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Old 02-15-2020, 11:41 PM   #21
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Some have steel with rubber some have steel and plywood with rubber.
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:00 AM   #22
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Just began a demo on our first bus. Looks like the floor is rubber flooring like a pliable vinyl product glued over 3/4” plywood. Is this something that others have found or does every bus really have a sheet metal floor to begin with? Am I missing something?
Your floor is rubber/vinyl glued to 3/4" plywood, and the plywood is sitting on top of a sheet metal floor. This is how 95% or more of buses are built, including yours. A small number of school buses have the rubber flooring directly affixed to the metal (there is no plywood in these); and a few (usually older) buses have a floor made of plywood sitting in a metal frame (so there is no sheet metal in the floors of these).
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:24 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Your floor is rubber/vinyl glued to 3/4" plywood, and the plywood is sitting on top of a sheet metal floor. This is how 95% or more of buses are built, including yours. A small number of school buses have the rubber flooring directly affixed to the metal (there is no plywood in these); and a few (usually older) buses have a floor made of plywood sitting in a metal frame (so there is no sheet metal in the floors of these).
And then that one of a kind weird bus with corrugated steel lol. Still waiting to see how that gets repaired.
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:27 AM   #24
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And then that one of a kind weird bus with corrugated steel lol. Still waiting to see how that gets repaired.
I forgot about that one, a true unicorn.

There's also the person on /r/skoolies who bought a bus that was custom-built to haul chicks (baby chickens, not women) and has a "heated aluminum floor". I can't wait to find out what that's all about.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:17 AM   #25
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My $0.02...

I spray foamed the walls and ceiling in my first bus but nothing on the floor. The floor got REALLY cold at times. No way I am going to skip it on my Bluebird. I plan on 1.5" of foam board on the floor.

I went with 1.5" foam and I've been eyeballing with jealousy some of the radiant floor setups. I may spray foam underneath inbetween the floor joists where possible to get some extra insulation. The thermal imager doesn't show the floor as a major source of heat loss, however- that's overwhelmingly the windows + uncovered metal areas.



Floors for me in retrospect have been a disaster. I first ripped up some simple reflectix/laminate (bought the bus without seats) and put in 1.5" foam + new laminate. I panicked later about moisture concerns, ripped it all up and put down luxury vinyl. The vinyl.... did better I'll say than the laminate. But I can clearly see warping from changes in humidity and temperature. I've heard of the same happening with shiplap ceilings like I have, but fortunately I haven't seen it.


I think its largely smoothed out with full climate control, but still visible.



One thing I'll note is that not all vinyl is equal. I put (stone colored) lifeproof into my kitchen (dark) and bathroom (light)- zero problems there. Its slightly thicker than the cherry wood stuff I put in the rest of the cabin and is perfectly smooth. No joining problems either. I have a few places where the cherry is very rough. What a pain if I ever have to redo it...
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:28 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Your floor is rubber/vinyl glued to 3/4" plywood, and the plywood is sitting on top of a sheet metal floor. This is how 95% or more of buses are built, including yours. A small number of school buses have the rubber flooring directly affixed to the metal (there is no plywood in these); and a few (usually older) buses have a floor made of plywood sitting in a metal frame (so there is no sheet metal in the floors of these).
You are correct! I hadn’t thought to put a magnet 🧲 up under neath until this morning. The undercoating is so dark, that when we removed the lift, the underside must have been mottled a bit and gave a wood like appearance.
Vinyl, 3/4” plywood and then sheet metal... working on pulling up the vinyl now.
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:56 PM   #27
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My 2008 Thomas safety liner HDX has a floor exactly as you described. Three-quarter inch plywood nailed to the metal structural floor and covered with a glued down linoleum-like product.

Some reasons you might want to pull off the floor would be to install insulation and to get a look at the condition of the metal structural floor. I am putting down 2 inches of rigid foam insulating board and then installing a new layer of 5/8" tongue and groove plywood subfloor.

I had pulled off about half of the sub floor in my bus when I discovered a leak that is allowing water to get into the sound deadening cover on the engine firewall and then to pool on the floor. At the moment I believe the leak is coming from the rear most window on the passenger side. My next step is to solve that problem but I've been slowed down a little bit because my bus is outdoors in Wisconsin in winter.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:25 PM   #28
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Floor

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Originally Posted by Marceps View Post
A few notes:
  • Floor will be insulated underneath (bus exterior) with closed-cell, two-part insulation.
  • Hardwood planks will be screwed to steel floor with sheet metal screws. I think.
  • A thin (~¼") layer of non-slip padding will be sandwiched between hardwood and steel, to better secure hardwood and provide cushioning.
  • I wouldn't do this if every inch didn't matter. I need to preserve cabin height. A roof raise is not in the cards!
Why I worry:
  • I have found no examples of anyone doing this.
  • Hardwood is brittle and prone to crack.
Input is appreciated!
It seems that spray insulation would be a good idea underneath... did you pull the body off to do this? There is so much stuff under our bus... auto chains, air tank, electrical etc... Luckily no one is 6’4” at our house. We’re insulation on top of the metal. Too much a stake on a build when doing the floor. I will do as others. Fix up the metal floor with primer/rust inhibitor, then foam board and then some form of plywood, then LVT. Good luck with your foam underneath. Could be a good way to go!
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:27 PM   #29
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Agreed!

