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There are so many great projects on these forums that I felt obligated to document mine (partly so that others can avoid my mis-steps!).

We dry camp the majority of the time. During the winter (until the snow flies) that is not a problem, but summer time on the Eastern side of Washington State can be uncomfortably hot. When we bought the Ollie we knew that the solar system would take care of most of our needs, but that we really wanted a generator capable of running the A/C. We specified the optional soft start add-on for the A/C so that the trailer would be ready. A bit of research showed that the new Honda 2200 would run the A/C, even if it was running on propane.

We chose “Hutch Mountain” as the best propane conversion for the Honda 2200. After 10 years of putting generators into and out of the truck I knew that some kind of generator carrier attached to the trailer was a must-have. We chose “Generator Box” as they have one sized perfectly for the Honda 2200. I asked Hutch Mountain if they would do their magic by installing all needed gear inside a Generator Box. They said they would be glad to do so. I had “Generator Box” directly ship the box to Hutch mountain. They did an install and then shipped to us. Perfect !! I did the install of the Hutch Mountain conversion kit into our new generator. BTW Honda service centers get very twitchy about propane conversions. There was/is a recall of a circuit board in the 2200. My local shop will do the recall, but will not even start the generator afterwards. I may have to school them about modifications NOT invalidating an entire warrantee. In my case the engine is now out of warrantee, but the generator section is still fully covered (federal law on this subject is well established).

We bought the storage box on our Ollie. I wanted to save as much space in the box as I could for lightweight things, so I designed a frame to support the Generator Box. I initially intended to have the box dropped down into the storage unit by about and inch and a half. That was a bad idea as the latching assembly which secures the box to the mounting plate will not operate with more than about 3/8” of drop below the edge of the storage box. I used aluminum flat stock and 70 durometer Sorbothane to raise the box and give a little vibration dampening.

Parts list, purchased or modified by me:

Honda 2200 Companion generator to get the 30 amp locking connector

5 feet of aluminum 2” C-channel, ¼” wall thickness

5 feet of aluminum 1½” angle

10 1” SS ¼” x 20 screws with NyLock and two flat washers each

6 1½” SS ¼” x 20 screws with NyLock and two flat washers each

30 1” SS 10x32 screws with Nylock and 2 flat washers each

I made a 69” section of Marinco 10 ga power cord

Hutch Mountain made a 69” connection hose to hook-up the front end trailer propane supply to the Generator Box quick disconnect.

 

Pictures follow…

 

Any questions, please ask!

 

Bill and Dorothy

BracesV1.jpg

BracesV2.jpg

Cchannel.jpg

MountingPlate.jpg

Overall1.jpg

OverAll2.jpg

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theOrca,  2020 Legacy Elite II, Twin, Hull 615

Tow Vehicle - 2016 Ram 1500, Hemi, 8 Speed with 1500# rear springs and Goodyear bags.

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That looks great!

If it were me,  ( knowing that we almost never hook up to power or genset,), I'd just be that guy/gal , like me, with nothing on the tongue. 

Our generator rides in the truck bed. And rarely used.

Everyone has a different camping style, and different needs.

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Posted (edited)

Very nicely done. A great looking Ollie. 

David

Edited by Patriot

2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat Ultimate “Tremor” High Cap tow pkg  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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1 hour ago, Overland said:

Nice write up, thanks!  

Does the box provide any sound attenuation?  

Nope, the box is essentially light weight diamond plate aluminum with 3 Deck Hatches and a door. The base plate is 1/8" steel. I put two layers of vibration isolating material between the generator and the trailer. (I had not intended to, that was just the way things worked out!)

It would not be a problem to apply  the "one side sticky/other side foil"  (and expensive) sound attenuation material that stereo installers use, but it would add about 10 to 15 pounds of weight. Three campers ago we owned an Arctic Fox 29' fifth wheel. The generator was located directly below the bed... I applied $120 dollars worth of that stuff in an attempt to be able to sleep with the generator running. It did not work unless you were really, really tired!

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theOrca,  2020 Legacy Elite II, Twin, Hull 615

Tow Vehicle - 2016 Ram 1500, Hemi, 8 Speed with 1500# rear springs and Goodyear bags.

