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Old 07-26-2012, 11:59 AM   #11
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Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

steel tanks will last a lot longer than people realize. for example, the tank in my pump house is at least 25 yrs old and is still holding water. My dad after ww2 on the first farm he bought, got a new war surplus steel aircraft fuel tank and ran the pump to it. and it never leaked. on the farm he bought in the 70's he bought a new steel 1000 gal fuel tank and had it shipped from portland, ore and it worked fine for the house water storage. we just hosed it out once a year.

having said the above, i dont reccomend steel tanks, but poly ones.

on the farm in alabama, i am going to put a new pump and steel tank on the well when i get back there this fall...
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:20 PM   #12
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Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

Chev, yeah I was thinking more in terms of risking rust getting into the water supply. I've had hot water heaters bust on me after 3-4 years of use. It gets messy and then all the water is red. The interior of the tank ends up rusting and corroding at an expoential rate and then I remember having a pile of red sludge spilling as I was dragging the thing out of the house.

Has anyone ever put a skoolie (or RV for that matter) in a superinsulated shelter for cold winters? I was thinking maybe next year's winter I could have a large enough post and beam shelter build to park the bus in and from there superinsulate it with strawbales. It would basically function as a barn garage at that point.

Part of why I liked the idea of a school bus motorhome is that it's a cheap way to have a livable shelter, and using it, you can transition to a more permanent shelter, similar in concept to Rob Roy's Mortgage-Free Living temporary/transition shelter. You get the livable shelter ( a camper, bus, etc), build a frame around it, add walls/insulation, drill a permanent well, install a septic system, drive the bus/etc out of the shelter (front doors large enough, can be filled in later), and then use the newly built shelter as a permanent home.

It seems kinda practical and can be done over 2-3 years and maybe make living in a place like upstate NY more feasible year round. Rob Roy himself lives somewhere in the Adirondacks and had a similar approach.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:46 AM   #13
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Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

the cheapest thing to build is a roof only pole building at first. then you can add walls as you have the money to do so. for a bus you need at least 18' long 4x6 or better for uprights, and so forth.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:18 AM   #14
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Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chev49
the cheapest thing to build is a roof only pole building at first. then you can add walls as you have the money to do so. for a bus you need at least 18' long 4x6 or better for uprights, and so forth.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/green...iler-home.aspx
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:44 AM   #15
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Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

mother earth news is room addition article.
lots of people build those when parked semi permanently.
good place for the extra freezer and the cat box...
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:18 PM   #16
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Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

Quote:
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mother earth news is room addition article.
lots of people build those when parked semi permanently.
good place for the extra freezer and the cat box...
The WHOLE trailer is sitting INSIDE the room addition. It's a common practice where we come from. My parents did a similar thing in NC with the mobile home we lived in for many years. In 1965, my Dad bought a used (cheap) 2 bed/1 bath mobile home in Fl, towed it up to NC with his 3/4 ton pick up truck Slapped it on the land they had bought so we would have a place to stay during summers (and all school holidays that gave us a long weekend) while my Dad worked. Over time it had a roof built over the mobile home, a slab poured out front that ran the length of the trailer. The slab was enclosed which created my parents bedroom and master bath, a laundry room and the living room. After I married David & we moved up to NC (early 80's), the mobile home was pulled out and David built the rooms under the remaining roof (kitchen, dining, 2 bedrooms & 1 bath). After that was done, he added on a covered "L" shaped porch a few years later (mid 80's). So my parents ended up with a 3 bed/2 bath house (roughly 1800 SF) built out of pocket on 7 acres that is also paid for. No building or improvement loans. No building permits were ever pulled either since it was basically built piecemeal over the decades. The closest to an inspection the house would receive was when the guy who did building inspections would come to our house to buy tile from my Dad. My Dad traded his skills (tile setter) and excess tile for other people's skills. The electrician who did all the wiring did the same. He got tile bathrooms & kitchen from my Dad. Bartering also got the bulldozer work as well.

So, you build a pole shed (either timberframe, modified timberframe or post-&-beam construction). Enclose the sides with dual thermal glass french or sliding doors. Gives you a buffer from the weather that you can park your RV inside. Is that a room addition? If it is, then we will eventually acquire some land and build a "room addition" for the bus (one of the "doors" will allow the bus in/out). The roofing will have a few panels of translucent material to allow natural light in. If you wanted to go cheap, you could use translucent corrugated panels on the sides as well tin stead of windows or french/sliding doors. And a greenhouse or two for aquaponics. Or maybe the pole shed will house the aquaponics along with us. If we decide to, it's easy to slap some floor joists in and build a house inside the envelope. Building a house inside an enclosed pole shed isn't much different than building a house inside a steel bus. The ability to park the bus inside the enclosed pole barn will help hide it from nosy neighbours who think living in a home on wheels is wrong.

