Keeping your generator secure when crashing for a few hours in a parking lot

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Cameodon

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Jul 2, 2021
Posts
191
Location
Edgewater, fl
O'k, my wife is an upper-mid level Walmart manager at a Super Walmart, one of the larger ones nit that that makes any difference. It's in a town that people used to joke and say "Welcome to P--- O-----, you're under arrest"!! Anyhow there used to be several campers there most of the time, day and night. Slides out, awnings out, outdoor carpets, chairs the whole nine yards! In the area in the winter there is always some week long event, people would stay a week or more, totally abusing it!
Finally the city passed an ordinance banning over night parking, and quite honestly I don't blame them! The other day the wife heard a manager asked if they could park overnight, the answer....No!
He explained to my wife if they DID spend the night, out of the way, the city AND Walmart wouldn't bother them. BUT if they abused it, hindered customer traffic, "camped" etc the City would kick them out.....and they should!! My suggestion, go in the store, buy something, find a manager and thank them.
 

Alontheway

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Joined
Sep 12, 2021
Posts
149
Location
Alageorgia
The thread was started to seek info on how to secure their generator while parked and using the generator.
OP made the mistake of giving any details that the forum-police will hone in on and make up questions which they do have an answer to (aka opinion) and ignore the real question so they can make noise.
The winner is Ernie:

"I simply don't stay at Walmart. Nestling in with the trucks works just fine at highway stops. My generator doesn't bother anyone."

So, there ya go. To secure your generator while stopped and using it do not stay at this particular store, but do stay at a truck stop between two big rigs and take up a parking spot that full-time truck drivers need.
I am not sure how this effects more security, but you should be safe according to the expert.

Many runner-ups, but I like the one that flat-out tells the OP that his particular generator will not run his own AC unit.

Side note - who where those elderly puppet men on the TV show The Muppets that sat around discussing the show-so-far and providing highly opinionated comments ?
 

Cameodon

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Posts
191
Location
Edgewater, fl
The thread was started to seek info on how to secure their generator while parked and using the generator.
OP made the mistake of giving any details that the forum-police will hone in on and make up questions which they do have an answer to (aka opinion) and ignore the real question so they can make noise.
The winner is Ernie:

"I simply don't stay at Walmart. Nestling in with the trucks works just fine at highway stops. My generator doesn't bother anyone."

So, there ya go. To secure your generator while stopped and using it do not stay at this particular store, but do stay at a truck stop between two big rigs and take up a parking spot that full-time truck drivers need.
I am not sure how this effects more security, but you should be safe according to the expert.

Many runner-ups, but I like the one that flat-out tells the OP that his particular generator will not run his own AC unit.

Side note - who where those elderly puppet men on the TV show The Muppets that sat around discussing the show-so-far and providing highly opinionated comments ?
No offense my friend but you kinda sound like the Chief of the Forum Police!!! LOL
 

JayArr

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Joined
Jun 13, 2020
Posts
788
Location
Mission British Columbia Canada
I loved Statler and Waldorf, they gave me the impression that Jim Henson was a fan of old Marx brothers movies.

I've also noticed that threads go sideways but that happens wherever you have a forum full of retired geezers with nothing else to do but wait for a chance to say something that might get heard. I'm sure I'm just as guilty. LOL

It happens on my woodworking forum and my Cadillac forum but interestingly not on my GMC forum or my FreeBSD Unix forum so I'm of the mind it's related to the age of the participants and the amount of free time they have. (GMC and FreeBSD are younger guys with stuff to do and lives to live)

I don't know if this is widely known but if you click on a members name you get a pop-up box that will allow you to "ignore" them and their posts simply don't show up when you're reading the thread. So if someone really sets you off then just remove them from your mix.

As far as the genny goes, someone should invent an air horn that goes off when the power is disconnected from it so that you get some warning that thieves are trying to leave with your genny in the middle of the night.
 

interociter

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2021
Posts
6
Location
USA
... Cracker Barrels allow RV's to stay in their parking lots overnight. But you have to call ahead and get permission first.
I've never had to call Cracker Barrel and get permission, nor have I heard of that for CB. They almost always have a dedicated parking area for RVs, I've just pulled in and ordered dinner. The big-box stores that do not have such parking, definitely get permission, but calling ahead is just to get confirmation that they allow it. Most people enter the store and ask the manager directly, strategically with a cart full of stuff.
 

interociter

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2021
Posts
6
Location
USA
I loved Statler and Waldorf, they gave me the impression that Jim Henson was a fan of old Marx brothers movies.

