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Old 06-10-2016, 11:27 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by LooNeeBus View Post
Hello,
I'm in the process of removing the ceiling and siding to re insulate my 98 BlueBird. I've been researching all possible spray foam applications, DIY and Professional. I'd really like to do it ourselves since it will save us money. Did you Spray Foam yourself? I'm interested in s product called Foam it Green, I wonder if you've heard of it before? I also watched this interesting? show on spray foam nightmares where people had there attics spray foamed and it was causing them distress... I've read good and bad stories, just want to make sure we do the best job we can. Thank you for any thoughts you may have.
It will cost you roughly the same whether you do it yourself of have a pro do it. It is the quality of the finished product you need to worry about.

The mobile spray foam rigs the professionals use will typically set you back fifty to eighty thousand. This machinery heats, pressurizes and mixes the foam components. The result is a finished job of much higher quality than you can achieve using the do-it-yourself kits.

Then, there's cost. The kits cost about $1/board foot, and that is also about what the pro will bid to do the job. In a competitive market, a pro may be a bit lower priced. The big difference is who gets sweaty and messy in the process.

Fumes from spray foam are terribly toxic, but only on the day it is being applied. There is an intense chemical reaction when the two parts mix, but the heat and off-gassing tapers off steeply within a few minutes.

The fumes should be taken very seriously. You need supplied air to do this work safely inside an enclosed area like a bus - that is, air that is pumped to your mask from outside the work area.

Spray foam cures rapidly. You can cut and shave it less than an hour after it is sprayed, and you should, because this task will be much more difficult by the next morning when it is completely cured.

It should be obvious that when the foam has cooled and hardened, the chemical reaction has ended. After that - again, obviously - no more fumes are being produced. Unfortunately, a lot of folks don't understand chemistry, so there are persistent myths that spray foam insulation perpetually emits gases. It doesn't.

Remember, for insulating a skoolie, we're talking about 2 lb. closed cell foam. Besides having the highest R value per inch of any affordable insulation, there are four other reasons to choose it:

1) Structural strength - adhesion and tensile strength both exceed 30 PSI

2) Sound deadening - closed cell foam reduces resonances because of its strength and also reduces the transmission of low frequency sounds.

3) Vapor barrier - at two inches minimum thickness, closed cell foam is a complete vapor barrier. Properly applied to a good surface, it will prevent rust.

4) Mold prevention - this material does not support mold growth.

Hope this helps...
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:01 PM   #22
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Awesome! Thank You so much. You helped put my mind at ease and am going for it... Will post pics as everything unfolds
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:47 PM   #23
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I've already wintered over in Montana in a slightly modified 2003 Thomas HDX. I did install 1" double-face closed-foam on all sides, including the windshield. I did need a Mr. Heater to knock off the morning chill, but I got by on sweats and extra blankets. I haven't raised the roof, nor do I plan on it.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:19 AM   #24
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Does anyone know if the all Americans by bluebird come with 78 inch headroom? If so, can properly insulate the one I'm looking at without a roof raise. Just sheet in Windows
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:59 PM   #25
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Bliebirdman, I am in the beginning stages of my conversion and your summary of cold climate considerations is fantastic. Thanks for the great info. Dan
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:50 AM   #26
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Does anyone know if the all Americans by bluebird come with 78 inch headroom? If so, can properly insulate the one I'm looking at without a roof raise. Just sheet in Windows

Some do, some don't.

