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

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


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 with Cantilever. So when it comes to ladder racks, there's a ton of different choices available on the market. And you're going to want to pick one that works best for you. You really can't go wrong with the Thule and that's because it's going to be able to handle just about anything you want to throw at it. Part of the reasoning is this cantilever here.

So this is going to extend over your truck's roof and give you 32 more inches of real estate. And so not only can you haul more stuff up here but longer or even larger items. So for example, you can see our very long ladder extends well over the roof, and it really gives it a lot more support.It makes everything a lot more safe as opposed to a ladder rack that didn't have this cantilever, this would be extending all the way over the roof and wouldn't have that support there. This would be bouncing around, creating a disturbance, and just overall isn't really desirable. What's really awesome too, this is going to have a super-high weight capacity.

So it's really going to take a lot to max it out. If you're using just the rear and front crossbar here, the weight capacity is going to be 1,250 pounds. However, if your cargo extends all the way to the very front crossbar where the cantilever is, that weight capacity is going to go down to 1000 pounds. But with that being said, that's still a very impressive number. And it would really take a lot of stuff up here to even come close to maxing that out.And one of the really big things that separates this kit from many of the others is whenever we're not using our ladder rack, we can actually slide this back one all the way up to the front.

And so that's going to allow us to have full bed access. Say, if you want to put in some taller objects, we're not going to have to work around our ladder rack. But with that being said, we'll get to that in a minute and I'll show you how that works. But first let's talk about some of the other smaller features here that make this thing pretty neat. So a lot of the times, whenever you put on a ladder rack, you lose a lot of your tie-down points, and that's not the case at this one.

