Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-24-2021, 12:03 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 1
Insulating under the bus?

I was thinking of using wool to insulate my bus. Would it be feasible to insulate UNDER the bus, and protect and cover it with a rhino liner or something? I can't afford a roof raise, and am trying to save height inside the buss

Great_wide_somewhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2021, 12:09 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 33
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: ER Transit
Engine: ISC
Its technically possible, but extremely hard to do well. Trying to insulate the underside properly will likely be harder than a roof raise.
Jaybz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2021, 12:13 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 550
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Great_wide_somewhere View Post
I was thinking of using wool to insulate my bus. Would it be feasible to insulate UNDER the bus, and protect and cover it with a rhino liner or something? I can't afford a roof raise, and am trying to save height inside the buss
I got an travel trailer for parts that was damaged in a hurricane, the entire underside is covered in a "plastic type" of covering.

I can imagine that it is to protect the underside components from the elements but does it also help at all in insulating or creating a vapor barrier on the underside that would help keep the road heat from heating the floor in the summertime?
ewo1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2021, 12:19 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
Posts: 611
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
There are lots of components under the bus. Insulating around them all is near-impossible. Also, metal conducts heat pretty well, so whatever is not insulated will mostly negate the work you did if you aren't thorough.
Biscuitsjam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2021, 02:43 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 303
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
If you can't do the floor b/c of height, might need to consider oversizing your heater and going with slippers and a throw rug...

Is a cold floor a problem for folks in the colder climates? How much discomfort comes from no insulation in the floor (versus little/no insulation in the walls and ceiling)?
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2021, 04:22 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,378
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Go out and crawl around under your bus and just try touching with your finger every spot on the underside of your floor (knee pads would be a good idea for this, and probably a helmet). I think people that contemplate this have never considered what the actual physical experience of doing it would be like. That's why this gets suggested a lot but almost never actually even tried.

And the standard idea involves spray foam, which is at least self-adherent (if the surface is cleaned and prepped, which is no fun underneath a bus) and waterproof. Wool is neither of these things - maybe not that appropriate for the underside of a vehicle.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2021, 04:26 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 303
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Go out and crawl around under your bus and just try touching with your finger every spot on the underside of your floor (knee pads would be a good idea for this, and probably a helmet). I think people that contemplate this have never considered what the actual physical experience of doing it would be like. That's why this gets suggested a lot but almost never actually even tried.

And the standard idea involves spray foam, which is at least self-adherent (if the surface is cleaned and prepped, which is no fun underneath a bus) and waterproof. Wool is neither of these things - maybe not that appropriate for the underside of a vehicle.
Also goggles, for the years of road crud that will drop on your face.
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2021, 05:20 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 776
This stuff works well and is designed specifically for that. We've used it twice and liked the results. We did talk to them about setting up a commercial account, but we're not doing enough regular volume for that. Our spray foam window is seasonal, so during the winter we wouldn't be buying any. We do like the product, though.

https://www.handifoam.com/product/ha...l-vehicle-hfo/
rossvtaylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2021, 05:46 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Ronnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,000
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
I have spray foamed under railroad cars. It works, and it is a mess to do.



On our bus we do not have insulation on the floor. Just plywood and carpet. Think the carpet makes a difference. Generally we are not in temps lower then 20 degrees or so, and as long as the bus is warm the floor is warm enough for bare feet.


If you are parked for a bit somewhere in cold weather any barrier to keep wind for going under the bus will do a lot for floor temps.
Ronnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2021, 06:32 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
flattracker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Bly Oregon
Posts: 169
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Cummins 350 big cam
Rated Cap: 86 passengers?
If you want to insulate your floor without a roof raise and not give inside height look at this type of insulation that I got. It has an R value exceeding 15.


US Energy 5mm reflective foam core insulation.



It is about .2 inches thick. It is spendy to buy, but simple to use. I got mine on eBay, but can be sourced on the net


flattracker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2021, 08:18 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
BeNimble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 865
Year: 1999
Just buy another vehicle that does not need its roof raised and its leaky windows replaced,
like a box truck if you like doing things the hard way (which you must, you bought a school bus).

Otherwise, they use wood stoves in big buses to compensate for losing 70% of the heat, air conditioning not so lucky options for off-grid, so better drive the bus to Hawaii.
BeNimble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2021, 09:47 PM   #12
Bus Nut
 
Simplicity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 619
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
RVs and Travel Trailers are rated for 3 season or 4. The main difference is that the undercarriage is insulated and then a non-rip waterproof fabric is put over the insulation. So yes, it's done.

But, they are designed for this and it's done during manufacturing.

A bus has so much "stuff" running under it, it would be an herculean effort.

My suggestion for the floor is a 1/2" rigid foam insulation covered by a minimum of 1/2", preferably 3/4" plywood that is evenly bolted through the floor of the bus. My bus had 3/4" plywood and 1/8" rubber in it originally. That's 7/8". So, if you're only adding 1 - 1 1/4" from bare metal floor, you really are only adding a net 1/8" - 3/8".

