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Old 01-26-2014, 06:30 PM   #1
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Any and all advice welcome on my 96 Bluebird short bus

Hello, everyone my name is Ashlee and I am just getting started on my new short bus conversion. It's a rough machine but I'm taking on the challenge. So far I have taken out the seats and ripped up the rubber mats (they were in real bad shape and I needed to see if there was any damage underneath. It's just an empty canvas now. I am looking into solar panels, electrical wiring, and insulation next. I have a question, if anyone has a suggestion, Should I strip down the inside metal and insulate from there, or is that an extra step that would be too much hassle? Could I insulate the walls and ceiling onto the metal already present? I will be living in harsh winter climates during the season so I do need it to be insulated, also, the floor as well, what kind of method is best? And does anyone have a preferred solar panel type of company that they would recommend? I truly appreciate everyone suggestions and I plan to get plenty of ideas from other's projects thanks!
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:40 PM   #2
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Re: Any and all advice welcome on my 96 Bluebird short bus

Budget?

I say pull it all, and spray foam.

The workout of pulling the interior is what seals the bond between the owner and the bus. It's like changing your baby's poopy diaper

Nat
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:31 PM   #3
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Re: Any and all advice welcome on my 96 Bluebird short bus

X2 on the spray foam if you can afford it. It insulates well and makes the bus much quieter on the road. The spray-in stuff also is preferable if you'll have humidity problems from many people living in the bus or from using catalytic propane heaters which put out a lot of water vapor.

Most of us here have used foam insulating board with good results, but in high humidity situations the water vapor can get behind the foam boards and condense on the outer wall causing mold.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:12 PM   #4
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Re: Any and all advice welcome on my 96 Bluebird short bus

Spray foam is the best/ultimate way but I thought opening the walls and insulating behind them was too time consuming, I just put one inch thick purple insulation board from home depot on my walls (floor to just above the windows) and then screwed in 22 ga factory painted galvanized metal sheeting into the frame, the interior of my bus is all white so I can save watts on lighting the interior, I covered most of the windows with the metal panels, I also insulated and covered the windows from the outside in the same manor, my bus had no wall insulation but it did have roof insulation,

dont use wood or deck screws, only use tek screws, tek screws are much stronger and you can get them in the self drilling format,

DMsolar.com ,, I just bought 6 of their 158 watt panels a few weeks ago, I know several people that have used their panels and they liked them, they have the cheapest sub 200 watt panels I could fid

I used POR-15 on the few bad rust spots on my bus, you just have to break off the thick rust spots with a metal brush and then paint it on, it bonds with the rust, you can put several coats on and it will strengthen the metal floor, get it in the half pint containers since it will dry once opened and you dont want want to waste a whole quart,
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:14 AM   #5
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Re: Any and all advice welcome on my 96 Bluebird short bus

I pulled mine, cleaned out the walls, sprayed some sound deadening, then 1 1/2 Styrofoam board, used can spray foam to get into some nock and crannys, them covered with a 1/2inch foil insulation board. nice and sealed up 1/2 plywood then my panel works good
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:13 PM   #6
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Re: Any and all advice welcome on my 96 Bluebird short bus

I thank you all so much for the helpful hints. I'm thinking of leaving the insulation the way it is and building on top of that, I'll be researching the foam a little more in depth in my area, which is currently MD near the Appalachians, cold and snowy : ) so I'm riding out a few weeks.

And since you all have so much more info out there than me, Should I get my electrical wiring and hooks up installed before the insulation as I do the framing as well? This is another serious issue I am having in the drafting process. Thanks again everyone : )
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:32 PM   #7
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Re: Any and all advice welcome on my 96 Bluebird short bus

Buy yourself a nice cozy sticks and staples, complete your degree(s) and move on--we'll still love you anyway!
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:08 AM   #8
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Re: Any and all advice welcome on my 96 Bluebird short bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissJaneStrummor
I'm thinking of leaving the insulation the way it is and building on top of that.
If you want to take short cuts, afraid of hard work, not ready for hours and hours of reading, learning, don't have the budget, skills, ect, than like Trunt said buying one already done is your answer.

You must be able to put this stuff together, and keep it working through out the life of the bus. That is part of what being a skoolie is about. Being independent, and skilled.

Like a fellow member said in a different thread. Find the build thread section, and start reading. Read till you can't anymore, then look at pics. Take a break, read the good builds over again a few times to make sure you understand the tech and details we have posted. That's 90% the reason why I take the time to post. To pay back to the vast sea of knowledge I gain so much from.

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Old 02-13-2014, 07:20 PM   #9
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Re: Any and all advice welcome on my 96 Bluebird short bus

Hmmm, well I appreciate the advice, or should I say tough love. But no, I'm not afraid of the hard work that I need to put in, honestly I wanted to rip the walls out and insulate, my partner however has been very admit that that would be a wasted of time, extra work, and cost more resources than would be worth just building on top. You all have given me a lot to think about. Off to the message board for more information from other's projects. cheers
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:25 PM   #10
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Re: Any and all advice welcome on my 96 Bluebird short bus

All good, sorry I didn't mean to be harsh.

Looking forward to pics of progress.

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