When we first purchased Opti-Force 1 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 20’s outside; we thought no problem we have a strong propane heater giving us 30,000 BTU’s of heat in our well insulated bus. Unfortunately, we were wrong, it took all its BTU’s 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 BTU’s and got us “up” to the low 50’s in Opti-Force 1.
Other than mechanical work we hadn’t done anything to the bus cosmetically yet, nor to renovate the interior, but I was officially on the hunt for a solution to my quandary.
The next week we were in south Florida, where the temperatures were in the high 80’s, and we had to run both our roof-top air conditioners to keep the inside of the bus livable. I was beginning to doubt our bus was insulated at all.
Looking through Bus Conversions Magazine I saw a little unassuming ad from EHP (Engine Heat Protection), and had seen one of the owners answer 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 very helpful with all my overly nerdy technical questions. I took some measurements and enough EHP Rollboard was ordered to cover walls, ceiling and floors of Opti-Force 1.
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.
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.
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 gained the equivalent of probably 5-6 inches of foam insulation.
In a whirlwind of activity, we got a lot accomplished (we had a deadline) we insulated the bus, added a solar system, added the mini-Split heat pump, new kitchen cabinets, and a new electrical system. All this from September 23- October 10th 2017.
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 EHP.
Our next trip started 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 were able to 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 deficit over the previous winters heating system.
If you are converting or renovating a bus, EHP Rollboard 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.
Have an Optimum day!
Global Director of Training
Cell 1 901 907 1957
Office 1 901 363 4955
Here are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)