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Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Crawl under and take a peek. Most needs to come out. Skoolie windows leak famously and rot and rust floors plus many districts hose out the interiors regularly. Having a solid foundation to build on is the right way to start.
👍🏻 agreed!
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:46 PM   #30
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Cold winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrenchtech View Post
My 2008 Thomas safety liner HDX has a floor exactly as you described. Three-quarter inch plywood nailed to the metal structural floor and covered with a glued down linoleum-like product.

Some reasons you might want to pull off the floor would be to install insulation and to get a look at the condition of the metal structural floor. I am putting down 2 inches of rigid foam insulating board and then installing a new layer of 5/8" tongue and groove plywood subfloor.

I had pulled off about half of the sub floor in my bus when I discovered a leak that is allowing water to get into the sound deadening cover on the engine firewall and then to pool on the floor. At the moment I believe the leak is coming from the rear most window on the passenger side. My next step is to solve that problem but I've been slowed down a little bit because my bus is outdoors in Wisconsin in winter.
Yes I found something on our bus too. 2011. Looks good but the bottom of insulation on the driver side was moist/damp/wet. There must be a window leaking or something. We’re outside in Western NY. Coveralls and scraped knuckles. I just love crawling around in the snow and getting under the bus for demo work! Lol good luck in WI!
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:48 PM   #31
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working on pulling up the vinyl now.
Skip that step and use a circular saw with the blade set to about 7/8" depth to cut your plywood floor (with the vinyl still attached) into a grid of 1'x1' squares. Then use a large pry bar and you'll have an easy time getting your floor up square by square. Peeling the vinyl off the plywood is a royal pain in the ass, and it's unnecessary.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:02 PM   #32
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Pia

Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Skip that step and use a circular saw with the blade set to about 7/8" depth to cut your plywood floor (with the vinyl still attached) into a grid of 1'x1' squares. Then use a large pry bar and you'll have an easy time getting your floor up square by square. Peeling the vinyl off the plywood is a royal pain in the ass, and it's unnecessary.
Musigenesis you are correct. The vinyl tear out is a pain. We got it done quickly today. The bus was a handicap accessible bus. That means there was considerable L track on the driver side. This saved time and effort. We pulled all the L track and vinyl. Now I will saw the plywood that screwed down to the metal floor. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 02-18-2020, 01:03 AM   #33
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Musigenesis you are correct. The vinyl tear out is a pain. We got it done quickly today. The bus was a handicap accessible bus. That means there was considerable L track on the driver side. This saved time and effort. We pulled all the L track and vinyl. Now I will saw the plywood that screwed down to the metal floor. Thanks for the tip.
Removing the floor as described is the way to go about removing the floor. Beware that the screws will still be in the plywood and sheet metal, but they pop out fairly easily with a claw-footed crow bar.
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:12 AM   #34
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Agreed on removal. Getting that underway here on a swowy, windy morning in Feb2020/NY.
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:54 AM   #35
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I have to admit I am baffled at the bus listed in your profile. There was never a 7.3 diesel in any school bus in 2011.
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Old 02-18-2020, 01:36 PM   #36
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Sorry, it’s a max force 7
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:39 PM   #37
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and a few (usually older) buses have a floor made of plywood sitting in a metal frame (so there is no sheet metal in the floors of these).
I would like to clarify that most buses that are not school buses and built on a cutaway chassis meant for transit, shuttle, or charter are still built this way. Zero protection on the underside of the plywood. The subframes frequently rot away or crack apart too. Buyer beware...
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:35 PM   #38
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Removing the floor as described is the way to go about removing the floor. Beware that the screws will still be in the plywood and sheet metal, but they pop out fairly easily with a claw-footed crow bar.
Since we had been able to pull up the vinyl without a heck of a lot of hassle, this exposed the countersunk screws. I was able to remove all but two screws. The sheets came up easily with a shingle removing shovel or tool, which works a bit like a large crow bar. We’re down to the sheet metal for a bit of prep and then we’ll loop the heater hose lines and begin ceiling tear out. As we are doing this like weekend warriors, we’re feeling good about progress. 3 weekends in while tending to 2 little ones on top of regular home life, we’ve got the bus pretty well demo’d. Ceiling next! Thanks to Musigenesis for pointers and info!
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