Finally, a new shelf delivered - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-30-2007, 05:36 PM   #1
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Okay, I thought I was pretty handy with the tools. But, I don't want to make a mistake with the scamps' fiberglass shell so I'm humbly asking someone to talk me through putting in the new back shelf I just got from the factory. Supposedly all of the needed hardware was sent but I'm just new to this rivet business. Screws I can figure out. Do I drill a hole and then insert the rivet?

By the way, shipping cost almost the same as the shelf itself, and it was not a cheap item. Yikes! But, it will look the same as the front so the interior will, at least, be consistent.
If I had made the shelf myself it probably would not have turned out as nicely as it will with the factory made one.

On a side note, I've been washing and waxing the scamp and it's amazing what a meticulous wax job will do to shine up the thing up. Water just beads up, too. Like I've said before, my volkswagen bug and my camper are in better shape than anything in my house!

Candi
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Old 04-01-2007, 06:56 PM   #2
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Anyone there?

Anyway, I figured out how to use the rivets, thanks to a mechanic friend of mine. He also loaned me the rivet gun. With his help, my husband and I installed the shelf in less than thirty minutes.

Candi
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:19 PM   #3
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Was riveting easy? Do you like the results?

- Miriam
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:55 PM   #4
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Was riveting easy? Do you like the results?

- Miriam
I'd say it was pretty simple but I don't think it was actually easy. It takes two people, unless you can figure out a way to have the nut stay on the inside portion as you rivet from the outside. You need a rivet gun, and if you have a manual one, your hands need to be pretty strong. It may actually take three people if you don't want to have to hold the shelf up yourself at the same time you're holding the nut onto the rivet.

Here are the steps if anyone else wants to know.

1. Determine where you want your rivet placed and mark the spot on the object to be attached as well as the place on the inside of the camper to attach it. We put the rivets in the exact place as the front shelf.

2. Drill a hole the same size as the rivet through the shelf (in our case) and the fiberglass shell. This is done from the inside out.

3. The rivets come with two pieces of plastic, one clear and the other white. Put the clear plastic cover onto the rivet , cupped toward the sharp end, and not the round, and push it almost to the end. This will be what the white cap will attach to from the outside.

4. Go to the outside of the camper and push the rivet into the holes with the round side inward. Have someone on the inside hold a nut on the end poking through. Put the sharp end of the rivet into the end of the riveter and squeeze the handles until the end of the rivet breaks off. This will pull the other end through the tube and widen it as it goes, making a snug fit inside the nut and the hole through the camper shell and lining. The clear plastic cap should be on the outside of the camper facing outward with the metal rivet looking like a tiny donut sitting right in the middle. Nothing should be loose.

Then you go around and caulk all of the outside rivets with silicone caulk and then snap the white caps on while it's still wet. My caulking didn't look that pretty but it only has to keep the water out, not be a piece of artwork.

I hope my directions make sense, Miriam. I wish I had thought of taking pictures as we went. It turned out pretty nice. Now I have a shelf where I previously had none.

Candi
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:14 AM   #5
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Candi,

Thanks for the lesson! That's one thing I never tried when I did my mods, but you've made it sound so eas...unh, SIMPLE! I' m with you about the caulking. I can be so good with so many kinds of goop, but my caulking never goes on as smoothly as I like it.
Now, I wonder how much a gun costs....? And what to rivet? Hmmm.....ideas, ideas, ideas!

- Miriam
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:26 PM   #6
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Candi, I'm sorry I didn't see this until just now... but glad you figured it out!

Miriam... using a pop-rivet tool and pop-rivets is really easy to do. The problem with pop-rivets is that they leak. Scamp uses them and seals them... but they still leak eventually... as I found out in a driving rainstorm with my '02 Custom Deluxe last Spring. I awoke to dripping onto the bed... wasn't pleasant.

The point to this is that the advise I'd have is to use rivets sparingly through the hull of a trailer. If you don't have to... don't. Every place you put one is a potential leak waiting to happen. On the interior they're fine, especially as they typically will shear with stress before the items they're holding are damaged. That's a good thing, sort of like "fuses" for solid objects...

Roger
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Old 04-02-2007, 03:35 PM   #7
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Candi, I'm sorry I didn't see this until just now... but glad you figured it out!

Miriam... using a pop-rivet tool and pop-rivets is really easy to do. The problem with pop-rivets is that they leak. Scamp uses them and seals them... but they still leak eventually... as I found out in a driving rainstorm with my '02 Custom Deluxe last Spring. I awoke to dripping onto the bed... wasn't pleasant.

The point to this is that the advise I'd have is to use rivets sparingly through the hull of a trailer. If you don't have to... don't. Every place you put one is a potential leak waiting to happen. On the interior they're fine, especially as they typically will shear with stress before the items they're holding are damaged. That's a good thing, sort of like "fuses" for solid objects...

Roger
Oh, thanks Roger. I just thought the subject of riveting may not be so "riveting". (I know, it's bad)

So, what would you suggest using instead of rivets, Roger? It's too late for me since I've already used them but, it's good information to know.

My scamp is an 02 and I just purchased it last summer. It's unlikely the original rivets have been removed or re-caulked at all. Do you reccommend taking them out, putting new ones in and then recaulking or is merely caulking around the rivet caps adequate? Or, can one take the caps off, caulk the inside and around and then put them back on? I don't know whether they're reusable or if I need to order a whole new set. The scamps been sitting out all winter and I haven't noticed any leaks yet but I haven't been staying in it to find out either. I sure don't want there to be a leak during our week long camping trip in June!
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:46 PM   #8
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So, what would you suggest using instead of rivets, Roger?
Many people here suggest using stainless steel nets, washers, and screws. The stainless doesn't rust and stain the outside of the trailer and has the advantage of being easy to remove if you need to do maintainance of some sort.

--Peter
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Old 04-03-2007, 01:41 AM   #9
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Hi: I for one am a S/S nut. I am gradually changing all of the thru the shell pop rivets to s/s machine bolts and acorn nuts...We just replaced the rusty old curtain rods and brackets...and used s/s and nylon washers on them as well. They look better and if they leak they need to be tighter !!! Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:34 PM   #10
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It's nice hearing about all the pros and cons on this site prior to trying things out for yourself.

Roger - sounds like good advice about using the rivets for the interior.

I've been pretty lucky - not a lot of exterior rivets on the Surfside - but I have a few "holes" on the shelves where someone once installed other wooden shelves. Now if I can only think of what to put there - don't need another shelf.

- Miriam
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:24 AM   #11
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I like stainless steel and other material that will make it so I only have to do the job once. But, as for the rivets, I've chosen to stick with the Aluminum rivets. They use aluminum rivets with the fiberglass so that the rivets break before the fiberglass does if things are flexing a lot (which they do, especially on roads that are not perfectly smooth...like nearly all the roads in Oregon). I'd rather replace a rivet than fix the fiberglass. Just food for thought.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:30 AM   #12
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My advice is to keep a good quality rivet gun and a supply of rivets in the trailer at all times. Do not buy the cheap rivet guns, they don't seat the rivets very good and they break often. When I am traveling, I also carry a cordless drill and bits with me for quick repairs.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:53 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone! I think carrying extra rivets, a rivet gun, a cordless drill (fully charged) and even some silicone caulk is a great idea when travelling with the scamp. I hadn't thought of it until it was mentioned. I wouldn't like to spend the whole week in a camper with a leak and a shelf half falling down on my head.

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