Rivet 101? What am I looking at? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-04-2015, 12:35 PM   #15
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I'm hoping someone who know much more than me about this will take a look at your last photo (#5), which is:
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...3386210E99.jpg

To me it looks loose and whatever it is attaching would be loose too, and maybe leaking (although no evidence of water intrusion seems evident).

Also the bottom of #4 seems to show a previous owner mod with a button snap screwed down, perhaps to attach an awning, curtain or something like that.

IMHO, Darral brings up a good point. I have heard the outside snap caps and covers were only decorative. They might provide a little leak protection but I would think so little as to be useless for that. And, if / when the cap base under the rivet deteriorates as it ages (especially in sunlight) then the rivet connection suffers.
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:38 PM   #16
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Didn't mean to imply the washers and snap caps were essential. Just clarifying how Scamp does it. I didn't know that the oldest ones didn't have them, though. I've wondered about omitting them- they do get in the way when you're washing & waxing. A dab of white paint on an exposed rivet head would be no more noticeable than a protruding snap cap. Haven't decided yet… it will affect the size of the rivet used, I presume.

I need to replace a few rivets this fall, so I am following this discussion with interest.
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:44 PM   #17
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You caught my point exactly Gordon. It's food for thought.

JON: What ever you decide to do, I'd be interested in the results including leaving off the caps! I've heard arguments as to how jets utilize so many rivets without problems....umm...but they dont put snap caps on them either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post

IMHO, Darral brings up a good point. I have heard the outside snap caps and covers were only decorative. They might provide a little leak protection but I would think so little as to be useless for that. And, if / when the cap base under the rivet deteriorates as it ages (especially in sunlight) then the rivet connection suffers.
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:52 PM   #18
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You can also order Pop-Rivets with larger diameter heads. I use those with regular RV putty under them for sealing and a dab white marine paint on top to seal the pin hole and cover everything.
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:54 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by capt211 View Post
In process of replacing every rivet with stainless screws using marine grade chalk and accent washers. Hell of a project. Should last forever.
Only if you never take the trailer over rough roads so the fiberglass never cracks from the stress of being up against none breakable ss screws.
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post

The snap caps would then just be aesthetic and you could simply install them with silicone or butyl. If it deteriorates, cracks....it still wouldnt cause a leak. Something to think about...
As I said many feel they are simple aesthetic's as there are lots of older Scamps and all the Bolers running around without any caps.

When I have to do the occasional replacement of a rivet I put a little dap of butyl between the plastic snap cap retainer & the trailer.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:01 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
You can also order Pop-Rivets with larger diameter heads. I use those with regular RV putty under them for sealing and a dab white marine paint on top to seal the pin hole and cover everything.
Thanks, Bob. That's exactly what I was thinking. Someone here advised against it (can't remember their reasoning now), but glad to hear it has worked for you.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:02 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Zennifer View Post
New to rivets....
Jes, also see Scamp rivet issue
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:09 PM   #23
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One replaces tires because they wear and/or deteriorate beyond use and one reseals windows (hopefully before they start leaking), and redoing rivets and caps is just a part of the joy of ownership of some FGRV's. It's the cost of Love, get over it! LOL
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:45 PM   #24
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Yes! That's why I'm attempting to learn!

Picture 5 is the one that looks like it may have a plastic washer underneath? It's not loose, but thre is something betweeen in and the fiverglass. I'll check inside and see what's going on...it's holding the lower galley cabinet on.

Ill definitely check out that thread.

How do it determine a rivetneeds replaced, aside from leaking?
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:47 PM   #25
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And....seeng as how I have two different window attachments...which is original? Should I redo each as they are, or convert both to the same? (I need to rebuild one, and plan on pulling and dealing both)
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:53 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Jes, also see Scamp rivet issue
a That's one of the very threads that sparked my "I. Don't know what the hell I'm reading about!"
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Old 09-04-2015, 03:40 PM   #27
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I have so e evidence that there are plastic washers unde at least the biggest ones. Do I need to replace then and add the snap caps?
If you want to put a snap cap on it when you are done, yes, you have to replace the cup or washer, whatever you call it, when you replace the rivet.

I have two or three that look like yours on the top of my trailer. The caps came off last winter and the plastic washer has since deteriorated to the point there is nothing left to attach a cap to. One is very slightly loose and may be seeping a slight amount of moisture, so I need to deal with it before this winter. No fault of Scamp- I procrastinated replacing the snap caps.

As I mentioned, though, I am thinking about replacing them without washer or snap cap like Bob described.
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Old 09-04-2015, 04:13 PM   #28
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Picture #5 does look like it might have had a cup for a snap cap under it. The outer cap takes the beating from the sun and rain, will need to be popped off from time to time as they get that chalky look of old white plastic patio chairs. But the cup under it provides a bit of a seal (I added a wafer of butyl tape too) and does not degrade as fast since the outer cap is protecting it.

Windows look like someone replaced rivets with screws. Might be stainless steel judging from the lack of rust and corrosion. Notice the screw inside the snap on the window frame is very rusted. Aluminum and steel react with each other and accelerate corrosion (rust/oxidation).

Picture #4 That metal snap on the window frame is like the ones that hold vinyl covers on the back of pickup trucks. Could also be used for a strap or holder or anything else that could be attached with a snap. If you have an awning rail I might suspect a bag awning was involved.

Picture #2 looks like something was spilled or spread there, maybe to seal the rivet that was leaking?

Rivets vs. Screws debate has been going on for a long, long time. Some claim the Neanderthals were on the losing side of that debate in Europe but the evidence is not conclusive so for now it is just a theory.

I have a 77 scamp and there was no sign of snap caps ever being used, and I know enough of the back history of it to make me think they were never installed. However they are now. I figured as I replaced all the rivets I could do it the "newer" way and probably gain an additional water barrier.

There are places where it is just infinitely easier to use blind (pop) rivets. They are intended to be installed from one side into a space you are "blind" to. You don't need to be able to see, or reach the other side to put a nut on, this alone makes them useful. Want to take your couch out to work on the wiring and floor? Couch attaches to the kitchen cabinet with rivets, short of taking the fridge out you have to use rivets to make that connection.

My feeling on rivets is that in those iconic pictures of the guys building the Empire State building and other sky scrapers the round things in the beams holding it all together are rivets, different style & material but... rivets. I removed and replaced rivets still doing their job after 35 years so I guess they work. Not the only solution of course, and my curtain rod brackets are attached with machine screws so I could use small brass acorn nuts that matched the brackets.

Your windows probably leak, it would be a little surprising if after this long the butyl tape they are bedded into as a seal between the window and the FG shell was still sealed. On the other hand those screws might mean someone already did that job. Look at the where the wall joins the floor around the edges. Most leaks the water ends up there eventually. Water runs down wall / furnishings then collects at the low point at the edge. Or at back side of wheel wells. Depends on if trailer is tilted nose up or nose down, and any left to right slope.
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