One of the most popular-if, not the most popular, perks of having a Jeep Wrangler is taking out the top and doors and enjoying the splendors of the outdoors. Removing your hardtop will give you the ultimate Jeep thrill, but removing and storing the hardtop can be a bit of a chore. We are certain that you want to learn more about jeep hardtop storage ideas.
Whether you drive a 2-door or a 4-door, the realities still remain the same. Removing the hardtop can prove to be challenging to some, and storage of the hardtop can be quite tricky. So, what is the best way to store a Jeep hardtop?
Storing a Jeep Hardtop always seems to be a source of concern for people, especially as the weather becomes warmer- no one wants to damage their hardtop during the removal. But there are plenty of storage ideas, so your hardtop removal will be safe and easy.
Best Jeep Hardtop Storage Ideas
If you took a quick look on the internet, you’d come up with many ideas on how to store your Jeep Hardtop. Unfortunately, a jeep hardtop generally weighs 140lb, which is quite a bit of weight for even the most athletic person. So you’ll need to choose the most efficient storage system that will suit your needs.
1. Electric Jeep Hardtop Storage Hoist
This method relies not on human effort but on powerful electric motors to completely remove the Jeep Hardtop. This rig would require support on the ceiling for the heavy electric motor. But if you manage to set this up, it makes for a very powerful system.
2. Manual Jeep Hardtop Storage Hoist
This system relies on additional pulleys to lift and smoothly remove the hardtop from your Jeep Wrangler. Even though this system is cheaper than the electric hoist, it can be less effective if not set up properly. A good example of this hoist is the HARKEN– Hardtop Overhead Garage Storage Hoist for Jeep Wranglers. This hoist is compatible with all Jeep Wranglers, with a safe-locking cleat that prevents accidental release of the top even if the rope is dropped.
Pros of a manual lift:
- Cheaper than electric hoists
- Does not require ceilings to install
- If cables/straps are not set up properly, you could risk dropping your hardtop.
3. Jeep Hardtop Storage Cart
One of the best methods of putting away your hardtop is using a storage cart. This is much easier than lugging your hardtop around, and it’s a lot easier to move the hardtop to the choicest storage location. This way, whenever you need the hardtop, you will have no difficulty accessing it.
In addition, there will be a reduced risk of your hardtop getting scratched or even falling over. A choice option is the Surco Hardtop carrier that can be used to store your hardtop in an upright position.
Some companies have produced carts that can slide underneath the hardtop easily, lift it up and remove it safely. But with all good things, there is a catch. This lift usually costs a lot more than other systems.
A good recommendation is the RollnJack Hardtop removal lift which can lift, hold and install your expensive hardtop.
This lift is easy to install and very portable. It also minimizes the risks of drops or shifts during removal or installation thanks to its incremental TurnNGo lift system.
- Helps save space for those living on rent or with limited living space
- It is easier to use and very convenient
- One person can operate it
- Very expensive
4. DIY options
To store your hardtop, you could also create a DIY option. You can build custom-made racks and cabinets for storing your hardtops, so they are out-of-sight but not out of mind. This option is ‘just for you’ if you have plenty of room in your garage or workshop.
The choice will depend on your available materials and how much space you need for your Jeep Hardtop(s). For example, you could construct an entire wall with shelves and hooks particularly for hanging up and displaying various styles of hardtops.
Advantages of a Hardtop
1. Better insulation
When you drive your Wrangler in colder weather, you will surely appreciate the superior insulation that a hardtop offers. But this is not limited to the cold; the same benefits will be felt in the summer when you blast that AC. Generally speaking, hardtops make for a quieter driving experience.
2. They’re durable
Any damage that would normally destroy a soft top wouldn’t faze a hard top. So out of the two, hardtops are clearly the more durable and reliable option.
3. Accounts for a roof rack
If, for any reason, you’d want to install a roof rack on your Wrangler (such as for transporting kayaks or bicycles), having a hardtop installed will allow for that.
How to Remove a Jeep Hardtop
While it’s possible (but not easy) for one person to remove a hardtop manually, it’s highly discouraged. Even though a hardtop is not particularly heavy, it can prove very cumbersome and easy to damage if not handled carefully. They are also usually quite expensive, so the last thing you want to do is accidentally ruin the top. 
The most common hard tops are either one or two pieces. However, a number of custom Jeep hardtops have more than two components. Newer Jeeps also have lighting and other electrical connections that need to be disconnected before removing the hard top. While this guide pertains to the most common variety of Jeep — the two-door model with a one-piece top — it’s always recommended to read your owner’s manual for instructions specific to your model.
Take your time in identifying what types of bolts or screws are securing the top of the body and where they are located. After locating the mounting hardware, use the appropriate tools to remove them. Having pre-labeled containers for all the pieces you’ll be removing helps keep the various screws and bolts neatly organized. Plastic Ziploc bags are great for storing hardware.
Remove any aftermarket accessories and electrical connections present. These usually have a “quick-release” connection for fast and easy removal. Begin with the fasteners above the windshield, and work your way around the body(in a clockwise direction) to minimize missing any fasteners.
Cross-check to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Finally, remove the spare tire from its carrier, so you don’t have to lift the top over it.
To remove your hard top without any hoist, position two people on either side of the Jeep. When lifting the hardtop, do it straight up and avoid tilting it back without support. You should also never drag it back along the Jeep’s body. Let’s just say that’s a big Hardtop no-no!
Please pay attention to the weatherproofing seals around the top and body to ensure you don’t cause any damage to it.
How to Store your Jeep Hardtop Outside
Start by selecting a good location for your hard top to shelter it from the elements and prevent it from being stolen. Also, be mindful of where other vehicles will be driving and parking to keep your top from accidentally being hit. Indoor storage is best, if possible.
If you want to store your top outside, protect it from the elements by covering it with a tarp or Jeep cover and keep it off the ground. Also, ensure that water does not accumulate on the rear window because this will strip off the defroster wires.
Is It Difficult To Remove A Hardtop?
Removing a Wrangler hardtop can be quite challenging if you’re new to the process. But, depending on the hoist you have set up to remove it, it’s also something that’ll be a lot easier with some guidance and somebody else helping you.
Read also: Are Jeeps Without Doors Legal?
It’s really just because a Hardtop is large, rigid, and heavy. In contrast, a soft top will fold down for easy storage. But, again, it’s not just a walk in the park with a hardtop; the last thing you want to risk is damaging it by improper removal and storage.
Can You Store A Jeep Hardtop On Its side?
No, you shouldn’t. This could damage your hardtop and possibly the windows. If it sits on its side too much, it may bend. You can only store it on its side if you have a storage cart.
Let’s Wrap Up!
We’ve looked at four basic options for storing your Jeep Hardtop. These highlighted ideas vary depending on your space and how often your Jeep Hardtops will be needed. Regardless of which method you choose, ensure to keep them safely stored away, so they don’t get damaged or dirty from everyday wear-and-tear.
This removal and storage can be done yourself, but if it seems too much for you, you could always opt for a jeep hardtop storage service. Stop by a garage or workshop and let the professionals do the work for you. Nothing hurts more than seeing a scratched-up Jeep Wrangler with a missing hardtop because it was left out unprotected for too long!