Loose Rivits on 2014 Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-20-2015, 07:11 AM   #1
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp
Manitoba
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Loose Rivits on 2014 Scamp

Hi! I was getting my 16 ft Scamp ready for the season and noticed a loose cap screw on one of my divider panels where it fastens to the ceiling. I got out my 3/8"nut driver and proceeded to tighten it and check others. Many were loose, but not all would tighten. Some just seemed to spin in their moorings. I went outside to lift the caps to see if there was a bolt head that I could grip in order to tighten. All I found was a rivet head. We have had rain this weekend and these bolts/rivets are leaking. Has any one had this problem, and what is the cause and solution.
Jim
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:58 AM   #2
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Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Missouri
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Loose Rivits on 2014 Scamp

The inside acorn nuts are just for hiding the end of the rivet. They don't actually tighten up.

If you call Scamp, they will likely send you a "repair kit" for broken and/or leaky rivets. (You will know a rivet is broken if you find the acorn nut and rivet shaft on the floor or if you grasp the acorn nut and a very gentle pull results in the nut & shaft coming inside.

I have had 2 rivets fail, on my 2014 Scamp, and my friend Tom has had at least one.

The repair kit, that Tom and I got, consisted of both rivets and bolts as well as cups & caps for the outside of the trailer. I think the bolts were 1/4 inch (? ) and came in 1" and 1.25" lengths. If you use bolts, you might also need some washers on the inside (not supplied in the kit) to insure a snug (but not too tight) fit with the acorn nut.

Seal the rivet/bolt shaft into the outside cup with silicone sealant and replace the white exterior cap.

Good luck!

Ray

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:13 AM   #3
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
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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've had the two supporting my closet fail and leak water to the inside. Fixed those with bolts. (I have a 2010). I found ANOTHER top rivet on my galley cabinet this weekend. They MIGHT be ok for light-duty like curtains rods (which is a joke to poke holes in your camper!!), but stuff moves! If you store heavy stuff in cabinets supported by rivets, I personally think they're more susceptible to failure. Such as my closet is a "support" factor internally to the shell.

What I did to experiment this weekend was to simply clean the rivet/snap cap (outside) as best I could and re-silicone it. It too is/was where you can spin it. It's in a VERY visible area and I'm going to just see how it holds up. BUT, if they all work loose, I WILL have to take action. The constant shifting of anything will wear the fiberglass down and the rivets will loosen. If you have bolts...retighten. You will NOT retighten a rivet on a Scamp! I havent had to do anything to the two bolts for 2 yrs on my closet and they're VERY firm because I tightened them very firmly!! I checked them while I was going around looking for other possible issues.

Here's part of the problem: They're (Scamp) squeezing the mounting flanges of the cabinets, closet etc. against the ratfur, insulation etc. which is sandwiched in between the two mating fiberglass shell/flange!! Guess what happens to "cloth" over time?? It will COMPRESS. And I'm at a firm belief that that is what's happening to alot of these.

You're possibly going to see alot of "Ford/Chevy" debate with this topic- rivets vs bolts/screws.... ummm ships/planes are held together with rivets..yada yada....but keep this in mind; They did NOT insert cloth and insulation between the surfaces being riveted!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitoba Jim View Post
Hi! I was getting my 16 ft Scamp ready for the season and noticed a loose cap screw on one of my divider panels where it fastens to the ceiling. I got out my 3/8"nut driver and proceeded to tighten it and check others. Many were loose, but not all would tighten. Some just seemed to spin in their moorings. I went outside to lift the caps to see if there was a bolt head that I could grip in order to tighten. All I found was a rivet head. We have had rain this weekend and these bolts/rivets are leaking. Has any one had this problem, and what is the cause and solution.
Jim
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:35 AM   #4
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Name: mary
Trailer: 16ft Scamp
California
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I too have this problem in my 2010 16 ft scamp, I haven't worked on it yet but last time out I noticed I could see the sky, luckily I keep scamp uncover for winter, will contact sacmp for the repair kit
Thanks Mary
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:45 AM   #5
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
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Here's a link to some photos of my closet fix. You can EASILY see the black residue around the acorn nuts that got my attention on the leak. Needless to say, the ratfur inside the closet was wet. I dried it with a hairdryer to keep it from mildewing and smelling.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/503516...7633366995497/

I also show how they install the awning with 1/4" bolts as well. They're holding VERY well and it's a heavy awning. That should tell you something.
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Old 04-20-2015, 12:15 PM   #6
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As others have indicated you can not tighten the acorn nuts on a the inside of a Scamp - its simple a rivet shot into the nut - no threads on the rivet or the nut it has been shot into. Only fix is to drill out the rivet and put in a new one.

