74 Trillum 13' Leak - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-25-2008, 12:30 PM   #29
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I had the same question Barry - Canadian tire / Home depot have a good selection of rivet guns. I bought one with a variety of rivets for under $30 and then spent some time riveting various test materials together to get the feel of it.

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Old 11-25-2008, 12:33 PM   #30
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That's a good point - I have neve used a rivet gun, and would not know where to find one....
Bought mine at Canadian Tire.

I would say yes to fiberglassing, although there's probably more than one approach to this. Myself I just spackled some of this Bondo type stuff over the rivets from the inside. It's like a green paste that is already pre-mixed with strands of some sort to hold it together without messing with cloth or dripping resin all over the place.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:29 PM   #31
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I may not be visualizing what you're doing correctly, but if you were going to use machine screws, I figured the head would be on the outside, and therefore the washer/nut on the inside. Then I was thinking you meant you were going to lay a strip of resin-impregnated fiberglass cloth over the fasteners on the inside, before gluing the Ensolite back up.

The two issues that came to mind both involved the nuts, and how far they protrude (compared to a rivet). First, the cloth would not like to lie down well over that type of protrusion; and second, you'd have humps telegraphing through the Ensolite.

It's been quite a while since I've riveted, but I think you can make it so that it's basically flat on the inside, no? (If not, then ignore me!)

I remember riveting as being one of those things wherein once you discover it, you're thinking of all kinds of things to rivet

One more note is that I read the advice to fill the little hole on the outside of the rivet with caulk and/or a cap, but IIRC you can get rivets that do not have this hole and the resultant leak place.

Raya
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:07 AM   #32
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I may not be visualizing what you're doing correctly, but if you were going to use machine screws, I figured the head would be on the outside, and therefore the washer/nut on the inside. Then I was thinking you meant you were going to lay a strip of resin-impregnated fiberglass cloth over the fasteners on the inside, before gluing the Ensolite back up.

The two issues that came to mind both involved the nuts, and how far they protrude (compared to a rivet). First, the cloth would not like to lie down well over that type of protrusion; and second, you'd have humps telegraphing through the Ensolite.

It's been quite a while since I've riveted, but I think you can make it so that it's basically flat on the inside, no? (If not, then ignore me!)

I remember riveting as being one of those things wherein once you discover it, you're thinking of all kinds of things to rivet

One more note is that I read the advice to fill the little hole on the outside of the rivet with caulk and/or a cap, but IIRC you can get rivets that do not have this hole and the resultant leak place.

Raya
Hi Raya -

Yes - that's how I was thinking of the project screw heads on the outside, washers and nuts on the inside.

However, I am re-thinking it - I may try and return the screws and bolts and pick up a riveter.... and still fibreglass on the inside to waterproof the thing. I will then also use 3MUV4000 over the rivets to seal the holes etc.

Thanks for the tips.

Barry
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:28 AM   #33
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I had the same question Barry - Canadian tire / Home depot have a good selection of rivet guns. I bought one with a variety of rivets for under $30 and then spent some time riveting various test materials together to get the feel of it.
Are the rivets stainless steel? aluminum? I'd also like to avoid the whole rust thing....

Barry
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:00 AM   #34
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You can buy either aluminum or stainless steel - the kit I bought had both kinds with a variety of lengths. If you know the length/type you want you can just buy a pack of those specific ones.

Edit: Barry, sorry still haven't had a chance to get to the trailer and take picks of the converter install - I haven't forgotten! We are just finalizing the sale of our house and it's eating up my time right now.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:43 AM   #35
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I haven't done the research yet, but a boat-builder friend mentioned that there is a type of rivet wherein the hole in the middle does not go through the rivet. Not that you still wouldn't want to seal a bit under the head, but at least there would be no hole.

This recommendation was made during a phone conversation, so there's always the chance I misunderstood. Before I do any riveting I'll probably give a call to a specialty rivet place to check into options.
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:46 PM   #36
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I haven't done the research yet, but a boat-builder friend mentioned that there is a type of rivet wherein the hole in the middle does not go through the rivet. Not that you still wouldn't want to seal a bit under the head, but at least there would be no hole.

This recommendation was made during a phone conversation, so there's always the chance I misunderstood. Before I do any riveting I'll probably give a call to a specialty rivet place to check into options.
Thanks Raya -

I am now pretty much convinced now that I need to traipse back to the hardware store and return the screws and nuts and go wth the riveter...seems like the best plan, and woudl achieve the smoothest surface on the inside of the shell.

I still plan on fibreglassing the back side of the rivets to waterproof the hole in the shell - so that should deal with the 'through' hole in the rivets.

Thanks againt to you, Daniel and Booker for the helpful comments. Once we can stop the water entering the trailer, we can get onto things liek flooring, new cushions, painting the ensolite etc...
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:26 PM   #37
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Barry,

I wholeheartedly agree with the plan to fiberglass over the backside of the rivets. Might as well seal 'er good!

Just ignore me if you already know all this, but here are some important steps in prepping for the fiberglassing on the inside. Basically, it's like cooking a stir-fry, in that you want to do all the prepping ahead of time (90% of the job), and then just do the actual fiberglassing at the end (10% of the job). To your benefit, you have no need to make it cosmetically nice, as long as it's reasonably smooth, since the Ensolite will cover it up.

1) Before any sanding, remove all traces of mold release wax, etc. by going over the area with clean rags and solvent (acetone or Interlux 202 Solvent Wash, or the like). You want to continually "rotate" the rag and/or use a clean one so that the contaminants you just wiped off don't go back on the surface on the next swipe. Wear something like Nitrile gloves and a respirator.

