Originally Posted by Baj
Kip, our new to us Scamp(96) has allot of missing bases and caps with exposed rivets. I'm hoping Scamp
used the closed end rivets to help water not find its way in...so far its dry but who knows since most are behind the ratfur insulation on the inside. I read about all your tests...did you decide on what works best without removing and installing new rivets? I would like to seal mine up and stick new caps on all missing ones...
All my rivits have holes exposed on the outside. So this fix is for that type. I also use white 100% silicone (ACE) for the sealer because it works well for me. I've done about 12 so far and they are holding well.
Be sure to clean the rivet and fiberglass with denatured alchohol before starting.
I tap the shaft out of a 3/16 inch "Arrow" or "Ace" brand rivet
because the crimp that keeps them in the tube is near the ball. With a smaller diameter nail or rivet measure the depth of the hole in the rivet to revieve the cap.
Cut the rivet shaft near the ball so that it is shorter than the depth of the hole it is going into.
You may have to dress the cut part as it may have flattened a bit and not want to go in the hole. A bench grinder or dremel tool with a stone works good for this.
The shaft should slip into the camper's rivet hole until it encounters the crimp.
Then tap lightly until the ball is resting snuggly on the camper rivet top.
If there is a gap between the ball and the top of the camper rivet, the cap may not snap on the base.
Enlarge the smaller hole in the base so that it will slip (snap) over the camper rivet head and lay against the fiberglass.
Put it in place for fit. At this time be sure the ball is not higher than the top of the base. If it is use pliers to remove it and either grind the ball a bit flatter or use another shaft.
Remove the base and put sealer of your choice on the camper rivet and slightly on the fiberglass around the rivet for the water seal.
Push the base down until it touches the fiberglass.
Fill the base with sealer
Snap on the cap
. Push hard! There will be a distinct click when the cap seats properly.
Push on the top of the cap with one finger and wipe off any sealer that squashed out when the base was seated and the cap snapped in place.
: My holes all seem to the the same depth so I generally prepare several rivet shafts and several bases at a time. The shafts take about 3 minutes each and the bases take about 5 minutes each. Takes about an hour to do 8 pair.
Silicone adheres to gel coat but not strong enough to be used as a glue. It adheres pretty strong to the rivit top and the rivet shaft, especially when it encompances the ball. So when the base is filled with silicone, the ridge around the bottom makes it hard to lift it off once the silicone has cured to the rivet and the shaft ball.
Time ,heat, cold, and sun will tell if this fix is a good one. certainly not as good as drilling out the rivet and replacing it and the base. But it can be done by one person, and quickly once the learning curve is done. If I ever start drilling out those particular rivets they will be replaced with SS screws and SS acorn nuts.
Many people say silicone damages or changes the structure of gel coat.
I don't know. I called Casita
and asked what they use. He said they use 100% silicone all over the trailer. 100% with no additives. I don't know if white is an additive or not. I use it because it doesn't start looking funky like the clear does.