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Thule Boxlift Roof Box Lift
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- The smartest way to store a roof box
- With the Thule box lift, you can easily lift up the box the garage ceiling
- This lift also works for kayaks and surfboards
- All Thule products come with a 5 year warranty
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The perfect way to store a roofbox. Works just as perfectly for kayaks and surfboards. To be mounted on garage ceiling. Lifts load easily with help of winch. Lifts load up to 100kg. Works perfectly with roof boxes, kayaks, surfboards etc.
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1. Ceiling mounting. As some other reviews note, this isn't straightforward. The lift comes with fittings for a concrete ceiling - in the UK I doubt many people have a concrete ceiling in their garage. So this required a timber frame to be build to mount all the brackets on, then that frame could be fitted to the roof timbers. Took about five hours with reasonable DIY skills and timber sections to hand.
2. Rope length. This is supplied with ~10m of rope, which is fine if you expect to life your box directly from the roof of your car. For anything else, this isn't enough as it does not reach to the floor. I wanted to store the top box elsewhere in the garage, as we have an automatic garage door opener which precluded mounting directly above the car parking space. So sufficient rope was needed to lay the top box on the floor, then lift from there. Needs 15m. I think for the price they should just provide 15m rather than 10m of rope.
3. Levelling. There is no in-build levelling mechanism - in fairness I'm not sure what one of these would look like! However, it does mean that it's difficult to get your top box to rise in a level position. I suggest typing a knot in the rope at it's half-way point - this at least will give a marker to allow you to fit the rope to the top box and know it will be level front to back.
Overall, this is OK but it's a shame about the fittings and rope. Given the price I suspect you could buy all these components for around £30 so it's basically a question of whether the extra money is worth it for convenience.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This storage lift seemed like the perfect option - so I ordered it so it in time to receive it around the same time as the Skybox.
Once it arrived, it took a while to decipher the instructions. The install turned out to be very easy after finding some photos of the installed lift online - but I'll try to describe what I did here:
1) I used 3 2x4's that I mounted to the ceiling running the same direction as the cargo box was going to run. (I had to purchase the 2x4's and lag screws separately.) By mounting 2x4's first, I was able to position the lift exactly where I wanted instead of having to align everything to my ceiling joists - which are 24" apart.
2) The outside 2x4's were used to attach both the pulley wheels as well as the end supports for the drive rod that is used to wind up the rope. It seems a lot closer than the pictures on Amazon show - but it works great to mount the pulley wheels to the inside edge of the 2x4's and the rod supports to the outside edge.
3) The inside 2x4 was used to hold the middle support for the center rod.
4) Once everything was hung, I originally tied the rope ends together like the instructions mention - but I have to admit that it made me a bit nervous hanging over the car.
As a result, I unwound it all and tied the knot in the middle of one of the drive rod wheels instead. Basically, I inserted both ends of the rope into the holes in one of the drive rod wheels and tied them together using a double fisherman knot. (That way there is no pressure on the knot when the lift is supporting a cargo box.)
The install only took about 25 minutes - and then I had the kids help me get the cargo box into the lift so it could be wound up to the ceiling. It took far longer to figure out how I was going to install it than to complete the install itself.
Now that it's installed, it works perfectly! The lift is easy to operate and keeps the cargo box handily out of the way when it isn't in use. When we got home from our trip last night, we had the cargo box off the car and mounted to the ceiling in less than 5 minutes.
I suspect most people are going to need at least some additional parts to get this installed (like 2x4's and lag bolts), but this does provide everything else you'll need to easily lift your cargo box out of the way.
1) 1 or 2 2x4's (depending on the size of your box and the spacing between your roof trusses).
2) 8 joist brackets to support you new 2x4's (again depending on how many 2x4's you will be needing)
3) wood screws to button everything up
Also you will have to measure everything very carefully to ensure that the front, back, left and right all go up evenly and the line up top coils around the rotating squair stock evenly on both sides. I actually had to stagger mine to have all roads meet in the middle.
A few tips:
I cut the line in half and split it up between the front and back of the rig to make it less cumbersome, I used lagging foam on the line to reduce any friction between the bottom of the box and the line, and I used that same foam up top for the center support bracket to prevent contact between the top of the box and the bracket (it comes with a little rubber piece but the foam gave me a warm fuzzy)
Well all and all that's it if you do run into any problems consult your local buddy or inlaw. Good luck and enjoy the extra room.
I prefer not to have to return the whole box so I contacted Thule via email (no phone number on their site) and am waiting to hear back.
If I do receive the missing part I will update on the installation. To be completely honest though, I was surprised at the low quality of the pulley wheels and the rope that was included. I would have guessed Thule would have a much higher quality product - especially for the price point.
On an aside though, I have a Thule roof box and aero bars I bought last year and am extremely pleased with their quality and function. I would definitely recommend those, but between the cheap nature of the product and the missing parts, I can't give the 571 Roof Mount Cargo Box Storage Lift anything but 1 star.
That being said, the products works extremely well and does exactly what I want it to do. It is a very pricey item and one that you could probably create on your own with a little time and patience -- neither of which I have so I bit the bullet and bought the lift.