Paint, before or after re-rivet? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-24-2006, 08:26 PM   #1
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I am going to have to re-rivet the entire Scamp that I just bought.
I was going to leave the cabinets in the trailer and replace the rivets one at a time but I have been thinking it would be better to paint without any rivets in the skin of the trailer. I am going to reseal all of the windows so they will be out also. If you had to fill any nicks or small holes what did you use?
I have ordered the rivets from Scamp and have no idea how the little covers go on them.
If any one that has been through this, I would appreciate your advice or input.
Thanks,
John
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:45 AM   #2
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I'd be inclined to use a polishing compound (by hand; very risky polishing with a machine) and take the surface gelcoat down a little rather than paint it -- You can always sand and paint it later if you don't like the result.

If you paint first, then you will have to paint the caps (if you aren't using a paint the same color as the cap) -- Also, Scamp uses a large dab of silicone over all the roof rivets (Dunno if there is or isn't a cap under there) -- Dunno how well the silicone will stick to the paint.

The caps have two parts, cap and base -- You put the rivet thru the base before you put it in the hole, and afterwards, you snap the cap onto the base over the rivet -- Some folks like to use a sealer between the fiberglass and base, and some like a dab of sealer on the rivet center -- One Scamper soaks his caps and bases in 303 Protectant overnight to protect against UV.

Also, think twice about removing all the rivets at one time because it may be difficult to get the cabinet or whatever back aligned with the holes, depending on how things may be stressed.
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:57 AM   #3
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I suggest you remove all the old ones and then paint before re-installing....otherwise you may get stress cracks beyond the rivets as they will move slightly when the trailer flexes, I installed new stainless hardwae after I painted and left it the natural metal colour, gave it a neat effect too with the shiny bits
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Old 10-25-2006, 09:59 AM   #4
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Looks like we are about to go down the rivet vs stainless fastener road again.

How about just replacing every other rivet with stainless. Hmmmmm! That would look cool!

I'm with Pete about removing all the interior and hoping the original holes would like up. I think it would only happen if the panels are reinstalled in the exact order that the factory installed them.

What do you think?

Loren
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:58 PM   #5
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I would not want the paint film over the rivets, because that sounds like a bunch of opportunities for local problem spots in the paint, if there are later any problems with the rivets.

For the alignment issue if everything is taken apart, one approach to consider might be the use of clamps which work through the rivet holes. In aircraft construction it is normal to assemble with these clamps, then when everything is fitted correctly replace them with the rivets. They are commonly referred to by the brand name "Cleco", and are inserted and removed with a plier-like special tool. For an example: Cleco Temporary Sheet Metal Fasteners. I've seen many references to them, but never used them myself.
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:59 PM   #6
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Agreeing with Pete D usually means that I'm right.
My experience was removing all the cabinetry at once and then trying to put it all back in hoping the rivet holes would line up. That was a mistake. The interior components are like trusses or structural members. Taking them all out makes the fiberglass shell deform or flatten. It is next to impossible to get the cabinets back in using the same holes. I had to fill them and redrill new ones. More work than should have been. But I didn't ask Pete before I began. That was a mistake. So I learned my lesson. Always ask Pete.

Take our advice... one rivet at a time.

I painted over my new rivets. Have had no cracking of paint around rivets, but most people will do a much more professional paint job. I used aluminum rivets and the paint is still fine after three or four years.
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Old 10-25-2006, 06:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Agreeing with Pete D usually means that I'm right.
Take our advice... one rivet at a time.

I painted over my new rivets. Have had no cracking of paint around rivets, but most people will do a much more professional paint job. I used aluminum rivets and the paint is still fine after three or four years.
OK, one rivet at a time. Thanks for all of the input and advice.

John
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Old 10-26-2006, 05:52 AM   #8
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Take our advice... one rivet at a time.
I believe that's how Johnny Cash re-did his trailer and he even wrote a song about it: "One rivet at a time".

No, wait........ it turns out that wasn't what he was writing about.

Andrew
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:45 PM   #9
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Cool

Quote:
I believe that's how Johnny Cash re-did his trailer and he even wrote a song about it: "One rivet at a time".

No, wait........ it turns out that wasn't what he was writing about.

Andrew
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:32 AM   #10
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Don't know what you've decided to do about rerivet and paint, but have you read Gary Little's topic on the rebuild of his Scamp? He removed all the rivets and filled in the holes before paint. There's a lot more to the topic, but the finished product is/was exquisite!
1986 Scamp restorations
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:54 AM   #11
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Don't know what you've decided to do about rerivet and paint, but have you read Gary Little's topic on the rebuild of his Scamp? He removed all the rivets and filled in the holes before paint. There's a lot more to the topic, but the finished product is/was exquisite!
1986 Scamp restorations

After reading Gary's posts on the project, I am wondering if he only removed the rivets and filled the holes that hold the original curtain brackets. I have a hard time visualizing how he could get a piece of fiberboard thick enough to hold a screw between a bulkhead and shell.

In any case, I am all for reducing holes through the fiberglass shell, especially on top. It not only looks better, it can't leak.

Loren
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Old 11-01-2006, 09:06 AM   #12
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After reading Gary's posts on the project, I am wondering if he only removed the rivets and filled the holes that hold the original curtain brackets. I have a hard time visualizing how he could get a piece of fiberboard thick enough to hold a screw between a bulkhead and shell.

In any case, I am all for reducing holes through the fiberglass shell, especially on top. It not only looks better, it can't leak.

Loren
Well, Loren you're right...it appears it was only the curtain rods. I just looked at the pictures when Gary placed the trailer up for sale and there are definitely rivets holding the upper cabinets: Totally Restored 13' Scamp. But fewer rivets of any use means fewer places to leak.
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