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Old 02-09-2018, 04:50 PM   #1
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Insulation

Iím considering converting a school bus to rv. Several videos Iíve watched showed taking the floor down to the metal then laying in a foam and plywood subfloor then installing your floor. Is that insulation going to do that much it couldnít be that much r value. Also is it necessary to remove the ceiling panels to put in insulation in the roof. My son would have the bus in Florida.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:04 PM   #2
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Iím considering converting a school bus to rv. Several videos Iíve watched showed taking the floor down to the metal then laying in a foam and plywood subfloor then installing your floor. Is that insulation going to do that much it couldnít be that much r value. Also is it necessary to remove the ceiling panels to put in insulation in the roof. My son would have the bus in Florida.
Here's what I've discovered so far about insulation.
1. The factory stuff is usually garbage by now unless you have a newer bus or one that was pampered.
2. The removal of the floor is actually part of a longevity thing. some floors from the factory are rubber on plywood on steel, meaning the plywood holds moisture and rusts the floors, so you gut it in order to do rust repair and sealing it in a product of your choice.
3. If you have totally gutted the floor, and aren't very tall, why not use better insulation? (anythings a better R value then plywood)
4. If you have an acoustical panel roof, as the bus ages you get ultra-fine fiberglass dust steadily raining on you. Plus it's not super insulating anyway..

ultimately my thoughts on your question is this..

Pull flooring, Pull ceiling, Pull walls if its within your means (meaning if your steady with a grinder or don't mind pulling your windows)(pulling windows is not always required)

Clean, preform rust repair, coat all repairs to prevent a reoccurrence, Insulate with whatever you feel is appropriate to your climate that you'll be spending most of your time in

Reassemble and begin building out your floor plan.

Hope it helps.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:05 PM   #3
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You can get around an Rvalue of 10 with some 2" rigid foam board. You have to keep in mind you are inside a tin can, in the sun you will bake, in the cold you will freeze. Insulating the floors reminds of the road signs that say "Bridge freezes before road does", because airflow underneath the bridge or bus just sap heat away. The secret behind removing the ceiling panels is 2 fold, one to check for any rusty areas, and two to have access to that 2" cavity for adding insulation. Due to the low roof height of standard skoolies that 2" is critical to anyone over 6' tall. As someone mentioned earlier, it isn't comfortable to have 75į air in your bus and have a floor that's 100į
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
You can get around an Rvalue of 10 with some 2" rigid foam board. You have to keep in mind you are inside a tin can, in the sun you will bake, in the cold you will freeze. Insulating the floors reminds of the road signs that say "Bridge freezes before road does", because airflow underneath the bridge or bus just sap heat away. The secret behind removing the ceiling panels is 2 fold, one to check for any rusty areas, and two to have access to that 2" cavity for adding insulation. Due to the low roof height of standard skoolies that 2" is critical to anyone over 6' tall. As someone mentioned earlier, it isn't comfortable to have 75į air in your bus and have a floor that's 100į
Also, wrt the ceiling, every screw or rivet in the ceiling is a direct thermal bridge to the outside.

It will fry you in summer, freeze you in winter, and rain on you anytime the humidity gets high and the temp drops a few degrees.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:23 PM   #5
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If you're following springtime and never experience extreme temps, you won't miss the insulation. Your floor might rust out from under you, but that's a different problem that happens to share the same solution.

Our plan was to follow spring time. We found that even though we went north through summer and then back south, everywhere we went we were hitting record breaking extremes. Triple digits from Texas to Washington State. Then the trip back south, we had snow and ice chasing us from Michigan all the wya to Florida.

We're building our second bus and are putting a lot of time and energy into insulating, Deleting windows, replacing floor, walls, ceiling, building insulated interior walls...
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:13 PM   #6
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Insurance

Can someone let me who would insure the bus in Florida
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:41 PM   #7
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If you're following springtime and never experience extreme temps, you won't miss the insulation. Your floor might rust out from under you, but that's a different problem that happens to share the same solution.

Our plan was to follow spring time. We found that even though we went north through summer and then back south, everywhere we went we were hitting record breaking extremes. Triple digits from Texas to Washington State. Then the trip back south, we had snow and ice chasing us from Michigan all the wya to Florida.

We're building our second bus and are putting a lot of time and energy into insulating, Deleting windows, replacing floor, walls, ceiling, building insulated interior walls...
Reminds me of last time I went on the road "chasing spring". Because of scheduling issues beyond my control I wound up in Las Vegas in August and Minneapolis in February....

I was sure glad that I had insulated well.
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ljmbw357 View Post
Iím considering converting a school bus to rv. Several videos Iíve watched showed taking the floor down to the metal then laying in a foam and plywood subfloor then installing your floor. Is that insulation going to do that much it couldnít be that much r value. Also is it necessary to remove the ceiling panels to put in insulation in the roof. My son would have the bus in Florida.
I live in Texas, and trust me, in the south, you want insulation, and a radiant barrier of some kind...

Yes insulating the floor helps. Busses are pretty high up of the ground, and heat rises.

2 layers of R-Max would give you R12, which should be more than sufficient for floors and walls. For the roof I would coat it / paint it white with a flexible RV friendly radiant barrier coating, there are many on the market, and spray foam at least R18 in the ceiling. You can use 3 layers of R max but you'd need to spray the gaps anyway, might as well just do it.

Use spray foam gap sealant in the spaces the R Max won't fit, and you'll have it nicely insulated.

Having said that, since you will also be using propane appliances most likely, you MUST allow for proper make up / combustion air to get into the bus...

Good luck with your project!
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:14 PM   #9
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Insulation also helps with the tin can sound all school buses make.
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
If you're following springtime and never experience extreme temps, you won't miss the insulation. Your floor might rust out from under you, but that's a different problem that happens to share the same solution.

Our plan was to follow spring time. We found that even though we went north through summer and then back south, everywhere we went we were hitting record breaking extremes. Triple digits from Texas to Washington State. Then the trip back south, we had snow and ice chasing us from Michigan all the wya to Florida.

We're building our second bus and are putting a lot of time and energy into insulating, Deleting windows, replacing floor, walls, ceiling, building insulated interior walls...
When I went on the road in my first bus my idea was to follow mild weather. Life had other plans for me that included Minneapolis in February and Las Vegas in August. Boy was I glad to have 2" of foam insulation.
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