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Old 10-15-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
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Any floor insulation advice?

Hey there! I'm new to bus conversion, and am looking to get my floor installed on my 1978 International Harvester Loadstar (about the size and shape of a short school bus). So far I have the basic metal floor of the bus and roughly 3/4" wood covering that. The wood that's there came with the bus and seems a little like plywood, it may be more dense, but pretty close. Some holes are drilled in the flooring here and there. I want to have a full time life on this thing and am in a commonly wet and cold place. I'm in Washington, but plan to travel in a couple of years. I'm interested in what to use to prevent mold, keep clean, and insulates. I've had suggestions about using more wood. There is a little leakage from the back exit door, so I need something to keep water from getting into the floor and not trap it. I'm interested in your suggestions!

Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2009, 05:33 PM   #2
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Re: Any floor insulation advice?

Hey,

These threads will help you

Flooring Options
Spray foam under floor
Rusty metal floor
Subfloor Installation
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Old 10-15-2009, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: Any floor insulation advice?

Thanks for the ideas macgyver! I agree, I'll be taking care of that leak Is there a certain kind of vapor barrier that works better than others?

Thanks for the links Mouse059! I'll check'm out shortly!


Thanks to both of you,
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:59 PM   #4
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Re: Any floor insulation advice?

Any farm and fleet type supply store should have 3 mil plastic sheeting available in rolls of various dimensions. Get the one closest to the size of your bus allowing for some overlap and go to town.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:01 PM   #5
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Re: Any floor insulation advice?

Great advice ya'll! Thanks much for the welcoming feedback

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:10 PM   #6
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Re: Any floor insulation advice?

Smitty mentioned in a thread somewhere that if I'm not going to go all out and insulate walls and ceiling, then there's not much point in insulating the floor.

I'd like to explore that concept.

Is insulation an "all-or-nothing" proposition? Should I even bother insulating the walls if I'm going to leave most of the windows alone?

My plan is to paint the exterior roof with that insulating/reflective paint, and I had considered putting a thin layer of insulation on the walls, but most of my windows will be left "as is" so passengers in the back can see the view.

I'm not willing to sacrifice any headroom so I won't be putting insulation on the floor, other than 3/4" plywood. Seems like a radiant barrier on the floor might help to keep the heat from the pavement from coming up through the floor regardless of whether or not I insulate anything else.

So does this plan make any sense? Should I even bother insulating the walls if I'm not going to get insulated glass or seal off a bunch of windows?
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:05 PM   #7
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Re: Any floor insulation advice?

Macgyver,
I'm more concerned with enduring high temperatures as opposed to cold weather. I anticipate my travelling will be done mainly in the summer. So no, I don't want to trap heat in my bus; rather I want to trap the cool air produced by my A/C in the bus, and at the same time keep the outdoor hot air out of my bus. I would think that a radiant barrier on the floor would keep heat from rising off the pavement and into my living space through the floor. The white reflective paint on the roof would prevent the sun's heat from heating the metal of the bus which would eventually radiate into the living space (I assume that is the reason why all school buses in Texas have white roofs).
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:21 AM   #8
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Re: Any floor insulation advice?

Thanks for the words of advice guys. I'll definitely give some serious thought to insulation. I'm flying out to Kansas tomorrow morning to pick up the bus, and will be sleeping in it at least one or two nights with temps probably below 40 degrees. So that will give me a good opportunity to contemplate insulation . I'm bringing a couple of small electric space heaters with me, so we'll see if they do anything to keep me warm. I'll bring my camera and take some pics, and report back when I get home and start tearing into the flooring.

Okay, I'd better get some sleep - big day tomorrow!
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:35 AM   #9
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Re: Any floor insulation advice?

Eek i'd stay away from any vapor barriers. Just a way to trap moisture and speed up rust.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:14 PM   #10
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Re: Any floor insulation advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Something someone here mentioned once was dividing the drivers area from the rest of the interior.
Smitty
I think that's a fabulous idea. I'm going to build a wall with plexi glass windows and a door that will devide the drivers area from the living space.

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