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  1. #1
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    Portable Generator Securement

    Looking for ideas for securing a generator outside a van. I noticed that there were so many vans were using them when we were in Laredo but I really didn't check out how they keep them from getting legs and running off somewhere.

    Also I was thinking that I should probably make a sealed box for storage for the generator & gas can on the inside of the van.

    Big Al

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  4. #2
    Senior Member jjoerger's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    Where I live Brighthouse Networks (cable TV company) mounts them outside on a cargo carrier. They have a really nice canvas cover. Don't know if that would work for you but I think it is mounted to the door.

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  6. #3
    10K Member chefdennis's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    A good chain and lock is what i use and thats about all i have seen other then those that have bolted then to the back door or have one of those "racks" that fit into a hitch.....but then the genset is still chained in place....

    As for a sealed compartment for storage inside, not here.....I also carry (2) 20 lb propane tanks and a few 1 lb bottles of propane for my "Big Buddy" heater.....
    There are people in need of help. Charity is one of the nobler human motivations. The act of reaching into one's own pockets to help a fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else's pocket is despicable and worthy of condemnation.
    --Walter E. Williams

    "Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive."

    "The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry."
    --William F. Buckley

    "When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right."
    -- Victor Hugo


    #252 Chevy Cargo Max

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  7. 3,351205,40470,8
  8. #4
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    Quote Originally Posted by jjoerger View Post
    Where I live Brighthouse Networks (cable TV company) mounts them outside on a cargo carrier. They have a really nice canvas cover. Don't know if that would work for you but I think it is mounted to the door.
    Sounds interesting. Did they fabricate the carrier themselves or does it appear as something you could find over the internet?
    I'd have to find out the strength of the doors on a Sprinter.
    Also I've seen in years past, racks that mount on the front(mainly used by folks with truck campers)

    Big Al

  9. 4,351237,40470,8
  10. #5
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    [QUOTE=chefdennis;351205]A good chain and lock is what i use and thats about all i have seen other then those that have bolted then to the back door or have one of those "racks" that fit into a hitch.....but then the genset is still chained in place....

    So I guess that you store it inside and then when you need it you just put it on the ground and chain it down?

    Have you ever seen one on a roof rack to the rear like some of these horse trailers store hay? If someone had this you could mount an RV ladder to the back door.

    Big Al

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  12. #6
    Senior Member jjoerger's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    You can do a front mount using a hitch receiver and a hitch mount cargo carrier. There are universal receivers that can be adapted to mount on the front.
    I think brighthouse makes them themselves or subs it out. I know it is aluminum and the generators are Hondas.
    I have been thinking about using a receiver mounted under my Straight truck and a cargo carrier with a long enough shaft to slide the generator out from under the box to add fuel or service it. I wish I knew how to weld.
    I am looking at the Yamaha 3000 inverter generator and a 50 gallon reefer style fuel tank for gasoline. (will need a small electric fuel pump).

  13. 6,351240,40470,8
  14. #7
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    Quote Originally Posted by jjoerger View Post
    You can do a front mount using a hitch receiver and a hitch mount cargo carrier. There are universal receivers that can be adapted to mount on the front.
    I think brighthouse makes them themselves or subs it out. I know it is aluminum and the generators are Hondas.
    I have been thinking about using a receiver mounted under my Straight truck and a cargo carrier with a long enough shaft to slide the generator out from under the box to add fuel or service it. I wish I knew how to weld.
    I am looking at the Yamaha 3000 inverter generator and a 50 gallon reefer style fuel tank for gasoline. (will need a small electric fuel pump).
    We are looking for a Sprinter so using a trailer hitch to the rear seems like it would get in the way; however, possibly the front hitch may work. I've never seen one mounted under a truck.
    You could use pnuematic rivits for securement instead of welding, I can weld but I would prefer rivits,I guess you could get the equipment at a tool rental center. They're quite strong, US Navy has used them since the 1960's. You may find a pretty good size tank used for 5th wheel RV's but probably not that size.

    Big Al

  15. 7,351241,40470,8
  16. #8
    18K Member greg334's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    I'm just scratching my head on this one.

