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Old 09-23-2015, 08:22 PM   #41
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon
I snatched that up fast! I plan to combine it with PEX loops in the floor and shower walls (radiant heat), some of the heaters that came with my bus (forced air heat), and a heat exchanger for heating the domestic water too. I haven't tested this Webasto yet, but I hope it works! Sure am looking forward to running all that off the 100 gallon diesel tank I'm already toting around anyway, and reducing if not eliminating the need to have a propane system.
That sounds like an awesome heating system. You're going to be well-covered!

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Originally Posted by family wagon
I just gotta say this: you want radiant heating, and you already have half of a radiant heating system (the boiler), and you're concerned about energy draw of electric radiant heating... and you want to sell that Thermo Top?
With radiant heat, I was thinking of a space heater or a marine wood stove (which I guess is really convection heat). I hadn't considered hydronic heating, since it seems like an extensive project considering our location and needs. I'm in San Diego, so we get two nights a year of 40F temps, and I doubt we'll spend winters much farther North. During the day, I'm not too concerned about cold. It rarely gets below 60F, and the windows should let in enough sun to keep things warm. At worst, the kids will have to put on a sweater and some socks.

Nat, thanks for the link. I am reading through the thread right now and it's a wealth of information, whatever direction we go.
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:28 PM   #42
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It's been awhile since I posted--we've been working on a (house) bathroom update and didn't make time to post--but we're still chugging along and getting stuff done!

Our next task was dealing with the rust in the metal floor. mr. phoenix used an angle grinder with the wire wheel to remove big flakes of rust.



Here are what some of the worst areas looked like after grinding:






I treated the metal with Ospho, which rolled on easily. Here's a rusty area after being converted:



I filled the small nail holes with polyurethane caulk. There were over 1,000 of them. The larger holes were patched with steel plates (I don't remember the gauge) affixed with adhesive and held in place with bricks until dry.



Then the whole floor got primed with Rustoleum oil based primer.



I also cleaned up the wheel wells. We're going to build boxes over these anyway, but the adhesive was bothering me. I used a combination of an eraser pad (this one: AES Industries 4" Smart Eraser Pad with Drill Adaptor Arbor - Power Rotary Tools - Amazon.com) and paint thinner. Before:



and after:



I did the same to the entry steps before priming. Before:



and after:



This is one of my favorite finds from the bus:



My son begged us to let him use it as a lunchbox. It's probably a good thing he's homeschooled.

Next I'll show the installation of floor insulation and wood subfloor.
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:40 PM   #43
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That's hilarious as a lunch box!

I had not even heard of an eraser pad until now. You did a fantastic job polishing the wheel wells and steps.
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:58 PM   #44
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For the floor insulation, we used 1/2" rigid foam insulation. It was easy to cut and install, and we used roofing tape to seal the seams. It's also very thin, but works for our bus (warm temperatures, want to keep as much ceiling height as possible). It's been "cold" here the past few days and the floor feels fine so far.



For the subfloor, we used 1/2" plywood from Columbia Forest Products. It uses plant-based formaldehyde-free adhesives, and offgases less than typical plywood. We have three young kids, and the effects of household toxins on developing bodies aren't really clear, so we're trying to limit the chemical load they'll be exposed to, especially in such a small space. Some things will contain lots of toxins; I plan to use vinyl spray paint on the dining area (reused bus seats), and we're all exposed to stuff every day. So I hope to balance that with zero-VOC paint and some other more natural options. And hopefully they'll be outside most of the time, anyway.



Plywood flooring installed. We used #12 self-drilling flat head screws, which worked really well. Everything feels solid.



Next up: removal of rivets, side walls, and fiberglass insulation.
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:07 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon
That's hilarious as a lunch box!
I thought so too, but decided to keep it in the bus for storage. We bought him a normal lunchbox instead.

Quote:
I had not even heard of an eraser pad until now. You did a fantastic job polishing the wheel wells and steps.
Thank you. It seemed like a useless task, but felt great to get it done. Someone on skoolie recommended the eraser pad, and I bought it right away. I actually had better luck with the paint thinner on the interior (soft) adhesives, but the pad does really well on exterior (dried up) residues.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:22 PM   #46
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The upper walls were affixed to the frame with screws, and came off easily. Underneath, the fiberglass was gray with mold and there were areas where critters had lived.



If you look closely, you can see a little green beetle in the fiberglass.



Some of the fiberglass looked fine. It was still good to get it all out. We used masks and eye protection to remove it.



mr. phoenix tested a few ways of removing the pop rivets in the lower walls: grinding, drilling through, air chisel, and chisel + mallet. Grinding was messy and time-consuming. Drilling took a very long time. The air chisel didn't do much. Using a chisel and mallet was by far the easiest, quickest way to remove them.



We wedged the chisel under the skin beneath each rivet, then swung, folding back the skin after each rivet came out. He was able to remove each rivet with 2-5 swings of the mallet, while it took me 5-10 swings each. The two of us removed all the walls in one afternoon.

When I stacked the fiberglass, I noticed water pooling on the floor underneath it. It rained about two weeks ago, so moisture is getting in somehow and staying there. We'll check for leaks and seal them this week.

Here's the bus now:

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Old 11-02-2015, 06:47 PM   #47
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Great to see it coming along.
My air chisel kicks butt but whatever works!
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:01 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB
My air chisel kicks butt but whatever works!
Ours was pretty old, so I wonder if that made a difference. It felt great to swing a hammer though, so I'm glad it worked out the way it did! (And who knows? If we do remove the ceiling skin, maybe the air chisel will become a favorite...)
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:31 PM   #49
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Such a clean bus yall got!
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Old 11-06-2015, 03:18 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB
Such a clean bus yall got!
We've got a lot of picking up to do though!

I've been trying to paint the metal dash for several weeks now, but it bubbles and pits every time. I'm using Rustoleum Ultra Cover 2X paint (gloss finish) and primer, which I've had consistently good results with in the past. It looks like this:



Here's what I've tried:

hot soapy water
light sanding (not down to clean metal)
degreaser (Formula 88 )
paint thinner
spraying primer first
painting while metal is warm
painting while metal is cold
different can of paint
different color paint:



My only thought is that the dash is coated in a silicone-containing finish and won't take paint, but I figured the degreaser/paint thinner/sanding would take care of that. What am I missing?
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