Rivets or Fusing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-03-2013, 08:36 PM   #1
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Rivets or Fusing

In researching the various trailers, I see that some use rivets and some don't (they fuse? parts together.) My intent here is to get some feedback on the pros and cons of each in order to inform my decisionmaking. Or, maybe it doesn't make much difference?
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:51 PM   #2
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I'd say that the advantage to rivits is that it makes repairs easier. If you want to remove something you drill out the rivits and its done. If its permenently attached by whatever method, its a bigger problem.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:03 PM   #3
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Lora, rivets or no rivets shouldn't be a deal breaker. It's more about your budget, tug limits and layout needs. My trailer has 28 thru-hull rivets just for CURTAINS and curtain rods. GAD.

That being said, I pay attention to the caps and snaps every time I wash my 25 year old trailer. NO leaks yet. I've purchased a Snap Cap Set from Scamp for my trailer and will replace those things this Spring. Just because I think spending $10.50 is dang cheap insurance after 25 years.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:51 PM   #4
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Naturally, any hole in a hull represents the potential for leaks. Those trailers constructed with internal, fiberglass-fused fixtures have fewer holes, since internal fixtures are bonded to the walls instead of through them.

That's not to say that on such units there will be no holes/leaks at all...just fewer points of opportunity.

Francesca
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:58 PM   #5
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There is a lot to be said as for not having many holes through the trailer. That is often achieved by fiberglassing wood blocks onto the inside of the trailer shell and the cabinets screwed into the blocks to hold them in place. On the other hand as Donna mentioned having rivets is not a bad thing as long as people take the time to look for loose rivets and caps replace them as needed. They can and do last many many years without any problems. Mine is 21 years old and still has about half its original rivets. I have been slowly replacing sections at a time.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:04 PM   #6
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Donna, You are right, not a deal breaker.
I'm doing the research and it was just something that I happened to notice--a couple of the companies make a point in their materials that they don't use rivets. So, I thought I would ask.
I had read the thread about maintaining and replacing rivets (as you say, easy but time-consuming) and other issues with them (leaks).
Info such as Derek offered is something I would not have thought of.
I will start a different thread regarding my leanings. Thank you.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:38 AM   #7
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As mentioned by several already, the method of of assembly/holes in the hull etc are almost moot points. In actuality, leaks almost always occur at the same places, no matter how they are built, at windows and at openings in the ceiling for vents, a/c, etc.

In working on FGRV's for many, many years I have seen very few leaks at a rivet/screw holes, compared to hundreds at a windows and roof openings.

Condition is the best indicator and, as Donna mentioned, a complete new set of screw caps and a tube of sealer is cheap insurance.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:35 PM   #8
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Lora

Did you ask about finding a trailer with an interior height, to accommodate someone at least 6' 2"? I am a little over 6', ducking under fans or the lower front and back areas,( because of the curves giving us less height), is easy to get used to. Getting into and out of the trailer, ducking, under the doorway, standing in the kitchen ducking for a very short time. most time in the trailer is spent sleeping, or sitting at the table. The thing I don't like about rivets is this, the outside of my sisters Boler is distorted inward at every rivet, I think those areas are very unattractive. The scamps do not distort that bad.

Later Kenny
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:55 PM   #9
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There are two camps here, no pun intended. One likes the double hull design with fiberglass on the inside. Others like rat fur or ensolite and think that the fiberglass looks too sterile.

I personally like the double hull look of a UHaul or Burro, but it is just a personal preference. There are advantages to both and I wouldn't let it drive my overall decision. I'd worry about interior dimensions, overall and tongue weight and luck in finding a good deal nearby.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:20 PM   #10
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Terminology question:

Does "double hull" mean that the trailer is made from two halves stuck together, or that it has double walls as I think is the case with the Bigfoot?

Thanks!

Francesca
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #11
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+1 what Tom says. Double hulls present a complication on certain retrofits such as awnings; would need access holes to outer skin and hole plugs on the inner skin afterwards. Large areas of stark white gelcoat suggest the "inside of a fridge" to some people; others don't find them uncomfortable, physically or psycologically.

Double hulls have advantages: 1) f-glass doesn't hold smells, 1) f-glass is not hydroscopic thus does not rot. 3) f-glass is easier to clean than rat fur, carpet, Ensolite (Swat a skeeter in a Casita and find out.). An inner molded hull is desirable for all the reasons that an outer one is.

Much of the "furniture" in single hulls is also molded glass but in discrete stand-alone units (lockers, galley cabinets). Thru-hull attachment CAN be a weakness WHEN maintenance is deferred. Allows for more flexibility if you contemplate tearout and reconfiguration.



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Old 02-04-2013, 02:26 PM   #12
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A "double hull" incorporates two molded halves for the outer shell and two for the inner.

jack

Parenthetically, one of the odd observations that comes up with reference to double hulls is that they DO NOT have double walls inside molded-in furniture features. For instance, in a Burro, unless insulated, the inner surface of the outer shell is visible thru openings, particularly in lower galley cabinets. In this area, the "swelling" of the cabinet AWAY FROM the outer shell is still a part of inner shell although the function is different. There is an exploded view on the defunct Burro Trailer site www.Burrotrailer.com which explains this better than words can.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:39 PM   #13
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Inside height

The Egg Camper was designed by and for a tall person. There is easily headroom for a person 6'5" tall. The few extra inches of width make it easier for the tall person to lie down and have enough space to stretch out. There are NO rivets. Check out LIGHTWEIGHT FIBERGLASS TRAVEL TRAILER.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:30 PM   #14
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Isn't the Eggcamper also doublehulled, Bob?

And another question about those double walls:

It sounds like Burro, U-Haul, Bigfoot, Oliver, and Eggcamper have them- is there typically insulation in there, or is that provided by the air gap?

Thanks!

Francesca
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