White Whale II Build

billintomahawk

'02 2.7 T!N Freightliner
Bill, How did the 140 "Break your heart"?
Whale,
It's the trade offs.

The platform bed is just too short so I have to sleep slightly diagonal if I want to stretch out.
Side flairs would solve that problem but no thanks for now. I am 5'9". If I travel with a partner it would have to be a smaller 'she'(for me).

My mountain bike with old school 26" wheels fits under the bed but with the low roof I had to go with a 3" mattress to maintain headroom. Then my propane heater required valuable floor space(being an old school ice shack heater). so the floor space slipped away.

It's a great layout for one, two people are more challenging. A second problem s the passenger's seat is trapped behind a partition so it can't rotate to the rear. Another trade off because the area for heating can be minimized. The whole rig begs for intimacy .

Don't get me wrong, I love my 140 low roof and wouldn't trade for anything else, but in all love affairs there is a little heartbreak.





bill
 
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Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
Progress is progress, regardless of how slow or fast.

I would suggest a better retention method for those water tanks. That strap with tight bends and corners, will snap like so much dental floss in an accident. Then you have 180lbs of water heading towards your head...
 

gs850gx

Member
Then you have 180lbs of water heading towards your head...

Yeah retention is a good topic. Currently have 2 500 lb rated straps criss-crossing over the tanks using the factory hold down points on either side of the wheel wells. Was strongly considering getting some 1000 lb straps. Any thoughts on whether the factory tie points are up to this? I can pretty easily buffer the plywood to strap contact points with some metal drywall edging I have laying around. There are 1" X 2.5" plywood strips screwed to the floor at the bottom front of each tank. I would like to avoid drilling a bunch of new holes through the floor if possible. Was also planning on using the factory lash points to retain the propane box and battery box as well as they were handy and at the right places but maybe they are not up to the job. Note that any bungees you see floating around in the build are strictly temporary. I've had a couple Elkhart RV's and never felt warm and fuzzy about some of the mounting, especially after a few years of water leaks and rot. All too common in commercial RV's.
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
That 500lb rating is only in tension, it doesn't count de-rating from tight wraps around the factor hold downs, or the box edges. I would suggest seatbelt level strapping if possible. The best approach is a metal strap with 2-4 bolts through the floor with large backing washers. The factory hold downs are a welded in nut I believe. They are probably good for about 1,000lb or so, but the bolt may bend/shear before then. Blocking on the floor that is well secured is also important to prevent the item from shifting, which can cause strapping failure.
 

gs850gx

Member
Just checked my owners manual and there is no rating listed for the factory lash points but it does say they may fail under heavy braking or an accident. Then I checked out a couple of RV crash test videos on youtube and just want to say: Drive like your life depends on it and Be Careful. I'm taking another look at everything retained.
 

gs850gx

Member
A little more progress. Have the propane connected and furnace installed. It's a suburban NT16SEQ. Heats up the van maybe a little too quick. Propane locker is high - low vent both going outside. Still need to seal and gasket the locker. Cooler or fridge is going above the furnace cabinet.
 

Attachments

gs850gx

Member
And got the bed platforms in. They fold up if desired and are attached with eyes and hooks which act as a hinge and allow easy removal. Each bunk is 30" X 78". Seating and table with one bed up and that is also where the bicycles will park in transit. Sorry about the mess, stagers didn't show up. 8 1/2" space between bunks is just enough to shimmy in and out of bed easily. Wife has arthritis and doesn't crawl around well so needed everything easily accessible.
 

Attachments

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
Some of those suburban heaters have a different burner/orifice to reduce heat output. It may be possible to source a low speed blower to go with it, and reduce noise.
 

gs850gx

Member
Not a whole lot going on with the White Whale 2 over the winter here but I have had occasion to use the heater and have decided that the fast warmup will be nice and conserve the battery. The furnace will bring the temperature from 20 F to 65 F in about 15 minutes. That will be nice as I won't have to run it much and can warm up quick in the evening or morning. It's a Suburban NT16SEQ (the Q stands for quiet) and probably about 12,000 btu output. Current draw is about 1.9 amp running and draws no power when off. Very quiet outside and definitely quieter than an older model I once had. Similar to my MaxAir fan on the higher settings. It's an airy whooshy noise as compared to a harsh motor noise.

