Replacing rivet. - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-17-2010, 10:09 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1981 Boler 13 ft / 2005 Dodge Caravan
Posts: 168
During a recent downpour I noticed water dripping from the acorn cap covering one of the rivets that secure the closet to the top of the boler.I want to replace this with a screw and lock nut and butal tape.I have tried to remove the acorn coveing but although it will loosen I can not get it off.I realize I have to drill out the rivet.(Have never done this before so could use some help in this area)but do I just leave that acorn nut on and it will drop off when the rivet comes off or do I need to remove it first.(I know this must seem like a stupid question but I do not want to create more problems by doing something wrong.Also I know I should use a stainless steel screw but how do I know what size????Thanks for any help.....Pat.

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Old 06-17-2010, 11:18 AM   #2
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Hi Pat,

If you have the typical factory arrangement, the acorn nut was simply pulled onto the end of the rivet shaft to provide a finished look inside. However, that would make it hard to take off, since there is probably a bit of a bulge inside it instead of threads.

But, I think it will probably just drop right off when you drill the rivet out, so I would do that first.

What you want to do is drill the rivet, but not enlarge the hole in the camper if you can help it (not the end of the world, but not desirable either). So, use a very thin drill bit that is about the size of the center hole in the rivet top on the outside. Center it in the hole, and then drill carefully at an angle parallel to the rivet shaft. It should drop right out.

Then, see what size the hole in the camper shell is, and size your screw/nut to that hole. You don't want a loose fit, so if you are between two sizes you might have to "refine" the hole in the camper a tiny bit - but not much!

Give it a whirl and let us know how it goes.


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Old 06-17-2010, 04:58 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1981 Boler 13 ft / 2005 Dodge Caravan
Posts: 168
Job done Raya.Now we will have to wait and see if we are still gettin a leak when we get another downpour.I get really nervous using a drill around the trailer.Always afraid I will make more of a mess than I already have.Pat.
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