Sunday, July 24, 2011

Replace Onan Genset with 1 or 2 Honda eu2000i's on Drawer Slide Assembly

 I removed the Onan 6500 watt Commercial Generator. It was far too Big  for our Class C needs; too Heavy and Noisy by a long shot and also, did I mention ......... a real Gas Hog!  Why would a Class C EVER need a gen set this big? Yikes, "don't you love the ....salesman?..Stop the Snake Oil CRAP and get back to truth..................
Ok, getting back to our post....

     The Access Door's 24" width was increased to 32" with our new Ebay door... to allow easy access for One or Two, new Honda eu2000i Generators.



Sold original Onan 6500 Commercial Genset on Craig's List locally to a new Class A guy who needed constant AC,  to make space for a Slide Out Shelf/Drawer for either 1 or 2, Honda eu2000i -- "normally portable"-- generators.
While I am rebuilding this space--to hold 2 of these Honda's, I must admit, I will probably only bring one along with us now, for quiet/efficient battery charging and not 2 Hondas required for the higher amps required for Air Conditioner use. My project though is meant for 2 Gensets!

 This space will continue to use the original Pair of --frame mounted "L" shaped "C"channel mounts (shown in black) to adapt to this Sliding Drawer system.  The Drawers are made of heavy 1/4" 6061 Aluminum construction.  NOTE, the vehicles frame was drilled to allow the C channels to be relocated with a wider stance than original, so it could offer a wide Drawer Assembly.

Shown below, the concept of Drawer Slide Assembly and  initial drawing taken to machine shop.

Shown above, is close to, the final product, mounted to the underside of the original but relocated black frame extensions.  The Black L frames were spread Wider...on the Frame to allow a Wider Drawer Assembly.   Shown here also, is the new enlarged opening with Eternabond tape sealing all edges.

The NEW access door was an inexpensive Ebay purchase but was purchaced to allow an increase in the width of opening, from 24" to 32".     I  cut the door shown below,  almost in half,   left to right.... and relocated the Twist lock mechanisms, to the sides.  (See other photo of this door below, as finished product)  I also bought 2 locks to add to the Original holes in the door assembly and now have then installed.   The door modification hides the lower half of the Honda Genset as I boxed in the area.  The original Onan was visually too obvious and I think I can clean up the look and security of the new installation quite a bit!  What do "you" think?

I used a sabre saw with a long metal blade to cut the sides of the opening to the desired size.
The foam insulation was removed to a depth necessary to insert a piece of 2" x 4" material which was then marked and trimmed to fit.  The wood, bonded into place with Liquid Nails was then taped over completely with Eternabond tape for future protection, prior to installing the door.  The purpose of the wood it so the door assembly has something to be fastened to.
Basic assembly of Drawer Slide installed.
The Triple rail slides extend 28" out from the closed position and can support 176 lbs. at that position....far more load than I can impose on it.
The Drawer Slide assembly creates "Ease of Access", rather than just building a 'compartment' for the generators.  Being able to easily load or unload a generator and not have to bend or twist my back while using, maintaining, or fueling or starting these Hondas  is 'to me', worth the extra expense and effort.
 Shown above if the Drawer Slid out a few inches to demonstrate the Locking Mechanism I built to prohibit the drawer from sliding out while I drive!
Drawer Slide in 'Closed Position'.....ready to insert Push Pin (shown on lanyard).
Locked Position.
FINISHED !  Honda Generator is hidden from sight and the enclosure blends in, almost unnoticeable.

The Onan's Remote Start Button located inside the M.H. was sold on Ebay, as the Honda replacement is a Pull Start.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Minimizing Water Usage

I just wrote something on one of my favorite RV sites that I thought I should just ADD to my blog, so here goes!
OK, gonna hang it 'out on a limb' here...

We are Sailors as well as land bound "Travelers" in our RV.  Methods learned from nautical cruising for more than 30 years have graced us with some wisdom, --- that is appropriate to land travel too.

At this point, we should agree that: ...."Limiting what you "put water IN a holding tank, can extend the time between Dump Station Visits". 

For Showering, we use land based showers at State and Private Campgrounds but when in more remote save Drinkable Water and Grey Water Tank levels, we use a "Solar Shower 2.5 gallon bag and NOT our built in shower, unless necessary".    On our boat and RV, we heat up the water-only a bit with Sun Light(2 hours maybe)- so there is no scorching, but in the RV, if we need it, we fill the plastic bag with some water out of our tank-then add a tea/coffee pot volume of water heated by our propane stove-then top off the rest of the bag with more tap water.
This gives us a pleasant temperature... and power 'efficient' - shower.
....When appropriate.... we hang the 2.5 gallon Solar Shower Bag, on the rear of our rig's roof ladder 'or, if more comfortable' a tree limb ......and enjoy our shower..........after dark.   We read that sink and shower water can be used for watering our garden plants, so why not 'mother nature's'?
When not using this method we can go a week or more without need to empty our grey water tanks at Dump Stations.

In the galley, we opt to use a Moen single handle control for supply of water[recently purchased at Home Depot, NOT OEM], with a fine/minimal.... 'spritzer'.... to rinse dishes. This uses  much less water;  rather than the FULL FLOW of water available!!

IF, you do not "put water IN a tank, you do not have to EMPTY a tank".      ;)

We do make it a practice of emptying both tanks once a week when possible
Simplification works without minimizing life's pleasures or responsibilities.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Base Plate installation / Tow Package setup for Hyundai

We had purchased a Hyundai Elantra Touring manual shift auto in 2010.  One important thought at the time, was to purchase a car that 'could' be towed behind our motor home.  Well, I finally got the time and inclination to order all the parts necessary to accomplish a safe tow.
I had to wait, until a manufacturer actually had produced a BasePlate for our particular car.  It took Blue Ox company 2 years to actually get one to market.  I ordered it in May.

The installation seemed straightforward, but I found their instructions to be lacking detail and incomplete. "Of course, there is the caveat "Professional Installation" required or suggested................. :(

Removing the front panels on the car was not difficult, but getting the car up off the ground took some thouhgt and time to set up.  I had some extra lumber in my garage, so built a platform of it and used a short piece as a ramp for both sides.  Not being as flexible as I used to be, I needed the advantage of a more comfortable sitting/work position on the floor.

To install the BasePlate bar, some of the front panels had to be trimmed, as well as 2 corners off of the Frame Rail extensions.  That all went well and I was able to cut, drill and mount all of the components, but the cutting of the grille, required to allow the Baseplate components to be accessed from the front, was inadequately explained in the instructions.  Hence, I cut away a bit too much, instead of a perfect job, I got one that I call acceptable........

The 'Wiring' portion of this Tow Setup requires a 4 wire harness to be run from the Front Grill Area, back to the rear lights.........for brakes, tail and turn signals.  This job, I think I'm going to have to hire out as I just cannot bend my body into the tight spaces required anymore......... so be it.  I ran the wiring from the front 6 pin connector at the Grille, to just inside the engine compartment.

Now, I'm going to search the phone book and internet to see who I can find to complete this job.