School bus conversion and the holidays are a surprising mix. Normally, I would tell you about how we ran into problem after problem. But like a Christmas miracle, we made progress this month.
(hold for applause)
The giant tarp which we purchased to cover the entire bus in an effort to keep water out actually worked. The interior stayed dry allowing us to lay down floor insulation.
One reason we have decided to transform a school bus into a home is to be more “green.” So when we were picking out insulation for our floor we landed on a denim insulation with a radiant barrier.
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Most bus converters use rigid foam insulation, which is stiff rectangular pieces of foam. We didn’t go this direction for several reasons, one of the main being that recycled denim is better for the environment. Another benefit is that denim is easier to work with. If we were to use rigid board we would have to put in a subfloor, something we don’t have to do with the denim. And lastly, stiff foam insulation can be compromised by walking on it, thus leaving uneven surfaces.
While laying down the insulation, we learned that our bus was not built perfectly. Some areas didn’t line up the way they should. Luckily, because we chose denim, we could easily fill in gaps. Even though we had a few hiccups, we finished covering the floor in only a couple of hours.
(hold for applause)
The process of insulating with denim is pretty simple. Cut insulation to correct length, spray small section of the metal floor with adhesive spray (we used 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive), then place the insulation over the adhesive as evenly as possible.
There will be seams where the insulation pieces meet, and this can lead to heat escaping in the winter and cool air escaping in the summer. To solve this, we sealed the seams with HVAC foil tape.
The next step will be to glue down the flooring and my wife, Jenn, and I are very excited because after that step, things will start to fall into place. Or so we think. Things have never been as easy as it seems.
Next time on Redefining The American Dream: The floors on the bus, glue on down. Glue on down, glue on down. Are ceilings as easy as floors? Can we just keep this tarp on the bus?
Steve Dassatti is a husband, father, film school graduate and now bus renovator. Despite his best efforts he has not lost his mind, or an appendage, yet. Follow his journey on Instagram @Thosemodernhippies.