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Posted (edited)

What do you plan for that area below the steel tray? Access appears to be limited - it appears to be about a 6 inch gap. It would be great for wood blocks, if you can reach back far enough.

What was your reason for keeping the Oliver tray rather than just mounting the new tray directly onto the tongue, (to save a little weight and lower the generator)?

Are there drain/ debris holes in the bottom of the Ollie tray so gunk doesn’t get trapped there?

Do you plan to make a dust cover for the generator box? It is a pretty messy location normally.

Please post a followup report after using your generator for a while. Thanks.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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When we had a 30ft SOB (Some other brand) camper I had a custom tray welded to the tongue and used two LowPro Lockdown plates to mount our Honda Companion Generators to the front of the camper.  The setup functioned quite well for the occasional dry camping that we did.

Noise was not really a problem for us, but the camper had a front bedroom and the vibration was enough to keep us awake.

How much vibration does this setup transmit to the camper?  Is it noticeable?

Bryan

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On 5/10/2020 at 10:05 AM, John E Davies said:

What do you plan for that area below the steel tray? Access appears to be limited - it appears to be about a 6 inch gap. It would be great for wood blocks, if you can reach back far enough.

- I have only tested for 2x8 in one foot pieces, and 4x4 in eight inch pieces. Pretty much takes anything I would want to tote there!

What was your reason for keeping the Oliver tray rather than just mounting the new tray directly onto the tongue, (to save a little weight and lower the generator)?

- I wanted the tote space. The generator box height was a concern, so I made a cardboard mock-up and tested the idea on my boss. (She said it looked great...)

Are there drain/ debris holes in the bottom of the Ollie tray so gunk doesn’t get trapped there?

- There is a 3/8" drain hole in all four outside corners of the storage unit.

Do you plan to make a dust cover for the generator box? It is a pretty messy location normally.

- The box is water tight, and I have made it Yellow Jacket tight by pop riveting bronze screen over all the vents. I am going to wait and see if I have to come up with a dust solution...

Please post a followup report after using your generator for a while. Thanks.

- It is going to be a couple months before I tow the unit. I am determined to wait-out the idiots in Seattle/Olympia who objected to $35 Tabs (for the 4th time now). I will register/license the unit once the courts get off the dime and make a decision. Or.... if the lock-down goes away, once I get bored out of my skull.

Bill Simons in answer to John Davies

 

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theOrca,  2020 Legacy Elite II, Twin, Hull 615

Tow Vehicle - 2016 Ram 1500, Hemi, 8 Speed with 1500# rear springs and Goodyear bags.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/9/2020 at 4:33 PM, SeaDawg said:

That looks great!

If it were me,  ( knowing that we almost never hook up to power or genset,), I'd just be that guy/gal , like me, with nothing on the tongue. 

Our generator rides in the truck bed. And rarely used.

Everyone has a different camping style, and different needs.

Sherry

Our current RV is a B+ motorhome with onboard generator.  Like you, we don't use the generator often, and hardly ever for long periods of time.  We would be fine with carrying a portable generator (Honda) in the pickup and setting it on the Ollie tongue box when in use.  Curious how you secure your generator in the pickup bed to deter theft.

 

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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On 5/9/2020 at 4:23 PM, theOrca said:

There are so many great projects on these forums that I felt obligated to document mine (partly so that others can avoid my mis-steps!).

 

We dry camp the majority of the time. During the winter (until the snow flies) that is not a problem, but summer time on the Eastern side of Washington State can be uncomfortably hot. When we bought the Ollie we knew that the solar system would take care of most of our needs, but that we really wanted a generator capable of running the A/C. We specified the optional soft start add-on for the A/C so that the trailer would be ready. A bit of research showed that the new Honda 2200 would run the A/C, even if it was running on propane.

 

 

 

We chose “Hutch Mountain” as the best propane conversion for the Honda 2200. After 10 years of putting generators into and out of the truck I knew that some kind of generator carrier attached to the trailer was a must-have. We chose “Generator Box” as they have one sized perfectly for the Honda 2200. I asked Hutch Mountain if they would do their magic by installing all needed gear inside a Generator Box. They said they would be glad to do so. I had “Generator Box” directly ship the box to Hutch mountain. They did an install and then shipped to us. Perfect !! I did the install of the Hutch Mountain conversion kit into our new generator. BTW Honda service centers get very twitchy about propane conversions. There was/is a recall of a circuit board in the 2200. My local shop will do the recall, but will not even start the generator afterwards. I may have to school them about modifications NOT invalidating an entire warrantee. In my case the engine is now out of warrantee, but the generator section is still fully covered (federal law on this subject is well established).

