Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-21-2012, 08:12 PM   #1
Bus Geek
 
lornaschinske's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,587
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Insulation.... an editiorial.

Just basic real life info for those who think they don't really need much insulation.

It wasn't a skoolie...
We have wintered several years in a vintage Sticks-n-Staples 22 ft Class C. My daughter currently full times in it. The roof, walls & floor are all 2" blue foam. I know because we tore apart the back section to rebuild (lousy roof rack & ladder set up leaked for years apparently). The old Suburban furnace is a fairly economical one. It sucked a 20 lb LP tank every 2 weeks (also cooked on LP). We ran one of our old 100 pound tanks in NC. We also had an electric heater going as well at the same time. The Class C has wintered in Elizabethton TN, Franklin NC, Cordele GA, Socorro NM (similar temps to Franklin & Elizabethton) and Corpus Christi TX (similar temps to Cordele). Good learning experience. We have learned you can never have too much insulation. Ditto for summer heat. Lots of cold comes up from the floor so you can't forget about the floor. The heat off the summer interstates cooked the contents of our uninsulated tanks on the Class C. And our "cold" showers were so hot, we didn't kick the water heater on. Insulation is needed for hot & cold temps. And you can not have "too much" insulation.

We have bounced all over the place trying to balance budget, availability and R-Value. We have settled on, then discarded so many options. The ones I am listing here may get changed in a few months. Sometimes you can over think a simple thing. At some point we will just say enough, time's wasting away, and start insulating. Maybe we'll put up some Reflectix heat barrier first....

We are going to pack as much insulation under the floor as we can afford (rigid foam sheathing with canned spray foam filling in the "spaces"). We think 6 " will do a decent job. The roof seems to be insulated pretty well on our bus. But if we decide it's needed, we would add the insulation to the roof top. I know of a super insulated roof that was put on the outside of a coach due to low head room. But it's snowed a few times here in Roswell and the snow piled on the roof while we ran heat inside. The uninsulated floor was terribly cold though. A heated mattress pad on the bed is wonderful. For winter we put a sleeping bag slid into a duvet cover on the bed. It's like "personal" insulation.

Rivets in the side walls transfer cold (and heat) pretty bad. They will get covered with 1" foam over the original walls. All the screws in the furring strips will be off set to create thermal breaks. thermal breaks are very important. It doesn't matter if you have 6" of insulation in your roof/wall if you have a source for the cold (or heat) to pass thru the insulation. Or if you sprayed your walls & ceiling with foam then planted a screw into the metal framing tube, then you have probably created a heat sink since the framing tube has exterior rivets tapped into the tube making a thermal connection. I've heard some lovely ice stalactites can form in the winter time due to a rivet or screw heat sink.

Reflectix, the shiny metallic bubble wrap looking stuff, is a heat barrier, not really an insulation. If you get the one with the single shiny side, the shiny side should face to the exterior (all shiny heat barriers should face away from the living area). It also needs a thin (1/8") air gap to work right. Although I have installed it with no air gap on a road cover/roof of a popup camper it it worked quite well. Reflecitx is very handy to cover your single pane windows with along with the aluminum frames the window are in. Aluminum is a terrific conductor of heat and cold. If the idea of living in a dark windowless cave all winter makes you depressed, then you will be happy to hear that plain clear bubble wrap (the packaging kind)does a wonderful job of insulating windows. Almost as good as Reflectix, yet lets light in. While you may want to cover your big windshield with Reflectix, you can still put some clear bubble wrap over some of your smaller windows (making sure to cover that pesky aluminum frame) to let in some much needed light.

While not an insulation, a reflective roof coating goes a long way towards keeping the heat out plus it coats and seals rivets, bolts and screws from thermal conductivity. In other words, it creates a thermal break. And does a wonderful job of sealing any leaks too. We used Henry's 287 Solarflex on our roof. For a 40 ft bus, roll 5 gallons on in about 3 coats (first seal seams & leaks with elastometric caulk).

The best way we have found to beat the cold is to go south of 35°Latitude. The closer to that point the colder aspects of winter you will have.Now there are some micro climates there that do mess with that statement. Chattanooga is at 35.04° and the winters there were milder than the winters in Socorro which is at 34.06°. Roswell at 33.40° has even milder temps than Socorro. Chattanooga & Roswell are both on water which keeps them warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. South of 30° is some pretty mild winters. Far enough north that you aren't right on the coast or in FL paying higher site rent but far enough south that you rarely get freezing tempos for more than one or two nights in a row (which is still enough to freeze up a crappy Valterra gate valve). I've got two more winters to suffer thru before we can go farther south (30° Latitude). For summer heat, your best bet is to go up in ALTITUDE!

The coming winter won't be as bad as last winter for us. We will have the heat exchanger set up and insulation on the walls and under the floor (with the tanks heated/insulated). We will also have an LP heater in the bathroom to boost the heat there for showers & in case the power goes out on us... again. Something that needs to be planned for. Since we started full timing again (2006), we have not been without power or water (frozen/broken city pipes) for more than 1 day. We've been lucky too. Albuquerque lost power for over a week due to a winter storm. I also plan on making a couple of MEN's heat grabbers to collect some daytime heat from the plentiful NM winter sun.

Of course that may all be overkill because "it never get's that cold here" and "it rarely snows much here" is told to use everywhere we go.... Yep, it snows so little & so seldom in Socorro, that they "didn't" close down I-25 (which seems to only take a few inches)for two days.




