Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-26-2018, 02:07 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 20
Spray foam insulation on walls, ceiling, and floor?

I'm looking at building a skoolie for full-time living in an RV park. I've ended up in the hospital from black mold in crappy apartments enough for this lifetime, and if I have to build my own, so be it!

Blown in closed cell foam (image link) looks like the right solution - it's stable, the R-value is high, it cuts noise, and - best of all - it's mildew resistant. DIY friendly, too. But I've never worked with the stuff, and am concerned about trapping moisture in a fashion that'd just make more mold and rust through the floor. The loss of headroom is worrying, too - regardless of bus, I don't really have the resources for a roof lift.

This bus will likely end up in the Southwest in 120F heat, and insulation is a big deal. Can anyone suggest how best to tackle this problem?
Jshaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2018, 12:33 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
Posts: 513
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jshaul View Post
I'm looking at building a skoolie for full-time living in an RV park. I've ended up in the hospital from black mold in crappy apartments enough for this lifetime, and if I have to build my own, so be it!

Blown in closed cell foam (image link) looks like the right solution - it's stable, the R-value is high, it cuts noise, and - best of all - it's mildew resistant. DIY friendly, too. But I've never worked with the stuff, and am concerned about trapping moisture in a fashion that'd just make more mold and rust through the floor. The loss of headroom is worrying, too - regardless of bus, I don't really have the resources for a roof lift.

This bus will likely end up in the Southwest in 120F heat, and insulation is a big deal. Can anyone suggest how best to tackle this problem?
Green foam is I think the spray foam that I plan to use for the walls and ceiling but I am going with rigid for the floor because it seems a lot easier. You have to cut off the overspray which has got to be easier with the ribs as a guide. The floor has no ribs.
__________________
middle aged mom on a learning adventure
2martins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2018, 12:43 AM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Whatthefak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Wisconsin N.E.
Posts: 411
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
Depends how tall you are man, I'm 6'4" I can't insulate without a roof raise even in a high roof bus but a guy 5'2" no prob

You could always spray a bedliner type product over your insulation to seal it, but it seems like over kill.

Keep the humidity down inside mold doesn't grow dry
Whatthefak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2018, 08:12 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whatthefak View Post
Depends how tall you are man, I'm 6'4" I can't insulate without a roof raise even in a high roof bus but a guy 5'2" no prob

You could always spray a bedliner type product over your insulation to seal it, but it seems like over kill.

Keep the humidity down inside mold doesn't grow dry
Closed-cell foam is already sealed.
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2018, 12:03 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 2,852
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
I've been calling around for estimates on spray foam and have been hearing much higher prices than I was expecting.... First estimate I got was $1500 for ceiling and walls (not including windows).
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2018, 01:01 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
peterbylt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Tampa Fl
Posts: 31
Year: 1989
Coachwork: MCI 96A3
Engine: DD 8V92TA
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I've been calling around for estimates on spray foam and have been hearing much higher prices than I was expecting.... First estimate I got was $1500 for ceiling and walls (not including windows).
brokedown,
The guy that did my bus last year did an outstanding job, at half the price anyone else quoted, and operates out of St Petersburg, FL





Peter
peterbylt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2018, 01:37 PM   #7
Traveling
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 8,955
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterbylt View Post
brokedown,
The guy that did my bus last year did an outstanding job, at half the price anyone else quoted, and operates out of St Petersburg, FL





Peter
And that price was?
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2018, 01:40 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 2,852
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
I remember your post about it, unfortunately there is no way I can get the bus to St Pete at this stage of the conversion! But your experience is what I'm comparing against.
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2018, 09:33 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whatthefak View Post
Depends how tall you are man, I'm 6'4" I can't insulate without a roof raise even in a high roof bus but a guy 5'2" no prob
I'm 6' flat, so I could get away with some of the taller buses without doing a lift. The extra space would be nice, but I'm already at the limit of my mechanical ability. If I can find one with a lift for sale, I might buy it, but I'm not optimistic with my ~$5,000 budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
Closed-cell foam is already sealed.
Yes, but the area over and around it? Homes usually breathe a lot better than cars, and I'm petrified of condensation collecting under the floor. I don't really understand home construction very well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I've been calling around for estimates on spray foam and have been hearing much higher prices than I was expecting....
You can get DIY kits starting at $650. (I would say "How hard could it be?", but that always jinxes things...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterbylt View Post
]The guy that did my bus last year did an outstanding job, at half the price anyone else quoted, and operates out of St Petersburg, FL
That is friggin' gorgeous.

