Another Way to Lift Up RTT for Mounting onto Roof Rack


I like the look of your contraption. I built a gantry on the cheap, using a couple 8' ladders, a long 4x4, some pulleys, and a cheap harbor freight electric winch mounted in the garage.

It's a hassle to setup and use, but it does work. I'm always looking for easier solutions though and this fits the bill. If only my garage was tall enough for a ceiling hoist....

I hear ya. I wish I had a garage period. Living in an apartment, parking in an underground parkade, and having to store my tent in a storage locker forced me to dig deep to come up with this lifting frame. The two main requirements were: easy to use (i.e. sufficient mechanical advantage); and quick to install.

I had thought about the type of setup you're using but given my need to load the tent on the road in front of my apartment the DIY ladder gantry was a no go.

Thank you for demonstrating the proof of concept for the ladder gantry system...much safer than trying to load a RTT without significant muscle power.

I had designed and built a more complicated roof mounted folding crane but it was way too heavy for a single person to deploy and was still a handful for two people. Here are a couple Sketchup images of the folding crane:



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Expedition Leader
Very interesting idea. I just ordered an RTT and have been trying to figure out how I'm going to load/unload this thing without constantly bugging my neighbors. BUT, from the reviews of that unit I would stay away from it. They say it is flimsy with just a deer on it and the boom is only a foot or two long. I may consider welding up my own similar design using 1/4" wall tubing and a roller thrust bearing on the swivel tube that will take the load with no doubt in mind. It is a very high lift when you consider all the lifting straps, height of the rack, height of the tent, etc. You are going to be near 15' overall at the top pulley before you get enough height to get the tent up high enough to clear the rack.
Crazy talk both. Would be a hugely overbuilt thing. 2" tubing base to go in a receiver hitch, a similar vertical leg, a diagonal and pinned bracing bracket and hinge pin for the two sections, then a round fence pole of sufficient height to provide clearance, and a similar boom arm, same design as the base. A manual crank winch routed over the boom arm with pulleys. Use some strapping for a cradle. The boom only needs to clear the RTT mounted height by a few inches, likewise the boom brace. No bearings needed and you could build the whole thing with a drill and hacksaw for under $100. It would be lightweight and fold up to store in minimum space.

You could of course do as you describe and make a heavy industrial tool that cost hundreds, greased bearings, etc., sky's the limit.

eta quick and dirty -
The pipe is just nested inside the square tubing. No bearing, no race, nothing. Let gravity work for you. The pipe is dropped into the hitch armature, the top boom dropped on top of the pipe. Better yet, attach the winch to the vertical part of the top boom to simplify things even further.

eta2 - mmaattppoo's design idea is great and easy, and could even be simplified. Mount the extendable rails to the RTT AS the mounting rails. You position your stored RTT similar to his pics, extend the rails and lock them in that position, tip it onto the rear (roller?) frame of the roof rack and lift the RTT off the ground and push it forward, like loading a canoe. Even better if the roof rack has some guides or curbs so the load can't slide left or right as you work it up there. Size the base component to fit your roof rack and be pinned to it. Preferable with the same pins / locations that are used to fix the extendable portions. Minimal hardware and fittings. space the rails far enough to provide proper base support for the RTT in use. OR put some sort of spacer nubs on the corners of the RTT pan such that they rest on the roof rack.
The 'guides' can be the mounting brackets. If you have an intermediate cross rail on the roof rack, you could have (6) pinned mounts if you prefer.
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