Chase trucks are a vital part of the off-road racing community as they carry anything and everything to the race. Diesel Chase is our 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 4×4 turned chase truck. Having room for all the gear, tires, and tools is essential for these types of vehicles.
For help with outfitting Diesel Chase, we turned to Wilco Offroad and its ADV rack system. This product is available for all full-size trucks including Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Nissan, and Toyota. Once we install this chase rack, we will gain the additional storage space needed to store the required equipment.
The rack comes in two boxes, each weighing over 100 pounds. The ADV rack system weighs a total of 238 pounds. With everything laid out, could see how large this rack was going to be as it covered most of the shop floor. There are plenty of little components to the rack, yet Wilco Offroad packages the hardware in labeled bags, making it easy to know exactly what we needed.
For such a large product the kit does not require any specialty tools. Basic hand tools will allow anyone to complete the project.
Wilco Offroad uses high-density plastic blocks to pinch the factory bed as well as a turnbuckle to distribute the load of the rack and weight to the factory hook point. If your pickup does not have factory tie-down points in the rear of the bed, drilling may be required to attach a mount that will allow the turnbuckle to work properly. We did not have this issue as our Ram had factory tie-down points.
Bed rail supports vary, depending on the truck. The Ram trucks use the taller supports, compared to Ford and GM trucks.
Crossbars were installed with the upper supports, and will be wrapped up towards the end of the install. The rack was starting to take shape with the addition of the large overhead cab supports.
We laid a blanket over the top of the cab to make sure we would not scratch anything. Using a wood block, we propped up the large cab supports, which made the install a little easier.
Both crossmembers were added to the cab supports to allow the slats to be added. The top of the rack went together very quickly. The crossmembers that were installed earlier with the uprights are tied into the upper crossbar to add rigidity to the chase rack. After tightening all the fittings we finished the installation in under four hours.
Details On The Rack
We talked with Luke Wronski of Wilco Offroad to find out more about the ADV rack system.
What is the idea behind the ADV Rack System?
Luke Wronski: With Paul (owner of Wilco Offroad) being a motorcycle guy, it was hard to carry bikes and all the bags of the gear in the back of the truck. He wanted room to carry everything, and then some. Paul also saw the need to make a rack system that was more rigid than what is currently on the market. Using polyurethane bushing allows for more extreme off-roading.
What does ADV stand for?
What materials are used in the rack?
LW: The rack is made up of a multitude of materials, including poly bushings, which I mentioned. The rack is laser-cut and MIG-welded. The rack is uses 3/16-inch 1018 carbon steel in multiple areas, but maintains an all-steel, heavy-duty construction with a zinc-plated, black textured powdercoat finish.
How much weight does the rack hold while driving, static, and off-road?
LW: The rack holds a different amount of weight at each of those positions. While driving the rack can hold 250 pounds, off-road it can hold 100 pounds, and static it can hold 500 pounds. This weight is in addition to the weight of the spare tire mount that can be added. The ADV tire mount kit can hold up to a 150-pound 40-inch spare tire. The spare tire mount is also removable, for those who do not want to always run a spare tire on the rack.
How was the rack tested?
LW: The rack has seen many revisions that lead to the way it looks today and has been improved with testing. We did plenty of extreme off-road testing, overloading the rack. We also tested out front loading the rack with weight to see how much the rack would flex and ultimately hold.
What was one of the most tested parts of the system?
LW: Surprisingly, the part that we tested quite a bit was the front fairing. We played with multiple designs to improve aerodynamics and reduce wind noise. Without the fairing on the front of the rack, the wind noise can be unbearable.
What can be put on top the rack?
LW: The top rack has a 5ox60-inch over-cab cargo platform with integrated tie-down points. It uses standard crossbars on standard roof racks. The top rack can hold a kayak and bike mounts that can also be used on other mounts, and is compatible with Thule, Yakima, and other popular roof-mounted accessories.
What type of hardware is used with the kit?
LW: The kit uses grade 10.9 zinc-plated hardware throughout.
Do you plan on doing any add-ons to the rack?
LW: We are always looking to make additional items for the rack. We have the RotopaX mounts just about finished up and we have plans for making the rack fit a roof top tent for people that enjoy overland camping. We also have light bar brackets for a 50-inch light bar, which mount on the rack in front of the fairing.
To test our newly installed rack, we found a dirt road and put the truck through its paces. The rack held up to the beating it took off-road. Opening the door, we could hang from the side of the rack without seeing much flex. We will continue to test the rack as this build moves along, and the amount of equipment in the truck increases.
One test we wanted to hear for ourselves was how much of a difference the front fairing made. With the front fairing the wind noise is very minimal if noticeable, however upon removing the fairing the wind noise was loud and could be heard over the radio at highway speeds.
The rack definitely does what it advertises – frees up bed space for larger heavier items, and allows smaller bags and accessories to store up top. The rack’s easy installation makes it something anyone can install, and is perfect for people looking to get more storage space out of their truck.
What truck would you put this rack on? Tell us in the comments below!