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Old 09-14-2020, 10:13 AM   #1
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Roof Raise w/ "C" Channel??

Hey everyone,
I'm prepping for a roof raise and am considering using custom C channels for the extensions. I'm considering this because the width between my hat channels are 1-3/8". I can only find square tubing at 1-1/4" leaving the 1/8" gap to fill with flat stock. Then I would also need to attach some angle iron to accommodate the future rivets.

Instead of welding multiple pieces per hat channel I though a custom C channel that would fit into the hat channel at the full 1-3/8" would save me extra pieces and cash.

I found a local fabricator that will charge $20 per 10' of 1- 3/8" C channel 1/8" thick. I can get three 40" pieces per stick and would pick up about 11 sticks. Then I can drill holes directly into the C channel instead of needing the extra angle iron attachment.

I've never welded and am trying to stay as budget and time friendly on this step. With that being said, any fabricators or knowledgeable folks here that can give some input to the strength of the C channels for this application?? Looking to raise it about 21-1/2" to fit a full 4' skin. Thanks!

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Old 09-14-2020, 11:09 AM   #2
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C-channel would work fine for this - a number of skoolie builders have used it. The only negatives (I think) are that you'd only have a single line of rivets up the outside instead of a double line (really only an aesthetic problem) and you wouldn't have a flat surface on the inside to attach anything to (assuming you have the flat part of the c-channel oriented to the outside).
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:42 PM   #3
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C-channel would work fine for this - a number of skoolie builders have used it. The only negatives (I think) are that you'd only have a single line of rivets up the outside instead of a double line (really only an aesthetic problem) and you wouldn't have a flat surface on the inside to attach anything to (assuming you have the flat part of the c-channel oriented to the outside).
Thanks for the input. I thought about the only one column of rivets and liked that idea/ look. However it slipped my mind on not having an interior surface to mount to, bc yes i would have the flat part oriented to the outside. Are you able to remember who raised it with C channels. I have not seen this method used. I'm curious how they furred out the interior.
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:08 PM   #4
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Sorry, I can almost never find anything on this site that I remember seeing before (even in my own build thread) but hopefully the c-channel club here will weigh in.
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:58 PM   #5
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Mine is one of the buses with a custom C-channel raise. If I remember correctly ECCB used custom channel, and nat_ster did too. There are one or two others I'm forgetting..

1/8" is thick material. Like, really thick. I had my channels formed from 14 ga because that's approximately the same thickness as the OEM parts in my Blue Bird.

Mine is raised 16 inches -- that's what I felt I needed to make a 3-tier bunk bed and I didn't want to be any higher than necessary. I did the raise at the bottom of the wall rather than slicing in the middle. The flanges are turned to the exterior and the outer skin is riveted to either side. (I entirely replaced the exterior sheet metal on the sides while I was at it.)

For the most part my raise is not welded. I used 1/4 inch solid steel rivets instead, like what the bus was originally built with. I deleted a bunch of windows and relocated some others, and that involved some welding here and there.

I've been too busy to keep my build thread updated.. I have a few hundred GB of stop-motion photos which I tell myself I'll someday go through and post a few here.. but for now it seems the only pic that happens to show the after-raise assembly is below (originally posted there).

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Old 09-14-2020, 02:30 PM   #6
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Mine is one of the buses with a custom C-channel raise. If I remember correctly ECCB used custom channel, and nat_ster did too. There are one or two others I'm forgetting..

1/8" is thick material. Like, really thick. I had my channels formed from 14 ga because that's approximately the same thickness as the OEM parts in my Blue Bird.

Mine is raised 16 inches -- that's what I felt I needed to make a 3-tier bunk bed and I didn't want to be any higher than necessary. I did the raise at the bottom of the wall rather than slicing in the middle. The flanges are turned to the exterior and the outer skin is riveted to either side. (I entirely replaced the exterior sheet metal on the sides while I was at it.)