I've also noticed that threads go sideways but that happens wherever you have a forum full of retired geezers with nothing else to do but wait for a chance to say something that might get heard. I'm sure I'm just as guilty. LOL

It happens on my woodworking forum and my Cadillac forum but interestingly not on my GMC forum or my FreeBSD Unix forum so I'm of the mind it's related to the age of the participants and the amount of free time they have. (GMC and FreeBSD are younger guys with stuff to do and lives to live)

I don't know if this is widely known but if you click on a members name you get a pop-up box that will allow you to "ignore" them and their posts simply don't show up when you're reading the thread. So if someone really sets you off then just remove them from your mix.

As far as the genny goes, someone should invent an air horn that goes off when the power is disconnected from it so that you get some warning that thieves are trying to leave with your genny in the middle of the night.
I had to laugh at your "retired geezers" comment, even more so after your name-dropping paragraph of all of your other forums.

As for the topic, any reasonable household UPS (SPS, actually) will start beeping if it loses power, but a thief could be down the road by the time that happens. I would say such a UPS (SPS) would be a pain to travel with (lots of weight, not much power).

I've wondered about the feasibility of using the tow vehicle engine with a second generator, let the engine idle all night (which has its set of problems) despite fuel usage. The second generator would not be engaged while actually driving, unless a load was presented. Such an engine is overkill, but the fuel consumption is far less than the cost of a stolen generator, and its going to be nearly silent in comparison.
 

Cameodon

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Posts
191
Location
Edgewater, fl
My generator is under the tunnel cover, chained to the truck bed. I fold back the rear section of tunnel cover with a small fan keeping everything cool. We prefer a Walmart to the rest areas between trucks, Walmart is much quieter. The rest areas all have the trucks running, probably a little safer but a whole lot noisier. Usually both are fairly well lit but do intend to place a motion light/security cam on trailer facing truck. By the time anyone opens the tunnel cover, figures out how the generator is fastened in bed of truck with the security lite on them they will have company....me, and I will be armed. They would scatter the second they heard the door open anyhow.
I bet there hasn't been 3 generators used this way stolen in the last 10 yrs. Now, on the tongue of a trailer or rear bumper/hitch carrier of trailer....easier pickings.
 

JayArr

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Joined
Jun 13, 2020
Posts
788
Location
Mission British Columbia Canada
I was thinking of a siren like from a house alarm, with a rechargeable battery and a relay and a key switch. You bolt it onto the generator. When the generator is running it charges the battery, you "arm" it with a key. If the genny stops producing AC the relay trips and the siren goes off. Now the thief has a generator that is LOUD and sort of a beacon, makes him easy to follow and find. I would hope he would give up at that point.

Now if he steals your genny without turning it off the siren wouldn't alert you but no system is perfect.
 

Cameodon

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Posts
191
Location
Edgewater, fl
I just want a small camera I can stick on nose of trailer. Maybe just a solar motion light. In be afraid Genny would stop running with alarm
 

Alontheway

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Joined
Sep 12, 2021
Posts
149
Location
Alageorgia
calling the store sounds like a real hassle for the employees who have to stop what they are doing and answer the phone for useless questions. I worked retail when I was younger and you would not believe the number of dumb questions we get on the phone, and all required us to stop what we were doing and answer the call, costing the boss money. I never call for this reason. Employees do not care who is parked in the lot, the owner or manager knows RVs park out there and why they are there, this is not the first time RVs have overnighted in the parking lot. The only areas to be concerned about are very high tourist places (south FL, places near popular tourist spots etc) where if allowed the entire parking lot might be full of RVs and people seeking free camping for their visit, and also those with signs posted "NO OVERNIGHT PARKING".
When you are just in passing through cities or non-tourist areas you will find that the over-night parking lot people are just resting before driving some more the next day, not camping, not staying the week to do tourist stuff. They might even do some shopping to re-stock their supplies or eat at the restaurant they slept near too..
 

