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Old 02-04-2019, 06:34 PM   #1
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Wissmiller Bus is my title so far

Truthfully just starting our process. I have watched a bunch of videos and noticed a few things that I have questions about.

1. Is tearing the interior metal and flooring out nevessary? I would think leaving it if it is in pretty good shape would be preferable, because then you add the (albeit small) insulation help to the insulation and flooring you add?

2. Has anyone thought about insulating outside the bus (basically building a 1” shell that is insulated) to double the insulation?

3. Have people done them to a point, moved in, and then finished the build while traveling?

Many more questions have come up. This is just a starting point. I am doing a blog about my build, which is slow due to $$.

It is at Wissmillerbus.blogspot.con
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:45 PM   #2
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The insulation from that factory is marginal at best. Sometimes wet and mildewy. We remove all of the ceiling and walls to add substantially more insulation so as to be comfortable in extreme areas. I hear people say all the time "There's no body rust." Body rust is seldom the issue. Buses leak and kids tromp in all kinds of mud and snow and sleet which then melts and travels under the plywood floor and starts to eat it up with rust. It is the foundation of a built to make sure your base floor is not about to fall out. So proper steps would be to remove the plywood subfloor, remove as much rust as possible, wire brush, paint with rust preventive primer and then go from there with what ever insulation and flooring you plan.

Some thought of insulating from outside, but when you think of the logistics it is not a viable option.

Some have started their builds and then moved in to complete it, but I bet they are few.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lee.wissmiller;308867#
1. Is tearing the interior metal and flooring out nevessary? I would think leaving it if it is in pretty good shape would be preferable, because then you add the (albeit small) insulation help to the insulation and flooring you add¿

2. Has anyone thought about insulating outside the bus (basically building a 1” shell that is insulated) to double the insulation?

3. Have people done them to a point, moved in, and then finished the build while traveling?
If you plan on living in the bus full-time, or you plan on keeping the bus indefinitely, I would say yes. The underside of the bus takes A LOT of water (and if it's from anywhere that has appreciable winter, salt) even before you get it, and those two together make the majority of rust problems. The wheel wells and the rear quarter of the bus passenger cabin seem to get the worst of it from what I've seen. Even if the rubber floor is in good condition, water (and salt) can get through and to the metal. It's not uncommon for people to find that the plywood subfloor is partially or completely rotten under the rubber.

A few have tried insulating outside the shell, but it is vanishingly rare. Metal (even steel) is such a good conductor of heat that burying it in your insulation generally does not work as well as insulating inside and leaving the metal shell outside. Plus you will have to make sure your new outer shell is really, REALLY waterproof.

Plenty if people finish (or don't) their conversion after moving in. Often they're in a time crunch (lease expiring, made hard plans, etc) and once the conversion is (good enough) they move in and continue as necessary and/or possible.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:36 PM   #4
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I've thought about adding 3" of closed cell foam on top of the roof, then covering that with rubber roofing - I've done a bit of research about that approach and it may be practical - I know the sheet rubber roofing stands up well on a trailer roof because I've used it on a trailer roof - haven't decided to do that yet, but 3" of foam would be R-20+ - would sure be easier than pulling out a perfectly good ceiling, spraying 2" of foam and then building a new ceiling
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:18 PM   #5
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I've thought about adding 3" of closed cell foam on top of the roof, then covering that with rubber roofing - I've done a bit of research about that approach and it may be practical - I know the sheet rubber roofing stands up well on a trailer roof because I've used it on a trailer roof - haven't decided to do that yet, but 3" of foam would be R-20+ - would sure be easier than pulling out a perfectly good ceiling, spraying 2" of foam and then building a new ceiling

That might work, depending on what kind of structure you put around it and how much time and effort you put into securing it. It's pretty hard to beat the hat channel and steel sheeting of the original bus roof though. Especially if you want to do something with the roof like a deck or even just a decent solar panel install. Good luck to you.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:28 PM   #6
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That might work, depending on what kind of structure you put around it and how much time and effort you put into securing it. It's pretty hard to beat the hat channel and steel sheeting of the original bus roof though. Especially if you want to do something with the roof like a deck or even just a decent solar panel install. Good luck to you.
still needs more thought and research - not likely to need solar panels as most of our travels will be in the winter in search of snow - could put a deck on top for the back 10' of the bus because that area will be for the dog kennels and don't want them to be insulated very much - like I say, more thought is needed, but I do want to pursue the idea a bit further
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:15 PM   #7
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Outside insulation needs to be really well attached - you don't want it blowing off at highway speed and hitting other vehicles. Also, you need more insulation when you do the outside.



Thermal bridging is the main problem in steel bodied buses. The outer skin cools/heats the steel ribs and transfers the cold/heat to the inner steel skin basically bypassing the insulation inside the walls. Insulating the outside would prevent that but at the cost of a much more difficult installation. Insulating over the inner skin stops the bridging but costs you some interior space.



