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Old 09-09-2020, 08:16 PM   #21
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Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
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Year: 1996
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You have 2 choices.

Choice #1 is to gut the entire bus, replace or sheet over the factory windows and spray foam for maximum insulation. Take note of condensation issues that may cause mold.

Choice #2 is to leave entire interior intact with factory insulation (if equipped) and letting any water leaks or condensation issues go with the way they been since the bus was built and dealing with nature. Unless there are mold issues, then don't fret too much. Go outside in the shade on hot days. Use fans and vents on hot days. In cold climate you can heat or travel. The Skoolie has wheels!

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Old 09-09-2020, 08:27 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
You have 2 choices.

Choice #1 is to gut the entire bus, replace or sheet over the factory windows and spray foam for maximum insulation. Take note of condensation issues that may cause mold.

Choice #2 is to leave entire interior intact with factory insulation (if equipped) and letting any water leaks or condensation issues go with the way they been since the bus was built and dealing with nature. Unless there are mold issues, then don't fret too much. Go outside in the shade on hot days. Use fans and vents on hot days. In cold climate you can heat or travel. The Skoolie has wheels!
We chose the great compromise #1A: Replace the original wall insulation with foamboard, foamboard over the metal ceiling, and keep the original windows but add insulated shades.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:21 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by beeroe View Post
Can anyone provide any real world examples of how helpful it is to insulate a bus wall and ceilings?

I am not looking for R values etc. More so something like, "before we insulated the roof it was impossible to keep it warm with my heater. Now we are comfortable"

Given that so much if the wall is single pane windows it feels as if I am just going to loose so much energy any way.
Hey there. Full timers here in the Chihauhaun desert of SW New Mexico. We eliminated most of our windows and filled the window holes with 2" polyboard insulation. Then insulated from floor to ceiling onto the outside with 2" poly foam board, covered with 3/16" plywood. We're not done yet but the benefits are the difference between trying to live in a metal box in the sun to reasonable. Once we get our roof decking done it will really be great.
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:53 AM   #24
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TropiCool REFLECTS light. It has Aluminum in it to help reflect about 85% of the light. Its insulation value is nill.
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Old 09-10-2020, 05:52 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Daledorm View Post
In the back of the bus, we have started installing rock wool insulation (R-7.5) in the walls and ceiling (between the ribs), then reflectix (R3) over everything (also serves as a vapor barrier), and then the ceiling boards. So, the ceiling and walls have R-10. Not bad for 1 1/2" of space.

...

The floor will be about R-6.5 (polyiso) and R-4.6 (reflectix) for a total of about R-11. The reflectix will keep the temps from seeping in and the temps from leaking out giving you a much more stable internal temperature.
FWIW Reflectix does not really have insulating value like this when sandwiched. For any insulation, a reflective foil layer only has a thermodynamic effect if the layer is facing a source of radiant heat (in this case, the roof of the bus out in direct sunlight) and the layer is adjacent to an air gap of at least 1". The air gap is critical because the foil reflects the radiant energy into the air, which then transfers that energy to the outside via convection; if the foil layer is facing a solid, the radiant energy is transferred to that material instead and still heats up the interior.

So, if sandwiched between another layer of insulation and the ceiling panels with no air gap, Reflectix is just a very thin layer of bubble wrap.
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:41 AM   #26
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Something I've noticed while being halfway through taping my bus for painting is, the windows with newspaper over them keep way cooler than the ones that aren't yet papered over.
I've thought of this before but what about adding shutters to the outside windows?

