The LowPro LockDown generator tray pictured above, mounted using a Steel Hitch Extender with Step by Apex, allows carrying the generator on the factory installed Class III receiver hitch on the rear of my trailer. Once locked to the tray, generator theft is all but eliminated and I don't have the concerns of gasoline fumes inside the truck or trailer. The generator can be run while mounted to the tray, with some amount of noise and vibration transferred to the trailer interior, or drop it to the ground for quieter operation.
For my purposes, with a 2000 watt true sine wave inverter installed, it made more sense to use the generator to charge the trailer batteries, and run the 120 VAC appliances from the inverter. Doing so uses the battery bank (dual 6 volt AGM) as a power buffer and allows the generator to run with the more smaller, more constant load, of the battery charger. This also prevents power dropouts to the entertainment equipment when transferring between generator and inverter using the more conventional method of powering the whole trailer from the generator. To simplify connecting the generator to the battery charger, which in my case is mounted in the forward pass-thru compartment, I ran a 14 AWG underground romex cable from the rear cap of the trailer, along the left frame rail, to a dedicated outlet next to the battery charger. The 15 amp power port pictured above provides the connection point to the generator. [ Click here for PDF Drawing ]
A note about weights: The weight rating of the factory installed Class III hitch receiver is 300 pounds. The following weights are added by this modification. The author understands that the 300 lb rating does not take into account excessive loads caused by the additional leverage of large bike racks and hitch extensions, and that the hitch capacity should be derated to some degree. Given that the factory installed receiver is specifically not intended for towing, some assumptions can be made that the leverage of cargo trays is accounted for in its design. The author does not have the experience in stress loads to calculate the appropriate derating, so a factor of 50% will be used.
|Assembled LowPro LockDown Tray and Hitch Extender||27 lbs|
|Honda EU2000i Generator (Dry)||46 lbs|
|Generator Oil and Fuel||7 lbs|
|1UpUSA Bike Rack||28 lbs|
|Bicycle (Varies, worst case used)||35 lbs|
|Total Estimated Weight||143 lbs|
Parts used for this modification include:
I have since upgraded to the Honda EU3000i Handi generator. The information on this page is accurate and the setup worked as expected. I will leave this page in place for reference.
Honda EU2000i hour meter installation: The videos below provide good instructions on the installation of a reliable hour meter. The 1st video installs a 12 VDC hour meter on the standard EU2000i model and the 2nd video installs a 120 VAC hour meter on the EU2000i Companion model. The 120 VAC hour meter can actually be installed on either model generator and is a simpler installation because you do not need to splice any wires.