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Old 02-21-2015, 08:33 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by taskswap View Post
Finally, an area where I actually KNOW something. You can totally do that, but be prepared for the job to get bigger and more expensive as you go. I'm starting to get the sense from other posts and responses that being negative about ideas is frowned on here, so hopefully I'm not about to piss somebody off...

The thing is, this is a HUGE surface area to cover - the equivalent of, say, a handful of DIY boat projects. Fiberglassing a large surface by hand is a lot of work because you don't just roll it out and walk away - you have to either vacuum-bag it or manually "stipple" all the air bubbles out, and it's a slow process. You can't make up too much epoxy at a time, either or it "kicks off" (overheats and basically cooks itself). There are techniques to address all these points, but it's a lot of work.

You also need to attach that foam to the inside in a way that won't detach in the heat, or due to differing expansion/contraction factors. You'll need flox for structural corners and areas, and micro to "prep" the outside (because fiberglass laid right over foam doesn't "stick" - you need to fill the holes in the cells first). Then you need MORE micro for the outside to prep for paint, and many hours of sanding.

If you were going to insulate the outside I'd personally stick with a metal skin. It eliminates a lot of those issues, you can just rivet it all together, and it's already basically paint-ready if you don't ding it while you work.
I did a bit of fiberglass in my early years. It is a lot of work.
I don't see any negativity in your post. Just critical thinking.
Everyone has their own ideas and their own input to add to the discussion. No harm there.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:02 AM   #62
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go ahead taskswap, its not negative if its true!
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:14 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by taskswap View Post
I figured I would use thick plywood screwed to the vertical struts as a mold and plastic sheeting as a release - the pour foam I've used in the past was pretty happy letting go of that. It's just a pain to do overhead, so I guess I've been still poking around looking for an "elegant" solution.
It pains me to see all you guys adding all this plywood and OSB to the floors, walls, and roof of the buses.

If you strap the walls, you can glue 1.5 to 2 inch thick sheets of rigid Styrofoam right to the strapping. This is far lighter, and just as strong as plywood. Your finish wall covering glues right to the inside of the rigid Styrofoam. Finish wall coverings can be FRP, arborite, paneling, ect. Cupboards, and things mount with screws through the rigid Styrofoam into the strapping.

This cuts the weight, the thermal mass, and creates a perfect thermal break, uses half as much spray or pour foam, saves money on plywood, eliminates all that extra wood in the walls and ceiling.

Floors are even easier.

Everyone thinks you need a mechanical fasteners to hold something in place, not the case. We live in a world of adhesives.
Again, there is no need for furring strips, strapping, or any wood what so ever in a floor. There are builds on here where people think they need to support the plywood in the floor with 2x4's, suspending the plywood / OSB over the rigid Styrofoam, leaving a air gap. Its like people think the rigid Styrofoam can't take the weight.

Well it can.

Concrete here in Canada all gets rigid Styrofoam under it to insulate it from the earth, and stop the damaging frost. The blue rigid Styrofoam comes here in two grades. 2000 and 3000. That number references to how many PSI the Styrofoam can take per square foot.

Long story short, the flooring in our buses will never see the weight that a concrete floor does. Therefore no wood is need to support the subfloor in a bus.

Now for floor sheeting, or "subfloor", the layer that your finish flooring secures to.
Most fellow members use OSB, or plywood simply because they have seen it done, and cost. But your putting wood back in a floor to rot, mold, get bugs in it, ect.
16 and 14 galvanized steel makes a great subfloor layer. Again using adhesives, it simply glues to the rigid Styrofoam sheet below it. No mechanical fastener is needed. Finish flooring glues right to the top side of the galvanized steel. Flooring like vinyl plank, VCT tiles, ect work really well.

So starting from the old steel floor of the bus, glue one or two layers of 1.5 or 2 inch rigid Styrofoam to the steel floor, then glue the next layer to the first. Now cut in your in floor heating lines, glue your galvanized metal subfloor to the surface of your Styrofoam with your new heat lines, and glue your finish flooring onto the surface of the galvanized metal. Done

You now have a far stronger, lighter, rot proof, bug proof, warm floor that would stay in place even if you rolled the bus.

So tankswap

Just install the plywood or what ever your sheeting the walls with, then pour the foam. The foam will bond to the back of your sheeting, and save you a few steps. No need for the plastic, or to remove anything.

Nat
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:43 PM   #64
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Theres always more than one way to skin a cat, man.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:48 PM   #65
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Theres always more than one way to skin a cat, man.
I know.

I'm just passionately tossing ideas out, pushing for the advancement and evaluation of the skoolie conversions.

Nat
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:11 PM   #66
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I know man!
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:26 PM   #67
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It pains me to see all you guys adding all this plywood and OSB to the floors, walls, and roof of the buses.
Dude, where do you get the time to work, enjoy your life, build cabins, build your own bus, AND write these posts? Each one is like a conversion manual - I get more out of some of these than other whole threads!

But don't worry about me and plywood. I think you missed a comment in my original post - I was only thinking about using that as a form so I could use pour-foam instead of the spray-on stuff. I'm definitely on board with strapping (ripped from plywood) and adhesives. It's just that in my case, I plan to use some thing wainscoting to "skin" my lower wall (under a narrow ledge I want to use as a sill under my windows). That stuff is flexible and pour foam can make it bulge. I don't mind a bit of extra time setting up a pour mold to get a nice surface.

I'd sure as heck never put OSB on a bus!

I guess I figured I'd set up some horizontal conduit for wiring and vertical furring strips, then do the pour. That way everything gets completely encapsulated and there's no work to do to route out channels later.

By the way, if anybody wants a super-lightweight conduit for anything, and it doesn't need to be weather-tight (think "chase" rather than actual "conduit"), shower-curtain-rod covers are awesome for embedding in pour foam. They're super-smooth, and very low cost and weight. I know a lot of people probably don't care considering the sheer mass of everything else going on... but it's amazing how fast "a pound or two" added over and over can add up to real weight.

The one thing I haven't figured out is the roof. The Boss instructed me to "plan for Alberta in winter" so straight paint or thin coverings are out. Spray foam is the obvious option but as I said, I'm not great with that (I have trouble with my wrists and there's something about the shape or pressure of using the gun where it just kiils me). I'm thinking about kerfing styrofoam to get it to bend around, gap-filling with a few cans of Great Stuff, then skinning that over with something nice. Anybody with ideas here?
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:14 AM   #68
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Tankswap

I don't watch TV, or have much of a social life out side of work and family. Work for me is a pass time. My biggest restriction is the weather. I need to live in a more stable climate. Paint will not dry outside here for 8 months of the year.

My busy season is about to start up again. You may not see any posts from me for weeks at a time.

I'm glad to have you thinking along.

If you come to Alberta, I would love to meet up and share idea's.

Nat
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:51 AM   #69
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We'll definitely take you up on that!
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:23 AM   #70
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Well, after reading the discussion here, it seems that instead of insulating the exterior to try and save a few inches on the interior, it would be just as much time, work, and money to instead build in some awesome slide outs. That's my take away anyhow. Waay more space for just as much PITA. Also, there are people who have actually done it before so there is some frame of reference.
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