Rivets!???? or Nuts & Bolts???? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-16-2018, 12:56 PM   #1
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Rivets!???? or Nuts & Bolts????

As with the door gasket material, I've done a lot of research on what type of rivets to use on my Trillium. I've come across a variety of suggested materials (aluminum, stainless steel); diameters and lengths, to the point where now I'm totally confused.

Then there is the issue of whether or not to replace said rivets with bolts, rubber-backed washers and nylocks or not?

Presently I need to replace a simple marker light that is held in place with two rivets (original). The need to drill out the old rivets means a certain diameter of drill bit and going only a certain depth?

After all the research I know there are folks on this forum that can tell me what I need. I found photos that Ian Giles took of what he used in the nuts & bolts department but without any dimensions. Can someone please advise?

I've been going around in circles with this issue for several months now and I'm none the wiser. The devil is in the details. Much obliged for any assistance.

Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:55 PM   #2
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Riverts can be installed by one person where bolts require two. Bolts might be easier for on the road repair. No drill required.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:49 PM   #3
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When I need to replace a rivet, I use stainless steel bolt and nut.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:53 PM   #4
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I would think that installing side marker lights you'd want pop rivets. I'm not sure what Trillium has on the inside for wall coverings. You would have to get access to the inside where the bolt would come through to add the nut. Might be more difficult than if you just used a rivet.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:08 PM   #5
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Presently I need to replace a simple marker light that is held in place with two rivets (original). The need to drill out the old rivets means a certain diameter of drill bit and going only a certain depth? Thanks.
I'm guessing the rivets for the markers are 1/8 or 3/16". Drill out the top of the rivet until the cap releases from the shank, that's as far as you need to go. Then push the rivet barrel to the inside. Make a small 90* bend on the end of a paper clip to get the overall depth you need for the new rivet length. I would use an aluminum rivet as they are easier to cut the tops off.....next time.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:48 PM   #6
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Aluminum rivet is more than strong enough to hold on a little marker light. No need to go with stainless steel for that task. It will also be easier to pull.

I use EVA foam to create gaskets under my lights to help keep the water from getting into the trailer. They are very easy to make, just cut with a pair of scissors. Of course you need to know where to get this great, closed cell foam material....the answer is that you buy it in the craft stores, it is sometimes referred to as "fun foam". It comes in all kinds of colors but I go with black.

From a maker of EVA foam gaskets some further information about this material.
Weatherproofing Applications: Closed cell EVA foam rubber demonstrates excellent climate, temperature, and aging resistance in outdoor applications that are exposed to extreme conditions.

Automotive Gaskets: This foam gasket and sealing material performs well in automotive applications in the interior of vehicles. Its oil and chemical resistance make this material suitable in other areas as well.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:09 AM   #7
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I'm a HUGE advocate of replacing rivets for bolts when necessary. But in the case of the marker lights? Well, I installed the side brackets for my awning. The way it worked out, I used one rivet and one screw/bolt. (See the link below to my mount) The reason I had to use a screw on that was the length that was required to go through the bracket AND body. I've used this setup with NO sign of any problem with either working loose. It's just an ironic setup with all the love/hate relationship on here with rivets vs bolts...and yes, I had to have help putting in the bolt!!

Bottom line- I'd use rivets (make sure you seal the lights to the body!)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/503516...57631570936037
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:52 PM   #8
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I'm a HUGE advocate of replacing rivets for bolts when necessary. But in the case of the marker lights? Well, I installed the side brackets for my awning. The way it worked out, I used one rivet and one screw/bolt. (See the link below to my mount) The reason I had to use a screw on that was the length that was required to go through the bracket AND body. I've used this setup with NO sign of any problem with either working loose. It's just an ironic setup with all the love/hate relationship on here with rivets vs bolts...and yes, I had to have help putting in the bolt!!