 

We bought the storage box on our Ollie. I wanted to save as much space in the box as I could for lightweight things, so I designed a frame to support the Generator Box. I initially intended to have the box dropped down into the storage unit by about and inch and a half. That was a bad idea as the latching assembly which secures the box to the mounting plate will not operate with more than about 3/8” of drop below the edge of the storage box. I used aluminum flat stock and 70 durometer Sorbothane to raise the box and give a little vibration dampening.

 

Parts list, purchased or modified by me:

 

Honda 2200 Companion generator to get the 30 amp locking connector

 

5 feet of aluminum 2” C-channel, ¼” wall thickness

 

5 feet of aluminum 1½” angle

 

10 1” SS ¼” x 20 screws with NyLock and two flat washers each

 

6 1½” SS ¼” x 20 screws with NyLock and two flat washers each

 

30 1” SS 10x32 screws with Nylock and 2 flat washers each

 

I made a 69” section of Marinco 10 ga power cord

 

Hutch Mountain made a 69” connection hose to hook-up the front end trailer propane supply to the Generator Box quick disconnect.

 

 

 

Pictures follow…

 

 

 

Any questions, please ask!

 

 

 

Bill and Dorothy

 

BracesV1.jpg

BracesV2.jpg

Cchannel.jpg

MountingPlate.jpg

Overall1.jpg

OverAll2.jpg

I like that idea of a propane powered generator and was not aware that you can convert Honda generator to propane.  Do they not make a propane model?   Where might I find more info.  Thanks!  

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Susan Huff, we have a locking Undercover brand cover on our truck bed. Though I  know it could easily be popped open, it keeps items out of sight and dry. 

Our little Honda is 11 or 12 years old now, so not worth that much, even though it still works great. When it was new, we used to "camouflage" it in an old battered cardboard produce box, and stacked other stuff on top. At that time, it was probably the most expensive item in the truck bed. We don't bother with that any more. 🙂

Sherry 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

I like that idea of a propane powered generator and was not aware that you can convert Honda generator to propane.  Do they not make a propane model?   Where might I find more info.  Thanks!  

Yes, you can convert the Honda generators to propane. At the beginning of this thread, @theOrca mentioned using a Hutch Mountain conversion kit, and @rideadeuce posted about using a MotorSnorkel conversion kit. I used a GenConnex Conversion Kit, primarily because with the Genconnex the propane regulator is inside the generator (replacing the gasoline tank), while for most conversion kits the the large propane regulator is on the outside. The Genconnex also has stellar reviews on other forums. My previous posts on the Genconnex are here and here

Also be aware that you will need a Neutral Grounding plug to use a generator. 

Edited by DavidS
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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Susan Huff, we have a locking Undercover brand cover on our truck bed. Though I  know it could easily be popped open, it keeps items out of sight and dry. 

Our little Honda is 11 or 12 years old now, so not worth that much, even though it still works great. When it was new, we used to "camouflage" it in an old battered cardboard produce box, and stacked other stuff on top. At that time, it was probably the most expensive item in the truck bed. We don't bother with that any more. 🙂

Sherry 

 

Thanks.  I would prefer to carry the generator in the pickup.  If we can't come up with a way to use our 1UP bike rack on an Oliver, we will need to haul our bikes in the pickup, so a bed cover is not an option.  One possibility is to secure it, along with the bikes, with a bike locking cable.  I'm also thinking, some sort of case that we could secure to the bed, but also remove and stow it in the pickup backseat when we are away off hiking, or something. I like your cardboard box idea 😉

Edited by Susan Huff

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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6 minutes ago, Susan Huff said:

Thanks.  I would prefer to carry the generator in the pickup.  If we can't come up with a way to use our 1UP bike rack on an Oliver, we will need to haul our bikes in the pickup, so a bed cover is not an option.  One possibility is to secure it, along with the bikes, with a bike locking cable.  I'm also thinking, some sort of case that we could secure to the bed, but also remove and stow it in the pickup backseat when we are away off hiking, or something.

