Bus Conversion: Floor Studs and Floor Insulation

Skoolie Conversion: Days 5-6

Bus Conversion Day 5

While the rust converter Corroseal was drying, we planned our materials for the floor studs and floor insulation. Big, being the “numbers” guy for a living, calculated what we needed, so we wouldn’t be completely lost at the hardware store. Below is a quick video of some of our floor plans and a BIG list of dimensions – see what I did there? 😛

STUDS aka FLOOR JOISTS

We chose MDF for our studs because it was strong, flexible, and, most importantly, splintered less than other materials. We mapped out where where we would need studs and made sure we had a few extra in case our floor plan changed (which it has). To save money, we bought a full 4×8′ sheet of 1/2″  MDF and had it cut by our wonderful friend at Home Depot, Tom. The first 2 cuts were free, then it costed 50 cents per cut thereafter.

BOARDS

Tom was super helpful and educated us on the types of subfloor materials. We went with 3/4″ plywood for the floors and 1/2″ for walls. It’s durable, less susceptible to water damage, and will provide the best surface for our top flooring. There are many opinions about plywood vs OSB (oriented strandboard) and many variables such as purpose, budget,  and climate at play – do your research and figure out what works best for you!

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.
Getting our plywood cut for 25 cents per cut – totally worth it!

INSULATION

We decided to go with rigid foam insulation vs spray foam mainly for cost. We got 10 boards of 1/2″ 4×8  TUFF-R polyisocyanuate foam insulation – both sides have reflective foil for water vapor resistance and an R-value of 3.3. The R-value is the measure of thermal resistance, the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow – so the higher the R-value, the better the insulation.

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.
They see us rolling.. to grab rigid foam insulation.

 

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.
DTW TIP: Look for the purple paint at Home Depot for 70% wood and the bundles outside at Lowe’s for 50% off (YMMV)

 

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.

Now that the Corroseal rust converter was completely dried, we were able to start patching the nail, bolt, and rust holes in the floor.

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.
Our lovely floors after Corroseal

We picked up a 12 pack of Loctite PL Premium polyurethane construction adhesive and used this to fill the smaller holes.

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.
The large hole in the floor where the seatbelt nut and bolt used to be

For larger holes, we used leftover flashing from Big’s dad and adhered these pieces to the floor with Loctite. The flashing had some memory to it, so it’s important to place heavy objects on top of the flashing after placement so the Loctite has time to set and cure.

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.
The large hole we found when we removed the metal covering of the fuel line
Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.
We covered the hole with 2 strips of flashing glued down with Loctite
Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.
We also covered the fuel tank with a square piece of flashing.

TIP: Loctite sets in 20 minutes and cures in 24 hours.

While the Loctite was setting, the boys were cutting pieces of MDF for the floor joists. They also doubled as weights for the flashing.

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.

We laid the studs down (after we made sure each strip laid properly during a dry fit) and adhered them with more Loctite.

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.

In hindsight, we were a little too liberal with Loctite application – and while we got a bulk discount, this stuff ain’t cheap! Anyway, the studs are nice and secure now.

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.
Studs in place! Couldn’t have done it this quickly without all the help from Big’s family!

Day 6

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.
Studs in place, holes patched, and ready for floor insulation!

After studs were in place, weighed down with heavy objects, and allowed to cure overnight, we worked on cutting insulation foam boards and plywood subfloors this day. We used a box cutter and pocket knife to cut the foam boards and stuck them in place with more Loctite. We laid the reflective side facing inwards to retain heat. For conversions in hotter climates, you’ll want the opposite to reflect the heat away.

TIP:  Avoid crushing the rigid foam boards – any dents will make it that much less effective.

Measure twice, cut once, folks! Or in our case, measure twice, cut once, it’s still not the right size..

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.

measure again… cut again..

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.

and repeat!

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.

TIP: When possible, split up the work! Big started cutting plywood for the subfloors as I installed the last piece of insulation.

Here’s Hugo at the end of Weekend #3! We’re so happy with the progress and can’t wait to get the rest of the subfloors in 🙂

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.
Big and Big’s dad checking out our work

Check out our latest video on YouTube for more tips and fun footage from last week:

For other videos from our bus conversion, check out our YouTube channel!

 

TOOLS USED:

Corroseal Rust Converter: http://amzn.to/2lV2wrw
Loctite PL Premium Construction Adhesive: http://amzn.to/2lNLKNm
500 pack wood screws: http://amzn.to/2lihFTa
Drill: http://amzn.to/2kzO5uH
Mallet: http://amzn.to/2l4e62r
Canon 50D: http://amzn.to/2kX4biF
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens: http://amzn.to/2kWT89k
Nikon Coolpix P300: http://amzn.to/2l4o5Vu
Black and Decker jigsaw: http://amzn.to/2miIhaO

As always, feel free to check us out on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. We also have weekly updates of Hugo’s conversion on YouTube with a new episode launching every Friday – subscribe to our channel to stay tuned 🙂

Our bus conversion, Hugo the Skoolie gets holes patched, floor studs placed, and floor insulation installed.

Have you worked with rigid insulation and/or plywood? Do you prefer OSB or spray foam insulation? Let us know in the comments below!

Peace out!

Lil and Big - DIYtoWealth.com

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