Bottom line- I'd use rivets (make sure you seal the lights to the body!)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/503516...57631570936037
I have used nutcerts that are installed similarly to pop rivets.
I usually install them with a few drops of Gorilla Glue to seal the hole and help retain the nut.
Then I can use a screw to hold the lights.
I used them to install the tail and sidelights.
Install from one side.
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:57 PM   #9
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Rivets & Nuts

Thanks all for your advice. Now I have more questions.

Would one of these adapters work for using both the rivets and the nutserts? Or is this tool only for the nutserts for bolts? I have the cordless drill.

https://www.amazon.ca/Electric-XINYI...181215&sr=1-10

I'm not clear from the description whether it works for both or not?

Also, KCorbin, thank you for the idea of using the craft foam as a gasket. I have many sheets of it here. Just never thought of using it for that. Not sure if my multicoloured package has black though!

Thanks Borrego Dave for the details on the how to and what sizes.

Thanks for the link to the photos of your bolt & rivet on your awning, Darrell. The inside of my trailer has rat fur so I'd have to make a small slice to access the back of the bolt. Two people to do the nuts & bolts is not an issue.

It seemed such a simple thing to replace the light cover, then I decided to switch to LED. I hope I get to meet some of you in Winnipeg in August.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:37 PM   #10
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It seemed such a simple thing to replace the light cover, then I decided to switch to LED. I hope I get to meet some of you in Winnipeg in August.
I changed out my markers as the lenses were starting to crack from UV and it made no sense to put new lenses on old bases and went with LEDs. I'm sure you already know but make sure the polarity is correct before you rivet them on......unless you decided you like drilling out rivets .
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:15 PM   #11
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Welp....classic example of where "you learn something new everyday!". I didnt know such a beast existed but I'm glad to know it does as I would have USED that on my Scamp! It wasnt that big of a deal with just (2) bolts/nuts total but still. I love "gadgets"...especially "tools" that work! Good stuff.

Went on YT and found this demo of how they work. I've used "blind nuts" in the model airplane business before, but these nuts sure have their place as well!



Thanks RB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I have used nutcerts that are installed similarly to pop rivets.
I usually install them with a few drops of Gorilla Glue to seal the hole and help retain the nut.
Then I can use a screw to hold the lights.
I used them to install the tail and sidelights.
Install from one side.
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
Welp....classic example of where "you learn something new everyday!". I didnt know such a beast existed but I'm glad to know it does as I would have USED that on my Scamp! It wasnt that big of a deal with just (2) bolts/nuts total but still. I love "gadgets"...especially "tools" that work! Good stuff.

Went on YT and found this demo of how they work. I've used "blind nuts" in the model airplane business before, but these nuts sure have their place as well!



Thanks RB.
Yup, good stuff.
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:52 AM   #13
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get the right bit drill the rivet out replace with s/s screw and nut use washers for reinforcemts. simple job!


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Old 04-20-2018, 07:31 AM   #14
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My practices are:
Replace a rivet with a rivet, a bolt with a bolt.
If the rivet breaks twice then consider replacing with a bolt. Replacing rivets with bolts is a hot button issue. Proponents of both sides are potentially harmless.
Some rivets are known as “pop” (a trademark) for “blind” rivets meaning, in this case, you don’t need access to the other end of the joint in order to fasten it.
Alum/alum rivets are common and mostly good enough. Besides length and diameter, they are referenced by the rivet material/center post material. They are also probably the weakest of the metal rivets.
When drilling out a rivet don’t use a drill over 1/64” larger than the rivet unless you’re upsizing the rivet. The hole diameter must be closely matched to the rivet diameter.
Estimating the required length of a rivet used in a “blind” application is tough since on our trailers the rivet may be spanning two pieces of material that can be snugged up against each other by pressure from the inside and/or the outside. If you can see the other end, having a friend tell you how much is sticking out is helpful.
Rivets with an acorn nut on the end are not screwed on. The rivet expands to interfere with threads which dresses up the appearance.
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