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Old 09-16-2022, 10:05 AM   #1
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Original Rubber floor

I see most people say they've ripped it out, and started with the metal flooring.

What are pros and cons to this process?

Left in, is it better heat distribution/ noise reduction?

I am tempted to build a plywood/ firm insulation floor over the top of the original rubber because I can just DO that. In a day.

Tell me why I shouldn't.. or should I?

I don't really have the time or materials to do the whole grinding process right now...

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Old 09-16-2022, 10:42 AM   #2
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Under that rubber floor is years of potential rot, mold, and rust. The only way to find out is to take it out. It's up to you to decide if you'd rather build on a solid foundation or a rocky one.

IMO, if you don't have time to build a strong foundation, then you don't have time for the project at all.
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Old 09-16-2022, 11:23 AM   #3
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I probed my floor and found one area in the far back that was soft. I decided just to leave the floor in place-the soft spot is under the bed and where I put the diesel heater.

If you have a rock solid mechanical drivetrain and the body style is to die for, then seriously consider stripping it down to the bones. In my opinion, if the bus mechanical and chassis is just average, investing all that time and effort into a rebuild means you plan on keeping the bus for a decade or better.
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Old 09-16-2022, 12:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Clouse House View Post
Under that rubber floor is years of potential rot, mold, and rust. The only way to find out is to take it out. It's up to you to decide if you'd rather build on a solid foundation or a rocky one.

IMO, if you don't have time to build a strong foundation, then you don't have time for the project at all.

This is the answer.
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Old 09-16-2022, 12:34 PM   #5
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I probed my floor and found one area in the far back that was soft. I decided just to leave the floor in place-the soft spot is under the bed and where I put the diesel heater.
And this is why people don't like buying someone else's conversion.
If you can't trust someone to do it correctly, then you have to wonder what other corners they've cut to save time and money.

I do want to say, Rucker I understand that for your build and your purpose this might be a reasonable choice. But as someone that is planning on full time living with a family of 4, I can't justify cutting any corners. And the idea that someone else might purchase my bus in the future, I want to make sure that I am giving them something safe and reliable.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:06 PM   #6
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IF it looks good from underneath then it should last a long time. My old bus has rubber on the steel floor, I never questioned how solid it was because it looked good from underneath. That was 16 years ago and I am just now getting a soft spot behind the rear wheel on r side. We never put anything over in that corner anyway so I will worry about it when I can see daylight. Do what you think is right.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:28 PM   #7
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IF it looks good from underneath then it should last a long time. My old bus has rubber on the steel floor, I never questioned how solid it was because it looked good from underneath. That was 16 years ago and I am just now getting a soft spot behind the rear wheel on r side. We never put anything over in that corner anyway so I will worry about it when I can see daylight. Do what you think is right.
Our experience would suggest otherwise.

I could see no signs of rust from underneath. However, once you pulled up the plywood floor, there was significant rust in a couple areas that went about 1/2 way through the thickness of the steel. In our case, it's where moisture was trapped & held between the wood & steel. But the same could likewise happen with rubber on steel.

If moisture's causing damage from the inside, you're not going to see it on the outside until it's pretty much eaten all the way through.
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Old 09-16-2022, 07:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
Our experience would suggest otherwise.

I could see no signs of rust from underneath. However, once you pulled up the plywood floor, there was significant rust in a couple areas that went about 1/2 way through the thickness of the steel. In our case, it's where moisture was trapped & held between the wood & steel. But the same could likewise happen with rubber on steel.

