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Old 04-23-2017, 09:53 PM   #1
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Removing Side Supports

In order to add RV windows to my bus conversion it seems I'm going to need to remove some of the existing side supports.

How many of those existing side supports can I cut out before I start to lose structural integrity?

I plan to sheet metal both sides and cover all the existing window openings. I figure the 18 or 20 guage sheet metal (not sure which to use yet) will add some support once I rivet or weld it on.
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:10 PM   #2
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"How many can I remove" may be a tough question.

I am not an engineer by ANY stretch so take my advice here with a grain of salt.

I put RV windows in my last bus and had to cut vertical supports. Where I did I "boxed in" the window opening with square tube that was attached to the remaining frame members on each side of the opening and had verticals on each side of the window. Not unlike how you would modify the framing in a house if you were installing a new window that required cutting load bearing studs.

I tried to ensure that I added more structure than I took away.

I hope I explained that in an understandable manner.
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Old 04-23-2017, 11:04 PM   #3
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This is an awfully busy picture, but it's a sample of how Blue Bird built theirs with transit style windows spanning two bays. There's a C-profile (of sorts) header above and below the window opening. It is bolted to the ribs at each end and the interrupted rib lands on top of the upper header. I don't remember now whether that connection is bolted or welded.

It's an idea, anyway. The full length of my bus is arranged as a repeating sequence the same as pictured here.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyANDwhitney View Post
In order to add RV windows to my bus conversion it seems I'm going to need to remove some of the existing side supports.

How many of those existing side supports can I cut out before I start to lose structural integrity?

I plan to sheet metal both sides and cover all the existing window openings. I figure the 18 or 20 guage sheet metal (not sure which to use yet) will add some support once I rivet or weld it on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
This is an awfully busy picture, but it's a sample of how Blue Bird built theirs with transit style windows spanning two bays. There's a C-profile (of sorts) header above and below the window opening. It is bolted to the ribs at each end and the interrupted rib lands on top of the upper header. I don't remember now whether that connection is bolted or welded.

It's an idea, anyway. The full length of my bus is arranged as a repeating sequence the same as pictured here.
Thanks for the info folks. Looks like I need to find a good metal shop or learn how to weld. I've remodeled a house and understand the concept of inserting headers and typical 2x4 framing. Was hoping I could get away with taking one out every so often... Guess not but I think it will be worth it to have some decent sized windows for natural light.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:26 PM   #5
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I think it depends on your ability to replace them or resolve the loss of structure. If you can remove what I call the bulk head above the windows and replace it with solid welded in square tubing or even angle iron, plate steel of 10g or heavier you should be fine.

Personally, I could add a temp support below the removing section and add the replacement above it . A few may be needed even spanning from rib to rib before and after the removed section to help transfer weight to supporting ribs. The best way I can say it is, you are building a regular wooden framed wall, double boards above openings like doors and windows, the same rule applies to our buses.

Just in this case it is all steel on steel, welding is the ticket. Transfer the weight load and any structural requirements for flex, bending, weight carry to other structural areas. It should not be too hard to do but, I have become a solid metalworker after getting my bus and being forced to do a lot of this work myself. Now, it supports me financially which is good because I enjoy doing it but, it takes a lot of time away from my bus.
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:18 AM   #6
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When we do a roof raise we support it in four places while cutting all the other ribs and letting them hang. The roof will support itself well enough that you can cut a rib out without bothering to put in a temporary brace to hold it up, but the header in the wall will be a good idea to support the occasional heavier loads like snow or people standing on the roof.
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