For the most part my raise is not welded. I used 1/4 inch solid steel rivets instead, like what the bus was originally built with. I deleted a bunch of windows and relocated some others, and that involved some welding here and there.

I've been too busy to keep my build thread updated.. I have a few hundred GB of stop-motion photos which I tell myself I'll someday go through and post a few here.. but for now it seems the only pic that happens to show the after-raise assembly is below (originally posted there).


Thanks for the input! I'll look up the other builds you mentioned.
I figured 1/8" might be overkill but since it's C and not the hat like the OEM, I was thinking making it beefier to be on the safe side. I may knock it down a gauge or 2.

So if I understand and see your channel install correctly, you had a custom C channel made that wraps around the outside portion of the hat channel? Wouldn't that leave the 16" raised portion without flanges to have the skin riveted to?

You mentioned your outer flanges are turned to the exterior and the outer skin is riveted to either side. (are your custom pieces HAT or C shape?)
Also you mention solid steel rivets were used primarily for your raise. (I'm still trying to sort through the different rivet options) I was thinking that the solid rivets need a bucking bar behind during install. Did you put a buck bar inside of the channel to accomplish this?? Am I just confused on this type of rivet install?
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:24 PM   #7
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Oops - it seems today I'm writing okay but the thinking behind it isn't doing so well. Indeed I used hat channel, not a pure C shape. Sorry about the confusion!

The pieces of new hat channel were sized to allow some overlap with the original parts. I don't recall now how much overlap I used, but I think it was equal to the height of the rub rail - about 10 inches? The (untrained) thinking was that if that amount of overlap along with 4 rivets suffices for joining the ribs to the chair rail then hopefully it's adequate for the splice joint too. But I'm no mechanical engineer!

Yes, setting solid rivets requires holding a few pounds of something against the tail of the rivet. Most of mine were set with a real bucking bar but some were hard to reach and I cobbled together bits of scrap to improvise. As you can see in this post I had stripped all the original sheet metal off the walls (exterior too) so I had full access for bucking rivets.
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:54 PM   #8
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In the more recent videos of Transcend Existence guy who raises roofs he found someone who sold the exact channel and uses it now. Maybe a trade secret for him?

My opinion is that is not needed for structural purposes.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:51 PM   #9
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I used c channel as well.

I had it bent up by a shop down in walla walla. It worked out very well.
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:23 PM   #10
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I used c channel as well.

I had it bent up by a shop down in walla walla. It worked out very well.

Thanks, PNW_Steve. Did you install your C channel with the two legs inside of the existing hat channel with the third flat side facing outwards? This is my thought for the install.

However musigenesis brought up a point I didn't consider, the cavity of the C channel would be facing inside the bus through the "raised" portion and not allowing anything to be attached internally.

If you did install as mentioned above what did you do on the inside? I'm considering installing the horizontal strapping directly above and below the C channel extension. I'll need to verify where this height will be because it will be a gap of nearly 2'.

I saw nat_ster installing his strapping 16" oc from the ground up and think he is a great guide to follow based on what i've read so far through his build. thanks family wagon for pointing out his build thread.

