Fiberglass RV

Fiberglass RV (
-   Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers (
-   -   Reinstalling the belly band on my boler. Rivets or screws? (

bobdobqb 04-24-2021 10:15 AM

Reinstalling the belly band on my boler. Rivets or screws?
With the paint done on Lita now it's time to reinstall the belly band.

When I removed it a lot of the rivets had loosened off and it was only riveted through the top fiberglass lip. Now that it's going back on I was thinking of using #8 ss machine screws through the channel so it fastens through the top and bottom lip secured with nylock nuts on the underside of the channel.

I'm definitely not concerned about keeping it all original and aesthetically think screws would look fine. Mostly just wondered if anyone out there sees any obvious mechanical or other issues?

Thanks in advance!


Terry in Fowler 04-25-2021 05:14 PM

I have not used screws in fiberglass. That being said it have experience with wide range of other materials. I would expect screw threads tare through fibrous material as thin as a fiberglass trailer. I believe you need surface area on both sides of the hole. Maybe machine screws with nuts and washers. I would stick with stainless steel pop rivets. Just an opinion.

bobdobqb 04-25-2021 09:06 PM

Thanks Terry. I was certainly thinking that machine screws would be what I'd use but on reflection I might just go back to rivets. :loltu

redbarron55 04-26-2021 02:42 AM

When you rivet the band back on as you know the rivets generally penetrate the top of the lip. This opens up the possibility of leaks from water collecting on the top of the band and lip leaking into the cavity formed by the junction of the two parts and the fiberglass mat joining them on the inside.
This cavity can be formed and carry water that leaks in quite a distance from the leak.
Be careful to caulk the top side of the band only so that any water that gets in behind the band can leak outside and also take care to seal the joining area as carefully as you can.
I would not worry about installing a large number of rivets as the band, once riveted on the ends and a few spots around the trailer will not come off, but each river offers a place to leak and any hole that allows water ingress is a problem.
Use a good quality sealant to caulk the top of the band to the trailer side and no sealant on the bottom.
Been there and done that!
In my case I had a leak that showed up as a leak at the junction oc the belly band backing and the front of the door jamb. The actual point of water ingress was in the front of the trailer, probably 4 - 6 feet away.

bobdobqb 04-26-2021 04:05 PM

Thanks JD. I was also thinking of maybe using some sikaflex or 3M 4200 to seal the area between the 2 lips which would also keep the water from the joint area. The band previous had no sealant at all on the top side.

redbarron55 04-26-2021 04:21 PM

I don't think I would use 4200 as someday someone might want to take it off.
I fought that leak and fought that leak, even grinding a vee in the gap between the two "lips" and stuff in epoxy resin.
That gap was what was letting the water get into the cavity formed by the glass mat joining the two halves. It ran from about 1/2 way around the curve to the front of the door jamb and leaking into the closet I had built by the door.
I think the key is to just get a good seal at the top of the band and let whatever might get between the band and the shell run out.

bobdobqb 04-26-2021 08:46 PM

Thanks a bunch! :thumb

Borden 05-05-2021 10:06 PM

Ours is factory-installed rivet but used small 1/2" #6 stainless screws in to spots predrilled for repair.

Jon in AZ 05-06-2021 06:07 AM

I’d use rivets, especially since it’s non-structural and non-stressed. Rivets are smooth and will not rust. Screws can work loose, and the threads can wallow out the holes with time and vibration.

Put a dab of non-permanent, non-silicone caulk in the hole just before you pull it. Caulk the top side betwee the band and the shell after installation to keep water from running behind the belly band, where it can freeze and open the seam. Agree with not caulking inside or under to let any water that gets past the caulk have an exit path.

bobdobqb 05-06-2021 09:10 PM

Thanks folks!! I always appreciate the input here. Think I'll go back to rivets and do the sealing as suggested. Have to finish this off and get ready for camping!! :D

barrry smithe 05-08-2021 11:17 AM

Just know that the rivets are aluminum and won’t rust. These stainless steel screws are no doubt Chinese and will rust. They are not the rust proof variety.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:02 AM.

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