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Old 11-23-2019, 04:11 PM   #1
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Working in Cold Weather

So...


The cold weather has arrived. We are in the 30s-40s during the day, and sometimes in the 20s and even lower at night.



I need to insulate the bus: still trying to decide between the DIY spray foam kit for $760, or using foam sheets and the expanding foam to seal gaps.


Both need about 60 degrees F or up to work.


So I only have three options it seems:


1. Wait several months until it warms up.
2. Drive the bus 3 hours South to the Phoenix area where its warmer, into the 60s now.
3. Create a cocoon for the bus from clear painter's plastic tarps and use a kerosene heater inside to get the temperature up.


Any suggestions? Anyone done #3?
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Old 11-23-2019, 04:28 PM   #2
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#2 easier and probably both cheaper and more effective
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Old 11-23-2019, 04:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
#2 easier and probably both cheaper and more effective



That was my first thought, but here are a couple of factors I failed to mention (apologies):


A. The bus isn't starting because of the cold weather. This is despite using the diesel 911 and anti-gel additive. It started the other day, but now back to the same thing.


B. I have to have the fan clutch replaced as well as the alternator. This will require me driving it about 12 miles into town. Not that big a deal if I can get her started, but still complicates things.


C. I was just thinking that, by putting up a simple enclosure, I can work throughout the winter without many issue. I'd just have to create a pitched roof to shed snow.
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Old 11-23-2019, 04:53 PM   #4
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Gotta do A&B anyway

can still do C, but not need to get everything perfect like you do for curing foam properly, just "good enough" for your productivity & comfort

Consequences of screwing up the insulation job are too great, do it right the first time
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Old 11-23-2019, 04:54 PM   #5
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Block heater??
You can use a propane torch in the intake tube to give it plenty of heat to fire up, this is how I deal with getting trucks going with glow plug/grid heater problems.
DO NOT USE ETHER/STARTING FLUID.
Also dump the fuel filter and refill with auto trans fluid it will lube up and help clean the injectors.
Just make sure when using the torch that you aren't going to set something on fire or melt plastic/rubber fittings.

Are your glow plugs bad or is the relay bad?
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Old 11-23-2019, 05:03 PM   #6
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Joe, if your bus isn't starting in the 30s your glow plugs aren't working.

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Old 11-23-2019, 05:42 PM   #7
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I have no idea about the glow plugs or how to check them.
This bus is from Scottsdale, so they never see anything that cold. Any chance it doesn't have glowplugs?
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Old 11-23-2019, 05:48 PM   #8
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If it's a T444E as your profile indicates, it has glow plugs.

Is it a dog-nose style bus? If so, the glow plug relay should be easy to get to. Open the hood and look on the driver's site, it should be located near the side of the motor. There will be 2 big wires and 2 small wires running to it.
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Old 11-23-2019, 05:49 PM   #9
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See this post as well for more info: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f34/do...tml#post360371
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Old 11-23-2019, 05:58 PM   #10
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We’re hoping to rent a heated space for a couple days to get our insulation done. I’ll post a “wanted add” on CL sometime soon. That’s plan A. My plan B is to hire a local foam guy that quoted $1250 to do it in his shop. Downfall to that is he gets bad reviews...
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Old 11-23-2019, 06:56 PM   #11
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Here you go.
Location and how to jumper the relay in case it has failed.
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:33 PM   #12
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AWESOME STUFF!
Thank you lads!
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Old 11-24-2019, 01:05 AM   #13
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How long does the foam take to cure? I've got a big kerosene torpedo heater that I set up in my bus, but haven't used yet, because it hasn't been cold enough. But I'm sure if I crank it up and run it for a few hours it would get all the metal good and hot.

Unsure if you could keep it inside the bus running while foam was spraying. I think I read somewhere it is flammable? And if you would have to take the heater out of the bus, how long would it take before the metal cooled enough to be useless. Get a good 40 degree day, and I would think it would heat it enough?

And if the sun was shining, you could cover the bus with black plastic to help keep the metal warm.

Just a few ideas.
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Old 11-24-2019, 03:38 AM   #14
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Cold ambient temperature does not necessarily affect spray foam application. Tank temperature is what matters. As long as ambient temperatures are above freezing, warm foam will properly cure on a cold surface. Literature from Dow Chemical clearly states this, but by all means confirm with a tech rep from whatever company's foam you buy.