If moisture's causing damage from the inside, you're not going to see it on the outside until it's pretty much eaten all the way through.
THIS IS TRUE! I finally decided to tear mine up, it looks perfect underneath, it's an Alabama bus. I pulled out the passenger side rubber(over metal) yesterday and I'm super glad I'm doing it already. There was a ton of moisture trapped and a fairly substantial rust area about 3/4 of the way back. I'm goanna use a braided wire wheel and chassis saver paint on it. It's really not hard to get out I pulled the trim and then just tore and scraped it up with a scraper in about 3 hours.
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Old 09-16-2022, 08:32 PM   #9
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THIS IS TRUE! I finally decided to tear mine up, it looks perfect underneath, it's an Alabama bus. I pulled out the passenger side rubber(over metal) yesterday and I'm super glad I'm doing it already. There was a ton of moisture trapped and a fairly substantial rust area about 3/4 of the way back. I'm goanna use a braided wire wheel and chassis saver paint on it. It's really not hard to get out I pulled the trim and then just tore and scraped it up with a scraper in about 3 hours.
You can spare yourself the wire wheel effort and just use Ospho instead - let the chemicals do the work for you.
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Old 09-17-2022, 04:23 AM   #10
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You can spare yourself the wire wheel effort and just use Ospho instead - let the chemicals do the work for you.
interesting, so theres a ton of glue too, what are the steps involved?
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Old 09-17-2022, 05:14 AM   #11
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Generally buses rust from the inside -> out, so it can be hard to find on the outside, and often if you can see it on the outside the inside is VERY bad. Moisture is brought in on rainy or snowy days by the passengers. That moisture then makes its way past the rubber floor (water will always find the tiniest crack) and either directly onto the metal or into the wood if it is there. From there it causes rust, rot, and mold.
Common problem areas are wheel wells, staircases, E-doors, and drivers compartment. Places that the water was a corner to sit in or easy access to.
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Old 09-17-2022, 05:48 AM   #12
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interesting, so theres a ton of glue too, what are the steps involved?
Most likely, wherever you have glue you don't have rust underneath it, so I would just leave it and ospho over the whole floor and paint over everything. Your floor doesn't have to be perfectly smooth and beautiful since you're going to cover it with your subfloor anyway.
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Old 09-22-2022, 12:17 PM   #13
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Guys... So I did the thing.
Days of deliberating... And being antsy waiting for the remodel money to come.... And reading the very first comment...

Uhhh... Yeah I am thououghly disgusted by my discovery when I pulled the mats between the drivers seat... Piles of rust bits, and WHATS THAT SMELL???!!! I CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO THINK I WAS TEMPTED TO SHORT CUT AND SEAL ALL THAT NASTY INSIDE MY HOME!!! THANKS FOR THE SNAPPY COMMENT THERE.... Yes pulling up the mats and finishing/sealing the metal floor is thing to do!!
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Old 09-22-2022, 12:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mountainmaam View Post
I see most people say they've ripped it out, and started with the metal flooring.

What are pros and cons to this process?

Left in, is it better heat distribution/ noise reduction?

I am tempted to build a plywood/ firm insulation floor over the top of the original rubber because I can just DO that. In a day.

Tell me why I shouldn't.. or should I?

I don't really have the time or materials to do the whole grinding process right now...
I'm doing it... Pulling up the nasty cracked rubber, finding wetness... Oh gods is that urine? Smells like it! Gonna grind and paint/seal the metal floor. Wowser. Is a dirty job but someone's got to do it!
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Old 09-22-2022, 12:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Clouse House View Post
Under that rubber floor is years of potential rot, mold, and rust. The only way to find out is to take it out. It's up to you to decide if you'd rather build on a solid foundation or a rocky one.

IMO, if you don't have time to build a strong foundation, then you don't have time for the project at all.
DING DING DING! RIGHT ANSWER!! TOTALLY!!! THERE IS MOISTURE, RUST UNDER THERE AND RUST LEADS TO MORE RUST. THANK YOU FOR TELLING ME NOW WHILE I AM AT Beginning STAGE OF UPCYCLING MY BUS!!
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Old 09-22-2022, 01:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportyrick View Post
IF it looks good from underneath then it should last a long time. My old bus has rubber on the steel floor, I never questioned how solid it was because it looked good from underneath. That was 16 years ago and I am just now getting a soft spot behind the rear wheel on r side. We never put anything over in that corner anyway so I will worry about it when I can see daylight. Do what you think is right.

thats the difference you didnt have plywood.. mny old Superior bus doesnt have plywood and the floor is solid as can be..



the issue comes about with busses that have the metal then plywood then rubber.. water loves to get between the layers and rot, grow mold etc.. I consider it a blessing (even though you lose insulation) when busses have no plywood..



to me if someone is building a full time home or an extended use RV, it would be a no braineer to rip out the floors and re-do..


if its just a weekend warrior then id look for soft spots, signs of mold, and the under-carriage and if it looked good id send it!
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Old 09-22-2022, 09:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Clouse House View Post
And this is why people don't like buying someone else's conversion.
If you can't trust someone to do it correctly, then you have to wonder what other corners they've cut to save time and money.

