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Mod to mount real ladder rack

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by scyvt, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Aug 6, 2009 at 12:35 PM
    #1
    scyvt

    scyvt [OP] New Member

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    Hi

    Yesterday I picked up my new Tacoma reg cab 2wd, and already I'm starting to wish that I had taken a closer look at the Ford Ranger. The #1 problem is that due to the composite bed, the only ladder racks that are approved to fit it (I've found 3 makes so far) have load capacities far below the Vanguard over-the-cab rack that was on my previous truck, which carried 1000 lbs without any complaint.

    Looking up from the ground, there appears to be ample space between the bed and the outer skin to install some custom steel bracing that would transfer the load from the bedrail down to the truck frame, to allow more substantial racks to be installed. It even appears that removing the bed sheet metal skin to do the work wouldn't be that hard.

    So, has anybody done this - or at least removed the sheetmetal for any reason?

    In my view as a brand new owner, the composite bed seems a mixed blessing at best. OK, it won't rust, but will it handle heavy use as well as a conventional steel bed? And it sure complicates installing a rack.

    TIA

    Steve
     
  2. Aug 15, 2009 at 4:46 AM
    #2
    TacoDaTugBoat

    TacoDaTugBoat Well-Known Member

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    I have been trying to find a rack solution myself and have not found one that I quite like yet. But as far as the strength of the bed, I have loaded it with 1500 lbs of firewood several times since I got it and it takes it like a champ.
     
  3. Aug 15, 2009 at 5:07 AM
    #3
    scyvt

    scyvt [OP] New Member

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    Well, that's good news as far as the load capacity of the box is concerned, but still doesn't change the fact that the bedrail is not designed to take weight, and most racks are based on transferring their load to the bedrail.

    If all you are carrying is ladders or a kayak, one of the three racks now approved for the Tacoma should be fine. But if you want to carry a good load of lumber or steel, as I do, then it seems that you are on your own.

    Hard to believe that since the redesign in 2005, somebody hasn't figured out a workaround for this limitation.
     
  4. Aug 20, 2009 at 6:28 AM
    #4
    Crooked Beat

    Crooked Beat Well-Known Member

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  5. Aug 20, 2009 at 7:29 AM
    #5
    BIGLuke

    BIGLuke I'm a TW addict!

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    Just wanted to pitch in on the strength of the bed. I've loaded a yard of wet soil in the bed numerous times with no problems.
     
  6. Feb 18, 2010 at 9:58 AM
    #6
    TacoDaTugBoat

    TacoDaTugBoat Well-Known Member

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    Soil is a uniform load. A rack is a point load. Def more of an issue with these beds.
     
  7. Feb 18, 2010 at 10:07 AM
    #7
    surfsupl

    surfsupl Well-Known Member

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    I DONT CARE IF IT'S A RE-POST
    Rear Diff Breather~ 5100's ~Fog Light Anytime~Tint~TRD Seat Covers~Weather Tech's~Pioneer H.U.~Lift~Eibach Springs~LED's......blah...blah...blah
    Most installers out here shy away from installing ladder racks on these trucks due to the cracking of the bed..................try a trac rack........they are pricey but easier on the bed.............



    http://www.aztrucks.com/product.asp?pr=T-Rac_Pro
     
  8. Feb 18, 2010 at 3:47 PM
    #8
    scyvt

    scyvt [OP] New Member

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    Haven't heard about cracking of the bed, but that's certainly among the things that I could imagine going wrong with a rack install. Any more specifics on where/how the bed cracks?

    My suspicion is that the weight of at least the front posts of the rack needs to be transmitted to the frame thru some bracing added in the space between the bed and the outer skin. That is, unless all you want to carry is a canoe.

    Frustrating, really. Seems like Toyota overreacted to the bed rust problems of some years ago, by creating a new bed that will never rust, but has poor tolerance for point loads. And the tiedown rail system is a joke, if you're trying to stabilize anything more substantial than a load of hay bales.
     
  9. Feb 18, 2010 at 5:26 PM
    #9
    gavonder

    gavonder She's Kickass!

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    Sunroof, Leer Cap w/ Thule rack, Factory Running Boards, Fog Light Mod, Hood Struts, Scangauge, w/homemade mirror mount, AC/Defrost mod, Rear Spring TSB, TRD Center Caps
    I think the Trac Rac is about the best bet. It has a capacity of 500 lbs. Although, with what I have heard about the strength of the bed rail (see below) I would still be worried.

    I had the Vangaurd on my '99, and went to get the same over the cap on my new '08.

    They said there is not one approved for the 2nd gen. They had a story of someone who installed one. While carrying a load, the driver went around a turn and the weight collapsed the rear bed rail and fender.

    GA
     
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