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Old 12-18-2020, 09:33 AM   #21
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After I flipped my bus at lower speed I am pretty impressed how it held up. I do not hope that this happens to any of you, but if you find yourself in that situation then you will be very happy to leave the inner panels in or re-attach them. even with this low speed, two original seats that double as braces for the side walls and several other walls structurally attached the bus body was racked 1-1/2 to 2 " and the roof is bowed out 1/4".


Good luck,


Johan
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Old 12-18-2020, 11:22 AM   #22
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I like the clean metal panels but have done a lot of condensation-filled van camping, so went with wood. I was worried about height as well and found 5/16" thick pine tongue and groove planks. I screwed directly to the ribs with oval head SS sheet metal screws. A jig allowed me to center on the ribs for a clean look. Thermal bridging, yeah well, compromises...
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Old 12-18-2020, 12:31 PM   #23
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I have a bunch of 1/4" thick pink foam that comes in accordion folds so it unfolds into very long sheets, about 4ft wide. It has R1 and can bend.

You can "kerf" thick foam to conform to a curve.

In the Kenmore Elite fridge I cut up, the walls have polyiso foam like all fridges, but it also has a 1/4 thick layer of some kind of material between the steel wall and the foam.
It is thin layers, like felt but not, silicone-ish, my googling to see what it is has come up empty, or even why it is used.
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Old 12-18-2020, 09:12 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peakbus View Post
I like the clean metal panels but have done a lot of condensation-filled van camping, so went with wood. I was worried about height as well and found 5/16" thick pine tongue and groove planks. I screwed directly to the ribs with oval head SS sheet metal screws. A jig allowed me to center on the ribs for a clean look. Thermal bridging, yeah well, compromises...


This is at least a solid backup if I canít get the sheetmetal up and I donít frame before spray foaming. Was the jig to help drive the screw into the center of the rib?
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Old 12-23-2020, 03:50 PM   #25
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We took down the ceiling in our 8 window skoolie. removed old fiberglass insulation and replaced with foam board polyiso, filled in cracks with spray foam can insulation. then we replaced the metal ceiling. ours was screwed up, so we had saved the screws and just put them back in. get the first holes matched up, started in the center/highest point and just worked our way back down towards sides of the bus and not too much issue with holes lining up. some screw holes were left vacant. i like it for structural reasons. its a clean look as well, and useful for magnetic properties. have not had issues with thermal bridging (I honestly think thats just such a small loss of heat, and if you have original windows you are losing way more thru the windows). it was also free!
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Old 12-23-2020, 04:16 PM   #26
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I'm in the middle of putting my ceiling panels back up right now. I had a similar back-and-forth conversation with myself, trying to weigh the pros and cons. One thing I don't see mentioned much is the flammability of the wood ceilings or the nasty smoke that FRP or other plastics would put out in case of fire. Between the fireproof-ness, the free-ness, the school bus asthetic-ness, and the thin-ness (I'm also a tall guy), reinstalling the ceiling panels seemed like the best option for me.

BTW, my ceiling panels are aluminum, so the pros and cons are a bit different than for most folks with steel. No magnetism but they ARE nice and light.

I'm planning on updating my build thread with "lessons learned" as soon as I'm done putting the panels back up, but here are some thoughts for the time being:

If you spent the effort to remove the ceiling and re-insulate, then don't put the panels back directly on the ribs. Get a thermal break in there. Even if it doesn't work, at least you will have tried . I'm not speaking from experience here - this is my first time doing most of this stuff. I'm just sharing my opinion that doing all that work and then having massive condensation issues would be heartbreaking.

My attempt at a thermal break is lengthwise strips of 3/8 plywood, with cut up pieces of blue foam camping mat in between to cover the exposed ribs. The blue foam mat was an afterthought, and I'm not sure it'll help much. The plywood is attached to the ribs with countersunk #12-24 Type F thread cutting screws, which perfectly thread into the holes left behind by 3/16" rivets (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GYJBS7U...ing=UTF8&psc=1). I've shifted the ceiling panels forward 1 1/4" so that when I screw them to the plywood slats, the screws don't touch the steel ribs.
IMG_20201202_152632888.jpg
IMG_20201218_074010507_HDR.jpg
Sorry for the rotated pics. I'm doing this from my phone.

To get the panels back up, I temporarily put up more plywood strips about 1/4" to 1/2" below where the bottom of the ceiling panel will rest on either side of the bus (several inches above the windows in my case). You can kinda see these strips in the above image. Once you muscle the panels up onto those strips, the curvature holds them in place until you can screw them.

If you do put them back up, a second person is very helpful. If you're on your own, one of those "little giant" style extendable ladders can be helpful to hold one side of the panel.
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Old 12-24-2020, 08:48 AM   #27
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Very nice that is looking good thank you for the tips. I might try holding the panels up with strong magnets to get the holes lined up and use screws to hold them in place while riveting. I am still thinking about how I want to get the panels away from the ribs but I like your approach.
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Old 12-24-2020, 09:29 AM   #28
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I might try holding the panels up with strong magnets to get the holes lined up...

