Bus conversion: Up goes the ceiling

After lifting the roof way back in the early stages, we left the ceiling until recently. With the interior of the bus completely stripped out, wiring and insulation had to be put into place before the actual ceiling could be completed.

See the huge bundle of wires from the solar panels on the roof

Rob first work out the wiring needed. We had a general idea of where the lights were to go and we also needed to get the wiring from the solar panels up on the roof of the bus, down to the lithium batteries which were housed under the floor of the lounge slide out!

We knew we wanted to have LED strip lighting most of the bus. A main central recessed channel down the centre of the main part of the bus, as well as under the kitchen cupboards and around the slideouts. The lights are switched by zone. By the way, in case you wanted to know, all the lights are 12 volts and the bus is 24 volts which the 3,000 watt inverter converts to give constant 240v power.

Battens and the wires coming down the sides

Rob put up wooden battens. They are 2 by 1.5 inch battens of cheap pine. Their main purpose is to create a gap between the roof and the ceiling. We had noticed in the caravan that where ever the metal touched the ceiling condensation was clearly visible on the ceilings in cold weather especially if we had a heater on. The wood will prevent this.

There are several options when it comes to insulation. Spray in foam is quite messy and can be hard to contain during the process. Some of the laminated foam products sound great but they also came with a hefty price tag. We decided to insulate the ceiling with styrofoam sheets. It is relatively cheap, lightweight and easy to cut and install. It doesn’t rattle nor does it breakdown and compact as some batt type insulation are likely to do.

When we raised the roof we also installed a skylight bringing in a fabulous amount of light into the area near the kitchen. We also have an extractor fan in the ceiling too.

Roof's up: now waiting for the recessed lighting to be done

We chose to clad the walls and the ceiling with white Aluminum Composite Panels. ACP is a type of flat panel that consists of two thin aluminium sheets bonded to plastic core. It is cheaper, lightweight but very sturdy material and offers a little insulating property which never goes astray. Curving and shaping to the curvature of the ceiling was a lot more difficult to do than expected. This was a long involved series of fittings, shaving just a bit here and there, refitting and trimming again with the assistance of friends and then the ceiling goes up. Rob used silastic as a glue along with screws in ‘hidden’ areas such as the centre and the extreme edges which will be covered with trims. Timber props were created and used to help hold up the ceiling whilst the silastic was curing.

The centre gap has had recessed LED strip lighting added to it as a later project! I love this light.