Unlike Turtle I & II that I bought already to go I had to build The White Turtle III. It was an empty van when I bought it, a clean slate if you will. I had my ideas before I got it and the day it arrived the build started.
The white Turtle III was the vehicle that I should have gone with years ago. Like other journeys in life the destination is not always easy to know till we start on the road. It took a lot for me to realize that I am not a camper! I love being out in the wilderness taking pictures and teaching but staying in a campground is not for me. I like being away from people, I like back roads, I like exploring! You find more pictures when you are out in the wilderness.
The van is a 2017 Ford Transit medium roof van. It has the eco boost engine that has more power than I need. It is also good on gas considering all the stuff that I carry in it. If there is one thing that I would have liked it is four wheel drive. It is rear wheel drive and it takes a lot to get back to driving a rear wheel drive vehicle when my other one is front wheel drive. If it was a 4×4 it would allow me to get a little further into the backcountry.
GREAT pictures are not found in busy campgrounds. Great pictures are found out of the way!Mike Paterson
The White Turtle III allows me to do just that. I can drive down any road, pull off, make U turns and I LOVE IT!!! Sure it does not have all the extras that Turtle I & II had but other than heat and a bathroom there is very little that I require for my home. I know this is not for everyone, okay maybe not for most, but for using as a mobile office / home for my photography it is perfect.
Building the van was simple. Or at least the plan was. The build would add as little as possible to the overall weight of the van. I did not want all the extras, I did not want decorations. I wanted function and I got that and I also found I got invisibility! A white van fits in places that an RV does not. Stop in a parking lot and I am like any other van. People have no idea if I have boxes, tools or garbage in the back. They walk by me without looking twice. GREAT for a photographer that carries a pile of gear.
So what does the White Turtle III have?
- Furnace (runs off 12v and regular vehicle gas)
- Fridge (12V)
- Bed that can stay made up (with a REALLY thick mattress)
- Warmth (insulation all around)
- Stove (works inside and out)
- Storage (can carry two inflatable kayaks inside under the bed with room left over)
- Comfortable to drive