Originally Posted by crazycal
I see pictures of insulation being removed and new insulation being put back in. Is there something wrong with what's there?
Yes and no; it really depends on what you're trying to achieve as the end result for your conversion. Just on this site alone it ranges from comfortable tailgater/weekend/camping buses to full-fledged live-aboard conversions. How much time, money and effort you'll put into the conversion and its final use will dictate a lot of what you feel like you should do or must do (depending entirely on your own personal predilections). Really, none of us here can answer the question; all we can do is tell you what we're doing and our thoughts.
The end result of my conversion is to be a full time live aboard for a couple and I want it as nice as any professional conversion or amongst the best of the owner conversions (which are even better). As such I felt I needed to get to the outermost layer of bus everywhere I could to assess its condition; I'm going to put a lot of time and a substantial amount of money into the conversion and I want to know the bus body is in primo condition. Thus I removed the ceiling panels and am working on the side panels and I'll remove all the current fiberglass batt insulation. I'm also removing the rubber floor material as well (2/3 of it is up now) for the same reasons (I also found out it weighs a lot!).
All the interior panels that I'm removing are metal and they were (are) fastened to metal bus frames to which the outside metal sides and roof are attached. A perfect conduit for heat and cold to enter and/or leave the bus. So another goal in gutting the interior was to reinstall non-metallic interior panels so that a thermal break is created.
Energy products have come a long way in the past few years and since my bus is intended to be lived in 24/7 all year long and in whatever part of the country we're parked or traveling through I decided to find and use the products that will let me put the most insulation in the space available. I"m only go to do this once (so I say!
), I want the bus to last another 20 years plus, and I want it to be very self-sufficient and comfortable (a real home, not just a camper).
By comparison our first bus was just a camper/huge station wagon. I didn't remove any of the interior panels and had I continued with the conversion on that bus I think I'd have just lined the inside ceiling and sides with paintable cork to get the thermal break.
SeanF from the site here (he and his wife are full-timing in their conversion) has a nice web site at http://www.seanf.smugmug.com
where he discusses their choice of insulation; they were going for the max.