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Old 08-04-2016, 11:30 AM   #1
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Gutting the interior roof vs. leaving it

Hello! Just picked up our 1997 Blue Bird and the interior ceiling is in really good shape.

Obviously i'm going to rip out the floor and the walls below the windows as well as the panels directly above the windows, but I'm curious how many people go ahead and rip out the curved ceiling as well? What are the advantages (as obviously the disadvantage of the labor and the refinishing)? We are planning on using the bus for camping in the Spring and summer (and a little bit of the Fall) months and while obviously the need for temp control is great, i wasn't sure if the effort was necessary?

Obviously anything mounted/ installed into the roof becomes more difficult if you are messing with an already finished ceiling. But I did;'t know if that was easy to work around. Also, if I end up doing solar panels on the roof, i figured I could mount brackets on the side of the bus and bring bars across.

What are the thoughts of people either way? Your insight is VERY much appreciated.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:05 PM   #2
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The general consensus of thought is that if you are just using it for camping then it's really not worth the time and effort to take down the ceiling and replace it. But if you were ever going to live in it full time then it is highly recommended that the ceiling is removed and new insulation is added. Also this gives you the ability to see where any roof leaks may be occurring.
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Old 08-04-2016, 01:10 PM   #3
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Is the encouragement for gutting it in you're planning on living in it mostly because the insulation would be better "blown" in vs. what's already in there?
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Old 08-04-2016, 01:12 PM   #4
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WHat's in there is garbage. And metal makes a horrible headliner for thermal efficiency.
Only way I'd leave it in is if its going to be used as a work van.
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Old 08-04-2016, 01:23 PM   #5
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Is the encouragement for gutting it in you're planning on living in it mostly because the insulation would be better "blown" in vs. what's already in there?
Evidently everyone who's ever revealed the original fiberglass insulation has gone "EWWWWW!". Keep that in mind also.
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Old 08-04-2016, 01:54 PM   #6
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Evidently everyone who's ever revealed the original fiberglass insulation has gone "EWWWWW!". Keep that in mind also.
gotta get the moisture and mold out and not give them a place to hide in the future. Even if its bone dry up there and immaculate- its still a tin can with a steel ceiling. Not very cozy.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:38 PM   #7
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If we could get a good enough seal to pull vacuum....
Why couldn't we incorporate the technology that Yeti uses on their stainless steel mugs/glasses?



Just spit ballin' here, don't shoot the messenger
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:33 PM   #8
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I am leaving it as is. I really like the structural integrity of the roof as it is. The only thing better would be to pull the insulation out . Reinstall and river the roof panels back in and blow expanding foam density 2 in.

If you make cabinets above the windows for closing and bedding then that will add insulation as well.

We plan to install solar over the whole roof. By now solar is cheaper then expanding foam insulation. And it shouldbe good enough for the summer. I will put a sheet of 4 ft wide polyiso 1" thick on top of the roof and below the solar. We will see how it does in the winter.

Later J
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:40 PM   #9
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I am leaving it as is. I really like the structural integrity of the roof as it is. The only thing better would be to pull the insulation out . Reinstall and river the roof panels back in and blow expanding foam density 2 in.

If you make cabinets above the windows for closing and bedding then that will add insulation as well.

We plan to install solar over the whole roof. By now solar is cheaper then expanding foam insulation. And it shouldbe good enough for the summer. I will put a sheet of 4 ft wide polyiso 1" thick on top of the roof and below the solar. We will see how it does in the winter.

Later J

I have taken a heavy 2" winch strap to my top eyelets, and taken it to my bottom eyelets and cranked down hard on them! You can twang the strap like a banjo string!!!!

Popped it loose and watched for deflection... Less than 1/8 inch deflection!
And that's just in one location/sq. ft.