    Rivets, 50 gallon tanks ... what ever?

    OK if you are looking at using a Sprinter, then go to any Winnebago dealer who has Spinter RV conversions and look at how they have the generator box setup. I don't remember who makes them but they are a fiberglass box which is put in the rear on either side and it holds a generator which is not removed to run. There is a hole cut out of the side of the van, the box fits right into the hole and it is sealed inside for safety - nothing like waking up dead.

    For a number of years it has been used, I haven't heard too many issues with something like this and it seems to work for those anal rv'ers.

    The other thing is there are a number of people who have Onan diesel generators mounted under their vans, ran across one in December when I was in St Louis.

  17. 8,351246,40470,8
  18. #9
    10K Member chefdennis's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    Yeap I simply "chain and lock" it to the rear spring shackle. If you get to a TS in the summer down in the south, you will see this setup all over. There is a sprinter rounding around with a rooftop mounted genset, inside a metal box...too much BS for me, climbing a ladder to service and fuel it...not for me..i am into easy....

    As greg said, the RV places do have an enclosure that they use, you might look into that. As for the rear hitch mounts rack, there are a few that "Swing away" when you need to open the doors, again, too much BS for me...

    And as for adding a "external fuel tank", there is no need to add a eletric fuel pump in most cases, these type of generators/ inverters have a "pulse fuel pump" all you need to do is splice a "T" into the original fuel line from the original fuel tank then hook up the fuel line from the external tank. Most of

    One thing to keep in mind also when buying one of these, if you are planning to use it in CA., it needs to be CARB compliant..and yes they make them to fit those recommendations..without that feature, you can't use it in CA.

    The CARB Compliant gensets are a "closed loop", fuel circuit and are non-vents..so all fuel vapor is circulated back into the fuel tank so if you add a external tank, make sure that you do NOT use a fuel shutoff valve between the 2 tanks, you need that closed loop sysytem for the engine to run properly....

    Another way to add a tank is to do it as a "Gravity" tank by drilling a hole in the gas cap and sealing a fuel line from the external tank into it, personally, id stay away from this, but i have seem a few doing it that way....
    There are people in need of help. Charity is one of the nobler human motivations. The act of reaching into one's own pockets to help a fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else's pocket is despicable and worthy of condemnation.
    --Walter E. Williams

    "Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive."

    "The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry."
    --William F. Buckley

    "When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right."
    -- Victor Hugo


    #252 Chevy Cargo Max

    OOIDA Member, #934277

    Part of the
    LOAD 1 CheerLeader Crew!!
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  19. 9,351249,40470,8
  20. #10
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    Quote Originally Posted by greg334 View Post
    I'm just scratching my head on this one.

    Rivets, 50 gallon tanks ... what ever
    I am not talking pop rivets, we used them in the Navy to fasten superstructure (aluminum ) to steel hulls. You can get them in diameters exceeding 1". I have never had one I installed get loose on any ship. There is a lot of movement in heavy storms between the hull & the superstructure.

    OK if you are looking at using a Sprinter, then go to any Winnebago dealer who has Spinter RV conversions and look at how they have the generator box setup. I don't remember who makes them but they are a fiberglass box which is put in the rear on either side and it holds a generator which is not removed to run. There is a hole cut out of the side of the van, the box fits right into the hole and it is sealed inside for safety - nothing like waking up dead.

    I was planning on using a portable gen set. The generator you're referring to is the MicroLite series by Onan. Just want something simple, if necessary I'll put it on the ground & chain it down.

    For a number of years it has been used, I haven't heard too many issues with something like this and it seems to work for those anal rv'ers.

    The other thing is there are a number of people who have Onan diesel generators mounted under their vans, ran across one in December when I was in St Louis.
    You're right about the issues with the MicroLite,manual calls for 1 qt of oil but Onan will tell you that it needs 1&1/2 qt's. I just really don't want to put out the extra $ for a diesel generator. If you know where I could get a lghtweight one for under $2,000 I would appreciate the info.

    I am very thankful for all your inputs. It provokes thoughts that help.

