Welcome to the third entry in July’s Medium Mod Contest. One Medium Mod will be published in every Email Alert in July. At the end of the month, we’ll hold a reader vote to determine July’s winner. Click here for information about the 2022 Mod Contest, including how to enter.
Gary Elliott, Advance, North Carolina
Sliding Generator Storage Compartment
2021 Ford F-350
2020 Northern-Lite 10-2EX
In order to gain greater flexibility in our choice of camping locations and more efficient use of time while traveling, we installed a 3500-watt DR Power/Generac gas generator into the existing storage compartment in our 2020 Northern Lite 10-2.
We can now enjoy campsites with no electrical hook-ups and stop anywhere along the way for a hot coffee or meal made in the comfort and privacy of our truck camper.
The modification entails the construction of a plywood housing fitted into the existing passenger’s side storage compartment. A pair of 22-inch industrial-duty full-extension ball-bearing side-mount drawer-slides procured from Home Depot are attached to the interior walls of the plywood housing.
Mounted between the drawer slides is a custom fabricated steel tray. The tray is extended when the generator is in use. The generator is fastened directly onto the tray and is easily removed for maintenance.
The plywood housings half-inch-top and bottom rest snugly against the upper and lower interior corners of the existing metal compartment. Three-quarter-inch plywood sides are attached to the housings’ top and bottom with brackets and angle iron.
No fasteners of any type are required to hold the housing rigidly within the compartment. One hole was drilled into the plywood bottom to accommodate the existing vent. Two notches were cut; one into the plywood top for the existing propane gas valve, and one into the side for the existing electrical connection (see images).
The right and left drawer slides are attached to two-inch square angle iron. The two-inch angle iron is also screwed to the plywood sides and bottom. The tray is then bolted to the drawer slides. A small bolt or steel pin is used to secure the tray in the extended or closed position.
A 30-amp cord whip is connected to the existing electrical box. Six feet of #10/3 conductor, type SJ cord, and a NEMA L5-30P twist-lock connector comprise the whip. The housing has a 1.5-inch space between the plywood side and the adjacent compartment wall that provides storage for the cord whip.
The generator is not used unless it is completely extended outside of the compartment. The exhaust is positioned away from the camper.
Northern Lite does offer a generator option for this camper. In our case, the generator was not included, but the camper was prepped for propane and electrical in the existing storage compartment. The sliding tray offers campers versatile storage, not just for a generator, but for a propane stove or extra batteries and a large inverter. Should this manufacturer offer a propane fuel generator, I would certainly consider it.
All materials are available at Home Depot:
Half-inch and three-quarter-inch marine grade plywood – $40
Two-inch square angle iron – $30
Stainless screws and bolts – $10
(6) Plated angle brackets – $2.50 each
22-inch industrial-duty full-extension ball-bearing side-mount drawer-slides – $80/pair
NEMA L5-30 (twist lock cord connector) – $10
Six-feet of #10/3 conductor SJ cord – $2.50/linear foot
Paint – $10
This mod cost $210. The skill level for this project is medium because basic carpentry and welding skills are required.
Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.
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