I drive a Jeep Unlimited (unlimited just means it has 4 doors instead of 2) and as much fun, as good looking and as weather resistant my beauty is, she does have one downside….
Jeep hardtop storage.
See the soft top folds up and can be hung on the wall on a couple of bicycle hooks, but the hard top is big, and fairly heavy and takes up way too much room in my already cramped garage/workshop.
I looked online and all but clicked “purchase” on the Bestop HOSS Hardtop Cartk and cover, but my total (even with free shipping) came to over $700 Cdn.
I’m not entirely writing it off, but I thought I should try to come up with a DIY solution before I had to sell organs to fund the other version.
I found some plans on a Jeep forum and built a dolly out of those crappy old fence posts you saw on the blog the other day. I wasn’t entirely sure it was going to work, so I felt better using up crappy (free) wood just in case – it’s also why my boards are bent and yucky looking.
You will need:
- 2 pieces 2×4 wood cut to 60″ long
- 2 pieces 2×4 wood cut to 30″ long
- 3 pieces 2×4 wood cut to 18″ long
- 1 piece 2×2 wood cut to 60″ long
- 2 1/2″ deck screws
- 4 three-inch locking castors
- 16 1 1/2″ screws
- 1 pool noodle
I made some changes to the plan that I followed, so my schematics won’t match the photos you see – but I believe this to be a better variation.
Start by cutting your boards per the above list.
Line up your 30″ boards perpendicular to the 60″ ones at the corners. Check for square and screw into place using 3 – 4 2 1/2″ deck screws.
Attach your 3″ locking castors on the 60″ boards using the 1 1/2 wood screws – make sure to space them so that they have enough room to fully rotate.
Flip your dolly over and lock your castors.
From the edge of the 30″ board, measure up 9″ and mark on both sides.
Screw your 2×2 board (or 1×2 if you prefer) into place at that mark. One 2 1/2″ deck screw per side is sufficient. The original plans I found on the Jeep forum suggested using a 1×2 board for this section, but after having built it, there is a small gap between the back window and the dolly which allows for a bit of movement of your back window. I think a 2×2 board will give you less room for your window to move around and possibly scuff.
On the 60″ 2×4 furthest from the 2×2 cross board, measure in 21″ on either side and attach your first 18″ 2×4 board. Screw up from the bottom of the dolly using 2 1/2 deck screws. Attach the next 18″ board on top of the first and screw down into the first layer to hold in place. Repeat with the last 18″ board.
I spent a grand total of $28 (locking castors are expensive) to build my Jeep hardtop storage dolly.
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Cut your pool noodle/s so that you have an 18″ piece and a second, longer piece (whatever is leftover). Slice the pieces down the length of them so that they open and can be wrapped around the top of the 18″ brace and the 2×2 window board. This will give a little extra cushioning to protect your top from paint chips and scratches.
I did a thorough sanding of my dolly, so I felt pretty confident that my hardtop was safe without the foam padding – I may eat my words on that one.
To set your hardtop in place check out this video:
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I blanketed my back window to protect the heating elements and then nestled my T-roof pieces inside.
SO easy to move around, even in my squished workshop, and an unbelievable savings from the Bestop version I was eyeballing earlier in the day.
One hour of your time, and you can save yourself hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
I see a “Mommy’s earned a shopping spree” day coming soon! Oh right, there was the issue of selling an organ to fund it though….
Have a great one!