RV parts and service near Seattle? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-21-2009, 01:34 PM   #1
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Our new egg arrived late last night, and I have had a chance to take my first in-person look at her. As lovely as she is, there are some little things and some big things I need/want to fix or alter. (Little things: we have no key to the door, so it has a padlock on it, a rivet holding on one of the curtain rods fell off and left a small hole through the fiberglass, she needs a good buffing, the narrow, curved cushion for the lower bunk is missing. Bigger things: there is apparently no converter or AC wiring so I need to figure out what to do about that, windows may or may not be completely water-tight and I think are sealed with silicone.)

Anyway, I would love to find a place where I could go and browse, maybe buy a porta potty, and take the trailer to get things done that we can't do ourselves (which will probably be most things, since we are pretty un-handy).

Is there a good place in the greater Puget Sound area that has knowledge of these trailers? The only RV shop I saw listed in Seattle proper had a negative review online that made them sound like crooks.
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:57 PM   #2
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Our new egg arrived late last night, and I have had a chance to take my first in-person look at her. As lovely as she is, there are some little things and some big things I need/want to fix or alter.

Is there a good place in the greater Puget Sound area that has knowledge of these trailers? The only RV shop I saw listed in Seattle proper had a negative review online that made them sound like crooks.
Hmmm-- without sounding critical, I don't think you can afford Camping World in Fife...... They are oriented towards the Bulgemobiles.... There is an RV place up in Lynnewood on old 99 that I found the parts I needed. As far as knowledge on Scamp/fiberglass type trailers, I think most RV shops look as them a "cute-but not a real RV". Ask around and see if your acquaintaces have any ideas. Experience tells me that another egg owner (like the ones on the forum) have the most knowledge/experience. Larry
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:47 PM   #3
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Here are some you-tube videos to make you handy.
We all had to learn somewhere, none of us were born with the knowledge or ability.


how to use a rivet tool (sometimes shows 15 sec commercial at the beginning, sometimes not)

how to use poprivets

pop rivet removal

You will need a drill, drill bits, pot rivet tool, pop(blind) rivets, snap base washers and snap caps.

These can all be purchased at hardware stores, Lowes, Ace, or whatever you have in your area. All these can be purchased at a reasonably low cost. The snap caps and base washers can be found in the specialty section of the hardware store.

You will need various lengths of the rivets as they will have to go through the snap base, fiberglass wall, insulation/wall covering and the curtain rod holder or whatever you are trying to attach.

It is mostly trial and error, if you mess up simply drill out the rivet as in the videos and start over. Drill just enough to remove the head of the rivet,do not enlarge the hole.

pop rivet tools & sample prices

Click image for larger version

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snap bases

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snap cap

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edited to correct typos
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
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Amy (and husband) as new molded lightweight fiberglass trailer owners I would really, really encourage you to learn and do as much of the maintenance issues as you can. Every dollar you keep in your pocket (from not paying labor costs) you can use to upgrade your trailer, spend on fuel pulling the trailer places or paying camping fees. And there's a certain pride about doing it yourself! You'll find lots of knowledge and help here on FiberglassRV, none of us were born with the "maintenance gene." I know I wasn't! I will pay to have somethings done, like welding and some electrical work. But doing the small stuff empowers me to try something harder. Frankly I think pulling and sealing framed windows is easy... but I didn't know that when I first picked up a screw driver to do it.

Looking at the list, you CAN replace the curtain rod bracket with a rivet and if it were me (and it's not), I'd wait until closer to camping season to get the gelcoat cut and buffed or maybe just a good wax. Even that is doable, it just takes time and effort (and I have more of that than $$).

YMMV
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:24 PM   #5
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Donna speaks wisdom. None of us are born with skills.

I have bought parts a time or two at Evergreen RV on Aurora north of the bridge. I have no knowledge of their repair shop.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for these videos. I am trying to get motivated and educated to take on some of these projects myself.

I do have one question. The snap cap is shown going over a screw head, isn't it? And the rivets seem totally flat. I am confused about how a snap cap relates to a rivet.


