Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-21-2012, 01:26 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Posts: 115
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: Ford B-800
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: 55
Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

I plan on being in upstate NY in the winters (lows ranging from -5 to -25 F), and want to plan for insulation appropriately.

I have some polystyrene insulation, about 1 inch thich, rated at R-6.5 that I'd like to put on the interior of my bus (7.5 x 29 ft interior). I'm wondering if this is enough for colder weather, assuming I have heat on (efficient woodstove)? Or should I go with slightly thicker insulation? Maybe a different material?

Would it make sense to try to insulate the ceiling? I happen to have a bunch of R-11 white fiberglass insulation (extra new floor insulation meant for an old mobile home), and wasn't sure if it helps that heat isn't lost thru the ceiling. I am 6'3" and so it would be unfortunate to lose 2 inches at the ceiling area, though. There looks like the ceiling and the roof have a cavity in between them (all the electrical appears to go through conduits immediately above the windows) and I'm not sure if it's worth the effort to try to remove the ceiling (not sure if they are rivets or torx bolts) and see what i can stuff in there. Or maybe it's easier to remove the roof off and do it from the opposite direction?

And then what about the floor (seems easier to insulate, from the underside)? Heat obviously rises, so maybe that's not a concern. Either way I'd probably have polystyrene skirting around the vehicle to prevent drafts to freeze the underside. I'm assuming a woodstove nearby a water tank (underside) would radiate heat and largely prevent the water tank from freezing assuming the interior felt comfortable. Or do people add insulation (can't hurt, maybe as a precaution), heat coils, etc around the water tanks?

I plan on utilizing solar panels so I'm not sure if I can do much in terms of placing anything with insulating properties on the roof.

I was thinking of removing about 1/2 of the windows (for heat retention) and somehow filling them up. Or is it common to just keep the windows and seal them shut, paint over them, etc? I'm assuming if they are removed then that means a bunch of metal work on the exterior, and added sheet metal costs (windows vary from 3'x2' to 2'x2', and I've been quoted about $36 for a 4'x8' sheet of 22 gauge from Fazzio's in NJ). I don't think I could scavenge that much metal. If I kept the windows in, the problem is that once I close it all up from the interior, I can't remove the windows since they come out from the inside. Such as if they get cracked, broken, etc by accident.
tomas_maly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 03:24 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
GreyEagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 801
Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

Most metal shops will cut it to your measurements if asked .......... Just be sure you have them right before you place you order...
__________________
GreyEagle
Roll - On...
GreyEagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 05:33 PM   #3
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 recommendations for Upstate NY?

I have been in upstate NY in 25 below zero. I was not in a bus. I was staying in a house. There was a wood stove. It was always running.

As much insulation (a fair amount) that I put in my bus, I would never attempt to winter out in those temperatures.

If I had to, I would totally block out the majority of the windows from the inside.I would make wall frames and put three inches of styrofoam insulation. I would put two inches on the floor. I would have all my water tanks on the inside. I would have a wood stove that was constantly tended to. I would have LOTS of wood to burn.

Your bus may not even start at 25 below. You could be stuck for some time.

Why upstate? Can't you go to a warmer area?

I am afraid for you if you attempt to winter over in 25 below. Remember, I have been full timing for a LONG time. Longer than most anyone on this forum.
__________________
Best Home Yet - Strong Command Center --- viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10764
Accordion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Diesel Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

The advantage of removing windows and skinning the outside with metal is you can fill the cavity left by removing the window with insulation. If you choose to leave the windows and fill in behind them I wouldn't worry about it. If a window breaks you can just skin over the outside with metal and just leave the broken window there sandwiched between the layers. You will want some sort of temporary insulation to put in the windshield and door, etc. You can get insulated roof coating to paint on the outside, but it doesn't do THAT much for you. If you are tall I think it would really suck to not be able to stand up straight if you are full timing in the winter, so adding insulation to the inside of the ceiling may not be practical. I would at least put a thin layer of something though, and a radiant barrier to reflect the heat back in. I think insulating the floor from the outside would be a good bet for you. The ceiling likely has some insulation from the factory, but not much R value there. Lorna just posted something about insulation that you will find interesting, and I think Rudy (Accordian) makes some good points. A bus just doesn't sound like the best solution for the kind of cold you are describing, but if you are committed to that solution then you will really have to insulate well and keep all your plumbing warm, which is easiest to do if it is all inside the bus.
__________________
Gallery:
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... l_dan_bus/
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?t=4959
Diesel Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2012, 08:20 AM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Posts: 115
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: Ford B-800
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: 55
Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

I appreciate the tips!

It sounds like it's easier to just leave the windows there and insulate from the inside and if/when windows break to just cover them up from the outside. The alternative seems to get sheet metal now and rivet it on, but if that can wait....

I see some of the projects some folk on here do and it's overwhelming the lengths they go to strip the bus and make it look like an RV! I really don't have the time. Especially not to remove thousands of rivets.

I'd like to find an easy way to have windows open if possible with some sort of screening. I may need to build my own window screens that will snap into place from the outside.