BTW, I don't think Yankees do this type of out of pocket building (yet another instance of Yankee weirdness). David seemed surprised at some of the places we looked at the first time we were house hunting in NC. It's a great way of having an "instant" house and an "out-of-pocket" debt-free house as well. Just takes time. I wouldn't completely enclose a trailer inside a frame making it unable to be pulled out, but many have done that.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:20 PM   #17
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Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

Right up the road in trade,a friend bought some land and moved a single wide onto the property,over the next couple years it has morfed into a very nice looking 2 story house,I have no idea if the mobile home is still in it or not,since I haven't seen him in years!
From the road noone would know unless you saw it built....every time I go to Boone I think of the change as I drive by
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:53 PM   #18
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Re-insulating bus walls

I'm thinking of re-insulating the bus walls, and ultimately double-insulating the bus, with an added 1 1/2 inch thick of insulation (2-by's laid flat on the wall, mainly to attach plywood to cover the lower halves of the windows).

I took off the interior wall (the piece of galvanized steel that goes between the window and the ledge that the seats mount to, approximately 11 inches high), which required taking the window out, but with a power drill and most of the screws being torx (and not rivets), it was fairly quick. I noticed there was a very flimsy piece of yellow insulation in a 2-inch space, and figured if I re-do the insulation, I may fare better in colder areas without having to somehow wrap insulation (ie strawbales) from the outside.

I do like the idea of some temporary solar heat attracting greenhouse like shelter. But it would be nice to double insulate the bus itself and see if I can cram enough insulation to get it up to R-30 (ie R-19 in the metal cavities and R-13 in the interior 2-by's). I'm not sure if it'll all fit, but I guess it's worth a shot.

I'm curious what sort of max R-value people might be able to get if they were to re-insulate or double insulate. I'm assuming there's about 3 1/2 inches of workable space. I spoke to a guy at Lowe's and he said for about $56 I could get enough 24" high insulation (the space between the floor and the window ledge) to last about 70 feet, ie the whole bus. The interior wall would be a bit higher in some places to cover the lower halves of the window. I'd guess maybe 1/3 of the windows would be entirely covered, 1/3 half covered, and 1/3 fully exposed.

From what I was told, the insulation they have is ~ R-19 to R-21 at around 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 inches, which I'm not sure if that'll compress to a 2-inch space. And then some R-13 to R-15 that measures about 3 1/2 inches uncompressed. Has anyone had luck trying to squish stuff like that in such small spaces? My measurements show that I have exactly 2 inches in the bus cavity and another 1 1/2 inches in the inner wall I'm adding (2-by's laid flat). I'm assuming with all those torx screws and the metal sink bolts I'm using that it could resist some force from the insulation.

As for a heat source, I'd probably have a woodstove in by winter time. Right now I'm just trying to minimize heat loss.

Up until now I was going to just go with some R-6.5 rigid paneling I have laying around (1 1/2 inches thick), but if I can get all the way to R-30 then I would opt to not use that previous insulation. Maybe for some other project where there's a bit more room, but in such a tight spot and in potential extreme conditions, I want to get the most insulation possible.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:20 PM   #19
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Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

The insulation you are talking about can not be crushed to fit. It requires the captive air spaces within its un- compressed thickness to work. Your best choice would be one of the foam board insulation materials doubled up to achieve the "R" value you want.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:16 AM   #20
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Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

I found this Excel spreadsheet at Owens-Corning's website about insulation compression:

http://www.owenscorning.com/around/i...ssionChart.xls

Seems that R-6.5 is the most I'd ever get from 1 1/2" of space, and I already get that with my foam insulation, so I guess I may as well stick with that. And R-10 is the most I'd get with the outer 2-inch cavity, which is what the 2-inch rigid insulation gives anyway. Only difference is the price, I think the fiberglass is cheaper, maybe 1/3rd the cost. It might be easier to put fiberglass insulation in the cavities (and just as effective). I probably am realistically looking at most R-16 with double insulation (3 1/2 " thick).

Seems that for every inch you compress fiberglass, it loses about R-2.5 . So it doesn't seem to make sense to overstuff insulation, you may as well buy the one rated for the size you need. Just in case someone was wondering.
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