for that load.Or if we have larger items, we're able to pull it all the way back, and again, accommodate for it.

But not only that, you're not always using your ladder rack, and sometimes you need to put something tall in the bed of your truck. Well, a lot of times, you're going to have to kind of work around these ladder racks and it can kind of be a headache.But these, we're actually able to push them both all the way to the front of our truck. On the uprights, are going to have some knobs. And when you loosen those up, you're able to make those adjustments.Like I said, what's pretty neat about this one is, we can pretty much put these right on top of each other. By doing that, we freed up all this space in the bed of our truck here.

And now we can put tall items in here whenever we need to.So if I needed a ladder rack for my truck, one of my first questions would be, "How much can it hold How much can it support" Because you're going to want to load this down over time, I am sure.This one's actually at the higher end of what many ladder racks are rated for. This one is good for 1,250 pounds, and that's a pretty high number. It would really take a lot to max this out. What's even more impressive is this is actually made from aluminum. So it's lightweight, easy to handle, and you know it's not going to rust.

So it's going to last a long time, and we're going to be able to use it, put it to work, for whatever we may need to do.What's pretty cool too, on top of our crossbars, we're going to have these adjustable load locks. So these can really come in handy. Say if you have some lumber up here, and want to keep it secure, other than your traditional straps, it's going to go the extra mile. We're able to loosen up those knobs, put some pressure against it, and tighten down that load lock.For me, that just gave me a little more peace of mind, knowing all my cargo is secure up here. Since the crossbars have these T-tracks here, what you're able to do is use other different types of accessories in this T-track, so it kind of opens up your options.Let's just say, for example, you don't want to use these load locks, say, if they're in the way.

