Roof Rivet Replacement

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kilovictor
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Roof Rivet Replacement

I noticed two acorn nuts at the top of the clothes closet were loose and I could move them up and down. So I inspected them on the roof and could pull them up about an eighth of an inch. I know water could get in if I were to be in the rain. So I removed the rivets and replaced them with #10-24 x 1" Stainless steel machine screws. The rivets from the factory use acorn nuts as bucking. Photo #1 shows the location of the two rivets and photo #2 is a close up to show that rivets used were too long to snug up. The other photos show the sequence to drill out the old and replace with the machine screws.

Done! Took me as long to write this and upload pictures as it did to do the job.

KJ

Greg A
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Nice Job

KJ, Great step by step! I'm adding this to the maintenance table of contents....

Good choice going to the SS Machine screws and nuts especially in that location. Question did you put a regular washer/nut on first then add the acorn nut as decoration? 

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ELongest
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Nylock Nuts

FWIW

I've found it best to use nylock nuts when replacing rivets with screws. With the ratfur and refletic you can apply too much pressure if you use a lock washer and nut. I snug down the nut to see how much screw sticks out. Remove the screw, cut to length and reinstall. You can dab a bit of clear silicone sealant on the screw end if you desire. I use #10 -24 SS screws for 3/16 rivet replacement.

Eddie

kilovictor
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Nutz

I considered the nylock nuts but all the other nuts in the camper were acorn and I thought it would stand out too much. I did put a drop of permatex medium strength blue on the threads to retard loosening. The machine screws were pretty close to being the right length but I had to shorten them both because the acorn has a set depth. I ended up using two SS flat washers on one of them. When you tighten a screw you have to consider you are squishing fiberglass so I didn't go crazy with it. To be honest I like the screws better because I can control torque as opposed to rivets that have a set tensile snap point. 

Gordon2
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Nylock nuts

Just want to mention that I bought a Scamp new from Scamp in Sept 2015 and it had those exact same bolts, #10 -24 Stainless steel (with hex/allen head) in the fridge/microwave cabinet to roof attachment point.  The acorn nut was loose so I put on a nylock nut (sung but not too tight). and in my case the bolt was still long enough that I could also put the acorn nut on top of the nylock to make it look better.

It seems that Scamp has decided to use a very few bolts in areas where rivet failure has been a problem.

Flyboyscamp
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Roof Rivet

Great job! I did the same thing to,the same troublesome rivet, came out great!

<p>Doug Allen 2016 Ford F-150 2018 Lance 1575</p>

dpschul
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Roof Rivets; another approach (for a masochist...)

Greetings fellow Scampers.  My nused '95 16' had very few rivet caps remaining and the resulting water leakage had caused most of the ratfur to fall.  My previous experience with auto headliner replacement led me to a trusty 3M product, "Yellow Super Trim Adhesive" p/n 08090.  I was able to re-glue the reflectix and re-laminate the ratfur with a bit less than 2 cans.  This product has far greater adhesion characteristics than 77 adhesive.

After the ceiling was back in place, it was time to replace the rivets.  Having read this thread and others, I decided to go with 1/4-20 stainless button head bolts as the acorn nuts are that diameter and thread pitch and they would look stock underneath the bolts.  I did choose to back-up the acorn nut with a 1/4" nylon washer so the nuts when turned would not gouge the fiberglass.

I ordered the snap caps and bases from Scamp, along with a bunch of other parts that a nuser would typically need.  Prices seemed reasonable, service was lightning fast and shipping was also reasonable.  

The snap cap bases needed to be reamed out so the 1/4-20 bolt will fit through, the SS bolt button head fits neatly under the cap, but the difficulty in the actual replacement is in the wide variance in length that the rivets can naturally adjust to as they reach their tensile limit and break.  Stocking myself with enough 5/8", 3/4", 1", and 1 1/2" bolts wasn't that expensive, but the trial and error of working through the correct length with each hole is seriously time consuming.  I have finished the roof rivet replacement on the door side, but am seriously thinking of returning to rivets on the drivers side.  

Having not worked with fiberglass extensively, I am beginning to see why the construction techniques on these trailers are what they are, using rivets and not bolts.  The fiberglass material is flexible to the point that the sandwich of Shell, reflectix, ratfur, and cabinet is probably best joined with a rivet that will pull to a specific point and snap.  Attempting to join the sandwich and assume the correct fastener tension is pretty darn difficult and to what benefit?

If anyone has any better options I'd like to hear them.  Else, I'm going back to rivets. 

Lupine
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Rivet Replacement under Ratfur

Finally am replacing old loose rivets with SS screws as recommended several times here.  However, some rivets are under the ratfur.  Are they the same length as the rivets for the cabinets (with nuts covering them on the inside?).  So how do you find the rivet from the inside under the ratfur?  How do you pull apart the ratfur?  Is the 3M Yellow Super Trim Adhesive the best for re-glueing the ratfur? What is ‘Refectix’ and how does one replace that?   Just beginning this badly needed maintenance!

<p>Lupine</p>

Greg A
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Hi Lupine,

Hi Lupine,

I had the elephant hide on my 13 Scamp when I did my SS rivet replacement which is much easier to work with than the rat fur. I don't recall many rivet locations that weren't visible on the interior or under the hide. 

I personally, would just replace any rivets under the rat fur and not readily accessible with a rivet. You'll just have to be careful not to drill through the rat fur when drilling out the old rivet. Then just pull the rivet from the outside with new snap cap.

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Lupine
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Rivet Replacement under Rat Fur and Caps Tip

Hi Again Greg:  Thanks for this reply.  George and I finally finished replacing all the rivets on the roof with #10-24-3/4 inch SS screws on the trailer roof, and wherever there were loose rivets on the sides.   We used #10-24-1/2 inch SS screws for rat fur covered areas, or areas behind the cabinets and behind the frig (I think...my husband helped tighten those on the inside).            TIP:  I found that waiting a day or 2 until the weather warmed up (lots of freezes and snow in CENTRAL California, if you can believe), to place the plastic caps over the screws and plastic nuts, the caps would snap into place better.  I’m not sure if the butyl tape had to dry a bit? Or whether the warmer weather allowed the plastic caps to stretch over the screws better.  I used a white marine adhesive for the caps as suggested.  THANKS so much for everyone’s posts and help; it’s great to have this website to get maintenance instruction when there’s no fiberglass trailer repair shops nearby!  

<p>Lupine</p>

Greg A
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SS Bolts - Nuts

Back in 05 I redid an 81 13 Scamp and drilled out all the rivets and replaced with SS bolts n nuts. We put close to 13000 miles on it with no issues with any of the glass or bolts. We sold it locally and it's still going strong 11 years later, so I don't think rivets vs bolts has any construction based issues. I would think the primary reason Scamp uses rivets is cost. You can re-rivet a 13 for under $50, much less if buying bulk wholesale, and the SS Bolts n nuts cost us close to $300 back then, probably more now.

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