Truck Bed Rack Compatible Snowboard & Ski Mount – KB Voodoo Hi-Rise Bed Rack with Thule SnowPack on 3rd Gen Tacoma. Install, Review and Overview
It is a known fact that the Tacoma is a fantastic adventure mobile. Many utilize the truck bed as a place to mount a rooftop tent (RTT), which is a great investment as it pays for itself after a few good trips! However, if you are like me, there is a good chance you look for just about any excuse to pop that cover off and open the tent.
As a Tacoma owner, there is also a good chance you enjoy other outdoor hobbies. This article will focus on the setup that I found to be most efficient in terms of space as well as cost in creating a simple yet effective way to carry my tent, skis/snowboards, and the gear needed for a good weekend on the slopes. I will be using a KB Voodoo Hi-Rise bed rack for this, however, any bed rack with crossbars that can be bolted directly into will work.
Find It Online
- Thule SnowPak Snowboard & Ski Carrier (Large): Check Price
- KB Voodo Hi-Rise Bed Rack for 2005+ Toyota Tacoma: Check Price
Tools & Materials
- 13mm socket and ratchet
- Drill with 5/16” bit
- Measuring tape (optional)
- 4x M8 x 60mm stainless-steel bolt
- 4x M8 x 12mm stainless-steel bolt (optional)
- 8x M8 Nylock nuts (4x if not using optional 12mm bolts)
- Bed rack of your choice
- Thule SnowPack rack
Step 1. Remove RTT
This step is going to be for those using a rooftop tent. Begin by unmounting your tent from the crossbars.
Next, you will want to either remove the tent altogether or find a way to prop it up with some 2X4s, just have the metal sliding mounts accessible that are in the mounting rails for your tent. Remove all eight sliding mounts out the end of your tent’s mounting bars.
Step 2. Replace Bolts in Sliders
Remove all bolts from the sliders and set them aside. Hang on to the nuts if reusing, or set them aside if replacing. If you’re replacing all eight bolts, do that now, but if you’re only replacing the four, then reuse the stock hardware for the outer four sliders. I recommend replacing them with shorter hardware as it saves time in removing the tent in the future.
Once finished, insert the four sliders with the longer bolt back into the mounting bars for your tent, followed by the sliders with the shorter (or stock) hardware afterward. You should now have four sliders on the inside with longer bolts, and four sliders on the outside with shorter bolts.
Step 3. Drill Out Your Snowboard/Ski Rack
To mount your Thule rack, you will need to drill out the mounting holes in the bottom of the rack. I have an older model of the Thule SnowPack, however, this should be similar for all models. The reason for using Thule bars, versus Yakima or other competitors, is the mounting holes for Thule racks go vertically through the bottom of them. Whereas with Yakima, the hole goes horizontally through the bottom of the rack. This might change in the future, but the previous statement is to the best of my knowledge.
My rack had a 3/4″ inch black spacer on the inside of the rack, if yours does, use any method to cut this spacer out. I used a pair of flush cutters and it came out easily. The next step is to actually widen the hole underneath this plastic piece. I used a 5/16” drill bit for this, but you can really use anything to widen the hole.
Step 4. Remount Tent to Bed Rack
This step is mostly self-explanatory; however, ensure that you have the four shorter bolts on each end of the mounting bars and the four longer bolts on the inside. Choose a side to put your rack on, and use, either a measuring tape to find the distance between mounting holes on your snow rack or use trial and error to properly space your sliders.
As seen in the photo, I have the shorter bolt on the outside of where the tent sits above the crossbar and the longer bolt on the inside. Once lined up, you can now attach the four Nylock nuts to the outer bolts.
Step 5. Mount Thule SnowPack Rack to Bed Rack
Slide the bolts through the mounting holes with the Thule rack open and attach all four Nylock bolts.
Each corner of the Thule rack should look like this once completed.
Pro Tip – Gear & Accessory Storage Bins
I like to use 2 of the black/yellow home depot bins to carry my snow gear. If you are using a tonneau cover, then you’re set. I just don’t like to pack away my smelly snowboots, bibs, and jackets into a bag, so these bins make for great storage. If you feel so inclined, you can even lock the bins shut. I have found that using a bungee cord works well and is easy to keep the two bins in my bed secured.
This is the most effective way I found for myself to utilize my space and equipment. This process and mounting style likely will vary depending on the exact bed rack you are using, but the idea is all the same. I have taken my truck on many trips to the snow with it in this configuration, including a recent trip out to Utah, and it has been nothing but ideal for my uses. I even did a few trails in the area, and the boards stayed extremely secure.
The bottom of your rack should look as seen above. Now, you are probably wondering why I just led you through the process to mount some snowboards upside down. Well, that is the only con to this whole system, you will have to hold your boards up while putting them into the rack. Once the rack is shut, however, I like to lock it for security, but your boards are safe as can be.
A helpful tip I have for putting the boards into the Thule rack is to set the nose of your boards on the top rail on the front of your bed (just beneath the window), as this allows you to only have to hold the back of the boards up. Close the rear rack first, and then move to the front and shut that one. Easy!
Excellent tip! I see too many overlanders not use the space on the underside of their crossbars or bed racks. Never through about this setup before. Thanks for sharing.
You are awesome!