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Old 03-10-2013, 06:28 PM   #1
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Hanging Pickup Canopy From Garage Ceiling

Now that we are soon to be Escape 5.0 owners I need a simple way of removing and storing the fiberglass cap from my pickup.

For this first attempt I have set up a screw lift using sawhorses and 2x4 crosses. The drawback is that because of the size of the footprint of the sawhorses everything is large and unwieldily.

I would like to set up a pulley system that would hang from the ceiling. The Garage is constructed of 2x4 rafters on 24" centres. I am guessing the fiberglass cap weighs approx 250lbs as I can sort of lift it.

It is my intention to run 2 - 7', 2x4 perpendicular to the rafters and hang eye bolts from these to spread the load.

Please weigh in with opinions and advice.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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I found this on line, looks like there are some store bought items out there or you can do it your self.
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File Type: jpg Canopy lift.jpg (27.7 KB, 8 views)
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:33 PM   #3
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I run 2 sets of 2- 2x4's screwed together across the garage at a hight that the car will fit under and then back the truck up to them and my wife and I slide the canopy onto the 2x4's. This way I can still use the garage and the garage door opener. One has to remember to "duck" when getting out of the car but it works fine for us.

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Old 03-10-2013, 09:39 PM   #4
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I'd be a little wary of hanging anything heavy from your ceiling joists, at least until I had a look at the shape of the trusses. They are designed to hold up a roof -- all the weight pushing down from on top. It wouldn't surprise me if code also specified that they had to be able to support a certain amount of weight pulling them down, but I wouldn't assume that until I assessed them.

Just a for-example -- if they were simple triangles, they'd do a good job of distributing the weight of the roof to your supporting walls (weight down on the roof would try to push the walls apart, but the bottom joist would tie them together), but any weight pulling down on the joist would compromise the structure (there's nothing to stop the joist from flexing downwards, which would pull your walls together).

Now roof trusses aren't simple triangles... But I don't recall what they are and I would assume they can handle significant weight pulling down on them without taking a look or looking up the building code.

And whether 250 lbs qualifies as "significant" is another question...

YMMV... I'm not a construction engineer, but I sometimes play one in my dreams...
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:10 PM   #5
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I spoke to one of the young guys at work who was in the construction trades before working with us. He figures that it shouldn't be a problem as the weight will be spread out across multiple rafters, and one side will be relatively close to the wall.

The picture of ratchet boat hoist looks interesting, but my plan is to use pulleys and blocks to gain the mechanical advantage.

[/IMG]

The sawhorse lift thing works but is not quick, and takes up too much floor space.

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Old 03-11-2013, 07:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry View Post
I run 2 sets of 2- 2x4's screwed together across the garage at a hight that the car will fit under and then back the truck up to them and my wife and I slide the canopy onto the 2x4's. This way I can still use the garage and the garage door opener. One has to remember to "duck" when getting out of the car but it works fine for us.

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Old 03-11-2013, 11:18 PM   #7
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The Garage...
I think you have typo: you wrote "garage", but I think you meant "Man Cave"

The screw jack solution is ingenious, but I can believe it would be slow and tedious to crank up.

I don't claim any qualifications to assess structural decisions, but I have used a combination of a 4x4 and some other lumber to bridge the opening of a hatch to the attic in my garage (arranged to equally split the load across 4 trusses) to hang a chain hoist and lift engines from cars. It works fine, but of course this is a short-term application.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:42 AM   #8
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With a little ingenuity, you should be able to come up with a system to store your topper up and out of the way near the ceiling of your garage. I have done similar things in my garage, and if you were to enter it you would see 3 canoes and 2 kayaks hanging near the ceiling.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:30 PM   #9
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A little research has told me that this is not such a crazy idea. A pick up canopy is reasonable to hang, an engine block not so much.

It is my intention to not screw support eyes into the "stringer' of the rafters to keep them as strong as possible. I will "hang" eye bolts from a 2x4 that will contact multiple rafters to spread the load. This will all be above the ceiling in the attic proper with only the eye showing.

My challenge is to not over engineer the lifting system. If I put enough sheaves in the system I could hire the small boy across the street to lift it off the truck with a single pull line. Or conversely just use four cam lock tie downs to lift vertically. As these tiedowns are not the most secure, I am thinking that they would need to tied off or held with a length of rope or chain to prevent it falling to the floor.

Next week when the trailer is home I can obsess about how we are going to use it and leave this problem behind
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