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Old 04-17-2021, 05:51 AM   #1
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Semi-permanent mounting of honda eu2200i on a-frame

Curious to learn what (if any) other Air Forum Members, and Airstream owners have done in terms of the semi-permanent mounting of dual Honda EU2200is gen-sets on the front A-frame of their Airstreams.

I am aware of the LowPro "puck-lock" type lock-down trays but apparently they are too far behind in production with something like a two-year waitlist now so I plan to move ahead with my own or a similar design of others.

I am wanting to fabricate (or have fabricated) some means of mounting a pair of the generators on the front of my Classic M30 that will afford the convenience of transporting them and use while boondocking or otherwise when desiring to do so. I also need to accommodate clearance of my WD hitch vertical spring bar jacks (ProPride 3P) as well as want to maintain access to the battery box located in-between the A-frame. As well, my design will not impede the turning radius between my TV and the TT.

At present I am working with a fabricator on an idea of a design I came up with as shown in the drawing below. We are only in the initial stages now of the fabrication design.

My design is based upon placement of the mounting base by direct attachment to the sides of the trailer A-Frame in a manner that would both support the weight of the generators (46 lbs. ea) while enabling them to be locked into place (anti-theft) using typical hitch bar coupling locks as well as the "puck" lock design.

Noteworthy to add, I have a full on Vectron/Lifepro lithium solar system installed on/in my Classic M30 whereas the lithium batteries (of which replaced the pair of 66 lbs. OEM batteries normally located in the forward A-frame battery box,, 132 lbs. total) have been relocated to underneath the dining booth inside my Classic. Hence, the added weight of the generators (46 lbs each or 92 combined) and mounts (wgt. TBD) on the front A-frame are not expected to result in added or excessive weight given the front OEM battery box is now empty (and used solely to store my propane hoses for the dual Honda both of which have been converted to propane fuel only).

Again, curious to what others wanting to (or having done) may look like.

Below is the work-up sketches of the design I am working on with a fabricator and should this materialize as the actual design, I will be happy to share the final specifications and drawings of with others having similar interest or desire.


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Old 04-17-2021, 12:39 PM   #2
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Looks like a decent idea. I have a ProPride system and a single 3400 Champion Dual fuel that would be better mounted on the left of the tongue. Keep us posted.
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Old 04-17-2021, 02:22 PM   #3
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Dealing with the static weight issues is one thing, but . . .

. . . each of those two new gen weights-- cantilevered off the A-frame rectangular steel tube -- will create bending/twisting forces on the sidewalls of the tubes. Suggest a structural cross-member brace, inside the frame, to account for this, whether you carry one or both gens. This brace will add slightly more steel weight, but probably within your parameters.

This work would probably void your Airstream warranty if any, as the work is not within the original design specs IMO.

Also I am not sure if the A-frame steel is some kind of special heat-treated material, but your fabricator should consider issues like this. He or she could damage/weaken the A-frame with "bad welding" IMO . . . sorry for the layman's terminology. Measure twice cut once . . .

Please post photos of the finished job, as well as your before/after tongue weights.

Good luck.
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Old 04-17-2021, 03:26 PM   #4
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PS -- Sorry . . . I did not read the plans/specs carefully before.

Is H simply going to "clamp" this assembly to the A-frame steel tubing? If so no welding heat issues. But the fit of this clamp to the painted steel tube will be challenging IMO. Also, without any through-bolts, it will be free to vibrate and move around [slightly] on the A-frame. Not sure if the "friction of the fit" is such a good "lock" on which to rely IMO.

Also is G shown correctly in both views? It seems inconsistent, but pointing at the drawing would make this easier to suss out.

Still suggest cross-bracing in the middle of the A-frame IMO.
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Old 04-17-2021, 03:37 PM   #5
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PS2 the specs attached -- easier to read when this attachment is opened IMO.
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Old 04-18-2021, 02:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Still suggest cross-bracing in the middle of the A-frame IMO.
1) there is already a OEM A-frame upper cross brace welded in between the frame channels just forward of the battery box albeit does not run the full depth of the A-frame inner channel. I am also considering that the A-frame is of a mil thickness sufficient to withstand the common placement and mounting of weight distribution jack plate brackets of both the strap design (i,e. Lippert) or vertical jacks (i.e. Hensley or ProPride) which certainly accommodate the load bearing applied to them) as common place.

