Does anyone have an easy way to lift and store your truck cap when removing it for loading the TC. My barn ceiling is 12 ft high and I have a block and tackle but can't devise an easy frame to attach and lift. Pics would be nice and or links.
We hung two 2x4s from the ceiling. The ropes were just a few inches shorter than the top of the truck box and about 6 ft apart. I'd back the truck under them positioned so that our topper was under the 2x4s. Then I'd unbolt (or unclamp) the topper, get in the back of the truck and lift one end of the topper enough for the 2x4 to go under the topper. Then do the same at the other end. That left the topper 6 inches or so above the truck box. Then I would just drive out from underneath. Also, at one time, I built a rack outside and unfastened the topper, lifted it an end at a time sliding the 2x4s under and drive out. Both systems were cheap, easy, and fast.
2009 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ 1500 4x4 5.3L
2011 Kodiak 281RLGS travel trailer
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Pretty much like others have done, I have a 1500 lb 12V Superwinch that I mounted on my 2x6 trusses. I back the truck under the winch, drop the cable down to the cap, and lift the camper with two 4"x12' slings rated at 2500 lbs each. I lift the cap off the truck and then drive truck ahead. At this point I also have a 2x6 frame bolted to the roof trusses that I then bolt together and then lower the cap onto this frame. I leave the winch attached until I re attach the cap. Probably overkill but the 2x6 was cheap along with the tow straps.
2003 Dodge Laramie SLT 3500 dually diesel 4x2 auto and 2009 Northstar 9.5 Igloo U. Love this combo. Very fuel efficient, lots of room, easy to park and set up.
I had two Tripod Underhoist Jack stands, from a shop that I shut down, several years ago. I went to Harbor Freight and bought two more. Yep, it looked like over kill, but I had 2 and the second set only cost,about, $65.00 each a few years ago.
I would then un-clamp my ARE MX With the rear walk in door lifted up but not removed. Them I slid (2) 2" X 6" X 12' between the bed and the cap. Then set the 2X6 on the underchassis stands and elevate until clear of the truck. Then drive out from under it. Then I would lower the walk in door and it was ready for storage. Granted, I did not do thin in my garage, as I use it for a small machine shop. I did all of this behind the garage. But I could see this being used inside a barn.
If I was going to leave the cap off for any length of time, I had a silver 9mil tarp with a brown inside liner that I would throw over it. I also had some ratchet straps that I would throw over the tarp and the cap and tie them off to the stands. That never had any problems with high winds we get in the spring and fall, here in Michigan.
I used that system on my 1996 Dodge from 2000, when I bought the cap until 2009 when i sold the truck. I also sold the stands and 2X6's, tarp and straps with the truck.
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1997 Veri Lite RL1200 on a '02, K3500, CC, DRW, 8.1L, Allison, 4.1 gears, Bridgestone 225/70R19.5 tires.
Something I have experience with, and not a good experience.
I "home brewed" a lift system with bad results. I have a pole building and wanted to lift and store my truck cap like you want to do. I devised a sling system intending to lift my cap using the Yakima racks and a boat winch. My racks were mounted using "raingutter mounts" like pictured below. I winched my cap up off the truck and drove out from under it. While steadying the cap with my right hand and winching with my left, The rack broke free and crashed down on my arm ripping the bicep tendon loose. Surgery to reattach and 6 months therapy and almost a year for full recovery.
Bottom line, If you fabricate something yourself, make sure any attachment points are very secure! I now use a wooden rack built to the same height as my truck bed. I back up to the rack, slide pvc conduit between the cap and bed rails and roll the cap onto the rack.
'03 2500HD CrewCab SB 6.0 Gas 4x4
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