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Old 05-11-2017, 09:47 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Some people paint the entire floor, ceiling and walls.
Does that work as a vapor barrier? Cuz I could totally do multiple layers of that, add in R30 rock wool, and call it a day! If that would suffice...

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Old 05-11-2017, 11:15 PM   #82
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In short, no. If the metal surface condensated previously, it will also gather condensation after you've painted it. If you glued a vapor barrier to the ceiling it would also gather condensation. You want to keep humid air away from the metal surface and you want to insulate. I don't like using bats of soft insulation because it reminds me of rat nests. Rigid insulation doesn't fit tight against the steel surface, possibly allowing condensation and/or mold growth. Spray foam was the only insulation that gave me complete coverage of the metal surfaces in the ceiling and walls.

Consider that at the time I was heating with a propane ceramic heater and I experienced occasional rain drops inside the bus. I had those perforated ceiling panels that let drips through from the metal skin, through the glass batts and they'd kind of spray as they hit the perforations. Kind of annoying if you're trying to read or something.

I chased my tail a long time on this subject. Discounting the expense it seems logical that the best coverage would be achieved from spray foam. I kept coming back to the same conclusion, and winter was coming so I got foam. I can't complain about the foam, but I don't have any experience with other ways to insulate a bus to compare the foam with. I still think this is the best coverage of metal surfaces to prevent condensation.

I currently use electric heat while on the grid, so obviously no humidity or condensation issues, but I would have to use propane for heat if I was boondocking in cold weather. This is just me trying to be ready for a worst case scenario of using propane.
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:28 PM   #83
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I keep coming back to 'spray foam is best' too, I just hope I'll have the money, tried to get a local quote but they won't unless they can see the bus.

Also, I'm super worried about them screwing it up and giving me cancer with an improperly cured spray foam job.

But when all's said and done it does seem that it's best...

Hey, random but related... After insulating, I'll put up final walls. I like wood paneling, but I also like the idea of painting the ceiling, without adding the sheet metal back. Wanna keep the weight down.

What have people used besides wood? Anyone use plaster? Seems it would crack. Also seems adobe would crack. I want a smooth light surface on the ceiling...
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:33 AM   #84
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You'll be surprised at how safe the new foam is. It's actually applied at a certain temperature that helps it set up. I didn't smell fumes even when they were spraying it. If the foam guys screw it up the foam slumps like sludge instead of foaming, then they have to remove it and start again.

Most of us don't put the sheet metal back on the ceiling, although I've known about several that have tried. It's pretty hard to get the holes to line up again. Also some of the panels get a little dinged looking while taking them out. Depending on your bus that's an average of about a ton of steel weight you're removing from the interior of your bus when you remove those steel panels. Lower center of gravity.

I put up simple plywood panels on my walls and ceilings. I used a fairly thick plywood so I could attach things to the walls or ceiling without worrying about drilling a rib for support. That's part of the thermal break theory, to avoid direct transfer of thermal energy through bolts connected to the ribs of the bus.

I've never heard of plaster or adobe interiors in a bus. Bus bodies do flex. Some people have had luck with tile using special application procedures. In the past I've bought that thin sheetrock that is made for mobile homes. It's fairly flexible but not meant to take vibration like in a bus. I'd avoid interiors that easily particalize. Maybe you can go through the home store and pick out something unique for an interior?
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:37 AM   #85
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I probably am worrying too much about foam safety. It still looks like the best option for insulation, and I wanna do GOOD insulation since I plan on going north.

Yeah that's a lot of weight just for a ceiling, and it sounds like a lot of work too. I'll do something else. I like the idea of thick plywood, I really like the wooden slat look some people have done. I also like the idea of being able to hang things without the ribs.

Tiles is something I have considered. Still a good possibility. And I saw someone share a thing with fake bricks made of wood for a floor, stained reddish and brown. It was beautiful, I so wanna do that.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:28 AM   #86
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Robin, how many Watt on electric heaters do you have in your bus?
Are they on all the time. How many units distributed over the bus?
Do you have any numbers how many KWh you are using?

Thnaks J
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:02 AM   #87
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During the winter I was using two ankle high electric heaters, but one heater died in February. I've been using my old faithful electric/ceramic 1500 watt heater. Interestingly enough I did buy a Kill-a-watt meter and checked the heater with it during the winter. This thing has been pulling about 600-700 watts during the winter. No it doesn't run all the time. It cycles on and off.

Oddly this is the oldest electric heater I have at about 20 years. I have two 15 amp lines coming into the bus, one for my electronics and the heater and the other line for appliances. If it's really cold you can bet I do a little baking to warm things up. Smells good too.

