Loose Rivits on 2014 Scamp - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-21-2015, 01:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
Jim, the bad news is, you have a Scamp with rivets and will be dealing with them the rest of the Scamp's life.
I have a 23 year old Scamp that I am pretty sure it still has many of its original rivets.

I replaced about a dozen or so of the rivets when I purchased the trailer when it was 15 years old, only due to the snap cap retaining rings having been broken off over the years and not due to leakage.

In the 7 years I have had the trailer it has travel well over 50,000 miles and I may have one rivet a year that needs replacing - some years none. More often than not the failed rivet has snapped in two - often happens after many miles of travel on real rough roads.... which is why i would never replace the rivets with bolts.... far better the rivet snaps than have the fiberglass crack. And yes my trailer has the rat fur.

While I believe a trailer with no rivets such as an Escape would be nice, I have never felt the rivets on the Scamp to be a problem or a big downside to owning one.

Sounds to me as though a couple of folks may have gotten a trailer built on Friday of a long week-end?
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:47 AM   #16
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Loose Rivits on 2014 Scamp

Darral - your explanation makes a lot of sense to me. When we rivet two pieces of aluminum together in aircraft construction, the two pieces of aluminum are pressed tightly together ... No rat fur and insulation in between.

Wendy, Byron, Carol - I don't think my rivet failures ( or Tom's or Darral's?) were owner-induced.
I had not repeated checked my acorn nuts/rivets and had not put excess weight in the pantry cabinet or any overhead cabinet ... just coffee, cereal, chips, cookies, sugar, etc.

I don't know why later model Scamp rivets are failing, but I don't think it is an isolated incident.

Although I maybe shouldn't speculate, I have wondered if there has been a somewhat recent change in rivet suppliers (I.e. softer, poorer quality rivets), or a single bad rivet gun in use, or one employee with poorer riveting technique, or ???

I have had the same rivet (in the top of my pantry cabinet) fail twice. By "fail", I mean that the head of the rivet came off and was still sitting in the cup under that little white cap on the top of the trailer while the rivet shaft and acorn nut fell on the floor inside. The first time I replaced the failed rivet with a new rivet. When the new rivet (in that same spot) failed again (a few months later), I replaced it with a bolt.

Like Darral, I now have another rivet (holding up the sink/stove cabinet) that is showing that same gray (aluminum powder) discoloration by the acorn nut. I imagine that I may soon have to replace that one with a bolt.

I don't have all the answers and I choose not to get involved in a rivets versus bolts debate. I do know that my Scamp-supplied repair kit contained both rivets and bolts.

These are just my observations and thoughts. As always, YMMV. 😉

Ray




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Old 04-21-2015, 05:15 AM   #17
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I really have to agree with you Russ about using SS bolts. I've only had one rivet fail so far on an upper cabinet and used a SS bolt as I didn't have a long enough rivet at the time. It makes sence to me that a rivet drawing two things together with a soft in between surface and snapping off would leave a some what loose connection that would be prone to movement and rivet breakage in time. It may also depend on what's being held by the rivet to how it holds up. Fiberglass is a pretty tough product.
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:04 AM   #18
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I should also give credit where it is due!

Each time I found a failed rivet, it was at a rally (LBL and Scamp Camp 2015) and there were several of us working together on repairing my trailer. At LBL, Floyd and Tom actually did most of the actual rivet replacement work and I mostly fetched tools. Thanks bunches guys!


The second time that rivet failed was at SC2015 it was again the same team (plus maybe a few more) only that time, having recieved training by the experts, I did just a little bit more of the actual work myself and we saw that the second rivet at the top of the pantry was loose and also replaced it with a bolt.

From these experiences, a "word to the wise" might be: When you are traveling, folks should consider always having some spare rivets, bolts, washers, and exterior cups/caps with them. Also some silicone sealant, duct tape, thread lock, and various install tools. .... just in case.

Good luck to all!

Ray


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Old 04-21-2015, 11:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdickens View Post

Wendy, Byron, Carol - I don't think my rivet failures ( or Tom's or Darral's?) were owner-induced.
I had not repeated checked my acorn nuts/rivets and had not put excess weight in the pantry cabinet or any overhead cabinet ... just coffee, cereal, chips, cookies, sugar, etc.

