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. So 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. And 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 some 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 racks, you're 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.

So like I said, what's pretty neat about this one is we can pretty much put these right on top of each other. And so 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, this is going to kind of go the extra mile. We're able to loosen up those knobs, put some pressure against it and tighten down that load lock. So for me, that just gives me a little more peace of mind, knowing all my cargo is secure up here.And 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. And 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. And 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. And let's say, for example, you really only plan on hauling or using your ladder rack for very long loads. Like our customer today, 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. And what that does is actually extend your rack up over the cab of your truck. So definitely gives you a little more room and space to haul more stuff.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 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. And honestly, I think it would take a lot to beat this thing up, so should stay looking good and lasting for a very long time.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 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 at 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 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. So I can understand that concern. You might think it doesn't do a good job of 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 giving you any issues as far as getting loose or having any problems down the road.So at the end of the day, a really nice ladder rack that's going to get the job done. And because of its design, what's really cool about it is you can kind of grow into it if you need to. You can use it for other accessory. 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 and your drive, or maybe even in the driveway. Speaking of which let's go ahead and put it on together now.To begin our installation, we're first going to want to pre-assemble 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. Now, 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 diagram and 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 kind of 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. We'll take this rubber block, slide that over. And then this nut plate, we're just going to barely get it tight enough, just to kind of 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 have 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 sake pocket. So it's pretty straight forward, stick a trim tool or a flathead screwdriver, something like that. 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. So with our base rail pre-assembled now, we can simply just line up everything with the stake pockets here. So 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 what 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 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 kind of adjust the pitch here of the rails. So once you're all square 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, you 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 and to the cab of the truck. Once I get them started hand tight, and we'll just come back with an Allen key and kind of snug them down. And I'm going to repeat this process over on the other side as well.Now what we can do is pre-assemble 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 to the upright. So you can see there's two threaded holes there. Those holes on our cleat will line up with it. 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. 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, 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. Do the same thing for this bottom hole. And once I have this on, you're just going to repeat the same process for the rest of your uprights. Now we can pre-assemble 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, the one with 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, just get a couple of turns on it. Then we're going to slide this nut into each track. So it will be positioned like this.Now the other corner brace, set up the same way, so I'll 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 pre-assembled 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, 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 well 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. And 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. We'll just get that going a couple of turns. Then we can line up the squares with each track here on top of our crossbar. And just push that towards the center, kind of 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. We'll put that on. We'll take our small screw and get that tightened down.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. We'll line that up, get it going. And you kind of want to work this at the same time. If it gets hung up a little bit, you might just kind of have to give the crossbar or push one way or the other. Eventually we'll be able to work it all the way up towards the front of our trunk.And 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 crossbar and make sure it is centered. So 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. So once he had 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.So 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. So we'll just go ahead and pop all those in. These are straightforward. Simply just push them all the way down until you seat them. And 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 F-150.

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