DIY: Camper Shell Cap Pulley Hoist

by Charles Clay

A camper shell is a useful addition to any pickup truck. It protects the cargo from the elements and allows you to load lightweight materials without having to strap them down. However, there are times when a camper shell is more of a disadvantage; for example, it prevents you from loading oversized items in the back of the truck. A winch-and-pulley system can serve as a hoist that can easily lift and store your camper shell.

Step 1

Mount the ratchet winch to a beam on the wall of your garage using bolts long enough to pass through the beam. The ratchet arm must be able to turn freely.

Step 2

Attach a pulley to the ceiling directly above the winch using a 3/8-by-6-inch eye bolt.

Step 3

Attach a second pulley to the ceiling in the center of your garage using a second eye bolt. Make sure you can pull your truck directly underneath the pulley.

Step 4

Attach a length of rope to the winch. Run it through the pulley above the winch and across the ceiling to run through the second pulley. Use enough rope so that you can easily reach the roof of your truck with the end of the rope. Tie a 2-inch steel carabiner to the end of the rope.

Thread together the pipes using the elbow joints to create a frame about the size of your camper shell. Tie a rope from each corner and the middle of each pipe to the carabiner. Adjust the ropes so that the frame hangs level.


  • To use the hoist, lower the frame to the level of your camper shell. Lash the shell securely to the frame and detach it from the vehicle. Lift the shell off the vehicle and raise the frame and shell to ceiling height.
  • Cover your shell in blankets when using the hoist to avoid scratches and rope abrasion.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet winch
  • Bolts
  • Drill
  • Bolts
  • 2 eye bolts, 3/8-by-6 inches
  • 2 pulleys, 3 inches
  • Rope
  • 2-inch carabiner
  • 2 threaded steel pipes, 1-inch diameter, about as long as camper shell
  • 2 threaded steel pipes, 1-inch diameter, about as wide as camper shell
  • 4 threaded elbow joints, 1 inch

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