Over-the-propane-tank generator shelf - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-03-2017, 07:30 PM   #1
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Over-the-propane-tank generator shelf

I just moved my over-the-propane-tank generator shelf (and box), built by Orbital Machine Works, from our Casita, which we are selling, to our new Escape 21. The box fits with a little over an inch of space between the it and the Escape's cargo box lid, and about 2 inches between it and the front jack crank. The crank handle easily clears the shelf extension forward of the box.

I completely removed the Escape propane tank shelf, but reused the threaded rod and propane reducer bracket.

I bolted the front of the box to the frame with two 3/8 inch x 6 inch lag bolts through 7/16 inch holes drilled through the bottom of the propane box and down through the frame.

I found it difficult to line up the holes, since there are 3 layers of metal to drill through in the box and the top and bottom of the frame. I also was concerned that drilling holes through the frame would weaken it. So for the back, I enlarge 2 holes on the outsides of the frame members and drilled new holes on the inside of the frame members. I then used 1 inch angle iron across under each frame member. (I used the angle iron because it was available.)

If I was to do it over, I would use bolts on either side of the frame members for both the front and back of the box. Or my top preference would be to use 6 inch long and 4 inch wide square U bolts (which was how the box was attached to the Casita frame). However U bolts of that size weren't available at the local hardware store.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:48 PM   #2
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I have always used "U" bolts to connect items to the frame, I hate drilling holes in a support item. You can get them in various sizes, mounted upside down and put a metal plate inside the box and bolt everything down.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:52 PM   #3
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Rick: Nice work. First one of those I've seen on an Escape. Why couldn't you reuse the u-bolts it came with?
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:34 AM   #4
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Very nice job, gives me lots of ideas with our 21. Thanks for sharing Jim and Judy
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardr View Post
... Or my top preference would be to use 6 inch long and 4 inch wide square U bolts (which was how the box was attached to the Casita frame). However U bolts of that size weren't available at the local hardware store.
I needed a large custom-sized "square" (rounded corners) U-bolt for a project long ago, and had it made at a truck & auto spring shop - they make them for leaf-spring suspensions. That was made of very thick rod (1/2"), but you might be able to get lighter U-bolts the same way.

You can also make U-bolts yourself by bending threaded rod, but the better way is to plain (not threaded) rod and cut the threads with a simple threading die (so the rest of the length doesn't have unwanted threads). Bends can be made in a vice.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:42 AM   #6
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Rick
Nice job. I had been thinking about getting one of those boxes glad to see it will fit a 21.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
Rick: Nice work. First one of those I've seen on an Escape. Why couldn't you reuse the u-bolts it came with?
The Casita U bolts were too short. The Casita frames must not be as tall as the Escape 21 frame.
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Old 09-04-2017, 04:22 PM   #8
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That looks fantastic. I have a honda gen and my son has a welder. I'm going to steal your idea.
And I think what you are looking for are 'j' bolts. (Thats what you use to attach camper belly bars to your truck frame)
Thanks a bunch for the picture.


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Old 09-04-2017, 04:30 PM   #9
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And I have seen square u-bolts that are used to mount a spare tire on utility trailers with those little 8 inch rims. ? Maybe?


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Old 09-04-2017, 04:48 PM   #10
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For anyone wanting to mount one of these onto their Escape it's definitely worth a call to Orbital Machine Works. I was in conversation with them when considering a mount on a Scamp 16. Their webpage indicates besides u-bolts they also have a new mount that allows it to be clamped to almost any trailer. Portable Generator Security, Casita Upgrades The Perfect Casita by Orbital Machine Works

"Q- How is it mounted onto the frame? ANS- There are two ways. You can bolt directly into the top flange of the frame, or completely through it, depending on your frame type or, you can use the U-bolt package available. The U-bolt package contains four 5/16 square top U-bolts 7 long and special thick stainless steel clamp plates (the original clamp plates that come with them are too flimsy). We send the original 1/6 thick clamp plates along as potential spacers should you need to tilt the Propane Tank Platform slightly forward to clear any belly bands, such as on Casitas. We also have a new optional super-duper mount that allows people to clamp the Propane Platform to almost any trailer."
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