For the ceiling, I'd suggest spray foam (if you have the money, and if you've got more money, include the side walls). This is how I would do it if I ever convert again. The alternative is thick wool in the spaces between the roof ribs and a 1/4" x 4' x 8' sheets of insulation with the shiny side facing inwards to reflect back the heat. Then, a 1/8" x 4' x 8' ceiling material. This is a total of 3/8". If you measure the thickness of the original sheet metal ceiling that you removed, that shaves another 3/32" off...for a total of 9/32".

Between the floor and ceiling, that's a maximum additional 21/32" (~5/8"). That's not much considering all the floor and ceiling insulation you'll have.

Believe me, the first time you're laying in bed freezing, you'll wish you had better insulation!

Best of Luck.
__________________
Steve
Simplicity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2021, 06:28 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
Rock-N-Ruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
Posts: 253
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtrans
Engine: 444E
Rated Cap: 84 pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Great_wide_somewhere View Post
I was thinking of using wool to insulate my bus. Would it be feasible to insulate UNDER the bus, and protect and cover it with a rhino liner or something? I can't afford a roof raise, and am trying to save height inside the buss
It depends on the bus body and where the engine is. If you have a front engine bus then you have exhaust system and driveshaft to deal with. If you have a rear engine bus insulating the underside with 2 inch XPS is pretty easy.
We have insulated some of the underside of the bus. And when we get to building are under coach storage we will insulate the rest. We also saved a lot of inside Space by insulating on the outside of the bus and then covering it with quarter-inch plywood. We call it the hillbilly way. Some might just call it cheap and effective.
Rock-N-Ruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2021, 11:33 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
TJones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 766
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: CS RE
Engine: ISC 8.3 L 260 hp
Rated Cap: 36
I think I will be reinsulating under my bus. It has spray foam on the bottom from the factory but it seems to be getting loose in places. The foam is stuck to the underbody coating but the coating is coming off the metal. I think that pressure from the expansion of the foam between the floor ribs is what is holding the foam on. The good news is the metal looks brand new under the foam. My plan... unless I talk my self out of it is to pull the factory foam off, paint any rust I find and then spray new foam. I had origionaly wanted to add more foam to the full depth of the floor ribs to the existing but I don't want to go over foam that isn't stuck down. I'll post some pics when I get started with that "fun".

Ted
TJones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2021, 12:24 AM   #15
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 776
TJones...when you do that, try the product I mentioned above. It works really well.
rossvtaylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2021, 07:53 AM   #16
Bus Nut
 
TJones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 766
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: CS RE
Engine: ISC 8.3 L 260 hp
Rated Cap: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
TJones...when you do that, try the product I mentioned above. It works really well.
Thanks. I will check it out.

Ted
TJones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2021, 01:59 AM   #17
Skoolie
 
flattracker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Bly Oregon
Posts: 169
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Cummins 350 big cam
Rated Cap: 86 passengers?
I think this is the thread where i jumped in with my two cents about insulation. Someone thought that I might have been deceived about the US Energy Products insulation. I looked into it again tonight and made note of a place on the net where claims about the insulation were made. I found this:
https://www.amazon.com/US-Energy-Pro.../dp/B07YYNL4LW


The statement found there:


"EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE - Reflect 97% of radiant energy, perfect RADIANT BARRIER. R-value up to 15.62 (1 layer), up to 21.10 (2 layers) (building envelope)"


when doing a google search of "US Energy 5MM Reflective Foam Core Insulation r value"
found "Prevents 97% of radiant heat transfer"
also states "
R-Value = 8 unaffected by humidity" but I think that is for the thinner version. It appears that its rating comes from reduction of radiant energy.
It is a product of USA. I invite comments because If I am wrong let me know.
Thanks
flattracker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2021, 06:13 AM   #18
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,378
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by flattracker View Post
I think this is the thread where i jumped in with my two cents about insulation. Someone thought that I might have been deceived about the US Energy Products insulation. I looked into it again tonight and made note of a place on the net where claims about the insulation were made. I found this:
https://www.amazon.com/US-Energy-Pro.../dp/B07YYNL4LW


The statement found there:


"EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE - Reflect 97% of radiant energy, perfect RADIANT BARRIER. R-value up to 15.62 (1 layer), up to 21.10 (2 layers) (building envelope)"


when doing a google search of "US Energy 5MM Reflective Foam Core Insulation r value"
found "Prevents 97% of radiant heat transfer"
also states "
R-Value = 8 unaffected by humidity" but I think that is for the thinner version. It appears that its rating comes from reduction of radiant energy.
It is a product of USA. I invite comments because If I am wrong let me know.
Thanks
The thing about a claim like "prevents 97% of radiant heat transfer" is that at the temperatures humans exist at (0F to 100F, say) radiant heat transfer makes up a tiny, tiny fraction of the total heat transfer, being dwarfed by the heat transfer due to conduction and convection. The reflective foil on insulation only becomes useful in the special case of a building (or vehicle) out in direct sunlight and heated up well above the ambient air temperature; and it only works at all if the reflective layer is facing the heated roof and has an air gap of at least 1" adjacent to it (which nobody ever does in a skoolie); and in this scenario it only provides a benefit of R-2.

The claim of R-15 (the equivalent of 3" of XPS foam board) from even a correctly-installed radiant barrier is really not at all plausible.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
insulate, underneath, wool

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.