It is important to remove all the flooring, right down to the metal shell when converting a school bus. Besides the fact that most of the old school bus floor are nasty, it is hard to tell the condition of the metal base layer that lays under the rubber and plywood. If there is rust, you need to treat it. And you cannot tell if there is rust until you tear up the plywood and rubber. A good demonstration of that can be found here.
Another advantage to removing the plywood is that it allows you to place insulation down when putting down a new sub floor. This helps not only insulate the bus, but also cuts down on road noise.
I had the full force of the family over the weekend and put the boys to work right away tearing up the rubber. For the most part the rubber came up fairly easily and the boys attacked the project with lots of enthusiasm. However, as the day drug on and the heat continued to climb everyone, including myself, began to slow down. We were drenched in sweat, and covered in dirt.
The plywood was nailed down into the metal base layer and required a fair amount of convincing with the crow bar to come up. Once we got the first sheet out the others began to follow suit rather quickly.
I was relieved to see that the metal under the plywood was all in really good shape. Only a few spots around the edges had some surface rust. For all the things that might be wrong with my bus, rusty floors are not one of them.
Justin McCormick grew up in the Yukon Territories in a cabin on Nisutlin Bay. Being surrounded by the majestic and harsh wilderness of the north, he developed a passion for canoeing, hiking, mountain climbing and skiing. He currently resides in Texas and is trying to impart his passion for the outdoors to his four children.