Replacing rivets? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-10-2012, 11:03 PM   #15
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Name: Deb & Chuck
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Replacing rivets is not hard. You need a 1/8 drill bit to drill out the center of the rivet, a punch to push the rivet center all the way through. I owned a 1995 Scamp under some of the caps were wood screws. I replaced all the snap caps. Listen to Donna and get some help with the rivets. Get a good rivet gun look at Fiberglass Travel Trailers RV.
Good luck,
Chuck
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:16 AM   #16
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So true!!

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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Karalyn, whatever brand of molded towable you get... you will be ahead of a lot of other people. AND, you have the support of all the active members of this forum in your corner when you have questions.
I haven't even gotten to camp in my casita yet and i don't know what I would have done without this wonderful website! I thank all of you who have been so supportive and helpful. Off to camping world.... woooo hooo!
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:11 AM   #17
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Rivets

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Originally Posted by Harvey View Post
On my Scamp the clear plastic 'cup' goes on the rivet before it is installed. I suspect it provides some 'cushioning effect and aid in water repellency as well as a seat for the plastic caps. When re-doing the rivets on my Scamp I drilled out the old rivet heads & pulled the rivet bodies from inside the trailer. I seated the clear plastic 'cups' on the rivet (not an easy job as the holes in the cups are undersized when mated with the correct size rivet) with the cup against the rivet head, dabbed a little acrylic sealer around the rivet tube, inserted & set the rivet (I added a little redundancy here; my wife held an appropriate sized washer on the rivet from inside while I 'set' the rivet), then added a little more sealer to the rivet head & installed the cap. So far thru some 'high pressure' water hose tests & a couple of severe T'storms none have leaked
We did the same thing when replacing our roof vent and some bad rivets on our Scamp. We put Lexel on the rivet and the backside of the clear plastic cup washer added a SS flatwashers on the back side of the fiberglass and set the rivet. We then put Lexel in the Snap Cap and installed the Snap Cap wiping off the excess Lexel . May not be the right way but it stopped the leaks and the caps don't fall off.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Karalyn View Post
Are you saying that if replacing the caps every 5 yrs or so, the rivets may never have to be replaced????
Karalyn, Donna has given you some great advise. You never know you might enjoy riveting things and start looking for more things to rivet Fixing a stick trailer that has a leak IMHO is *way* harder, more expensive and time consuming.

Replacing the caps before they fall apart will keep the clear snap ring in good shape for much longer but even if you do replace the caps at some point you may find that the rivet itself will need to be replaced - as others have mentioned if the inside fastener is changing colour that's a good indication that water is getting through & the rivet will need to be replaced. With age and stress the rivet itself can also snap in two. Its a good thing that the rivet snaps under stress rather than having the fiberglass crack. On my 20 year old trailer I had only 1 rivet snapped in two in the first 4 years of ownership but two snapped apart on a recent trip - but that was after having put well over 8000 miles on the trailer this year alone & traveling on some not so smooth roads and they were rivets that I have never replaced since I owned the trailer so its a good bet they were original to the trailer.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:37 PM   #19
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My 99 scamp 16' doesn't have any of those caps left on any of the rivets maybe two, so you are supposed to pull out every rivet and replace them with the plastic washers and caps? That seems like a lot of work, can't you just put rv caulk around them to prevent a possible leak caulk under a cap and put just the cap on?
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by camper1887 View Post
My 99 scamp 16' doesn't have any of those caps left on any of the rivets maybe two, so you are supposed to pull out every rivet and replace them with the plastic washers and caps? That seems like a lot of work, can't you just put rv caulk around them to prevent a possible leak caulk under a cap and put just the cap on?
You should be able to easily identify any rivets that are 'leaking' by checking inside during/after heavy rain or use the hose test. Even tho the 'caps' are gone, if you still have the plastic 'cup seals' outside, & that rivet doesn't leak, I'd say you'd be pretty safe in just replacing the cap only. I'd also add a little sealer of some kind around the rivet head before putting on the new cap. If the plastic 'cup' is missing or has deteriorated to the point that it'll no longer 'hold' a cap I think I'd go ahead & replace that rivet. JMO...
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:55 PM   #21
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Thanks for the info Harvey. Most all of mine the plastic washer is broken and missing. What size rivet do you use to replace the rivets and what rivet gun is good to use? Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:05 PM   #22
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I ordered the rivet replacement kit from Scamp, big mistake. The rivets they sent to replace the large rivets that hold cabinets, closet, etc, altho of correct 'barrel' diameter were waaay too long for most application (at least in my '84 Scamp 13). There may be some locations I'll need 'em that long but I ain't found any yet. The ones from Scamp are standard 3/16" diameter aluminum rivets but they're about 1 1/8" in length. I tried a couple but they stuck out so far inside it just didn't look right. I experimented with different lengths & settled on same diameter but with a 5/8" grip range. That gives me plenty of 'reach' with a 'locking' washer inside (or the acorn nuts). Your later/larger model may require some of the longer rivets but I'd sure check first. On my trailer the curtain rod holders are also riveted using 1/8" dia rivets with a 1/4" grip range. They have a smaller head so require a different plastic 'cup' & cap than the large rivets. I think you can order the caps & cups separately from Scamp in different quantities. I use an old Stanley brand hand rivet gun. It has 4 different sized 'nose' pieces to accommodate rivet stems from 1/8" to 1/4" (rivet size). If you're doing a lot I'd recommend some kind of power/air driven gun as this one is kinda hard on the hands after 20-25 rivets . Works OK tho if ya just take your time. I hafta use both hands sometime. I'm blessed with an infinitely patient wife who is my 'third' (sometimes fourth) hand, & willingly holds the washers or acorn nuts in place inside while I 'set' the rivet Darlin'. Oh yeah, you can buy different size/llength rivets in quantity at most 'big box' stores, or local hardware, probably cheaper than Scamp especially when you figure shipping.

