I was planning to put a propane generator in the truck initially. A was advised by a food vendor contact that relied on a generator (in another state), and a friend with a grundle of knowledge about power. Both advised me to look for a liquid cooled diesel. There was talk of longevity, altitude, and sine waves. In the end I was convinced, and began a search for a generator in my town, and all the neighboring regions. I found a burned RV salvaged unit in Phoenix for a reasonable price, and made the journey.
The generator was in house, but a lot of work was needed to implement this unit into my step van. I wanted a generator that was "built in" to the truck. I toyed with the idea of mounting the generator half in the workspace, and half slung under the chassis. This would have been a lot of work, and, I don't think I would have gained much. The generator still would protrude into the floor space no matter how far I hung it below the floor. So, I decided to locate it on top of the floor, driver side, at the back of the workspace. The pic in the post above shows the basic location.
I found a suitable generator access door on ebay:
You can see my trace of the generator location. That was the first of many sharpie ink trails for this generator!
I would put the access door in before the generator infrastructure. This would allow me to virtually access all four sides of the generator during the install.
Cut the hole:
You can see my starter holes, done with the handy dewalt in the pic. I would use a jigsaw to do the cutting. You can barely see the old craftsman next to the drill ^
Oh mr. grindy, what would I do without you
As you can see, I cut through a major structural artery:
The horizontal stiffener. I need to recoup this structural loss. I will header out this hole with my 1"x2"x1/8" tubing. This is similar to adding a header to a window, or a door in a lumber structure.
A little mitering, measuring, positioning, and clamping:
I predrilled the tube on the drill press undersize so I can match drill through the van wall, from the inside out, at the same undersize hole. I would then drill the final hole from the outside in.
I would put a vertical section in next to the cut as well. It would make a good anchor for the enclosure later.
Cleaned up the vinyl before popping the 3/16 aluminum rivets:
Looks crappy, I know. I would get better at this. The rivet pattern was planned btw
And install the door, again 3/16 aluminum rivets
Silicone the door before installing! If you look hard, you can see I sealed the horizontal extrusion with a couple of diamond plate caps I fabbed up.
This was the easiest part of the generator install..