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Old 03-26-2023, 03:21 PM   #1
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Help Me Frame My RV Windows With the Wrong Steel: Is This Too Far Gone?

Hey yall, let me know if I screwed up beyond repair. I bought a bunch of old RV windows that Im going to use in my bus and am starting the roofraise this Friday. Being unfamiliar with working with steel tubing, I did not think it out enough and went ahead and bought a listing I found on market place. It was $150 for 80 feet of galvanizedsquare steel tubing. The thing is, its only 1x1 16 gauge. Feels and looks WAYYY smaller than what I was imaging (which Ive come to realize is probably 2x2 steel tubing). I really dont want to have to toss these but they just dont seem sturdy enough.

For more context, Im framing the windows in the raise with these galvanized tubes. As a result they will be welded in between the hat channels once theyre cut and will be part of the structural support of the roof.

Heres a pic of the tubes I got AND what Im planning on doing with them. https://imgur.com/a/Afgwghj

Can you all give me feedback on whether these are too small/thin to use? And if so, what is something else I could use them for? Im short on time and really dont want to flush $150 worth of cut tubing away.

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Old 03-26-2023, 04:06 PM   #2
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FWIW, my gut agrees with yours: the tubing you got is not up to the task. I think of 1x1 16ga as a pretty decent stand-in for 2x4 lumber. I used it and 1x2 16ga extensively in my build for framing walls, cabinets, furniture, etc., but in my mind anything structural needs stouter stuff. 1.5" square tube 1/8" wall is what I'd guess would be sufficient (which is a LOT more metal than you have). Sorry for the bad news. Smarter people than I will chime in soon - hopefully they disagree with me.

Just in case you haven't been told, please be careful welding galvanized. Look it up. It can be hazardous to your health.
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Old 03-26-2023, 05:08 PM   #3
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I would not be too overly concerned about the 16 ga tubing, unless that is, that you can bend it with your bare hands!

For those tubes to bend when installed, your whole wall will have to seriously flex/ bend.

What you might consider is strenghting the tubing by adding a piece of 1” angle iron to the vertical tubes.

You could cut what you already have in half, lengthwise to get 2 pieces of angle iron.
That might save you some money.

Oh and you did not screw it up beyond repair, just might need a little more custom work/ideas!
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Old 03-27-2023, 10:31 AM   #4
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I think Im gonna buy some new tubing. What size would you all recommend? Local shop had 1.5 and 2 in 1/8 or 1/16 thickness
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Old 03-30-2023, 03:18 PM   #5
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I went with 1 1/4” tubing 1/8” thick. Any input on how to measure it for the windows? I have three windows that are all 21” by 31” measured from outer flange to outer flange. Should I box them in flush with the metal box or do I need a wood frame buffer between them? Note- they are wider than the width between hat channels so I cannot avoid cutting through a hat channel to get it in
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Old 03-30-2023, 04:20 PM   #6
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pics of your rv windows will help us guide you.
not all windows mount the same and i have not seen an rv window that mounts like a school bus window?
but never had an rv or camper so never really studied there windows or how they were mounted.
the ones i have seen were mounted with the rubber gasket like a truck back glass or whatever else so framing will have to take that into consideration.
and i have read on here about wood framing being better for condenstion but once again i am not the one for best practice nor have ever done it yet.
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Old 03-30-2023, 04:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
pics of your rv windows will help us guide you.
not all windows mount the same and i have not seen an rv window that mounts like a school bus window?
but never had an rv or camper so never really studied there windows or how they were mounted.
the ones i have seen were mounted with the rubber gasket like a truck back glass or whatever else so framing will have to take that into consideration.
and i have read on here about wood framing being better for condenstion but once again i am not the one for best practice nor have ever done it yet.
Here are some pics: https://imgur.com/a/mMH5t1B
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