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Old 12-30-2006, 01:18 AM   #11
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Has anybody considered using Flex Watt heating tape used for heating reptile tanks? I have a couple of ball pythons and I use a foot of heating tape under each of their tanks. The tape is 11 inches wide and you can get it in a roll for however long you want. It takes 20 watts per foot at full power. At full power, it's pretty hot. I use a rheostat switch on my tape to keep the heat down! I'm running about 10 watts to heat the floor of my snake tanks to 85 degrees. If you were to do it right, you could lay it down on top of the plywood in your bus where your walkways will be. Lay your laminate over that and build on top of it. But, say you have 20 feet of walkway in your bus, and you lay down two 11" wide strips where your walkway is. Basically, you have 40 feet of heat tape at 20 watts per foot. That's only 800 watts to heat your floor. This stuff is seriously only as thick as a few sheets of paper. Even if you don't try it, I am going to! I'll be installing it in my bus in a month or two when I start on the floor. I'm going to lay down some of that laminate wood flooring from Home Depot. It's about 1/8" thick and just sticks down. Anyways, here's a link to the heat tape!

http://www.bigappleherp.com/Reptile_Sup ... 19105.html
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:27 AM   #12
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Oh yeah, the heat tape is about $3.89 per foot. If you bought 40 feet of it, that's about $155. A small price to pay for a nice heated floor. I looked and the thickness is .012"! You can also cut this heat tape into sections. There are metal strips on each side and you just solder the pieces together with wire or directly to each other. I'd imagine that you wouldn't want to hammer nails through it or anything. I will definately be trying it on my bus and letting you guys know the results!

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Old 12-30-2006, 09:36 AM   #13
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Might also be a great product for keeping under bus tanks and plumbing from freezing.

Do you know the maximum length the material is available in? I checked your link and it didn't really say. I'm just wondering if you order 20' of it is that all one length or made up with say five 4-foot units or something along those lines?
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:21 PM   #14
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I've seen it in the pet shop on a roll that was about two feet in diameter! It's very easy to connect pieces. I have also thought about heating tanks with it, and plan to do it with my tanks. I am going to get my tanks from http://www.plastic-mart.com and do it like VonSlatt did his tanks. I've taken a lot of inspiration from his site by the way. Anyways, I'll use bed rails to hang the tanks. The tank will be sitting on a 1/2 inch thick piece of plywood and I'll put the heating tape between the plywood and the tank! I would definately want the tanks to be heated while I'm going down the road too. Even if it only kept the water heated to 40 degrees on a 15 degree day, that works! I do a LOT of camping when it's cold out (hunting). I had a travel trailer for a couple of years that I bought brand new. I couldn't even take water with me when it was below 25 degrees. It would still freeze even though the tanks were supposedly heated. I was pretty disappointed with my trailer. They all seem like they're slapped together in a hurry. But I did learn a LOT about how everything works or SHOULD work. The whole time I had the trailer, I would think to myself, "I could build this a lot better if I had done it myself"! I met a guy at a dirtbike race with an airport shuttle that he had converted. Then I found this site and it was all over for me.
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Old 12-30-2006, 04:03 PM   #15
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Then I found this site and it was all over for me. Very Happy
Its not over, its just the begining...
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:49 PM   #16
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I agree! It's a great place for inspiration and information.
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:07 PM   #17
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flooring

I installed Laminate flooring in our bus. Tip to tail before anything else went in, then built on it. My bus has a solid metal floor, then stock 1/2" plywood, stock rubber floor, combo insulation/vapour barrier 4mm, then the laminate. Heat wise, not a great insulation. However it is better than just the rubber.

Durability was great during the build process. Very strong and scratch resistant. All was going well until I tested the water system, and had a couple of leaks. I was ready with towels and sopped up the mess right away. The problem was that moisture was trapped between the vapour barrier and the flooring. I did what I could to dry it, but it did raise the seams and cause it to warp. Some area's worse than others. The main living area that gets the worst foot traffic is still in great shape. We camp in all sorts of weather with two big dogs (moisture sitting on the floor is common) and it has held up well.

So If I were to give advice, it would be ensure the entire floor surface is sealed. Good tight seams, and use a flexible sealant like clear silicone on the edges where the floor meets the walls. This way it still allows the floor to float, but reduces the chances that the same problem will occure that I encoutered.

Take a look at my photo album for pictures.

-Richard
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:35 AM   #18
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Thanks Captain

That was just the post I was looking for. It's only 1 Week to late. I am so glad it has been working for you. We DID decide to put it in and it turned out better than expected. Took some time going around the wheelwells (4 of'em). The stuff we put in was 8mm and WATER RESISTANT (pressure treat green through-out). I still have 2 more questions thou, maybe you can help with them?
1 - Did you do your stairs, and if so have they held up good with the HIGH traffic.
2 - I was wondering with bolting through the floor to hold everything down in the bus, being a floating floor, does it not need to float. Will it buckle, or bords lift if it grows or expands, don't reeally know if it expands.??

Thanks again appreciate the post.
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Old 01-09-2007, 02:22 PM   #19
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I had diamond plate steel custom shaped to copy the stock stair treds. The driver's area is carpeted. The laminate starts at the edge of the stairs.

As far as the bolting through or having weight on them, it's tough to say. I have not had any buckling because of the free floating aspect, however I think the water damage I have would have been lessened had the floor had more room to expand. The worst damage is the area below the bed in a highly restricted (walls and tank) spot.

We also used 8mm but it did not specifically state that it was pressure treated water resistant. It sounds like a good product.

Of all the work I have done on the bus, the floor is what wow's the majority that see it. Which is funny because it was the easiest part to do.

Post some pictures so we can follow along. Take a look at the www button on this post to see pics of my bus if haven't already to see the stair layout. I have since done more work on the area with an oak sill that a "trapdoor" sits on so in transit I don't hear the road noise from the unisulated stairwell and the passenger has somthing to rest her feet on. My dogs also think it's a great place to sit and watch the world go by.

-Richard
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:15 PM   #20
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Hey I checked out the site. Pictures, bus and especially the floor all look great. What is the material you used on the walls we are still kicking around what we are going to use (originally we were thinking wainscotting) but I like the way that stuff looks.

Pictures are on the way, probably 2-3 weeks when we take a few more and have a little more progress.

Thanks again.
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