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Old 04-14-2017, 03:16 AM   #1
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Generator Operation in Truck Box

I've been reading the forums and noticed that many people are running their generators/inverters in the truck bed. I can imagine this does dampen the sound and reduces heavy lifting.

What is the process and placement to do this safely? I have a tri-fold tonneau cover. I imagine if I fold it open and put the generator toward the rear with the intake side closest to the truck bed side to give the exhaust as much space as possible should be safe. Should I have the exhaust pointing the rear with the tailgate down? I would appreciate some advice.

Also is there a problem with theft? I do plan to lock it in the truck bed even though it is covered by the tonneau cover.

Enjoy reading everyones advice. Have learned a lot and put it to good use.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:31 AM   #2
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Responding to subscribe to this thread. What is the practice for the Walmart nights?
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:42 AM   #3
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Responding to subscribe to this thread. What is the practice for the Walmart nights?
FYI there is a Walmart Sticky Topic thread at the top of the On The Road sub-forum:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ing-13082.html

Also you can subscribe to a thread I believe without posting, in your User Control Panel above and to the left -- User CP tab.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:55 AM   #4
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I have a cap on my truck. I plan to open the side windows and run two Honda 2000s back there, with the rear cap window slightly open to allow the power cable to pass through.
I have a Stanley Pivoting Blower Fan I will use if it gets too hot or stinky in there. Just point it at the window. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Stanley-P...5704/203423260
Plugs right in to the generator...
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:14 AM   #5
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Thanks! I am very interested in the responses to the OP's question. How/where do folks run their generators when overnighting anywhere? subscribing to this thread again.

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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
FYI there is a Walmart Sticky Topic thread at the top of the On The Road sub-forum:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ing-13082.html

Also you can subscribe to a thread I believe without posting, in your User Control Panel above and to the left -- User CP tab.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:27 AM   #6
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I have been running a Honda in my short-bed F-150 for years with a tri-fold tonneau cover. However, the genny is mounted to a steel plate that fits into a second steel plate that's bolted to the bed and has that round lock to secure. I have it mounted on the passenger side of the bed so I can reach all the controls and at the very rear of the bed. The exhaust blows into the bed with the cover open. No problems. Just don't have it blow onto the gas can.
Can't find the maker of the steel plates yet.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:30 AM   #7
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found it
http://lowprolockdown.com/
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:33 AM   #8
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I am also very interested in the topic. I am in the process of switching from carrying a truck camper in the bed of my Silverado to a bed topper. I plan to carry and use my Honda 3000 in the bed of the truck.

Brian
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:40 AM   #9
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Coincidentally, I met a fellow at a Flying J parked next to me with a huge motorhome last month just as I was setting out our Honda 2000 on the ground to run for the evening as I usually do. We have a cap on the truck and I run out a cable lock to the gennie.

He told me that he used to have such a set up, but that just left the gennie in the truck with the small side windows on the cap opened slightly.

I decided to give it a try and it worked great - I just had to reposition stored things in the truck bed so that there was lots of clearance on the exhaust side of the gennie of course.

Out of sight, really quiet, and since it was pouring rain, I didn't have to worry about that being an issue (I had not run it in the rain before and was not sure if it might cause problems with the gennie.) Also no issue lifting it in and out of the truck.

I think it will be the way I will use it in future.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
Coincidentally, I met a fellow at a Flying J parked next to me with a huge motorhome last month just as I was setting out our Honda 2000 on the ground to run for the evening as I usually do. We have a cap on the truck and I run out a cable lock to the gennie.

He told me that he used to have such a set up, but that just left the gennie in the truck with the small side windows on the cap opened slightly.

I decided to give it a try and it worked great - I just had to reposition stored things in the truck bed so that there was lots of clearance on the exhaust side of the gennie of course.

Out of sight, really quiet, and since it was pouring rain, I didn't have to worry about that being an issue (I had not run it in the rain before and was not sure if it might cause problems with the gennie.) Also no issue lifting it in and out of the truck.

I think it will be the way I will use it in future.
Thanks for sharing this! So far I have only run the 2 generators (eco mode OFF) under the cap in my driveway. 20 minutes later temps inside the cap were still under 120 F, so I figured it would work.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:30 AM   #11
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My Silverado has an A.R.E MX series topper. I leave the generator in the bed when it raining or when there is a security issue. I use a cable lock to secure it to a cargo tie down. I point the exhaust toward the rear and leave the tailgate down. The exhaust fumes are noticeable when I crawl up in the truck bed while it runs. There is some heat buildup in summer.

