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-   -   How do I install a large opening for a mobile bar? (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f164/how-do-i-install-a-large-opening-for-a-mobile-bar-76228.html)

gmckissock 04-15-2011 04:27 AM

How do I install a large opening for a mobile bar?
 
I have recently bought an 84 sovereign to refurbish into a catering truck/mobile bar. How hard is it to cut a hole in the side and hinge a medium sized window in order to serve patrons? It is a 31 footer.

DanielB 04-15-2011 07:29 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Jack's Cosmic Dogs, Charleston, SC.

Dan@LED4RV 04-15-2011 09:17 PM

ribs
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gmckissock (Post 978915)
I have recently bought an 84 sovereign to refurbish into a catering truck/mobile bar. How hard is it to cut a hole in the side and hinge a medium sized window in order to serve patrons? It is a 31 footer.

The biggest thing you need to be concerned about is how your going to tie the ribs to the new window's frame and keep the strength of the body. Airstreams have strength built into the body like a large rib cage. The ribs run into the outriggers, then into the frame. It is like being inside of a whale.

Silverfoxrae 04-16-2011 06:28 AM

Could you find an AS that's already been converted at some point? It seems like quite a few get turned into this sort of thing. Seems to me they come up on eBay or the forum sales every few months. Might be an easier way to go.
Rae

zedex 04-16-2011 11:02 AM

A medium sized window will probably require cutting through one rib and welding in a header and a sill. Cutting it open is easy, just use an angle grinder and an aluminum zip disk. Will cut through it like butter. After the cut you will need to maintain the structure which is where an aluminum welder will come in. You will need to source out a window first and use those dimensions to find a suitable place for the window. One thing to note. Windows are flat,the airstream is curved.
I think if i were to build a catering airstream, i would cut any size opening i want and make the cut out portion into the window.. That way the cut out will exactly match the body of the trailer and will not look like a dogs breakfast after your done.
This is not an easy job and would require some professional equipment and structural knowledge for the mod to stand up to years of service and not leak .
I do aluminum fabrication on a daily basis(i own a business in Canada) so if you need some advice fire away. I would get a pro to do it if your not versed in some form of fabrication.
Good luck.

gmckissock 04-17-2011 04:19 AM

Thank you so much for all the info. I'm a carpenter and work with metal some, but I am scared to start slicing into her. I am sure I can handle in stalling the sill and heading off the ribs. I also thought using the cut out for the window would work. But I'm worried about all the finish work. How do I make my cut look nice and not leak? Thank you for all your help.

zedex 04-17-2011 10:32 AM

Trace a line where you want to cut, and with a 5 inch angle grinder and aluminum zip disk start cutting. The 5 inch angle grinder fits in one hand so you can start cutting using 2 hands, once the cut is started the disk will follow your line and you can use 1 hand and steady yourself using the other hand. The round corners would be trickier. Cut all your straight lines first and then using a jig saw with a medium wood blade you can do the curves. Once your opening is cut out, you would have to make new curved ribs for the cutout. You could probably make the ribs out of wood since your a carpenter. Once the new opening is finished i would make an aluminum trim that attaches to the new window and overlaps the outer shell. Then use some type of closed cell foam tape or seal and glue that to the inside of the window trim. When the window is closed the foam tape would be compressed against the outer shell and create a water tight seal. You would have to have some inside hinges almost like a car hood hinge. You can have aluminum trim rings made to hide the cutout edge. Theres a company here that makes rv windows and they could have trim rings made for you.
Remember you have to cut your inside hole too.:) and have trim rings on the inside.


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