Rivet replacement - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-27-2012, 07:21 PM   #1
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Name: xcoleman
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Texas
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Rivet replacement

I am looking at getting a Casita trailer and heard the rivets break periodically due to rough roads and so on. Is this a common problem worth worrying about?
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:37 PM   #2
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Its common to all the fiberglass trailers with rivets. Age and fatigued of the rivets due to how many miles the trailer has traveled will play into whether or not you may need to replace one or a dozen ;-) When I first got the trailer I had to replace a lot of rivets as the caps and holders were missing. Since then over the past 5 years or so I replaced only one a year on average - once you have done your first one you will find its really not a big deal or job to replace them.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:44 PM   #3
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Hi, welcome to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here.

Rivets are just a maintenance issue and you wouldn't defer maintenance would you? Nothing lasts forever, not on our stick built homes, our cars, our bodies, etc. Just pay attention to the needs of ANY BRAND of molded trailer and you'll be fine.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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Is it the rivet that fails or the plastic washer or some of both. Have the plastic washers improved with time?
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkahlich View Post
Is it the rivet that fails or the plastic washer or some of both. Have the plastic washers improved with time?
No, as far as I know everything is pretty much the same as 25 years ago.

There's a theory. Better to break a rivet (easily replaced) than to repair broken fiberglass because a screw doesn't break... but a rivet does.

I kinda like that theory. YMMV
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:33 PM   #6
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Any idea where to buy the caps other than Scamp? Scamp has a set for $9.50 that I was going to buy, but I am not paying $12.50 for shipping a small bag of plastic!
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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My Scamp has two different sizes of snap caps. If you can get one off the trailer, I know even a store like True Value Hardware sells them... you just need to know the correct size(s) you need.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:57 PM   #8
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Like Carol said they aren't a big deal once you do a couple. I have done several Scamps over the last few years, and replaced them all in a trailer in a couple of days with the help of my Grandson. It's nice having one person outside and the other inside. And I don't think its common at all for the rivet to break, its more the washer and cap give out. But depending on the age of the trailer there can be some broken rivets.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:44 PM   #9
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Name: kootenai girl
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When we bought our Scamp the previous owner had taken it to the car wash and used the wand therefore some of the rivet caps were missing which led to the plastic washers also coming off. The rivets themselves were fine but yoiu need to replace everything to replace at the washers.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bicklebok View Post
Any idea where to buy the caps other than Scamp? Scamp has a set for $9.50 that I was going to buy, but I am not paying $12.50 for shipping a small bag of plastic!
You can buy the caps and holders at most hardware stores. I recommend buying the caps and holders at the same time as I have found a couple of different brands of caps and plastic holders dont snap as well as they should onto each others plastic holders.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:22 AM   #11
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You can buy the caps and holders at most hardware stores. I recommend buying the caps and holders at the same time as I have found a couple of different brands of caps and plastic holders dont snap as well as they should onto each others plastic holders.
Thank you!
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:15 PM   #12
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I just purchased 130 rivet caps from Pro-Dec: Manufacturer of Screw Covers, Screw Caps & Snap-Caps® for $22.10. They have free for orders over $20. My experience in Sacramento is the caps last a couple years. If you replace the cap before it completely cracks, the clear plastic holder under the rivet will still be in good shape. If the cap gets to UVed, then the rivet will need to be replaced as the plastic holder is unusable.

I just ordered mine. I expect they will be here this week-end. I have to replace almost all the rivets as I let the caps succumb to UV.

I'm also replacing all the doors, partition and drawer front with 1/2" Burch plywood.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:43 AM   #13
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I've received my rivet caps.Pro-Dec ships fast. They are in Houston, TX. They are just what I needed. With 130 caps/holders, I should be set for a while.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:54 PM   #14
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Name: Steve and Rosemary
Trailer: 89 Scamp 16 ft side toilet
Utah
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Hi all! It's been a long time since I last visited, but eager to make our bed bigger, I'm back and I'm reminded that I should focus on more important things that we haven't adressed. Namely, the outside of our trailer looks kind of trashy and I want it to look like a trailer owned by people who care. Neither of us have any background in any of this, so please answer accordingly. I'm posting here because the rivets are most intimidating but please direct me elsewhere for instructions or other topics. Thanks!

Here's the problem: it looks like the washers and caps broke so previous owner used not-so-smalle globs of silicone to put caps on. I'm sure it looked okay and first but now the caps have all broken off again and, worse, the silicone has turned various shades of "dirty". What compounds the problem is that silicone has been used excessively to patch, plug, and glue in and out of the Scamp.

Here are the tasks I need help with:
1. How do I re-rivet and cap a Scamp? Note: we have no tools or idea. 8*/
2. After removing silicone, how can I plug extra holes so the don't show?
3. After plugging holes and fixing rivets, I'd like to freshen up the surface of the outside. Is this possible? How?

Thanks in advance for your help and also for letting me piggy back on this post -- I'm finding it hard to get to a thread that shows these details. Happy travels!
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