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Old 05-16-2009, 08:50 PM   #1
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Where to begin?

Okay... so I buy this bus, work out a floorplan, then start tearing it down for rebuild.

Out comes the seats, old flooring, walls & insulation.

What's next? If this was a house, the wiring and plumbing would be roughed-in before insulation... but this is a much smaller wall space. Wouldn't it be wiser to spray a layer of insulating foam on the walls first, then run the other stuff?

How many of you ran the wiring through surface channels (like those used on cement walls of basements) instead of running the wiring through the walls and behind paneling?

Pros? Cons? to either method?
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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Re: Where to begin?

I spent many hours reading most of the conversion threads here, and I plan to borrow a lot from those. Bear in mind I'm barely started on my project.

For anything you want to start doing with the bus, think to yourself "will this interfere with doing something else later?" If it will, then consider waiting until the other thing is done. Also think to yourself "can I do this before I've done XYZ?" If not, then do XYZ first.

It can seem overwhelming at first. Just break it all down into sub projects, and decide what order they should be done in.

If you go with a low energy approach to living in your bus, then you won't have much complication with the wiring in the first place. However, it will probably look nicer when done if you leave channels behind the walls/ceiling for wire runs that you anticipate having to do.

In any case, just jump in and get started and it will work itself out. A little bit of forethought will help avoid the situation of undoing and redoing work. However, no amount of forethought will help you avoid all of those situations.

Good luck!
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:52 AM   #3
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Re: Where to begin?

From what I have seen, a few of the people have put up some/half of their insulation on the walls, then run in the electrical, then put in the rest of the insulation and trimmed it for the wires, outlets and such.

I kinda like this idea, makes it alot easier to enforce that 3' rule for AC and DC. But I would guess that it depends on the type of walls you are planning on putting in.
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:52 AM   #4
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Re: Where to begin?

I would lean toward the insulate first to seal up the thermal envelope, and then run the wiring in a chase at the top of the walls so that you can access them easily now and in the future
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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Re: Where to begin?

Thanks guys!

My plans for insulation are based on another bus I've seen in the gallery (sorry, don't remember who after looking at so many!). Everything was stripped down to the outer skin. One-by-two furring strips were run along the existing framework to give a little more depth. Spray-in insulation foam was sprayed on to the depth of an inch to seal the bus. Then 1" foam board was fit over the spray foam to fill the gap between the spray foam and the inner wall. Since the spray foam seals the walls, condensation shouldn't be as much of a problem. And, because the wood from the furring strips forms the skeleton for the inner skin, there shouldn't be a problem with thermal bridging.

I will probably use Handi-Foam E-84 fire retardant for the walls and Commercial Vehicle RV Black Foam for the undercarriage. Running the piping and electrical between this spray foam and the inner skin seems (to my inexperienced mind) a good idea. But like other said, as long as there's a way to get to the electrical to alter it where needed (add lights or more plugs) I should be okay. (I hope!!!)
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:51 PM   #6
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Re: Where to begin?

If I am understanding where you r at this point, you have the old flooring torn out.

If this is so, I would lay down new sub floor (plywood) before insulating any part of walls or running or planning any wiring. Reasoning for this is plans on paper very seldom work out the same on the floor. I would draw out in chalk where you plan to put everything first to see if it will fit, make whatever changes are necessary and then make up a wiring plan. I would post a photo of your wiring plan here (if you are able to post pics) and let everyone look at it and offer suggestions for changes or additions.

This seems like a lot, but I think it would be better than having to scab in more wiring later.

When I am finally ready to start wiring, I PLAN to run 3/4 inch grey plastic pipe thru chase in roof and another thru walls at floor level to run various wires. I then plan to use spun glass insulation as well as minimal expanding foam spray to insulate as much as I am humanly able before walling in.

Of course, this is all subject to change at a moments notice.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the
things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off
the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds
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