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Garage Hoist - Winter Weight Loss for AdventureTaco

February 13, 2018.

Ever since installing the bed rack and CVT the truck has been in "adventure mode." I don't mind that so much when I'm just driving around (though - it'd be nice to not haul around the extra weight all the time), but it does make me nervous to park it unattended/unsecured overnight. As such, I've been trying to come up with a plan to remove the rack and RTT (ideally at the same time), and store them.

In our barely-1-car garage.

At any rate, I knew the solution was going to involve either a winch or pullies (or both) and ultimately, I considered three options:

  1. Assemble some misc pullies and rope (from amazon or Lowe's Depot).
  2. A cheap ATV winch from Harbor Freight.
  3. A pre-packaged hoist solution, like the Harken Hoister.

I was sure that option 1 would be the way to go from a cost perspective - but then I had a tough time finding pullies that were strong (and small) for a price that would make it competitive with option 3. I ruled out option 2 because I figured it was additive with either of the other two options.

And then, I found a 200 lb. Harken Hoister on eBay for a great deal - about 75% off - which I couldn't pass up!

As is always the case, the project started with a bit of demo to make room in the rafters - I removed a cross-brace that was blocking the area where I'd raise the tent and added another brace just out of the way. I also removed a ceiling fan that a previous owner had installed.

Strange, given that it's generally cold here.

Demo done, it was time to take a look at the hoist system. Straight forward enough, there were

  • Four eye bolts to lift the load, and a fifth for the anchor.
  • Four pullies, as well as a fifth pully/cleat assembly that gives mechanical advantage and the ability to "lock" the load at a given height.
  • A "rope organizer" - again, just two pullies that help to align the ropes.
  • And finally, rope + straps to support the load as it's lifted/lowered.

Installation was similarly straight forward. Because the rafters in the garage ran perpendicular to the truck, I was able to screw in the eye bolts directly, rather than using mounting boards. However, given the roof pitch, I did need to install a crossmember that the "rope organizer" was bolted to.

And then, it was time to give it a try. I backed in the truck and aligned the rack under the hoist. I attached the straps and gave the hoist rope a tug. And then another tug.

And then I remembered that I needed to unbolt the rack from the bed. LOL.

Rack unbolted, a few more tugs (there's a lot of mechanical advantage), and the rack + tent rose off the bed rails and into the air! A few more and it was "up in the rafters."

And now, for the first time in a long time, the truck looks like a pickup. And in pickup mode, the rearview mirror is amazing! You can actually see things behind the truck. And, while the truck probably won't be in this mode all that often, it's nice to know that if I need full bed access to haul something taller than the rack, it's now an option.

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