Scamp outside "rivit buttons" cracking - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-30-2015, 07:00 AM   #1
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Name: denny
Trailer: 2001 Scamp 16 layout 3
Michigan
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Scamp outside "rivit buttons" cracking

Found a 13 yr old scamp that was stored outside in michigan. Outside decent but all the outside "buttons" are looking very bad! Many of them have cracked completely off with "screw" showing. Is this a problem? I never realized there were so many! Will they leak, rust, or other issue (other than cosmetic) if left as is? No leakage in trailer so far.
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:30 AM   #2
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Fairly new here with zero actual experience, so take what I say for what it is - internet knowledge.

The rivit caps ARE essential in preventing leaks. Most folks consider them routine maintenance on a Scamp or Casita and replace them every few years. Supposedly not a huge job.
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:43 AM   #3
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It is not a big deal, certainly not a reason not to buy the trailer, but it does mean some maintenance is needed, and preferably before the winter if you will be storing it outside.

If the plastic cup washer underneath the rivet head is still intact, all you need to do is pop off the cap and pop on a new one. You can order a whole set from Scamp.

If the cup washer is cracked or missing, you will need to replace the rivet, adding a new cup washer and cap as you do. There are lots of old threads on how to replace rivets. It's fairly simple once you learn how, and it's considered normal on a Scamp to have to replace a rivet every now and then. All the parts are available from Scamp and you can get a rivet gun from a local hardware store. Everything is also available from online sources.

Once the cap is gone and the cup washer breaks apart, the rivet can become loose. That may allow water to seep in. It can also allow excessive movement of the riveted parts, causing the hole to enlarge and complicating future repairs. It won't happen instantly, but it's better to deal with it sooner than later.
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:49 AM   #4
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
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I know many people drill out the old rivets, replace the rivet adding the plastic cap retainer and install new caps. I chose to add a little sealant to the top of the rivet (preventing leaks), added a little sealant to the cap and mounting the cap on the rivet.

I've had no leaking rivets and all the caps are in place. Occasionally I knock one off and replace it.

All those rivet caps failed because they're plastic. The Sun destroys plastic. To help protect the caps, I spray them with white gloss rustoleum. (I also paint all of the Scamp's exterior plastic.) Plastic in Sunlight is naturally recyclable.

I'm not saying replacing rivets is not worthwhile if you have the time and energy. I am saying we haven't replaced ours and have experienced no leakage.
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Old 09-30-2015, 09:05 AM   #5
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 2000 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe...Tow vehicle 2015 Toyota Tacoma Dble Cab V6 Prerunner
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I just went thru our scamp
Simple fix... As others have said
If the little cup is in place i snapped on a new cap ( with a dab of sealant)
Easy peazzie ... If the cup was missing replace rivet / cup / cap all avail from scamp ... Very inexpensive project
If it appears that little water got in and did very little damage i would most definitely consider the trailer depending on price of course


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Old 09-30-2015, 12:43 PM   #6
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Cool Sealant

One thing everyone forgot to mention is: don't use silicone sealant.
Silicone does not stay attached to fiberglass and after it's gone, the silicone prevents anything else from sticking.
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
Fairly new here with zero actual experience, so take what I say for what it is - internet knowledge.

The rivit caps ARE essential in preventing leaks. Most folks consider them routine maintenance on a Scamp or Casita and replace them every few years. Supposedly not a huge job.
on the other hand there are lots of folks here who believe the caps over the rivets are not really essential at all and are only decorative.

One only has to look at the thousands of old Bolers and some old Scamps running around today with the original rivets and no caps on them (never had them) and no leak issues - owners only have had to do the typical occasional whole rivet replacement due to leaks as is also the case with many of the newer trailers with rivet caps.

Plastics do become brittle & discolour with age. You can buy from Scamp a package of every size of cap they have used and replace just the caps if the state of the caps bothers you & the retaining rings are still in good shape. Or you can go to your local Home Depot and find a replacement for most of the sizes used. Takes about 10 min or less to replace just the rivets caps on the whole trailer.
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
One thing everyone forgot to mention is: don't use silicone sealant.
Silicone does not stay attached to fiberglass and after it's gone, the silicone prevents anything else from sticking.

There are many many different formulations of silicone sealants. You're right for some, but way off base for others. Read the labels carefully. FYI - Your house is full of silicone.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:05 AM   #9
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My home is full of silicone too. Especially in the shower area. But, the shower isn't subjected to UVs and extreme swings in temperature. I would even consider using silicone on the interior of my trailer if it was appropriate. But never, ever on the exterior when there are much better caulks available. YMMV
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