White Turtle III - Ford Transit - The build and adventure!

Photomike

Explorer
Road block day :sombrero: Got the lino trimmed for the bathroom floor and the floor dropped in and that was it.

I need to make a bathroom door and was trying to decide all day how to do it. Would prefer to buy something premade but size not anywhere close to standard so that is out. Came up with a game plan and now I need it to warm up a lot more before I can build it and install as I will need to pull the two walls to do it.

Also finally made a decision on the fridge, going to go with a Dometic CRX80 if they can get them in Canada, if not the CRX65 so will order that tomorrow, one of the suppliers said the 80's were not available but will check.

Electric is on hold at this time as running wires and hooking things up in the cold not my idea of a good time. I may have to make a road trip to my brother's as he is an electrician and he has large shops to work in, only problem is they are 9 hours away. :bike_rider::bike_rider::bike_rider:
 

Mat Mobile

Adventurer
Mike, may I suggest that, for the bathroom door, you make sure that when travelling it's firmly attached and snug. These big doors tend to pop open while driving and do lots of squeaking noise when traveling down the road. With that in mind I'm sure you can make sure you get those annoyances under control!

Personally, if I were starting with a blank slate like you, I would use a "chest type" fridge as gravity will make sure nothing falls out. Plus, I busted a few plastic shelves in the door just from bumpy roads.

Your build is looking awesome! I'm really enjoying following along!
 

Photomike

Explorer
Mike, may I suggest that, for the bathroom door, you make sure that when travelling it's firmly attached and snug. These big doors tend to pop open while driving and do lots of squeaking noise when traveling down the road. With that in mind I'm sure you can make sure you get those annoyances under control!

Personally, if I were starting with a blank slate like you, I would use a "chest type" fridge as gravity will make sure nothing falls out. Plus, I busted a few plastic shelves in the door just from bumpy roads.

Your build is looking awesome! I'm really enjoying following along!
Believe me I am anti noise!!!! Nothing worse than 8 hours of driving listening to squeak squeak all the way - actually I usually pull over after 5 minutes and start looking for noises. I am thinking of two magnetic latches one on the top and one on the bottom.

I was all set for a chest cooler but the proportions are too big for what I want. The upright uses the height that I have as opposed to floor space that I do not have. I wanted the chest also so I could use in other vehicles but oh well.
 

Photomike

Explorer
Well the weather warmed up just in time for me to get out on Friday and do some work. Earlier on the week I went looking for a door for the bathroom last week and all the ones that I found were $400 plus or way to heavy so I picked up some knotty pine and used some left over Baltic Birch to make a door and a door handle.





Got the door rough installed, I think I want to drop it down a little. Only used a couple screws to try it so one screw hole lower should be good. Installed the handle and two magnetic latches to keep closed.



Also got 110v power run. Bought a heavy duty extension cord, ran the male end out the back left plastic hatch using a friction fitting in the plastic, came up to a receptacle box under the bed with a GFI plug. Then ran more of the cord from a plug at the GFI around the to the right front of the bed and put a plug there. Only thing I am not sure about is will I keep the GFI as if I am at someones house that already has a GFI it will trip theirs. This gives me a extra plug under the bed if I should want to run a line to a 12V charger or add a plug up front for shore power.

Cord entering van left rear


This shows the wire after coming out of the rear pillar (through a rubber grommet) and into the rear plug which is GFI.


The wire goes along the wood bed support to keep it out of the way and to the plug that is at the front / under the bed.


 

Photomike

Explorer
I have been at a standstill as I need to get the Espar B2 installed before I can do more. I want it under the passenger seat but I am 99% sure the install guys are going to say no so my second location is in the cupboard under the sink, but I was going to put the house battery in there so if it goes in there will move the battery location. I think I am going with 2 group 31's under the bed if I need to move them, one on each side to spread out the weight if I cannot put one in the cupboard, a heavy cable from the vehicle battery with a cut off and a power center that I will access from the bathroom. But I don't want to order cables, batteries, etc till I know for sure.

Gave the install guys the go ahead last week and they said it would take 4 weeks to get the unit in, got an Email today the unit is in and they can do the install next week just waiting to hear what day. I am VERY happy, not just to be able to continue planning but because I can get heat for when I am stopped. Will run off the extra vehicle battery for now till I get the house system in.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
The espar heaters are really a game changer. Great design. The programmable timer is great too, waking up to a nice warm cabin. If you plant to camp over ~6000ft on a regular basis, you should consider the high altitude sensor. For the diesel espar units it is a requirement for good service life, otherwise they coke up with carbon. The gasoline units may not have as much of an issue, I have not seen any feedback related to them.
 

Photomike

Explorer
UPDATE

B2 installed

First thoughts (and these are only from a couple minutes with it running)

Noise - not bad inside but I do need to put on a muffler as outside it is loud so I am assuming there is no muffler on it, I would have looked but we are having a snow storm so did not want to try to get under to see. Compared to a standard RV furnace a little quieter than the three that I have had. It still has the moving wind noise but not the wind noise mixed with a rattly metal noise of the RV furnaces, a night in the camper will tell that for sure. I put it so it is under the kitchen counter and I am happy that I did so far as I can build a cupboard around it. and that should cut down the noise as well.

Size - Cannot believe how small the unit is. Opens up a lot of options if I ever do another build

Cost - HORRIBLE!! With that being said I know I could have saved a lot doing it myself but as it was the first time and I have never seen one before so thought I would let the experts do it. I had prices for a RV furnace and a propane tank without the install and it would have been over half of what the Espar was and that was without the extras like mounting brackets, gas line, etc. The best part for me is that it uses the vehicle fuel (gas) so no extra refueling and it is mounted inside the van with only the vents below so I keep any ground clearance.

Now I need it to stop snowing so I can take the van out!
 

Photomike

Explorer
So got out with the van for several day trips this past week (what it is actually designed for) in COLD weather. Nice having the Espar to help heat the van when driving or when stopped, a couple mornings it was -25 & -28C when we started out so I would turn the Espar on 20 minutes before hitting the road and the chill would be off when we started out, then I would leave it set for the day around 18C or 20C and let it cycle. REALLY nice when you stop some place and as the van cools the heater kicks in.

Did a lot of driving but little else with the cold and the wind was crazy as well.

Need to start the finishing process but need this weather to smarten up. There may be light at the end of this winter tunnel but I don't want to get too hopeful!
 

Photomike

Explorer
At this point I don't think it was noticeable enough to calculate as it was on and off all day so not sure that it used much. On the one trip I got 23mpg with it running (calculated on fill-up) but cannot say how long it ran as when driving it is not noticeable. On shorter trips I think I used more gas warming the van up with the engine running as using the Espar :sombrero:
 

MarcusBrody

Member
That's pretty darn good mileage. I get that in my Transit Connect if I don't keep the highway speed down. I'm farther from starting my desired full-sized build than I thought a few months ago, but I still spend a disproportionate amount of time wondering about whether it is worth trying to incorporate a small woodstove in a build in order to save the Espar the effort of heating the van up after letting it get colder during the day (assuming I'm skiing out of it). If the fuel draw is low to keep it at 18 or 20, though, i probably isn't worth it.
 

Photomike

Explorer
I was already to put a fireplace in for so many reasons but this van is for travel more than parking and I think that having a hole in the roof would be more hassle than helpful 99% of the time. If I ever did a bus to live in I would put a fireplace in first thing.
 
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