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Yvan Lacroix
November 4, 2019
225 views

Comfort Year-Round With EHP (Insulating Your Bus Conversion)

When we first purchased Opti-Force 1 (our bus conversion), we were very happy to see that it had blown in urethane insulation everywhere. Due to reading this magazine, the forums, and Facebook groups, we thought we had the best money could buy.

One of our first trips in Opti-Force 1, was in February and we spent three nights in Boston. It was in the low 20s outside. We thought no problem, we have a strong propane heater giving us 30,000 BTUs of heat in our well-insulated bus.

Unfortunately, we were wrong, it took all its BTUs to get us to a balmy 40 degrees. The next morning, after warming up, we went to a big box store and bought two electric ceramic heaters. Those gave us an additional 10,000 BTUs and got us “up” to the low 50s in Opti-Force 1.

Other than mechanical work, we did not do anything to the bus cosmetically yet. Nor did we renovate the interior, but I was officially on the hunt for a solution to my quandary.

The next week when we were in South Florida, the temperatures were in the high 80s. We had to run both of our rooftop air conditioners to keep the inside of the bus livable. I was beginning to doubt that our bus was insulated at all.

Spray urethane insulation that was already in the bus.

Looking through Bus Conversions Magazine, I saw a little unassuming ad from EHP (Engine Heat Protection). I saw that one of the owners answered questions on a few Facebook groups, so I reached out to Todd Lenson. What a delight here is a guy that knows his product, is confident in its performance and is very helpful with all my overly nerdy technical questions. I took some measurements and ordered enough EHP Rollboard to cover the walls, ceiling, and floors of my Opti-Force 1.

The roll of EHP Rollboard insulation.
EHP starting to go up on the curb side wall.
Insulation and wall covering are done. Ready for the first trip with a well-insulated coach.
EHP held to the wall with contact cement.

September 23, 2017, nine months after buying Opti-Force 1, we dug in and tore down the cabinets, walls, and ceiling. We were happy to find that yes, there was indeed a nice thick layer of sprayed in urethane insulation. We also removed the rooftop AC and propane heater units in favor of a Mini Split Heat Pump.

EHP can be seen on the ceiling, at only 1/8” thick it’s also behind the walls and under the floor.
The mandatory before shot.
The walls and ceiling are complete, with new luan on the wall.

With all the information gained from EHP and armed with boxes of insulation, we moved forward, confidently. After everything was torn out, including all the wiring (that’s for another article) it was time to rebuild.

Pine covering going in, kitchen cabinets hung.
Sylvie piecing together the front steps before covering with 1/2” plywood.

The EHP Rollboard insulation is very easy to work with, It’s a 1/8” thick flexible ceramic (we’re talking space-age material here) that feels and bends like felt. We attached it to the walls using contact cement, per the instructions.

In a few hours, the kitchen and living room were insulated. Already inside the bus, a difference could be heard. I hadn’t considered it before, but an added bonus of the EHP Rollboard is great sound-deadening abilities.

Since Opti-Force 1 doesn’t have a raised roof, we wanted to keep the floor as thin as possible. EHP was a real winner here as well. At only 1/8” (3mm”) thick it’s the ultimate solution for floor insulation.

We laid the EHP directly over the factory floor and then added a 7/16” plywood on top. With this, we only lost 9/16” of headroom, but we gained the equivalent of probably 5-6” of foam insulation.

In a whirlwind of activity, we got a lot accomplished (we had a deadline)! We insulated the bus, we added a solar system, we added the mini-Split heat pump, we put in new kitchen cabinets, and we installed a new electrical system. We accomplished all this from September 23 to October 10, 2017.

Cozy and well insulated, covered in 5/16” pine. Still some trim work to do but it's livable.

Back on the road, the first thing we noticed, was how much quieter it was inside the bus. On that trip, we didn’t encounter any real temperature extremes, but we were very confident in our new EHP insulation.

EHP is being installed on the hall and bedroom floor by the lady of the house.

Our next trip started on December 26th. We drove out into the snow from our base in Granby, Quebec, and stopped a few hours later in Vermont for the night. The investment in EHP Rollboard paid for itself that night!

We could walk on the floor in bare feet without freezing. Our 12,000 BTU mini Split heat pump had no problems keeping us at a comfortable 72 degrees, despite its 28,000 BTU deficits over the previous winter's heating system.

GM PD41XX SERIES BUSES If you are converting or renovating a bus, EHP Roll-board should not be an option, it should be mandatory. You will not regret the investment, ever! Regardless of your climate, hot or cold, EHP Rollboard is by far the best investment you can make in your comfort.

Article written by Yvan Lacroix

Yvan and Sylvie are fun loving grandparents and teachers. They travel the world teaching detailers how to improve quality, efficiency and safety.

Their first conversion was a 1964 GMC SDM 5302 (Click HERE to read about their first conversion in the February 2018 issue of BCM).

The second conversion was a 1973 GMC Buffalo 4905A called the Lacroix Cruiser. Click HERE)to read the April 2021 issue of BCM featuring the 1973 GMC.

Now they are traveling and living in their third conversion, a 1995 MCI 102DL3.

You can follow along with their conversions and travels on Facebook, Instagram,
and YouTube.

You may contact Yvan at:
yvan1lacroix@icloud.com

To be the first to read many new articles, and to read all articles back to 1992, become a member of BCM.
Click HERE to become a Member now!
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