Generator Security & Exhaust Managment

I’m a huge fan of Honda inverter generators, unfortunately so are thieves. While I have not had that issue myself (yet) I decided that relying on the re-enforced handle system and a simple cable wasn’t enough to keep someone from making my generators theirs.

Then there was the issue with the fumes. In poor weather I wanted to be able to run the generators under the RV, elevated, to keep them out of the rain. The problem with this is the exhaust fumes (they are quiet enough that we don’t hear them inside the trailer when we are doing this).

I took to pencil and paper and spent a few weeks coming up with ideas on how I wanted to build this. I thought about making a rack that could attach to the rear bumper and then scrapped that idea. While it would be extremely convenient, I didn’t trust the structure of the bumper to support the weight of 2 50 pound generators bouncing around on the highway. I could re-enforce the bumper to the frame and even use 2″ hitch receivers to attach it but in the end I decided against it.

What I ended up doing was building a “box” that would house the generators side by side. There is enough space between them for me to pull the cord on the interior generator to fire it up.

Once I had the layout for the base set, I started building “upwards”. With the goal of being able to store this under the trailer, I took several measurements to ensure I had enough clearance to get everything under the trailer.

In my “master plan” (😂) for this project, I wanted to be able to move the generators around. With the box weighing in at about 75 pounds (part of my theft deterrence is the combined weight), I mounted some wheels to the back of the box with 2″ of clearance to the bottom of the box. I then took some 2″x2″ steel and welded “feet” at the front of the box so that it would sit level. One fo the feet functions as a “hitch” receiver. I have a 6′ section of pipe that slides into it. Once inserted, the whole system functions as a dolly that can lift the front off the ground easily and roll under the trailer without me having to crawl around. In use, I fire up the generators in the box and then close the lid and roll the system under the trailer if there’s poor weather. If the weather is fine, I just leave it nearby. There are some heavy duty D-Rings that I used, welded to the side. I picked up some chain that is darn near impossible to cut without major power tools, I can loop that around the frame or through the D-Rings and lock the system to an axle, tree or whatever is sturdy nearby.

All Done!

With that portion of the project done, I turned to the fume management. There were a lot of different ways to do this, from simple to overly complex – even for me. I thought about using some quick disconnects on the generator but decided against it long term as I didn’t want exhaust deposits creating issues later.

I removed the mufflers from the generators and welded 1″ extensions (bungs) to the exhaust so that I would have room to clamp on some hose. I used re-enforced silicone exhaust hose used in the aircraft industry. My thought behind this was that it would cool off faster than metal while being more flexible. Time will tell how well it holds up.

The silicone tube connects to a 2-1″ to 1.5″ exit “Y” that was built to combine both exhausts into a single flow. From there, I use 1.5″ flex pipe to connect it to a muffler. The muffler has a single 1.5″ inlet and a 1.5″ outlet. I did use some V-Band clamps at the muffler to disconnect it. V-Bands are commonly used on Turbochargers and Wastegates; they are good at holding up to high temps and are built in such a way that deposits won’t effect them long term.

On the outlet side of the muffler, I have another 15′ of flex pipe to direct the fumes away from our trailer. Now, this isn’t something that would be used in a densely packed camp site, as I have no intention of gassing a neighbor. For boon docking it’s a great solution. The addition of the muffler makes these already quiet generators just that much quieter. I did have to weld on a small extension of 1.5″ tube before the v-band as the muffler had a neck-down for a solid pipe attachment.

And yes, my wife and I joked about putting a 5″ exhaust tip on the end of the extension… they are Hondas after all!

…. it was just a joke, we’re not doing that.

Below is a list of what I used for the whole project:

We’re very happy with the end result. It’s not pretty and It’s not going to win any awards at a car-show, however it does exactly what we wanted. I feel confident that I could leave the generators running by the trailer while we are not around without fear of theft. Being that we tend to take our longer vacations during the summer with our son’s school schedule, we really like our air conditioning.

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