Only nuts that I know of that can be tighten on the inside of the Scamp are the awning brackets.
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Old 04-20-2015, 12:41 PM   #7
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Name: Wendy
Trailer: Casita
Minnesota
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Hi, Is this just a Scamp problem, or has it happened to other fiberglass trailers? I have a Casita on order, so I'm not sure yet what holds it together. Are there preventive measures I should take? Yikes.
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Old 04-20-2015, 01:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by WendyW View Post
Hi, Is this just a Scamp problem, or has it happened to other fiberglass trailers? I have a Casita on order, so I'm not sure yet what holds it together. Are there preventive measures I should take? Yikes.
We have a 2013 Casita . Casita uses the same nut and rivet method as a Scamp.
In over 2 years of ownership and 15,000 miles we have only broken one rivet.
We carry a set of various size rivets, plastic washers ,rivet caps and a pop rivet gun. Note : Do not try to tighten the acorn nuts on the inside of the trailer, you will only cause damage . Rivets are not a big issue in my view but if it is a major concern for you then buy an Escape or Oliver.
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Old 04-20-2015, 02:15 PM   #9
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Thanks, Steve. Pre-maiden-voyage, everything seems like a major concern. I will gather the pieces you suggest in hopes that will prevent their need. (!)

Wendy
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:16 PM   #10
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I believe this is an owner created problem. All fasteners will loosen when fussed with. There's an old army story about inspection of jeep battery connectors. The private shakes the cables, yup they're tight. The Squad leader shakes the cables, yup they're tight, the NCOIC shakes the cables, yup they're tight. The Captain shakes the cables, yup they're tight. The Inspector shakes the cables, sure enough they're loose. Hmmm now how did they get loose?
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:46 PM   #11
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Name: Sharon
Trailer: 1995 16 ft Scamp
Virginia
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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've had the two supporting my closet fail and leak water to the inside. Fixed those with bolts. (I have a 2010). I found ANOTHER top rivet on my galley cabinet this weekend. They MIGHT be ok for light-duty like curtains rods (which is a joke to poke holes in your camper!!), but stuff moves! If you store heavy stuff in cabinets supported by rivets, I personally think they're more susceptible to failure. Such as my closet is a "support" factor internally to the shell.
Previous owner ripped out all the rat fur in our 16 ft 1995 Scamp but left the insulation. We're finding loose rivets everywhere now and they're leaking. As a short term fix, we tried sealing all of them last weekend. Torrential rain tonight came in through some known and some unknown places.

The previous owner also removed the passenger side rear window (apparently to remove the rat fur) and that's leaking, too. We tried to remove it last weekend, but couldn't get it all the way out--or then all the way back in. We sealed across the top with a butyl caulk and it didn't leak *as much* as it did before, but it's still not right.

We can't move forward with putting up marine headliner fabric (which is sitting in my basement), building the front dinette or much of anything else until we get this thing sealed up and dry. Would it make sense to remove ALL of the questionable rivets and replace them with bolts (with a blob of butyl tape under the head of the bolt)?
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Old 04-21-2015, 12:43 AM   #12
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wood you rather replace a aluminum rivet or the fiberglass from a steel bolt
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:10 AM   #13
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Name: Russ
Trailer: Scamp 16' side dinette, Airstream Safari 19'
California
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In my view the pop rivet method is pretty sketchy. The rivet often pops before drawing the two panels together leaving a space and loose connection. Our Scamp was riddled with loose leaky connections. I read on this site regarding problems with substituting bolts, so opted to just re-rivet the joints. I developed a technique where using a helper to butt the inner panel up tight to the outer and also pushing in on the acorn nut while I drew the rivet from the outside worked well to get a tight joint. That was two years ago, and so far so good. I also opted to rivet right through a wet dab of silicone sealer for insurance. (most people here shudder to think of silicone anywhere near their trailer) You could substitute polyurethane or acrylic caulk if it makes you feel better. I also would not be adverse to the substitution of stainless steel button head machine screws and nylox nuts to really draw the panels together and keep them together. How would they damage the fiberglass if snugged up tight? Loose fitting poorly installed pop rivets are legendary on this site. Chafing and vibration would cause more damage in my estimation. Also aircraft aren't built with pop rivets. Real bucked rivets are a way different than pop rivets. Let the flaming begin!
Russ
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:25 AM   #14
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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
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