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Old 03-06-2011, 07:06 PM   #1
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Camper shell lift system

I thought I would share how I store the camper shell for my pickup when not in use.
I love having a shell on my pickup when I go camping to be able to keep things dry and have the ability to lock things up.
However at times a camper shell can limit how you use your pickup or get in the way. So I wanted it to be easy to put on and take off.

I bought this hanging garage rack made by a company call "Racor" http://www.racorinc.com/Products.aspx?id=150. You can find them online at several places for around $135.

It comes with a rack or platform that is used to put boxes on, however I didn't use this platform. It says it has a max weight capacity of 250lbs, however the platform is fairly heavy so by not using it I feel It could lift a little heavier item if needed. But my camper shell only weighs around 150lbs so I'm well under the limit.


This works really slick for me since I only use the shell for camping and trips. It only takes me about 10~15 minutes to go on or off. And it leaves no marks on the truck. All in all it was pretty easy to do and the rack systems works smoothly.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:05 PM   #2
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Very nice. Wish I could do something that simple. My truck won't fit in my minature garage. I've pondered a double "A" frame with a single beam across the top. Then pick the shell up similar to what you have and then drive the truck out from under it. Then set the shell on some blocks on the ground. It's one of those roundtuit projects.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:31 PM   #3
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Very nice and compact. That would work for canoe and kayak storage too.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:42 PM   #4
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Thanks Curtis & James.

James, Yes I think it would work great for Kayak's and Canoe's. I have an inflatable kayak, but if I had a hard kayak this might work.

....Dale
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:52 PM   #5
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Dale
I just got a deal on a camper shell for my 2007 Frontier. I was trying to figure a quick way to remove the shell with just the wife and myself. My scheme was to use 2X4s like you but hang it from the garage ceiling with light chains. I like your set up much better than my idea.
Thanks
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:39 AM   #6
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Hi: Dale AZ...That's one slick lift!!! To bad I'm done stimulating the economy. I need a Trans. cooler and then a matching trailer stripe set...and that's it for me. I wanted a tool box for the truck bed... but they're a stimulating price too!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:58 AM   #7
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Nice setup.
I use adjustable motorcycle tie downsClick image for larger version

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I hang them from the ceiling. Back my truck under them, hook one on each corner, pull adjustment up on each strap corner, drive truck out.DONE
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Alf S. View Post
Hi: Dale AZ...That's one slick lift!!! To bad I'm done stimulating the economy. I need a Trans. cooler and then a matching trailer stripe set...and that's it for me. I wanted a tool box for the truck bed... but they're a stimulating price too!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
Thanks Alf S.

Not to change the subject, but are you going to add a trans cooler in addition to the one that comes on the Frontier? The stripe will look nice with your trailer.

Dale
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kevin K View Post
Nice setup.
I use adjustable motorcycle tie downsAttachment 33863
I hang them from the ceiling. Back my truck under them, hook one on each corner, pull adjustment up on each strap corner, drive truck out.DONE
Thanks Kevin,
I almost went the tie down strap method. That works too.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
Dale
I just got a deal on a camper shell for my 2007 Frontier. I was trying to figure a quick way to remove the shell with just the wife and myself. My scheme was to use 2X4s like you but hang it from the garage ceiling with light chains. I like your set up much better than my idea.
Thanks
Eddie

Hi Eddie,
My wife and I tried to remove the shell on our last truck, but it was just to heavy and awkward for the two of us. This set up is nice as I can do it by my self.
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:09 PM   #11
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Nice, thanks for sharing. I like this homemade one too, so you can leave it outside.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:14 PM   #12
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Ken,
That's a cool looking set up too. Never seen one like that, good idea. unfortunately I have less room outside than I do in my garage.

Dale
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:39 PM   #13
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You have nearly copied the system a fastidious uncle set up to remove and store the hard top from his 1950s Mercedes convertible. He had some hooks bent out of thick flat bar and then dipped in rubber, so you lifted the hard top a little and tucked the hooks securely under the hard top edge at the lifting points - don't want that shell to slip off the cross bars, do you?

But for the full obsessive prize, you need a fifth string hanging from the roof. On the end will be an old tennis ball and when the rear screen of the shell touches the tennis ball, you have reversed the truck into the right position to lift the shell.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Andrew Gibbens View Post

But for the full obsessive prize, you need a fifth string hanging from the roof. On the end will be an old tennis ball and when the rear screen of the shell touches the tennis ball, you have reversed the truck into the right position to lift the shell.
That's a good idea Andrew! Then I will know right where to stop.
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