To rivet or not to rivet? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-02-2015, 10:12 AM   #1
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Name: Yonny Yonson
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To rivet or not to rivet?

I have begun the odyssey of researching 13 foot egg trailers. I like 'em. Escape says they don't put rivets through the shell. (Quality.... but probably drives cost up.) Other brands like scamp and ???? do use rivets. So, are rivets a negative? Yes, they don't look as clean from the outside. But do they ultimately usher in leaking problems or become starting points for cracks?
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:25 AM   #2
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I have one of each. Love both. Rivets and snap caps are maintenance issues and all brands of all molded towables have maintenance that needs to be done.

Do I see a problem with rivets? No, they do exactly what they're supposed to. Not hard to replace either. Scamp uses a bunch more than they need too... but there's solutions for new buyers.

Whether they look bad, that's an individual call. Frankly, I've never been concerned. It's always been more about where I went with my Scamp and the memories I made. YMMV
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:40 AM   #3
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If you have ever had to repair an infiltrated or broken mounting block, you would sing the praises of rivets.
Rivets are the longest standing construction method (by decades) used on fiberglass trailers. They have proven reliable and easily repairable when an occasional rivet does break. Only failed rivets are capable of seepage.
I have owned several 30+ year old fiberglass trailers which have shown no signs of rivet failure in spite of decades of use, neglect and abuse.

BTW "through the hull" fasteners are not limited to pop rivets alone...
The Scamp Deluxe trailers are use screws for the primary fasteners.
Mine is eleven years old with maybe 70,000 towed miles without a single failure.

Bottom Line.... This is a truly a non issue since all fiberglass trailers are superior to stickbuilts.
On the list of "matters of concern" this issue is easily at the bottom.
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:06 PM   #4
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Bottom Line.... This is a truly a non issue since all fiberglass trailers are superior to stickbuilts.
On the list of "matters of concern" this issue is easily at the bottom.
I thinking about this very issue just the other day. I need to do maybe 70% of the rivets on my 1988 Scamp. Not because the rivets went bad, but mostly because the washers they hold have crapped out, because previous owners did not replace the caps when they started to go. Even so, I have enjoyed the Scamp a year already without replacing a single rivet/washer/cap. A little caulk here and there and storing the Scamp out of the weather has gotten me by. I will say this, I would A LOT rather replace a bunch of rivets, one here and one there, than deal with a old falling apart stickie.
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by johnwgorman1 View Post
I have begun the odyssey of researching 13 foot egg trailers. I like 'em. Escape says they don't put rivets through the shell. (Quality.... but probably drives cost up.) Other brands like scamp and ???? do use rivets. So, are rivets a negative? Yes, they don't look as clean from the outside. But do they ultimately usher in leaking problems or become starting points for cracks?
Yes fiberglassing in the fixtures does indeed result in a cost increase due to the extra labour and material needed to do it.

By not using rivets it will mean that there are far few places that a leak could develop over time - but keep in mind there are lots of 30 year old Bolers running around these parts that still have the majority of their original rivets & do not have leaking issues. Same with Scamp's and Casita's.

Replacing rivets is a DIY job that is pretty easy to learn. Regardless of whether or not your trailers main fixtures are fiberglassed in or not the reality is if you are wanting to maintain your trailer you will need to learn to rivet as there are many outside fixtures on both types of trailers that will break/fail over time I will need replacing and many/most are riveted to the trailers.

As has been suggested having to repair a fiberglassed in fixture should there be a failure is not so easy. I know if I had a fiberglass failure I would not even consider doing it myself, even though I have spent most of life around fiberglass boats and seen them repaired many times. The trailer would be heading off to the nearest boat yard or fiberglass trailer manufacture where I would pay a pro to repair it.

I own an older Scamp (24 years old) that I have had for 9 years, that I for the most part maintain & update myself. I set aside a few days each spring to do replacement/repairs on items that need fixing/replacing or due to their age should be replaced as part of preventive maintenance. I have no big complaints about the Scamp and have spent hundreds of days camping comfortable in it. I will admit though I would love an Escape & they are multiplying like rabbits so its getting harder and harder to keep my eyes turned away with each new one that appears on camping trips. But my main reasons for wanting one have nothing to do with the rivet or no rivet issue.

If two trailers you are considering are equal in regards to your needs, I suspect one could make the decision process easy as to whether or not to go with one that has fiberglassed in fixtures vs one that has rivets by asking yourself a simple question. Do you wish to pay now (higher purchase price) or pay later (with a bit of extra DIY maintenance)?
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:26 PM   #6
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Just what I needed

Thanks to all who have replied your answers have helped immensely. I am not going to be concerned about rivets from now on. Movin' forward.
John
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by johnwgorman1 View Post
Thanks to all who have replied your answers have helped immensely. I am not going to be concerned about rivets from now on. Movin' forward.
John
Good decision John
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:48 PM   #8
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Wow, 8 am to 5 pm...would that be a record for a decision here
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:55 PM   #9
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Well, it was FLOYD who sealed the deal. Thanks, I don't like to keep anything in my mind if it is unnecessary. I am now more apt to go Scamp or Casita because they are much easier to find.
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:28 AM   #10
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Waterproof rivets - All industrial manufacturers - Videos


Water proof pop rivets for doing replacements


hope this is of help
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:50 AM   #11
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Water proof blind pop rivet's

Gesipa water proof rivet's are available in the US
and can be in stainless steel.


We have to get some for our boler, others exist that are blind pop rivet's
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:00 AM   #12
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Stanley product is easy to get just does not have the seal great product very strong.
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:43 PM   #13
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S.S. Rivets ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Borden View Post
Gesipa water proof rivet's are available in the US
and can be in stainless steel.


We have to get some for our boler, others exist that are blind pop rivet's

Be careful before trying anything other than aluminum rivets. Stainless Steel rivets will require substantially more compassion pressure before popping, possibly pulling through the fiberglass. I have encountered this when steel rivets were used in place of aluminum. At the very least I would use matching backing washers to keep the bulb from damaging the fiberglass.
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Old 05-03-2015, 03:35 PM   #14
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Is there a more durable option for washers when using aluminum rivets? Like thin rubber or leather or??? I"ll be reinstalling the cupboards and seats in my Scamp and this very topic has been on my mind.


Cathy
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