Insulation Chronicles 2 of 4: Insulation & Furring Strips

Posted in : furring strips, insulation on by : Tai , freemiumfreemiumfreemiumfreemiumfreemium Comments: 2

As of today, all updates are current.  I will no longer date related categories and dates to these posts unless they are post-dated.

Are there really going to be 4 parts to the Insulation Chronicles?  

I have no idea but I don’t think there will be more than 4.

Most recent picture

Here’s a picture I snapped this morning.


How did we get here?

This is where our journey begins.  Last we left off we were around here.  What we see is an inch of insulation over a layer of reflectix (see shiny bubble wrap on floor) and a layer of another radiant barrier I got off amazon (I will not link for I am not certain how necessary these were).


My favorite insulation test I have been using is the touch test.  I touch a surface, if it is cold it lacks insulation, if it is not then I am pleased that it is insulated.  I may further insulate anyway.  The white steel studs between the insulation panels were FRIGID.  This is something that needed to be addressed.

Insulating the steel stud/frame

Aaronsb of the forum used foam tape as well as foil tape over it and conducted some condensation tests to conclude that the foam tape with the foil tape reduces condensation.  I put some foam tape over these steel studs and my touch test was enough to conclude that it is effective.  The cost for this foam tape is not anything as cost effective as 1/2 inch polyiso.  But it is convenient I suppose and I did it with all of the exposed steel I could find.

One Layer Steel Stud Taped


A few Steel studs taped


Foil Taping over the foam 1/2


Foil taping over the foam 2/2


Furring Strips(walls): Reducing Thermal Bridging/stopping airflow

The touch test makes it very clear that thermal bridging is a very real thing.  I know I can’t get rid of it all, but I want to reduce as much as possible.  My method for this was running long 4 foot lengths of reflectix across the bus and fastening them to the frame with furring strips.  These furring strips serve a few purposes.

1.  Provide an interior skeleton in which things can be fastened to, and reducing thermal bridging by providing a thermal break from the exterior bus frame, and the interior framing.

2.  Fasten the reflectix to the walls.

3.  Structurally reinforce the bus (slightly)

A note on Furring strips, The 99 1×3 cent furring strips at home depot didn’t seem like something I wanted to rely on for all the interior framing, there are also a lot of online reviews complaining about their fragile nature.  I also wanted something with a comparable thickness to 1″ polyiso insulation which I want to put between the furring strips with a snug fit.  I ended up getting a good deal on 5/4  cedar decking board from a hardware store.  The cost was a little under $3 for an 8 foot length.  I’ll take it.  It looks and smells great!  No regrets.


The furring strips are about 3.5 inches thick and I wanted the centers of the wood to be spaced about 16″ apart so I cut some 12.5″ long 2×2’s to use for spacing the strips apart evenly and mostly level.  (I forgot to document this)  These are all fastened to the wall with 1.5″ #8 Self taping metal steel screws.  I countersunk each of the holes so all of these screws are sunk into the wood.  In theory I am going to cover the screws with foam to reduce condensation/thermal bridging, in theory.

Ceiling Insulation

Much like the walls, the ceiling is insulated with radiant barrier, reflectix (another radiant barrier), and 2x 1/2″ polyiso insulation (easier to bend and 10% more expensive than 1″ polyiso).  One thing I really liked about using many layers of thin insulation is that the pieces often overlap each other in a manner which compliment the imperfections of each others cuts.

Radiant Barrier 1. Down


2. Reflectix over radiant barrier


Two radiant barriers with no airgap?  A lot of people are probably shaking their heads in disapproval at my waste of resources and time.  Yes I am guilty of all of the above, however the radiant barrier was leftover from my flooring and taking up space in my garage, and the reflectix passed the touch test well.  Overkill also provides some garage cleaning benefits.

Ceiling Insulation in!


Yes I know, the bus is a mess


Foaming the ceiling frames.


You may notice in the picture above that the foam and frame sticks out more than the 1″ of insulation in some areas.  This drove my crazy so I decided to fill in this space another 1/2″ of insulation.  This was much harder to fit in because I used scraps and also didn’t have much framing to pressure fit (push/punch) the insulation between.

Furring Strips for the Ceiling

The first 3 strips were absolutely terrible to put in.  These 3 strips here took me about 90 minutes to put in.  I was absolutely furious by the end of this night.



The next day I was blessed to have a helper buddy Scott help me out here.  Here you see him Taping the foam with foil tape.  Note:  I tried foiling tape both:  underneath the last layer of insulation for some of the frame foam and over the last layer of insulation.  I never figured out which one I liked more, I don’t think it really mattered too much.


Bless this hero.  Get this man a beer!

We used 2×4’s and 2×6’s approximately 6’6″.  Extremely useful for pretty much anything that went over our heads (literally).


The day after this Scott helped me work until 1:30 am, what a guy right?

Kregg Jigg Shoutout

A shoutout to Kregg Pocket Jigg R3 I got this on sale for $40 with clamp, the kregg clamp really isn’t necessary but that specific clamp does fit satisfyingly well with the clamp.  This jigg makes these pocket holes which create these beautiful joints.  I  connected most of my furring strips to one another with these connections.



Here are some pictures of our wonderful checkpoint we reached.









2 thoughts on “Insulation Chronicles 2 of 4: Insulation & Furring Strips”

  1. Jim Billington January 26, 2017Reply

    I have a shuttle bus with a queen sized bed in the back. Today put up reflectix along one wall below the windows so 2′ high. Ended up using double sided carpet tape with a frame of thin lath strips. I used construction adhesive and finish nails to glue the strips on. Plan tomorrow to glue 1″ rigid foam insulation on the lath, but really the rough fence boards should hold everything in. I wish there were a standard way of dealing with this stuff, but looks like everyone figures out something different. Well as long as I stay warm.

    1. Tai January 28, 2017Reply

      Congrats on your accomplishments Jim! I’m glad you found a way to make your project work. I used mostly mechanical fastening for mine. I really should’ve used more adhesive, but I wanted to be able to take everything apart. It’s silly that there’s no standard, but the lack of standards could be what attracts us nutties towards vehicle to living conversions.

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