Here's pic of the rivets, cup, cap, & acorn nut (the one Scamp sent is on the right, left is what I used - second pic is my old Stanley tool
Attached Thumbnails
Rivets.JPG   Rivet Gun.JPG  

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Old 03-12-2012, 08:49 PM   #23
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Thanks Harvey you have been very helpful. What size drill bit do you usually need to pop the head off the rivet? The ones you ordered from scamp, were they the one that comes with the rivet, acorn nut, washer, and cap? Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:38 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Depending on where in the country (UVs) maintenance is about every five years to replace the caps. It's best to do it before needed, not after they've disintergrated. If done before damage to the underlying clear "gasket" happens, you don't need to use any caulk. There's a reason the white buttons (caps) are called snap caps.

Karalyn, you do know you are only trading rivets for seams... right.... in looking at stick built trailers? There isn't a trailer made that doesn't require maintenance. At least with molded you know they hold their value.
Every time you replace your tires
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:57 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by camper1887 View Post
Thanks Harvey you have been very helpful. What size drill bit do you usually need to pop the head off the rivet? The ones you ordered from scamp, were they the one that comes with the rivet, acorn nut, washer, and cap? Thanks!
I usually use a 1/4" or 3/8" drill bit to remove the heads. I've seen other folks use same size bit as the rivet but the larger, shallower bit tips seem to work better for me. Just be sure you don't drill into the fiberglass. A little practice makes it easy to get just the right 'touch'.

I ordered the snap cap set & the plastic washer set for a 13' Scamp & they came with sufficient #'s to do the entire trailer. Also ordered a couple dozen acorn nuts & rivets but the rivets I received didn't work as well as I wanted so I got some of a more appropriate size locally. I'm not sure but don't think you can order an entire set including rivets, cups, caps, & acorn nuts. I'd just order the cups & caps, & perhaps the acorn nuts; find the rivets locally after you've determined exact size(s) you need. If you don't do like me & put the extras some place you'll never find 'em again, any extra pieces can be stored for future use as needed.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:12 PM   #26
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Ok, since this is something Im going to eventually have to do, let me ask a question or 2...

Useing an acorn nut or a washer, is it just to spread the load out to make it a stronger connection...so I guess all the cabinetry should have one on it?

If you are working alone, I guess slide the rivet through the hole, go inside pop on an acorn nut go back outside and install the rivet? Do the acorn nuts stay on, or would I need to use a piece of duct tape or krazy glue or something to hold it till the rivet is installed?

Should you put some kind of sealant/calk on the rivet before you slide it in the hole?

Drilling out a rivet, just use a 1/8" bit in the center and it will release the old rivet?

thanks, havent used a rivet gun since junior high metal shop class lol... If you used a longer rivet would it expand more on the inside and not need an acorn nut?

thanks
deryk
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:28 PM   #27
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I am in the process of replacing caps, some rivets and and plastic snap rings on my 12 yr old Scamp. I have had a couple other minor repairs. But after owning 5 trailers and 2 cab over Campers, My FGRV is hands down far more reliable and its minor repairs have been simple compared to the rotten roofs, floors and corners I had with all but one of my stickys. Just my take
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:45 PM   #28
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Glad my ParkLiner is rivet free ( well the hinges for storage use rivets but nothing passing through to the outside) I looked at a scamp 16 that would have needed all the exterior rivets replaced...but found my ParkLiner and went with that!
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