2) Next you want to rough up the surface with something like 80 grit paper. A vacuum nozzle right by the tool is good for keeping dust down, as is a damp cloth below the work area (dust hits it and sticks).

3) Wipe with acetone or denatured alcohol one more time (not as critical about the rag rotating this time).

4) Tape off anything you don't want resin on. i.e. the rest of the trailer, your forearms, hair, etc.

5) Cut your fiberglass tape (easiest to work with) or cloth to the right sizes - you can mark them with arrows, etc. with a Sharpie marker. It's easist to work with shorter pieces rather than trying to use one long one. No problem with overlaps - just lay them on "hot" over the other ones and you won't have to worry about sanding etc. at the joints.

6) Get all the resin, brushes, squeegees, and tape ready. Be sure everything but where you want the resin is taped off. Have rags and acetone handy. Wear gloves (I tape the cuffs of the gloves to my Tyvek suit sleeves or to the sleeves of work clothes.)

7) For saturating the cloth, what I do is lay out some cardboard or a plank and then cover it with plastic (like Visqueen or other thickish plastic sheets). You can go with bare cardboard too, actually. Good to have this "work station" near to the trailer or even inside it. Lay the fiberglass tape out on the work table.

8) Now mix up your epoxy or polyester resin and then pour a bit onto the fiberglass cloth. Use a disposable brush (bristle, like a "Fooler," not foam) or a yellow auto body type squeegee to work the resin into the cloth until the cloth is completely translucent and there is no "white" left. Then place this saturated cloth onto the seam in the trailer. Work it on with the brush or squeegee and try to get any air bubbles or air gaps out. Squeegee off any excess resin. You can tape it up with "helper" bits of blue-type masking tape if it's wanting to fall down. If you have any drips or "boo boos" now is the time to neaten them up.

7) Now, just wait for it to cure. If you're using epoxy, you can go also back when it's in the "green" stage (you can dent it with a fingernail but it's not "wet" anymore) and trim off any protruding bits. It's easier than after it cures. If you're using polyester, you may need to cover it with plastic wrap (or it may have an air inhibitor built into it, depending on what you use).

8) If you did use epoxy, go back after it's totally cured and wash it with water (nothing else needed, just water) and a 3M scrubbie. Then wipe dry with clean paper towels. This removes any "amine blush" (a slightly waxy substance) which could prove problematic when you go to re-adhere the Ensolite.

Now I'll probably find something I missed later, but I hope this helps.

Raya
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:57 PM   #38
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There you go. Raya's got your work all cut out for you.

I must say, though, I haven't used cloth and liquid resin in a very long time, and only for major reconstructive surgery. We're talking 1/4" rivet holes here, not a fractured boat hull. But still, whatever works. Good advice about sanding and acetone.

One extra bit of information: once you're ready to stick the ensolite back on, don't put any adhesive along that receded seam gap. The ensolite dangles loosely over that area so the inside wall looks more even. This also means that you can pretty much slap on as thick a layer as you want over the rivet bumps since the ensolite doesn't have to stick to that part.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:17 PM   #39
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Daniel,

Ah, I didn't realize that about the Ensolite "bridging" where the rivets are, so maybe it's not so important to have a very flush surface (although washers and nuts would probably still be a bit too high).

I take your point that resin alone might do the job (especially if thickened), but I think if it were me I'd either use resin and cloth or else caulk. My reasoning being that resin alone is rather brittle, and could tend to crack, etc.

But then I've been guilty of taking "A job worth doing is worth doing right" too much to heart. I just detest re-doing a job!
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:35 PM   #40
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Raya, I agree 100% with you, and I'm glad that to have actually met my match as far as doing things right, and then some. My understanding is the original seam itself was done by just layering some sort of thickened fiberglass paste over the gap and metal clips. But a lot of people would have just gooped it up with silicone, so I think this here is all good, whether you use cloth or paste or epoxy as long as you don't make a mess that you can't clean up.
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:00 PM   #41
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Raya, I agree 100% with you, and I'm glad that to have actually met my match as far as doing things right, and then some. My understanding is the original seam itself was done by just layering some sort of thickened fiberglass paste over the gap and metal clips. But a lot of people would have just gooped it up with silicone, so I think this here is all good, whether you use cloth or paste or epoxy as long as you don't make a mess that you can't clean up.

Daniel / Raya:

I too like to do things right. When I pulled off the belly band, it was full of black silicone - my wife asked why i was scraping it out because we were covering it up again - my reply was "I'll know its there...I need to take it out..."

I bought the rivet gun last night, and aluminum rivets 1/8" daimeter and 1/4" long - the 1/2 inch sample rivets it had were way too long - they tick out about 1/4" into the trailer

So Friday is the big day for riveting and fibregalss, for at least one portion of the trailer, with the rest next week.

I'll post some photos of the end result.

Barry
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:21 PM   #42
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I bought the rivet gun last night, and aluminum rivets 1/8" daimeter and 1/4" long - the 1/2 inch sample rivets it had were way too long - they tick out about 1/4" into the trailer
You may or may not need this, but you can also get matching rivet washers for the rivets to hold into on the inside. It allows you to reuse the same holes without necessarily getting bigger rivets, but it does mean you need them to be a tad longer. The extra length just gets scrunched out when you pop the rivet, and shouldn't be visible anyway if you don't glue the ensolite over that depressed area and just "bridge it" as Raya said.
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