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Old 03-09-2016, 09:31 PM   #1
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Pondering floor removal

I think I understand the reasoning behind removing the vinyl and subfloor in a bus project; to expose the metal deck and repair/convert any rust damage and to allow for insulation without losing overall height.

My floor in my rear engine thomas seem really solid. No evidence of rust from below, especially above the huge belly storage area, and no soft spots detected from inside.

This bus has extended ceilings. The ceiling height is 78 inches instead of the usual 72.

1) If it ain't broke why fix it?
2) I don't need to remove it to reclaim some height prior to insulating,
3) It would save me a TON of blood, sweat and tears.

Tell me why I'm wrong.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:02 PM   #2
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Rust, is a funny critter, remember the governor in best little whore house in Texas.
Now you see me now you don't.
Rust can go completely undetected until you fall through.
Good luck
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:23 PM   #3
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Another factor is that this bus lived it whole live in the Pacific Northwest. We don't salt our roads here.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:59 PM   #4
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At least get the rubber matting off. That stuff is nasty.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:15 AM   #5
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The final choice is obviously yours, but what you can't see can in fact be completely different than what you think it is. You don't mention where you live or where you plan on taking it when finished. But if it's going to be in freezing temps then that wood floor is going to get pretty cold without any insulation under it.
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:46 AM   #6
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I live near Portland, OR. We are not known for our cold winters. It happens, but not often.

We will be fair weather travelers, for the most part, the Oregon coast during the summer fishing season, etc.
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Old 03-10-2016, 01:52 PM   #7
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I would at the least pull up the rubber flooring which then lets you see the
condition of the top side of plywood. My bus had no visible signs of floor
rust from the exterior but on flooring removal had a fair amount of pitting.
What happens with most buses is the cleaning crew gets in the bus with a
pressure washer and blows everything off the floor and out the door and
calls it good.There are numerous places in the bus that don't get enough
air circulation to dry out the excess moisture left behind by the cleaning so
it migrates down past the plywood and starts rusting the metal.
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Old 03-10-2016, 05:13 PM   #8
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get rid of it, the rubber gives off a smell, rip all down to the metal put a coat of paint on the metal, if there's rust fix it. you won't be sorry for doing it, but you may be sorry you didn't do it.
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:21 PM   #9
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get rid of it, the rubber gives off a smell, rip all down to the metal put a coat of paint on the metal, if there's rust fix it. you won't be sorry for doing it, but you may be sorry you didn't do it.
gbstewart
Mine had NO visible rust under and no soft spots inside but when I took all of my flooring up I found big rust stains, some were from windows leaking and didn't show on anywhere else and some were unexplainable but they were there.
If you don't send your effort now then all your effort will be spent later tearing apart your finished whatever to fix a soft spot that wasn't there 5-years ago.
Clean it out, put eyes on and clean/fix/repair your foundation and then build or you can ignore it and keep in your head that it is not if but when.
Your structure is everything.
I am building to last so I got rid of everything and started with a clean slate. I know exactly what is under my feet, on my sides and over my head and if I had any question or reserve about what I was thinking of doing it didn't happen until I had a solution that I could do and never question again.
Good luck and HAPPY DECISIONS.
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:15 PM   #10
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You're doing a conversion, so what sense does it make to take that chance? It's your money, but piece of mind has a lot of value as well. I've been tearing my bus down this last week, if I'm being honest, the thought has occurred to me as well. But, its my money, and I want to make sure I'm not throwing any of it down the drain. 10 years from now, I'm fairly certain I won't regret the extra few days I spent making sure I had a solid starting point.
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Old 03-13-2016, 07:21 PM   #11
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I live SW of Portland and I plan to insulate this summer. Our winters are fairly mild here, and if you're just going to use the bus for trips you'll probably be fine. If you park it for most of the winter I'm sure you'll be fine, but if you're living in it even for an extended weekend you'll get tired of having cold feet from those uninsulated floors.
I like this type of vehicle because I can see outside all the way around the vehicle while I'm up in the mountains. That glass sucks the heat out during the winter, not to mention the rest of the poorly insulated metal box we call a school bus.
It's a call based on your personal use, but I'm going to try to have this one much more livable next winter.
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:57 PM   #12
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I've got my floor carpeted front & rear, along with some serious padding and lino in the middle. My tootsies didn't get cold. Later, I'll have it sprayed underneath.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:06 PM   #13
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It gets pretty cold there in Billings, doesn't it? I believe it was you, as well as others, that recommended carpeting for immediate relief from cold floors. That little bit of insulation seems to keep the floor from sweating too.
I'm going to want to insulate the begebees out of this thing including the floor. Maybe loose a few windows.
Is your bus still yellow, Cap?
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:16 PM   #14
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Still a giant Twinkie, but I no longer have to move Brunhilde on a daily basis.