Those Kill-a-watt meters break about the first time they get dropped. Mine is dead.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:08 PM   #88
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I'm not impressed with using rockwool insulation any more than the glass batts previously stripped out of this bus. I know the rockwool is a thicker matt, but it looks like a bug and mouse nest to me. It can catch dust, not unlike the glass insulation, which means it can mold like the glass insulation.
Rockwool supposedly goes to R-30. No idea what thickness it requires. So it may not be bad in insulation terms.

Quote:
I didn't want rigid panels, because they don't fit tight enough to eliminate humid air from coming into contact with the outer skin and ribs of the bus, thereby allowing condensation. The batts slow air flow significantly, but humidity can still get through the batts to contact outer metal surfaces. I wanted to stop all that air flow so the only answer was to use foam. At that time I had been heating with propane so condensation was a major concern. Also as mentioned mice can make a home just about anywhere, so soft rockwool insulation would always be suspect to me.
You see the video of the guy using the spray cans with the ridged? Could try that.

Quote:
Originally the foam insulation idea from this forum was to spray in a 1/2" layer throughout the bus, which seals off the outer skin from contact humid interior air. That 1/2" of foam would only produce an R-value of between 2 or 3, which is obviously inadequate. The methodology was to leave an air gap, or thermal break, between the foam insulation and whatever other type of insulation is used on the interior. I used 1/2" styrofoam panels as a thermal break so my interior wood ceiling wasn't in direct contact with the steel rib surfaces.
This thermal break stuff is BS. Wood doesn't conduct heat. If you're using furring strips, you're good.

For overkill I like the idea of 3 1/2 inch 2x4 attached to the rib. The rib is how deep? An inch at least. 1 1/2 maybe?

Quote:
That's what I thought I was doing when I got my spray foam. When I saw the foam insulation over 4" in depth, way in excess of what it should have been, my heart skipped a couple beats. All this before I found out the foam cut like wood.
Must be 3# versus 2#.

Quote:
What I'm confused about is why the rigid insulation with an R-value just under 2 worked when placed against the cold windows during the winter. The panels were warm to the touch on the inside while placed snugly against the windows even during freezing weather. That doesn't make sense to me.
Because that is what insulation is supposed to do? The tiles off the shuttle can be heated to a glowing cherry red on one side while holding the other in your bare hand. Might be slightly higher than an R-2 rating tho.

Quote:
Sorry Bob, I couldn't solve your math problem. This is a "simple math only" day for me. I even looked up how to calculate board feet, and I got nothin. I've been told that a foam kit will put a layer of foam on the walls and ceilings of a 40' bus 1/2" thick. If you want 3" of foam, that's sounding a lot like six kits which puts you back in the $4k range again.
Same math as I was getting then.

Quote:
For that much money you could afford to drive to Oregon and get the $800 foam job and still save money. I'll buy you lunch and a beer if you choose that route.
It would work out to the same price by time you add food. But that said, I'd much rather spend $2k on fuel for a road trip than in someone else's labor rate.

Quote:
Honestly I'm tempted to use rigid insulation if I build a bus again. The thinner panels would conform to ceiling curves easily and could be layered to whateve depth you want. At $7 per panel, I'd have to use over 100 panels to equal the cost of my spray foam.
I dunno. For the pricing you're getting I think it's a no brainer to get spray and do it 6" deep. For the east coast prices, the foam board looks way moar betterer.

Quote:
I've only insulated a bus one time, so I have no idea which way is best. Carving this 3# foam was miserable, so I'm inclined to go just about any other direction if I insulate a bus again.
If you are getting several quotes in the same ball park, you just need a better guy.

Quote:
I have noticed the meat locker buses with, what appears to be, about 6" of insulation. Mobil butcher shop keeps coming to mind. I don't know how much insulation is too much. It's confusing since reported R-values don't seem consistent with real world experience. Why does a rigid styrofoam 1/2" thick panel with an R-value under 2 stop the cold from the windows? End rant.
Would be interesting to see how they are done. I've never looked much less at one that's been skinned.

Because someone is lying? Besides, you hand is only feeling surface temp. At even .1" deep, what's the temp? Sounds like an interesting science fair project.
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:05 PM   #89
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Well, styrofoam cups hold some very hot coffee without burning our hands. The cups are maybe an 1/8th inch thick. There must be an R-value of at least 0.25, maybe. I haven't made a coffee cup out of spray foam for comparison, but I'm very impressed with the real world value of styrofoam panels. I've seen builds us thick rigid insulation that they had to cut frequently to adjust to the curves of the ceiling. This 1/2" rigid styrofoam panel would easily fit the the curves of the ceiling. I found it easy to cut this rigid insulation into panels that fit snugly into the window frames. I don't think it would be difficult to cut panels to snuggly fit into the ceiling cavities. A little glue might help to keep them in place, especially on the ceiling.

