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Grapesky 02-09-2016 03:10 PM

Hitch crane for 150lb generator into SUV?
Does anyone have a hitch crane to get their heavy generator (150lb quiet yahama) into an SUV? It appears like an option for pick up trucks - not so sure about clearance for SUV's. Also crane must not take up the entire back of suv since I'll need to have other stuff in there as well. Some of these hitch cranes look really heavy and bulky - almost as bad as the generator. I'm a single lady trying to figure this out. Don't think I can push it up a ramp. Also can you store gas can on the hitch bolted down behind propane near battery? Is that legal? i was thinking of a metal can instead of plastic? So many things to get resolved to get these long awaited journeys going : )...thanks for any help.

PS this was what I was talking about :

dznf0g 02-09-2016 03:16 PM

There's another way that is smaller and portable (not a permanent mount and taking up space).

I have a scooter that I carry in the bed of the truck and utilize a small ATV winch to load and unload it. I made a mount for it which fits the front stake pocket. I have a sling and pulley which goes around the front of the scooter. The end of the winch line goes to a tie down installed in the other front stake pocket.

This setup could just as easily pull a gennie or anything else up a ramp into the bed.
Sorry I don't have a picture of this setup in action, but it works well, and you can get cheap winches for less than $50 if you watch the sales. The whole setup stows in a small pack.

kscherzi 02-09-2016 03:59 PM

How about something like this instead?

xrvr 02-09-2016 04:45 PM

The op has an SUV. Maybe two smaller genies in parallel. You can carry them in the trailer. Sixty pounds a piece.

markdoane 02-09-2016 04:52 PM

Here's a 400 lb jib. They also make a smaller one (250lb) called the "curbsider"

dznf0g 02-09-2016 04:56 PM


Originally Posted by avionstream (Post 1747440)
The op has an SUV. Maybe two smaller genies in parallel. You can carry them in the trailer. Sixty pounds a piece.

Sorry, missed that...but a winch could be easier with an SUV than a PU, depending upon configuration. A plate bolted to a seat anchor upon which the winch could be mounted could be easily fashioned.

xrvr 02-09-2016 05:08 PM

That would work.

Protagonist 02-09-2016 05:27 PM


Originally Posted by markdoane (Post 1747442)
Here's a 400 lb jib. They also make a smaller one (250lb) called the "curbsider"

I can't stop anyone from throwing money away, but unless the OP has other heavy items that have to be loaded in and out as well, I'd recommend not spending over $2000 for a Bruno Curb-Sider just to load a generator, when a pair of lightweight Honda EU2000 generators can be purchased less expensively and not require additional (and expensive) modification of the SUV.

As for the other question, yes, it is possible to carry fuel cans the hitch. A Rotopax gas can would probably be the best fit in the space available. Several sizes available, but a 2-gallon capacity should be plenty for refueling portable generators.

Argosy 7728 02-09-2016 05:36 PM

How about one of these
It actually stores in 2 or 3 pieces. There are several models, get one that swivels.

bel73 02-09-2016 06:48 PM

We use SpitzLift cranes on our trucks at work. They are the hand crank models. Lightweight and very easy for one person.

switz 02-09-2016 06:59 PM

We converted out pair of Honda 2,000 watt generators to propane. We only need one for the 23D so a spare propane tank could be carried either inside the trailer or tow vehicle. I can still lift the under 50 pounds weight of the 2,000 watt generators and they weigh slightly less now with no gasoline and gasoline tank inside.

I have a splitter hose to run the pair off of a single 30 pound propane tank. I have a single hose to attach to the front of the trailer propane outlet as well to run one unit.

PKI 02-09-2016 07:07 PM

If you have not purchased the generator yet, get the two smaller ones and run in parallel. Avionstream is absolutely right on that suggestion.

If you have the big Yamaha. Try a ramp. It's easy to construct and a block and tackle will let you pull it up with a minimum of effort. A 4 part tackle divides force needed by 4 and the angle of the ramp will reduce the force required as well. You may need to put a sheet of masonite or plywood on the cargo floor to bridge depressions so the generator will roll easily once you get it in.

If you want a hoist, an alternative would be to attach a rail to a vertical leg inside the SUV and two adjustable legs on either end of a beam outside the SUV to make a mini bridge crane. Think T with the top of the T outside supported by two legs. With a trolley on the rail, hoist the generator up to clear the rear of the SUV and then slide the trolley forward to sit the generator inside. Takes a bit of assembly, but could be constructed with lumber and shelf bracing, a rail, trolley, block and tackle.