Quote:
pop rivet tools & sample prices

Attachment 25156


snap bases
Attachment 25157


snap cap
Attachment 25158


edited to correct typos
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:06 PM   #7
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Amy, in the last image, imagine the brass screw is a rivet. Same thing, the clear base is what the cap "snaps" onto.
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:19 PM   #8
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Amy,

Just so you're not wondering if you're going nuts, the Bolers did not have snap caps on the rivets.

Bolers and Scamps have the same type of actual rivet, but Scamp puts the plastic caps on. I suppose it's partly to "hide" the rivet, and partly to provide something to tuck some sealant under.

If you look at the rivets on your Boler, you'll see that they just look like a little metal disc with a small hole in the middle; there may be a dollop of caulk in the center, to keep the hole from leaking.

I don't happen to like the snap-cap look, because to me they look like big pimples sticking up, but that is completely a matter of personal preference. In fact, I would bet that the majority of people prefer them.

I believe there are rivets that don't leave you with a hole in the middle, but I haven't used them. You can also just go back in with new rivets of the typical style, and use a dab of caulk on the hole.

Another method is to replace the rivets with machine screws and nuts (optionally acorn nuts, like are on the rivets on the inside now). These wouldn't have been used originally because they are more time consuming to install (requiring two people), but if you like the idea, well, you are only doing one trailer, not maximizing for building hundreds of units, so a few extra minutes on each one probably wouldn't be a deal-breaker.

Okay, I got on a roll - I really just meant to mention that the snap caps were not an original Boler "thing," so you won't find them on yours.

Raya
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:20 PM   #9
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Actually, the previous previous owner seem to have replaced nearly all of the original rivets with something new that has white plastic caps. I wrote to him to ask what exactly it is and what, if any, sealant was used, and I hope he will write back so I can decide to go in a different direction or something to deal with the ones that are leaking.

By the way, I went to the huge marine store near me today and had a great time. I got some 3M tape. They didn't have the exact number you gave me, but I hope it will work. It looks like a cross between duct tape and blue tape and says it will stay on and easy to remove for 6 months. I criss-crossed it over the leaking rivet holes and also taped a sheet of plastic all around the small window over the stove and taped along the top and side of the other side window that seems to be leaking. I hope that will at least give me some more information and stem the tide, so to speak.

They also were a good source of information for me about buffing, potentially painting, repairing cracks, battery chargers. I bought some marine caulk (at the salesperson's suggestion, for sealing rivet holes) but came back here and searched the forum and ended up glad I did, because the type I got has to be used up within 24 hours of opening. With iffy weather and a small child, any work we do will probably be in fits and starts.

I swing between optimistic that we can learn all we need to to keep the trailer in good health, and anxiety-ridden that we ended up with unanticipated problems that we can't handle or are even bigger than we know yet.


Quote:
Amy,

Just so you're not wondering if you're going nuts, the Bolers did not have snap caps on the rivets.


Raya
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:00 PM   #10
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Ah, sounds like those are the Scamp-type rivet caps then.

A marine store is a good resource, as boats are fiberglass and have to stand up to even rougher conditions, so the parts and caulks are usually high quality (compared to dedicated RV stuff). Sometimes I still like to buy RV stuff because it is lighter weight (hardware); it all depends.

Which caulk did they sell you that has to be used so quickly? 3M 4000 maybe? (I don't know as much about that one so that's my guess )

Hmmm, now I'm curious which tape you got. And yes, it's great to isolate certain rivets or windows.

I think you're doing great

Raya
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:09 PM   #11
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The caulk was 4200, I think. Not considered permanent, but not too squishy. But $20 of caulk that lasts 24 hours is not going to work for me.

This is the tape: http://www.3m.com/us/mfg_industrial/indtape/duct/

I hope you don't look at that link and scream, "Oh no! Not that one!" I really felt pressured to get something right away because it was just painful to walk into Clementine and see all the dripping and worry it was causing bigger problems. I explained to the boat guy what I was doing and he pointed me to this one.


Quote:
Ah, sounds like those are the Scamp-type rivet caps then.

Which caulk did they sell you that has to be used so quickly? 3M 4000 maybe? (I don't know as much about that one so that's my guess )

Hmmm, now I'm curious which tape you got. And yes, it's great to isolate certain rivets or windows.

I think you're doing great

Raya
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:46 AM   #12
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Amy,

I think you done good!