Maybe I'll go with custom hat channel, I know Wes at Transcend Existence does beautiful work and he's got these raises down to a tee. Maybe I'll reach out to him. Just trying to avoid costs where I can and keep things (somewhat) simplified.
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:47 PM   #11
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Here's the hat and "C" channel kits I have for the International. C fits snug in the H. Butt the ends of the H and overlap the C by about 6"
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:17 PM   #12
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Here's the hat and "C" channel kits I have for the International. C fits snug in the H. Butt the ends of the H and overlap the C by about 6"
Thanks for the reply. So you ordered both hat and C channel kits? Hat to fill the gap between existing hat channels and the C to tie them all together ? Did you order that at a local shop or one of the Skoolie custom sites? Did you use two 1' sections of C per extension or one longer piece? Seems like more funds needed for this method but would be a clean and strong method no doubt.
I was thinking to just use the C channel but flipped over from how your picture shows. Allowing a place for one column of rivets on the skin. Then possibly spacing my strapping on the interior above and below the C extension pieces.
Am i over thinking things and just need to jump in and figure things as i go? Would just like to have my ducks in a row while she'll be so open and exposed. (I do have some giant tarps ready for some protection.)
Trying to stay positive and focused instead of letting the enormity of this project overwhelm and stress me.
Thanks for the input fellow Skoolies!
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1SkoolieNoob View Post
Thanks for the reply. So you ordered both hat and C channel kits? Hat to fill the gap between existing hat channels and the C to tie them all together ? Did you order that at a local shop or one of the Skoolie custom sites? Did you use two 1' sections of C per extension or one longer piece? Seems like more funds needed for this method but would be a clean and strong method no doubt.
I was thinking to just use the C channel but flipped over from how your picture shows. Allowing a place for one column of rivets on the skin. Then possibly spacing my strapping on the interior above and below the C extension pieces.
Am i over thinking things and just need to jump in and figure things as i go? Would just like to have my ducks in a row while she'll be so open and exposed. (I do have some giant tarps ready for some protection.)
Trying to stay positive and focused instead of letting the enormity of this project overwhelm and stress me.
Thanks for the input fellow Skoolies!
I thought there would be an interest in these kits so I had a bunch of 10' sticks made. Cut to order for size. You'll pay through the nose for a single set from a fab shop. I'm going to discount all I have to get rid of them.

Your one row of rivets will only be in the raised section, won't match the below or above pattern. That's why we use the custom "H" section with the "C" inside to tie it all together.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:59 PM   #14
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I thought there would be an interest in these kits so I had a bunch of 10' sticks made. Cut to order for size. You'll pay through the nose for a single set from a fab shop. I'm going to discount all I have to get rid of them.

Your one row of rivets will only be in the raised section, won't match the below or above pattern. That's why we use the custom "H" section with the "C" inside to tie it all together.

I was planning on ordering 11 - 10' sticks of the "C" 1/8" thick since I had them priced at $20 ea.. Then getting 3 pieces out of one. Roughly 40" per section. Then I would use the C channel solely for the rivets, and not use the existing Hat and holes. What's your discounted price and how much of each hat and C do you have available? I'm assuming enough for at least one conversion. Then I will have to consider the additional shipping rates. May not be worth it for either of us unless we were closer. Unless... free delivery!?
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:15 PM   #15
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I was planning on ordering 11 - 10' sticks of the "C" 1/8" thick since I had them priced at $20 ea.. Then getting 3 pieces out of one. Roughly 40" per section. Then I would use the C channel solely for the rivets, and not use the existing Hat and holes. What's your discounted price and how much of each hat and C do you have available? I'm assuming enough for at least one conversion. Then I will have to consider the additional shipping rates. May not be worth it for either of us unless we were closer. Unless... free delivery!?
Where are you located? Shipping might be a deal breaker. Check out the listing, figure 30% off those prices.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/h...ale-29000.html
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:29 PM   #16
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Where are you located? Shipping might be a deal breaker. Check out the listing, figure 30% off those prices.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/h...ale-29000.html

That's a reasonable price but I'll have to pass on that since my option for local C channel is $2 per LF @1/8" thick. I think I need to see what my local shop will charge for the hat channel now.
Have you run into any issues with this method of install Marc? seems like a great option.
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:21 PM   #17
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That's a reasonable price but I'll have to pass on that since my option for local C channel is $2 per LF @1/8" thick. I think I need to see what my local shop will charge for the hat channel now.
Have you run into any issues with this method of install Marc? seems like a great option.
Which method, mine or yours. Yours has issues with rivet placement. Mine has no issues as it replicated the factory with the "C" channel installed to strengthen the splice.
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