Length of Rivets?? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-03-2011, 07:33 PM   #1
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Length of Rivets??

I've used google to search the forum and haven't found the answer yet, so here I am....

Our 13' Scamp (1994) is missing most of the rivet caps - the part that holds the cap on has broken off and is gone. A friend of ours showed us how to replace rivets & caps, and I've got the rivet gun and hand drill. But here's the question: what length of rivets to I buy? Most of the rivets that need replacing are located on the side of the scamp - where the cabinets are located.

I know that they are 3/16" rivets - but look at the choices on the scamp site:
https://shop.scamptrailers.com/c-13-rivets.aspx

Hmm.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:18 PM   #2
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being no one has answered your question: I has been 2 years since I replaced our rivets,and my memory isn't very clear, but I recall one size did not fit all. I think most were 9/16 long but you will need more sizes. Also buy as a building supply store.You probably already know that.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:09 PM   #3
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One size did not fit all for mine either. Depended on how think the fiberglass (the shell has some variance to it as do the bins) was at the point you go through and the thickness of what you are going through. Best to have a number of the different sizes on hand.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:05 PM   #4
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I would recommend that you have a small washer on the inside where the rivit will press up against so you can protect the fiberglass from cracking.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:51 PM   #5
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Where do the washers go? Between the acorn nut and the rat fur? or ... ??
Our camper has the fur all over the walls.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:16 PM   #6
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I usually check the Scamp parts page to see what they sell. Check this out: Scamp Trailer Rivets The only place an acorn nut is used in my trailer is in the cabinets to hold them to the shell. No washer needed, but you do need two people. One to hold the acorn nut and the other to work the rivet gun outside.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:24 PM   #7
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I have never seen washers used on a Scamp from the factory. Just the acorn nuts.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:53 PM   #8
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Thanks Donna. We're camping for a long weekend in a couple of weeks, and I thought it would be a great time to take the hand drill & rivet gun, along with a few rivets.
Our camper is not stored at our house, so generally, it's out of site, out of mind, until I'm camping and starting looking at all those rivet caps that have broken off. We did have a friend show us how to install them (and I did do one myself). Something about drill out the rivet head, then push the rivet through from the inside out, with someone pushing on the acorn nut on the inside. I'll have to revisit the steps, as they aren't fresh in my mind, and I could see rivets going in backwards.
Which side does the rivet head go.. outside or inside? And how does that Acorn nut stay on the rivet, if you're on the outside of the camper, pulling the rivet tight? It seems backwards to me.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:20 PM   #9
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My suggestion would be to get a selection of the longer rivets from a machine supply and order a bottle of the caps online, and I second the thought of using an ALUMINUM washer (not steel or you'll get galvanic corrosion of the washer) as the last thing to go on the rivet before the acorn nut.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:14 AM   #10
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My apologies:
I have never seen a rivet with an acorn nut. After looking at the picture on the Scamp site it appears that after you insert the rivet through the wall, you attach the acorn nut on the inside, pop the rivet on the outside and then put the cap on.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl M View Post
.
Which side does the rivet head go.. outside or inside? And how does that Acorn nut stay on the rivet, if you're on the outside of the camper, pulling the rivet tight? It seems backwards to me.
In addition to the acron and rivets you will need the round plastic holders that the caps snap onto on the outside of the trailer. Drill out the old rivet making sure you use a small drill bit so as not to make the hole in the figerglass any bigger. Put the new rivet through the plastic cap holder and then insert the rivet with the cap holder attached to it into the hole in the trailer from the outside and have someone inside the trailer hold the acorn nut over the end of the rivet. Do a test fit before pulling the trigger on the rivet gun. The rivet should be just long enough that the end of the rivet on the inside of the trailer goes into the acorn nut - if it is too long the acron nut will not be snug against the inside of the trailer. Hold the acorn nut firmly on the inside of the trailer with the rivet going into it when you pull the trigger on the rivet gun. When you pull the trigger the rivet expands on the end of the rivet inside the acorn nut and thats what holds it all in place. Some people put a very small dap of marine silcone on the bottom of the plastic cap holders (on the side that is going up against the outside of the trailer) before inserting the rivet into the hole.

Once you have done one it will seem pretty easy.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:58 PM   #12
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I've been following this thread with interest as I am looking to replace a few rivets/caps. I see that Scamp sells a rivet/cap set:
Set Of Rivet, Acorn Nut, Snap Cap & Plastic Washer

I'm guessing, since they package these together, that the 6-14 (3/16" by 1 1/8") rivet is most commonly used on Scamps. I did stop by my local Ace Hardware today and found that they carry the white caps and the plastic snap washers. I picked up a few washers as they were only $0.23 each.

Before I buy a bunch of pop rivets, I'm thinking I'll drill out a couple and measure them.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:45 PM   #13
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Get a GOOD rivet gun as it takes some hand strength to pop the rivet.
Check this site for the guns:
Search results for: 'rivet gun'
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:37 PM   #14
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Thanks Carol H for your excellent write up! That is exactly the process we did for the one rivet I replaced (even down to using silicone) -- but like I said, it was done last fall, and we didn't own a rivet gun at the time, and the camper has been put up for the winter, so we'll tackle this again while camping in a couple of weeks. I'm printing your directions, but I'm thinking our rivet mentor will be camping near us (at the SE Eggscursion in Townsend, TN), so we'll have more good instruction if I fail to do it right. I did order caps and washers today from scamp. I guess I need to call in the a.m. and make sure I did order the right thing. I'll have to check our local Ace Hardware to see what they sell for.

Ken Hanson - do you know what size the caps and washers are that you bought from Ace, in the event that I didn't order right, and have to get them locally?
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