Thule Xsporter Pro Truck Bed Ladder Rack Installation - 2018 Toyota Tacoma

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How to Install the Thule Xsporter Pro Truck Bed Ladder Rack on a 2018 Toyota Tacoma

Speaker 1: Today on our 2018 Toyota Tacoma we're gonna be test fitting the Thule Xsporter Pro adjustable height truck bed ladder rack, part number TH500XT-XK4. This is the silver color. This also comes in black as part number TH500XTB-XK4.The Thule Xsporter Pro is a pretty unique ladder rack in that it's height can be adjusted, meaning you can adjust the height to use this with an existing roof rack if you have things that go beyond your actual ladder rack, or you can have things such as the ladder, the lumber, or your home improvement equipment above the cab like you see here. Or you can even adjust it to go below the cab to carry items such as tents.Another feature that makes this ladder rack unique is it works with vehicles with a deck rail system, like you see here, using the special clamps. It does come with load stops, which are adjustable back and forth by loosening and tightening the knobs here, so you can keep those in place while you tie them down.While it doesn't include any tie-downs for your ladders or your gear, there are several options at that you can find that will suit that purpose.This does have a two track up at the top, and this is how you slide your load stops back and forth. It adjusts by loosening this knob here on either side to the left at the same time.

So you may need an extra set of hands to do this. And then you adjust the height to whatever setting you may need. And there are numbers on each rung here so you know where you're at on both sides. Now, as far as adjustability is concerned, from the top of the bedrail to the top of the bar it has a range from 6 inches to 31 1/2 inches.We've gone ahead and removed our gear here to show off some additional features. First, we're gonna talk about the aerodynamic shape of the bars themselves.

You see the aerodynamic shape here, and that's gonna help cut down wind noise and drag while you drive. And it also has a rubber strip up at the top when it's not being used to also help out with that as well.Now, if you're hauling gear that's below the truck bed that's gonna help you out a lot with wind noise and drag, also, because it's not gonna be in that direct wind hit.This has a carrying capacity of 450 pounds. And the load bar dimensions are gonna be 72 inches long by 3 1/2 inches wide by 1 1/2 inches tall.When comparing the system with other ladder racks, one that comes up is gonna be the T Rack Pro 2 ladder rack from Track Rack.Now, these do have some similarities in that they're both aluminum made, they're both very sturdy. However, there are some differences that we wanna go over too. For one, it's gonna be the carrying capacity.

The Track Rack is gonna have 1,000 pounds carrying capacity compared to the 450 that the Xsporter has.Now, a lot of that comes with its adjustability, which is its second difference. The Track Rack is a solid rack, you can not adjust it up or down as needed. And with this being able to be adjusted up and down as needed, that's what gonna affect the load rate.Another advantage of the T Rack Pro 2 is that it can work with truck bed toolboxes once being installed because it has special hardware to do so. Unfortunately, with the Xsporter, since it does, again, have the adjustability, it will not work with toolboxes.One of the customers' concerns about this ladder rack is gonna be with the clamps themselves, mainly with the bolts that are used to install them because they keep on stripping out. One thing that helped us out when we installed this was before we even put them onto the truck bed itself we took the clamp by itself as well as the bolt and we ran them in and out, back and forth, and to get all the burs out of the actual threads inside the clamp.Another concern that customers have with the clamps is how often you have to tighten them down because they're afraid of them coming loose while you drive.

They do recommend in the instructions that after so many miles or so many hours of use that you do retighten or re torque these as you go.Most of the customers pretty much concurred that they really like the adjustability of the rack and how easy it is to put it together with the instructions.Now that we've gone over some of the features of the Xsporter Pro let's go ahead and show you how it installs. But first, I'd like to come up to the front here and show you how we installed our front bar. We went ahead and placed it as close to the cab as we could get it, which is gonna be in this vicinity here. Then, of course, we attach the clamps. Now, as far as spacing for the clamps is concerned, you wanna make sure it's at least three inches, because anything less than that is gonna actually lower your carrying capacity in the long run.Now we're ready to move on to the rear portion of our ladder rack. We'll grab an extra set of hands and we'll go ahead and set it in place.First we'll take our shims, set them down in the general place where we're gonna set our ladder rack. We'll do this on both sides. And this is to help protect the bed rails once we install this.With our shims in place we're now gonna put the clamps into place to make it a little bit easier for the install for us. We're gonna go into our deck rail system here. We'll first remove the end cap, and that simply slides right off.Now we'll take our clamp, we'll place our metal bracket on top of the screws so it sits like so. And this portion here will slide into our deck rail system like so. And we'll repeat this for our other clamp as well.And now we can grab our rear portion of our ladder rack. Just sit it down on top of the shims on each side. And then we'll measure from center to center of our bars here just to make sure the spacing is even on both sides too.Now, if you need to make any adjustments once this is set in place you can loosen the allen head bolts on either side of our arms here on both sides and adjust it accordingly to your truck bed width. You could also adjust the overhang of the crossbar as well that way.Next, we're gonna slide our clamps on. We came to an issue here where with the shims in place we can't actually get the clamp around no matter how much we push down on the leg itself. Since this particular truck bed has a bed liner in already to help protect the rail we're gonna go ahead and remove the shims so we can continue with the install.So now we're able to slide our clamps into place and begin to tighten them down, again making sure that spacing is over three inches. And now we can tighten down the clamps with the bolts here. And you're gonna need a 7/32 allen tool to do this. This does come included. But today we're gonna use a ratchet just to make it a little bit easier for us. We'll be doing this in both the driver's and passenger side. You wanna tighten this down until it's nice and snug and it's not gonna go anywhere.Now, with everything in place where we want it our next step is to adjust the height of our rear ladder rack to match the height of our front. And how do you do that is, you go to the knobs on each side, turn them to the left to loosen them up, then you go by the numbers and match them up with the ones at the front.Now with both sides loosened up and an extra set of hands to let it come down until it matches the number with our front bar, we'll have it right about that setting there to where you can just see it just above our point there. And then, simply tighten it back up till it's nice and tight and it's not gonna move.Now with the heights of our bars adjusted and even on both front and rear, now we can start thinking about loading up our gear. We have a ladder and some lumber, so what we're gonna do is loosen up the knobs at the top here of our load stops on both sides so they can be adjusted. And we're gonna remove our rubber strip up at the top so we can actually adjust our load stops, like so. And we'll repeat this for our front bar.Now, with our ladder in place, we'll push our load stop up against the ladder and tighten down our knobs nice and tight. Do that up at the front as well. Then we'll grab our lumber, put that next to it, and use our load stops to push up against that.Now, with everything loaded up, we're ready to hit the road.And there you have it for the Thule Xsporter Pro adjustable height truck bed ladder rack on our 2018 Toyota Tacoma.

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Test Fit:
Zack K
Test Fit:
Jon G
Video by:
Andrew K
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Video Edited:
Jacob T

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