Steel Frame Kit Technical Details

The free-standing steel frame is the core of our building kits

We use only top quality steel that engineers to the toughest specifications. Besides using honest materials, we use larger sized steel, stronger steel and a more corrosive resistant steel than the competition. While this may not mean much to you right now, it will mean the world when the first storm hits.

Absolute Steel quality is undeniable. Our steel buildings have held up to the extreme conditions of Hurricane Katrina and sustained winds of over 140 MPH. They have survived rust-free deep within salt mines of Cargill, were unfazed by the rugged terrain of Afghanistan and still stand tall in the freezing Alaska tundra.

Absolute Steel Texas’s warranty is the best in the industry.

We are so confident in our structures that our frame systems have a 20 YEAR WARRANTY and the exterior panels, depending upon which panel you purchase, have a 20 to 40 year warranty against fading, chalking, or peeling.

Frame Warranty

This will NOT be you…

Crushed carport

This one is still for sale
Not an Absolute Steel carport, our carports are engineered for heavy snow load.

Collapsed carport

Another still for sale
Not ours. Absolute Steel structures are used by Federal and municipal government entities all across the USA.

Crushed truck

Ouch! That’s gotta hurt.
Not ours. Absolute Steel carports can withstand sustained winds up to 120mph.


Our buildings are engineered to stand up to the toughest weather.

Now here’s one of our carports erected in south Florida that experienced Hurricane Wilma, one of the fiercest storms to ever hit the East Coast. At the time, Hurricane Wilma was the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. Wilma made several landfalls, with the most destructive effects felt in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, Cuba, and the U.S. state of Florida. At least 62 deaths were reported, and damage is estimated at over $29.1 billion, ranking Wilma among the top 5 costliest hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic and the fourth costliest storm in U.S. history.

Still standing

This hurricane crossed Florida carrying winds of 110 to 120 MPH. Strong enough to be one of the top 5 most damaging hurricanes, but NOT STRONG ENOUGH to damage an Absolute Steel structure!

We manufacture our steel frames with 2″x 4″, 2″x 3″, and 2″ x 2″ 14-gauge and 15-gauge steel tube.

  • Base Rails and Side Walls: 55-65,000 psi minimum yield strength.
  • Peaks and Eaves: 55-65,000 psi minimum yield strength.
  • All components receive a galvanized protective layer that exceeds industry standards. (G90 rather than G60). As a final measure this extra-strong layer receives a patented clear coating for unsurpassed corrosion protection.

Yield strength – If you would like to know what this is and why it’s important, read “Yield Strength – How it Applies to Steel Construction“.

So what does all this mean to you?

  • It means you’re getting the best possible value in a steel carport or RV cover that your money can buy.
  • It means you’re getting the same integrity in American craftsmanship and materials that the “big boys” do.
  • It means you’re getting the best warranty in the business. Our frame systems have a conditional lifetime warranty and the steel panels have a paint warranty against fading, chalking or peeling for 20, 30 and even 50 years depending upon which you purchase.
  • It means you’re getting a better selection of models to choose from than you would from any other company in North America.
  • It means by choosing an Absolute Steel Texas steel carport or RV cover that you can order engineered plans—something that no other tubular steel building system manufacturer in Texas can do.

Technical Information

We constantly work to improve our products and have done so over many years. This page briefly illustrates the products we use in your Texas steel carport or RV cover frame and some information on why we fabricate things the way we do.

Please take a moment to understand the unique characteristics of our metal carports and RV covers. Any explanations or pictures of similar products are furnished only for comparative evaluation.

Base Rail System

As the base rail system bears the maximum load of the structure itself, we do not use a swedged (mechanically reduced) piece of tube to fit up into the sidewall of your metal carport or RV cover. Instead we use single 14 gauge insert tube (insert tube is slightly smaller: 1 ¾” x 2 ¾”) for each vertical upright to slip onto. Why would we do this when we have the equipment to reduce/swedge the ends of 2×3 steel that we use throughout the frame and therefore could avoid this costly step?

The two reasons why are:

  1. At the bottom, where condensation can collect, you have uniform and tight connections where it is most critical to keep moisture out.
  2. 12″ inserts give you plenty of adjustment capabilities in the event your site is irregular.

