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Old 04-22-2014, 03:30 PM   #1
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I guess this qualifies as a mod...winch fixture for generator.

When we bought our new fifth wheel (Jayco Eagle 351RLTS), it was with the idea that we would keep it for a very long time. I wanted to also get a generator that would match the fifth wheel. I didn't want to have a generator that I would have to "manage." I wanted to have one that would run everything in the camper, including both A/C units, simultaneously, if needed. The decision was made to buy the Honda EU6500iS.

The only drawback to the EU6500iS is it's size and weight. Moving it around on the ground is no problem, as it has wheels and handles. Transporting it from place to place can be the problem, because it's bulk makes it hard to load. I wasn't going to let this keep me from having the generator I wanted to have. I ordered it with the determination that I would find a way to make it work.

My two main requirements were that the generator be secure while being transported, and that it could be loaded and unloaded by one person. I initially thought about building some kind of cargo tray on the back of the fifth wheel, but dismissed that quickly. It wouldn't be very secure, and I really didn't want all that weight hanging back there. The decision was made that it had to be transported in the basement of the fifth wheel.

My initial plan was to just use some ramps and push it up into the basement. After getting the generator assembled and pushing it around in the shop, I realized this wouldn't work. The generator was simply too heavy for one person to push up an incline. I hurt my back loading previous generator in the back of the truck, and I didn't want that to happen again.

So this is what I came up with. I built this winch fixture to both load and secure the generator in the basement. All of the steel is stuff I just had laying around. The 2"x3"x.120" wall square tubing absorbs most of the forces exerted by the winch while loading. It is butted up against the sidewall by the basement door. The 11 gauge 1" square tubing is really just there to keep the winch a specified distance from the 2x3, but it also serves as a guide for the generator wheels. The 14 gauge .75" cross member serves as a wheel stop for the generator.

The 1700 pound Warn winch is more than enough for the generator. It is from Tractor Supply, as are the ramps. I paid less than $200 for the winch and ramps. I extended the winch's battery leads with a set of ATV jumper cables from O'Reilly's. I just connect those to the camper's battery when I need to use the winch. The entire fixture is connected to the crossmembers beneath the basement floor with four #14 self-tapping sheet metal screws. I contacted Jayco to find out the material and direction of those crossmembers. After getting that info, it was just a matter of measuring and putting my mounting tabs in line with existing floor screws. In the interest of longevity, I had the fixture powder coated. That was $65.

I've used the finished product on one trip earlier this month. So far, so good.

I hope I upload these pictures correctly. I believe they are self-explanatory.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:33 PM   #2
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More pics. One thing I want to get done is to build some kind of trolley for the back feet of the generator. Right now, I have to hold the feet up off the ramp while the winch pulls the generator up.

I carry the ramps in the back of the truck.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:06 PM   #3
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Yep, that's a Mod...., and one that save's the back!! Looks like it worked out well and fits nicely in the basement.

The genny I have weighs in at 75lbs, and I only move it around when absolutely necessary.

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Old 04-22-2014, 06:11 PM   #4
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I like it!! Nice job.
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:46 PM   #5
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Anything welded is a mod

Nice work!
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:46 PM   #6
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Really nice job Tex
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:32 PM   #7
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Well done!
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:31 AM   #8
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Awesome Mod - I'm jealous Right now I have the EU3000is (23.3A output) and would love to upgrade to the EU6500is, but alas $$$$ are ruling at this point.

Your pictures show the loading process very well, but I'm curious how this system works during the "unloading" phase?? I can see using the winch to "hold and lower" the genset once its on the ramps, but how do you initially get the heavy genset back up over the lip of the basement door?
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbreeves View Post
Awesome Mod - I'm jealous Right now I have the EU3000is (23.3A output) and would love to upgrade to the EU6500is, but alas $$$$ are ruling at this point.

Your pictures show the loading process very well, but I'm curious how this system works during the "unloading" phase?? I can see using the winch to "hold and lower" the genset once its on the ramps, but how do you initially get the heavy genset back up over the lip of the basement door?

I've got a couple of little short ramps from that 2x3 down to the basement floor. They are 3/16" plate, about 3 inches wide, and perhaps 6 inches long. The pictures may not show them very well.

When unloading, I have let out some slack in the winch cable, and then manually pull the generator up those little ramps until the wheels reach the highest point. It hasn't proven to be very hard to do.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:36 PM   #10
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You can see those little ramps in the second picture on the first post.

BTW, we bought our generator last October from Max Tool in California. They had the best price I could find anywhere, including Wise Sales. It was $3789. I just checked and that is still their price. No tax and free shipping. It was a pleasant transaction.

We put it on one of those 0% credit cards and took our time about paying it off. We just got it paid for last week and cancelled the card.

I really tried to buy the generator locally. I checked with several area Honda dealers, and they all quoted me something in the neighborhood of $4500, plus our 8.25% sales tax. Sorry, but that's just too much of a price difference for me to ignore the better deal.
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