2) Correct, "G' is not necessarily shown in the same position on the drawing but refers to the "clamp-on" type design that would host the close milled sleeved 'receivers' for the horizontal platforms with struts. (I'm creating these "mock-up" design drawings using a word-processor only as a means of communicating my ideas with the fab-shop). They too will most certainly have input and consider all aspects of the final design.

3) There are 2-holes shown on the close tolerance milled sleeves of which would serve to allow hardened steel (Grade 70) bolt-thru(s) as well as a common trailer-type coupler lock for anti-theft purposes and be of a design as to mitigate vibration. As to the "clamp-type" mounting, I am also certain the fabricator can make these to fit precisely (snug) and may/could include additional bolts on the inside of the frame rail sections to ensure a tight fit, similar to what is common place with weight-distribution hitch A-frame mounting brackets, as well as the use of shims, etc.

4) You bring up a good suggestion on the cross-bracing as I could further the design to make the bolt-on clamp design have a lower brace between the two inward sides of the two opposing A-frame clamps (left side and right side mounts). or even across the underside of the A-frame. I'll discuss this with the fabricator as we work on a final design.

5) Having the batteries already removed from the box (by relocating lithium's under the center dining booth in part with my solar installation) reduced my tounge weight to ~740 lbs including the ProPride 3P hitch already in place (vs. Factory spec of 886# with propane and batteries) on my GVWR 10k, Classic M30. Hence, I'm already 146#'s "lighter" by design so the adding of the gen-sets @46#'s each (or 92# combined) will raise the TW to ~830's plus the weight of the mounting frames (#'s TBD) should equal something very close to a normally expected OEM tongue weight i.e. within 10%. +/-. Also worthy I suppose, is to mention that both Honda EU2200i gen-sets have been fully converted to propane only so they may now be slightly lighter , i.e. by a pound or two each, due to the OE fuel tank and hdwe having been removed when I converted them. This also plays into my. planned use of the now empty battery box to host storage of the propane hoses which will a) connect to external propane connection, b) be run into the battery box using the holes which already exist (on both sides), c) tee-off and feed each gen-set resulting in a clean and orderly arrangement.

6) My (drawings shown) are not the final design and in fact only yesterday I realized I won't need the added base platform length necessary to host the "pock" lock hold-down design since the gen. sets can be bolted directly to the base platform on the underside (using anti-theft type bolts) which will reduce the OAL and weight of the platforms.

7) material spec for the fabrication has yet to be determined if its going to be aluminum, stainless or raw steel so all of the above factors will be considered as well as your input and that from others.

8) warranty is not a concern and has long since passed it's use by date.

In all, I'm feeling pretty confident at this point that the fundamentals of my design can work. Just need some more engineering and creative fabrication of which my chosen fabrication shop is renowned for.

More to come!

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Old 04-18-2021, 04:19 AM   #7
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OTRA15,

Shown is an example of what I refer to as being the placement of the mounts onto the A-frame similar to what is done with WD hitch spring bar jacks & brackets. Only in my design for the small generator frame mounting brackets the clamp-style would fully wrap the A-frame tube channel and not utilize u-bolts similar to what is used with the setup below.

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Old 04-18-2021, 05:45 AM   #8
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Thanks, yes I understood that, and would still be interested to hear the fabricator's feedback on the issues I raised, if you are so inclined.

Happy Trails.
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:42 AM   #9
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Hi

Assuming it all fits and you don't get into issues with the propane tanks ....

The typical generator these days is not really designed to sit out in "the wild" all the time. Yes, they will tolerate it, but it's not the best way to treat them. The front of the trailer gets a *lot* of crud coming off the back the TV. If the generator(s) are right there on the A frame, they will get sprayed with all that, all the time.

Worst case, you have the sort of crud that makes dents in the front of the AS. If the impact is enough to make a dent in sheet metal, it's probably also enough to do a number on the generator housing.

I think some sort of pretty stout covering probably should be part of the design.

If you are going to operate the generator(s) on the stand, exhaust direction would be the first concern. You do not want that blowing on the front of the trailer or on the propane tanks. After that is worked out, you still need access to the front panel(s) and one side.

The diagram shows the entire "mount" filled with one generator. It's not real clear where the other goes (is there a mirror image version on the other side?). Without a full mock up, it is a bit unclear to me how all the constraints would be met .....