I do want to say, Rucker I understand that for your build and your purpose this might be a reasonable choice. But as someone that is planning on full time living with a family of 4, I can't justify cutting any corners. And the idea that someone else might purchase my bus in the future, I want to make sure that I am giving them something safe and reliable.
I like your thinking, which explains why I'm into my third year of conversion and still working on it.

What we all learn during the journey is some parts of a build don't need to pass with an A+. That doesn't necessarily mean we've cut corners. It does explain why I won't be going into a fourth year of this build.

A key decision on my shuttle build was not to strip the interior to the frame. The bus is a California bus, in great shape (except for the soft spot by one leaky rear window, now under the bed). I did however take out every window, rebuild the hollow core frames and properly reinstall the windows with new stainless steel screws and closed-cell foam gaskets. That was a bitch, let me tell you; but it was absolutely necessary and I wasn't going to skimp on leakproofing the bus. These were decisions that suited my purposes as you suggest, but I don't think of them as corner-cutting. I haven't done that yet, so far. I think.

Design Choices are decisions about a build that have aesthetic, cost or functionality implications but are apparent to a buyer so they can decide what value to assign something. My interior is white fiberglass panel and gray super-durable vinyl floor. In other words, original interior. I even kept the overhead handrail. The aesthetics of my build begin inside that interior, with window coverings, built-ins and cabinets that cover parts of those walls and floor. I may drop some carpet on the vinyl floor but it will come out easily for cleaning.

Corner Cutting is the intentional omission of a step or feature that is inherently difficult to detect and introduces a safety, durability or functionality issue, intended to artificially reduce cost or effort of the conversion without affecting its apparent value.

Examples:

Design Choice: The receptacles are grounded and are there enough of them place correctly throughout the bus. An A+ effort. Skimp on receptacles? Maybe a B, or C, or maybe you decided to do a minimal build and just have a few receps for emergencies.

Corner Cutting: Using a smaller gauge wire than required because that's what was available and the right stuff was going to cost another two hundred bucks, and besides who's going to load up that branch circuit anyway?

Design Choice: Buying a 6 inch mattress, which give a grade of A+. Or a four inch mattress, maybe a B. Even stuffing that old futon mattress from the garage in the back until you can afford a real mattress is like a D-, but it's not like the buyer (if you were to ever sell the rig) would be fooled into believing it's anything other than a futon mattress.

Corner Cutting: Not bothering to add a layer of Den-Dry, or not properly venting the mattress deck. Even if the buyer doesn't know better you do, or you should know better because the knowledge is out there, free, and you were either too lazy to find it or too cheap to include it and now hope to gain because of the buyer's lack of experience .

I don't mean to make this a discussion of value--the market for these conversions has substantially cooled, and other posts in this forum discuss how poor one of these things is as an investment.

What has not changed is the increasing number of horror stories about crappy conversions for large dollars, and the the moral obligation we have as members of the skoolie community to disclose any corner-cutting deficiencies to a potential buyer, or fix them before putting the rig on the market.

I love my gray vinyl rubber floor.
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Old 09-23-2022, 02:28 PM   #18
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My experience with crowns is that the rubber floor is a nuisance. In both of my Crowns it wasn't pretty. In the "new Crown" it has cracks in it also. I have been removing it as I go. In Crowns there isn't rust to be found under the rubber because Crowns have 3 layer wood floors. Crowns do have a rounded steel covering that goes between the floor and the walls underneath the rubber. It is in the way so I remove it. It is also a pain to remove but can be done.
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Old 09-23-2022, 04:54 PM   #19
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ok i will play the game.
three layers of ply?
whats under the third layer?
floor ribs?
just asking?
dont own one YET but want one?
dont need another project right now?
just asking the question.
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Old 09-24-2022, 01:34 AM   #20
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ok i will play the game.
three layers of ply?
whats under the third layer?
floor ribs?
just asking?
dont own one YET but want one?
dont need another project right now?
just asking the question.
Attached is a plug of the three layers of a Crown bus floor. These were the result of cutting the opening in the floor for the toilet.
Under those layers are frame cross members, the frame and edge mounting that is part of the sides of the bus.
Attached Thumbnails
layers of Crown bus floor.jpg  
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