Here are a few more pictures. Remember if there is no picture, it didn't happen!
New radio, GPS, Backup camera, CD, DVD, WiFi and of course USB Android 9 head unit and more speakers. Also replaced the speakers in the dash and reversed the lower speakers L-R. So in the drivers seat the dash speaker is L and the lower speaker is R. Passenger lower speaker is L and dash is R. Works!
More work on the galley and water heater as well.
 

Attachments

gs850gx

Member
A little addition to the van. Wanted some overhead storage for clothes, jackets, etc so placed a 4 foot shelf above the passenger side bed and a 7' shelf behind the drivers seat. can get 10 of these cubes up there plus a little more. Lightweight and versatile I'm hoping.


4'shelf.jpg7'shelf.jpg


Also fitted some drawers under the galley. As soon as the Covid allows the White Whale is ready for shake down!

drawer.jpg
 

daws314

New member
I really like the bed, I have been planning on doing the same with my build. I need space in the back for motorcycles for when we go to the racetrack, once the bikes are out we can fold the bed down.
 

gs850gx

Member
The bed concept is working well and seems solid. Of course if you want a full width bed just make the panels wide enough to meet or make a small insert to use either way. The extensions allow the bed to be folded up fully made sans pillows making the mattress and blankets self storing and quick to deploy one or both. If you want more detail on the eye and hook hinge let me know.

The shelves are screwed into the steel box beam which resides at the bottom of the roof extenders on the high top models and into the roof steel cross beams along the top front rail. I'll take a picture or two of that for you but just using what was already there.
 

billintomahawk

'02 2.7 T!N Freightliner
Thanks, I forgot about the roof beams. I'll have to go back and look at old pictures.
Mine are covered by the ceiling panels, fortunately they are easily removed or would remain in place when shelf shelf/open cabinet is hung.

A little detail on screws and materials would be great. And dimensions. A link to the boxes?
With my low roof and a high platform bed wall space over the platform is compressed.

My bicycle is under the platform along with a ton of gear.

bill
 
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gs850gx

Member
Just another picture of the build to date, a little longer view.

I think next up is storage / organizer above the galley. Need to store spices, paper towels, dish cloth, yada yada. Not sure why but I'm stuck on this one. Probably over-thinking it but any ideas are welcome! Basic and affordable have been the theme.

Also planning a high shelf across the top of the back doors for pillows and bedding. That one should be easy.

Finally, filled the water tank for the first time and am happy to report no leaks. The camplux water heater provides super hot water to the sink in about 5 seconds and fires on at a very low flow. The location at the side door allows easy attachment of a sprayer to shower outdoors or do cleanup outside using quick connects.

Cheers!
Dan



LongtoBack.jpgWater Heater.jpg
 

billintomahawk

'02 2.7 T!N Freightliner
There's always room for baskets...and they work.

Zero problems last winter on the road.



These were filled with the usual cooking necessities, oils, spices, vinigers

bill
 

gs850gx

Member
Those baskets would meet my criteria, will consider. Where did you get them?

Here is a link to the storage cubes on my shelf. They fold flat and have stiffeners in them.
Storage Cubes

Also a picture of the screws I used to go into the van sheet metal. I know they are not sheet metal screws but worked very well, excellent bite.
Screws.jpg

AND.... Shelf dimensions. Everything was ripped from 3/4" (1") clear pine. The piece marked NO was omitted and the 3" at the back of the shelf ended up being 2 1/2" which was plenty. Plywood is 1/4". So total dimensions, 15 1/2 high and 12 3/4 deep. Shelf depth 12". I made one 4' long and one 7' 3".

ShelfDraw.jpg

Dan
 

gs850gx

Member
Wanted some backrests for the seating area and bed. After playing around with various pillows and foam arrangement I decided a piece of foam with a rigid backing would work well at various positions and offer a large degree of adjust-ability. They seem to stay put well at various lean angles. Should also work well at a picnic table as a seat.
The size is 20 H X 24 wide X 4"deep. The width was decided as to what would properly bridge the rear windows. I think I will cover these so that the foam and board are one unit.Back3.jpgBack1.jpgBack2.jpg
 

gs850gx

Member
Added a shelf / cubby above the bed for blanket / pillow storage. Had some matching leftovers from the ceiling to use. I can sit up in bed and grab or stow as needed without getting out of bed. laazee. Lightweight items so is just supported by top of plywood side panels. When sitting very straight up in bed my hair just grazes the bottom of it but I'm just 5 9". Will stow about 3 light blankets and 3 pillows.
BedShelf.jpg


No you can't have my wife's pillow cover!

BedShelfClose.jpgSleeparea.jpg
 

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