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Old 12-01-2016, 04:27 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Vermont
Posts: 3
Year: 2004
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e
Making your existing windows warmer

Hey guys,

We are planning to use our skoolie in the winter and summer months and therefore had to come up with a way to make our windows warmer. I haven't seen this method done elsewhere which is why I am sharing.

(If you can not see the image go to the link at the bottom of the post and it is a few photos down)

What we did was build studs into the lower wall of the bus that ran between the seat rail and the bottom of the window. The studs were all placed in the gaps between one window and another. We then added large sheets of underlayment (a more expensive wood than underlayment would be best but we are on a tight budget, underlayment has held up fine so far) on the wall. With some difficult measuring we managed to jigsaw out holes in the sheets of underlayment that were the size of each window.

With the underlayment hanging that leaves you with about a 1 1/2 inch gap between the metal bus wall and the outer wood wall. We measured the gap between studs and created a sliding insulated window to fill that gap.

The windows are made of 1 inch foam board insulation with underlayment glued to the front. On top we attached a 1x4 using two L brackets and some liquid nails.

On the top of the window and the wall above the windows we mounted small cabinet type connectors to hold them up in place.

This will make a TON more sense if you check out this link > Bus Update: Insulation, Walls & Windows – TheAmateurAdventurers

A few photos down shows a finished product and at the bottom of the page is a GIF video that shows us installing.

If you have any questions let us know! Please check out the rest of our blog and website if you are interested as well!

TheAmateurAdventurers – Adventure Travel Blog

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Old 12-03-2016, 07:58 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 12
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: CAT3126b
Rated Cap: 64
I am doing something similar to this but in a different style.

I too am building an inner wall off of where the bus wall was, using the ribs as markers for the studs. Insulation between the inner 5mm louuon/underlayment (I am also on a budget) and the bus exterior skin. This leaves a "windowsill" right at the bottom of the window which I wanted anyway but became a needed structure after I messed up the grinding of the wall panels which left them with a sharp edge I can never seem to get rid of. The window sill covers the sharp edge nicely. Above my windows the roof also is a little further off of the original ribs. Instead of making a pocket that holds a panel i insulated the void and am in the process of making a more flexible foam insert that compression fits into the gap between the windowsill and where the wire chase used to be.

I am hoping this will further reduce the heat transfer out the windows.

I am still early in my build... But this week I have been finishing out the roof insulation.... Night and day. It's even a notable difference when you step between a section that is fully insulated... And the one or two sections remaining that still have some of the roof uninsulated.

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Old 12-03-2016, 09:16 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EHT New Jersey
Posts: 1,134
Year: 2003
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International 3000RE
Engine: T444E/AT545
Rated Cap: 75
It'll also help with cooling in the summer too. I was thinking of doing something similar, but I'm going further, and pulling out the old steel and insulation from the walls.
Hey! That's not an RV, that's a school bus.
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:52 AM   #4
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 19,020
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
im using cellular shades in the DEV bus for summer heat... I did some testing with cellular shades in my house and found that they will let in quite a bit of light and also protect alot against heat... they are great for drafts but do help as it funnels the cool air down to the floor where my heaters can take care of it..

your idea will definitely insulate better but sure makes for a dark interior.. though at night its what you want for sleeping..

just this week I designed a new HVAC system for a friend's house.. he is taking out low profile baseboard Hydronic heaters.. which got me to thinking.. im taking some of his baseboard units and going to replace the rubber heater lines going to the back of the bus with those hydronic heaters.. I can run them down both sides of the bus.. since engine coolant is typically at 180 or above i should get great radiant heat that is controllable with my electronic valves like the main heaters are..

im putting in a webasto heater so that is the main means of heat - coolant for when im parked.. I should have a nice warm bus with the hydronic radiant warming up any cold air dropping down from the windows and the fans running...

copper baseboard hydrnics are fairly easy to find with so many people yanking them out of houses in favor of 98% efficient forced air furnaces with Central A/C... assuming the copper scrappers dont get their hands on them.

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Old 12-03-2016, 11:11 AM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 12
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: CAT3126b
Rated Cap: 64
That's what I did as well. The inside metal skin on the roof and walls was removed, old insulation out, XPS foam board in, lumber on top!
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insulation, walls, windows

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