Bob
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Old 04-18-2021, 12:16 PM   #10
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Honda on a frame

I am very interested. I use portable solar and a pair of older EU2000s but it takes me an hour to set up so I wanted to get roof top solar, lithium, and put one new EU2200 where the battery box is. I think one would be an easy fit but I go go great lengths right now to have the generators ten feet away from the Airstream. Oliver trailers have a box where you could mount a generator but they don''t have a window in front so my concern with this setup is carbon monoxide.
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Old 04-18-2021, 12:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi



I think some sort of pretty stout covering probably should be part of the design.

If you are going to operate the generator(s) on the stand, exhaust direction would be the first concern.

The diagram shows the entire "mount" filled with one generator. It's not real clear where the other goes (is there a mirror image version on the other side?). Without a full mock up, it is a bit unclear to me how all the constraints would be met .....

Bob
Bob,

1) attached is a another diagram, the dual Honda(s) gen-sets will be opposing one another on each side of the outer side of the A-frame. Their exhaust ports are at the rear so both exhaust ports will be be facing outward away from the trailer and propane tanks. The gen-sets will be run solely on propane (already converted).

2) I also have Rock Tamers on the rear of my TV (F250) and as well have covers for the gensets which themselves have hard plastic cases so, I would expect minimal debris to impact them. Their case design is also of the sort that will protect them from rain (plus the addition of the water-proofed covers).

3) I do not anticipating using the gen-sets "that" frequently but want to carry them along with/onboard the trailer vs, in the bed of the TV simply for convenience of not having to unload/load and set-up anytime I want to use them (the design I am working on has the feed gas line entering the existing (void) battery box, then splitting off to feed each gen-set through other existing cabling holes in the battery box. The propane conversion of the gens is all internal, i.e. no external diaphragm or add. regulators.) and are a direct connect to the trailer's external propane quick-disconnect.

4) I also have installed a full on Victron/Lifepro 1200 watt solar system with 8 roof top panels, 3000w inverter, BMS, etc. so between shore-power (when avail.) sun, and the gensets my rig will be self sustaining power-wise. Also have Micro-Air easy starts on both the 15 and 13.5kw heat pumps.

Lastly, this is a just a "nice to have" not a "must have" project and mounting them forward at the opposite end of the rear bedroom is far less riskier than them being at the rear (which we all know cannot work anyway).

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Old 04-18-2021, 03:06 PM   #12
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Very interesting. please keep us posted on what you end up with.
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Old 04-18-2021, 03:20 PM   #13
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Very interesting idea! I have a Caravel 16 on order, hopefully to be delivered in May. I am getting lithium batteries installed inside, and wondering if this might work without over loading my tongue weight. An empty battery box should help. Let us know what you end up with and what it weighs.

I have fond memories of Lake Charles, my father's family was originally from the Welsh/Jennings area and my grandparents lived in Lake Charles. They are all long gone now, but I do still have a bunch of 2nd and 3rd cousins in the region. Have not been back since we buried my father in Welsh, about 10 years ago.
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Old 04-19-2021, 07:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewillia View Post
Bob,

1) attached is a another diagram, the dual Honda(s) gen-sets will be opposing one another on each side of the outer side of the A-frame. Their exhaust ports are at the rear so both exhaust ports will be be facing outward away from the trailer and propane tanks. The gen-sets will be run solely on propane (already converted).

2) I also have Rock Tamers on the rear of my TV (F250) and as well have covers for the gensets which themselves have hard plastic cases so, I would expect minimal debris to impact them. Their case design is also of the sort that will protect them from rain (plus the addition of the water-proofed covers).

3) I do not anticipating using the gen-sets "that" frequently but want to carry them along with/onboard the trailer vs, in the bed of the TV simply for convenience of not having to unload/load and set-up anytime I want to use them (the design I am working on has the feed gas line entering the existing (void) battery box, then splitting off to feed each gen-set through other existing cabling holes in the battery box. The propane conversion of the gens is all internal, i.e. no external diaphragm or add. regulators.) and are a direct connect to the trailer's external propane quick-disconnect.

