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Old 06-23-2024, 01:37 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2024
Posts: 1
Need advice :)

Hey everyone im new to this bus life whole thing
I have a 2008 chevy express 3500 short school bus
I got it with the seats ripped and flooring already installed
( no insulation was installed in the floor )
I ripped the whole sealing and sides preparing to do framing & insulation to the walls and sealing
1) Should i rip off the floor and put insulation ?
I live in canada -30 is a regular day here
Or you guys think wall and sealing insulation will be good enough?
2) since im bad with electricity i was considering Anker power station ( Anker SOLX F3800 Power Station - 3840Wh | 6000W New-2 ) with solar panels
Do you guys think its smart to go with this portable power ?
Or should i stick to normal electricity that people use here ?
Thank you

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Old 06-23-2024, 05:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamzflow View Post
Hey everyone im new to this bus life whole thing
I have a 2008 chevy express 3500 short school bus
I got it with the seats ripped and flooring already installed
( no insulation was installed in the floor )
I ripped the whole sealing and sides preparing to do framing & insulation to the walls and sealing
1) Should i rip off the floor and put insulation ?
I live in canada -30 is a regular day here
Or you guys think wall and sealing insulation will be good enough?
2) since im bad with electricity i was considering Anker power station ( Anker SOLX F3800 Power Station - 3840Wh | 6000W New-2 ) with solar panels
Do you guys think its smart to go with this portable power ?
Or should i stick to normal electricity that people use here ?
Thank you
Since yoiu're in that cold climate, IF IT WERE ME, Yes I would for sure put some form of insulation in the floor. You can go crazy like some do and go with 4 inch, or you can go reasonable with at least an inch. Maybe consider 2 inch since you're in the -30 climate being common. Some may not like the guy, I agree with most of what he does but not all. I had intended on doing a full floating floor from the begining. A few months later he did a video and it's what I'd consider a full floating floor. You may want to watch his video at least to get some ideas and tweak it as you wish.

My intent is to go North for the summer and South for the winter to avoid to cold and to hot so I'm not going to go crazy on floor insulation and lose the ever so valuable ceiling height. So I already knew I'd be going with 1 inch foam and that will be plenty. So 3 things you want to accomplish. #1 Vapor Barrier, #2 Break the Themal Bridge where the cold metal floor is transfered to inside the bus, then #3 some for of insulation to hold your heat insdie. The Formular or other XPS foam board product can do all of those PROVIDED IT'S INSTALLED properly.

To accomplish all 3 of the above, you'll need to do a Full Floating Floor without any framing. This means, Your metal floor to be cleaned of any loose rust and repair patches as needed if needed. You DO NOT have to get the floor clean of rust to shiney metal. Just knock off any flaking rust and sweep and clean it away. Then paint with a coat or 2 of some kind of RUST CONVERTER OR REFORMER. Not a Rust remover. You're likely to never get all the rust removed and take it down to shiney bare metal. So using a CONVERTER OR REFORMER product, just paint over what little rust you have left on the floor and let the product kill it and keep it from growing like cancer. Then glue your formular foam board down to the painted metal floor. Then glue your subfloor product down to the foam board directly on top. I left close to 1/4 inch gap on the side walls for 2 reasons. One so the wood can expand if needed, and Two, I didn't want the thermal bridging so I did not want the wood touching the side wall. Then you can along the side walls with a can of the Great Stuff spray foam and seal that gap between your subfloor and wall. It's flexible enough your wood can still expeand, and the spray foam does not allow thermal bridging and is still a vapor barrier.

I'll include Chuck's video since he does a good job or showing how to do it and what products to use. He's done this long enough he does know by now what works best and what does not, and he knows this by trial and error so he has found what does work best.

What I use is Formual 150 1 inch. It's plenty strong enough to walk on hold weight in 1 inch thick. Maybe at 4 inch, maybe you might want to do the 250 as he did, but the stuff gets expensive in 250 and in 4 inch or 2 inch x 2, so I did 150 in 1 inch and think it'll do just fine for me, and it just might even work fine for you too if you think scientific like I did. Reason I went with 1 inch is because I wanted to do the 3 things listed above, and I get the vapor barrier, and I broke the thermal bridge using the Formular XPS foam board. The 1 inch adds an R-5 value of insulation. The thicker you go, the more R value you get. BUT, heat rises to the ceiling so I didn't think I'd lose my heat through the floor and with the thermal bridging break, I'm hoping the cold will not be transfered in through the floor and so long as my ceiling is insulated best I can, then most of my heat should be kept inside. Just seems to me, if heat rises, your money and insulation effort is going to be better spent on the walls and ceiling other than the floor and then get to keep as much of that ceiling height as possible.

Here's Chucks floor video. Watch it, then tweak it as you see fit and take others opinions and experiences to fit your needs.

As far as electrical, that's pretty much up to you. There are people that get by just fine using a solar generator to power everything, and more possible to do so in a shorter bus. All depends on how much electric you'll require.
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