Worst connection

The worst connection

Better but not best connection

Better, but not the best

Best connection

The best connection
A sidewall frame connects directly to the base rail. Note: Sidewall piece in image cut off for illustration only.

Side Walls – Easy to Assemble and Stronger

Common sense tells you that a sidewall that’s made up of more than one piece is not as strong as a single piece and yet that’s what the competition often does. The reason we use a single piece for the sidewall of your Texas steel carport or RV cover is pretty straightforward:

  • Single piece connections that run from the base rail to the eave piece give you more strength on that wall.
  • By not using multiple pieces for a sidewall, you have less assembly. That makes it easier on you or less money if you are paying an installer.
  • You have parts that easily adjust without machining which adds up front costs.

These two pictures illustrate a multiple piece sidewall.
(inserted pieces used to extend a sidewall height)

Multi-Piece sidewallTheir Multi-Piece Sidewall
It stands to reason that the more parts you have, the less overall strength you’ll have. Not to mention the extra work involved!

Single Piece SidewallOur Single Piece Sidewall
This is ours. One length of steel from base rail to eave. There’s no additional parts to mess with, and by virtue of there being no connections, you will have a stronger sidewall!

See just how smooth our sidewall system fits onto the base rail.  Watch the video below.  Visit our support site to watch the full installation series.

Peak and Eave Bends – Bend Matters

By “Peak and Eave Bends” we mean at the points where the square steel tube bends to make the angle at the roof peak, and at the eave where the roof transitions to the side wall.

With a tubular steel structure, there are three bend types you should know about.  Those are:

  1. Crush Bend (bad)
  2. Mandrel Bend (better)
  3. Power Bend (the best)

Plain and simple, our Power Bend is the most superior technology in the tubular steel building business; its way out in front of the competition. Take a look at the following information and pictures, you’ll know why we can make that claim.

For best efficiency and strength, our roof frames include precision-formed bends at the roof’s peak, and at the eaves on each side. In manufacturing these critical parts, we use the highest-strength steel, and a high-tech forming process to provide maximum durability.

The strongest and most efficient way to turn the corner at your building’s roof peak and eaves is to carefully curve the steel frame. But if these bends aren’t well engineered and executed, they can weaken the frame, right at its most critical points.

We’ve solved this in two important ways.

  1. First, our peak and eave bend components are made from top-grade US steel.
  2. Second, we use a curving process that is unsurpassed for uniformity and strength.

There is a reason we do this. You probably know why modern automobile bodies are designed to have some curves and angles. It’s the same reason an L- shaped piece of metal (angle iron) is stronger than a straight piece. Those curves and angles add strength to the metal.

Crush Bend:

This bend puts a tremendous amount of stress on one isolated spot of the frame. It’s the cheapest, most structurally unsound way to accomplish a bend with steel tube. And to make a bad job worse, most of the Crush Bend structures we’ve seen are made with inferior quality 2.25″ x 2.25″ Mexican or Chinese steel (inferior to US Steel).

Crush Bend

Crush Bend Eave
Notice the use of two crush bends, that’s because the Crush Bend is so radical it would tear the steel if one tried to make the necessary radius with one bend. As a side note, one panel screw used per side on a joint is simply inadequate and dangerous – and this is a sales model!

Crush bend peak

Crush Bend Peak
Knowing the peak has been weakened by the Crush Bend, this company is using a 16 gauge U brace to give the weakened point more strength. (Doesn’t work but does show some diligence.)

Crush bend result

Crush Bend Outcome
Apparently this carport is still for sale? Pay particular attention to where this structure gave in—right at the stress points; the crush bends despite any U channel bracing.

The Mandrel Bend

This one claims to have “a stronger bend transition”. To debunk that statement one only has to look at the two pictures below. The lineal pattern on the inside and outside of the steel tube that underwent the “mandrel bend stretching process” is caused by stress lines in the steel. With a mandrel bend the steel is stretched and the stress marks are visible—and that’s what you can see. This is not good.

Mandrel Bend
Mandrel Bend

The Power Bend – The Strongest System

The Power Bend adds six more surfaces with condensed curves to strengthen peaks and eaves – remember the car body and why it has contours to its surfaces? The peaks and eaves need to be built that way because steel carports and RV covers are prone to stress at those points.

The Power Bend