How to fix broken / missing rivets on Casita? - Fiberglass RV
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-22-2020, 06:00 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 12
How to fix broken / missing rivets on Casita?

Hi all,

Looking to fix up some broken and missing rivets on my Casita.

See photos here: https://imgur.com/a/kxMimDa

I'm looking at the shop here: https://store.casitatraveltrailers.c...ap-caps-rivets

For the cracked ones, I assume some "snap cap bases" and "white snap caps" are all I would need.

But - what do I need also for the one that's missing entirely?

Assume I need a "acorn nut" for the interior - but which rivet?

13' Casita Patriot Standard.

Thanks!
lfkwtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2020, 07:21 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: p@
Trailer: Casita
South Carolina
Posts: 320
Registry
ok...
Quote:
For the cracked ones, I assume some "snap cap bases" and "white snap caps" are all I would need.
your assumption is correct but, you'll need to remove the rivet where those cracked bases and caps are. the base is installed and secured by the rivet and the cap just slips over that. you'll need to drill out the old rivet (most require a 1/8" hole) to replace.

Quote:
But - what do I need also for the one that's missing entirely?

Assume I need a "acorn nut" for the interior - but which rivet?
if the hole for that rivet is open all the way thru then just install the new one like outlined above. if there's still some rivet left in the hole drill it out first. the acorn nuts are mostly longer rivets that go in the areas where the walls meet the roof. the one on the curbside wall above the front cabinet is one that usually goes. if the rivet goes thru the interior wall and the roof or exterior wall it usually requires that acorn nut. installing these rivets are a 2 person job. one to pop the rivet from the outside and another person to hold that nut in place while installing (an appropriate sized socket works). i'd suggest using a bit of sealant (silicon works) on each rivet when installing and a bit more on the snap cap base and some under the snap cap. if you get messy with the sealant you can clean the excess off with mineral spirits. little house customs store (little house customs.com)sells an assorted package of rivets in all the various sizes needed for your casita. they're not that expensive and i'd suggest you purchase 2 packages...one to fix the current issue and one to carry in your on the road tool box along with the rivet gun.

aluminum rivets are what you'll want to use as they'll break before steel will and not crack the fiberglass when they do break. a good rivet gun will also be required. however, finding a "good" one can be problematic. i have 3 or 4 rejects in my tool box and the one i use is still not a real good one, so some trial and error will eventually lead you to one you like. i'm sure a lot of folks will chime in with their opinion on the "best" rivet tool. if you don't have any experience replacing rivets it may be a good idea to practice on some scrap fiberglass before you go after the trailer.

good luck and have fun!

p@
patrick crawford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2020, 07:43 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
Posts: 1,669
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick crawford View Post
ok...

(most require a 1/8" hole) to replace.
if the hole for that rivet is open all the way thru then just install the new one like outlined above. if there's still some rivet left in the hole drill it out first. the acorn nuts are mostly longer rivets that go in the areas where the walls meet the roof. the one on the curbside wall above the front cabinet is one that usually goes. if the rivet goes thru the interior wall and the roof or exterior wall it usually requires that acorn nut. installing these rivets are a 2 person job. one to pop the rivet from the outside and another person to hold that nut in place while installing (an appropriate sized socket works). i'd suggest using a bit of sealant (silicon works) on each rivet when installing and a bit more on the snap cap base and some under the snap cap. if you get messy with the sealant you can clean the excess off with mineral spirits. little house customs store (little house customs.com)sells an assorted package of rivets in all the various sizes needed for your casita. they're not that expensive and i'd suggest you purchase 2 packages...one to fix the current issue and one to carry in your on the road tool box along with the rivet gun.

aluminum rivets are what you'll want to use as they'll break before steel will and not crack the fiberglass when they do break. a good rivet gun will also be required. however, finding a "good" one can be problematic. i have 3 or 4 rejects in my tool box and the one i use is still not a real good one, so some trial and error will eventually lead you to one you like. i'm sure a lot of folks will chime in with their opinion on the "best" rivet tool. if you don't have any experience replacing rivets it may be a good idea to practice on some scrap fiberglass before you go after the trailer.

good luck and have fun!

p@
If it is an exterior rivet holding any of the overhead cabinets it will be a 3/16" dia. rivet, not 1/8". And FWIW, you won't find long enough ones at any of your local hardware stores. You'll probably need to source them on the internet from a place that supplies rivets which will be about 1 1/2" (or longer). Most stores don't stock anything over 1/2" in length. And as to the 1/4" X 20 Acorn nuts, well, they provide absolutely no structural strength whatsoever. They are nothing more than a way to hide the ugly squished bottom of the rivet for aesthetic purposes, and provide nothing more. They are only held on by the friction of the squeezed bulb. Purely decorative and not structural. And when you replace the rivet/snap cap, be sure to apply a bead of sealant under the snap cap base to make the rivet water-tight. And while on the subject of those Acorn nuts I will give a word of caution to NEVER attempt to tighten them up. All you will do is cause the rivet to turn. When that happens you have broken the sealant that it was bedded with and create a spot where it will leak. Never attempt to "tighten" those Acorns, as they are not threaded onto the end of the rivet anyway. Just sayin'.
Casita Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2020, 07:48 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Alex Adams's Avatar
 
Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
Posts: 908
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick crawford View Post
i'd suggest using a bit of sealant (silicone works) on each rivet when installing and a bit more on the snap cap base and some under the snap cap. if you get messy with the sealant you can clean the excess off with mineral spirits.
Do not use silicone sealant. Silicone is hard to remove from fiberglass, I know from personal experience with a Silicone-happy previous owner! Use Dicor sealant or Butyl tape.

