Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

Ladder rack for a van?

jim_"crazy_legs"_blodg's picture

Anyone have any links or suggestions where I might find a choice of ladder racks for my van? I got my old van from a plumber and used the pipe rack on the side for carrying everything from ladders to lumber, but I haven't had that these past few years and it's time to start packin' an extension ladder now and then. Sure hope I can find something other than an on the roof type. Thanks for any tips or leads. - Jim

(post #120479, reply #1 of 18)


This catalogue that I'm looking at has a rooftop rack with a small hydralic assist side access rack. An arm is pulled down and the ladder tilts down and to the side. 560/590 for the 2 diff models. For bout 150 I got the 2 flat bar with ears. I usually load mine from the rear, no lifting, just slide it up. There's also the Adrian Co. up in Michigan. I'll see if I can get a site for them...old timer.

(post #120479, reply #2 of 18)

(post #120479, reply #3 of 18)

That AmericanVan stuff is pretty nice but they're damn proud of it.


(post #120479, reply #4 of 18)

b Another homeowner. One day we will rule the world.

I got a hold of an old dodge ram that was a GTE telephone van. Came with the original hardware.cage rack in back of the seats and the roof rack which I didn't think much about, even took it off for a while but once I started using it it was great. Big ladders can go up there pretty easy and lever down or tie off. and the pvc pipe rack is a good place for the long stuff that always gets bounced around.

(post #120479, reply #5 of 18)

How long is your van? I just stuff a 24' extension ladder in through the back door, over the passenger seat back and close the door. Take it where it's needed, leave it there until I'm done and reverse the process to go home. If I had a roof rack I would use that.

(post #120479, reply #6 of 18)

Thanks Calvin. Tough game for our H.S. roundballers tonight, I'll check those links tomorrow. Yeah, a 24' will fit inside my van okay, Ralph, but I'm gonna invest in a 28'. All these years I've gotten by without an extension ladder, hard to believe.

(post #120479, reply #7 of 18)

I'm too cheap to buy a rack so when I stick my 28' in the van I just can't close the door. I try NOT to do that when it rains.

(post #120479, reply #8 of 18)

Yeah- I can get a 24' in my '84 Chev the way Ralph describes. Don't need one often enough to get real serious about a rack, altho I've been thinking about putting on my Yakima sports rack that's sitting idle. Yakima would cost you about $150 and a couple chunks of 2x4, and they are very sturdy esp. if you use the raingutter mount. Could also haul the bikes when needed- careful, clearance issues! By the way, to all you mountain bikers, the Capitol State Forest here near Olympia,Wa. totally rocks! 300 mi. of trails, 2000' elev. gain ....... keep ridin' folks!

(post #120479, reply #9 of 18)

"...300 mi. of (bike) trails..." you gotta be outta your friggin' mind. It's all I can do to peddle down to the bottom of the hill and back. In fact, that's how I got my handle.

(post #120479, reply #10 of 18)

jim.. i was trying to find a tel. or email for that rack mfr. i used for the last 20 years.. they fabricate , then hot-dip galv..

no luck..

anyone know what happened to UPEC Mfrg. in Racine, Wisc..?. their line was called Topper...

(post #120479, reply #11 of 18)

This is too wierd. Today I got a catalog from American Van in the mail. I've never even heard of them before Cal posted that link. Must have been those black helicopters that were circling my job Monday.

I used my brand new extension ladder today. Yeah, buddy. You know those things get longer or shorter, whatever length you need? Very cool.

(post #120479, reply #12 of 18)

Longer...Shorter.... I was wondering why those ladders had two pieces...


(post #120479, reply #13 of 18)

oh boy, jim, before you drive away remember when you get that roof rack, there is a proper way to bungy down that ladder if you don't spring for the anti slide bar. Wrap the strap around the pair of rungs on your way to secure the other end. Have seen a couple of those extension ladders get longer during a quick stop. Course these guys also probably lost a box of vinyl siding starting up the hill. Ever see a dotted vinyl line down mainstreet? And do check out the Adrian Steel Co., nice town that Adrian, Mi. Lotsa nice Harley's there. My racks from them were reasonable, safe and have been long lasting.

(post #120479, reply #14 of 18)

"Have seen a couple of those extension ladders get longer during a quick stop." You, ah, didn't happen to see that from the inside of your truck, did ya Cal? - Adrian Steel will definately get a look. When I saw the prices in that American Van catalog I started thinkin' I maybe could drywall screw a couple dowels with ASB around them to the roof.

Sam, man, I'm tellin' ya, these things are nifty. There's even a nylon rope you can tie around your neck and jump off the roof if things really get you have to listen to a sub's radio tuned to Rush Limbaugh or something.

(post #120479, reply #15 of 18)

jim.. notice how mellow ole rushbo is with a rep. in the whitehouse ?

hah, hah, hah.... fire the sub...

(post #120479, reply #16 of 18)

No sir jim, not me. Not even when I was young, not when I was dumb. Now on a pair of horses passing me on the expressway, yup, that would be me. Still using em till this day. Course, the scots in me might have something to do with it.

(post #120479, reply #17 of 18)

There is a company in California that makes brackets that hook into the raingutters. Very small out fit. Good price. You have to make your own stretchers. I used "Brazilian Cherry". They look great and seem to hold a good bit of weight without a problem.

Shall I dig through my papers to find the phone number?


(post #120479, reply #18 of 18)

Buy a Pick-up :)