Step #7: Insulating and Sub-flooring


Once I had the floors sealed and the silicone had dried (it took a few hours), I was ready to start putting the insulation in. Part of the reason for the insulation is for keeping the heat/cold in or out and the other part is for the noise and condensation that occurs under the floorboards. We chose to go with a 1/2 inch insulation foam board for the floor. I began cutting the insulation and laying it down. The solid pieces were a breeze, as I just had to take off 5.5 inches and I was done. The areas around the wheel wells, the brake fluid box, seat belt bolts, fuel tank access panel, etc…a little bit trickier. I figured it would be easiest to make templates for each piece. And, since I am so into recycling, I used some of my scrap paper I keep next to the printer for this part of the process (side note on the scrap paper: We recycle. Everything we can. And there is a process for this recycling. Especially the paper we recycle. School papers/most drawings/unexpected printouts/receipts/etc. are all put next to the printer, where they inevitably become fodder for shopping lists/quick phone messages/daily lists/etc. Once they have been completely utilized and there is no room left for writing on them/fanning with them/marking pages within books/etc., they are finally put to rest in a bag and taken out to the curb to be picked up by a company we pay $10 monthly to pick up and recycle them back at their plant…side note complete…read on). I put the paper down, traced around the edges…

then cut the pieces to fit perfectly (or not so perfectly, depending upon whose point of view we are entertaining here) into place.

As I was positioning the scrap paper template onto the insulation board, I flipped it over and rediscovered my little 3 year old Ryan’s talents…a part of me felt very guilty for cutting up such priceless art, but another part of me had an image flash through my mind of the HUGE pile of papers accumulating on my kitchen cabinets from all of the awesome drawings I receive everyday….and I figured that as long as I didn’t mutilate the happy little creatures Ryan had created, I would be okay. This was difficult, but successfully done, as I made each template, then reused that paper to make the next template. Yeah, being a mom is a lot more complex than most people realize. Anyways…back to the process….I traced these scrap templates onto the insulation with permanent marker…

cut them with my Fat Max razor…

And, VOILA! We have a piece of insulation, perfectly fitted where once there was only a challenge of figuring out a way to insulate a small area. I know….I am way too excited over something that is so mundane for most, but you still love me, right?

More of the Happy Creatures scrap paper…notice the legs are missing, but he still looks HAPPY!

I hate the fact that sometimes my blogger doesn’t pull in my pictures the way that they are supposed to…but this little guy was one of my favorites…he was sleeping when Ryan drew him. Do you like the ears on top? Me too!

Despite being fascinated and distracted by all of the Happy Creatures, I finally got the insulation completed. Around this time, Mr. C got done with his daily work (Job #2) and I begged him to come out and play in the bus with me…..he just glared at me….he isn’t as crazy as I am about working on projects and so I just have to ignore the rolling of eyes and heavy sighs when I ask him to help me sometimes. Hey! You can’t have everything, right? He helps, because that is what good men do, appease us silly women by helping us follow our crazy dreams of building an RV out of a hunk of metal and a ton of LOVE. Or maybe it is just me that has a good man doing this for her…anyways, not to be distracted…again….must move forward….

This is the plywood we decided to use. We were told by many others who had done skoolies, not to use anything less than 5/8 inch plywood, not to use OSB or particle board, and to make sure we took out the old rubber school bus floors and checked for rotting plywood. Well, our bus had no plywood under the rubber flooring. In some ways it made it easier to remove the flooring, but it would have been nice to have had that extra 1/2 inch of space to build back up. As it is, our clearance began at 6’3″ and is diminishing every time I add another layer to the floor (luckily Mr. C isn’t over 6′ 1″ tall, although he did mention his sadness over not being able to do ninja moves while inside the RV…can’t win them all). Notice the layers of wood, this is what makes this plywood a lot stronger than the other types. And, since our sub-flooring is going to be holding all of our permanent fixtures and appliances in place, we feel it is pretty important to make sure it is worthy of doing this job (now getting off of the ADD plywood soap box…wow, are you still reading this post?).

There are only a few things that turn me on more than seeing a man working with power tools……..and I am not going to share those on here. I am just going to state that we may have ended up with a dozen kids by now, had Mr. C liked using tools and working on projects….I’m just saying.

Mr. C and I cut the plywood and got it all situated within Liahona…except for all of the itty bitty pieces. Then it got dark and I had to call it a day….saws are too noisy. 😦

The next day, after we finished up school, I got back to work on getting the plywood completed. I used the insulation to make templates for the plywood, then cut them out with my jigsaw. It was delightful to have Ethan and Jamin helping me…they got a little glimpse into the mind of their crazy mom and the way I figure out solutions to my problems. That is one of the main reasons that I enjoy homeschooling so much. I enjoy having them there with me through a lot of my discoveries…learning together.

I got most of the wood screwed down, despite the fact that the drill bit I was told to use by the hardware store associates was the wrong size….yeah, Mr. C told me this when I finally begged him to help me out with securing the plywood on the 3rd day. It had been harder than I thought it would be. Pre-drilling through steel and some nice plywood deserves the proper sized drill bit, for sure!

This is the fuel tank access…just in case you ever need to…um….change out your fuel tank?

We decided to keep it accessible under the flooring, despite the fact that its existence wasn’t even made known when the bus had rubber flooring covering it.
I cut the insulation to fit over the panel.

I had Mr. C cut the hole out of the piece of plywood for the cover. I screwed that cover down into the floor…and if I ever need to change out our fuel tank, I will now have a much easier time of doing it. Um….yeah.

Before I had even completed securing those last few itty bitty pieces of plywood into place, I had Mr. C bring the dinette benches in so I could begin the next step….Laying out what I have and taping out the rest of the layout….yeah, you can’t tell I am excited for that step, can you? I am thrilled!! 😀
Pura Vida!
Mrs. C

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