I would recommend a rivet gun like this one. It is much easier on the hands than the other, cheaper, type:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Alex Adams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2020, 10:28 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick crawford View Post
ok...

your assumption is correct but, you'll need to remove the rivet where those cracked bases and caps are. the base is installed and secured by the rivet and the cap just slips over that. you'll need to drill out the old rivet (most require a 1/8" hole) to replace.



if the hole for that rivet is open all the way thru then just install the new one like outlined above. if there's still some rivet left in the hole drill it out first. the acorn nuts are mostly longer rivets that go in the areas where the walls meet the roof. the one on the curbside wall above the front cabinet is one that usually goes. if the rivet goes thru the interior wall and the roof or exterior wall it usually requires that acorn nut. installing these rivets are a 2 person job. one to pop the rivet from the outside and another person to hold that nut in place while installing (an appropriate sized socket works). i'd suggest using a bit of sealant (silicon works) on each rivet when installing and a bit more on the snap cap base and some under the snap cap. if you get messy with the sealant you can clean the excess off with mineral spirits. little house customs store (little house customs.com)sells an assorted package of rivets in all the various sizes needed for your casita. they're not that expensive and i'd suggest you purchase 2 packages...one to fix the current issue and one to carry in your on the road tool box along with the rivet gun.

aluminum rivets are what you'll want to use as they'll break before steel will and not crack the fiberglass when they do break. a good rivet gun will also be required. however, finding a "good" one can be problematic. i have 3 or 4 rejects in my tool box and the one i use is still not a real good one, so some trial and error will eventually lead you to one you like. i'm sure a lot of folks will chime in with their opinion on the "best" rivet tool. if you don't have any experience replacing rivets it may be a good idea to practice on some scrap fiberglass before you go after the trailer.

good luck and have fun!

p@
thanks for all the detailed info! is this "official" kit the same thing?

https://store.casitatraveltrailers.c...ucts/rivet-kit
lfkwtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2020, 12:28 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Eric
Trailer: Boler
TN
Posts: 157
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfkwtz View Post
thanks for all the detailed info! is this "official" kit the same thing?

https://store.casitatraveltrailers.c...ucts/rivet-kit
That is a good kit to have in your tool box for the occasional popped rivet while traveling. It looks like you need to order in quantity base on the photo and my experience with my old Scamp. I would guess you need to replace most if not all of the cap and probably a good portion of the bases. I would suggest you order about twenty each of the 1/8" rivets, 10 each of the 3/16 rivets and enough caps and cup to do the entire trailer. Because of the verity of layouts combined with the fit and finish of the materials you will have to fit each rivet .
You may put in 6 1/2" long rivet in one area and the 7th requires a 3/4" long rivet. Don't get frustrated when you put a rivet in and have to drill it right back out because it doesn't grab anything. You can reuse most of the acorn nuts. With help you can do the entire trailer in a half day.
Eric Frye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2020, 12:02 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
Posts: 1,669
Registry
I buy several lengths of the longer 3/16" dia. rivets in quantities of 500/box, as well as snap caps to go with them.
Casita Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2020, 06:18 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Name: p@
Trailer: Casita
South Carolina
Posts: 320
Registry
Quote:
thanks for all the detailed info! is this "official" kit the same thing?
it looks to be about the same LHC just packages them different. it would certainly get you started with your project and i'd still suggest 2 packages to begin with so you'll have spares for later.

