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Author Topic: Insulation Products  (Read 1659 times)
thekid745
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« on: August 09, 2014, 06:21:38 AM »

So we are just about ready to start the inside build. I wanted to get some opinions on what products work best for insulation? I only want to rebuild this once so I want to be sure to insulate properly.
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2014, 07:41:16 AM »

No question - have someone come in and do Spray Foam.  I was reluctant, but VERY glad I did it that way!
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2014, 09:47:33 AM »

BEFORE you do spray foam or any other kind of insulation, remove all of your ceiling and wall panels, thoroughly clean insides of walls and ceiling, then buy, beg, borrow or steal (not really!) a power washer. Give a good wet-down from outside. Be carefull: Not TOO much pressure for very long at any point. Go inside and find your water leaks. Mark with a water proof marker. Dry everything off (hint: Use a large home floor fan on HI.) and then do proper silicone sealing at all leaks. We found MANY leaks in ours. This will save you grief later: water stains and/or fungus in your ceiling and wall panels, etc. My two pesos' worth of free advice.
 Grin
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2014, 03:26:17 PM »

I have an AMGeneral transit which is very similar in construction to your fishbowl. I removed the entire interior down to the shell. Had to weld up cracks above each entrance door (I kept both doors. The front for normal entrance, and built the bathroom around the rear door for direct entrance to the bathroom from the outside. Nice when at the beach). I then power steel brushed everything, primed with Rustoleum. The next step was to install 1x2 fir strips longitudinally at 12" centers so to have something to screw into for the ceiling. Where the overhead cabinets were to be, I installed 1x3 ash strips for better strength. After all strips were installed, I called and had spray foam installed-best money spent-about $1,500. They sprayed the foam, ground it back down, and hauled away the ground out foam. The spray foam is 2.25" thick. I then covered the ceiling with 1/8" plywood that bends to the curve of the ceiling and used 1/4" on the wall. I simply painted the ceiling semi gloss white, and overlayed the screws with 1.5" finished oak strips. I liked it so much, I have repeated it on my truck conversioin. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2014, 05:45:20 PM »

Better than Silicon would be to use 5200 marine sealer. silicon will eventually start pulling away. 5200 you can get at Home Depot.
Clifford I think it was was telling someone about talking to the people at a semi truck Trailer place and see when they are spraying a refrigerator trailer and maybe they would do yours at the same time for a lot less!..... HTH

Dave5Cs
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 08:28:48 AM by Dave5Cs » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2014, 06:10:26 PM »

When I was looking into what the best way to insulate was, I basically got the same answer, spray foam.  I priced it out vs pink board and found the R value for spray in foam was not that much higher, but the spray foam was more expensive.  So I weighed the two and figured If I was living in the bus, I would go the spray in route without question, but my plan is just occasional use, camping and some traveling, so I decided to go with the pink board.  Looking back at it, the spray in foam would have been much faster and easier.  With the pink board I had to cut and fit, and layer, which was very time consuming.  After working on this for four years now I think I might have gone with the spray in just to save on time.  When I took the inside panels off I did not find any indication that my bus had been leaking water from the outside sheeting, but I did find some rust from the windows leaking, I repaired the rust and the leaking window were planed for removal anyway.  Here is a video showing some of the work.

http://youtu.be/rIGpNbC3vHY?list=PL24A5AEC8B27BDD79
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Mike
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2014, 06:34:12 PM »

I used pinkboard on mine and foamed the cracks and spaces.  Its easy to cut the squares short and foam around the edges and in the cracks.  If I could have emptied the bus out all the way I'd have sprayfoamed it for sure but had cabinets and drawers already installed by the previous owner and it was just easier to use the pinkboard.  If you can, go with the sprayfoam.