This is what it did just before we left to go to Roswell. This was the 2nd snow storm that kept us from leaving as planned.



By the time the snow stopped, there was 18" laying... It's rarely snows in Socorro. And it "rarely" snows in Roswell!
__________________
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
http://lorndavi.wordpress.com/blog/
http://i570.photobucket.com/albums/s...ps0340a6ff.jpg
lornaschinske is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 12:18 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
ol trunt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,962
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Re: Insulation.... an editiorial.

Lorna, Have you had a chance to look at USMCBAY's post today--he's all excited about "spheres" as a paint additive for insulation, lots of testimonials.

Have you studied this at all? If so what is your take? Thanks, Jack
ol trunt is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
bapos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cleburne TX
Posts: 606
Re: Insulation.... an editiorial.

While I agree with everything you said ... simple version : you can never have enough insulation.....I think adding 6" to the floor is a great idea but it would reduce my head room and I would have to walk like Quasi moto going to the santuary. Im 6'3" so I have to bend slightly to walk down the center of the bus as it is now. 6" would really jack me up.

Now insualting the top and side.... yep Im going to be all over that. But your reasoning for the floor I agree with but in my case wont be fesible.
__________________
Here is my school bus conversion thread http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10282

Pics of my conversion @ photobucket http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b1.../School%20Bus/
bapos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 07:32 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
lornaschinske's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,587
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: Insulation.... an editiorial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bapos
.....I think adding 6" to the floor is a great idea but it would reduce my head room ...
Crawl under your bus. Look up. THAT'S where we will be putting the floor insulation. Not on the inside. I would like to fill the space of the beams with insulation when add a protective sheet of something to protect the insulation sheets from damage. By going with multiple layers, we can stagger the seams and reduce any air flow. The only insulation we add on the inside will be the side walls.
__________________
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
http://lorndavi.wordpress.com/blog/
http://i570.photobucket.com/albums/s...ps0340a6ff.jpg
lornaschinske is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 09:56 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
bapos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cleburne TX
Posts: 606
Re: Insulation.... an editiorial.

Adding from the bottom I agree with. I think it would be very difficult to do it right. The driveshaft area comes to mind.
__________________
Here is my school bus conversion thread http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10282

Pics of my conversion @ photobucket http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b1.../School%20Bus/
bapos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 09:28 AM   #6
Site Team
 
bansil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MNT CITY TN
Posts: 5,047
Re: Insulation.... an editiorial.

biggest thing I have noticed working in the bus last couple months is this:

Thermal bridging heats up the bus the most, the ceiling will be cool to the touch between the ribs,and the ribs will be hott.
by lunch if you walk down the bus it feels like radiant heating,hot cool hot cool etc every time you walk under a rib, just too much heat transfer.

It gets so hot you cant hardly touch the rivets/roof at the ribs...altho the between sections will still be cool to the touch,as the day goes on the center sections warm up from ribs towards the center, once they are hot your screwed.

This is where a deck will help keep ceiling cool since the metal won't be exsposed to the sun's radiation....of course there is still windows etc...never ending battle
__________________
Our build La Tortuga
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
George S. Patton
bansil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 11:02 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon/Philippines
Posts: 1,660
Re: Insulation.... an editiorial.

roof inside bus won't be hot if ya just put a 1/2 inch foil backed insulboard attached to inside roof of bus. 10 bucks a sheet.
if parked a long time.. like all winter, making temporary skirting around bus will greatly help the cold coming up thru the floor.
fwiw
__________________
Jesus Christ... Conversion in progress.
chev49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 02:57 PM   #8
Site Team
 
freakn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Southeast British Columbia
Posts: 106
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Insulation.... an editiorial.

Im planning on using spray foam underneath the bus, it adds insulation and also cuts road noise.
http://www.tigerfoam.ca/
__________________
Living the dream in the Kootenays
freakn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 05:21 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon/Philippines
Posts: 1,660
Re: Insulation.... an editiorial.

you have to be really careful spray foaming under the bus as there are going to be bolts, brake lines and so forth that will be very hard to discover if insulated.
__________________
Jesus Christ... Conversion in progress.
chev49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2012, 05:37 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Accordion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Central Tennessee
Posts: 1,093
Year: 1973
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American
Engine: CAT 1160 V-8 Diesel
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Insulation.... an editiorial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chev49
you have to be really careful spray foaming under the bus as there are going to be bolts, brake lines and so forth that will be very hard to discover if insulated.
I second that notion. Underneath my bus are brake lines, air tanks, drive shaft, propane lines, electrical wires, and other things that should remain in view including my waste tank.

If one is wintering over, the best thing to do is make a skirt around the bus to keep cold air out of there. In my first bus, I used square hay bales covered in plastic. Even then, you have to consider the spontaneous combustion that is possible with wet hay.

I have seen a large pile of grass clippings catch fire in the middle of a New England winter.
__________________
Best Home Yet - Strong Command Center --- viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10764
Accordion is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How much insulation did you add to your bus? TygerCub Conversion General Discussions 8 03-09-2012 03:51 PM
? Insulation???? Six Four Everything Else | General Skoolie Discussions 3 02-20-2011 07:57 PM
Insulation TygerCub Conversion General Discussions 7 08-24-2009 07:57 PM
All about insulation ollopa Conversion General Discussions 5 11-15-2006 11:26 PM
Insulation? Father_of_10 Conversion General Discussions 20 02-24-2004 11:10 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.