I have read about security solutions for a generator. One type of security is the LowPro LockDown system, which could be bolted to a pickup bed. The major problem with a bike locking cable is that once can cut though the generator handle, and this bracket system prevents that. If you do go with a cable bike lock, be aware that the cable can be cut fairly easily, and that a larger diameter cable makes them harder to cut. Good cables here and here

David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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Susan Huff, we used the beat up tomato box a few times when we towed our Ollie with my Silverado, with an atv in the back, too. I don't have a bed cover on my Silverado  stepside, and never have. Nobody ever bothered my ancient produce box. But I  can't say it was "secure." Just camo for lunch and shopping stops. 

What is your truck bed size? You could also consider using  a lockable diamond plate toolbox across the front for storage, and possibly still have room for secure bike mounts, if your bed is long enough.

I've seen bike mounts above sliding bed covers, but I  think they'd be a really big pain to use. I need a step stool just to reach into the far end of my truck bed. (I'm not very tall.)

Sherry

 

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Susan Huff said:

Thanks.  I would prefer to carry the generator in the pickup.  If we can't come up with a way to use our 1UP bike rack on an Oliver, we will need to haul our bikes in the pickup, so a bed cover is not an option.  😉

Can you not use a fiberglass canopy? That will keep all cargo secure and out of sight. Not to mention dry and clean.... Leer and A.R.E. are the two best brands, if cost is a factor you can find a nice used one. I bought a used mid-range Leer for $600 and the store paint-matched It to my truck for an extra $200. 

A cab height model looks best, but a raised one will give extra head room for wheeling in bikes and cargo.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Can you not use a fiberglass canopy? That will keep all cargo secure and out of sight. Not to mention dry and clean.... Leer and A.R.E. are the two best brands, if cost is a factor you can find a nice used one. I bought a used mid-range Leer for $600 and the store paint-matched It to my truck for an extra $200. 

A cab height model looks best, but a raised one will give extra head room for wheeling in bikes and cargo.

John Davies

Spokane WA

A canopy would be nice, especially for hauling cargo in the bed, and keeping things relatively secure from theft,  but it would not be as convenient for loading and unloading bikes.  We like things as simple as possible.

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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4 hours ago, DavidS said:

I have read about security solutions for a generator. One type of security is the LowPro LockDown system, which could be bolted to a pickup bed. The major problem with a bike locking cable is that once can cut though the generator handle, and this bracket system prevents that. If you do go with a cable bike lock, be aware that the cable can be cut fairly easily, and that a larger diameter cable makes them harder to cut. Good cables here and here

Thanks for the info on the LowPro LockDown I like it.  Could this be used in the tongue cargo box?  We already have two of the bike cables you link to, one three foot and one 7 foot.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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3 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Susan Huff, we used the beat up tomato box a few times when we towed our Ollie with my Silverado, with an atv in the back, too. I don't have a bed cover on my Silverado  stepside, and never have. Nobody ever bothered my ancient produce box. But I  can't say it was "secure." Just camo for lunch and shopping stops. 

What is your truck bed size? You could also consider using  a lockable diamond plate toolbox across the front for storage, and possibly still have room for secure bike mounts, if your bed is long enough.

I've seen bike mounts above sliding bed covers, but I  think they'd be a really big pain to use. I need a step stool just to reach into the far end of my truck bed. (I'm not very tall.)

Sherry

 

 

Our current truck is an F350 Super Duty Crew with long bed.  I'm not sure we will keep the long bed to tow the Oliver.  When purchased it was a tow vehicle for a 5th-wheel as well as a work truck.  Now we have a motorhome, so don't need the tow capacity and the long-bed crew cab makes a lot of vehicle to get around towing a 23' Oliver.  I do like your suggestion of a toolbox.  We used to haul the bikes with fork mounts in the bed of the pickup, but we had to remove the wheels and stow them in the back seat.  This is why we got the 1UP bike rack, which is so much easier.

But, I'm talking about two things now.  Securing the generator and how to haul the bikes.

One thought I have had is mounting a 2" receiver in the bed of the pickup so we could use the 1UP rack to secure the bikes in the bed.  Haven't measured to see if this would work, just thinking outside the box. 

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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