I'm also comparing how long it took me to trim the spray foam compared to how long it takes me to cut panels from rigid insulation. I cut my spray foam with a saw, but I cut the rigid insulation with a razor blade. This may be more of an east coast option based on the price of foam over there.

Now who's going to get a long bus and foam equipment so they can drive around the country and foam buses at a reasonable price?
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:19 PM   #90
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Some people paint the entire floor, ceiling and walls.
*Raises hand* I might do that. It'll depend on what the walls look like once the skin and insulation is removed. I'll do it for added rust protection but will only use a cheap paint.

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I'm curious as to how many actual feet you have inside from the line at the drivers seat to the back door....
39'4" glass to glass. Back of the drivers seat to the front glass is 5 feet ish? Call it 5'4" and that leaves me with 34'. A decent percentage larger than yours but the biggie in the math is the windows. Bottom of my window measures 30" but since roof raise and removing said windows, I'm mathing the bus as a box truck; no windows, no doors. I have no idea how many of either I will have. I have an e-door mid-ship on the drivers side. Will likely move that... well come to think of it, having a driver's side door might be nice when parking next to some fool tree that doesn't want to get out of the way. Hmmm, ... Anywho, no idea how many nor how large on the windows. I assumed this stuff was stupid cheap and it would be easier and cheaper to spray EVERYTHING and make cut-out later wherever I wanted after the fact. Didn't know I was being charged by the ounce. GRRRR

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I don't understand that. It's a question I've had on my mind for a while and glad it's been brought up.
After treating for rust, I painted the entire interior with Rustoleum metal paint primer. Now I've been wondering if I really need to paint anything before doing my insulation.
And then some people just use regular Rustoleum paint with no primer and call it a day.
confused about the proper method.....
Rust-Oleum says you don't have to use a primer so it's the people that prime then paint that confuse me. Especially on a sub floor, either paint or prime but both???? Whatever.

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Does that work as a vapor barrier? Cuz I could totally do multiple layers of that, add in R30 rock wool, and call it a day! If that would suffice...
NO!! The water will just condense on top of your paint instead of the metal. Now that it is painted, it won't rust for awhile. I guess perfect world, you need drain holes and/or ventilation. The vapor barrier in a crawl space condenses and then drips back into the dirk/gravel bed. Runs to a well and is sump pumped out. That's the job of a vapor barrier. It doesn't prevent vapor, it redirects vapor. Where the water in a vertical wall goes in house construction, I'm not sure.
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:43 PM   #91
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Hey, random but related... After insulating, I'll put up final walls. I like wood paneling, but I also like the idea of painting the ceiling, without adding the sheet metal back. Wanna keep the weight down.
Put the metal back up? It ain't all that heavy. Switching to a thinner gauge if you're really worried. Use the ceiling to redo the entire floor?

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Depending on your bus that's an average of about a ton of steel weight you're removing from the interior of your bus when you remove those steel panels. Lower center of gravity.
You might want to consider switching your panels to something other than lead and your rivets from something other than depleted uranium.

10 full size sheets of 18 gauge steel weighs 704 lbs. Add another 2 feet to do the side wraps (20%) and you get 844.8 lbs on a 40' x 10' of steel. His bus ain't that big. Are you including the walls or something else? You've got another 1100+ lbs to go. That's about right for floors, walls, and ceiling in a 40 footer assuming 18 gauge all the way around.

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Those Kill-a-watt meters break about the first time they get dropped. Mine is dead.
If the wattage is as high as the description says, you're screwed but I can tell you these damn things work!!! The daughter has one in her room the ex bought. Heats the entire area of her room, my room, and the bathroom on a mid to low setting.

http://www.homedepot.com/b/Heating-Venting-Cooling-Heaters-Space-Heaters-Electric-Heaters-Oil-filled-Radiant-Heaters/N-5yc1vZc8od
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:33 PM   #92
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but will only use a cheap paint.
Well now that I used Rustoleum Metal Primer Paint, I might just use the cheapest paint out there, and yes, I'm gonna paint as well. I was going to just use the primer but that primer paint isn't that thick and I'd feel better with a nice glossy coating. That's just me.

