Rivet removal issues... - Fiberglass RV



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Old 05-19-2019, 01:24 PM   #1
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Name: Whit
Trailer: Scamp
Oregon
Posts: 22
Question Rivet removal issues...

Hey folks,

My wife and I are cleaning/resealing the skylight in our Scamp and running into a rivet problem: we're not sure how to remove the rest of the rivet after the rivet head has been removed. As you'll see in these photos, the rivets that held the skylight bracket in place apparently only go through the fiberglass, not the insulation (I forget what that spongy stuff is called), so I have no way of just pulling it through.

I could just put rivets in other locations in the skylight mounting bracket, but A) that's more of a hassle, especially since I would have to drill all-new holes in the bracket (using a drill bit limiter), and that's leaving a lot more entry points for water (note that we're going to be sealing this whole thing with butyl tape once we get the rivet situation sorted out). I'd prefer to remove the rivets and put new ones in the same place if possible.

There are other rivets shown that are for the aluminum finishing brackets, those are less of a problem (though I haven't yet figured out how to pull those through either, even though I have access to both ends of the shaft).

Thoughts?
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:11 PM   #2
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Whichever side you drill from, you PUSH them through the other side. So if you are drilling the heads of the rivets off from the outside (typical), then you push them through to the inside with a punch or an awl. Since they are covered by the inside insulation, you just need them out of the way. They will likely remain between the fiberglass wall of the trailer and the inside insulation.

Rivets mushroom on the opposite side from where they were installed with a rivet tool. So pulling them back out would require a bigger hole, not a good idea.

If it bothers you to have remaining pieces of rivets trapped, then pull down the inner insulation to grab them, just at the rivet area. You will then need to glue the insulation back in place.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:57 PM   #3
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Name: Whit
Trailer: Scamp
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Awesome, that's very helpful, thank you! I've been knocking the heads off with a flathead and a hammer, but I should be able to drill them through regardless.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:54 PM   #4
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: Scamp
New York
Posts: 43
You'll also want access for the backing washers with the new rivets. I replaced our rivets with stainless steel bolts and lock nuts when I remounted our hatch which had started to leak. Rivets or bolts, wrap each with butyl tape or whatever sealant you're using for your remount to help prevent leaks through the now slightly larger holes. The insulation can be refastened with rubber cement to keep it in place until the inside trim is reinstalled.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:48 PM   #5
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
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Just use the smallest bit you can. You are trying to get the rivet's head lose from the body of the rivet. You are not drilling the head off. It should come right off.
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:50 AM   #6
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
Posts: 120
Rivet removal issues...

Hi I would use the stainless bolts once you remove the old rivets. Rivets can pop without really holding that well sometimes if they don't pass all the way through all layers. Do not leave the head pieces in the roof, get them out of the way. I suggest you install the inside trim with tape and brace these from the floor to support them . Drill through the holes on the outside frame then use the butyl tape and bolts to sandwich everything together. You may need a second person to put the nuts on the new bolts on the inside and hold these to be tightened. You will have a few extra holes showing on the inside trim I suppose, that's better than having any leaks in the skylight. Hope this may help you. Best of luck with the repair, Duane
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:26 AM   #7
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Name: John
Trailer: I now have a 2015, Dynamax DX3-37RV Super-C diesel puller
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Stainless steel replacements sound like a good idea BUT you may be causing new problems down the road. Aluminum rivets are designed to be the weak point and, should fail before the fiberglass does (ie cracks). It's MUCH easier to replace a failed aluminum rivet that it would be to repair cracked fiberglass.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:11 PM   #8
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Trailer: 2011 KZ Sportsmen 242SB / 2004 Ram-Cummins 2500 2wd
British Columbia
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There's a reason they use rivets for the original installation. It's called 'Labor'. One person can do the installation with rivets (if you don't use back-up washers) but errors are possible. With nuts/bolts (as someone noted previously) it takes two. The end result with nuts/bolts is 'fool-proof' though.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:07 PM   #9
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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you use the same diameter bit to drill out the rivet as was used to install it. So if you have 3/16" rivets use a 3/16" drill bit. To push it on out of the hole you use a 3/16" drive pin. You can buy the drive pin at any hardware store either as a single that size or it will be part of a set.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:33 AM   #10
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
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Stress cracks are caused from "fatigue" in my opinion- as I've personally dealt with this on STEEL. If Scamp (or any other builder) builds and forces parts over by pushing on them excessively etc to get them to line up...or what ever reason and FASTENS it....yes...it's a disaster waiting to happen be it an alum. rivet OR steel bolt.

I had to replace the two rivets on my closet that come through from the top of my Scamp. They were leaking. When I replaced the rivets, I didnt have to force anything letting me know, my Scamp was/is "moving" while going down the road and the rivets were NOT doing their job! I replaced these with #10 stainless steel bolts/nuts and 6 yrs later, NO more problems NOR cracks. I can assure you that cracks are my least worry.

Here's a link to photos for my problem and fix:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/503516...57633366995497

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy View Post
Stainless steel replacements sound like a good idea BUT you may be causing new problems down the road. Aluminum rivets are designed to be the weak point and, should fail before the fiberglass does (ie cracks). It's MUCH easier to replace a failed aluminum rivet that it would be to repair cracked fiberglass.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:47 AM   #11
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: Scamp
New York
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Use 'nylock' nuts on the inside in order to control the amount of torque applied. You can always re-tighten if needed.
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Old Today, 12:18 AM   #12
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Name: Anna
Trailer: Boler
BC
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Dito on through bolting with stainless bolts and nylock nuts. Sometimes takes two people to do (or just tape your wrench to the nut on the inside), but well worth the trouble. Make sure to use stainless though!! We went a step further and used PL Premium (the 8x strong stuff) to adhere the nuts to the fibreglass on the inside. The caveat is that that nut will be very hard to take off if needed in the future and if you take that bolt out you’ll need to use the same bolt again (or same threads). Although these trailers are generally well built, they were done on an assembly line which will never compete with someone keen on fixing their unit right the first time.
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