You can actually loosen it up, and pop them out. So, really does give you a ton of different options on how you're able to use your roof rack and other accessories.So it's pretty nice, too, a lot of times, whenever you put these ladder racks on your truck, you lose some of your tie down points, or your anchors. What's pretty cool is Thule actually decided to put a cleat here, on our upright. So it's really solid, and gives us that additional tie down point. That really does come in handy.Let's say, for example, you really only plan on hauling or using your ladder rack for very long loads, like our customer today, if they actually own a lumberyard, and so that's really what they plan on doing. Well, if that is the case, you can make life a little bit easier by picking up the cantilever, which is an additional part that'll bolt right up to this. What that does is actually extend your rack up over the cab of your truck. So it definitely gives you a little more room and space to haul more stuff.You're not going to have to worry about pushing these too far towards the front of the truck, and hitting your cab, because there are a little bump stops here. That'll stop you from having an accident.What's really cool about this setup, too, is that it's made from aluminum. So it's going to be really lightweight and manageable, and better yet, we're not going to have to worry about it rusting out. So it's really going to last a long time, so you get a lot of use out of it.It's going to have a dual stage powder coat finish. So it's really going to do a great job of keeping everything protected, and looking good. Honestly, I think it would take a lot to beat this thing up, so it should stay looking good, and lasting for a very long time.One of the big questions we get asked all the time, in regards to this ladder rack system, is if you're going to be able to use a tonneau cover with it. Well, some tonneau covers will work, and others won't. The way you can kind of find that out is, if the tonneau cover actually gets secured to the inside of your bed, I would say, chances are pretty good, it'll probably work out.Now, I can't be certain for every single one of them, but there is a couple that I do know work for sure. We've had them in the shop, with this tonneau cover, and this ladder rack combination. And the two that we do know work is the BAK Revolver X2 and X4. So if you're looking to keep your stuff inside of your bed protected, and still have a ladder rack, that's a great choice to go to.Our base rails here are going to get installed on top of our bed rails, and they're going to utilize the stake pockets to secure them. What's nice about that is there's no drilling or anything required, but we have had some customers wonder how strong that really is, because it's just a rubber block, that is attached to a bolt, that goes down into that stake pocket.I could understand that concern. You might think it doesn't do a good job of keeping everything tight, but it actually works out really well. Just to show you, I'll grab the end here, right where it is secured. If I pull up on it, as hard as I can, it doesn't even budge. With that in mind, I don't see it giving me any issues as far as getting loose, or having any problems down the road.At the end of the day, a really nice ladder rack that's going to get the job done. Because of its design, what's really cool about it is, you can grow into it if you need to. You can use it for other accessories, say, if you want to go on a trip on the weekend, maybe throw some kayaks up here, something like that. And if you have to, get that extra cantilever that extends this all the way to the cab of your truck. So it's one you really can't go wrong with.Now as far as the installation goes, it's really not too bad. There's no crazy modifications or anything like that. So you shouldn't have any trouble getting it done at home, in your garage, or maybe even in the driveway. Speaking of which, let's go ahead and put it all together now.To begin our installation, we're first going to want to preassemble our base rails here. Now these are side-specific, so be sure to check in your instructions to make sure you have the correct side.All right, now we're going to be starting with the driver's side base rail. So let's move here to the end, and identify which hole that we need to use. That way, we can get our hardware in place.Again, there's a diagram of instructions, because at each end, and in the middle of our base rail, we're going to have multiple locations of holes, for different makes and models of trucks. So find your make and model. In our case, we have the F-150, so we're going to be using this hole here.What we're going to do is take one of these bolts, and a plastic washer. We're going to drop that down through that hole. That way, it will come out of the bottom here.Then, on this end of the bolt, to keep it kind of steady, you can actually take the included Allen key, a little pressure on it there. But what we're going to do is take the shin, slide that over. Going to take this rubber block, slide that over. And then this nut plate, we're just going to barely get it tight enough, to just to kind of hold everything together here.I'm going to do this same process for my other two mounting locations. And I'll show you what it looks like once I have them done.So I went ahead and finished preassembling our base rail. Here is the holes that I used, the other locations. Here in the middle. I used that hole right there. Again, just same combination of parts, in the back side. Then at the very end, towards the front of our truck, that's the hole I used right there.What we can do now is come over to our truck bed, and remove the little covers here, that's blocking our safe pocket. So it's pretty straightforward. Just take a trim tool, or a flathead screwdriver or something like that, and you just kind of pry underneath that cap. It'll simply just pop out. So I'll do that for the other two that are remaining.With our base rail preassembled now, we can simply just line up everything with the stake pockets here. These are just going to kind of drop into place. You may have to push down a little bit. This does fit a little bit snug, but now that we have this one side in like this, you're going to want to repeat the same process for the other side of our truck.Now, when I went ahead and did is made sure that our base rails are square and true. So I measured here at the front of the truck, from this side to this side, and then measured that same distance at the back of the truck.You want to make sure that the number is the same. That way, you know it's the same distance apart here at the front of the truck, as it is in the back. And that way we know it is square.Then you want to make sure that the top of the base rails are flat. To do that, you can either use a straight edge, and run it across from side to side, or use a level, and make sure everything is well without. If you're not level, what you can do is, those plastic shims that we put on underneath our base rails, you can push those in or out, to adjust the pitch here or the rails.Once you're all squared and true, you can come back into each stake pocket, and tighten those nuts down. Once we have everything straight and where we want it, we can come back and torque all the hardware, to the amount specified in our instructions.