Out of curiosity, how would you feel about living in your bus in Las Vegas, NV in July?
Jshaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2018, 10:49 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jshaul View Post
Yes, but the area over and around it? Homes usually breathe a lot better than cars, and I'm petrified of condensation collecting under the floor. I don't really understand home construction very well.

You can get DIY kits starting at $650. (I would say "How hard could it be?", but that always jinxes things...)
The temperature of a surface relative to the temperature of a room will not be affected simply by trying to seal the foam. You have to address the issue with ventilation. having done your best to insulate and eliminate thermal bridges.

Condensation won't collect under the floor but it will collect on windows and any parts substantially colder than warm, moisture-laden air.

You will need at least two of those kits to insulate any decent sized bus. The DIT route doesn't save a great deal of money. It is cheaper, but you have to do all the work yourself and it still works out about twice the cost of foam-board. If you fit the board correctly, and seal the edges well, it will perform almost as well as spray-foam. Spray foam is superior, but at a price and the cost-benefit might be not be enough for you to commit the funds.
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2018, 10:48 AM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 453
Coachwork: Gillig
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterbylt View Post
brokedown,
The guy that did my bus last year did an outstanding job, at half the price anyone else quoted, and operates out of St Petersburg, FL





Peter
It looks like your guy did a real nice job, how much? I presume the guy came to you? I should get some estimates but I understand that two of these kits is enough to do even a big bus. Aside from the pain of spraying it all, that's pretty affordable.
ComfortEagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2018, 10:55 AM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,678
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComfortEagle View Post
Aside from the pain of spraying it all, that's pretty affordable.
And the mess! Don't forget the mess because it's a big part of the DIY route. As you can see from the previously posted pictures, professional installs have very little waste and it fits the cavity almost perfectly. I 100% guarantee that the DIY kit run by a novice will waste upwards of half of the product which will run all over the place and need to be trimmed. For the round contours of the ceiling a grinder and wire wheel was about the only way I had on hand to trim the excess.. Such a mess. I wish I would have paid the extra $200 to have someone else do the job. It would have also been a better product. Professionals have the equipment to spray with the good stuff. The 2-part tank DIY stuff is just ok..
__________________
My build page: Armageddon - The Smell of Airborne Rust
jazty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2018, 12:47 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazty View Post
I wish I would have paid the extra $200 to have someone else do the job. It would have also been a better product. Professionals have the equipment to spray with the good stuff. The 2-part tank DIY stuff is just ok..
You've made your point. Guess I'll need to shop around for a pro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
You have to address the issue with ventilation. having done your best to insulate and eliminate thermal bridges.
I'm more concerned about summer condensation - cooling a 122F environment to 78 degrees causes a lot of mildew, even if it's somewhere dry like Arizona.
Jshaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2018, 02:21 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: KANSAS CITY
Posts: 713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jshaul View Post
You've made your point. Guess I'll need to shop around for a pro.



I'm more concerned about summer condensation - cooling a 122F environment to 78 degrees causes a lot of mildew, even if it's somewhere dry like Arizona.
Compare all this too solar panels on the roof and a painted white roof
__________________
Former owner of a 1969 F600 Skoolie.