Thule actually put in these really nice anchors here, and it gives you a lot of different options as far as what you can use to secure down your cargo.Even up top, we're going to have a little load lock. So these are adjustable by turning a knob. You can space them out or push them close together. And that's just going to give you a nice little stopper there to prevent your cargo from shifting side to side. So it's just one extra little thing to keep everything nice and secure. So in these crossbars, actually utilize a T channel. So Thule does make different types of accessories that will work with this. So it really gives you a ton of different options on what you can use your ladder rack for. Say, if you want to use it for work, hauling around your ladders and whatnot through the week, but maybe on the weekend, you want to get out maybe a kayak or something like that and throw it up here as well. You're able to use this one ladder rack to get everything done.And as promised, here's my favorite part about this ladder rack. So once you have your cargo off and you need to free up this room, you can loosen up your knobs here and then just push this all the way towards the front. Or let's say, if you have a real short ladder or something like that, and want to utilize half your bed, you can lock this down wherever you want. So it's really convenient. Let's say for our sake, we need to get something tall on the bed of our truck, slide it all the way forward, lock it back down, and then we're going to have a ton of space back here to allow us to get whatever we might need in and out, without any interference. And you're not going to have to worry about pushing these too far towards the front of the truck and hit your cab because there are little bump stops here, so that'll stop you from having an accident.What's really cool about the 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, keeping everything protected and looking good. And honestly, I think it would take a lot to beat the thing up. So should stay looking good and lasting for a very long time. And in case, if you we're wondering, the length of our crossbars are going to be 69 and a half inches, which in my opinion is about the perfect size it's going to extend pretty much the entire length of the bed on most late model pickup trucks.Now, something you need to think about too, is whenever we add anything to our roof or above our vehicle, we are going to get a little bit of wind noise, especially at higher speeds on the highway. Our crossbars are going to be cutting through the wind. Well, what helps reduce that noise is the elliptical shape. So they're going to be a little bit more aerodynamic and help keep things quiet. And if you're wondering how high everything is going to be extended from your truck bed, from the base rail here, all the way up to the top of the crossbar it's only going to be about 28 and 15, 16ths of an inch. So 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.And the way you can 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. So 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. So what's nice about that is there's no drilling or anything required, but we have had some customers who wanted to know 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.So I can understand that concern. You might think it doesn't do a good job at keeping everything tight, but it actually works out really well. And just to show you I'll grab the end here, right where it is secured. And if I pull up on it, as hard as I can, it doesn't even budge. So with that in mind, I don't see it giving you any issues as far as getting loose or having any problems down the road. So at the end of the day, an awesome ladder rack, that's going to be able to handle just about anything you want to throw at it. It's going to be super versatile, so whether you want to use it for work or play, it's going to get the job done. 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. 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. So again, there's a diagram in the 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 and 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 steady, you can actually take the included Allen key, put a little pressure on it there. But what we're going to do is take the shim, slide that over and 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 hold everything together here. So 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 had them done. So I went ahead and finished pre assembling our base rail. And here is the holes that I used, the other locations. Here in the middle I used that hole right there. And again, just same combination of parts on the backside.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 stake pocket. So that's pretty straight forward, stick a trim tool or a Flathead screwdriver or something like that, and just pry underneath that cap, it'll simply just pop out. So I'll do that for the other two that are remaining. So with our base rail preassembled now, we can simply just line up everything with the stake pockets here. So these are just going to drop into place. I 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 this 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. And 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. And then you want to make sure that the top of the base rails are flat. And 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 leveled out. And 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 of the rails. So once you're all squared and true, you can come back into each stake pocket and tighten those nuts down.So 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. 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. And what we're going to do is take these small bolts and run them down. And 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 into the cab of the truck. Once I get them started hand tight, I'll just come back with an Allen key and snug them down. Now I'm going to repeat this process over on the other side as well. Now, what 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.So you can see there's two threaded holes there, those holes on our cleat will line up with it, just set that on top, and you're going to take this Allen head bolt, drop it down through there, same thing for this one, and we're just going to start to tighten them down, just 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. So once we have this torqued down, the front uprights or the ones close to the cab of our truck are going to be a little bit different than the rear two. And that's because we have to add on our cantilever kit. So we're actually going to take this top assembly off. So if you look inside right here, we're going to have two Allen head bolts. We'll go ahead, take our seven thirty second Allen key and remove those.So once we pull both these out, this top piece will slide off and we can replace it with the one that will allow us to use our cantilever. So we can take our new piece for our cantilever and put this on our upright. So you want to position this you can see one angle is a little bit longer than the other. So you want to fashion it in a way that the shorter side is on the same side as our anchor, so just like that. This'll get bolted on the same way that we removed the other one, so let's take our bolts, we'll get both of them started and I'll snug them down and come back with a torque wrench to properly tighten them. Now that we have our front uprights assembled, we can work on our crossbars here. So you want to start on the bottom of the crossbar, so that'll be this side. And I know this is the bottom because there's a couple of fins here. So that's what separates the bottom from the top.What we're going to do though, is take this corner bracket and the side that doesn't have a beveled edge will get put on the bottom of our crossbar. So the way we're going to do that, get the short bolt, push that through, take a square nut and just get a couple of turns going on, and this nut is going to slide in this track. So we can just push this down and out of the way for now. And at this point, we can actually get our upright onto the cross bar as well. So what you're going to want to do