(silence)Now, at the very front of our base rails, closest to the cab of our truck, we're going to have a couple of threaded holes here. What we're going to do is take these small bolts and run them down. These are going to act as safety bolts.That way, our rack that we put into the rails can't accidentally be pushed all the way forward, and to the cab of the truck. Once I get them started hand tight, I'll just come back with an Allen key, kind of snowing back. I'm going to repeat this process over on the other side as well.Now we can do is preassemble all of our uprights, which is this piece here. The first thing we're going to want to do is take our cleat, and secure it to the upright. You can see there's two threaded holes there. Those holes on our cleat'll line up with it. Just set that on top.Then you're going to take this Allen head bolt, drop it down through there, same thing for this one. We're just going to start to tighten them down. I'm going to use my Allen key to snug them up, and once I have them snug, I can come back with a torque wrench, and tighten them down to the amount specified in our instructions.Once we have this to torqued down, you can move here to the top portion of our upright. What we're going to do is take one of these short bolts, put it in like this, and then we're going to take one of these square nuts, and just barely get it started, maybe about one turn, just so the nut stays on. Do the same thing for this bottom hole. Once I have this on, you're just going to repeat the same process for the rest of your uprights.Now we can preassemble our crossbars. So the first thing you're going to want to do is, make sure you lay it down flat, with the bottom of the crossbar facing up towards you. You can identify the bottom, because the bottom side is going to have two of these little things here.With that being said, we're seeing what we got to work on is our corner braces, so the corner brace that doesn't have this raised edge, you want this flat edge. What we're going to do is take one of these small bolts, push it through. Again, one of these square nuts, just get a couple of turns on it. Then we're going to slide this nut into the track. So it will be positioned like this.Now the other corner brace is set up the same way. So go ahead and get that one in, too. And from this point on, anything we do to one side, we're also going to repeat on the other side, because it's all set up the same way.At this point, we can take our preassembled upright, and slide it into the bottom of our crossbar. So this is going to work the same way as our corner braces. We're just going to get our square nuts started inside of the track.(silence)Just like that. Now we can grab this longer bolt here, and put it through our corner brace end. This is going to get secured to be, well, not there in our upright. Just line it up. We just want to keep everything loose for now, so just get a few threads going on it.Now we're able to install our load stops. You want this edge of the load stop to be facing towards the center of the crossbar. And if you flip it over on the bottom, you can see it's going to have one little square piece of metal there, pre-attached.What we're going to do is take the bolt here, that has the square head on it, pass that through the bottom. On this side, we're going to take our knob, and just get that going a couple of terms. Then we can line up those squares with the track here, on top of our crossbar, or just push it towards the center, kind of out of the way.Once we have that in there, we can assemble our end cap. So, and this works pretty simple. You look on one side of the end cap there, this bottom piece, it's going to be flat, and you're going to want that flat side to rest on this edge here. It's going to sit in there, just like that.If you see that threaded hole, it's going to line up with this hole right there, and our crossbar. So we put that on. We'll take our small screw, and get that tightened now.Now, with an extra set of hands, we can slide in our whole assembly, starting with the front first. The upright is just going to simply slide on the outer track here on our base rail. So we'll line that up and get it going. You kind of want to work this at the same time.If it gets hung up a little bit, you might just have to give the crossbar a push, one way or the other. Eventually, we'll be able to work it all the way up towards the front of our truck.Then we're going to do the same thing with our other assembly, except this time, you want to make sure you put the uprights on the inner track here, on our base plate. This time, we'll slide it up maybe about halfway. Now that we have everything up here, you're going to want to take the knobs, and just get them started here in our uprights.You don't have to really crank down on them just yet, but just get them going. And then, you want to move up to your cross bar, and make sure it is centered. What I mean by that is, you're going to want to take a tape measure, and measure the overhang here, and you want it to be the same on each side.Once you have that crossbar centered, you can tighten down all of your hardware to the amount specified in the instructions. I'm going to start with this bolt first, then this one, and then you can work your way down.Now that we have all of our hardware tightened, if we look inside of our base rails, there's just going to be a series of holes here, and they do provide us with these little caps or plugs. We'll just go ahead and pop all those in. These are straightforward. Simply just push them all the way down to inaudible 00:19:40.Then, on the ends of our base rails, we're going to take our little stopper screws, thread them in, and just snug them down. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Thule TracRac SR Sliding Ladder Rack, on our 2020 Ford F150.


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Employee Dustin K
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Employee Chris R
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Employee Ryan G
Test Fit:
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