1998 Ford B700 Thomas body 65 passenger. 5.9 Cummins 12 valve with MT643 Transmission 123,000 miles.
Versatile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2018, 09:31 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Versatile View Post
Compare all this too solar panels on the roof and a painted white roof
I'm not looking at solar at the present - this is going to be used in an RV park pretty much permanently. The white roof is a must-have, though.
Jshaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2018, 09:58 PM   #16
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,999
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jshaul View Post
You've made your point. Guess I'll need to shop around for a pro.



I'm more concerned about summer condensation - cooling a 122F environment to 78 degrees causes a lot of mildew, even if it's somewhere dry like Arizona.
I have spent Summers in Las Vegas and Laughlin in a converted bus with spray foam insulation.

Condensation was NOT any issue at all. What little condensate there was from the A/C's went outside as it is intended to do.

Trying to maintain 78F inside when it was 122F outside was an issue.

My bus was painted "Arctic White" and had 2" of foam insulation. I had 2 x 12kbtu A/C's. When it was in the mit 120's outside I struggled to keep the inside temp below 90F. I had too many/ too big windows.

My intention with my new bus is to never be in 100F+ temps but I am still going to paint my bus white, insulate with spray foam, cover the roof with deck and solar panels to shade the roof and install smaller double pane windows.

To speak to your concern. I have lived in a converted bus in the kind of environment you described and had zero condensation or mildew issues.

I would suggest that you pay close attention to making sure your A/C condenser and condensate drains stay clean. If you do not then these could lead to mildew issues.

Good luck with your quest.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2018, 10:11 PM   #17
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Agree with this ^^^

When the RH is hovering between 2 and 5%, you can never get enough vapor in the air inside the bus for condensation to be an issue.
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2018, 10:53 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I have spent Summers in Las Vegas and Laughlin in a converted bus with spray foam insulation.

Condensation was NOT any issue at all. What little condensate there was from the A/C's went outside as it is intended to do.
Thanks for the detailed information!

I'm not sure what causes the endless black mold in Vegas, but it's good to know I haven't got it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Trying to maintain 78F inside when it was 122F outside was an issue.

My intention with my new bus is to never be in 100F+ temps but I am still going to paint my bus white, insulate with spray foam, cover the roof with deck and solar panels to shade the roof and install smaller double pane windows.
Ah, yes. The other problem I was wondering about.

I have a rather Vegas-specific career in mind, so I'm stuck in the inferno. I am dismayed to hear you had this much trouble even with two air conditioners - I was only figuring on needing *one* of those.

It sounds like my original budget - which figured on plating over and insulating some of the windows, but no replacement with double-glazing or second A/C - is completely inadequate.

Back to the drawing board, I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
Agree with this ^^^

When the RH is hovering between 2 and 5%, you can never get enough vapor in the air inside the bus for condensation to be an issue.
That makes good sense - but where is all the @#$! black mold coming from?

You seem to have a good handle on home insulation design. Do you perhaps have a link to a good source on the basics?
Jshaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2018, 11:17 PM   #19
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,999
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
"Where is all of the black mold coming from? "

Formation of black mold requires moisture. In LV if you have moisture issues it is most likely a plumbing issue or a dirty /plugged A/C evaporator.

If you have no water leaks and a well maintained A/C then you should have no moisture issues.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2018, 11:25 PM   #20
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jshaul View Post
Thanks for the detailed information!

I'm not sure what causes the endless black mold in Vegas, but it's good to know I haven't got it.



Ah, yes. The other problem I was wondering about.

I have a rather Vegas-specific career in mind, so I'm stuck in the inferno. I am dismayed to hear you had this much trouble even with two air conditioners - I was only figuring on needing *one* of those.

It sounds like my original budget - which figured on plating over and insulating some of the windows, but no replacement with double-glazing or second A/C - is completely inadequate.

Back to the drawing board, I guess.



That makes good sense - but where is all the @#$! black mold coming from?

You seem to have a good handle on home insulation design. Do you perhaps have a link to a good source on the basics?
If you want foam board, there is a bunch of stuff in my build thread, including why I chose XPS over Polyiso.

You can search the forum for Spray Foam
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg 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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×