-Sean
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thekid745
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2014, 08:12:13 AM »

Just to clarify. When you guys say the spray in foam you are talking about the spray cans you can get from Home Depot or Lowes correct?
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2014, 08:32:54 AM »

Only when talking about filling in the cracks. The spray foam is actually a 2 part mix of chemicals when mixed at the spray gun comes out and expands  there is a knife or special tool they use to cut it flush with your wall or strips you have put on to make the wall thicker. You can buy the bottles and rent the equipment but it is a lot easier to just find a local insulation company and they will come to your bus site and do it and haul the waste away after.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 02:19:36 PM by Dave5Cs » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2014, 08:39:10 AM »

No if you have it sprayed foam use the hot closed cell type to to be clear the spray foams start losing the R value the minute they are applied we are going through that now at the restaurants, the refrigeration foam sheets seem to work good the 1 walk in cooler with the foam sheets for us is working better than the spray foam cost wise and when you are paying out 2 to 3 grand a month for power every little bit helps it may not apply to conversions  Roll Eyes  
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2014, 08:43:36 AM »

Just to clarify. When you guys say the spray in foam you are talking about the spray cans you can get from Home Depot or Lowes correct?

no... you will not get the results you want...here are examples of the eq. required.







and...
http://sprayfoamclosedcell.com/closed-cell-foam-vs-open-cell-foam/
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 08:52:23 AM by eagle19952 » Logged

Donald PH
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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2014, 09:04:58 AM »

Clifford I think it was, was telling someone about talking to the people at a semi truck Trailer place and see when they are spraying a refrigerator trailer and maybe they would do yours at the same time for a lot less!

Dave -

Actually, that was me.  And to clarify, it was to find a semi-truck trailer REPAIR facility that works on refrigerator trailers.  Most of your major cities have one somewhere, usually in the industrial area near Semi-truck dealers.

thekid NAME?? -

Please take a couple minutes to update your profile to at least include a signature line, similar to mine below.  First name, home-base city/state and bus make/model/powertrain can be very helpful to us trying to help you.  No sense sending you to a shop in FL if you're in WA, for example.  Simply click on the profile tab in the menu above, then on the "Forum Profile Info" option in the LH menu and follow the prompts.  Thanks.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2014, 10:15:52 AM »

The self kits for spray foam look like two propane tanks that combine to make the spray foam. Take my advice (like others)-have the spray foam done by a professional. It is a messy, nasty job. The really good spray foam (like what the professionals use) really stinks in liquid form. So much so, (at least the guy I used) they breath through a helmet with a pressure hose of fresh air being powered by an old Kirby vacuum (crude but effective). Then grinding it down is also very messy.
As to Silicone, I've used it on my roof to seal off the roof vents. That was 20 years ago and it is still sound. You have to use outside rated silicone (the stinky kind). Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2014, 11:07:40 AM »

I just had my brand ne sprinter van spray foamed this passed winter. The combination
Of the cold sheet metal and higher temp foam was a disaster. All the body panels distorted and the truck is virtually ruined.  I am not saying foam is a bad idea,just saying you need to be careful when installing. As for my bus, I used rock wool batts. Very good insulating value, great sound value, not destroyed by moisture, and most important,fire proof.
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2014, 12:37:35 PM »

I just had my brand ne sprinter van spray foamed this passed winter. The combination
Of the cold sheet metal and higher temp foam was a disaster. All the body panels distorted and the truck is virtually ruined.  I am not saying foam is a bad idea,just saying you need to be careful when installing. As for my bus, I used rock wool batts. Very good insulating value, great sound value, not destroyed by moisture, and most important,fire proof.

i think the WHO is the thing that one would need to think hard about here .....just saying.....
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Donald PH
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2014, 01:35:34 PM »

You can buy the kits from www.bestmaterials.com it will vary in price and coverage fwiw
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robertglines1
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« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2014, 01:41:39 PM »

one way.  put blue insulation cut to fit between wall frame work as thick as framing . seal all voids with great stuff(foam in can) next step use foil bubble type roll insulation over all surfaces(include frame) the purpose of the over frame is thermal break.. Stops transfer through steel frame work to inside. Think how a toaster wire works. next step fasten luan/thin plywood over foil and screw into framework. Suggest large head screws used to fasten plywood to steel studs. They are self drilling..  Cover end result with finish of your choice.  Get a IF gun from  Harbor freight=it will show you where the heat/cold is getting thru to inside.  I shot my ribs in the sun and they were 40 degrees hotter than insulated space between ribs. Hence they decision to have a thermal break/insulation over the ribs also. Afterwards there was very little difference. There is just the 2 of us so we decided to use upholstery on the wall and marine vinyl on roof.  We put quilt batting under material.  Also  acts as a sound deader and additional insulation.  will try to post a couple pictures.. Bob
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« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2014, 01:44:26 PM »

one more of couch and wall covering in slide.
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2014, 05:59:46 PM »

