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Old 12-17-2020, 12:17 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re-Installing Original Ceiling

What are your thoughts on putting the original ceiling back up?

We have finished disassembling the inside of the bus and are now are getting ready for the build. We have been intending to re-install the original ceiling but I am beginning to have second thoughts. We want to sacrifice as little interior height as possible and like the clean look of the metal ceiling but I am worried about thermal bridging through the ribs and condensation.

We want to have the walls and ceiling spray foamed, do standard foam board and plywood subfloor, Henry's on the roof, and we are strongly considering converting to RV windows. With all that work sealing and insulating, does putting the metal back up not make sense? For those who have done it what do you think of the results? What ceiling materials have higher thermal performance with a similar thickness?

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Old 12-17-2020, 03:35 PM   #2
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Do you plan to use it in the winter in NH? If so I would do thicker insulation and a wood ceiling. Otherwise putting the metal back up will be fine. We have the original insulation, and metal ceiling and have used the bus down to 5F degrees outside temp. I would want better insulation if we regularly were in that cold or colder, but down to 20F no problem.



Must say the ability to use magnets to hang stuff is real nice. Maybe wood magnets if you do a wood ceiling.....


One other option is to put the metal back up, but put a thin strip of wood, even 1/8" would give a bit of a thermal barrior.
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:24 PM   #3
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Do you plan to use it in the winter in NH?

I don’t see us using it much in the winter, it’ll probably more like a 3+ season bus in practice. We do want to put in a micro wood stove to get the chill out.

Must say the ability to use magnets to hang stuff is real nice. Maybe wood magnets if you do a wood ceiling.....

That was definitely a consideration too, i think that’ll be very handy.

One other option is to put the metal back up, but put a thin strip of wood, even 1/8" would give a bit of a thermal barrior.

That is an interesting idea, maybe a thin flexible polymer instead? I could imagine that would help with noise/vibration also.
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:31 PM   #4
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Thin polymer would work too I think. even a rubber strip. Might find that with an adhesive backing to make installation easier.
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:44 PM   #5
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IDK man if I pull mine down I'm going wood just for the sound reduction and thermal qualities.
We've almost got ourselves talked into pulling the steel headliner next week. We're currently stripping the floor.
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Old 12-17-2020, 05:05 PM   #6
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Thin polymer would work too I think. even a rubber strip. Might find that with an adhesive backing to make installation easier.


Yes that would be nice, has anyone tried it?
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Old 12-17-2020, 05:15 PM   #7
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IDK man if I pull mine down I'm going wood just for the sound reduction and thermal qualities.
We've almost got ourselves talked into pulling the steel headliner next week. We're currently stripping the floor.


I would be much more inclined to use wood if we had a taller bus, seems like the way to go. I won’t miss framing the ribs though, that looks like a big pain.
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Old 12-17-2020, 06:13 PM   #8
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I would be much more inclined to use wood if we had a taller bus, seems like the way to go. I won’t miss framing the ribs though, that looks like a big pain.
Good thing I only have like 6 or 8 ribs to cover.
There are wood materials one can use where you won't have to give up much/any headroom.
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Old 12-17-2020, 09:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Good thing I only have like 6 or 8 ribs to cover.
There are wood materials one can use where you won't have to give up much/any headroom.
Like 1/4 inch plywood. Thin and will flex to the curve of the roof.

Ted
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Old 12-17-2020, 10:03 PM   #10
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Instead of thin ply, how about something that is equally thin and creates a great thermal bridge and also adds good insulation value? The new (ish) ceramic insulators are pretty cool. Try https://minseal.com/ceramic-fiber-paper/
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Old 12-17-2020, 10:13 PM   #11
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The most difficult part of working on machinery is often putting the sheet metal covering back on.

Good luck in getting the ceiling off and keeping it looking pretty.

Then getting it back-up and fitting, well, post the pictures.
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Old 12-17-2020, 11:04 PM   #12
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Instead of thin ply, how about something that is equally thin and creates a great thermal bridge and also adds good insulation value? The new (ish) ceramic insulators are pretty cool. Try https://minseal.com/ceramic-fiber-paper/
Ceramics actually have a higher thermal conductivity than wood so it would be worse than wood as an insulator (it's a much better insulator than metal, the thing it's normally compared to in that regard). The main advantage of that ceramic paper over wood is that it would remain intact in a 2000F degree fire, but of course your bus might have other problems in that situation.
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Old 12-17-2020, 11:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bus-bro View Post
The most difficult part of working on machinery is often putting the sheet metal covering back on.