Add a roll down cover as like the roll up awning.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:29 PM   #27
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Last winter we got to camp a couple of times in our rig. Spray foam and rv windows no wall yet. It was around 10-15 F outside stayed very comfortable with two 1500w electric heaters in the morning, Most likely only needed one. It got slightly cold while sleeping at night, no heaters. When it cool out and we leave the windows opens, then close them, it stays cool for a while. Think big cooler. Once complete hopefully we can compartmentalize and save on heat use in the morning. This winter will be the test once we get more stuff installed, propane furnace and the diesel westabo. Looking to camp in <0F a lot. If we have to, we will cut foam boards for the rv windows to further reduce heat loss durning the really cold nights.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:54 PM   #28
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I bet Tin Foil on the windows would work good.
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:59 AM   #29
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I bet Tin Foil on the windows would work good.
works in my baseball hat good and has added benefits !
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Old 09-11-2020, 09:02 AM   #30
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works in my baseball hat good and has added benefits !
If the aliens can't read your mind, they're just going to assume you're hostile and kill you.
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Old 09-11-2020, 11:04 AM   #31
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The aliens have all left so no worries there.


Our bus we left the ceiling as it was, and are happy with that. I do think the windows are the biggest heat gain and lose. Curtains do help a lot too.



So far we have been up to 100 degrees and down to 5 degrees. Outdoor temp that is.
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Old 09-11-2020, 12:25 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
If the aliens can't read your mind, they're just going to assume you're hostile and kill you.
its not the aliens we have to worry about. i also use a colander according to my religion
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Old 12-10-2020, 10:07 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
I am not regretting the whole "strip entire bus and re-insulate" thing because if there are any leaks, that wood work gets destroyed.

I'm glad to hear this as I'm trying to live in my bus ASAP this winter and have been planning on adding insulation on top of what's there instead of gutting things completely. I don't have the biggest budget or a lot of time, but think I can manage things nicely without ripping it all apart. Not afraid of some FlexSeal or mold-inhibiting paints.
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Old 12-11-2020, 12:40 PM   #34
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Lots of good information on these forums if you use the search tool. If you plan on using your rig in cold weather, your comfort is in direct proportion to your investment in insulation and weatherproofing.

From others' comments, I think blasting a heater is always an option, but if your rig is leaky you'll still be cold on the floor, and have condensation issues if running cheap propane heaters where the outside air temperature is below 45 degrees F.
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Old 12-11-2020, 12:50 PM   #35
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Year: 1972
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Engine: International Harvester SV304
Camped at-38 degrees in Tok, AK

Drove to AK from Kansas in February last year.
Made it through Canada right before the Covid restrictions.

Camped damn cold a few times on that trip.

Added insulation on floor, and below windows on top of original wall, but no gutting.

Cubic Mini wood stove and 1500W electric heater.
Insulated curtains on windshield front and rear. Insulated curtains, and carpet squares used in side windows. Roll up curtains with bunji cords, and carpet squares can be removed for driving.

Carpet squares sound cheesy, but they worked great! Adds a dead air layer between them and the curtain - much warmer, and SUPER DARK from outside for stealth... Easy to store when not in use. 2 squares per window allows you to wedge them in tight on the edges of the window and overlap in the middle. They are stiff enough to stand up on their own.

Also hung a removeable isulated curtain from floor to ceiling behind the driver chair to create an "arctic entry" (seperate room) in the driver compartment area. This allows you to open the door and come in without hot air escaping from the rear of the bus. Nothing on the roof for added insulation.

During the trip, I was more worried about getting the old 1972 to start in the morning than the comfort in the bus... The camping was the best part. Turing the key in the morning was stressful.

We stayed tolerably warm. Two heat sources, -50 rated sleeping bags and 110 pound dog in the bed helped...

I don't plan on using it that way all the time, but if we can camp for 2 weeks on the Alcan highway in February... Pretty good for not having gutted the bus.

Oh yeah... full disclosure... only a twenty foot bus, so your experience may vary. Sleeping and camping was fine, but I did freeze my gas pedal foot on the last day of driving... Cab heater was loosing the battle at -38. Just enough to keep the windshield clear.
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Old 12-11-2020, 02:11 PM   #36
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We love my little diesel heater. Smart buy works great Easy to set up and cheap on fuel.
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