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Old 07-25-2010, 11:29 AM   #1
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Portable Generator - Lockbox

I have been trying to find some kind of lockbox or method of securing our portable generator without success. So I am resorting to trying to come up with some concept/design that I can have a welder fabricate for us.

Attached is a simple drawing of the concept that I have come up with and can be explained as follows:

1. Lockbox is approximately 5 inches larger than the Portable Generator in all directrions.
2. Lockbox would be fabricated of a steel mesh type material on all 4 sides to allow plenty of ventilation all around the Portable Generator.
3. Lockbox would be fabricated with a solid steel material on top to prevent rain from getting on the Portable Generator.
4. Lockbox would be connected to a heavier steel base (reference "A" on the drawing) using a heavy duty piano hinge (reference "B" on the drawing).
5. Lockbox would be locked down to the heavier steel base with a simple heavy duty locking hinge.
6. Steel base (reference "A" on the drawing) would be approximately 24 inches longer than the Lockbox to allow a pickup tire or RV tire to drive onto the assemly as a means of securing the Lockbox and Portable Generator.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this concept would work to conceal and secure a Portable Generator appropriately? Or am I wasting my time and money?

I haven't been able to find any kind of cabinet online, at Lowes or at Home Depot that would provide the kind of security I'm looking for. Any input on this conept or available Lockboxes out there for sale is most appreciated.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:32 AM   #2
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We have a member of our unit who has a similar set up, just without the box. He installed a heavy piece of aluminum diamond plate to the bottom of hte generator and parks his trailer on the long end of the plate sticking past the generator. The box would probably be nice to keep the generator out of the weather.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #3
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Cable and lock? That is what we do with the ones at work.

I do like the idea of the plate and parking on it though..

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Old 07-25-2010, 02:07 PM   #4
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I like the idea...we know the similar set up that Louis mentions...works for him pretty well...and since he generator is actually attached to the plate, there are no locks to break/cut.

A couple of things to consider if you proceed:

(1) How are you planning to lock it? The box will be no more secure than the lock that locks it... If bolt cutters can cut a chain or cable, they can cut a padlock.

(2) Will the sides of the box be such that they will keep rain out if there's wind?

(3) Do you have room to haul it? For us this would be a problem, as space is limited.

Keep us posted!
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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A couple of trips ago I saw a generator sat on the ground in the shade of a trailer, running happily and unmolested. Nobody would touch it.

It was bright pink, and written in sharpie on the top it said "I have cooties!" and on the four corners of its frame was written "STOLEN FROM [ZIP+4]"

I don't know how effective that is, but it made me laugh.

Your generator is small and has a molded handle. Can you bike-lock it to a tie-down or the frame?
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:17 PM   #6
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I have an EU1000i that I use to charge the battery when needed. I lock it inside my truck at night.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:45 AM   #7
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Generator Lockbox

The Generator Lockbox is now completed. Attached are several of photos of the end product. To further disguise the contents, we plan to cover it with a plastic tablecloth (when not in use or when necessary to cover for rain) when the Generator is not running. The area that is painted black is where either the tow vehicle tire or RV tire will be driven onto the lockbox assembly as a means of securing it. In addition we will secure the unit and lockbox assemby to the axle of the tow vehicle or RV with a cable and lock. If someone is going to go to the effort to cut through all the assembly and cables then they can have it and we will file an insurance claim at that point.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:41 AM   #8
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That is quite a lockbox. I doubt you will have any thieves who are that motivated. They tend to go for the quick and easy snatch. Nice work!
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:30 AM   #9
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The easiest way into that box is to cut out the top mesh with heavy duty wire cutters and lift the genny straight up. Three minutes and not much noise.

I'd put re-bar or something across the center of each panel, just to rule out that kind of "hack."
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:50 AM   #10
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NICE JOB
Good ventilation,access to controls, design will deter most snatch and grabs.
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:14 PM   #11
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Looks great, guys!
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank&Mike View Post
The Generator Lockbox is now completed. Attached are several of photos of the end product. To further disguise the contents, we plan to cover it with a plastic tablecloth (when not in use or when necessary to cover for rain) when the Generator is not running. The area that is painted black is where either the tow vehicle tire or RV tire will be driven onto the lockbox assembly as a means of securing it. In addition we will secure the unit and lockbox assemby to the axle of the tow vehicle or RV with a cable and lock. If someone is going to go to the effort to cut through all the assembly and cables then they can have it and we will file an insurance claim at that point.

Great preventive measure and placing the hasp at the tire side is a good idea. Many thieves are opportunists and I would think most of them would pass yours by to look for an easier target.

For a cover you might consider contacting Kristi Foster or Silver Threads for some options. I recall Kristi making some specialty covers along with her awning biz.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:17 PM   #13
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Thanks all for the feedback and suggestions.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:34 AM   #14
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Evil thoughts

Turn the cage into an electric fence! ZAP! Would work while genset was running fo' sho' Fried thief.

Charge up a couple of batteries for when the genny isn't running? Practical or just too dangerous?

Proximity alarms anyone?

Paula
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:40 AM   #15
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So...if you have to refill the gas on the generator, don't you have to move the vehicle that's parked on it?
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:44 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Turn the cage into an electric fence! ZAP! Would work while genset was running fo' sho' Fried thief.

Charge up a couple of batteries for when the genny isn't running? Practical or just too dangerous?

Proximity alarms anyone?

Paula
Aware that you're not serious... As tempting as lighting up a potential thief would be, I believe it may be considered a mantrap with deadly force, which is illegal.

Proximity alarms can be very useful. I've used them for a variety of reasons in my work, and around the homestead. Currently, I'm using some small, portable, wireless motion detectors to turn on electrical devices such as lights, radios, etc. I've found them to be useful, and inexpensive.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:16 PM   #17
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So...if you have to refill the gas on the generator, don't you have to move the vehicle that's parked on it?
To-date, I haven't tried the option of driving onto the base to secure the cage. But I believe you are correct, the vehicle won't allow enough clearance to open the cage when it's time to add fuel. So I would need to move the vehicle off of the base a couple of feet, open the cage, refuel and then pull back onto the base. If the base were a foot or two longer then it would provide enough clearance to open the cage while the vehicle is parked on the base.

To-date, I've just set the cage about 15 feet out away from the trailer and locked the cage and chained it to a tree or other heavy structure.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
I have an EU1000i that I use to charge the battery when needed. I lock it inside my truck at night.
Yep...if your that worried, take it with you, or lock it inside the trailer.
We stick in in the sealed ActionPacker and do both. It runs outside hidden in a small tent, out-of-sight.

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Old 04-29-2013, 03:31 PM   #19
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The postings above have put an idea in my head ... place my Honda EU 2000i in a dog kennel to disguise it, and bolt it from underneath an aluminum diamond sheet which I can drive on to. While not foolproof and failsafe, it will slow down the honest thieves. Still, I will make sure I'm covered by my insurance.
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