Billings is in the Banana Belt. This last "winter," for some silly reason (el Niņo), didn't truly get cold. I've been living in her since November. Lots of blankets help. By all means, carpe your beastie and make sure they throw in some serious padding. I told them I wanted to sink into the carpet up to my shoulders.

I picked up some 1"x4'x8' double-foil-faced rigid foam insulation over at HD. For mine, I needed 10 sheets to cover all the windows, especially the 300 sq. in. front windows, and the doors. I used industrial Velcro to hold the panels in place, which will allow me to remove the windows when the weather improves. I plan on leaving four windows behind the driver intact and rig some panels with handles so that I can open the windows for sunshine and ventilation.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:51 PM   #15
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I will cast my vote to KEEP the rubber mat. Only because my removal required an estimated 800 bolts - cut from underneath, which would have required time I DID NOT HAVE.

Do I wish I could have marble floors? Sure!
Is the rubber floor hard to clean? You bet!

The smell I have is from my dog and me living in the bus - I guess my rubber mat came from a different factory than everyone else's?

It is a floor. If you have other priorities (like I do) than living in a rolling house-replica, then focus on the things you think will make you happy, like I did.

You can always rip out the floor later, but I think I will simply buy another bus....one with top-cut bolts instead, this time

My failed attempt at pulling floor out

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f32/dr...000-10611.html

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Old 03-14-2016, 08:02 PM   #16
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Failed? Disastrous would be a better word! I can just hear your bus whimpering in pain.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:49 PM   #17
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Thank you for sharing your pain about the floor. I also have L-track that I assumed could be removed without that much trouble, so now I think I just decided to insulate from underneath the floor. The L-track is a pain because it catches dirt and channels water, but I like the way I can anchor things anywhere in the bus. I bought 20 of the 1,600 lb rated pins for the L-track. Still there does seem to be more L-track than necessary.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:12 PM   #18
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The L-track is a pain because it catches dirt and channels water, but I like the way I can anchor things anywhere in the bus. I bought 20 of the 1,600 lb rated pins for the L-track. Still there does seem to be more L-track than necessary.
the pain is certainly in keeping trash out f the tracks and cleaning, but like you said, it is an excellent anchoring system, and has held a 400 lb. motorcycle upright thru major terrain, and a few hundred miles with a single strap(I cut the other strap accidentally with a bicycle sprocket while riding atop the strap).

Not to mention, I mounted all the wall-framing to the same system - making it permanent or temporary, and easily removed.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:14 PM   #19
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Nice.

Have you heard of anyone making a larger door, either on the back or side? I really like keeping everything inside while traveling and I've become much more fond of quads as of late. They just don't fit through any doors on these things. I'm thinking maybe a hatchback powered by a reconfigured wheelchair lift?
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:17 PM   #20
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I agree with Dredman. It all depends on how you are going to use your bus and how much work you want to put into it. We use our bus as a camper, we go to the high country when it is hot and we go someplace warm when it is cold. we do not live in our bus full time. We did not tear out the floor we just put laminate flooring over the top of the rubber mat and we have not had cold toes or any other problem in the last 3 years. It all depends on what you want from your bus.
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