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Old 07-20-2018, 02:07 PM   #1
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Need help with height issue and insulation

Hi everyone,

So I have done an extreme amount of research on here and I know there are countless threads regarding somewhat of my issue, but I needed a bit more clarity.

My boyfriend is ridiculously tall, I think 6'3", or something along those lines. With shoes on, his head brushes the roof.

We are trying to figure out insulation on the roof, sides, and flooring.

We are looking at Waterproof floors that have a "smart core" and supposedly don't need a subfloor... Here is the link so you can see what I mean.

[URL="https://www.lowes.com/pd/SMARTCORE-Ultra-8-Piece-5-91-in-x-48-03-in-Savannah-Oak-Locking-Luxury-Commercial-Residential-Vinyl-Plank/1000193309"]

I'm guessing we would still need some type of insulation or something other than putting it directly on the metal... but again, we have issues with height.

We don't want to do spray foam, due to cost and health concerns. We both have asthma and want to make sure whatever we put in is safe.

We are leaning towards foam board or the "cotton candy" insulation (which ever we can find that's healthy-ish) for the sides and would like to do that for the roof too... We are super new to all of this, so I don't know the layers of materials involved or what the best options would be for our predicament.

We will be full timers and there is a chance we will be in cold weather from time to time. We will be painting roof white and the deck will be added later so we know that helps... we also will be using a portable ac and a wood stove.

Any help would be so appreciated, I hope my post makes some sense lol. I'm learning so much every day but still have SOOOO much more to learn. I appreciate you all!
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:25 PM   #2
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If he is 6'3" and your bus is a standard height 6'3", you have an issue. You can remove the ceiling panels and insulate that 2" area without loosing headroom. Remove the 3/4" plywood floor and replacing it with rigid foam insulation loses you a bit more if you go more than 1"2 foam and 1/4" flooring. A roof raise would be an option that would solve all your headroom issues, but it is time consuming and expensive if you can't do one yourself. I don't know of any health concerns related to spray foam or board foam. Most of the cons involving spray foam are all related to installation.


https://www.reedssprayfoam.com/spray...-vs-rigid.html
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
If he is 6'3" and your bus is a standard height 6'3", you have an issue. You can remove the ceiling panels and insulate that 2" area without loosing headroom. Remove the 3/4" plywood floor and replacing it with rigid foam insulation loses you a bit more if you go more than 1"2 foam and 1/4" flooring. A roof raise would be an option that would solve all your headroom issues, but it is time consuming and expensive if you can't do one yourself. I don't know of any health concerns related to spray foam or board foam. Most of the cons involving spray foam are all related to installation.


https://www.reedssprayfoam.com/spray...-vs-rigid.html
Thank you so much for you advice. I would love to do a roof raise but don't have the money or skills to do so.

We didn't have any wood under our floors (we were hoping that was the case so we could have gained some space... but it was rubber then the metal.

Can you screw the wood paneling you put on the roof directly to the metal or do we need to add wood pieces?

For the floors, I'm honestly not sure what to do.... with the floors I mentioned above do you think it would be okay to place them on the metal (it mentioned other surfaces without subfloor) or maybe insulation board then those floors. I am trying to avoid insulation and subfloor, but I want the floor to be sturdy too if we are gonna spend a good buck on it. The struggle 😣
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:22 PM   #4
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There are those that will argue we are wasting our time insulting at all if we leave the windows in. While I disagree with this, I think not insulating the floor is a huge mistake. What comes to mind are the road signs that say "Bridge freezes before roadway." You will always have cold/hot feet and waste a big percentage of cooling or heating. At minimum I would go 1/2" rigid board and then the vapor barrier and top flooring for the least amount of thickness.
Some fur the ribs to secure the ceiling boards, some secure to the ribs them selves. Again the argument of wasting insulation because the ribs will radiate heat through them right through the wood. Someone recently posted that they just experienced the heat that can be felt through the board. But without numbers to explain how much difference it makes, I will secure directly to the ribs with possibly a thin vapor barrier. If I can get my interior to 30 or 150, that's great. If the rib heat and window heat make me lose 25% (liberal) I could still cool and heat to 38 and 112. Well within the parameters of comfort.
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
There are those that will argue we are wasting our time insulting at all if we leave the windows in. While I disagree with this, I think not insulating the floor is a huge mistake. What comes to mind are the road signs that say "Bridge freezes before roadway." You will always have cold/hot feet and waste a big percentage of cooling or heating. At minimum I would go 1/2" rigid board and then the vapor barrier and top flooring for the least amount of thickness.
Some fur the ribs to secure the ceiling boards, some secure to the ribs them selves. Again the argument of wasting insulation because the ribs will radiate heat through them right through the wood. Someone recently posted that they just experienced the heat that can be felt through the board. But without numbers to explain how much difference it makes, I will secure directly to the ribs with possibly a thin vapor barrier. If I can get my interior to 30 or 150, that's great. If the rib heat and window heat make me lose 25% (liberal) I could still cool and heat to 38 and 112. Well within the parameters of comfort.
Thanks so much, Marc. This is really helpful.
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:44 PM   #6
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I still do not understand why there are no threads about insulation on top of the roof, takes care of the heat transfer thru the ribs and saves head room at the same time.


