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Old 05-25-2017, 07:57 AM   #1
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Attaching Ceiling Panels

Hello,

I am working to frame my bus now and because I am pretty tall for a gal I don't have a lot of room to work with overhead in my '97 Thomas International. For this reason I wanted to forgo adding furring strips to the ceiling and attach my panels directly to the ribs. Is this possible to do?

Also, my bus seems to be not like many others and doesn't have vertical and horizontal ribs, only horizontal. Will this give me enough support of my paneling?

Thank you so much for the help! These probably seem like pretty simple questions but I can not find the answers and I am learning/teaching myself EVERYthing as I go.

Many Many Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:06 AM   #2
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You could attach panels directly to the ribs, but most of us feel there is to much thermal energy transfer so choose to put up sheets of 1/2" rigid styrofoam between the ribs and ceiling panels. Part of the purpose of using rigid insulation between the ribs and ceiling panels is to eliminate any condensation from the steel ribs from contacting the wood.

Everybody has a little different plan for their insulation needs. It would be nice to actually know what works best, but that would require real world experience with each type of insulation process.
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:10 AM   #3
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I attached my wood ceiling directly to the ribs as I did not want to sacrifice any height. I did not use panels, I used 1/4 inch thick tongue and groove boards. It worked out pretty well

.

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Old 05-25-2017, 12:20 PM   #4
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Piersg; Looks great. By now I'm guessing you can really feel the heat where the ribs are on the inside under the 1/4" panels on a warm day.

happiinesshunter; Considering you're in a '97 Thomas International, I'm doubting your ribs are different than the rest of us are accustomed to working on. If you feel the ribs are different in your bus some photos would help clear things up.
You can attach your ceiling panels directly to the ribs, but as mentioned previously you will be able to feel the heat/cold through your chosen ceiling material because of thermal transfer.
This is just a suggestion for you to consider. Use 1/2" styrofoam rigid insulation between the ribs and your ceiling material. It squishes down quite a bit as you attach your ceiling and you won't loose much headroom, while creating a small thermal break between the ribs and ceiling materials.
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:03 PM   #5
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There is not a noticeable difference in the temperature, but if I use an infra red thermometer there is about a .5 degree difference in between the two areas. I expect that when I repaint the roof that will also help.
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:58 PM   #6
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I plan on cutting some wooden rib look-alikes out of wood and attaching them to the side of my steel ribs. It's just so hard to drill through this heat-treated steel. These will be anchoring points for tongue and groove wood, flexible conduit, etc. They'll also create a sort of thermal break without having to thicken the ceiling.
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Old 05-25-2017, 03:54 PM   #7
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Working on a similar setup, I'm using peel and seal. Used it before on other car projects to deaden sound but it also creates a barrier for draft leaks. My plan is to roll one across each beam and cover the seams. Be careful to roll it on flat after paint has thoroughly dried and cut out drill holes before sticking down. (the tar sticks to the screws and creates a real mess)
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:40 PM   #8
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I added a faux tin ceiling made of Styrofoam ..it was very cheap to do and looks great. I never really considered insulating the bus too much due to the 13 windows that we have left uncovered to make it less claustrophobic and provide plenty of ventilation.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:52 AM   #9
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We are considering using the thermal bubble roll (Reflectix 16 in. x 25 ft. Double Reflective Insulation with Staple Tab-ST16025 - The Home Depot) and either the thin wood paneling or styrofoam ceiling panels to keep as much height as possible. Our bus was partly converted when we got it and already has 1/2 rigid and 3/4 ply on the floor with laminate over and my husband is almost touching the ceiling as it is.
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