4) I also have installed a full on Victron/Lifepro 1200 watt solar system with 8 roof top panels, 3000w inverter, BMS, etc. so between shore-power (when avail.) sun, and the gensets my rig will be self sustaining power-wise. Also have Micro-Air easy starts on both the 15 and 13.5kw heat pumps.

Lastly, this is a just a "nice to have" not a "must have" project and mounting them forward at the opposite end of the rear bedroom is far less riskier than them being at the rear (which we all know cannot work anyway).

Attachment 393446
Hi

I believe one of the generators will have it's pull rope against the trailer. Getting it started is going to be tough with it set up that way. There's also the choke and on/off switch on the same surface ....

Bob
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

I believe one of the generators will have it's pull rope against the trailer. Getting it started is going to be tough with it set up that way. There's also the choke and on/off switch on the same surface ....

Bob
Bob, have already considered your points and planning a work-around. 1) the gensets have both been converted to propane only so hence, no choke. 2) each has a purge valve at the top (where the normal gas fill cap was located)., 3) once purged it only takes 1-2 short pulls to start each genset. 4) my design will be such that I can easily access the pull-start side of the gen-set. In fact one item we discussed yesterday was my ability to "swing them out and away" when desired based upon my swivel shaft mounting design.

thanks for the continued contribution.

FWIW, I sent my drawings and specs to the fabrication shop yesterday and we discussed a number of factors over the phone to include, the design principles of the platforms, the pivoting point shaft mounting, material types, strengthening, i.e. secondary cross member between the two platforms, anti-theft/security needed, vibration damping, weight distribution and ease of installation/removal.

The concept of the pivoting shaft design is to provide dual purpose, a) to allow fixed positioning at the correct angle(s) and, b) permit easy removal of the gensets on their base plates w/pivoting shafts as to allow me access to the front stainless segment panels (for cleaning purposes) which in result would enable me to easily access the pull rope and on/off switches.

He (lead fabricator) is reviewing the "concept" with their on-staff mechanical engineer to determine a number of options, alternatives and design while i now have an appointment next week to bring my Classic M30 into them to allow for measurements and further discussion on the a final design approach.

They are a small shop but and have a large building and stated they will plan to keep my Classic M30 inside of it when the actual fabrication commences.

At this point, nothing is being counted out as their on-staff engineer suggested yesterday we may want to consider mounting the gensets in a manner parallel to the sides of the A-frame in lieu of being parallel to the front face of my Classic. He is awaiting me to bring the trailer in so he can take numerous precise measurements and work on a set of design drawings. This will not be a cheap project and I'm looking for a final design that is both well engineered and practical in terms of use. Hence, No bets off at this point.

They are excited about doing the job for me and prepared to give it the detail I am requesting.
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewillia View Post
. . .
. . . their on-staff engineer suggested yesterday we may want to consider mounting the gensets in a manner parallel to the sides of the A-frame in lieu of being parallel to the front face of my Classic.
. . .
This might help with some of the "cantilevered weight" questions I asked earlier.

Thanks for the detailed updates.

Peter
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:58 AM   #17
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You can reduce weight a little more by fabricating E and C with lightening holes. Basically cut a pattern of holes in the sheet metal to remove material/weight. Holes size .5" to 2" or possibly bigger, whatever works in the design.
I would also try to move C inward over the A-frame as much as possible so that more of the generator's weight sits on top of the A-frame and less is cantilevered on the outside.
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Old 04-25-2021, 09:43 AM   #18
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My question on this is, does this generator fully run the trailer? It’s my understanding you need two of those to get 30 amps.
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Old 04-25-2021, 11:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jollytinker View Post
My question on this is, does this generator fully run the trailer? Itís my understanding you need two of those to get 30 amps.
We have the dual Honda set-up, 1 ea. EU2200i and 1 ea. EU2201i-Companion w/30-Amp Plug and both converted to propane fuel only. 1 unit alone will provide sufficient power to run 1-HVAC with the Micro-Air Easy Start installed in the HVAC unit.

We want to have the convenience of running both simultaneously via the Honda Parallel cabling kit or independently depending on our power needs, We also have 1080 W of Victron Solar, 3000 Inverter/Charger and 400ah of lithium batteries so we can run in many configurations which was the objective.
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Old 04-25-2021, 11:16 AM   #20
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I am very interested in how this goes. Once you are satisfied with the design, perhaps the cost will go down if multiple orders are placed. I would be interested...
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