later J
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:03 PM   #7
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I still do not understand why there are no threads about insulation on top of the roof, takes care of the heat transfer thru the ribs and saves head room at the same time.


later J
Just seems so impractical and probably can't be done esthetically pleasing.
Why don't you give it a shot and post your results here?
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:19 PM   #8
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I still do not understand why there are no threads about insulation on top of the roof, takes care of the heat transfer thru the ribs and saves head room at the same time.


later J
Im curious about that. I know the white color is suppose to help with the heat, as well as a roof deck, which we plan to have in half the top.

I wouldn't know how to insulate on the outside other than that though.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:31 PM   #9
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I am trying double alu faced poly iso board with alu taped sides below the solar panels.


Later j
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:08 PM   #10
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I will, but I think putting a 6 ft wide 1" layer on top under solar panels will be hardly visible. Besides the practical part seems to be pretty easy to me, especially seeing the advantages.

The esthetically pleasing part,......if school buses would be then most RV's would have been shaped like school buses.


Later j
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:14 PM   #11
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Roof height was an issue for us also, but not as extreme since I am 6' and the wife is much shorter. I also had no wood under my rubber floor (less rust too) so I went a different route. The first pick shows the hole cut for the roof fan and you can see the factory insulation there. I removed two panels and pulled another down carefully so not to damage them and found no signs of mold and the insulation was good, so the panels went back up.

For the floor, I went minimal and used 1/4" foam insulation and a 5/8" plywood subfloor (see second pic) and could have probably used 1/2" and got away with it. When I drove the bus to a friends house I noticed right away a lot of the road noise was gone just from the floor.

In the last pic you can see how I framed the walls and windows with 2x4's and I used R13 fiberglass wall insulation which was very comparable to the factory insulation already in the ceiling and walls. I know the road noise level is low and I can still stand in my bus without stooping. I know the insulation holds the heat in many hours after the sun goes down, so it's doing something and still better insulated than an RV.

In the case of your husband, he may have to stoop some, but it's very rare I just stand in the bus for long periods of time. Mostly chilling on the bench or bed or if doing something over the sink, stove, or countertop, you are already naturally stooped down some.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:04 PM   #12
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Roof height was an issue for us also, but not as extreme since I am 6' and the wife is much shorter. I also had no wood under my rubber floor (less rust too) so I went a different route. The first pick shows the hole cut for the roof fan and you can see the factory insulation there. I removed two panels and pulled another down carefully so not to damage them and found no signs of mold and the insulation was good, so the panels went back up.

For the floor, I went minimal and used 1/4" foam insulation and a 5/8" plywood subfloor (see second pic) and could have probably used 1/2" and got away with it. When I drove the bus to a friends house I noticed right away a lot of the road noise was gone just from the floor.

In the last pic you can see how I framed the walls and windows with 2x4's and I used R13 fiberglass wall insulation which was very comparable to the factory insulation already in the ceiling and walls. I know the road noise level is low and I can still stand in my bus without stooping. I know the insulation holds the heat in many hours after the sun goes down, so it's doing something and still better insulated than an RV.

In the case of your husband, he may have to stoop some, but it's very rare I just stand in the bus for long periods of time. Mostly chilling on the bench or bed or if doing something over the sink, stove, or countertop, you are already naturally stooped down some.
Thank you so much for the detailed post and photos. This helps so much. I think I may follow your example with the floors.

We are going to start the roof tomorrow I think. We are going to put a wood panel up, real thin, instead of the sheet metal. I'm hoping it works because we will need to fasten it right to the metal. We are still deciding between foam boards or cotton candy insulation.

