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Old 11-06-2014, 11:46 PM   #261
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

MORE WORK ON THE BED AREA

We have been working on the rear bed area. Pictures are below.

The bed platform is almost finished. It will have a hinged top on pistons that will allow it to rise up so we can get to the storage under the bed. The silver area towards the back is the closed cell reflective foam insulation. That is where the leather headboard is going. The backside of this area goes into the rear trunk area and that area was sprayed with the thermal and acoustical spray insulation I wrote about in a previous posting. This reflective film is just an added bit of insulation. The underside of the platform cover will have a motion sensor light attached so it will automatically come on when the platform is raised up.



We are covering the outside of the bed platform with the European Birch wood that you have seen in the side panels of the bus and that are being used for the cabinets and walls. You can see a close up here of the birch.



In an earlier post I showed you the side cabinets we are using on either side of the leather headboard. This photo shows you the holes we have created for the electrical under each side cabinet. They are on each side of the bed so Donna and I can both plug in electrical stuff. Our electrical outlets have two built in USB ports for charging cell phones, tablets, etc.



This is a close up of one of the bed side cabinets. Note the cherry wood area in the front. These cabinets have hidden features. See the next photo.



The cherry wood front slides forward to reveal two cup holders built into the cabinet. The back of the cabinet has a top that comes up on pistons to reveal a hidden large and deep storage area.



A close up of the cup holders. We tested them out. They can hold good size tea/coffee mugs as well as those large spill proof stainless steel travel mugs. They are deep and thus will not allow a cup or mug to spill over.
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:15 AM   #262
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

While you have the chance, before work is done, please do your homework on USB port differences. Not all USB are created equal and not all USB will charge a tablet and smartphone. I know that Galaxy Tabs in particular need to have amps that match or exceed their original wall wart adapters. A smart phone wall wart does not have the amperage to recharge them from dead. A quick Google search will turn up many stories of "dead" tablets that worked fine but will no longer charge. Long story short they do charge right up when connected to the proper charger.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:46 PM   #263
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Thank you for pointing this out to our fellow skoolies. I was aware of that issue and selected a unit that I know will work. The Leviton 15A Model R02-T5632-0BW has two standard electrical sockets plus two USB charging ports that can charge up to 3.6A. It has a smart chip that negotiates with the device to figure out what juice to send to the device you are trying to charge. The reviews I found were very good.
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:41 PM   #264
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Looking great, Greg! Really top notch!

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Old 11-12-2014, 10:56 AM   #265
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

I'd love to see additional pics of how you built the trailer hitch as well. It's definitely something I plan to do.

Also, did you end up removing the ceiling vent fan for the shower? In earlier pictures I saw the fan installed, but then it seems it might have been removed since the shower is completely enclosed now.

Did you remove the original rubber flooring before spraying the Lizard Skin on the floor, or will Lizard Skin adhere to the rubber flooring properly?

Thanks!

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Old 11-13-2014, 04:56 PM   #266
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Hi WolfyWho,

TRAILER HITCH
Crown frames do not go all the way back to the rear bumper. The rear trunk area is designed as a crumple zone to absorb the impact of a rear end collision. This helps protect the occupants by having the rear area absorb the force of the impact. The frame itself is near the rear wheels. So, there is a significant length between the frame and the rear bumper where the trailer hitch goes. We did a lot of thinking about this before we came up with the solution. We welded beams to the rear of the frame and brought it backwards to the rear bumper. The hitch is attached to this beam structure. I am told by the guys that did it that it could actually haul a load of up to 20,000 pounds. I have no intention of pulling a tow vehicle or trailer with that kind of weight. However, I always believe over-engineering is best. It kind of goes along with the whole Crown concept, since they were also over-engineered and built to last for many decades. You will note in the picture below that the beams were actually run through the bottom of the rear trunk area. That was necessary so that the hitch could be properly attached to the bottom of the rear bumper. I don't know if we will use the hitch that much, but I figured the time to do it was now, not as an after thought. I know that we might have a need to bring along one of our cars or SUV's and I wanted a hitch that could handle pulling a Suburban if need be. I don't have any pictures of the actual attachments on the frame. However, I can get those when the bus is up on a lift and I can then post them.












CEILING VENT FAN FOR THE SHOWER
This story is a pain to tell. The measurements were taken and taken and taken again before the hole was cut in the roof for the really nice exhaust fan. When the stainless steel shower was placed in the bus, the hole was off by about two inches (we were planning to cut a hole in the top portion of the shower ceiling to expose the fan hole and assembly. However, because of this measuring screw up, the fan was off by a few inches. One answer was to move the shower forward the necessary few inches. However, that had a domino impact on that whole side of the bus (driver's side). The sofa, dinette, stove cabinet and sink cabinet all were impacted and we did not have room forward of the shower to spare in our layout. So, basically we were screwed. We made the difficult decision to move the fan over to the other side of the bus and it will now be over the toilet/sink area opposite the shower. This necessitates covering up the hole, and repainting that area. What a royal pain. Lesson learned.