Just to clarify , I had it done by a professional company.
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« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2014, 07:32:09 PM »

use foil bubble type roll insulation over all surfaces(include frame) the purpose of the over frame is thermal break.. Stops transfer through steel frame work to inside.
I second this -  before we redid our walls the heat came right through the frame to the wood and it would get pretty hot.  When we rebuilt the walls we covered them with reflectix to keep the heat from passing through and it works great.  No heat transfer.  Makes no sense to insulate your walls and then screw the inside wall panel right to the Frame.

-Sean
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« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2014, 08:28:11 PM »

When we insulated my bus, we came across alot of blue board insulation left over from a contractor for free.I then went to home depot and or lowes and picked up some of that spray can insulation and painted the exterior walls with it (not easy)spread it with a scraper and ya will get the hang of it after a bit.(totally took the heat off the exterior surfaces) then cut the blue board and installed and filled in the cracks with the same spray can insulation.....  Cheesy....George
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« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2014, 06:26:12 AM »

It's best to use the orange with the foil backing if you can afford it
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« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2014, 10:31:32 AM »

  It's best to use the orange with the foil backing if you can afford it

    I've never seen stuff like that.  Is this a foam, like pink board, Clifford?  Sounds like good stuff - where do you get it?   Thanks.
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« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2014, 10:46:43 AM »

     First coach and first post.
 I was planning on going the foam board and then foil bubble wrap route, using spray can foam to get the tight spaces. I saw a product called Prodex Total Insulation :Seals around nails (no leak) : Reflective aluminum foil on each side of 5mm (13/64) closed-cell polyethylene foam center. Looks superior to Reflectix bubble wrap. Online reviews are great.  Anyone use or have info on Prodex?
The other issue besides not knowing much about it is that I am in Canada. To get Prodex to me would double the cost. The funny, well not so funny, thing is that if I catch it when it is on sale which it is enough to wait for I will pay about the same per sqft as I would for Reflectix. Huh  Oh Canada
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« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2014, 01:19:23 PM »

Definitely spray foam. Then use reflectix too. Just an FYI, we are fulltimers...we coated the entire interior of our coach with reflectix...and for three years we've only used one 13,500 btu a/c unit all the way up to 104 degree weather. We also survived this past winter of -22F just fine in the coach. The plumbing bay? That's another story I don't even want to discuss.   Undecided
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2014, 03:38:04 PM »

This may get lengthy.

Seems to me that since insulation resists the transfer of heat if foam is sprayed directly on the exterior skin of the coach it would not be as effective as if there were some sort of an air gap.  If you put a skillet on the stove, get it hot, and hold your hand a quarter inch or so above the skillet it'll be hot but you won't get burned, where as if you put your hand on the skillet....ouch.  I'm thinking a gap from the skin to a reflective material, and then an insulation on that (foam board or maybe even have foam sprayed in, followed by another reflective material, an air gap and the interior wall material.  While this will probably mean a thicker combination I think it would be superior to an insulation sprayed directly on the skin.  If the insulation is directly on the skin the heat of the skin will transfer directly to the insulation, and the R-value wouldn't be as effective.  With an air gap (even without a reflective material)the temperature of the air would be less than the temp of the skin, and it wouldn't "soak" into the insulation as quickly. 

