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Old 05-18-2017, 12:21 AM   #1
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Do I have to pull up the floor or can I leave it

Just picked up my bus and was wondering if it's necessary to pull up the current flooring. Can I just put down insulation and plywood on top of it? Also I've seen videos of people pulling down the ceiling. Is there already insulation behind there? I'm OK with the look of the white ceiling the way it is. I guess I was looking for something easy breezy but don't want to take the short cut if it will be a headache later.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:43 AM   #2
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The question is what are you going to be doing with the bus. Weekend camper, so it doesn't matter if you use a couple bottles of propane to keep warm. Or are you using it for a live-in part time?
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:15 AM   #3
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I will be using it as an activity bus driving my kids to baseball games and other sports events so they have a place to rest, do homework while a different child is getting done with practice, eat a snack between games, and I can work out of the bus while waiting on them to finish their practice. I need an air conditioning that runs off of generator so that we are comfortable in the summer heat.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:09 AM   #4
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If it were me, I wouldn't rip up or tear out or anything, except maybe you'll have to take out a few seats, depending on the size bus you get. Just paint. That is a great idea for kids...sporting, eating, changing into gear etc!

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Old 05-18-2017, 09:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heeranyi View Post
Just picked up my bus and was wondering if it's necessary to pull up the current flooring. Can I just put down insulation and plywood on top of it? Also I've seen videos of people pulling down the ceiling. Is there already insulation behind there? I'm OK with the look of the white ceiling the way it is. I guess I was looking for something easy breezy but don't want to take the short cut if it will be a headache later.
I agree with Robin, it really depends on how you want to use the Skoolie. It also depends on if you like building your own. Some Skoolies who use their bus the same way you are using yours have fun demo/building their own bus.

Thats the great thing about this community!
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:46 AM   #6
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I think it depends on the floor. When we acquired our 1988 bus, the rubber was cracked and the plywood subfloor was rotting. I debated building up, but decided removing the floor was better in the long run.

I think you will have a better project if you pull the subfloor. But again, it depends on the condition of the floor.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:43 AM   #7
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That's absolutely correct about the condition of your floor. If you have soft spots in your floor and you know it's rotten, the best way to deal with it is to tear out the floor and give it a new one. That's not that hard of a job, but it will probably take some time the first time. It's not absolutely necessary to tear out your floor.

I started using buses the same way. Taking the kids to games and practice, or loading up the bikes and canoe to go out for fun. The floor in my fist bus could be scouped up with a shovel, except for all those screws sticking out of the floor. It was pulverized wood still under the matt. I didn't insulate that bus because it was just used as a camper and an outing bus. Really great for going to the state fair.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:52 PM   #8
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Your conversion is going to smell like a stinky old bus but by all means, don't pull it up. If you consider that to be too much, you're in for some real hell with your conversion.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:41 PM   #9
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I didn't pull my floor. It doesn't have any smell at all, but then it's not the black puke mats that are in most buses.

I have 8 strips of L-track through the length of my floor that I really don't want to attempt to remove by myself. The L-track covered floor was why I bought this particular bus. I have found one soft spot on the entire floor.

At the same time I do have a cold floor during the winter. As Cap told me last winter, throw down some disposable carpet and it makes a big difference.

The L-track is a pain in the butt to clean. Most of the dirt goes into the tracks and doesn't come out with a regular floor vac. The redeaming feature, other than the intended purpose of the L-track, is it channels water spills to the low end of the bus.

I still don't intend to pull my floors. Mine don't have a smell. I do contemplate insulating, either from under the bus or by an insulated floating floor in a portion of the bus. If I go far enough south I won't have to worry about insulation in the floor at all.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:48 PM   #10
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Warewolf, I appreciate your comment but I was looking for opinions and not sarcasm. Maybe you are a handy person, but I'm not. And as far as considering whether or not pulling up the floor is too much, I have no idea what that entails because like I said, I'm not a handy person so I'm here on this site to learn and do as much as I can for the adventure of putting together a bus conversion. Maybe when this is all done, I'll feel empowered to tackle more projects like this. It's clear that you believe I should pull up the floors so thank you, I'll take that into consideration.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by heeranyi View Post
Warewolf, I appreciate your comment but I was looking for opinions and not sarcasm. Maybe you are a handy person, but I'm not. And as far as considering whether or not pulling up the floor is too much, I have no idea what that entails because like I said, I'm not a handy person so I'm here on this site to learn and do as much as I can for the adventure of putting together a bus conversion. Maybe when this is all done, I'll feel empowered to tackle more projects like this. It's clear that you believe I should pull up the floors so thank you, I'll take that into consideration.
Demo work isn't fun. But it isn't hard.

YOu want it to be really nice? Bust out that old nasty floor, put down some insulation and then put some marine ply over that. That's what I'm doing.

Sorta your choice. We can't tell you what's best for you. Just what's BEST.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:07 PM   #12
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Alright, floor coming up it is. I'll check with my husband to see what tools we have to be able to do that. Maybe I can get my kids involved too. Then they can claim they helped to convert a bus.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:16 PM   #13
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Alright, floor coming up it is. I'll check with my husband to see what tools we have to be able to do that. Maybe I can get my kids involved too. Then they can claim they helped to convert a bus.
Is it rubber flooring over steel, or is there plywood?
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:22 PM   #14
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I'm not sure, we drove it back from Austin to Omaha and I took it directly to the International dealership to get it checked out and serviced. Plus, I don't have a place to park it until I sell my Class C. I live in the suburbs so I'll be parking my 6 window midbus in my driveway and we will convert it there. Hopefully none of my neighbors calls the association on us. It's already so adventuresome.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:23 PM   #15
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The comment was not meant to be sarcastic. Crass maybe, but there are a lot of folks that get way over their head in these projects and we all have seen too many of these buses up for sale months or a few short years later because they found themselves in a hole they couldn't dig out of.

These conversions are a huge undertaking and pulling up the floor doesn't have anything to do with handy. It's just hours of grueling work, depending what the shape of your plywood looks like. Realistically if that is too much of an undertaking you'd be better off buying a used 5th wheel and towing that around. You can find them used on Craigslist, much of the time already furnished, for significantly less. Skoolies are fun but are work. It's unpopular to say on a skoolie forum but if you're just needing a place to cool off at games, do homework, et cetera it might be a better option. I'm sure some others will chime in.

As I said previously if you don't do it you will have the characteristic rubbery "bus smell" that, personally, makes me nauseous in the heat. Also think of all the crap those kids smushed into the corners and made it's way under the rubber. Best of luck either way and keep us updated on the build.

PS -- on rubber over steel vs plywood -- mine was rubber over steel and still took me days because the rubber was actually in good condition. It took forever to peel off, piece by piece. Then it took days to polish the steel underneath and get all the gunk off so I could rust proof it. And this is coming from someone who knows what hard work is. Sorry if I offended you. It was not my intent.

And almost forget, where are my manners. Congratulations on your recent purchase. Handy or not there is a wealth of knowledge here and Youtube is your best friend.
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