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Old 03-15-2021, 11:36 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
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What on earth is this stuff?

Hey guys, we are stripping down the walls of our Ford e450 Econoline Shuttle Bus. It does not appear to have any metal on the walls or ceiling. Is that possible? What we do see looks like some sort of composite insulation? But it seems really strong. Should we keep it? remove it? will the bus collapse if we remove it/mess with it?

See photo for reference.

Thank you!
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Old 03-16-2021, 01:29 AM   #2
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Looks to be what I might call a glass-fiber honeycomb sandwich.
Cheap, strong, stiff, and light-weight, with some insulating value as well.

I have a sample of a similar material here, except it came out of a military airplane. In other words, such "sandwich" and "honeycomb" construction is nothing to look down our noses at.
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:58 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks for the reply, do you think we should add additional insulation on the ceiling, or should the honeycomb composite suffice?
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:58 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess View Post
Looks to be what I might call a glass-fiber honeycomb sandwich.
Cheap, strong, stiff, and light-weight, with some insulating value as well.

I have a sample of a similar material here, except it came out of a military airplane. In other words, such "sandwich" and "honeycomb" construction is nothing to look down our noses at.
Thanks for the reply, do you think we should add additional insulation on the ceiling, or should the honeycomb composite suffice?
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Old 04-05-2021, 10:14 AM   #5
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That is the structure of the bus. Two layers of fiberglass sandwiching the cardboard. Others have stripped the inner layer and reinforced the outer layer with lumber, enabling more insulation. I can't vouch for that approach.

I did not design our bus for subzero temps and left that structure intact in my bus, other than the few spots around windows that needed reinforcement due to water leakage. I'm using fiberglass and rigid foam on the outside walls behind the bed, counters, and other interior wall panels facing the outside wall.

I have a buddy heater, for cool temps, and will probably buy a diesel heater for the occasional cold night we might experience, hoping the power of the diesel heater will overcome any heat loss due to not insulating that wall structure.

I'll be using the bus in the summertime, so I don't know if just ventilating the interior space will be enough to overcome the heat of the sun. Toying with some ideas like removable insulation panels for the ceiling, but nothing firm decided yet.
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Old 04-05-2021, 10:26 AM   #6
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that looks like a typical shuttle bus design.. I definitely wouldnt plan on any roof mounted accessories like roof racks, solar, etc..
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:14 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
That is the structure of the bus. Two layers of fiberglass sandwiching the cardboard. Others have stripped the inner layer and reinforced the outer layer with lumber, enabling more insulation. I can't vouch for that approach.

I did not design our bus for subzero temps and left that structure intact in my bus, other than the few spots around windows that needed reinforcement due to water leakage. I'm using fiberglass and rigid foam on the outside walls behind the bed, counters, and other interior wall panels facing the outside wall.

I have a buddy heater, for cool temps, and will probably buy a diesel heater for the occasional cold night we might experience, hoping the power of the diesel heater will overcome any heat loss due to not insulating that wall structure.

I'll be using the bus in the summertime, so I don't know if just ventilating the interior space will be enough to overcome the heat of the sun. Toying with some ideas like removable insulation panels for the ceiling, but nothing firm decided yet.
Do you think we should add extra insulation, or should the fiberglass sandwich be enough?
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:17 AM   #8
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The wall system has very little R value. It does heat up quickly with a buddy heater in the winter.

Hot in the summer. I used a portable swamp cooler with the windows open when I was working on it last summer.

For cutting down on drafts, I would look for opportunities to apply 1" rigid on the inside at window level or below wherever there is an opportunity. As mentioned I supplemented this with fiberglass batt to reduce the chances of humid inside air touching the outside walls where I can't see-again, behind counters, between the shower and the exterior wall etc.

For cooling, I'm putting in a couple of marine exhaust fans, and possibly a maxxair. I'm probably going to use a window a/c unit that I can pack away when not needed.

I'll also experiment this summer with, I don't know what to call them, maybe cushions? Sectional insulation panels that stick to the ceiling with neodymiums, again, just for the blazing sun days.
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