I've had tubes of 3M 4200 last much longer than 24 hours after opening - like weeks. So I don't understand that. Yes, it can start to harden at the nozzle, but not that quickly. Unless there is some new formulation of 4200 (do check the directions on the tube), I wouldn't worry about the 24-hour thing.
If you got the "toothpaste" style tube, you can just cap it. If it's a caulk-type tube, then I often "screw" an eye-bolt or a plain screw into it -- something that's thick enough to fill the hole.

Edit: Okay, when in doubt, read the directions I went to 3M's product data information, and looked up the 4200. It actually does say that one should use it within 24 hours of puncturing the tube. But, it's not because the product will go bad or not work, it's because of the potential for it to harden in the tube. I think you can work around that for a week or so, probably. Especially with the toothpaste style tube, you can often squeeze out a little bit of the hardened part and then grab onto it and pull it out, to expose fresh caulk. Here's what they actually say on the site:

Sealant should be used within 24 hours after inner seal is punctured, as product will start to cure in the
cartridge and nozzle.


Here's where you can read more. Just click on the "documentation" tab and then on the "Rev 2 tech data." Eek, that was huge; I "tiny urled" it because it was a huge link, but it is from the 3M website:

http://tinyurl.com/ygplugf

Although 4200 would be a perfectly good caulk to use on the windows, I would choose to use butyl tape on them and not caulk - the caulk would do the job but be MUCH messier and harder to work with (I'm not sure if you got the caulk just for the rivets or for the windows too - of course you want it for the rivets). One thing about 4200 is that it can yellow a bit in the sun, if you got the white color. Of course if it's under a cap, then no matter (and you actually need a caulk that "oranges" )

That tape looks fine. It may even be better than the 225. I see the "6 months outdoors" and that is a good thing I'm guessing it might be heavier duty/thicker than 225, which is more dainty than duct tape.

On the Jalousie windows, I bet you would probably be fine with just a strip across the top of the window. I have the exact same windows as you, and at least on mine, that was all that leaked. I figured I'd start with a strip across the top, and then check in out in the next rain. I put it on with about 1" on the camper body and 1" on the top part of the window frame (2" tape). I ran it out about 2" past the side of the windows, pressing it down so it would stick well.

Nothing else ever leaked. So that was less tape to deal with, and, more importantly, I was still able to open the windows --- I think it's really important to keep some ventilation up so you don't get mold. So with the tape only over the top of the window, you can leave them "cracked" for air. That's the beauty of the jalousie windows.

Raya

PS: It just registered on me that you are in Seattle. Oh, I'm jealous. And yes, the marine stores! (drool!) Did you go to Fisheries' Supply? That's a great store. And there are lots of others there too. Yeah, you're set
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:44 AM   #13
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[Edited to demonstrate better reading comprehension of your previous post.]


Lots of good info, as always. A quick question about sealants and rivets for you. The previous previous owner replaced all the old rivets with new rivets and a daub of silicone inside, then capped with plastic caps (he generously wrote back to me with all the details). This was done so recently and with such effort, that I hate the thought of redoing all of it. But at least a few are leaking. Do I have to remove them? Could I put a different sealant over the top or under the cap? If I do remove them and decide to just put rivets back in (yes, I have read threads and threads about rivets versus SS bolts and my mind has gone to mush and I just can't distill all that information into a plan of action), should I put sealant on the end of the rivet as it goes in? Or top it off with something? Are you saying that the 4200 would be the right one?

And I did, as a matter of fact, go to Fisheries Supply! I was driving from downtown to home and had a vague memory that there was a marine supply store near Gasworks Park, and that's where I ended up. So funny. I totally loved it. I managed to only come away with three items (the tape, the caulk, and a pivoting tongue jack), which I consider a significant victory.




Quote:
PS: It just registered on me that you are in Seattle. Oh, I'm jealous. And yes, the marine stores! (drool!) Did you go to Fisheries' Supply? That's a great store. And there are lots of others there too. Yeah, you're set
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:24 PM   #14
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And there's a certain pride about doing it yourself! You'll find lots of knowledge and help here on FiberglassRV, [b]none of us were born with the "maintenance gene." I know I wasn't!
I was.
It's recessive, though. Needs a lot of practice to nurture it.

<sub>OK, I'm going to my room, now.</sub>
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