Temperature and pop rivets? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-07-2019, 12:43 PM   #1
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Name: Georgana
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Temperature and pop rivets?

Could someone please tell me when the best time of year is to replace pop rivets? We want to replace them all in a 16' Scamp.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:26 PM   #2
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You can replace them anytime but dry/warmer days make it easier on you...the rivet doesn't care. Good luck.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:29 PM   #3
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Thank you!
I was concerned about expansion if they were done in colder temps.
It's been washed and waxed and some(a good amount) of snap caps are missing. I did buy those through ProDec, but still need to pick up rivets and get er done.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:58 AM   #4
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If just the caps are missing, and the bottom retaining ring is intact, you can just snap a new cap on. If the retaining ring is cracked or deteriorated, you can temporarily put a new cap on by putting a dab of Marine adhesive caulk on the rivet head, then pressing a new cap onto it. This "temporary" repair can last for years.

If, however, any of the rivets are actually loose or leaking, they should be replaced ASAP. The caulk will NOT seal a leak effectively, at least not long-term.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:09 AM   #5
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Pop rivets aren't temperature dependent but your fingers may be, LOL!
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:20 PM   #6
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In theory the rivet will be tightest due to contraction in cold weather. So if put on in very cold weather one might expect a minor amount of length expansion in really hot weather. So sub zero install and desert summer temps would yield the most expansion, doubt it would be significant as far as holding or leaking even then. But who is going to do rivets in sub zero temps? Extreme need or plain crazy are the only two scenarios I can think of for that.


Since the rivet properly "popped" is under a good bit of compression I imagine (SWAG notice) the compression while possibly a bit less under high ambient temps would still be "tight". Length of metal matters for expansion. So aluminum siding in long strips will expand and contract by a greater length measurement than a short block. Pretty sure the total expansion or contraction of a 1/4 inch long popped rivet is a really small amount.
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:01 PM   #7
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Rivets and temperature

For ultimate tightness of a rivet, youíd want the rivet hot(longer), and the fiberglass youíre riveting together cold (thinner).

Then when the rivet shrinks as it cools, the fiberglass expands as it warms, the rivet will be in maximum tension.

Of course I donít mean red hot rivets, like older bridges and buildings used.

You also wouldn't have to do it in the winter to have cold fiberglass. But rivets could be heated . Not enough to lose any temper (if they are tempered, I donít know) and not enough to burn anything. Even 150į would work.

Iím sure no one does this, and room temperature rivets have worked just fine for decades.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:37 PM   #8
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replacing pop rivets

When we bought our Scamp 19 the first thing we did was replace all rivets with stainless steel machine screws and all new snap caps. Only took about about 4 - 4.5 hours.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:57 AM   #9
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Thank you all for your answers. I've never done this so I wasn't sure.
We don't live near the equator or the pole so temp doesn't matter, duh.
Without causing too much debate, when I replace the rat fur I may use screws.
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