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Old 02-04-2019, 04:40 PM   #1
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Usable interior width

Been searching for posts on this and can't find what I'm looking for. Typically buses are 7.5 feet wide. How much of that width is usable after a typical conversion?

This will help me with layout plans. Should I account for losing an inch of width on each side? Two inches? Three?

After putting in insulation, how much room do you need for wiring/electric components?

Is there anything else you might want to put in the walls besides wiring? Not counting any decorative panels/wood/treatment, which obviously will decrease overall usable width further...

Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:04 PM   #2
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7.5 wide not including the chair rail that sticks out about 1.5" I will insulate and frame out to the edge of that lip, so realistically 87" or 7'3"
It's hard to put wiring in walls without drilling through all the ribs. The cavity under the chair rail is optimum for running wires.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:35 PM   #3
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7.5 wide not including the chair rail that sticks out about 1.5" I will insulate and frame out to the edge of that lip, so realistically 87" or 7'3"
It's hard to put wiring in walls without drilling through all the ribs. The cavity under the chair rail is optimum for running wires.
Thanks! does the chair rail come all the way up to the bottom of the window?
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:41 PM   #4
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Thanks! does the chair rail come all the way up to the bottom of the window?
The chair rail is what the outsides of the seats bolt to. It's approx. 8-10" from the floor.
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:16 PM   #5
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The chair rail is what the outsides of the seats bolt to. It's approx. 8-10" from the floor.
Are you not also insulating and framing out the area between the top of the chair rail and the bottom of the window?
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:23 PM   #6
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Are you not also insulating and framing out the area between the top of the chair rail and the bottom of the window?
That sheet metal is usually spot welded just below the bottom of the window and screwed or riveted at the bottom. Remove the bottom hardware and then cut the metal about 1/2" below the weld spots and remove the metal. Replace with foam insulation and then whatever wall covering you have planned.
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Old 02-05-2019, 04:08 PM   #7
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That sheet metal is usually spot welded just below the bottom of the window and screwed or riveted at the bottom. Remove the bottom hardware and then cut the metal about 1/2" below the weld spots and remove the metal. Replace with foam insulation and then whatever wall covering you have planned.
I'm having trouble picturing the final result. Do you have any pics? Seems there would be an awkwardly low ledge (the chair rail, with framing below it), that sticks out only slightly from the insulating and covered area above the chair rail...
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Old 02-05-2019, 04:25 PM   #8
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I think this is basically what Marc and others have described for their plans, but I'll let him or someone else confirm that.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:25 PM   #9
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My chair rail and the cable run above the window both stick out about 1". I use 1" double-faced rigid foam insulation between. The distance is a bit over 4'. One 4'x8' panel fits nicely between the rails.For the overhead, a double-faced bubble insulation https://www.insulation4less.com/Insu...aspx#fragment1 would be best.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:48 AM   #10
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I think this is basically what Marc and others have described for their plans, but I'll let him or someone else confirm that.
That pic makes sense to me...but Marc said “it’s hard to put wires in the walls without cutting through all the ribs...the cavity below the chair rail is optimum for placing wires.”

That made me think he wasn’t going to frame out a cavity ABOVE the chair rail, he was only going to frame out below it. That’s what I’m having a hard time picturing...
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:59 AM   #11
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My guess is that the diagram weboughtabus posted is what o1marc was trying to describe (a picture is worth a thousand words in this case). It is the basic method lots of folks use. Some will also remove the metal inside wall between the bottom of the windows down to the seat rail and put in new insulation of their choice.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:56 AM   #12
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My guess is that the diagram weboughtabus posted is what o1marc was trying to describe (a picture is worth a thousand words in this case). It is the basic method lots of folks use. Some will also remove the metal inside wall between the bottom of the windows down to the seat rail and put in new insulation of their choice.
Thanks! Yes, I'll def be removing the metal and putting in insulation. So I guess my remaining question from what Marc described...is it okay to put the wires inside the framed out cavity ABOVE the chair rail? I don't understand what he meant by "it's hard to cut through the metal ribs, so you should put wires in the cavity UNDER the chair rail." I'm paraphrasing but that's the way I understood it and it's throwing me for a loop.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:47 AM   #13
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Cutting through the ribs is a very simple task with a holesaw or knockout punch, think Greenlee punches. Makes for an easy way to run wires in the wall above the chair rail or ceiling ribs too. Probably easier is just to frame the whole wall out in front of the chair rail to add more insulation. Use simple rubber grommets on the newly cut holes depending on the wire you use. or conduit can be installed also through the holes to your boxes.
BX cabling would not require any mechanical protection but is a solid wire, not stranded which would be better in a vehicle.
And there is flexible conduit which requires you to pull wires into it for your application at hand.
Wiring below the chair rail is essentially lost if you spray foam that cavity. No means to repair in future. I would avoid that at all costs.



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Old 02-06-2019, 12:45 PM   #14
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Thanks! Yes, I'll def be removing the metal and putting in insulation. So I guess my remaining question from what Marc described...is it okay to put the wires inside the framed out cavity ABOVE the chair rail? I don't understand what he meant by "it's hard to cut through the metal ribs, so you should put wires in the cavity UNDER the chair rail." I'm paraphrasing but that's the way I understood it and it's throwing me for a loop.
I'm still developing pics in my mind of how it will all finish out. My ceiling wood will be secured directly to ribs and down the wall, so as not to waste that extra 3". Below the windows will mostly be cabinets and such. running wires under the chair rail will end up hidden behind cabinetry. It's the transition to ceiling lighting wiring I will run through the ribs in the outer wall.
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