Good luck in getting the ceiling off and keeping it looking pretty.



Then getting it back-up and fitting, well, post the pictures.


I got the ceiling down without issues using a hammer and chisel, it is still in good shape.

Hanging it back up is probably going to be tricky, I was hoping some folks here would have advice.
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Old 12-18-2020, 12:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Ceramics actually have a higher thermal conductivity than wood so it would be worse than wood as an insulator (it's a much better insulator than metal, the thing it's normally compared to in that regard). The main advantage of that ceramic paper over wood is that it would remain intact in a 2000F degree fire, but of course your bus might have other problems in that situation.


I think this stuff would transfer less heat than wood, they have the conductivity listed at .05 W/(m k) at 500F, it would be less at 100F. I think plywood is more like 0.1. If the ceramic paper stuff compresses a lot during install the conductivity would probably go up though.

In practice I don’t know how it would be to handle and work with but definitely interesting, I’d like to check out a sample.
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Old 12-18-2020, 07:12 AM   #15
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I like the look of the smooth metal ceilings.. 1/4 plywood or such would look good too if you can keep it from warping in humidity.. im not a fan of people;s "barn ceiling" looks.. just not for me but the big thing is youve put better insulkation in.. getting those ceiling pasnels back up will be a challenge. . if the bus has even so much flexed even a little not all those holes will line up in their original spots
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Old 12-18-2020, 07:44 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Andre3MC View Post
I think this stuff would transfer less heat than wood, they have the conductivity listed at .05 W/(m k) at 500F, it would be less at 100F. I think plywood is more like 0.1. If the ceramic paper stuff compresses a lot during install the conductivity would probably go up though.

In practice I don’t know how it would be to handle and work with but definitely interesting, I’d like to check out a sample.

I think you're spot on here...the thermal conductivity of this material isn't the same as a plain ceramic material which, granted, will have a much higher thermal conductivity. It doesn't really compress, I've found.


There are other, more expensive, brands of this stuff...but the Minseal material seems identical and these folks are in Tucson and happy to answer questions.
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:33 AM   #17
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Like 1/4 inch plywood. Thin and will flex to the curve of the roof.

Ted
1/4” wouldn’t flex enough for most bus ceilings. 1/8” would.
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:36 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bus-bro View Post
The most difficult part of working on machinery is often putting the sheet metal covering back on.

Good luck in getting the ceiling off and keeping it looking pretty.

Then getting it back-up and fitting, well, post the pictures.
Right?!

I think they glued mine on with some super high-tack adhesive. It wouldn’t come down willingly.
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:45 AM   #19
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On my aluminum-skinned Thomas short bus I think the headliner is shear panel for the shell. I think this because the outside skin is only screwed to every other hoop, while the inside is screwed to every hoop with 2” spacing.

I tried to confirm this through Thomas Built but they wouldn’t play along. In the end I decided the the (probably R-3) synthetic batt in the ceiling would have to be good enough.

I think it would take considerable skill and patience to get those panels lined back up with the original screw holes and using the original screw holes may prove problematic since they have already been sized by the screw and so may strip frequently.
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Old 12-18-2020, 09:25 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
On my aluminum-skinned Thomas short bus I think the headliner is shear panel for the shell. I think this because the outside skin is only screwed to every other hoop, while the inside is screwed to every hoop with 2” spacing.

I tried to confirm this through Thomas Built but they wouldn’t play along. In the end I decided the the (probably R-3) synthetic batt in the ceiling would have to be good enough.

I think it would take considerable skill and patience to get those panels lined back up with the original screw holes and using the original screw holes may prove problematic since they have already been sized by the screw and so may strip frequently.


My steel headliner (‘ceiling’) was riveted on so I won’t have to deal with strip outs. It is going to be less adjustable once rivets start going in so that won’t be good.

I didn’t consider the structure flexing much but that could be a concern. It will be on a level shop floor soon hopefully it’s not too bad.
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