Quote:
39'4" glass to glass. Back of the drivers seat to the front glass is 5 feet ish? Call it 5'4" and that leaves me with 34'. A decent percentage larger than yours.
Oh yeah, much larger!
Ok, glass to glass I measure out at 31' on my 10 window bus. I goofed...capacity is 65C,43A



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Old 05-12-2017, 03:50 PM   #93
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Well now that I used Rustoleum Metal Primer Paint, I might just use the cheapest paint out there, and yes, I'm gonna paint as well. I was going to just use the primer but that primer paint isn't that thick and I'd feel better with a nice glossy coating. That's just me.
Sorry, I don't think you were following along.

When I painted the outside of the bus, I used Rust-Oleum Deep Green Hammered. I managed to find 4 quarts locally by calling a dozen hardware stores. Had I known it was going to be that hard... H.D. can order it. It'll be here a week from next Tuesday. Ace had it in stock but only a quart here or there. Everyone carries Hammered Black, Brown, Gold, Red, etc. NO ONE has ANY love for the green. The green is also double the price of the other colors.

So, when I say I'm using "cheap paint," what I mean is whatever H.D. has for Rust-Oleum in the 55 gallon barrel, available in the stores, and isn't $20 a quart.

Quote:
Oh yeah, much larger!
Ok, glass to glass I measure out at 31' on my 10 window bus. I goofed...capacity is 65C,43A
13 row 84C. Some of those rows are 25" and some are 32". I think I have four rows that are 32". E-door is NOT one of them. Let's make the e-door 25". Because it is RE, at least the rear exit window is wider than 4' for throwing out old plywood.
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:52 PM   #94
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NO!! The water will just condense on top of your paint instead of the metal. Now that it is painted, it won't rust for awhile. I guess perfect world, you need drain holes and/or ventilation. The vapor barrier in a crawl space condenses and then drips back into the dirk/gravel bed. Runs to a well and is sump pumped out. That's the job of a vapor barrier. It doesn't prevent vapor, it redirects vapor. Where the water in a vertical wall goes in house construction, I'm not sure.
I honestly didn't figure it would work like that, but I thought I'd ask.

It's really looking like spray foam if I can afford it, and rigid foam with spray foam seams if I can't.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:01 AM   #95
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Sorry, I don't think you were following along.

When I painted the outside of the bus, I used Rust-Oleum Deep Green Hammered. I managed to find 4 quarts locally by calling a dozen hardware stores. Had I known it was going to be that hard... H.D. can order it. It'll be here a week from next Tuesday. Ace had it in stock but only a quart here or there. Everyone carries Hammered Black, Brown, Gold, Red, etc. NO ONE has ANY love for the green. The green is also double the price of the other colors.

So, when I say I'm using "cheap paint," what I mean is whatever H.D. has for Rust-Oleum in the 55 gallon barrel, available in the stores, and isn't $20 a quart.

13 row 84C. Some of those rows are 25" and some are 32". I think I have four rows that are 32". E-door is NOT one of them. Let's make the e-door 25". Because it is RE, at least the rear exit window is wider than 4' for throwing out old plywood.
mm hmm. Got you.

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Old 05-14-2017, 10:02 AM   #96
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mm hmm. Got you.


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Old 05-14-2017, 11:03 PM   #97
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Put the metal back up? It ain't all that heavy. Switching to a thinner gauge if you're really worried. Use the ceiling to redo the entire floor?
Well I might but I plan to reuse the ceiling panels to reskin the outside of the bus, to cover about half the windows... And I still really wanna paint the ceiling, smooth surface. Plaster would crack, surely. I was considering some kind of plastic sheeting?

And I have an idea that I'd really like to do thin, fake bricks made of wooden 2x4's for the floor...
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:38 PM   #98
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Well I might but I plan to reuse the ceiling panels to reskin the outside of the bus, to cover about half the windows... And I still really wanna paint the ceiling, smooth surface. Plaster would crack, surely. I was considering some kind of plastic sheeting?

And I have an idea that I'd really like to do thin, fake bricks made of wooden 2x4's for the floor...
If you're going for thin, this might work.
1/16 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. Plastic Panel-63003 - The Home Depot

If you're going to structural, it's going to get expensive fast.
Veranda HP 1/2 in. x 48 in. x 8 ft. White PVC Trim-H120AWS6 - The Home Depot

Both of those are H.D. so I assume you can get it somewhere else cheaper but even 20% off their price will be expensive.
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:19 PM   #99
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Thanks Brewerbob! That's exactly what I was wanting! Couldn't find!!
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:36 PM   #100
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Thanks Brewerbob! That's exactly what I was wanting! Couldn't find!!
Definitely shop around. Go to your local H.D., snap a photo of the mfg tag, then go buy it direct or from a whole seller.
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