Replacing rivets - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
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Name: Jennifer
Trailer: 1989 Scamp
Oregon
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Replacing rivets

Hi guys...can anyone help us with which bolts are the best for replacing the rivets in our Scamp?

Much appreciated!

Jen
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:42 PM   #2
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Why do you want to use bolts?
Your trailer is 23 years old and I would bet most of the rivets are still in good shape.
I've refurbished 7 or 8 Eggs in the last 6 or 7 years.
I know some like to but I've never seen the need.
John
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:49 PM   #3
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We want to replace the acorn nuts but the don't come out easy. We thought bolts because if we are remodeling piece by piece the bolts are easier to get in and out. We ate not gutting the trailer so we need to be able to fix things along the way without re-riveting each time...thoughts?
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:11 AM   #4
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Jennifer, Scamp sells eight different sizes of rivets, each for a different purpose. Obviously the drip cap and curtain rod brackets would take a different size than cabinetry. Hopefully someone that's replaced all the rivets with bolts will chime in, but I'd suggest having a hack saw standing by!
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
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I would use stainless and backup with a plastic washer and a dab of caulk (not silicone !!!)

Ron
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jheafey View Post
We want to replace the acorn nuts but the don't come out easy. We thought bolts because if we are remodeling piece by piece the bolts are easier to get in and out. We ate not gutting the trailer so we need to be able to fix things along the way without re-riveting each time...thoughts?
I have found the removing them is a lot easier with two people - one holding the acorn on the inside with pliers to stop it from spinning while some one drills it out from the outside. Have found that once the outside part of the rivet is drilled off the rivet and acorn will usually pull through to the inside pretty easily but then again have had one or two that where a little stubborn about coming out so I appreciate your frustration.

You really shouldn't have to rivet all that often - my trailer was 15 years old when I got it and I dont think more than one or two rivets had ever been replaced. I have since replaced a fair number of them as some of the originals had started to leak and a large number of them where missing the cap holders & caps. I have also replaced most of the outside connections such as water intakes etc so those also had to be riveted. Since I use the trailer a lot its subjected to a fair amount of movement (traveling on rough roads) so its not uncommon for at least one rivet a year to snap - or the cap holder gets broken off and the only way to replace the cap without just sticking a whole lot of caulking on it is to replace the rivet. But to be honest once I replaced a lot of the original rivets the first year I had the trailer I on average have probable only replaced about 2 rivets a year.

In regards to using bolts you need to be careful. If you search here you will find a number of threads on the topic. A lot of people (including the trailer manufactures) do not recommend using anything but rivets due to the flex issue. The trailers do flex when moving and its better to have a rivet that breaks in two than have the fiberglass crack as a result of using bolts that will not break.

As Donna suggests there are a number of different sized rivets and caps that Scamp uses and you can get most of them from a place like Home Depot but there are a couple of rivet sizes that I have had a hard time locating. Scamp does sell a whole package with all the rivit sizes and caps and holders in it for a fairly decent price which cuts down on having to search for all the right sizes.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:46 PM   #7
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Use a 1/4 drill and remove the rivet head and it will push through.
Do them one at a time or cabinets will move and you will have a difficulty alining the holes.
If you are doing it by yourself a little bit if super glue will hold the acorn on the rivet.
As I remember I used the 3/16 diameter with a 3/8 x 1/2 grip range for replacing the acorn nuts.
All the rivets you need will be available at you local hardware store.
John
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