It all depends on how and where you'll be using your bus.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:56 PM   #8
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Outside insulation needs to be really well attached - you don't want it blowing off at highway speed and hitting other vehicles. Also, you need more insulation when you do the outside.



Thermal bridging is the main problem in steel bodied buses. The outer skin cools/heats the steel ribs and transfers the cold/heat to the inner steel skin basically bypassing the insulation inside the walls. Insulating the outside would prevent that but at the cost of a much more difficult installation. Insulating over the inner skin stops the bridging but costs you some interior space.



It all depends on how and where you'll be using your bus.
that foam sticks like xxxx to a blanket if the surface is clean and roughed up a bit - if I decide to go that route, it will be covered with rubber roofing film - it's great stuff - I've used it on trailers and seen it on many different warehouse applications - it's very tough - self sealing if it gets a nail or screw through it and easily patched if something does damage it - I'd glue it down to the foam and use metal mouldings to hold the edges down - that rubber film is a quick to install sure fire fix for a leaky roof holiday trailer too
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:53 AM   #9
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We always planned to insulate the roof from the outside and under the solar panels. We implemented that for a section with Dory with two 1/2" sheet aluminum faced panels . 1/2 " so that it easier follows the curve. Main purpose was to reduce condensation on the arches. Not sure I understand the argument about insulation from the outside would not help with condensation on bridging. You allow the metal to get cold and insulate it to the warm side as to avoid condensation against it. Or you insulate on the outside and keep the metal warm. I do agree with the marginal value of the original insulation but not on the idea that the inner ceiling has marginal impact on the structural integrity. You can see some pics of outside insulation in my build thread.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:14 PM   #10
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We always planned to insulate the roof from the outside and under the solar panels. We implemented that for a section with Dory with two 1/2" sheet aluminum faced panels . 1/2 " so that it easier follows the curve. Main purpose was to reduce condensation on the arches. Not sure I understand the argument about insulation from the outside would not help with condensation on bridging. You allow the metal to get cold and insulate it to the warm side as to avoid condensation against it. Or you insulate on the outside and keep the metal warm. I do agree with the marginal value of the original insulation but not on the idea that the inner ceiling has marginal impact on the structural integrity. You can see some pics of outside insulation in my build thread.
what is the URL to your build Joe?
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:00 PM   #11
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Post 97 in Dory transit new start. I am on a mobile having a hard time copying the actual URL.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:48 AM   #12
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Yes I am insulting the outside of my bus
Using a sealer first than 1/2 “ r3.6 board that will have a white ( my choice of colour) .030 skin over it. Giving me th ability to make a continuous skirt as low as I want it.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:25 PM   #13
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Prodex

Curious why everyone is going with Foam Board or Blown insulation. I found this (https://www.insulation4less.com/default.aspx - PRODEX) which claims to be specifically for metal buildings, and have a R value of 15-17 for basically a 10MM install (5MM insulation with 5MM of space). I do not know if it would in this type of installation.

Has anyone researched or done an insulation like this, if so what was your experience?
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:29 PM   #14
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Jacking up Bus

I am a larger guy and can not easily fit under my bus (which is a short bus). I am considering jacking it up to get underneath it nd am trying to decide what is necessary to safely lift it.

Would two 2 ton jacks be enough to lift the back safely, or do I need more lifting power. It theoretically is rated for 10000lbs in back but i do not believe the back axle has that much weight on it now.

What is the most secure set of points to jack and hold our buses up?
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:08 PM   #15
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Actual weight on our E-450 dually rear axle is right around 8000 lbs or 4000 lbs per side.

I jack at the springs or slightly inboard of them. Don't jack at the differential. Chock the front wheels when jacking the rear. Trying to jack one rear wheel with the emergency brake or trans in park is iffy because lifting one side lessens the grip of the tires on the opposite side and the wheels may slide if you happen to be on a slight grade. Ask me how I know that.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lee.wissmiller View Post
Curious why everyone is going with Foam Board or Blown insulation. I found this (https://www.insulation4less.com/default.aspx - PRODEX) which claims to be specifically for metal buildings, and have a R value of 15-17 for basically a 10MM install (5MM insulation with 5MM of space). I do not know if it would in this type of installation.

Has anyone researched or done an insulation like this, if so what was your experience?

That looks like Reflectix type insulation. They spec R1.1 per layer assuming each layer gets the same air space. Reflectix is handy stuff but nowhere near R-15 in one layer.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:24 AM   #17
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That looks like Reflectix type insulation. They spec R1.1 per layer assuming each layer gets the same air space. Reflectix is handy stuff but nowhere near R-15 in one layer.
It comes up from time to time but its basically snake oil.
Radiant Barriers :: Bubble Foil Insulation :: Reflective Insulation

https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com...ed-bubble-wrap

Nebraska Energy Quarterly, Stay Away from Foil-Faced Bubble Wrap

https://insulation4less.pissedconsumer.com/review.html
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:42 PM   #18
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I got mine to a point of being able to use it and then started going on weekend trips. Glad i did because i have found things i like and things i wanted to change after using it.
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