Much attention is given to rivets, I have a little different view...
The issue to the question here in my mind is not the rivets themselves, its the rivet cup and cap which the rivet sits into, the rivet is centered into a cup beneath and around the rivet. Beneath the rivet this plastic disc positioning itself against the gelcoat of the hull, pressing up and down against the bottom of the top of the rivet like a plastic sandwich between the holding rivet and the hull.
This provides the first
liquid tight seal needed for the rivet against the epoxy hull.
This plastic structure will not when in good working order allow wicking of moisture into the fiberglass hull fibers or out right water penetration into the hole the rivet makes into the hull.
Over the rivet goes a plastic cap made of the same plastic, usually the color of the gelcoat which snaps and locks onto the cupping disc under the rivet making a secondary
water barrier, also hiding the rivet blending into the color of the hull not allowing water to enter the center of the rivet.
In the early days on older fiberglass trailers using even screws these caps were used too, the plastics used back then were by today's standards crude in their chemistry regarding UVA and UVB "light" break downs over long exposures to them, also thermal shock problems were encountered in their use when in lower temp ambient environments. This problem carried on into the decision to use rivets. That trend in design happened faster than re-formulating the cap material.
While there is a danger of Asian Market knock offs using recycled plastics there is generally newer plastics penetrating this market that have remedied these issues in the last decade, as has the chemistry been refined in epoxies and paint
products...Available now are really great innovations to watch for.
The Plastic break downs of the "old days" lead to loose rivets
when the plastic deteriorated beneath them, their plastic caps would deteriorate first and being un-remedied until to late would deteriorate under the rivet.
The rivet basically got a bad reputation which it did not deserve.
A little diligence on the part of the owners, with assistance from modern chemistry improvements in plastics just about has this issue fixed.
Scamp provided rivets and their plastic seals and buttons work well for me although I order bulk another product when needed.
The most common materials used to make the bulk of rivet cups and their caps is nylon or poly vinyl presently...In the past both have had issues over time...The selection of the material the rivet cup and bottom button is made of is crucial to its life cycle, also its stability over time regarding different specific stressors are different with different materials today...Plastic blends are useful to adopt the positive character of different blended types of plastics into one product and are seemingly to be doing the best job today.
All plastics "age" as they "out gas" plastic is always breaking down over a set period of time, you could place your trailer in a vault and in X
many years its chemical bonds will be breaking down within a certainty. I have read that hull chemistry are being projected to 75 years with the rivet cups and caps making it to 15 years.
What can be done?
Remember as you go bouncy down the road the cabinets holding "the stuff" are hanging
from rivets thru the hull wall, the seal beneath the rivet is taking all the punishment (compression,vibration
) being re-compressed a bazillion times.
Do this in extreme cold or heat, or in the presence of intense sunlight 24X7 the material will do what you would do under these conditions...Live usefully less longer.
The advice I would give is this...
[b](1) Travel with the heavy items in the cabinets else where place heavy contents in plastic bins on the floor, not within the cabinets making them heavy.
I choose lightness when I acquire an item for anything to be stored there.
( I did one rivet job where my elder customer stored her beloved cast iron pans and dutch ovens with Corel dishes in the overhead cabinets )
[b](2) Do not drive as if road wash boards were irrelevant to your SUV because you bought the best shocks money can buy pulling the trailer helpless behind you...
Go carefully, and mindfully...those cabinets are attached by rivets.
( Believe it or not your axle is in many models rubber/plastic too....it would appreciate less action )
[b](3) Store trailer baby in 100% shade, cover or protect the trailer and its rivet seals...[b]
A caution here is tarps work in LOW MOISTURE environments
...in high moisture areas it will turn your trailer baby into a mushroom, if this is the case in your area get a cover made or a tent material which repels water, blocks sun drying super fast...even if it breaths a little, and yes the commercial ones are about 450.00 bucks...its worth it.
If you live in a low moisture area, use a solar
tarp, bungee tightly, the silver solar
treatment can rub off.
[b]When you clean and wax trailer baby do not go caveman with the power washer!!!!
Use the fan spray setting only, many rivet cups or window seals fall victim to type A. personalities enjoying their power washer from Hades or the 10 h/p motor fuel injected motor located in the commercial car wash...
[b]remember mindful cleaning.
[b]The electric polisher on the rivet caps is a no no. If you loose a cap replace it.
These issues outside of the rivet itself are really more relevant to the rivet subject you raised... its cup and cap seal design has been the culprit or abuse or lack of care from what I have witnessed.
Although I have [b]NO PROOF, a polish/protectant/wax which is UVA-UVB stabilized makes sense, it may be a gimmick, but its one that comforts me.
I am only one voice, others will weigh in their experiences, I would have no hesitation with a Scamp once I understood the facts.
Happy Camping, Safe trails.
What is the story with Scamp trailers and the rivets, I am in the market looking for a Scamp specifially and wondering if you can clue me into the rivet issue.