If you want the max factory headroom get a bus with 12" window openings. You can tell which ones have 12" and which ones have 9". The 9" window openings have the top line of the windows even with the top of the driver's window and the top of the service door. The 12" window openings have the top line 3" above the driver's window and the top of the service door.
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:02 AM   #27
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I find it terribly difficult to believe that removing any significant number of windows, let alone doing a roof raise, is necessary in order to stay warm in the winter. Though we have not yet spent a winter in our skoolie, the very first thing I noticed is how much BETTER the windows in my bus are than the windows in MY HOUSE! We live in a 250 year old antique farmhouse in New England with ORIGINAL single pane windows and NO insulation. Its cold and drafty but with our little wood stove we stay warm enough. I cannot fathom how one could be cold in a bus so long as they have at least a decent wood stove, a bit of insulation, and no drafts. I guess I will find out for sure next winter, but I will be shocked if the bus is not more warm and cozy than our old house. Having as many windows as possible is a big part of what we love about a bus vs. traditional motor homes. We did also make sure to buy a bus with high headroom from the factory. The added work of a roof raise would not at all excite me, and making a bus with a raised roof look half way decent when you're done is quite a challenge... But to each his own! That's why we do what we do, right?!
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Old 06-24-2016, 01:55 PM   #28
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I find it terribly difficult to believe that removing any significant number of windows, let alone doing a roof raise, is necessary in order to stay warm in the winter. Though we have not yet spent a winter in our skoolie, the very first thing I noticed is how much BETTER the windows in my bus are than the windows in MY HOUSE! We live in a 250 year old antique farmhouse in New England with ORIGINAL single pane windows and NO insulation. Its cold and drafty but with our little wood stove we stay warm enough. I cannot fathom how one could be cold in a bus so long as they have at least a decent wood stove, a bit of insulation, and no drafts. I guess I will find out for sure next winter, but I will be shocked if the bus is not more warm and cozy than our old house. Having as many windows as possible is a big part of what we love about a bus vs. traditional motor homes. We did also make sure to buy a bus with high headroom from the factory. The added work of a roof raise would not at all excite me, and making a bus with a raised roof look half way decent when you're done is quite a challenge... But to each his own! That's why we do what we do, right?!
The big difference between a bus and a house is a house usually does not have large open spaces underneath where the wind can whistle through. That can really suck the heat out.

Also, while a 250 year old house may have drafty windows, they are most likely not as drafty as some of the windows I have seen on buses. I have seen some buses with split sash windows that were so loosey goosey than you could push a finger up between the upper and lower sash.

If you put a wood stove in a bus it can keep it plenty warm enough. And since most school buses are less than 300 square feet it won't take that much to warm it all up. But with some different windows and better insulation you would not have to use nearly as much wood in the stove or juice to run A/C in the summer time.
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:35 AM   #29
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Check out wiseway pellet stoves that's what I'm planning to put in my bus, the small version. Our headspace on our 1998 bluebird is 6'2" before insulation, but were planning 2" on roof and floor and dealing with a low ceiling- how often are you needing to stand in the bus? We figure just to shower and cook and we can deal with some crouching. We're 6'1 and 6'5
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:08 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWhale View Post
I find it terribly difficult to believe that removing any significant number of windows, let alone doing a roof raise, is necessary in order to stay warm in the winter. Though we have not yet spent a winter in our skoolie, the very first thing I noticed is how much BETTER the windows in my bus are than the windows in MY HOUSE! We live in a 250 year old antique farmhouse in New England with ORIGINAL single pane windows and NO insulation. Its cold and drafty but with our little wood stove we stay warm enough. I cannot fathom how one could be cold in a bus so long as they have at least a decent wood stove, a bit of insulation, and no drafts. I guess I will find out for sure next winter, but I will be shocked if the bus is not more warm and cozy than our old house. Having as many windows as possible is a big part of what we love about a bus vs. traditional motor homes. We did also make sure to buy a bus with high headroom from the factory. The added work of a roof raise would not at all excite me, and making a bus with a raised roof look half way decent when you're done is quite a challenge... But to each his own! That's why we do what we do, right?!
believe it,in illinois i had half my bus closed off with 3 heaters going and it got down to 37 in the bus, insulate well my friend insulate well!
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:22 AM   #31
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take a look at the bus heater labels onb your bus... many of them are made by "bergstrom" or hurri-hot and have a BTU label on them for when they are fully running..

my bus was built with a total of about 200,000 BTU of heat whebn the coolant is at 185 degrees... granted thats a stock school bus and iut would be designed to warm it up fairly quickly.. but I know from driving busses in the past that on a 0 degree day I ran every heater I had on high to be able to drive the bus with a short sleeve shirt and my jacket off... yes a parked bus will be easier to heat than a moving bus.. unless its windy.. school bus windows may Appear to be better than your old wood farmhouse windows.. however the metal transmits heat...

if you insulate out your bus and were to rebuild your school bus windows they would be better but still not at what a good RV winbdow would be...

A/C is the same way... sachool busses in stock format typically run 100,000 - 120,000 BTU of A/C for a conventional 71 passenger 12 row bus....

