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Thule Ladder Racks Review - 2021 Jeep Gladiator

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Review of the Thule Ladder Racks on a 2021 Jeep Gladiator


Hey everyone, Conner here today at etrailer.com. Today, we're going to be going over and showing you how to install the Thule Xsporter adjustable truck bed ladder rack here on our 2021 Jeep Gladiator. Keep in mind, we have silver installed right now, but it is also available in black. So our exporter ladder rack is going to be an excellent option here for our Gladiator. Now, if you're like most Jeep owners, you're going to be spending a lot of time outdoors, hitting the trails that you want to go kayaking, or you can be using your gladiators, a work truck and you need to haul lumber. We need to haul ladders pretty much long loads.

This exporter is going to be an excellent option.So there are going to be plenty of truck, bed, ladder racks on the market. The Xsporter certainly isn't your only option. However, it is one of the very few that has the adjustable uprights. So what I mean by this is the height of our uprights here. Our crossbars can actually be adjusted up and down 32 different positions to be exact.

It's super easy to do on the inside here. We have this little locking knobs. We'll simply loosen those up, one on either side here. I want to make sure we have a hold of our upright here, because once those are loose, we can actually drop the entire height of our crossbars here. We can secure them at different positions depending on what we're carrying.

So for example, if we have a small kayak, just a one person kayak, only a couple of feet long, we don't necessarily need to raise it up above the roof of our vehicle here.So to be a little bit easier for us to load, or if we're using it for a rooftop tent, which is a very common accessory that people are now using, we can definitely drop the height of these crossbars here to make things a little bit easier on us. So then when we are ready to carry our longer loads, such as our lumber, ladder, even some of those longer kayaks and canoes, we can simply just raise them back up by loosening our knocks here and pulling up on our uprights here. Then we'll simply tighten the knobs back down to lock everything in place. We do have these numbers here on the inside, so we can make sure that we get it level side to side. So with our ladder racks here, it's actually going to come with four adjustable load stops.

So essentially what this basically is going to do is ,we'll loosen the handle and then we can slide them apart, depending on what loads we're going to be carrying. These work really well for ladders or lumber.We'd put our ladder in here, but button up both up against the ladder and then simply tighten down the knobs to lock them in place. You'll also noted this integrated channel we have here. There's going to be a pretty important feature to this ladder rack. So the size and shape of our crossbars are going to be much larger than the ones you'll find on the roof of your vehicle. Therefore, a lot of our clamp-on accessories won't actually fit around these larger crossbars. But if we want to kayak carriers, we're going to need to find a way to Mount it to these and how we can do that is via the integrated track. So there are some kayak carriers, there are a lot of rooftop, mountain accessories out there on the market that can mount on these tracks. We can use those perfectly. We don't have to worry about not working with the clamp on accessories due to the size of the crossbars. So our ladder rack has a 450 pound weight capacity. Therefore, we're going to be able to fit plenty of items here upon the crossbars. We can put ladders up here. We can put canoes up here. We can really put all kinds of things. And since the crossbars are 72 inches wide, we're going to be able to fit multiple of those things.We could fit several kayaks. We could even fit a kayak and a ladder. Let's go ahead and show you that now. We've got our ladder up here. All we need to do to secure it, we have our load stops, loosen them, push it all the way against the ladder here. And we'll just lock them down in place. Repeat that on all four sides. That's going to stop our ladder from shifting side to side. We also, however need to stop it from moving front to back. And that's where our tie-downs are going to come into place. These are pretty easy to use. We just have some basic cam-buckle ones here. You have some ratchet straps. Those will work perfectly as well, but essentially we're just going to be wrapping around the ladder rack and our ladder here just to secure everything down. So as you can see now we've got our ladder and our kayak up there.Chances are, you're probably not going to be carrying both of these items together, but just to give you a little bit better view of what all we can be using our ladder rack for. It's going to be super versatile and overall an excellent option here for our Gladiator. Let's go ahead and jump into the installation now that we've gone over some of the basics. So to start our installation, we're going to go ahead and in similar uprights to the crossbar and then to our modular feet. We do want to pay attention to the modular feet because it does matter side to side and front to back. But aside from that, once we get everything assembled, we can go ahead and sit it inside our truck bed here. We're going to be starting with the Ford most upright and we are limited to how far forward we can install those depending on what height we want to adjust our ladder rack to.So we could actually slide these modular feet all the way forward against the header of our truck bed here, but that is going to limit the amount that we can drop down the uprights here. If we look on the inside of the bed here, over here on the driver's side, it's basically due to the shape of our bed. We have this contour here. So if we had the upright or if we had the ladder act all the way towards the cab here, we're not going to be able to drop the height of the rack very much because we have this little pocket here. So what we need to do is we need to go ahead and move it forward about five or six inches. This is going to give us much more adjustability because when we actually lower the uprights, which I'll show you here soon, the bottom of the crossbar or the vertical leg is actually going to come down in our truck bed here.And we're going to be limited by the wheel wells. So we're not going to be able to go all the way down, but we can still just the height a pretty good margin here. If we have it recessed about five to six is in from the header. So now we're going to get our second upright or other half of our rack here up in the truck bed. We're going to go ahead and at this time we're going to have the two Allen head bolts on either side of her saddle loose. That way we can adjust our crossbar left to right, make sure the spread of our uprights here on our feet is even just like that. Now what we're going to do is we're going to actually tighten down the two Allen bolts here on either side of her saddle using a seven 30 second inch Allen head bit.So now once we have the uprights in the correct position here, we're going to go ahead and slide our rubber pads under the modular feet here to make sure we don't deformed our bedsides or our rail covers here. So we'll just lift that up and slide it in there like so. We'll do that same process on the other side. So now we can go ahead and secure the modular base to the bedsides here using our clamp, our Allen bolt and our little foot here. So the way this works is, it actually sits on top of the bolt. Once we have that on there, this is actually going to press up on the bottom of the bedside. So we're going to go ahead and loosen this here, install our little foot here. We noticed that the top, there'll be a little divot here, that's going to line up with the channel we have in the top of our base. So once we get that into position, we may need to move it along or loosen it a little more to get it to fit snug under there.Then we can go ahead and tighten it down. Keep in mind, we're going to be installing two of these clamps on each side. So we need to make sure they're spaced evenly. So what I'd like to point out once we have all of our clamps tighten, we do have these little locks here, which go over this little tab here. You see on the bottom of the clamp, slide over like that. And then we can purchase the Thule one key lock core separately in order to lock these basically prevent anyone from removing our ladder rack. And now we'll do it today for our look and installation of the Thule Xsporter adjustable truck bed ladder rack here on our 2021 Jeep Gladiator.


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