Cameodon

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Posts
191
Location
Edgewater, fl
calling the store sounds like a real hassle for the employees who have to stop what they are doing and answer the phone for useless questions. I worked retail when I was younger and you would not believe the number of dumb questions we get on the phone, and all required us to stop what we were doing and answer the call, costing the boss money. I never call for this reason. Employees do not care who is parked in the lot, the owner or manager knows RVs park out there and why they are there, this is not the first time RVs have overnighted in the parking lot. The only areas to be concerned about are very high tourist places (south FL, places near popular tourist spots etc) where if allowed the entire parking lot might be full of RVs and people seeking free camping for their visit, and also those with signs posted "NO OVERNIGHT PARKING".
When you are just in passing through cities or non-tourist areas you will find that the over-night parking lot people are just resting before driving some more the next day, not camping, not staying the week to do tourist stuff. They might even do some shopping to re-stock their supplies or eat at the restaurant they slept near too..
Exactly! As I said in post #61, rarely does the "No overnight Parking" sign actually mean "No overnight Parking." In actuality, as I said if you stop for a few hrs, out of the way, leave the awnings in, Extend slides only enough to access the bed, fridge etc you rarely will have any problem.
Also if you DO park "overnight" and something happens you hardly have grounds to sue anyone. I guarantee thats a BIG part of it....liability!
 

Alontheway

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2021
Posts
149
Location
Alageorgia
I've wondered about the feasibility of using the tow vehicle engine with a second generator, let the engine idle all night (which has its set of problems) despite fuel usage.
The Dodge Ram's (and GMC) NV4500 manual transmission has a PTO. You can attach a generator head to this and run the engine all you want and only power the generator. Not the best use of gas compared to a small generator, but it would solve the stolen engine/generator problem. I would like to see who has done this crazy thing. I know there are trucks with generator heads attached, but these are typically for work jobs where it makes more sense given the wear n tear on the truck vs the power the gen makes and the ease of using it...
 

Lou Schneider

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Mar 14, 2005
Posts
11,279
The Dodge Ram's (and GMC) NV4500 manual transmission has a PTO. You can attach a generator head to this and run the engine all you want and only power the generator. Not the best use of gas compared to a small generator, but it would solve the stolen engine/generator problem. I would like to see who has done this crazy thing. I know there are trucks with generator heads attached, but these are typically for work jobs where it makes more sense given the wear n tear on the truck vs the power the gen makes and the ease of using it...
The big drawback using a PTO to run a generator is keeping the engine speed constant under a varying load. Unless you're running an inverter generator voltage and frequency will vary in direct proportion to the engine speed.
 

Alontheway

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Joined
Sep 12, 2021
Posts
149
Location
Alageorgia
The ones that have generators also have all the issues solved.
It still makes very little sense to use the pto. The cummins i-6 diesel motor was originally designed for farm equipment, but not sure about the trans or why there is a pto on it.
But, this is an option for the hardy.
You would be able to power the entire campground with it at least.
Easier option is a 2nd alternator (very big one tied to an inverter) or one that puts out household current. That seems a big load on the belts to me.
These are not really good options and is why so many use portable generators.
Lock it down. Generators are not really that valuable for a thief to go to too much trouble to steal. You wheels and tires are worth many times what a generator is and probably easier to re-sell. Do you have keyed lug nuts?
 

Scott 3

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Posts
625
A neighbor at a campground had a really nice home built cage around his generator. He said his previous generator was stolen so he built the cage and added a camera. I wish I took a picture because it was really nice work.
 

Ex-Calif

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Posts
1,876
The thread was started to seek info on how to secure their generator while parked and using the generator.
OP made the mistake of giving any details that the forum-police will hone in on and make up questions which they do have an answer to (aka opinion) and ignore the real question so they can make noise.
The winner is Ernie:

"I simply don't stay at Walmart. Nestling in with the trucks works just fine at highway stops. My generator doesn't bother anyone."

So, there ya go. To secure your generator while stopped and using it do not stay at this particular store, but do stay at a truck stop between two big rigs and take up a parking spot that full-time truck drivers need.
I am not sure how this effects more security, but you should be safe according to the expert.

Many runner-ups, but I like the one that flat-out tells the OP that his particular generator will not run his own AC unit.

Side note - who where those elderly puppet men on the TV show The Muppets that sat around discussing the show-so-far and providing highly opinionated comments ?
This thread has 78 posts and counting as of this writing. It was started in April. I would be floored if the thread was anywhere close to the original topic - LOL...

Usually a useful answer is in the bag in 5-10 posts.

I rarely click into threads this old unless I get curious as to why it takes 78 posts to recommend parking in a truck spot instead of not using your portable generator on an overnight spot.

I carry a 500 foot extension chord and plug into the gas station next door when no one is looking ;-)
 

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