With that test, I'd have no problem feeling comfortable putting anything on my roof! Or suspending from my ceiling.
In my case... The military used the eyelets to strap down cargo nets.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:20 PM   #10
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yea. The air force knows all about structural integrity. may be they even beefed your bus up left and right for it to pass mil spec?
For mine being aluminum it is all about profiles and design to get the best strength out of the weight.
Accidents are hard to model and repeat. But I have rather two layers of metal in a roll over then one.
I agree on the tin can effect, may be some wall carpets can help.
If I ever decide to improve on insulation and strength I will be taking the inner skin of , removing old insulation, get 2 component polyurethane insulation kit and put the inner metal sheet back in with an added nylon washer between the sheet and the framing ( cold bridge ) . With every set of fasteners I would spray a layer of foam in between so that everything bonds together.

later J
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:41 PM   #11
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a solution that I've considered, which I'm surprised no one has discussed in my short time on skoolie.net - is, to cut access holes (like 1'x3') in the existing steel sheeted ceiling, probably 3 to work around rib obstructions, and to pull the crappy insulation out, then shoot foam in each of the cavities - then apply a thin wood ceiling cover over the old ceiling (bridging screws/riviets of course). benefit is maintaining majority of structural integrity/strength of original ceiling sheets and foam is contained by existing sheets "forms", and there is way less demo.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:41 PM   #12
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clarification - 3 holes in each steel sheet section
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Old 02-23-2017, 09:18 PM   #13
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Wow, that is an excellent idea.

Th expanding foam bonded between two layers of steel / aluminum will be a huge increase in strength.

excellent idea.

In my case , corbeil mini bus the ceiling is screwed and I think I could pull the side section out just by removing the lower screws and opening the interior sheet a little.

With a little bit of work the insulation in the center section with small vent above the driver could be pulled out thru the vent hole.

Our experience during snowstorm NIKO was that the webasto coolant heater could keep it cozy pretty good.

We were with four people and had no condensation on the ceiling.


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Old 02-23-2017, 09:37 PM   #14
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clarification - 3 holes in each steel sheet section
That won't work for a number of reasons.
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Old 02-23-2017, 09:39 PM   #15
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I like this idea too!...I am not a toolie so the hole, rip it out, foam it then cover the ceiling thing sounds much more up my alley... Thanks freightliner
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Old 02-23-2017, 09:54 PM   #16
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What's hiding in there?

My first Skoolie was a '93 BB TC2000. We used it for summer camping, and put VERY little into the build out. I had issues with mice every spring when I took it out of storage. I would pressure wash everything, use it for the summer, and (lather, rinse, repeat). I retired it 2 years ago when the tranny gave up, and I got my newer, longer '98.

Just last summer, I decided to tear the '93 apart for spare parts and scrap.
When I got the interior roof panels off, I found where the mice had been living!!!!!
(and everything that mice leave behind)

YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUK!

Who knows what's in there.....
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:57 PM   #17
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There's likely to be asphalteum coating on the outer sheet metal, and if it's present, it'll interfere with the foam bonding to that panel. The hoped-for benefit of "structural insulated panel" wouldn't be realized.

One-part foam would be a disaster of epic proportions, but two-part foam may cure okay. The amount of fill would have to be carefully controlled so that expansion of the foam wouldn't cause bulges in the metal.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:03 PM   #18
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at the end of the day I think there is a middle road solution for those of us not living in the bus full time - to address the thermal break and sound/thermal insulation issues of an all metal ceiling system without going down to the ribs/struts and coming back up with $2K in spray foam and a new ceiling material. sounds like one could purchase a 3000 watt quiet Honda genset and power an AC to address thermal issues and just paint the ceiling and save much labor and be about even on cost, and, have convenient genset power. or it may rain down on you like the Amazon. I'm still reading and learning.
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:21 AM   #19
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Foam can't cure in closed spaces. It will always be off-gassing and eating the steel. You also won't be able to control expansion enough and metal will bulge.
someones already tried it and posted the pics.
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:28 AM   #20
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Foam can't cure in closed spaces. It will always be off-gassing and eating the steel. You also won't be able to control expansion enough and metal will bulge.
someones already tried it and posted the pics.
Were they using the two part "stand back and spray then shave it off" stuff to fill the cavity??

Because they do have a two part closed cell foam designed to fill captivitys and supposedly will not cause bulging if installed correctly.
They also claim use in metal buildings and on HVAC ductwork.
??
https://sprayfoamkit.com/for-contrac...oduct-details/

But I have no personal experience with it.
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