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Old 04-13-2017, 05:16 PM   #11
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Location: Willamina, Oregon
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I did fill the entire rib cavity with foam. As I've said there was some wool insulation inside the ribs. Actually I got that idea from someone else that did the same thing last year. I hadn't planned on foaming the ribs but after the heavy rains in the fall there was considerable leakage coming out of the lowest rivet hole on each rib just above the chair rail. I didn't want the rib tubes to fill with water as I plugged rivet holes, so the other option was to fill them with foam. I'm pretty sure they had enough moisture to aid in setting properly.

The foam actually did seem to set up just fine, which you can test by inserting a probe through the rivet holes. I didn't want the rib tubes to be full of water so I don't think there were a lot of options.

I do not know how that much water got into the rib tubes. My best guess is drainage was blocked when the side pockets below the chair rail were filled with foam. The expansion of the foam inside the tubes actually ejected water.

I didn't want a squirt at each rivet hole because the ribs would simply fill with water anytime there was rain. There was no lack of moisture inside the rib tubes and the foam set up just fine. I've had no leaks since then, and it's been a very wet winter.

Maybe it was a mistake. It stopped my leaks just fine.
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:04 PM   #12
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Year: 1986
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Know that it did not stop your leaks it is slowly absorbing them like a sponge.
I think a full exterior seal is in order and the sooner the better
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:59 PM   #13
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You've obviously asked yourself "How did that much water get into the rib tubes?" No, there is not a hole in the roof above every rib that allows them to fill up. In that case I'd need sheet metal rather than a full exterior seal.

I believe this lower wall was designed to drain water that gets under the skin from the windows. Since my foam guy filled everything up, apparently the water that normally drains out through the skirt comes from the windows and was backing up into the rib tubes quite consistently throughout the bus. If this bus was leaking through the roof it wouldn't be dripping out only at the lowest rivet holes on the wall. It would certainly have dripped out through the rivet holes in the ceiling also.

I believe the water backed up and went into the ribs, caused by the overzealous foam guy plugging all my drainage in the lower side walls. Foam actually came out through the previous drainage areas at the bottom of the skirt. I figure I could have crawled underneath and drilled out the rib tubes from the bottom edge during the deluge last fall but I'd have almost certainly been electricuted. I elected to test the foam on one rib, liked what it did and followed with the other ribs the next day.

After this oddly terrible Oregon winter, if I'm not having leaks by now it's not going to leak unless I fully submerge this bus. After all the holes I've sealed in this big box I'm pretty sure it would float. I lived in this bus for months while the entire interior and insulation was stripped out. If this was a leaker I'd know after nearly two years. Condensation on all that steel, yes. Leaks, no.

I am getting to the seam sealer portion of this build, just before I paint it. That's about all it's going to get. Seam sealer and an ugly paint job.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:01 PM   #14
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Thanks Guys! Appreciate the quick and good feedback. Can't say for sure how I feel about reinsulating yet. Maybe knowing the cost to reinsulate would be helpful. To anyone who has reinsulated, can you share the costs? The costs as I see them would include insulation, boards to hold the insulation in place, maybe some tape or vapor seal sheet of some kind, and the subflooring itself. No need for foam prices, since I definitely am too much of an amateur for that.

Also, so everyone knows what I'll use the bus for, I plan to drive it across the country for 6 months in 2017. I'll start in June in the deep south where high temps will be in the 90's, and go out west where lows could be in the 30's. The bus will probably end up in Austin, TX as a Airbnb rental. Austin gets highs of 100 in the summer and lows in the 30s in the winter. Am really more concerned about keeping the bus cool, than hot.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:46 AM   #15
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Location: hills of sw virginia
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if your going to be in texas in the summer you need to spray foam everything. they put over 100000 btu's of ac in a bus for a reason.
living in a bus down by the river.
my build pics
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