Help with installing front window rock guard - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-09-2012, 08:31 PM   #1
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 13' Scamp
Washington
Posts: 8
Help with installing front window rock guard

Hi, I am very new to this and need help with installing a rock guard. I ordered the one from scamp, it came with all the mounting hardware, but essentially no instructions.
I need help with the most basic parts of this, like how to put in the rivets. Do I drill a hole first? Do I need to buy a rivet gun to place them?
It's embarassing to know so little about something, and I appreciate any help.

On a separate and somewhat related note, It looks like none of the rivets on my 13' Scamp have the pop-on caps. Do I really need to replace rivets to put these on? Can I use caulk over the rivet heads instead, and if so what type would be best? Again, thank you all.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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Okay, lets talk about the rivets on the trailer first. Do the rivets have a clear "dished" portion around every rivet? If so, the caps just snap on over that dished portion... that's why they're called snap caps. You CAN put a touch of good caulk in the cap and push them on... but remember, someday you'll want to remove them (like when they fall apart because of UVs), so don't use anything 'permanent."

I too added an after market gravel guard from Scamp and yes, I drilled the holes. I first added the hardware to the shield and used stainless bolts and nuts there. Then I duct taped the shield to the window area and used a pencil to mark the upper holes. Once I had the shield mounted to the trailer at the top, I drilled the holes for the bottom hardware. Small steps, think logically and work methodically.

BUT, I'm sorry I didn't buy stainless hardware. The hardware to mount the shield (that Scamp supplies) is mild steel. If you don't keep it waxed... it will rust. It may take a year or two or three, but we've read a number of posts where folks want to remove the rust runs from the front of the trailer.... YMMV
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
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Yes you will need a rivet gun. Not expensive but get one that has different "tips" for different rivet sizes. The better guns will tend to have a smoother action. I think I paid around $20-$30 at home depot.

If you have never used one it might be worth getting some scrap metal (heating duct metal works well) some really thin scrap wood then drill some holes through both and practice riveting them together to get a feel for it.


http://www.ehow.com/how_4868649_use-pop-rivet-fastener.html


Ace Hardware has a better selection of aluminum rivets than the big box stores at least in our area.

Oh and don't be shocked if sometimes a rivet shaft breaks off with some shaft sticking out. Just use good sized wire cutters to cut it off, maybe a little file to smooth it out.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:16 PM   #4
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 13' Scamp
Washington
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YThank you guys very much--I've bought a rivet gun today. Is placing the rivets a job where I need a second person inside the camper? Any tips or things to watch for with drilling through the camper? The idea of it freaks me out justa little bit.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mdboucher View Post
Thank you guys very much--I've bought a rivet gun today. Is placing the rivets a job where I need a second person inside the camper? Any tips or things to watch for with drilling through the camper? The idea of it freaks me out justa little bit.
No need for person inside. Rivets work by rivet gun pulling center shaft while you hold pressure to keep head pushed against work (hinges/latches in your case). Center shaft has ball shaped end inside rivet tube, as rivet gun pulls shaft toward gun the ball expands the tube so rivet won't come back through hole.

When rivet get pulled tight shaft breaks off inside rivet. May have to release handle and slide gun down to head and give a second squeze to get rivet tight enough for shaft to break.

Much of the point to rivets in construction is not needing access to back side to hold a nut, can be done by one person.

I agree with Donna's suggestion to duct tape it all in position. Which might be easier with a second person to help.

After taping in positon I would also suggest drill first hole and rivet hinge/bracket, then do same on other hinge(s) idea is don't drill a bunch of holes then come back to rivet them all. If anything shifts between holes some holes won't line up. Drill one, rivet one and all holes will line up.

Drill bit sharp, drill slow and gentle, you don't want to "bust" through suddenly and have the drill chuck hit the work (trailer). Hole should be a snug fit for the rivet, 1/4 inch rivet gets a 1/4 inch hole. You can drill test hole in block of scrap wood to see if rivet fits but is snug with the drill bit you plan to use.

Do wonder if one wants to put an acorn nut on the inside, like they do at kitchen? Might give it a finished appearence or be more obvious than small rivet. Doing acorn nut someone holds nut in place inside pressing it on the rivet while someone outside works the gun. As rivet expands it grabs nut and pulls it tight too.

Donna has been there and done that so what she did and how is your best guide. I'm just drawing on lots of repairs and factory work over the years.

Your welcome and I'm sure you can do this, the neat part is every time you use or look at that guard you get to take some satisfaction from you work.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:30 PM   #6
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Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
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You did not ask and I don't know what is used to seal the hinges/latches to trailer so they don't leak. I do know it should not have silicon anyplace on the label.

Don't sweat it if something goes wrong with a rivet, same size drill bit as you used to make the hole can be used to gently drill in the center of the head, in effect this cuts the head off the tube so you can push rivet through and try again.
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