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Old 04-08-2020, 06:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2020
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Hello and please help!

Hello all! My partner and I are converting a 2009 e350 shuttle bus into a home before we move to Nashville and start graduate programs in the fall. Our bus was already partially converted with piping for water and a shore line, but we gutted everything out and are starting mostly new.

My number one question is: we have successfully stripped the plastic off the walls and ceiling. The floor is a wood floor on metal framing. To my surprise, the ceiling we uncovered was not metal, but rather a orangey-red plastic type material, and underneath that seems to be a 1inch layer of some sort of cardboard (I think?!?). What the heck is this? Should we take it down? If so, how? It is not visibly screwed or bolted in... can we get away with insulating on top of that for the build??

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Old 04-08-2020, 06:22 AM   #2
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Location: Philadelphia
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Interesting, many people propose putting insulation on top of their roofs (instead of against the ceiling inside) in order to save headroom. Nobody has ever actually done it as far as I know, though. On a school bus with a metal body this would not function very well as insulation, thanks to the high thermal conductivity of steel, but on a shuttle bus like yours (which I think is literally just cardboard and fiberglass for the roof part) it would provide effective insulation.

If you could keep the stuff attached, anyway. I think that's the real problem with this, is that you'd basically have to build a second roof on top of your insulation layer. Something like gluing XPS foam board to the roof and painting it with Henry's Tropicool might last a few a hundred miles before pieces start coming off.
Rusty 87 build thread
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Old 04-08-2020, 07:56 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Canton Tx, 100mi east dallas
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Year: 2005
Coachwork: startrans
Chassis: e450
Engine: 7.2 turbo diesel
welcome, I just got a e450 shuttle 2005. converting it to a food truck. I am sure we can share info. I have removed the interior lights along the top of both sides, poles, some of the seats and wheelchair lift. this weekend I should have the main part of the ac/dc and start the plumbing. her are a few pics
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Old 04-08-2020, 10:21 PM   #4
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What was the interior plastic attached to?
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:19 AM   #5
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I am thinking you are saying that you stripped the inner skin of the ceiling and found cardboard. From what I gather from this site, that is how the fiberglass shuttle-type bodies are made. If you plan on or need additional insulation, then put foam board or spray foam on the now stripped ceiling. The foam board would have to be attached with some sort of adhesive. The spray foam will stick as is. Then you would have to put up a new ceiling surface to replace the one you stripped, probably using the same adhesive used to hold the foam board up.
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ceiling, ford e-350, short bus, shuttle bus

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