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Old 01-15-2017, 11:23 AM   #1
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Help Tia! I'm new here, prepping walls/ceiling for insulation. Rust paint?

Hello! I got my new bus home 10 days ago, and I've removed all of the interior panels and old insulation. Yes, I removed ALL of the 1000 rivets myself... thank you for noticing ;) My question today is: which is better?

1) Couple coats of Rustoleum paint on the inside metal of ceiling and walls, fiber insulation, and a layer of Blueskin for vapour barrier. Should be sealed and air tight, ya? (Maybe the cheaper option.)

2) Simply spray foam and Blueskin. Also sealed and air tight?

I'm all for saving $dollars$ but I also want to do the best job possible.

What do you think? Help a girl out. I am doing this whole reno myself, and I know very little about construction, but I am a very capable human. Plus I'm very eager to move in!
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:55 AM   #2
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Well, I guess it depends on a few things. I see that you live up in Vancouver BC, are you planning to stay in that area? Are you going to move into the bus full time?
Spray foam is better, but more expensive. If you plan to full time it, and stay in the North, it might be a good idea to pay for the good stuff now.
However, what is your plan for the windows? The most expensive insulation in the walls and ceiling are going to do very little to help if you have 30 single pain school bus windows leaking heat out like there is nothing there.
I personally love the look both inside and outside of the original skoolie windows, but I know that I will lose a ton of heat out them. For me its OK, mine is just a RV, we full time in a stick and brick house.
Also think about how you plan to insulate the floor. You have to keep in mind its a complete system, you can't pile insulation one spot and nothing in others.
However, if you plan to follow the good weather, don't worry about it and just have a good heater for the time you get stuck in the cold.
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:39 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply! I will be living in it full time, on the coast. I know spray foam is the best option, I guess I'm just trying to find a way out of it because it's so expensive... I will insulate all 4 sides.

But yes, good point! I am only going to remove 4 windows, the rest will remain. I will have a wood stove in there for heat. Do you think spray foam is overkill?!
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:05 PM   #4
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Spray foam will result in the greatest amount of R-factor. It will also get into all of those little nooks and crannies that is hard to fill with foam boards.

There are some jobs it is best to do it right the first time rather than doing it twice. One you get the ceiling and walls up it is really hard to change your mind about adding more insulation.

Since you will be living in it in a wet and humid climate the more you can insulate the outside from the inside the warmer you will feel. For your purposes, wood heat is actually a great heat source for you. Since it is a dry heat it will tend to lower the humidity inside making it feel much warmer.

Make sure you design some sort of break between inside and outside at all of the ribs and rails. Cold will come though to the inside if you don't put something down to keep it from coming inside.

Good luck and keep us posted as to your progress.
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:52 PM   #5
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Hey Tanvan3000 (and the rest of the skoolie community!),

I am in a similar position to you!

I have a short bus that I am renovating on my own and am at the insulation phase.

Most people I have talked to and videos I have watched say taking out the metal walls to do insulation is more work than it is worth.
Do you mind telling me about your rivet-removal process? I feel like it's a pretty necessary step if you are going to live in the bus full time (as I plan to do).
Any tips, tricks, problems you ran into?

Also, what insulation did you decide to go with? And what insulation process did you go with on the floors? Do you (or any skoolie people!) think it will be a waste of time to take out the walls/floors, re-insulate them myself, but not do the ceiling and keep all of the windows?

ALSO, how did you make your new insulation air tight and water tight? I am most worried about that.

I want to do the best job for the best price, but I don't want to be working against myself or causing more harm than good.

Okay,

THANK YOU!!!

And it's cool to see another lady tackling a project like this on her own ;)
Good luck and keep me posted!!
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Old 02-01-2017, 04:53 PM   #6
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Ohhh you got the 454 engine! I literally just sent a text to my friend

"Is it just me or is this kinda sexy? GMC 6500 Dump truck with a big block 454 motor *drool*"

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Old 02-02-2017, 06:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roundbed View Post
Hey Tanvan3000 (and the rest of the skoolie community!),

I am in a similar position to you!

I have a short bus that I am renovating on my own and am at the insulation phase.

Most people I have talked to and videos I have watched say taking out the metal walls to do insulation is more work than it is worth.
Do you mind telling me about your rivet-removal process? I feel like it's a pretty necessary step if you are going to live in the bus full time (as I plan to do).
Any tips, tricks, problems you ran into?

Also, what insulation did you decide to go with? And what insulation process did you go with on the floors? Do you (or any skoolie people!) think it will be a waste of time to take out the walls/floors, re-insulate them myself, but not do the ceiling and keep all of the windows?

ALSO, how did you make your new insulation air tight and water tight? I am most worried about that.

I want to do the best job for the best price, but I don't want to be working against myself or causing more harm than good.

Okay,

THANK YOU!!!

And it's cool to see another lady tackling a project like this on her own ;)
Good luck and keep me posted!!
If I were converting a short bus, I would most definitely rip out the interior just because it is so small. From what I have seen in reading every conversion thread on this site, you are only adding a week of extra work for a HUGE benefit to your living. Also, it is not just about keeping out cold, heat is a big factor as well since a bus is essentially becomes a big tin can.

I have crunched some numbers on the cost of the spray in closed cell foam vs sheet foam, and it is not that much greater than using foam board and about the the same amount of time. With the sheet foam, you have lots of custom cutting and fitting, as well as the fact that getting a tight seal is difficult unless you caulk/metal tape all of the edges.

Either option should have a vapor barrier, but I have heard that the closed cell foam does a much better job of avoiding condensation forming inside the walls of the bus even without a vapor barrier because the foam bonds to the metal and does not allow for an air gap between the insulation and the body of the bus, which is where vapor will form in heat/cold situations. Sheet foam does not typically allow for this air gap to be completely sealed.

With closed cell foam, you have a lot of trimming and shaving once you spray, but it completely seals the space.
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldmopars View Post
Well, I guess it depends on a few things. I see that you live up in Vancouver BC, are you planning to stay in that area? Are you going to move into the bus full time?
Spray foam is better, but more expensive. If you plan to full time it, and stay in the North, it might be a good idea to pay for the good stuff now.
However, what is your plan for the windows? The most expensive insulation in the walls and ceiling are going to do very little to help if you have 30 single pain school bus windows leaking heat out like there is nothing there.
I personally love the look both inside and outside of the original skoolie windows, but I know that I will lose a ton of heat out them. For me its OK, mine is just a RV, we full time in a stick and brick house.
Also think about how you plan to insulate the floor. You have to keep in mind its a complete system, you can't pile insulation one spot and nothing in others.
However, if you plan to follow the good weather, don't worry about it and just have a good heater for the time you get stuck in the cold.
I completely disagree, spray foam is the best and will make a huge difference weather you keep 1 window or all the windows.
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:35 AM   #9
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Welcome. Keep us posted on the progress. It's great to see the ladies building their own buses!!!!
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:14 PM   #10
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Okay.

So I think unriveting the walls and doing spray foam are best, but
How now is the best way to secure the framing for the walls (that the insulation goes between) to the structure of the bus?

When I was not planning on taking out the interior walls, I planned to screw the framework straight into the interior wall.
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