Easiest Way to Replace Rivets? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-22-2012, 10:46 AM   #1
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Easiest Way to Replace Rivets?

Hi all--
I am sorry if this is a repeat of a post but I actually find it difficult to find information on specific improvements, as most people tend to make posts about their overall overhauls.

We are "improving" our new 1978 scamp, not restoring it. However, I've come to the realization that if I can learn how to remove and replace rivets, there is a lot of updating I could probably do myself (or with my husband).

We are not DIYers for the most part. New cabinetry, staining, painting, yes. Electrical, welding, window replacing....probably not! So, I'm looking for the best way to replace-rivets-for-dummies.

I see there are manual and pneumatic options. There are also rivets on an edge (like the edging or belly band), but there are also rivets like curtain rods and table hardware. So I don't think the manual riveters would suffice?

Any help appreciated. BTW, scamp nowhere near complete, but since we got new cushions and curtains, we took it camping last weekend. It was amazing and so much fun. AND COMFORTABLE!
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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Reference: Rivet Threads

Rosie the Riveter...How do you replace a rivet?

Help!

Removing pop rivets... How??

Next time you replace a rivet....
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:28 AM   #3
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Thanks Frederick, helpful links, but still have the same questions regarding which tools to use.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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Rivets

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Originally Posted by morbank View Post
Thanks Frederick, helpful links, but still have the same questions regarding which tools to use.
I have a standard pop rivet gun with 4 tips for various sized rivets . Rivet gun cost about $25.00 at local hardware store and has worked well for setting rivets on my Scamp. The Scamp rivets are aluminum and do not take a lot of force to set .
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:44 PM   #5
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Cindy, you CAN do this. I promise. I don't have a lot of 'umph' but replacing rivits... even I can do it. My suggestion is to get a piece of fiberglass (shower surround) or sheet metal and drill some holes.. practice until you feel comfortable. Yeah, you could probably pay an RV place to fix you up.. but, there's something about sweat equity and pride in ownership that makes you go.... ahhh!
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morbank View Post
So, I'm looking for the best way to replace-rivets-for-dummies.

I see there are manual and pneumatic options.
Aha! I speed read through that and it didn't sink in. I have never heard of individual Trailer owners investing in a pneumatic rivet gun. Maybe the Scamp and Casita factory assembly lines have them, but my understanding is that almost all individual trailer owners use manual rivet tools.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:14 AM   #7
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I also use a manual rivet gun that came with a number of different heads you change to match the size of rivet - its simple to use and doesn't take a whole lot of strength. Have replaced a fair number of rivets of various sizes on my trailer and haven't had a problem with using it for any of them.

If you go Scamps online parts store they sell you a bag containing every size needed/used on the trailer - you can also get all the different sized caps and cap ring holders to go with them.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:23 AM   #8
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Thank you for all the info. I ended up purchasing a manual rivet gun and did my first set of rivets for the cabinet hinges. Worked great, but my hands are so small I can't imagine doing this over and over when it comes time to punch rivets into the black banding that goes around the entire bottom of the scamp!

Does anyone know the typical amount of extra space you need at the end of the rivet to make the "plug part?" How do I know what length of rivet to purchase? I'm going to be replacing windows and using rivets that I'm not sure Scamp even sells.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:10 AM   #9
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There is a good chart here that shows you how much clinch allowance (how much rivet extends beyond the end of the hole) you should leave based on the rivet size. Another easy rule of thumb is it should be long enough to go through the parts to be riveted and protrude about 1-1/2 times the rivets diameter.

There is a company called Fastenal that carries pretty well every type/size rivet made - but be warned they require you to buy pretty big boxes of them so they may not be the cheapest way to go unless you require a large number of rivets all in one size.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:15 AM   #10
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Thanks Carol! The rivet guidelines are bookmarked!
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morbank View Post
Hi all--
I am sorry if this is a repeat of a post but I actually find it difficult to find information on specific improvements, as most people tend to make posts about their overall overhauls.

We are "improving" our new 1978 scamp, not restoring it. However, I've come to the realization that if I can learn how to remove and replace rivets, there is a lot of updating I could probably do myself (or with my husband).

We are not DIYers for the most part. New cabinetry, staining, painting, yes. Electrical, welding, window replacing....probably not! So, I'm looking for the best way to replace-rivets-for-dummies.

I see there are manual and pneumatic options. There are also rivets on an edge (like the edging or belly band), but there are also rivets like curtain rods and table hardware. So I don't think the manual riveters would suffice?

Any help appreciated. BTW, scamp nowhere near complete, but since we got new cushions and curtains, we took it camping last weekend. It was amazing and so much fun. AND COMFORTABLE!

Most people only replace those rivets that need replacing. Attempting to replace all the rivets could cause more problems than those that would be fixed.
I have one rivet on the bottom trim without a head. Someday I'll replace it, but I'm not about to replace all.
If the rivets are tight no need to replace.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:04 PM   #12
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As Byron has said no need to fix something if its not broke! :-)))

re finding specific topic here its best to use google and use www.fiberglassrv.com and the what ever other search criteria you are after..... the search function on the forum is not so great but google is your friend.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:57 PM   #13
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Congratulations on your hinge repairs. Ditto on if it ain't broke you can't fix it so don't bother replacing a perfectly good rivet.

The smaller diameter rivets like the bottom trim take a lot less force than the larger diameter rivets, for example something like the kitchen cabinet rivets with the acorn nuts are pretty big.

Seems to me that scamp rivets I have used might be a little "softer" than the aluminum rivets of the same diameter I bought at the local hardware store. The stem broke off with less force being applied. Scamp were dull metal, store bought were bright & shiny.

If you work where you might scratch the finish with the edges or tip of the rivet gun some duct tape or a few layers of masking tape applied to the gun can prevent that.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:37 PM   #14
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I have been recording rivet sizes I used to replace parts on my 77 scamp. Figured it was time I posted what I had. In the hopes that others will add to it. You might find something you can use there.

Scamp Rivet Size List
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