p@
patrick crawford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2020, 09:14 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 9,905
Registry
If the washer base is missing or deteriorated, but the rivet itself is still tight and not leaking, you can cut out the old base, split a new base, slip it under the rivet head, and pop a new cap on. No need to replace the whole rivet.
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2020, 08:40 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
California
Posts: 745
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
If the washer base is missing or deteriorated, but the rivet itself is still tight and not leaking, you can cut out the old base, split a new base, slip it under the rivet head, and pop a new cap on. No need to replace the whole rivet.
I never knew this! Thank you! I'm going to try this on my 1992 Scamp.
__________________
1992 Scamp 13' Standard, 2017 Casita 17' ID,
2008 Scamp 16' Deluxe Layout 4
lisantica is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2020, 08:55 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 9,905
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisantica View Post
I never knew this! Thank you! I'm going to try this on my 1992 Scamp.
Learned it here, tried it and it worked, passing it on. Love this forum!
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2020, 10:01 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
Posts: 1,669
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
If the washer base is missing or deteriorated, but the rivet itself is still tight and not leaking, you can cut out the old base, split a new base, slip it under the rivet head, and pop a new cap on. No need to replace the whole rivet.
Personally, I'm not "on-board" with this suggestion. If you cut out the old plastic Snap Cap base and try to install a new base without removing/replacing the rivet, you're just inviting a leak around that old rivet. I've never scrimped on replacing rivets. They're cheap enough and easier to just replace outright than to "Mickey Mouse" some work-around on an old rivet. I buy them by the hundreds. Just my take on it. YMMV
Casita Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2020, 01:59 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 9,905
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Personally, I'm not "on-board" with this suggestion. If you cut out the old plastic Snap Cap base and try to install a new base without removing/replacing the rivet, you're just inviting a leak around that old rivet. I've never scrimped on replacing rivets. They're cheap enough and easier to just replace outright than to "Mickey Mouse" some work-around on an old rivet. I buy them by the hundreds. Just my take on it. YMMV
I put a dab of non-silicone adhesive caulk in the center of the hole in the washer base before slipping it on. I donít think itís any more likely to leak than replacing a rivet (which if youíre not careful can enlarge the hole). And it only takes one person. But as you say. YMMV.
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2020, 06:41 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,142
If the river is loose and pulled out the hole has been enlarged and the new rivet will pull out again as well.
Personally I would use screws with washers and elastic stop nuts and end that problem, but may would disagree thinking that the actual fastener that was not loose pulling out would crack the fiberglass because it would not let the pieces wiggle and shake and pull apart again.
redbarron55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2020, 11:51 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
steve67's Avatar
 
Name: Steven
Trailer: 79 Boler "Van Gogh"
on Ontario
Posts: 138
Registry
I needed to replace a bunch on my Boler but wasn't happy with their design, being an engineer. I chose to use stainless fasteners as shown below. The flanged washer helps to spread the load.
Attached Thumbnails
DSC05024.jpg   Boler - 1 (16).jpg  

steve67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2020, 12:37 PM   #16
Junior Member
 
Name: Jane
Trailer: Casita 17' 2008 SD
California
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve67 View Post
I needed to replace a bunch on my Boler but wasn't happy with their design, being an engineer. I chose to use stainless fasteners as shown below. The flanged washer helps to spread the load.
I also went the stainless route when I replaced the roof rivets on my 2008 SD, using acorn nuts on the inside. Worked like a charm. I live in the Mojave Desert and the sun can be death to those plastic rivet caps.

Jane in Ridgecrest, CA
ellen95616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2020, 12:56 PM   #17
Member
 
Name: Perry
Trailer: Casita 17' SD
California
Posts: 50
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
If the washer base is missing or deteriorated, but the rivet itself is still tight and not leaking, you can cut out the old base, split a new base, slip it under the rivet head, and pop a new cap on. No need to replace the whole rivet.
Good suggestion, thanks for the idea. Also agree a dab of silicone after the new split base is installed before the cap snaps on will insure it stays watertight.
EggRoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2020, 01:30 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 9,905
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by EggRoll View Post
Good suggestion, thanks for the idea. Also agree a dab of silicone after the new split base is installed before the cap snaps on will insure it stays watertight.
I'd strongly recommend a non-silicone adhesive caulk. Silicone leave a residue on fiberglass that is almost impossible to remove.
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2020, 01:59 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Name: DAN
Trailer: CASITA SPIRIT
California
Posts: 18
Exterior Fiberglass Sealant

And Yes..DO NOT USE SILICON SEALANT !
The best sealant for exterior fiberglass is Loctite Marine Adhesive-Sealant or Loctite Window-Door and Siding Polyurethane.
Silicon eventually peels off on exterior fiberglass application !
CHICO DAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2020, 02:09 PM   #20
Member
 
Trailer: Casita 13 ft
Posts: 45
Aluminum tape to replace rivet caps

Instead of removing and replacing rivets just because the cap is bad, I cover the rivet head with a piece of aluminum tape. If you need to replace the rivet at a later date, the aluminum tape is easy to remove. No water will get through the tape so there is no need for silicon or any other sealant. Unlike the plastic caps, the aluminum tape will not weather and disintegrate. It is a simple repair that will last as long as the trailer will.

Cosmetically, aluminum tape painted to match the fiberglass is practically invisible. For the rivets on the roof of the trailer, I use squares of tape about 1" square. For the sides I cut round patches about the size of a half-dollar.

It is less expensive, easier to do, and longer-lasting than plastic caps.
jim_ivy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
casita


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My Broken Back 16ft. Casita Nor Cal Mike Modifications, Alterations and Updates 223 05-03-2020 11:59 AM
How do I fix broken corner of the door davis Modifications, Alterations and Updates 3 03-03-2016 10:42 AM
Broken lock on Casita battery cover!? amyn Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 15 02-24-2014 06:44 AM
Casita trailer brakes missing...need advice outdoorman Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 7 12-02-2013 10:25 PM
Cracked and Broken Fiberglass Fix it Yourself Highway68 Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 16 03-20-2010 09:46 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.