RUBBER FLOORING AND LIZARD SKIN INSULATION
We tested the Lizard Skin on a portion of the rubber floor and it adhered fine. We tested it with open flame on it and it handled it perfectly. Based on that test, we installed the Lizard Skin insulation over the rubber flooring. Fellow skoolies need to understand that Crowns are made differently than any other bus. The stories on this site of rubber flooring being pulled up and finding a sea of rusted floor underneath the rubber is not something you will see in a Crown. Crown floors are made with heavy duty and think marine grade plywood laid on top of metal floor beams. This eliminates the rusting problem found in many other buses. Crowns that are over 40 years old still have excellent floors. That is why we decided not to pull up the existing rubber flooring as there was really no need. The Lizard Skin acoustical/thermal insulation was sprayed right over the rubber flooring. The difference was dramatic, both in sound and heat penetration into the bus. When we took the bus out on the road after the insulation was sprayed onto the floor, it was the quietest Crown I have ever driven. There is a reason that race cars and hot rods use this stuff. It truly works.

By the way, we also sprayed the Lizard Skin insulation in the trunk area before laying down the new rubber flooring in the trunk. The spray insulation went on all sides of the trunk, including the ceiling (the opposite side of the trunk ceiling is the inside of the rear of the bus where our bedroom is going). We also sprayed the underside of the wheel wells, the underside of the step well, and the engine compartment, all for the purpose of reducing the intrusion of noise and temperature into the interior of the bus.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:20 PM   #267
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Thanks Greg. That's great that the Lizard Skin held up just fine in your tests when sprayed on to the rubber flooring of the floor. I was debating on pulling it up in my '81 Crown, but I think it will be more trouble than it's worth and probably even harder since the floors are wood. That glue is pretty strong and would probably damage the wood floors when pulling it up. I was thinking of putting down a thin foam board insulation over the floor, underneath the wood floor I'll install, but it seems it won't be necessary with the Lizard Skin. I won't lose any headroom with the Lizard Skin either, which is a huge bonus. I wonder if the thermal properties of the Lizard Skin are as good as a thin insulation foam board? I plan to put the Lizard Skin on the sidewalls as well, underneath the foam board insulation like you installed. I may even spray it on the headliner as well before reinstalling it (on the side you don't see). That headliner is super noisy and reverberates a lot. Did you use the Lizard Skin to seal up the roof too, or did you use a different sealer product? I understand the Lizard Skin acts as a sealer as well. It looks like you cut out the rubber flooring in the corners of the floor (where the walls meet the floor), which makes a lot of sense and I will do that as well. I'd love to see pictures of how you attached your frame extension to the frame (when you have it up on a lift sometime). That would be super helpful!

Thanks again, Greg!

Kind Regards,
Wolfy
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:30 PM   #268
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

I found the Lizard Skin product after I had already pulled down the headliner and spray foamed the roof cavities before putting the headliner back up. It was absolutely a pain to do with over 1,500 rivets to first drill out and then put back in. There is a noticeable difference in terms of heat and road noise coming off of the roof because of the spray foam insulation. We then covered the headliner with 1/4" of closed cell foam sheeting and covered that with the faux leather headliner you have seen in the pictures on this forum. That also reduced the noise as a metal roof bounces the sound around while the closed cell foam absorbs it.

I removed the coving feature where the floor meets the sides of the bus because I wanted to take full advantage of the floor space and I wanted the cabinets flush with the wall. I then used a leveling floor compound to fill in the gaps between the rubber floor and the wall (about six inches of space to fill) so that the entire floor was level from wall to wall. I would strongly recommend that you do the same.

I have seen people who have tried to pull up their rubber floors in Crowns and the underlying marine plywood can get really screwed up. Better to leave it alone.

Next bus conversion (my tandem Crown) I will use the Lizard Skin on the side walls just like you are doing. I did not do it with the current Crown. I am also considering using the Lizard Skin on the metal headliner instead of pulling it down and using the spray foam inside the roof cavities, then putting the headliner back up. That will save me many, many, many hours. I am being told that the Lizard Skin is better at insulation and noise reduction than the spray foam stuff. I used a rubber coating on the inside of the roof cavity before spray foaming the roof cavity. That was my sealer. If I use the LIzard Skin on the headliner, I will then cover it with the 1/4" closed cell foam sheets and then cover that with the faux leather headliner. It should make for an awesome installation.

Shop around on the Lizard Skin. Each distributor can set his/her own price. Also, if you feel confident about your skill set you can save money by doing it yourself. The Lizard Skin is fairly thick so I would recommend using the tools and spray guns provided by Lizard Skin. Remember, Lizard Skin is actually two products, an acoustical (called Sound Control) and then a thermal (called Ceramic Insulation). You want to put the acoustical on first and then the thermal. Let the first layer dry for at least 24 hours. If it is cooler than the mid-70's you might want to wait longer for complete drying. Check with the Lizard Skin instructions about the optimum temperature range. I put on two layers of the Lizard Skin Acoustical and then two layers of the Lizard Skin Thermal. Each layer dried for at least 24 hours. The difference is incredible.

I promise to take close up pictures of the underside of the bus and the frame where we attached the beams for the hitch.
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:54 AM   #269
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Greg,
Can Lizard Skin be painted? (I'm wondering how it would look to apply it to a surface that would be exposed, and then paint over it, like the ceiling inside or the roof outside.)
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:47 PM   #270
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Great looking workmanship! --- Where did you find the raised dot rubber flooring? Is it tile like the Pirelli stuff or on a roll? I have been shopping similar products for may interior flooring. Had some real Pirelli years ago in a kitchen and the stuff seemed indestructible. Thanks.
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