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April 2017


Camper Generator Shelf Build

April 11, 2017


Last fall my father decided to purchase a small camping trailer and take to the road, kinda playing the role of a vagabond.  He had sold his business and was now officially retired so he decided to go see the country. Dad has always been a bit frugal and it has served him well, however the camper he selected did not have a generator on board so the he could be self sufficient.  We both like to build things, and I needed a good project to sharpen my welding skills, so it’s project time!

Generator Selection

Dad selected  the Powerhorse generator sold through Northern Tool.  It is nearly a clone of the Honda EU2000i and is about half the price of the comparable Honda, (remember the frugal part).   His idea was to create secured shelves on the back bumper of the camper (always check how much weight they are rated for) to hold the gens using a trailer ball mount/receiver assembly for easy install/removal.

The Build

To mate with the receiver assembly he selected a Reese 2″ ball mount.  These are coated to prevent rusting, so a bit of grinding was needed to expose the steel to ensure a good weld.

After a bit of grinding… just need to take a tad bit more off.

Now it is time to build the shelf.  We used steel angle like you might find at any local home supply store to make a rectangle slightly larger than the base of the generator.

Turn it over and drop in a bit of steel grating.  This is just a test fit, but be careful trying to weld this stuff as you can quickly destroy it.  We tacked it in about 8 places.

Added two sqaure braces that “capture” the ball assembly, did a bit more grinding to get rid of the coating in all the places to get welded.

Used a bolt on receiver tube (similar to this) for mounting to the rear bumper of the camper.

Here is the shot with both shelves mounted

and now with generators installed.  To finish the project, the shelves were removed and painted with some Rustoleum flat black paint and covers were added to protect the generators, as well as secure tie downs to prevent casual theft.


Prior to heading out he spent several weeks locally camping just to make sure everything was working properly.  Soon after he set out on an epic journey visiting areas all over the midwest and west travelling several thousand miles with this setup.