Sunday, April 6, 2014

DIY Roof-Mount Cargo Box Lift

My husband is a storage fanatic, he has a system for everything. We recently purchased a Yakima SkyBox 16S to go on top of our Jeep Cherokee. It's a great product, but it's huge and a little difficult to store.  Another cargo box manufacturer makes a cargo box lift, but with a price tag of $150+ it's not really accessible for the consumer on a budget. Enter my husband...

To begin, we needed to find an affordable pulley system. The parts to make a pulley system are readily available at most hardware stores, but we did some searching and found a  Ceiling-Mount Bike Lift at The Container Store that wasn't too expensive. 

Follow the instructions in the box to mount the bike lift to the ceiling (the one downside is that you do have to have high ceilings. We mounted our box directly over the parking space for the Jeep, this allows us to raise and lower the box directly onto the roof of the car. It's fantastic!

The bike lift can almost be used by itself to hang the cargo box, but we noticed that the plastic was bending on one side of the box. We didn't want to damage the cargo box so we decided to make some straps to hang it with. 

To make the straps, we used some inexpensive utility straps from the hardware store. We measured two, one strap for the front of the box and one strap for the rear of the box. Both straps should sit in front of the clamps that attach the cargo box to the rack. Wrap the straps around the box and leave enough material to make a loop on each side to fit over the hooks in the pulley system. Remove the remaining strapping material.

Sew the loops. I'm not much of a seamstress, so I copied the stitching pattern that was used by the manufacturer of the straps. It seems pretty sturdy.

Voila! Loop your straps under the cargo box, and attach to the pulley system. You may need to balance it out while it's going up because it tends to tilt a bit.

***Note: Do this at your own risk, I don't want to get sued if you do something silly and drop it on your car or your head.