Scamp and the pop rivets - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-12-2008, 09:17 PM   #15
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I think I'm really missing something about the rivet caps. On the outside of my '84 Scamp there are NO caps, and when I ordered a set from Scamp they don't look right, unless i load them up with caulk and depend on the caulk to keep them in place. Is this right? (Does anyone have a closeup photo of a rivet cap?) And why not just caluk the surfact of the rivet and leave it at that?
The caps are a two-part thing. The top is a plastic dome-shaped cap with a ridge on the lower inside lip, the bottom part is a plastic receiver cup with a ridge on the top outer edge. The rivet passes through the bottom of the receiver leaving the rivet head to nestle in the receiver cup; the cap then snaps into place over the receiver cup and rivet. Like this:


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1: Cap/Cover
2: Rivet
3: Cap/Receiver
4: Sealant
5: Fiberglass Hull
6: Insulation (e.g. Reflectix) & Interior Covering (e.g. "Rat Fur")
7: Thing being attached
8: Washer
9: Acorn Nut

--Peter
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:30 AM   #16
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Has anyone replaced the rivets with stainless steel nuts/bolts and used a snap cap over those? I know there's no need to seal out the water, but wondered if anyone has done it for looks. I assume you'd have to get a cap that's a little deeper to accept the head of the bolt.

Todd

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Old 05-13-2008, 07:42 AM   #17
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Hi: I used a weather seal washer made of S/S bonded to rubber and the bolt has to penetrate the rubber. There are no snap caps that I know of for these and the washers were $0.98ea. at my local automotive fastener supplier. They are as waterproof as it gets!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:42 AM   #18
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Question about replacing rivets with S/S bolts.

I thought I read somewhere that this is not a good idea. The article I read said that the reason that pop rivets are used is so that they do break when over stressed (like when bouncing down the road and the trailer flexes). The article I read stated that with the bolt, as the body flexes it would cause the hole to enlarge or elongate and then you'd get a leak.

So yes, popped rivets are a pain in the butt to replace -- but their popping is a result of functioning as designed. It would seem that if the hole elongates due to flexing when using a bolt, that would be a worse condition than replacing the popped rivet.

Did I misread something about the rivets?

Wouldn't it be nice if a factory rep would respond to these kinds of questions? After all, it is a question about the design of the trailer.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:32 AM   #19
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Hi, Ed. No, you did not misread. There's a difference of opinion on this subject. Some feel the reason for the pop rivets is so manufacturers can cut costs, others feel the rivets are intended to save the fiberglass shell when the point is stressed. It's kind of a perennial discussion here... and as far as I know, nobody who has replaced their rivets with SS bolts has reported problems with their fiberglass developing cracks from being more securely fastened.

Still, I have a rivet gun and one of these days, I'm going to get my friend Suz to show me how to use it! (Some of my best friends swear it's really not that difficult.)
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:26 PM   #20
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The whole idea is to seal the rivet. You can glob on some sealant over the rivet and be done, or put some inside the cap and put that over the rivet, or use the washer and snap caps. Your choice. BUT, sealant attracts dirt. If you don't mind having a trailer with dirty little spots all over it... then, yes just dabbing it on the rivet will work. Next best is putting sealant inside the cab and putting that over the rivet. The best (IMO) is using the snap cap, but that requires removing and replacing the rivet.
True, true, and true

I did a combo of using a snap cap washer and rivet, apply a little bit of sealer on the rivet head, and then install the snap cap. We did our best to eliminate as many of the rivets as possible during the rebuild, but some things require the rivets to install.

rain gutter over door
window in door
screws attaching table board
screws attaching front bunk board
water hook ups
furnace exhaust
roof hatch

I don't remember what their specific name would be, but there are rivets available that are completely sealed on the base side. When the rivet is pulled tight it will not leave an opening, even if the nail pulls completely out before it pops.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:51 AM   #21
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[ATTACH][/ATTACH]

I still need to cut these bolts off flush, or use some of them to mount a little shelf, etc.
Or you might do what I did: use a thin "jam" nut to secure the screw/bolt, cut it short and put a stainless steel acorn nut on top. The jam nut is plenty strong for the job, so the acorn nut is purely decorative flair, but it keeps the look inside consistent with the existing pop rivet/acorn nut look.

I'm not sure I buy the "pop rivets give" argument. When Scamp attaches wood cabinets to their trailers they use screws, and I've never heard a complaint about them damaging the shell. So I replace rivets that have become loose & leak with stainless steel hardware.

--Peter
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:49 PM   #22
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Going back to the questions in the original post, it was mentioned that the 13 Standard floor plan appealed because of the limited capabilities of the tow vehicle. The drawback was a lack of storage space. I would raise the question that if the tow vehicle is somewhat limited, do you really want more storage space? What we pack in can easily double the weight of the trailer on these smaller rigs!
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:09 PM   #23
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Going back to the questions in the original post, it was mentioned that the 13 Standard floor plan appealed because of the limited capabilities of the tow vehicle. The drawback was a lack of storage space. I would raise the question that if the tow vehicle is somewhat limited, do you really want more storage space? What we pack in can easily double the weight of the trailer on these smaller rigs!

???? Must be having "happy hour" already back there in IN Paul.....
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:26 PM   #24
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Well...you guys are awesome! Thanks so much for the time and trouble. I've got three rivets leaking. I'll start with those and replace the rivets, sealing in the place indicated in the diagram. I'll keep going if I have success and energy.

Thanks again,
Bruce
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:14 PM   #25
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I've replaced most of the rivets that penetrate the shell with SS Bolts, a glob of 3m 5200 and plastic caps on the inside and the outside. In some places I used a SS barrel nut that was trimmed slightly to make it fit.

If I was really interested in doing it right, I would strip out the interior furniture and the interior hull liner, then fiberglass the furniture in place with a band of glass tape and resin. Then bondo over the outside holes, sand nice and paint. This would add considerable stiffness to the hull as well as be perfectly leak proof. If was really into lightness,(and a lifetime obsession) I would replace all of the interior plywood with foam/glass sandwich.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:57 PM   #26
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If I was really interested in doing it right, I would strip out the interior furniture and the interior hull liner, then fiberglass the furniture in place with a band of glass tape and resin. Then bondo over the outside holes, sand nice and paint. This would add considerable stiffness to the hull as well as be perfectly leak proof. If was really into lightness,(and a lifetime obsession) I would replace all of the interior plywood with foam/glass sandwich.
Duhh! All this time on these FG groups and I never once thought of that. Esp because I regard fiberglass as being extremely flexible compared to a sticky.

I had taken the baby step towards that by recommending that where ever a pop-rivet had failed, add a new rivet on each side to spread the load on the shell and rivet. Glassing it all it spreads it even more so!

Some folks are obsessed with keeping the rig stock and not drilling new holes, but that's not me.

One problem with bolts (SS, nylon, whatever) is that they need to be adjusted just right to have the pull but not dimple the exterior. OTOH, the pop-rivets seem to be self-adjusting on installation.

Somewhere out there is some sort of honey-comb flooring that's impervious to water damage. My brother showed me a piece of aluminum deck plank from a new commercial tour boat that was honey-comb inside. Very light and strong, esp when welded to next plank, but that would be expensive even with the welding stuf and skills.
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