Did you get any special masks or anything when handling the isullation? Never done anything with it before but was always told not to touch it or breathe the particles in.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:09 PM   #13
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I wore safety glasses, a mask, and wore gloves with long sleeves. Still got a little itchy here and there like when I wiped my forehead, but nothing serious. Good thing I didn't scratch my butt or anything else.
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderlustExistence View Post
Hi everyone,

So I have done an extreme amount of research on here and I know there are countless threads regarding somewhat of my issue, but I needed a bit more clarity.

My boyfriend is ridiculously tall, I think 6'3", or something along those lines. With shoes on, his head brushes the roof.

We are trying to figure out insulation on the roof, sides, and flooring.

We are looking at Waterproof floors that have a "smart core" and supposedly don't need a subfloor... Here is the link so you can see what I mean.

[URL="https://www.lowes.com/pd/SMARTCORE-Ultra-8-Piece-5-91-in-x-48-03-in-Savannah-Oak-Locking-Luxury-Commercial-Residential-Vinyl-Plank/1000193309"]

I'm guessing we would still need some type of insulation or something other than putting it directly on the metal... but again, we have issues with height.

We don't want to do spray foam, due to cost and health concerns. We both have asthma and want to make sure whatever we put in is safe.

We are leaning towards foam board or the "cotton candy" insulation (which ever we can find that's healthy-ish) for the sides and would like to do that for the roof too... We are super new to all of this, so I don't know the layers of materials involved or what the best options would be for our predicament.

We will be full timers and there is a chance we will be in cold weather from time to time. We will be painting roof white and the deck will be added later so we know that helps... we also will be using a portable ac and a wood stove.

Any help would be so appreciated, I hope my post makes some sense lol. I'm learning so much every day but still have SOOOO much more to learn. I appreciate you all!
https://www.youtube.com/embed/f6xCw2JPKtg

Check out our vid about the 4:10 mark showing our solutions for insulation and height issues. I am 6,2 and in the shower stall I will leave the ceiling open with the Lizard Skin acting as a very effective insulator. We will put a fiber board up in other areas of the ceiling where the height isn't as big a deal. Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2018, 01:08 AM   #15
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I wore safety glasses, a mask, and wore gloves with long sleeves. Still got a little itchy here and there like when I wiped my forehead, but nothing serious. Good thing I didn't scratch my butt or anything else.


Good to know!
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Old 07-21-2018, 01:09 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by HappyInTN View Post
https://www.youtube.com/embed/f6xCw2JPKtg

Check out our vid about the 4:10 mark showing our solutions for insulation and height issues. I am 6,2 and in the shower stall I will leave the ceiling open with the Lizard Skin acting as a very effective insulator. We will put a fiber board up in other areas of the ceiling where the height isn't as big a deal. Good luck!
Awesome! Going to check it out now. Thank you so much.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:44 AM   #17
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Instead of connecting ceiling directly to the metal ribs, you could add wood to the side of the ribs and connect to that. Should help with thermal bridging from what I've read.

I originally planned to attach 2x3 and 2x2 (depending on which part of the rib I was at) to the side of the ribs and then, using the ribs as a guide, cut the wood with my sawzall to the curvature of the ribs.

The only reason I didn't was that I'm 5'5" and losing the extra 1/2" of head room didn't effect me. I opted for 2x2 attached to the side of ribs and not trimming.

You can see the framing of the roof at the top of the picture.IMG_20180712_124230_156.jpeg
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:32 AM   #18
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Instead of connecting ceiling directly to the metal ribs, you could add wood to the side of the ribs and connect to that. Should help with thermal bridging from what I've read.

I originally planned to attach 2x3 and 2x2 (depending on which part of the rib I was at) to the side of the ribs and then, using the ribs as a guide, cut the wood with my sawzall to the curvature of the ribs.

The only reason I didn't was that I'm 5'5" and losing the extra 1/2" of head room didn't effect me. I opted for 2x2 attached to the side of ribs and not trimming.

You can see the framing of the roof at the top of the picture.Attachment 24301
The only thermal bridging you eliminate is whats coming through the screw heads. As long as the boards are still touching the ribs they will still radiate heat no matter what it is secured to.
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:04 PM   #19
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True, but it should alleviate condensation from forming on your screw heads, in theory...
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:36 PM   #20
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True, but it should alleviate condensation from forming on your screw heads, in theory...
I'm just not seeing that as a major issue.
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