Same kind of idea could be installed using a shelf and drawer system either to slide in as a movable hoist or alternatively as a drawer after the generator was placed on it. Some folks have this kind of storage built into their vehicle.

In any case, you will have a time getting to the spare tire if you have a flat, so consider where you store your gear when you load up.

Now - the gasoline. I would run on propane. It adds cost to the generator, but we all make different decisions.


PKI 02-09-2016 07:13 PM

Switz, didn't you post about an AC unit that runs on one small generator. Replaces existing. You lose the heat pump, but have improved efficiency. A high $$$ solution, but less costly than back surgery. Pat

Grapesky 02-10-2016 02:01 PM

thanks everyone - you are all very helpful and generous with your knowledge. I really appreciate it! I'll let you know how it goes. Beth

DKB_SATX 02-10-2016 02:09 PM

I have a pickup, and use a deer hoist with a swivel for loading the generator when I'm loading up alone. A 300lb-capacity deer hoist does fine with my Yamaha 3000, and I just don't unload the generator until I return home... I run it in the truck bed when needed, so I don't have to haul the hoist with me. Given it to do over again, I'd like to say I'd buy a pair of 2k generators instead but my Yamaha was a steal, a member of my unit was selling it to buy a BIGGER one (for powering tools while building a cabin) and I got it for about the price of a single 2k... and it's SO quiet.

EvelynDickinson 02-10-2016 08:13 PM

I use a homemade ramp and dolly and an electric winch to load up my crazy heavy 5th wheel hitch into the back of the pick up. One trip to harbor freight should do the trick to rig something similar up for your SUV.

dcasr 02-11-2016 07:24 AM


Originally Posted by Grapesky (Post 1747766)
thanks everyone - you are all very helpful and generous with your knowledge. I really appreciate it! I'll let you know how it goes. Beth

We carry a five gallon plastic gas can tightly strapped down behind the 30 lb AS propane bottles, sitting on top of the black gear box that is flush with the frame. Multiple black bungee cords keep it secure. I usually only fill it on the last fuel stop before hitting a non electric park. Our Champion 3500-4000 generator holds four gallons and is kept full. We also travel with a small Harbor Freight hand fuel pump which works well, just in case. Our Champion was inexpensive, reliable, and relatively quiet (67 d running). It weighs, with wheels, about 150 lbs full of fuel, which is too heavy for one person to lift, but so far my wife and I can get it up and in the back (for now!). The pulley and a ramp idea will probably be in our future.

Grapesky 02-17-2016 09:34 AM

Thanks again all for all the suggestions - I did do quite a bit of research previously and did see lots of the things you are using. Most are great ideas but many would not work since i do not have an open bed truck - it's the tailgate door and roof of the SUV that eliminate many simple hitch cranes unfortunately - So - this is what I settled on and I wanted to let you all know. I haven't tried it yet as it just arrived - but i'm hopeful. It wasn't cheap but wasn't as expensive as some other things. Either way I had to get this darn thing in my SUV. If I had it to do over I'd get 2 smaller units and piggy-back. (oh the mistakes of newbies). I'm sure I'll make many more. - like thinking I can push a 150 LB gen up a ramp. NOT. Anyhow - thanks again and hope to see you rolling along. Beth

link to what I purchased:

PKI 02-17-2016 10:27 AM

Grapesky - Maybe you don't need to get it in the SUV. Have you considered mounting it on the roof. Goes on once when you start the trip and comes off when you get home. Concept would put some constraints on use, but maybe less than all of the hassle loading and unloading. It would require the installation of a set of roof rack bars if your SUV is not fitted with them, but a simple box cover would provide support and security, possibly another level of sound deadening, if designed correctly. And on top of the SUV would be a better location for fuel as well.

Your physical stature may make this idea problematic, but it might just be a solution if it is possible for you to access the generator in that location to fill, start, and check oil levels. Small ladder would be easier to transport that a crane and folks use them for the trailer as well.

Just a thought that came to mind driving down the road. Gues trailer challenges contribute to distracted driving just like cell phones. Drive Safe. Pat

nilesrob 02-17-2016 02:47 PM

What I use... from Harbor Freight for low money (don't recall cost). Well, apparently I am over my photo quote, but it is a scissor lift from Harbor Freight that gets my Honda 3000 about 2 inches from my lift gate, and I just twist it in from there. Works like a champ.

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