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


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Old 09-03-2015, 11:54 PM   #1
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Rivet 101? What am I looking at?

New to rivets. I keep seeing talk of river caps, snap rivets, snap caps, and more, and leaking, and needing replaced...I have no clue. I snapped some pictures...what am I looking at? Thanks!!

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Old 09-04-2015, 02:42 AM   #2
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Your pics show a few different fasteners. Pic 1 are slotted screws, 2,3 & 5 are pop rivets, 4 has one rivet and the male half of a snap. Pop rivets are easy to use and install. Having an egg you're going to have to replace some every once in a while as they are the most common fastener used on most of them. Just think snap cap, a bit of butyl putty and a new rivet. There are many threads here about replacing rivets you can do a search on. A few Utube videos on using a pop rivet gun, snap caps would be better than me trying to tell you. The one pic is worth a 1000 word thing.
Replacing a rivet is really no big deal, after a couple of practice ones in some scrap material to get the feel you'll be a pro .
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Old 09-04-2015, 05:52 AM   #3
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FWIW, I don't see evidence of snap caps in the pictures. Doesn't mean they weren't there or they can't be in the future. As suggested, you might search on snap caps for more info. Since I already have a sketch I'll include it. Again, not necessary but they do dress up the outside (the end you show in your pictures) of the rivet although by using them you sort of set yourself up for maintaining/replacing them in the future.

My sketch also shows the acorn nut on the inside of a rivet that some manufacturers use to dress up the other end of the rivet, if it's visible. The acorn nut is highly optional as well. You're just pinching the acorn nut on when you expand the rivet and it usually requires a second person to hold the nut over the rivet end while the first person is on the other side expanding (popping, as in pop-rivet, the pop being the sort of noise the center mandrell makes when it snaps as designed) the rivet. Practice before you try one for real.
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:03 AM   #4
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The lower item in figure #4 can also called a snap-cap. They are usually used for attaching things like fabric with a matching snap and are somewhat different from the cups used for the snap-on covers we use with pop-rivets.
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:35 AM   #5
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So now the question....do they look good in general (or how do you tell if they need replaced, besides leaking?)

And, pictures 1 and 4 are my two side windows. I'm assuming one is original and one is replaced...which is which, and which is better? (I need to pull out and rebuild one, and might as well do both if needed).

I have plenty of home improvement and woodworking experience...enough to know id better practice a bunch!
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:37 AM   #6
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Steve, I believe your drawing omits the plastic washer Scamp uses between the head of the rivet and the fiberglass. That's what the snap cap attaches to in the factory installation.

Here are links to the Scamp parts store:
Rivets
Washers, snap caps, and acorn nuts

They are available from many other sources as well.
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Steve, I believe your drawing omits the plastic washer Scamp uses between the head of the rivet and the fiberglass. That's what the snap cap attaches to in the factory installation.

Here are links to the Scamp parts store:
Rivets
Washers, snap caps, and acorn nuts

They are available from many other sources as well.
That's very possibly true since my knowledge base is limited to Casitas. Most snap caps I've come across have a cup-like feature you trap under the head of the rivet that the cap itself snaps onto. It's labelled "plastic cup" on my drawing.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:04 AM   #8
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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?
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:31 AM   #9
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I'm repeating myself, but in my opinion they are optional. Perhaps others wouldn't be caught dead without them. (I don't tell people what to do, I only report what works for me. I don't consider myself a role model.)

Then again, I'm an engineer and our sense of ęsthetics are generally thought to be suspect.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:36 AM   #10
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So, what I'm understanding is even if they were there originally, they aren't structural/necessary for anything bus aesthetics? (Snap caps)
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:04 AM   #11
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Stainless screws

I'm in the middle of a restoration. An 87' 16 Scamp. Frame up resto. In process of replacing every rivet with stainless screws using marine grade chalk and accent washers. Hell of a project. Should last forever.
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zennifer View Post
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?
You might want to update your profile to show what year your trailer is as it would help in providing you with better info.

Older Scamps did not have snap caps and washers - Bolers also never used snap caps over rivets. For sure Scamps built in the 70's did not.

Many people with older Scamps when replacing rivets still don't use snap caps as there is an good argument to be made that they are just decorative, assuming a closed rivet is used & installed correctly.
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:23 AM   #13
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I've attempted to add my year to my profile three times; it shows as there for me. :| Sorry about that...it is important. Not sure why it's not showing up. (Frustrating on my end, for sure!)

It's a 1979 Scamp.
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:30 AM   #14
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Sometimes, I wonder if the "Rivets" would be better off WITHOUT the plastic washers underneath- thus another source for them to harden and no longer seal...thus encouraging slippage of the rivet..... well...to finally leaking.

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...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
You might want to update your profile to show what year your trailer is as it would help in providing you with better info.

Older Scamps did not have snap caps and washers - Bolers also never used snap caps over rivets. For sure Scamps built in the 70's did not.

Many people with older Scamps when replacing rivets still don't use snap caps as there is an good argument to be made that they are just decorative, assuming a closed rivet is used & installed correctly.
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