Well not as long as I'd thought it might get, comments?Huh?
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Don
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« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2014, 04:43:02 PM »

Don; your correct. The problem in this case is your loosing to much floor space in a 96 inch wide coach. Already to 92  1/2 inches if I remember correct. Cut another 3 inches off and your under 90 inches usable floor space.. Also point of diminishing returns.  The cost vs energy saved.  The $ return would be  to put a more efficient insulation in the roof area where most of your thermal transfer occurs. Good observation so it depends on how each of us balances cost of our builds vs usage.    Bob
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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2014, 04:47:08 PM »

Definitely spray foam. Then use reflectix too. Just an FYI, we are fulltimers...we coated the entire interior of our coach with reflectix...and for three years we've only used one 13,500 btu a/c unit all the way up to 104 degree weather. We also survived this past winter of -22F just fine in the coach. The plumbing bay? That's another story I don't even want to discuss.   Undecided

Scott - You forgot to mention you live in a prison bus with no windows Smiley  Bwaaaaa haaaa tee heee.....rofl.

-Sean
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« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2014, 07:49:35 PM »

Bob, thanks for the confirmation.  I figure that with the procedure that I postulated, I can use a little less insulation in the walls such that I only end up an inch or two less width than original.  I agree that the top is where the biggest gains can be made and being "only" 6' tall I can use up some of that space that I have up there.  I'm also planning something similar for the floor and am mindful of the overall interior height reduction adding to the floor and ceiling.  I'm planning to live and travel full time when done, and the current plan is hydronics in the floor.
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Don
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« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2014, 03:52:32 PM »

Sean, but my bus has a bunk. That trumps windows. your kids agree.  Cool

honest, I love that guy ^

So I checked out the healthyheating site...interesting...but I honestly only saw "scam alerts". What do they suggest we insulate with? or how? i couldn't find that on their site quickly.
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2014, 11:01:48 AM »

I like rigid polyisocyanurate foam with foil on both sides. I seal gaps and cracks with — wait for it — Great Stuff Gaps and Cracks.

My research indicates that polyiso board has the highest R value of anything readily available. Considerably better than any color of styrene board. Impervious to moisture. Does not lose R capability over time. No chance of heat buckling outside panels.

My only problem is that it is hard to find where we live other than in 1/2" thickness. I'm getting ready to order a full unit of 1-1/2" boards from a local building supply. Don't need that much for the Gillig, but I think I can sell the balance on Craig's.

I'm using 1-1/2" in ceiling and most wall space. Floor and balance of wall area get 1". Planning to double the locally available 1/2" where I need 1".

To install 1" of any kind of foam, strips of 5/4" treated decking make great furring. I saw nominal 6" boards into three equal strips.

Used this system for ten years in our Flx Metro. That bus had many problems, but lack of insulation was not on the list.
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« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2014, 12:27:25 PM »

I like rigid polyisocyanurate foam with foil on both sides. ...

    Sound good Jim.   Seems to be hard to find near me - do you have a "trade name" or brand on this?
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2014, 12:35:46 PM »

Bruce -  They sell it at homedepot in Wilmington...at least they did when I was there.  Its foiled on both sides and says RMAX on it...I think.  They only had 1/2 inch but I tripled in areas that I needed to fill and it worked great.  Most of my bus's outer steel framed walls had the 1.5" already in them and I added another 3/4 of the blue board on top of that.

-Sean
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« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2014, 01:25:11 PM »

    Seems to be hard to find near me - do you have a "trade name" or brand on this?

Bruce, the half inch stuff Lowe's sells here is called R Max. Year before last I ordered 17 sheets of 1-1/2" to do our step van. It was Dow brand. Don't remember the trade name, but it was also something that ended in max. Same lumber yard can no longer order partial units.

I'm also putting a layer of foil bubble wrap inside everywhere.
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Jim Huskins
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« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2014, 02:32:05 PM »

Bruce, the half inch stuff Lowe's sells here is called R Max. Year before last I ordered 17 sheets of 1-1/2" to do our step van. It was Dow brand. Don't remember the trade name, but it was also something that ended in max. Same lumber yard can no longer order partial units.

I'm also putting a layer of foil bubble wrap inside everywhere.

     Thanks, Jim and Sean!  I'll look!
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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