Insulating Our Tiny Home Bus

Reader Contribution by Faithful Homesteader
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Several months ago, we bought an old church bus with a plan to turn it into a tiny home. It was already partially converted into an RV, but my husband wanted to start mostly from scratch and do things his way. We have not made as much progress as he would have liked because of financial constraints, but we continue to do what we can do.

So far, he has painted most of the outside of the bus. He has worked on framing and window tinting. He also made a composting toilet. Insulation of the bus has been the latest project. A big motivation for additional insulation on the bus is better thermal efficiency and to minimize noise. I am really sensitive to noise so I am always glad to find ways of reducing noise pollution in my life.

Of course, we are working to overcome the limitations of the bus in terms of heat and cold transfer. All of the windows that we are not using have a rubberized coating and are covered with 3/4-inch foam boards. In addition to the insulation already in the double steel wall, we have added an additional 3/4 inch of foam board insulation. We are not sure what type of wall covering we will use but my husband is thinking repurposed cedar fence planks.  

The handicap door on the bus had zero insulation. We used spray foam on the inside of the door. Since we will be using this door, we did not want to frame it and do the insulation like the rest of the bus. We will be adding matching wall paneling. We have not made a final determination about the ceiling, but my husband is considering an aluminum backed foam roll. We also will be adding solar panels, which will block sun on the roof and thereby help reduce heat transfer.

The floor has no insulation so we still need to work on that. The plan for the kitchen and bathroom is 3/4-inch gym mat type floor. The living room and bedroom area will have thick carpet insulation and carpet. Hopefully, in the coming new year, we can accomplish much more toward turning our retired church bus into a home.

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