The base is an Isuzu NPR71 truck, also known as the Super ELF130
Its width is 2,25 meters when the mirrors are folded in. Its length is 6,50 meters when the bicycle-rack is folded in and its height is 3,10 meters (when the tires are full).
Empty it weighs 4.300 Kg and fully loaded with fuel, water and other necessities, it comes up to 4.930 Kg.
There are three seats in the cabin.
It is powered by a 4,6 Lite. 4-cylinder E4 (That E4 is environmental stuff) turbo diesel engine with 130 horses (HP) or 97 Kilowatts.
The whole thing was build in 2004.
Unfortunately it does not have real 4WD (4x4) but it does have four driven wheels as there are double wheels at the rear. There is also a crawl-speed gear available.
The tires on those six wheels are 7.50 x16 or in metric: 235/85R16
Top speed is just over 100 km/h but cruising is done best at 70 Km/h when the average fuel consumption is 1 liter for 7 kilometers and the wind-noise has not yet presented itself.
The Little Boat, an introduction
It has two fuel-tanks that carry a total of 190 liters of diesel, which gives us a range of around 1.300 kilometers.
Two fresh-water tanks hold 150 liters and there is an other 40 liters in the hot-water-boiler which, by the way, is heated by the engine when we are driving or via the generator or main power when we are parked. The water stays hot for well over 12 hours.
There is a separate, 15 liter tank for drinking-water and there is a toilet-flush-water-tank that holds 15 liters of premixed flush-stuff.
Shower and kitchen waste-water is temporary stored in a 80 liter tank and toilet waste-water is stored in a separate 20 liter tank.
The engine uses 24 volts and it has two batteries of 12 volt, 65 Amp/hour (totaling 24 volt). This is only used for starting and other car-related things such as driving-lights.
The living-area uses 12 volts and has a whooping 200 amp/hour battery.
This battery is kept full by the engine through a 24 to 12 volt charger/inverter that delivers 20 amps and when we are not driving it is, theoretically, topped up by 20 amps (350 watts at 18 volts) of solar-panels, though I’ve never seen them produce more than 10 amps on a sunny day. One of the solar-panels (150 watts) is detachable so we can park in the shade and still have solar-power.
We also have two separate mains input-sockets. One for 110 volt and one for 220 volt. The transformer-capacity between those inputs is 4 kilowatts and when one of those is connected, the living-battery gets 20 amps to top up.
If both the sun and the mains are absent we have a auxiliary generator that produces 220 volts and 1,6 kilowatts.
A 12 volt to 220 volt inverter of 1,5 kilowatts makes sure we can run all appliances at all time. (At all time, not at the same time ;-)
Three separate aircos keep us nice and cool. A 7.000 BTU AC/heater sit on the roof and run of 220 volts, 110 volts or the generator.
An other living-room airco is powered by the engine as we drive and of course there is the regular cabin airco that runs of the engine.
Living and cooking
As you probably understood from the water-tanks info, we have a bathroom with a shower (warm and cold water) a sink (the same warm and cold water) and a toilet. (Which we only use for nr 1’s unless there is a real emergency, which luckily has not yet happened. For nr 2’s we have a shovel.).
There is also a separate (cold water) outside shower.
The kitchen has a 60 liter fridge (compressor type as we don’t like ammonium-nitrate bombs), a 600 watts microwave, a 2.000 watts induction stove and a sink with warm, cold and (filtered) drinking-water. Above the stove is an electric extractor-hood.
The entire living area is lighted with LED and so is the outside.
Sitting and sleeping
The sitting/dining area sits five people comfortably around a dinner-table, or six if you don’t use plates.
In the rear is a fixed bed that officially sleeps two, but you really need to be in love for that as it is just 120 centimeters wide. (200 cm long). The dining-area converts into a large double bed (180 cm x 200 cm)
There used to be two children's beds above the cabin, but we converted that to storage-space.
For fresh air there are two roof-windows/fans with rain-sensors. (They automatically close when it starts to rain). All windows, also the ones in the roof, have mosquito-netting.
Of course we have an awning (4 x 3 meters) and (LED) lighting to enjoy the mosquitoes in the evening. The light above the living-door is even remotely operated on the key-fob for those times we come back “home” late (and drunk?)
For those late-night searches for a good camping-spot we also have hi-powered LED-bars pointing to the front, left and right of the cabin and in case it was not a good spot, there is also one at the rear to help the two infrared rear-view cameras. (One camera for “right up our ass”, and one for the stuff at a respectable distance).
For intruders at the front, while we are driving, we have a massive air-horn that just about blows your socks off. (and theirs too)
At the rear there is space for two bicycles on a collapsible rack (collapsible for RoRo shipping)
The cabin if heavily insulated, so not much engine noise makes it through, but over 70 Km/h the wind lets you clearly know it is there. Seats are standard but sufficiently comfy after we added some padding at strategical points. The gears shift like a Ferrari, which is clumsy as it has reverse where normally first gear is. It means you need to think every now and then when you shift. I guess when we are on our journey” and no longer drive “regular cars” it will come more natural.
No power windows. (Thank god, as they always seem to break when open, just before a rainstorm).
Cruise control is rudimentary. It does not measure the speed, just keeps the engine output at the same level. Works fine for me. (Should be… I build it ;-)
We do have a very advanced navigation system with a 10” screen and an incredibly sensitive GPS receiver. (For the experts: Android octo-core, 160 Gb RAM, running OsmAnd+ and some other useful software such as camper-leveler and i-overlander)
The rear tires have TPMS (Tire Pressure Management System) because you can’t feel a flat tire while driving due to the double wheels.
There are two (automatic) rear-view cameras and a dash-cam.
- Because it was build in Thailand, where it is always nice and warm, there is no heater in the cabin.
- There are also no “pre-glow plugs” in the engine, which could become an issue when we get to colder places. We tested the cold-start at three degrees Celsius (a rare thing in Thailand, we had to camp on the top of the highest mountain for this test) and it started just as usual, quickly and ran fine right away.
-When the truck was converted to camper, the cabin could no longer tilt. This means engine access is limited to a service hatch in the cabin-floor, from underneath and via the wheel-arches (which have detachable insides)
So, now you know our Little Boat a little better.