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Old 05-02-2018, 09:17 PM   #1
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Cutting a new door -- structural question

Finally ready to start this project.......will be cutting out an opening from the top of the window to the top of the lowest rub rail (at bottom of skirt). I won't be touching the ribs at all....will go between them (window approx. 25" wide). The door will be made of wood, easily trimmed to fit, so I'm not really thinking I need a welded door frame from top to bottom and side to side.

The chair rail looks like the only possible structural component I'll be cutting. I'll be framing my new entrance stairwell with Unistrut bolted through the underside of the floor and through a flat plate atop the floor in the cabin area. Not attaching it to the floor crossmembers underneath as it doesn't look like they even attach to the sides of the walls. I'll also run a couple pieces of Unistrut from the back of my stairwell to the chassis frame, as I've already got plenty of holes to choose from and it will give some extra bracing. The stairwell will be the width of the window, and only about 14-15" deep.

Question......should I leave the windowsill (I'm NOT cutting the window header) and the chair rail in place until after I bolt in my Unistrut framework? Are they really providing any structural rigidity in this instance if I cut all the sheet metal and floor supports around them?

(Areas to be removed outlined in aluminum spray paint).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg door location (1).jpg (201.7 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg floor cutout.jpg (103.3 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg underside.jpg (77.6 KB, 13 views)
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Old 09-03-2018, 10:21 AM   #2
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how did it go?

Wondering how your door addition went. Thinking about doing one too.
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Old 09-03-2018, 05:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by johnforrest View Post
Wondering how your door addition went. Thinking about doing one too.
It went quite well. I used 2 ribs and the window header for my door frame, and bolted in a stepwell I had fabbed up. You can see some pics on my build thread, page 9.

I've driven it about 200 miles total since the door install, without any racking of the door frame. I did end up cutting the windowsill and chair rail before bolting in my stepwell, as they were in the way of the install, but after cutting them I did not move the bus until the stepwell and all the framing was in. The stepwell is bolted to the floor and the skirt.

The ribs stopped about 11" above the bottom edge of my door, so the frame members hang unsupported that distance, but it hasn't been an issue. I'll lock them in place when I finish the door sill, but that won't be until after I finish my flooring.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:04 AM   #4
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im new

Sorry I didn't see your other thread, thanks for the reply. That's a slick way to lay things out. I better get mine out to before a curb does it for me. I may leave the top 2/3 of the door in as an emergency exit.
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:34 PM   #5
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Sorry I didn't see your other thread, thanks for the reply. I better get mine out to before a curb does it for me.
No problem.....we're here to help each other out.

I removed my bottom step 'cause I plan on a lot of forestry road travel.....I've only seen a couple other people do it, so curbs may not be as big an issue as you might think.
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