Archive for April 10th, 2022

Many of who who have followed us since we began full-timing will remember my rear bumper project, upon which I installed a generator and cabinet, power cord winder and a few other things. Unfortunately, the D’Hanis/Hondo (Texas) tornadoes and hailstorm of April, 2021, destroyed our fifth wheel, leaving me nowhere on our new rig to conveniently carry and use our generator.

We love our new fifth wheel. It’s new, bigger and has a lot of newer technology than the old Cruiser. I could have purchased a storage tray to fit the rear hitch receiver for the generator, but at 120 lbs. (including gas), a tray sturdy enough to hold the weight while on the highway or country back road is difficult to find and expensive. I tried placing the generator in the pickup bed, but it’s too tall for the overhang, no matter where I set it.

I decided the basement was the only possible location for it, but the inconvenience of loading and unloading it for use would be undesirable, to say the least. I looked into a new-fangled metal slide-out drawer made for such equipment, but the $1,000-$2,000 price tag was far more than I wanted to pay.

I went searching for other solutions and came across rails similar to those used by the slide-out drawers and found them to be much more affordable. After measuring the generator, I decided that 24″ long rails that slide open to 57″ made by Yenuo would be a perfect fit, and only cost $98 for the pair. They will hold up to 260 lbs., more than sufficient for my project, so I ordered them in.

Next was my planning and prep. I decided that the rails should be installed on 2″x4″ boards in order to lift the shelf over the lip of the basement doors, and a 3/4″ plywood plank could be cut to fit. Cross planks attached below the rail supports would give me more room to secure the shelf unit to the basement floor, and I decided that a few L-brackets would help in the rear of the unit, where the most stress would be when the generator was rolled out.

The following photos show how the pieces went together:

Then it was time to install the sliding shelf unit in the basement.

Everything looked great until I actually placed the generator on the shelf. I had enough clearance in the cabinet door frame to roll it all in, but the second aluminum ceiling joist was about an inch lower than the top of the door, preventing the generator from moving past it.

The solution was to remove the 3/4″ plywood cross planks from the bottom, turn the 2″x4″ rail supports sideways and replace the cross planks with other 2″x4″ pieces. With a slightly smaller motor frame, it wouldn’t have been necessary…

I put the pieces all back together and voilà! I do have a couple of things left to design: a pin or other method of securing the shelf closed while traveling, and another to keep the shelf extended while the generator is in use.

Another comment (or two):

I found it a little tricky to align the rails on both the supports and the shelf so it would slide smoothly. A little off and the rails don’t line up completely. After a couple of attempts I was able to arrange them fine. It was also a bit of a puzzle to figure out securing them without opening and closing them to access each screw hole.

In this particular model of generator, the exhaust points one direction and the pull handle points the opposite way. This meant that if I placed it on the shelf with easy access to the starting pull cord, the generator would send the exhaust right into the basement. My solution was to buy and install 3′ of heater hose to gently direct the exhaust to the open side of the basement.

The total cost of this project, including wood, rails and hardware, was under $200. This worked so well that I plan to order in a pair of 60″ rails to install to the left side of the generator for a long supply shelf. No longer will I have to pull half of everything out to get to something in the middle of the basement space…

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Winter Sunset with Stump
Winter Sunset with Stump

“Winter Sunset with Stump”
Photo of the Week #15, selected in August, 2019

Another one of my favorite photos from Kansas, this pic was taken in winter at Cheney Reservoir in the central part of the state, the lake frozen over and a tree stump making a shadow in the sunset. Well played, Kansas. Well played.

Kansas will eventually frustrate local photographers, since there are only so many scenes of waving wheat and grassy plains one can shoot. However, with patience, opportunities like this are often presented if one is open and ready for them. In the few years I lived there, I went on several photo outings with the hope of coming across something interesting, even in the middle of winter. One this day, my optimism was rewarded.

Here’s my photo on Imagekind:

View all of my Photos of the Week here on Imagekind:

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