I don't know why later model Scamp rivets are failing, but I don't think it is an isolated incident.

Although I maybe shouldn't speculate, I have wondered if there has been a somewhat recent change in rivet suppliers (I.e. softer, poorer quality rivets), or a single bad rivet gun in use, or one employee with poorer riveting technique, or ???

I hear you and I suspect your last suggestion may be the reason ;) seasonal employees, not well trained, in a hurry and not getting a tight fit to start with. While I am *sorry* to hear that some here with newer trailers are having a higher than expected rate of failure and Scamp should be told about it in writing.

I know I have one rivet that has failed three times now - about every couple of years it goes. It is located in the kitchen area - mid wall, stove side and it connects the bathroom back panel to the kitchen area (if my memory is correct) between the counter and the overhead bins. I suspect it breaks due to the amount of flex in the trailer at that location although I have wondered if perhaps the two holes drilled to connect the shell and the panel are perhaps not 100% straight on. The trailers do flex *a lot* when traveling and if you have ever parked the trailer on really uneven ground and open the door only to not be able to close it again you will see just how much they can flex/bend.

Re the discolouration - I would not assume that a rivet is failing due to discolouration on the aluminium nut. It could simple be that heat, moisture, organic matter and chemicals have damaged the surface layer of the nut but that does not impact its structural integrity. For example I have replaced some of the rivets/nuts in the kitchen area behind my stove as they started to look ugly - actually have one currently that should be replaced - but replaced only due to aesthetics - no sign of them failing (leakage). I believe the reason for the discolouration is due to the heat from the stove, food splatters (organic matter) getting on them and the chemicals in the cleaners I use to clean up after cooking. I have not seen that type of discolouration take place on any of the nuts located on the ceiling of the trailer. I have had what was clearly rust on a ceiling fastener though - one of the awning bracket bolts and it was indeed leaking.

As a side note I have found that putting a little bit of butyl tape on the underside (trailer side) of the snap cap holder before shooting in the rivet works well in sealing the cap to the trailer and is less messy than using caulking and easier to clean the residue off the fiberglass after the rivet is in place or should I need to redo it in the future.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:30 PM   #20
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I've finally caught up on this one and want to comment on the "discoloration". And again, I will post a distinct picture of my "failure". So follow closely what I'm going to say as there's SEVERAL explanations getting thrown in that's not totally correct.

First of all...the "failure". That can be taken as "rdickens" case where his BROKE and dropped the acorn nut and all...that was a failure for sure. Mine was simply "loosening". Which in a way is a failure to hold but still not a total failure as in breakage.

The acorn nuts- as least on MY Scamp- is NOT aluminum...but steel. Believe me, I machined one and it's definitely not aluminum.

Finally, the "discoloration". Again, review my photo as it clearly shows what "rdickens" and I are refering to. This is NOT from the steel acorn nuts but from the aluminum rivet itself. You can take a piece of aluminum and rub it with a cloth and regardless how clean the aluminum is, it will still come off on the rag as black. (Cookware sellers often use this demo to condemn aluminum pans, etc! ). It will also give off a strong gaseous odor.

What you see in my picture is where the rivet was shuffling around in the hole while I was driving. At that time, it was raining and leaked through thus forming the wet black mixture. I've flown model airplanes/helis for years. When we would spot coal black oil especially around the engine area, we had something loose! Same here. That's how I knew the rivet had worked loose and was letting in water by the mixture in the photo gathered around the acorn nut. Again, with that closet being a "support" structure, I went back with stainless steel fasteners and will never turn back to aluminum on that closet. Just put another 1000 miles on my Scamp over some "porpoising" roads and it's holding strong- no leaks. Good enough for me!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/503516...57633366995497

Darral
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:45 PM   #21
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Hmmmm. My observation on our former 13' Scamp is that the Acorn nuts were twisted onto the rivet AFTER the rivet was popped, to create a bit of "Dress" on the inside. This was evidenced by the appearance that some of the rivets had been trimmed off to let the acorn fit against the walls.


