Van Rack Tips

Learn more about the installation of your van rack.

Anytime you install any aftermarket product on the exterior of your vehicle, you are changing the aerodynamic flow of air around the design of your vehicle.

This is not limited to just the installation of racks, even products like window visors, roll bars, brush guards, and more. Check out these tips on what to do if you experience any excessive wind noise or whistle after installing a van rack.

Specific to vans:

  • Reread through the installation instructions enclosed in your parts bag. 
  • Be sure to check to make sure all hardware is fastened securely. 

Clamping Racks to the Van Gutter

All Cross Tread Gutter Mount Van Racks feature a PATENTED Clamping System. The Clamp will actually adapt to the contour of the gutter and not let go. 

Make sure the carriage bolts are tight!

Cross Tread Industries has actually hoisted a FULL-SIZE DODGE VAN off the ground with an overhead crane attached only to the Cross Tread ALUMINUM 660 on the vehicle. The gutters of the van withheld the weight and the rack didn't budge. 

After Van Rack Installation

After you have properly installed the rack and all the mounting hardware is tight, be sure to seal all areas where tubes telescope.

This prolongs the life of your rack by disallowing moisture to enter inside the crossbars (especially on steel models), and blocks wind, reduces whistling and keeps everything tight and secure.

Still Hearing Noise from the Van Rack?

Nine times out of ten, simply moving the front crossbar forward or backward a few inches will dramatically affect any noise. If the crossbar is in the direct flow of air coming off the windshield, move the front bar out of "the line of fire".

  • If the problem still persists, try changing out (switching) the front bar with the rear bar. Be sure all hardware on the actual crossbar is going in the same direction (towards the rear).
  • Periodically check to make sure all hardware is securely fastened and the rack is in good repair.

Fitting Problems

Cross Tread Industries Inc. ladder rack products are designed to fit the majority of vans and pickup trucks on the market today. Due to the vast number of engineering changes by the automotive manufactures, a "perfect" fit cannot be guaranteed on all vehicles.

  • The length on the formed diamond plate crossbar (1 7/8" x 2") on the Alum 660 is 60". 
  • If your van is shorter than 60", you will have to trim the bar. 
  • If it is longer than 60", there will be an area where the insert will show (usually 2 inches or so). 
  • It is not unlikely that this will only occur with one bar as most new vans have tapered rain gutters.

Ford bars are designed to be used as a center bar (third) on full size 1992 and later Ford vans. The weld location on these bars is 1 inch lower to compensate for the domed rain gutters on these vehicles. Some of the new 99 full-size Chevrolet vans also require these bars.