How to Stop Noisy Ladder Racks

by Mark Robinson

Wind noise is a big concern among those who have ladder racks installed on their vehicles. As a non-aerodynamic portion of the vehicle's bed or roof, air rushing around the front cross bar and other portions of the ladder rack can produce loud noises that intrude into the cabin of the vehicle. This can be especially troublesome at highway speeds. Various adjustments and modifications to the rack can help reduce or eliminate noise at most speeds.

Step 1

Inspect the ladder rack and make sure it is securely attached to the rest of the vehicle. Doing so will help prevent rattles and other noises that stem from a loose fit.

Step 2

Adjust your ladder rack a few inches rearward, if your ladder rack is of the adjustable type. Some ladder racks tend to protrude over the front windshield, causing most of the air flow to bounce off of the windshield and directly onto the front crossbar.

Step 3

Install a front bar wind deflector to the front crossbar of your ladder rack. This device will direct air flow up and over the ladder rack, reducing noise at high speeds. In most cases, the deflector is attached to the crossbar with three clamps, allowing for easy installation and safe storage when the device is not in use. Some deflectors are bolted onto the crossbar and require holes to be drilled into the crossbar.

Step 4

Close any exposed cavities in the ladder rack. Doing so will keep wind out of these areas, thereby reducing wind noise. These cavities can be filled with expanding foam or covered with heavy-duty tape.

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