We’ve owned a Powerhorse 4500 portable inverter generator for over a year. The generator has performed well and does a good job powering the 120V AC options in our Montana 5th wheel including one of the air conditioners. The problem has been a way to store the generator when we travel. Aside from the generator weighing over 100 pounds, it’s too high by 2 inches to fit under our truck bed tonneau cover. Freeing up space in the front storage area of the 5th wheel from a recent battery upgrade, I came up with the perfect solution. I built a RV portable generator slide out tray.
Building the RV Portable Generator Slide Out Tray
I chose to build the RV portable generator slide out tray using one inch square tubing. This provide both the strength needed to support the generator and was the most economical solution. I own a welder and have the tools to cut the tubing which is another plus. I considered using extruded aluminum which would have given similar results, but the cost of the frame would have been around three times the cost of the steel tubing.
One other tip is to measure the generator and planned storage area considering each variation for generator placement then create a drawing for the project. I went through a number of versions before I settled on the overall dimensions, fit for the storage compartment and equally important, how the generator would be secured to the slide out when traveling.
The next important component was the locking slide used to extend the generator tray outside of the 5th wheel storage compartment. I chose a 500 pound capacity slide knowing this far exceeded the weight of the portable generator. The cost difference between a 150 and 500 pound slide wasn’t significant and gave me the extra assurance the generator would have a firm foundation when extended.
In the video below, I show excepts building the slide out tray and supporting frame. One tip – take the extra step to ensure the distance required by the slides are within one-sixteenth of an inch. This is critical for the slide to operate properly, not bind, and lock in place.
Using the RV Portable Generator Slide Out Tray
The final building and use results for the slide out tray were perfect. Working out the dimensions prior to the build and then building the frame to meet the side out mechanism paid off. With a simple release of the slide lock, I can extend or push back into the storage bay with ease. Running the generator while the slide out is extended did not cause any sag in the tray. Purchasing the 500 pound slide mechanisms had a big pay off.
Now we can travel in our 5th wheel with ease knowing adding stops along the that may not have electrical hook ups will no longer be a problem.
Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).
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