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Old 06-07-2018, 03:26 AM   #1
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Reflectix + Spray Foam combination?

I'm making plans for insulating my mini bus for all-year living in northern Michigan (Lower Peninsula) where the temperature ranges from +/-0* F to +/- 90*. My situation involves already having amassed roughly 200-300sqft of Reflectix, none of which I've had to pay for - it came with our fresh basil at work twice a week. I've also found out spray foam would seem to be the best option overall, and considering the cold winters here I don't want to lose out.

My thought was to combine the two in order to save some money on spray foam and/or make an even more efficiently insulated bus with the addition of a radiant barrier. My questions:
1 - Is this indeed the case? (Reflectix + spray foam better than just 2" of foam)
2 - Would my Reflectix be better used doubled up somewhere? The floor? The ceiling?
3 - Any other advice?

ALSO: How crazy is it to keep most of the windows instead of covering/insulating over them considering my climate? '95 Thomas Bus
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:15 AM   #2
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I'm making inserts for my windows using reflectix glued to 1" XPS foam and plywood on the back (to match the wall). They pop right out when you want windows. Your windows will be the biggest loss of heat (and cold).

Outside of layering against glass, reflectix is worse than basically any other option. I used a lot of it on my short bus. It's better than nothing, but not by much.

Closed cell spray foam has a great R value and will out-perform the other options. It's harder to work with and more expensive than other options.

Polyiso is good in warm temperatures but its R value drops big time in cold temperatures.

XPS is probably the best balance of R value, cost, and ease of use.
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Old 06-08-2018, 02:41 AM   #3
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Thanks for all the advice and insight!
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:33 AM   #4
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Reflectix is the placebo of the insulation world.
Its just mylar with bubblewrap.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I'm making inserts for my windows using reflectix glued to 1" XPS foam and plywood on the back (to match the wall). They pop right out when you want windows. Your windows will be the biggest loss of heat (and cold).
This is likely the best use of reflectix, we have cushions for putting in aircraft windows to keep the sun from beating in through the thick windscreen and turning the metal tube that is an aircraft into a tube shaped oven.

Having little panels you can pop in and out with ease and store just as handily will definitely help with temp control, they'll also double as room darkeners if you so choose to use them as that.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I'm making inserts for my windows using reflectix glued to 1" XPS foam and plywood on the back (to match the wall). They pop right out when you want windows. Your windows will be the biggest loss of heat (and cold).
Thinking more and more about doing this, I think it's a great compromise.

I'm assuming you framed in your whole bus to hold the plywood/insulation? I've been trying to weigh the options of a frame/no frame, not sure I want plywood or some other, thinner option that might not require studs. I assume durability and rigidity are your sacrifices for weight?
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:01 PM   #7
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Hey , has anyone tried to spray foam under the floor of a bus , between the supports , would that be possible or would it not stick or is their another reason that wouldn’t work ???
Thanks ��
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Old 06-26-2018, 01:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
Polyiso is good in warm temperatures but its R value drops big time in cold temperatures.
I don't know what Polysio is but I don't know if I buy that about any material. How the hell can anything be good for insulating heat but not cold or vise versa??? Maybe some kind of exotic alloy of metals but nothing a skoolie person is ever going to touch much less buy. I'd even put money on the space shuttle tiles are just as good at keeping your fingers warm with liquid hydrogen as it does keeping your fingers cool with a torch on the other side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisyfuel View Post
Hey , has anyone tried to spray foam under the floor of a bus , between the supports , would that be possible or would it not stick or is their another reason that wouldn’t work ???
Thanks ��
There is a lot of stuff under there that ought not be covered; wires, fuel lines, bolts... etc.
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:24 PM   #9
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I don't know what Polysio is but I don't know if I buy that about any material. How the hell can anything be good for insulating heat but not cold or vise versa??? Maybe some kind of exotic alloy of metals but nothing a skoolie person is ever going to touch much less buy. I'd even put money on the space shuttle tiles are just as good at keeping your fingers warm with liquid hydrogen as it does keeping your fingers cool with a torch on the other side.

There is a lot of stuff under there that ought not be covered; wires, fuel lines, bolts... etc.
Insulation in different forms have different capabilities. The insulation in your oven is not the same as in your fridge. They are intended for specific heat ranges. So an insulation designed for high temp areas may not perform as well at extreme cold temps.
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Old 06-26-2018, 06:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
I don't know what Polysio is but I don't know if I buy that about any material. How the hell can anything be good for insulating heat but not cold or vise versa??? Maybe some kind of exotic alloy of metals but nothing a skoolie person is ever going to touch much less buy. I'd even put money on the space shuttle tiles are just as good at keeping your fingers warm with liquid hydrogen as it does keeping your fingers cool with a torch on the other side.

There is a lot of stuff under there that ought not be covered; wires, fuel lines, bolts... etc.
Polyiso is the typical single or double faced white foam you see at the hardware store. Nothing exotic that's for sure. It just happens to perform differently based on temperature, which also isn't particularly rare.

https://buildingscience.com/document...endent-r-value
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