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Old 12-03-2019, 10:49 PM   #1
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Hat channel/rib removal question...

We’re closing in on making a windows purchase. I see people remove vertical frames/ribs in order to place larger RV windows all the time. Any thoughts on removing more than one for a 60” window? Bad idea? What about removing the same window frame, on opposite sides, effectively removing vertical support for over 50”...on both port & starboard? Anyone have negative experiences doing this sort of thing?

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Old 12-03-2019, 11:44 PM   #2
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We’re closing in on making a windows purchase. I see people remove vertical frames/ribs in order to place larger RV windows all the time. Any thoughts on removing more than one for a 60” window? Bad idea?
People install those long RV type sliders all the time. I'd either weld or bolt a plate across 4 ribs, below and above the window opening, then cut the two inner verticals, then frame it out.

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What about removing the same window frame, on opposite sides, effectively removing vertical support for over 50”...on both port & starboard?
I think this would work also. The flat plates would be to hold the orientation of the ribs relative to each other while you frame out the opening.

I cut the lower windowsill and chair rail out when I built my door 2 years ago......the spread hasn't increased since then. But that's only a 28" spread.......since you're going wider, I'd definitely lock everything together before cutting.

After seeing pics of Wanderlodges with only half the number of ribs as a school bus, I've come to realize these school buses are even more massively overbuilt than I originally thought.

And welcome back from the Bay. Do you leave Prudhoe on a specified date each year, or stay until there's just too much ice to work through?
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:02 AM   #3
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Exactly what I was thinking, Don.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:18 AM   #4
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Exactly what I was thinking, Don.
"Ike and Mike, we think alike."




(....on most things....).
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:49 AM   #5
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Cut the ribs at the correct height and then weld square tubing the height of the window between the ribs, then uprights on each side of the windows. The horizontals now take the load to the next ribs. Even with both sides done, I doubt structurally you need to worry about anything.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:57 AM   #6
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Cut the ribs at the correct height and then weld square tubing the height of the window between the ribs, then uprights on each side of the windows. The horizontals now take the load to the next ribs. Even with both sides done, I doubt structurally you need to worry about anything.
You need a horizontal under the window as well, two posts under that to transfer the weight.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:06 PM   #7
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You need a horizontal under the window as well, two posts under that to transfer the weight.
I meant the height of the top and bottom of the window. The posts under it are unnecessary as that bar is welded to the top of the cut off rib.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:43 PM   #8
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I'd probably build it out like you would a house using a "header" over the window that will fully support the the ribs that you remove. This way you don't lose structural strength.


Wouldn't be hard to do and would give a bit of added insurance. Maybe double up the 2 outer ribs (one to support the underside of the header.. one full height).


Anyways..
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:14 PM   #9
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If you care to see how Blue Bird fitted transit style horizontal sliding windows about 60 inches wide in their CS line of buses, you can find a few photos of a wall tear-down in my post there. They used a wide C channel over the window and a narrow C channel below.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:43 PM   #10
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I appreciate all the feedback everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plfking View Post
People install those long RV type sliders all the time. I'd either weld or bolt a plate across 4 ribs, below and above the window opening, then cut the two inner verticals, then frame it out.

After seeing pics of Wanderlodges with only half the number of ribs as a school bus, I've come to realize these school buses are even more massively overbuilt than I originally thought.

And welcome back from the Bay. Do you leave Prudhoe on a specified date each year, or stay until there's just too much ice to work through?
I'll probably use a combination of what you and marc are suggesting. I was thinking the same about how overbuilt these things are, but couldn't help myself and had to ask. Thanks for the welcome back! We basically stay until the ice pushes us out. This year we ran the tug & barge south to Seward. It was a long slog, weather had us holed up for half the trip, 2000 miles took 30 days

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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Cut the ribs at the correct height and then weld square tubing the height of the window between the ribs, then uprights on each side of the windows. The horizontals now take the load to the next ribs. Even with both sides done, I doubt structurally you need to worry about anything.
Got it, square tubing was definitely part of my plan, thanks marc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
If you care to see how Blue Bird fitted transit style horizontal sliding windows about 60 inches wide in their CS line of buses, you can find a few photos of a wall tear-down in my post there. They used a wide C channel over the window and a narrow C channel below.
Gonna check it out, thanks!
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:58 PM   #11
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1-1/4" square tube should be close to flush with the inside edge of the hat.
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Cut the ribs at the correct height and then weld square tubing the height of the window between the ribs, then uprights on each side of the windows. The horizontals now take the load to the next ribs. Even with both sides done, I doubt structurally you need to worry about anything.
I am going to frame just as you suggest. What size tubing did you use? I was thinking 1"-1 1/4"? Maybe that depends on the clamp ring size on the windows we end up getting? How did your windows turn out in relation to your wall thickness? Our walls will end up over 2 inches (and are assuming yours too?), so I need to come up with an aesthetically pleasing & robust way to create a wood sill/trim. Gotta do some more thinking/photo/youtube watching on this one!
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:04 PM   #13
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1-1/4" square tube should be close to flush with the inside edge of the hat.
Ha! answered my question before I could ask!
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:36 PM   #14
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There was a guy on reddit recently who did a roof raise and then made the walls basically all picture windows - all of the original ribs were completely removed from just above the chair rail to where the roof starts, and replaced with framing for the windows made from 1" square tubing. I am certainly not advocating this, as it looked about as dicey as anything I've seen in a skoolie that didn't involve half of another bus welded on top, but it hasn't collapsed on him or anything after driving around in it (as far as I know). There's no way it would hold up in an accident like a factory bus would, but if nobody's riding back there then it doesn't really matter.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:10 AM   #15
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Ha! answered my question before I could ask!
I had, and used 1', had I to do it over I would use 1-1/4". The 1" left a gap at the rib. The windows are held in by sandwiching the trim ring. The framework is just to add the structure back. Fortunately my trim ring covered the gap, a wider(2") wall would require a wider trim ring or some creative solution.
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