-Christopher
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:34 AM   #32
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I lived 4 years full time in 73 vanHool converted city bus on the Gaasperplas campground in Amsterdam. I worked in Amsterdam and my GF worked at the hospital.
The bus had 6 cylinder DAF turbo diesel. We bought it for 600 dutch guilders anoher 50 for a used fridge. The rest was recycled material out of dumpsters.
Low temperatures in winter are about 28F
About half of the windows were blocked of and insulated. The removed windows were used as storm windows for the other ones.
We had a eberspacher diesel air heater in the middle of the bus.
The bedroom was in the rear.
We also had a wood/ coal stove.
No other insulation was done.
In the winter when freezing we had icicles in the bed room from the humidity. We were around 30 yrs in the time and no kids and it did not matter. It woke you up in the morning when the ice started melting and the drops would fall on your face.
To get out of bed we turned the eberspacher on and in about 15 minutes it was comfortable enough to get going.
we were parked next to the toilet building and used that toilet / shower.
Then of to work. Around 6PM when we came home we fired up the wood stove, my grandmothers old parlor stove, still have it.
It heated the bus with no effort. Of course there were cold spots at the front entrance door and the front window.

So I think it is all about what you are willing to put up with.
There are people living in tents and igloos. Some for fun some for adventure. I would say try it for a winter and see where your adventure is.

Later J
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:36 PM   #33
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Might be too late to reply, but you got some crazy answers early on. I did none of that nonsense and I lived full time in my bus on the slopes of Colorado all winter of '14-'15 with my lowest temps hitting minus 20. Windows for me are a necessity, I love windows and I kept them free and clear. The floor and walls were like ice so I used rigid insulation up to the bottom of the windows from home depot, I believe it was 1.5" and a thin layer of plywood with carpet. I have a small indoor safe propane catalyst heater also from home depot. I used an automatic switch over valve from Ace hardware to tie two propane tanks together and kept a third always full as spare. This was home for my dog while I was working on mountain overnights so temps had to be very livable and it was easy to keep the bus between 55 to 70f with my tanks lasting about 3 weeks. (Short bus!! Smaller space) I met a few other skoolies out there with full size busses and wood stoves, they were very warm and cozy inside but they were always dealing w firewood. My biggest problem was parking the bus someplace where it was OK to be and live out of. Some mountain ski areas are not cool with that, others were happy to have me. Good luck! First chair, last call!
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:41 PM   #34
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Might be too late to reply, but you got some crazy answers early on. I did none of that nonsense and I lived full time in my bus on the slopes of Colorado all winter of '14-'15 with my lowest temps hitting minus 20. Windows for me are a necessity, I love windows and I kept them free and clear. The floor and walls were like ice so I used rigid insulation up to the bottom of the windows from home depot, I believe it was 1.5" and a thin layer of plywood with carpet. I have a small indoor safe propane catalyst heater also from home depot. I used an automatic switch over valve from Ace hardware to tie two propane tanks together and kept a third always full as spare. This was home for my dog while I was working on mountain overnights so temps had to be very livable and it was easy to keep the bus between 55 to 70f with my tanks lasting about 3 weeks. (Short bus!! Smaller space) I met a few other skoolies out there with full size busses and wood stoves, they were very warm and cozy inside but they were always dealing w firewood. My biggest problem was parking the bus someplace where it was OK to be and live out of. Some mountain ski areas are not cool with that, others were happy to have me. Good luck! First chair, last call!
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:27 PM   #35
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Great thread. Really enjoy reading members actual experience about winter in the bus because i have been wondering what it may be like. Granted i am not promised tomorrow, so i keep focused on today where the struggle is staying cool...and im just not, but i will survive and it will pass. Probably after it drives me bonkers, but hey thats ok too.

I was gifted a nice Vozelgang wood stove from a friend and look forward to using that, but i will need to be somewhere that i can buy a chord of wood and store it, or tarp it in the bed of the truck. Could be tricky. May get a good propane backup just in case.

And a friend in Vegas offered a spot to stay next to their house. Vegas is too far for me but it's nice to have options, and that one would be skipping winter all together.
I could always fly south. Who knows what tomorrow will bring i tell myself.
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:14 PM   #36
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The added work of a roof raise would not at all excite me, and making a bus with a raised roof look half way decent when you're done is quite a challenge...

I wouldn't kick this one outta bed for eating crackers....
I missed out on it for $8500....Amish woodworking interior


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Old 08-01-2016, 10:34 PM   #37
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I wouldn't kick this one outta bed for eating crackers....
I missed out on it for $8500....Amish woodworking interior


Only because there's more room on the floor.
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