We've had good success doing exactly this using the Magswitch magnets. They're not exactly cheap...the small ones are $42/each on Amazon... but two of these can replace a second set of hands, so that $84 might be worth it. They are magnets that you can "turn off and on" with the turn of a knob. The small ones are rated at about 150 pounds, but that's flat against a thick plate. Used on ceiling panels, where they bridge the edge of the sheet and the rib, they don't hold that much. But they're still strong enough to be handy and replace a second set of hands holding one edge while you work your way across.


There may be cheaper "knockoff" versions of these, btw.
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Old 12-26-2020, 02:46 PM   #29
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Merry Christmas to you all
Great thread here, and excellent suggestions with the Magswitch magnets. Really like the wood furring running front to back over the ribs. Wish I had of thought of that....
I have been re-installing the original metal panels. It's been quite the epic adventure, but worth every bit of effort.
Insulated with Rockwool, put up Tyvek, now slowly re-installing the panels.
Reasons I'm keeping them; 1) structural integrity, spoke with an engineer at Bluebird who confirmed my thoughts of structure be weakened without them. He said buses are designed that way for a reason, that without the inner metal ceiling panels the structure loses much integrity, especially in the case of a rollover, or the bus landing on it's roof. Now I know no one ever plans for these things, but crazier things have happened. 2) they are paid for and fabricated to fill the space.
The holes aren't lining up exactly with the original ones, which is ok with me because I'm riveting mostly (using screws only here and there). Drilling fresh holes in the ribs for the rivets. Yes, it is a LOT of work. I'm blessed to have some help, and knew from the get go that this is an all in venture. Will be putting a 2nd ceiling over the metal, which will be wood and have a 1/2" air gap (remove condensation issues).
Hope this is of help to you.

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Old 12-28-2020, 06:46 PM   #30
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For thermal breaking, you will want to at least not attach it back to the ribs. And still, other material will have at least somewhat better thermal performance. I used my ceiling material to fill in the sides before I installed RV windows. This is something to think about if you need material for that.
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Old 12-29-2020, 03:59 PM   #31
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FYI regarding the thermal bridging bit. I was researching aerogel yesterday, hoping it might be an option for our walls or floor. Unfortunately, we don't have that kind of $$! But I found out it's also manufactured in strips (like a tape) specifically designed to be installed between drywall & stud faces to mitigate thermal bridging in stick-built homes. I'm thinking this would be ideal for applications where you're keeping the inner skin. Apparently it still does it's job compressed. Think the source I was reading was saying one brand was $1.99 / foot. Don't quote me on that though.
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Old 12-29-2020, 05:40 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre3MC View Post
This is at least a solid backup if I canít get the sheetmetal up and I donít frame before spray foaming. Was the jig to help drive the screw into the center of the rib?
Sorry for the slow response. I just made a wood jig to center each screw hole on the wood plank and the metal rib so they would line up neatly.
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Old 12-29-2020, 06:13 PM   #33
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FYI regarding the thermal bridging bit. I was researching aerogel yesterday, hoping it might be an option for our walls or floor. Unfortunately, we don't have that kind of $$! But I found out it's also manufactured in strips (like a tape) specifically designed to be installed between drywall & stud faces to mitigate thermal bridging in stick-built homes. I'm thinking this would be ideal for applications where you're keeping the inner skin. Apparently it still does it's job compressed. Think the source I was reading was saying one brand was $1.99 / foot. Don't quote me on that though.
You can make your own aerogel:



although it seems like if you have that set of skills and that kind of equipment, you could just make meth.

I priced out what my floor would cost using aerogel and I think it was about 10 grand.
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Old 12-29-2020, 06:29 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
FYI regarding the thermal bridging bit. I was researching aerogel yesterday, hoping it might be an option for our walls or floor. Unfortunately, we don't have that kind of $$! But I found out it's also manufactured in strips (like a tape) specifically designed to be installed between drywall & stud faces to mitigate thermal bridging in stick-built homes. I'm thinking this would be ideal for applications where you're keeping the inner skin. Apparently it still does it's job compressed. Think the source I was reading was saying one brand was $1.99 / foot. Don't quote me on that though.


Wow thank you for the tip I geeked out on this a bit, I think Iím going for it.

It wonít be too expensive and worth the cool factor, Iíll keep everyone posted.
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Old 12-29-2020, 06:37 PM   #35
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You can make your own aerogel:

...

although it seems like if you have that set of skills and that kind of equipment, you could just make meth.

I priced out what my floor would cost using aerogel and I think it was about 10 grand.
LOL. The first time I saw a price referenced I knew it was pointless to even bother doing the math! I'd need to become a meth manufacturer just to afford it. Or maybe just do meth to keep warm.

<- before aerogel gave me meth mouth
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