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Old 01-12-2009, 08:38 AM   #1
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I know. This is only a mildly related slide-in topic and of no use to many on this forum. When my camper is off, I have a Leer shell for my truck. It was installed at a dealer before I owned my Lance. There are trips where I want the shell, not my TC. So how do I get it off and on by myself? Can't do this inside my garage as my pickup is almost too large and no room on my low ceiling anyway. So it's an outside problem

The first time I removed it, I built a TALL tripod with a winch system, cables and 4 corner bracket hooks. Sorta worked but severely bent the eye bolt that supported the top pulley. DW won't let me set that system up again. I put the shell back on recently by recruiting 4 men from a lawn maintenance crew. Took 5 min and a ten spot. Mostly a pain to organize the time and place.

Once I met a helpful camper and during our discussions I brought up my shell problem. He said he once saw a system one person could manage. As best I remember, it consisted of two adequately braced and supported wood rails just slightly higher than the bed rails on each side of the truck. You would back between them. Then after removing the clamps for the shell, you use your back to raise one end of the shell and slide a 2x4 to span from rail to rail and then perform the same maneuver on the other end. Now you can drive out and the shell would be floating between the rails. Installation would be the reverse of these steps. OK, I can probably accomplish this with wood in a couple of hours but questions remain.

Should I leave the shell way up in the air or provide a means for lowering it to the ground? Spring winds are up to 50 mph here. Preferably needs to be one man operation and after the truck is out of the way, the shell is pretty high up and tough to lift while wrestling a 2x4 simultaneously. I can envision some "steps" of wood down the sides on the posts that hold the rails to slowly work the cross 2x4s lower and lower to a final bottom position. Any clever thoughts on how this might be done? I have a hydraulic floor jack but it can only do about 10" at a time even if I could figure out how to apply its lift to the shell. I still have the winch mentioned earlier. Perhaps slightly taller posts and 4+ pulleys would allow me to raise and lower from outside the truck bed?

Thanks in advance for any help with my brainstorms. BTW, I have posted this question elsewhere to get a maximum # of neurons working on the issues with me.

Rick
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:38 AM   #2
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I know. This is only a mildly related slide-in topic and of no use to many on this forum. When my camper is off, I have a Leer shell for my truck. It was installed at a dealer before I owned my Lance. There are trips where I want the shell, not my TC. So how do I get it off and on by myself? Can't do this inside my garage as my pickup is almost too large and no room on my low ceiling anyway. So it's an outside problem

The first time I removed it, I built a TALL tripod with a winch system, cables and 4 corner bracket hooks. Sorta worked but severely bent the eye bolt that supported the top pulley. DW won't let me set that system up again. I put the shell back on recently by recruiting 4 men from a lawn maintenance crew. Took 5 min and a ten spot. Mostly a pain to organize the time and place.

Once I met a helpful camper and during our discussions I brought up my shell problem. He said he once saw a system one person could manage. As best I remember, it consisted of two adequately braced and supported wood rails just slightly higher than the bed rails on each side of the truck. You would back between them. Then after removing the clamps for the shell, you use your back to raise one end of the shell and slide a 2x4 to span from rail to rail and then perform the same maneuver on the other end. Now you can drive out and the shell would be floating between the rails. Installation would be the reverse of these steps. OK, I can probably accomplish this with wood in a couple of hours but questions remain.

Should I leave the shell way up in the air or provide a means for lowering it to the ground? Spring winds are up to 50 mph here. Preferably needs to be one man operation and after the truck is out of the way, the shell is pretty high up and tough to lift while wrestling a 2x4 simultaneously. I can envision some "steps" of wood down the sides on the posts that hold the rails to slowly work the cross 2x4s lower and lower to a final bottom position. Any clever thoughts on how this might be done? I have a hydraulic floor jack but it can only do about 10" at a time even if I could figure out how to apply its lift to the shell. I still have the winch mentioned earlier. Perhaps slightly taller posts and 4+ pulleys would allow me to raise and lower from outside the truck bed?

Thanks in advance for any help with my brainstorms. BTW, I have posted this question elsewhere to get a maximum # of neurons working on the issues with me.

Rick
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2004 F-350 Crew Cab 4WD Dually w/ Airlift air bags, Luverne brush guard, side steps and splash guards.
2007 LanceMax 1181 with nearly every option, enlarged cabover space (driver's side locker omitted), wider custom mattress.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:41 AM   #3
CD
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RickJ
I have used the method you talked about for years. I put it up with (4) 4X4 post about 18' in the ground. It is behind & under a Holly tree so is protected from wind. You might consider a means of clamping the shell to the posts or like you were saying devise a means of letting it down a little at a time. I also use short blocks to put under the shell when loading or unloading to put under each side front & back then slide the board in from outside. I use 4' block so I don't have an interference putting boards in.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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Theres a good system here;
http://www.rv.net/forum/Index....a/pging/1/page/1.cfm

and page 3 has the best views of it in action.
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