Incidentally, if you have yet to buy your foam, there is a good chance that bulk refill options will beat the kits in price. With 600-foot-board kits, you can only buy two before you start losing money.

Lastly, if anyone is reading this, remember these two points and echo them loudly in the face of anyone who even utters the words “spray foam insulation”.
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Old 11-24-2019, 06:40 PM   #15
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I started a new thread about the engine and cold start. Seemed like this was two topics getting all convoluted. Figured I'd leave this thread for working with stuff like foam, paint, etc. in cold weather.



I called it "T444E start weirdness"


http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f37/t4...tml#post360612
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Old 11-24-2019, 07:44 PM   #16
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I went back and forth between having my spray foam done professionally or DIY.

I was considering buying two 600bf kits for $1250. That would have given me about an inch of insulation. As the Weather started to get colder I was concerned about proper application in cold weather. I called an insulation contractor that does spray foam. He told me that they have different mixes for different environments.

I went ahead and had them do the insulation. I wound up with 1-1/2"+ for $1688. For the amount of insulation that I wound up with, it was cheaper than doing it myself.
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:07 PM   #17
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If you can find a foam contractor that's already got a building job within an hour or two's drive, and you offer to bring the bus there a few days beforehand and take it away when they say cured

you can save a lot.

Prep & setup, travel time other overhead are a huge part, more so than the time spent spraying.

But do **not** take shortcuts especially if **any** parts are under the ideal temp range.

Incomplete curing underneath the outer skin layer could result in less effective insulation, but much more importantly,

poisonous (cancerous) outgassing that may not stop for many many years.

Read and follow the detailed datasheets (not just sales stuff) yourself, do not rely on the contractor following the finer points, many cut corners and take their (customers') chances.
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Old 11-25-2019, 10:22 AM   #18
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This is good info! Thank you!


I'm going to use the foam sheets from Home Depot along with the canisters of foam-the pro ones that fit on the foam gun. The spray foam just seems like too many variables and chances to mess it up, or get harmful.
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
So...


The cold weather has arrived. We are in the 30s-40s during the day, and sometimes in the 20s and even lower at night.



I need to insulate the bus: still trying to decide between the DIY spray foam kit for $760, or using foam sheets and the expanding foam to seal gaps.


Both need about 60 degrees F or up to work.


So I only have three options it seems:


1. Wait several months until it warms up.
2. Drive the bus 3 hours South to the Phoenix area where its warmer, into the 60s now.
3. Create a cocoon for the bus from clear painter's plastic tarps and use a kerosene heater inside to get the temperature up.


Any suggestions? Anyone done #3?
Number 3 is workable if ya don't get too much wind. I did a roof replacement on a forty foot RV in mid winter in Pennsylvania that way. Built a stick frame and stapled clear plastic. Torpedo heater. 70s in the tent. 20 outside.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:38 PM   #20
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I have done it. #3 that is. After waiting through a COLD winter, I really wanted to move forward with my project. It had warmed up to the low 40s, below freezing at night, some snow still on the ground. Here's what I did: I used ALL the fiberfill insulation I removed from the ceiling and walls, and put it up on top of the roof. Covered that up with moving blankets and anything else I could get my hands on, then covered THAT with visqueen. I put 3 electric heaters in the bus, about 4500 watts, running off 3 separate circuits and minimum 12 awg cords. Left the heat on overnight. In the morning the roof skin measured 108 deg F with infrared thermometer. I had already been keeping my foam cans in a heated bathroom at 75 deg F for a week. I opened the door and when it got down to 80 deg, I started shooting the foam. Everything came out fine. 1 CAVEAT: I wouldn't use a kerosene heater because of the moisture it generates. Electric heat is bone dry. Here's what I learned: I'm glad I did the spray foam myself (because it worked) but I would not do it again. I would hire it done, and have them do the trimming and cleanup too. I only spray foamed the roof. I used foam board for the walls, because no curves. Also, I was prepared to NOT spray the foam if I couldn't achieve the conditions necessary for success. My best suggestion is to find an outfit that can do the job with the right techniques and under the right conditions. I've heard that it is often not much more expensive than doing it yourself. good luck.
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