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Old 11-10-2006, 07:17 PM   #1
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All about insulation

OK I've been searching around the site and I haven't found a complete discussion on insulation.

I've noticed from many pictures that people don't seem to insulate the roofs of the buses. It seems like a lot of heat would be lost through the metal roof.

Let's have an open discussion regarding insulation. Did you do it or not? Did you insulate the floor, walls, roof?

What was the impact of insulating vs not insulating, and if you did another conversion would you insulate differently?
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:18 PM   #2
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I for one haven't actually got that far, though I'm closing in fast on that. The walls and ceiling already are doubled hulled and insulated to some degree, but my understanding it's actually quite inadequate.

I've left my walls pretty much intact including the inner metal panels. My particular bus has been a bear to remove things, so I've opted to leave anything I didn't absolutely have to take off.

As for the walls I've got some thin soft sheet foam material that I'll use, it won't be much but will create a vapor barrier of sorts and should help insulate as well as reduce drafts.

The ceiling is another question, I'm still not sure what I'm doing there. I'm considering some kind of cloth or carpet type material, should is likely to be about all the insulation it gets. Carpet actually does well as it's very porus material, and will remain warm to the touch. I only have 6' inside height anyway, so can't do a lot there.

Most converters plywood their floors, but I'm not doing that, mostly because of the height issue. I will be insulating the underside of the floor, between the ribs. This is the way I saw a professionally converted Blue Bird done. I'm also building a cargo bay that goes all the way across and will be 4' wide and 8' across. This will be heated and all the plumbing is going in there.

I'm also going to try and enclose the entire underbelly, or at least as much of it as I can. I'll be using some material that is made for RV's, it's a corrugated plastic material that looks like cardboard, it also has a small R-value for insulation purposes...
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:07 PM   #3
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Here is the stuff I'm using.... CLICK HERE

Oh, and I'm thinking of using THIS STUFF underneath the bus...
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:34 PM   #4
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I left the entire interior sheet metal intact on my bus. Using 2 x 3 framing boards, spaced as close to 16" on centers, I insulated all of the walls with R-11 paper faced battting. Which was covered with 3/8" thick bead board.

On the first of this month I installed a "zero" vent wall heater fired by propane. That night it was 33* outside. The heater raised the inside temp to 75* and kept it there for about 3 hours, then I shut it down. Then last weekend, we went camping with it to southern Missouri. Friday and Saturday nights we were running the heater by 6:00 pm. It kept the bus at a nice and comfortable 65* all weekend. Never used more than a half of a bottle of propane.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:30 AM   #5
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Re: All about insulation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollopa
OK I've been searching around the site and I haven't found a complete discussion on insulation.

I've noticed from many pictures that people don't seem to insulate the roofs of the buses. It seems like a lot of heat would be lost through the metal roof.

Let's have an open discussion regarding insulation. Did you do it or not? Did you insulate the floor, walls, roof?

What was the impact of insulating vs not insulating, and if you did another conversion would you insulate differently?
You can see what we did here.

We've lived in it for just over 3 months now...and some of that time was in winter in northern Arizona, where we experienced night-time lows in the mid 20s F. (We've since relocated to southern Arizona.) Most of our heat loss has been through the front and floor.

We have hung a quilt at the front of the bus, which helps a bit, but if we were to spend more time in colder climates, we'd make a serious "engineered" quilt, or even an outright insulated wall up front.

For the floor...our available headroom limited how much we could insulate the floor on the inside. There are options for insulating the outside/underside of the floor.

Lastly...we underestimated the amount of heat loss through the metal panel that is beneath the "rail" that supports/supported the bus seats. From memory it is actually an extension of the metal floor panels...so it makes a wonderful heat sink.

Sean
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:26 PM   #6
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My hope is, that I will have very little metal surface showing on the inside of the bus. Walls will get the thinsulation stuff then covered with paneling. The lower part below the seat rail is where I'm running some plumbing and most of the wiring, then it'll get enclosed with oak paneling and trimmed out. Floor will have some carpet padding and most of it will be carpeted, however, the kitchen & bath will be tile on top of thin plywood. The entry stairwell sidewalls will be covered with laminate wood flooring. Ceiling is going to get thin carpet or some other kind of cloth like headliner.

I like the sounds of the ventless heater, may look into that at some point. But I'm going with mostly electric heat as it's worked well for me the last 2 winters in a row, and the electric is covered in my campsite rental so why buy propane when I'm already paying for 30amps of electric?? I found some 500W (4.3amp) base board heaters at NorthernTools, I can run three of them on a single 15amp circuit (though I'll put them on a 20amp line)... Should be more than sufficient...
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You just might be a Redneck if...
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...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

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1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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