A solution to pulled out rivets, that works for moi, is to use the standard aluminum back-up washers on the inside so that the rivet bulb is pulled down against to washer and not the softer fiberglass. That compresses the surfaces between the rivet head and the washer face. And YES, it's takes two to do this and it is critical to be putting some degree of pressure on the washer while it is being popped. I use a 1/4" drive deep well socket and a driver handle to hold the washers in tight.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:46 PM   #22
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Jim,
I don't know if you have replaced rivets before, so I'm sending you this link to a compilation of instructional rivet videos:
Pop Rivets and Hand Rivet Gun Basics | Handywomans Companion Online Magazine - Be handy‚€”be ingenious‚€”be old school cool.

Let us know your results, and wishing you the best.
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:19 PM   #23
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On my 1986 scamp the rivets are set inside the arcorn nut. When I replaced them all i found an issue with rivet length. if the rivet was too long the rivet set up in the nut threads but isn't able to draw up the compressed length. The rivet will pop and hold the acorn nut but didn't draw up tight. You need to have the rivet tip go all the way into the nut and be really close to the sandwich you are trying to tighten up. Too much rivet length the nut is standing too far out and pops the rivet when it swells inside the nut. This is a critical dimension for drawing up tight. I had to remove the shank and trim many rivets to the right length to get a proper set.

In a new application all the new materials haven't been compressed anymore so if you don't have proper rivet set and materials start compressing with age I could see rivets being loose and getting looser with age.

If you use an aluminum pop rivet with a steel pull pin you may have enough strength to actually distort the shank enough when setting the rivet to actually use a miss matched rivet.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:03 PM   #24
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Hmmmmm... I just don't think that popping the rivet with the acorn nut in place, is anything close to the original design intent, much less a way to get a good tight joining.
IMHO: If Scamp is now using that technique to save a few pennies then shame on them.


As I mentioned in Post #21, use the correct size backing washers and screw the acorn nuts on afterwards as they were are only supposed to be cosmetic in the 1st place.


An electric screw gun, set on it's lowest torque setting, and a shallow socket will let you install about 100 Acorn caps in an hour.
Free tip; pinch the barrel of the exposed rivet end so that the acorn threads on better
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:31 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Hmmmmm... I just don't think that popping the rivet with the acorn nut in place, is anything close to the original design intent, much less a way to get a good tight joining.
IMHO: If Scamp is now using that technique to save a few pennies then shame on them.

Actually Bob I don't know anyone with a Scamp that has not used that technic when replacing rivets. Personally can't see how the acorn nut would actually stay in place if it was fitted onto a rivet after it was shoot in place. How do you think this saves Scamp money? - it takes something that would be a one person job doing it your way and turns it into a two person job doing it the way that most of us do it and I suspect the factory actually does as well.

The key to the rivets is as has been suggested is getting the length correct - one size does not fit all on the through hull applications on the Scamp. I have found that sometimes I need to take the rivet apart and adjust its length by cutting it back before shooting it in order to get a nice solid fit even though I have rivets in a number of different lengths but none of them are the correct length needed right out of the box for some applications.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:36 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=Darral T.;518979


The acorn nuts- as least on MY Scamp- is NOT aluminum...but steel. Believe me, I machined one and it's definitely not aluminum.


[/QUOTE]

Cool LOL and who says Scamp never updates anything they do/use!
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:35 PM   #27
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I recently had a rivet replaced at LHC. It took 2 (two) people to accomplish the task .One on the outside to insert the rivet and operate the rivet gun . The other on the inside putting the acorn nut on the rivet and pushing on the acorn nut to compress the trailer lining. The same method that Scamp told me to follow.
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:35 AM   #28
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Sharon,
On that rear window you'll have to get the frame completely removed and get it squeaky clean. Then bed the frame with the butyl tape and re-fasten. Also check the drain scuppers in the window sill, as they will overflow on the inside of the trailer if clogged. The scupper cleaning usually comes first, as it's easier to do than re bedding the frame, and is often the culprit.
Russ
We have the window out, the butyl tape I ordered (couldn't find it locally) came in the other day, and I have a product like "Goof Off" to get everything cleaned well. Tarp over the trailer (again...) I'm hoping for decent weather Saturday to try to get the window back in; sure wish we had more time to work on things!
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