I'm not committed to being in upstate NY in a bus during the winters - just that Ithaca was in my plans for the last few years anyway. I was originally thinking of a larger permanent home that was super insulated with strawbale and had a large wood stove. I may be better off going somewhere down south for the winter. I may end up living there during the warmer months. I was planning of getting some land so I can build a permanent home in a few years. I've been stuck in South Jersey (very rural) for the last 8 years and I've been itching to be around some more interesting / radically minded people. My kids' mother is staying in NJ so I can't go too far away for too long with the kids.

Is 25F winter lows a bit more reasonable? (ie mid-Atlantic or so) Assuming I had the insulation (R-6.5) plus a woodstove burning most of the time.
tomas_maly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2012, 08:29 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Posts: 115
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: Ford B-800
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: 55
Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

I'm still not sure how I'm going to do the water. Right now it's just going to be a hose hookup that mounts on the outside that goes directly to a 1/2" flex line to the sink (with a shut-off valve in between). And from the sink to a 5-gallon bucket. At least to get it registered and until I have time for any permanent tanks.

Tractor Supply Company has 100 gallon steel tanks (for $350) that fit perfectly underneath the vehicle, but stick a bit down beyond the normal skirting (still with about 1 1/2 foot clearance). I'm tempted to just get that tank since it's about as large as I'd ever get, and pretty reasonably priced. But it would fit below the bus under the floor. I was thinking that the woodstove having radiant heat might help keep the tank warm, but I'm guessing it's still a huge risk even if the tank itself was insulated. Maybe then there could be a smaller tank (25-50 gallon) INSIDE, for the winter months. I really won't know until I start getting the essentials (beds, stove, sink) in the vehicle.

Honestly maybe the idea of living on the road, seasonally, etc is more my style anyway. I've been in one place for too long and it's really got to me. Or if I do settle down then maybe I shouldn't spend so much time/effort on making the bus perfect and just treat it like a temporary shelter.
tomas_maly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2012, 11:24 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Diesel Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomas_maly
Tractor Supply Company has 100 gallon steel tanks (for $350) that fit perfectly underneath the vehicle, but stick a bit down beyond the normal skirting (still with about 1 1/2 foot clearance). I'm tempted to just get that tank since it's about as large as I'd ever get, and pretty reasonably priced. But it would fit below the bus under the floor. I was thinking that the woodstove having radiant heat might help keep the tank warm, but I'm guessing it's still a huge risk even if the tank itself was insulated.
I would think a steel tank would rust if it were being used for water, but I may be wrong. I think for that price you could get a real RV poly tank custom sized to fit in the space you want to put it. I'm sure you can quickly find a few places on the net where you can order those. I'm using 30gallon poly drums I got for $5 each at a car wash (the cleaning chemicals came in them). I'm thinking of connecting two together for each "tank" so I will have 60 gallons fresh and 60 gallons grey. I will use 5 gallon jugs inside the bus for drinking/cooking water. They don't protrude much beyond the skirt. People with rear engine buses who have basement storage compartments have the ideal situation for keeping water tanks warm. They just put the tanks in those compartments, insulate, and add a small heating device to that space. But since you don't have that configuration you will have to get creative. I'm sure I have read about a few solutions on this forum; I suggest you use the search feature to find those threads.
__________________
Gallery:
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... l_dan_bus/
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?t=4959
Diesel Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2012, 11:32 AM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon/Philippines
Posts: 1,660
Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

actually, with a RE bus, you dont have to insulate the compartments if ya just put a 1000w heater in it during the winter. has to get really cold for plumbing to freeze if ya got the heater.
__________________
Jesus Christ... Conversion in progress.
chev49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2012, 04:21 PM   #9
Almost There
 
usmcbay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 98
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas MVP
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

I had the Spray in insulation put in my bus and this is one thing I notice.

Consider how different our weather is in Houston though...

In the mornings with high humidity My bus sweats from the A/C on the exterior... I can PHYSICALLY see where the 2x3's are in my walls. The wood transfers the cooler temps to the exterior body. The areas the Spray in Insulation is does not sweat. I regretted doing it at first but now~! Now I'm totally sold.
__________________
Here's my Bus Conversion...

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=12202
usmcbay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2012, 09:13 AM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Posts: 115
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: Ford B-800
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: 55
Re: Insulation recommendations for Upstate NY?

That is true about the steel tank not being suitable for water. Whether it's coated by something on the inside or not.

Tractor Supply actually has plastic/poly tanks for a bit cheaper, thought they might not mount underneath (maybe a bit big). They are the type of cylindrical barrels that are strapped onto the bed of a farm pickup truck. They even have a 165 gallon tank, for $350. If I have room on the inside of the bus, I may opt to put something inside, especially to help with winter usage.
tomas_maly 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
Free WVO Jackpot in Upstate NY zman18 Veggie Oil | WVO | Biodiesel | SVO 3 07-06-2013 06:53 PM
Lumber recommendations? tomas_maly Conversion General Discussions 20 10-17-2012 12:05 AM
RV parts for sale in upstate SC jaysharley68 Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 0 11-23-2011 11:09 AM
Looking for info or recommendations for RV gen set exhaust frank-id Everything Else | General Skoolie Discussions 1 07-03-2006 03:18 AM
Recommendations wanted! prof5 Skoolie Conversion Projects 5 05-16-2006 12:49 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:01 AM.


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