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So you were in traffic the other day and noticed something strange: The SUV driving in front of you had a ladder hanging from its back bumper, and running all the way to its roof. No, this isn’t an emergency fire escape in case the occupants need to climb out the sunroof. This ladder makes it easier to get to cargo stored in the roof rack–or even to a rooftop tent. But these little ladders have become a bit of a meme.

First and foremost, why do you need a ladder to reach the top of a car? I know, you can usually pop open a door, step on the sill or seat, and touch the top of even a tall SUV. But there are several things to consider: You’ll have to open a door every time, and may get your seats mudding when in camp. Also, a lifted SUV with large tires can be quite tall. Finally, if you are putting heavy camping gear or other cargo on your roof, a ladder may make the scramble much easier.

Man climbs the roof ladder of a 4Runner SUV.
Toyota 4Runner roof ladder | Front Runner

Then there is the entire rooftop tent accessory category. If you have one of these, you’ll be climbing your rig after a hard day of outdoor adventures. A ladder is almost an accessory at that point.

In addition, many off-roaders think a ladder at the back of their SUV just plain looks cool. It’s become a bit of an icon of a serious aftermarket setup. And as such, folks can’t help making some fun of them. The whole joke started with a “widdle wadder” TikTok video which has spawned countless imitators. And even a beer. See the video embedded below:

Many off-road-ready SUV owners are good at laughing at themselves. It became trendy to use the audio of the above video as a soundtrack for videos of your own SUV.

Then Goldwater Brewing Company of Arizona piled onto the joke. The brewery released a limited edition wit bier called “Wittle Wadder.” Here’s what the label said: “Climb up your widdle wadder to the top of your woof and enjoy this new Wit Bier brewed with Orange Peel & Coriander! In the wain, or in the wiver, this beer will take you to where you wanna be!”

Next, find out whether the spikes on semi truck wheels are actually legal, or see how roof ladders work in the video below: