Ladder Rack Mod?

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Jun 27, 2014
Hello All,

I searched the forums and found Ladder threads and Roof Rack threads but no Ladder Rack threads....

Anyone ever try a Lowes (etc) van style gutter mount ladder rack with your 80? I wanted to have a functional and inexpensive way to haul lumber and mod it for a camping platform. It seems like it should work but also seems like more people would do it if it was such a good idea. I get that the $1200 safari racks are superior in many ways...but for $108 with 600lbs capacity and some hardware...seems like a good place to start.

Any thoughts or old threads you know of?

Always appreciative of the ridiculous amounts of knowledge found on here!
I contemplated it as well. Ended up purchasing a Yakima a1 system from local guy for 72$.(I have no idea why it was 72 $ lol) 2 bars , as well as the kayak setup wasnt too bad, allowed me to mount my arb 2500 as well. You can get a gutter mount system from northern tool for 50, and def do some mods to it as well.

s*** picture lol. I'll try later at home . Easy peasy with the Yakima system though , and add one are everywhere instead having to fabricate , although if i had more time i would love to goof around with the ladder rack system and welding a custom rack .
Ah, yeah. I'm just carrying a kayak or two. I also got three bars... so that helps spread the load.
Hmm, this ladder rack idea has some merit. I think I would look into some of the Aluminum options that are out there though. Of course that defeats the point of the OP's question though as that would put one in the price neighborhood of one of the "cool" off the shelf options.
There are a few folks out there making Al version of the Kargomaster, etc style racks though.
I once knew a guy who was running 6 Yakima bars on a 60 series.
Pulled the trigger on the Lowes Werner Ladder rack. It will need a few weatherization mods but feels stout. I can't compare it to the "fancy" rigs as I have no experience with them but this seems trustworthy. I would not hesitate to put a RTR on there. Minor (1/8") lateral movement on the bar with my body weight and I would image that once they are fastened together somehow, see my ATV aluminium ramp idea soon, it will be rock solid. Replace hardware with some stainless, silicone the weak links and couple cans of truck bed liner and it will be good to go.

I will say that bolts vs welds are inferior but so is $1k vs $105.

That seems like a decent option. Let us know your thoughts as you put it to some use.
I just picked up a set of rusty old ladder rack load bars from another MUD member for free to use on my 55. I didn't like the super tall "ears" on the uprights so I cut them off with an angle grinder. The ones I got are stout as hell. I sanded, primed and painted them. The look seems to go well with my old school truck. Not sure how I feel about these on an 80 series, but if you like the look you will not be disappointed with the sturdiness.
The load bars on the 55 above are made by Vanguard Mfg. They still offer a very similar set for $241 / pair.

I like these compared to the OP's Lowes / Werner version because these are tubular, welded and the mounting feet do not protrude out away from the body of the truck. My trucks see some trail use, so eliminating overhangs that can catch tree limbs and hit trees on off-camber climbs is important. I've seen roof racks completely ripped off the tops of trucks by trees out on the trail and it is not a pretty sight.
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That looks pretty nice actually. I'm curious what would fail first in a really stupid weight type situation on any of the cruisers? I think depending upon the rack used cross bars should sag as a first indicator, but would the gutters start curling down, or various body pillars start to deflect? I digress...
-Ground off one side of the ladder fins to accommodate a future rtt. (Free)
- All stainless hardware upfit ($25)
- Rustoleum Truck Bed Rattle 3 cans ($20)
- Tightened the live daylights out of it...(also free)
- Ladder rack ($105)
Total: $150

56" width. RTT is 48", that leaves 12-16" to do a passenger side platform to hold gear.

Not sure it Mojave ready nor do plan on it. Camping trips to the Mountains, for sure.


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