    Big Al

    Still trying to get used to this quoting w/o screwing it up

  21. 10,351285,40470,8
  22. #11
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    Quote Originally Posted by chefdennis View Post
    Yeap I simply "chain and lock" it to the rear spring shackle. If you get to a TS in the summer down in the south, you will see this setup all over. There is a sprinter rounding around with a rooftop mounted genset, inside a metal box...too much BS for me, climbing a ladder to service and fuel it...not for me..i am into easy....

    As greg said, the RV places do have an enclosure that they use, you might look into that. As for the rear hitch mounts rack, there are a few that "Swing away" when you need to open the doors, again, too much BS for me...

    And as for adding a "external fuel tank", there is no need to add a eletric fuel pump in most cases, these type of generators/ inverters have a "pulse fuel pump" all you need to do is splice a "T" into the original fuel line from the original fuel tank then hook up the fuel line from the external tank. Most of

    One thing to keep in mind also when buying one of these, if you are planning to use it in CA., it needs to be CARB compliant..and yes they make them to fit those recommendations..without that feature, you can't use it in CA.

    The CARB Compliant gensets are a "closed loop", fuel circuit and are non-vents..so all fuel vapor is circulated back into the fuel tank so if you add a external tank, make sure that you do NOT use a fuel shutoff valve between the 2 tanks, you need that closed loop sysytem for the engine to run properly....

    Another way to add a tank is to do it as a "Gravity" tank by drilling a hole in the gas cap and sealing a fuel line from the external tank into it, personally, id stay away from this, but i have seem a few doing it that way....
    I concur. I'll proably go the easy route you're suggesting.
    Where is the place you store the generator while your driving?

    I was thinking about a box only to seal fumes. I guess with the CARB compliant you wouldn't smell it?

    Do you also carry a small gas container?

    Big Al

  23. 11,351288,40470,8
  24. #12
    10K Member chefdennis's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    I strap it against the side wall when i am driving and when it isn't being used. I carry a 3 gallon plastic gas can and a 6 gallon external gas tank. They are both full all the time. I NEVER run it inside so fumes ar not an issue at all....another thing you should carry is a small trap to cover it when the rain come in, but it is still hot enough outside to need the AC.....
    There are people in need of help. Charity is one of the nobler human motivations. The act of reaching into one's own pockets to help a fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else's pocket is despicable and worthy of condemnation.
    --Walter E. Williams

    "Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive."

    "The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry."
    --William F. Buckley

    "When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right."
    -- Victor Hugo


    #252 Chevy Cargo Max

    OOIDA Member, #934277

    Part of the
    LOAD 1 CheerLeader Crew!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqD6uCWQDVc

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  26. #13
    18K Member greg334's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    I wouldn't worry about being CARB compliant unless you are either buying or selling the thing within California borders. Any EPA compliant unit should do the trick - the problem is when it is a diesel generator and you are a truck, they seem to get upset.

    I know which rivets you are talking about, the point is don't complicate the simple. Check out what I am saying and see if that works. I already seen a few who have used it on their sprinters and have no complaints.

  27. 13,351345,40470,8
  28. #14
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    I think if I do this I'll manufacture a strong external shelf welded and mount it to the rear door using bolts that penetrate through to the inside with a reinforcing strip as a backing strip.
    That way when the doors are open it'll be free & clear and I won't have to worry about inside storage. As a former Fire Marshall on a super aircraft carrier I am always concerned about fuel inside, especially gas that has a flashpoint of -70 degress farenheit. We carry a small container of diesel inside our van but it's flash point is 145 degrees farenheit.
    You folks have really given some great idea's. I appreciate that because it keeps me from trying a bunch of foolish things.

    Big Al

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  30. #15
    18K Member greg334's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Generator Securement

    Al,
    If a Chinese model is alright, and you only need enough power to power the A/C, why don't you look at the 12 volt A/C units, like the one Piper has, get a Chinese made diesel single or two cylinder engine (about 10 HP would work), get one of them RV containers to hold the thing like I mentioned and pair an alternator with the engine - all running off of diesel. This way you can cut back on the batteries (weight) and still not worry about safety or exposure and have something that is remote started.

  31. 15,351456,40470,8
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