I have never left the generator running while sleeping so I've never let it run with the tailgate closed. I think it would be ok IF a fan was set in one of the topper windows, while plugged the generator. I've thought about installing a Fantastic Fan onto my topper, but that would stop me from getting into the garage. A 12v radiator fan mounted in one window would do the trick.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:34 AM   #12
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We went a slightly different direction, but to the question of security, we stumbled across a small company making generator boxes. (generatorbox.com) The box is very substantial, made of diamond decking and secured to a bolt down plate with 4 locking tabs. The generator can be run in the box for reduced noise and can be refueled in place (if gasolene powered). We mounted our box on the tongue after removing one of the 40# propane tanks to offset the weight addition. The installation is documented here, if interested; https://www.airforums.com/forums/f39...er-155180.html . I would think a mounting plate and box could be mounted on the street side of a truck bed with the exhaust pointed to the open tailgate. We use an inverter type generator, so it's relatively quiet when in use. We get some vibration, although, not much. That would be eliminated if used in the truck.

Good luck,

Roy and Marie
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:48 AM   #13
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I have used a generator in the back of my pickup, occasionally, for two years. I mounted it so the exhaust would blow out the open tailgate. Since this was a loud contractor type open frame generator, I only used it for about an hour at a time when parked in loud parking lots near the interstate. That generator created a lot of heat and caused no problems. I do recommend a good ground fault protector while operating a generator, especially in a truck bed. http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...otection/74402

With my purchase of the quiet Champion inverter generator, I plan to mount the generator closer to the cab of my truck for better weight distribution. This generator's enclosed case keeps the heat low on all sides but the exhaust. I mount this generator closer to the non-exhaust sides with a good distance on the exaust outlet side. I use my tin Coleman stove to block the hot exhaust gas away from my plastic lined box. I have tested this arrangement with the tailgate closed with good results. With the tailgate closed at 30', the natural background noise begins to overtake the generator noise.

I do not bond the ground and neutral wires on my generator. My understanding is that a non-bonded generator is safer as it takes two faults to get a shock. The non-bonded generator plus the ground fault protection adds a level of safety to running the generator inside the pickup based on my research.

My first open frame generator was bolted to the pickup truck bed and therefore bonded together. I plan to just use a cable and lock to secure the inverter generator and therefore the truck and generator will not be bonded. Since I prefer the non-bonded generator with ground fault protection, I do not believe there is a reason to bond to the truck. I'm open to any ideas on whether bonding my inverter generator to the truck would add any level of additional protection. I have also read that you do not want to attempt to ground your generator to earth as you will actually create a larger risk with a poorly earth-grounded generator. Again, my research says to keep the generator floating with good ground fault protection.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:49 AM   #14
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I also have a trifold tonneau cover on my F-150. My genny sits on a piece of 1/2" plywood that I originally cut so the gen. is placed on it when on the ground. But I found I could transport the generator (Honda 2000) pushed forward so weight is well forward of rear axle, but at the campground I slide it to the rear just forward of the tailgate. It's secured with a cable to a truck tie-down ring.

My bed has the plastic liner. There's enough friction that the plywood/generator won't vibrate around when running, but it's easy to slide it forward for transport, or aft for use. A cheap handle on the plywood makes it even easier. If it's raining, I leave the tailgate down and the tonneau closed. If it's dry, same routine but one section of the tonneau is folded back.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:08 AM   #15
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I have run my generator with the bed cap raised about six inches with a cable lock to keep it from being raised higher. The exhaust is pointing towards the tailgate. I hang a metal plate on the tailgate that has asbestos sandwiched inside for insulation to protect the tailgate.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:24 AM   #16
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Looking on e-bay, there's sellers who have exhaust pipe extensions for Hondas. They lead the exhaust outside the truck bed. I don't know if back pressure will hurt performance.
However, noise comes from two factors. One, the actual noise created by the generator, and the vibrations transmitted through hard surfaces. Look inside any professional generators, and you'll see lots of padding containing a lead barrier as well as foam, covered in plastic to ease cleaning. You'll also see baffles, to direct the air and exhaust around corners.
If I was to design a box, I'd avoid square corners, add a baffle, and line the box with sound absorbing material. Every little bit helps.
If you've ever been near a movie style generator, when the tech opens the door to the engine, you're amazed how loud they really are, but when closed, it's quiet, even next to one. More of a hum.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-...FcEmhgodfHsNZg
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:39 AM   #17
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Running gen in truck bed with touneau

Hello all, just posted this is another similar thread but in case you didn't see.....
Champion dual fuel 2800/3100 on propane
as a sound test.

https://youtu.be/irjDG8lpOdw
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:53 AM   #18
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Be aware of which way the muffler/heat is facing.
I have seen generator mufflers melt holes in plastic bed-liners.
Tailgate down.
Muffler out.
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:04 PM   #19
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Just for kicks, here's another question...
Anybody run their generators in the back of the truck while going down the road? One salesman suggested this was the reason for the front power connector, allowing you to run the AC while traveling and arrive with a trailer all cooled down.
I was too polite to tell him what I thought of that idea.
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:19 PM   #20
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I have two Briggs & Stratton 2200W gens mounted in the back of my bed under a trifold hard cover that i got from Toytota.

One faces front and the other back, so I can reach the pull cord to start them.
As mentioned above, I put a small box fan in the back in case it gets too hot.
Works like a champ.

Parallel kits runs from one to the other and the connection box sits in the middle.
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