is take that bolt and that nut, and just get a thread or two started on it. That's going to rest in the upright like this. And so that nut is going to line up with the track here in our crossbar. You may have to work it a little bit to get it in that correct position, but once you do it'll slide right in.Same thing on this end, at that same hardware combo. And then we can just work our upright down a little ways, keeping it out of the way. If I slide this in this position, we can take our corner brace, going to take a longer bolt through this beveled edge, this beveled hole rather, and that's just going to line up with this weld nut here in our upright. So we're just going to get this hand tight as well, just a few turns. And then you just simply want to repeat that same process over here on the other side. At this point, we can take our saddle home, and if you look on the edge there, you're going to see these two threaded holes. You're going to want to position those facing down towards the ground and the holes on the face of the hub facing out.The way that's going to work is, it's just going to slide over our crossbar and these holes that's on there and on the other side are going to line up with those threaded holes in our hub there. It's going to rest on top, and then if we take these bolts going from the bottom, we're going to thread those in and we're just going to get them started hand tight for now. At this point, we can grab our cantilever arm, and this is going to slide over our crossbar and the holes in that are going to line up with the holes in our hub. So push it up flat, we're going to loosely secure it, using these bolts here. Now let's get all of these going and hand tight. Now we can torque all of our hardware down to the amount specified in the instructions.And I will say with these bolts here, holding our cantilever arm on there is an orientation you need to follow, it's just a star pattern. So be sure to just check your instructions and make sure you're torquing it down correctly. Take the little end cap here. That's going to sit inside of our cross tube. You want this little flat portion just to rest on top that portion there that has a hole in it, and do that. Then we can grab this bolt, and come up from the bottom and just thread it in and snug it down. Now we can set up our load locks, so on the bottom side here, you can see there's one square piece of metal, we're going to take these bolts with these square head, slide that through, take our knob, just a couple of turns on it.And if you look down here on top of our crossbar, there's going to be a larger section. So we can take these squares, get them going in the track and that will complete that. Now, when you put these load locks in, you want to make sure to have both of them facing each other like this. Now you can take your front crossbar and slide it into the openings here on your cantilever. So there is an up and a down or a top and a bottom rather for the crossbar. Make sure you check the instructions to have it positioned correctly. That's just going to slide in there and we're going to have a few different pieces of hardware that we're going to use to secure it. On the top here, we're going to use this bolt, the large square head.That's going to slide in through this opening. We can just push that all the way over, like so, take our nylon lock nut and just get it started hand tight. Then on the bottom side, we're going to take this bolt like this, put it in the channel, slide it all the way over, going to take a flat washer and a nylon lock nut, and get that hand tight as well. And while we're down here, you can again take that same type of bolt, run it into the channel. We can grab the support bracket, just slide one into that support bracket over the bolt. Take another nylon lock nut and get it started hand tight. So the other end of the support bracket is going to line up with this hole right here. So we'll get that lined up and we're going to take just a standard hex bolt, a flat washer, through our bracket and up into that hole.So here where this bolt comes through, take another nylon lock nut and get it going hand tight. We're just going to repeat this same process over on the other side. So now what you want to do is make sure that you've centered your crossbar. So you want the same distance to overhang on each end. And once you centered it, we can tighten and torque down all of our hardware. So all of the nuts we're nine sixteenths in size with the exception of this one nut here up top, that's going to be a half inch in size. Now with an extra set of hands, we can slide our assembly onto our base rail. And we want to make sure that we're on the outside track. Once we get it going, we'll just carefully work our way towards the front of the truck.Now I will say you want everything to be centered and even once you get it up here on the truck, so you may have to loosen a bolt or two here or there to make an adjustment if you need to. But with that being said, you're just going to want to make sure that your overhangs are going to be the same on each side. Now that we assembled the front, let's go ahead and put together the rear cross bar. 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. And once I have this on, we'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 fins here. With that being said, first thing we're going 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. And again, one of these square nuts, let's get a couple of turns on it and we're going to slide this nut into the track, so it will be positioned like this. Now the other corner brace 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 it's going to work the same way as our corner braces. We're just going to get our square nuts started inside of the track, just like that. So now we can grab this longer bolt here and put it through our corner brace end. And this is going to get secured to the weld nut there in our upright. So just line it up and 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 and on this side, we're going to take our knob and just get that going a couple of turns.Then we can line up the squares with the track here on top of our crossbar. Just push it towards the center, out of the way. Now, once we have that in there, we can assemble our end cap. So the way this works is 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. And if you see that threaded hole, it's going to line up with this hole right there in our crossbar. So we'll put that on, we'll take our small screw and get that tightened down. So now that we assembled the rear, let's go ahead and grab a friend and slide this one into position. So this one is going to get installed on the inside track here of our base rail.So you want to get them lined up at the same time and just work it on simultaneously. So just go ahead and push this one up about halfway. At this point we can grab our knobs and these are just going to get threaded into our uprights. So for the time being, we'll just get them hand tight. Whenever we permanently want to set the location of our uprights, is when we actually snug these completely down. So inside of our base rails, there's multiple holes that we're there to allow these rails to work with multiple different trucks. But now that we're done using them, we can take these little caps and just plug them up for a cleaner look. And now, since we have our ladder rack installed on the truck, we can install our little safety screws here, again, these are just threaded here into the end, and these will prevent you from accidentally sliding the rack inaudible 00:29:50.So once you made sure that you have everything where you want it, it's nice and level the overhang is even and everything slides properly, what you're going to do is torque all of the remaining hardware down to the amount specified in the instructions. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Thule TracRac SR Sliding Ladder Rack with Cantilever on our 2020 Ford F-150.


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Info for this part was:

Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee David F
Installed by:
David F
Employee Ryan G
Test Fit:
Ryan G

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