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Old 03-19-2019, 08:16 AM   #1
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1965 24' Tradewind
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Broken Rivets

We have a 1965 Tradewind that we have slowly started restoring. After towing the trailer about 2,000 miles in the last year a number of the interior rivets have started to break and fall out. All the exterior rivets are unaffected and there is no sign of deflection or creasing anywhere.

How common is it for interior rivets to fail? Is this something that happens with wear and tear or could this point to a lager issue?

My great grandfather purchased the trailer brand new and took it everywhere. I'm certain the trailer has well over 100,000 miles. The interior is all original and in good condition. It is my hope that we can restore the trailer without having to gut it down to the ribs.
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:35 AM   #2
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Have you replaced the axles? The rubber on them hardens over time, and gives the trailer a harder ride.

Kay
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:46 AM   #3
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Hmmm, doesn't a 1965 have leaf springs?

What tires are on the trailer? Pressure?
What hitch are you using and how much WD applied?
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:04 AM   #4
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Check axle

I agree with the earlier response to replace the axle(s) if original or older. A rough ride from worn out axles can make interior rivets shear. I replaced the axle on my 1964 Bambi II and things are nice and smooth...presumably.


That said, I have yet to install shocks (that project is forthcoming) and I still get some shearing of interior rivets, especially around the front interior end cap/dome.


Your trailer likely has NO MAJOR structural issues causing rivet shear, just worn out running gear.
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:56 AM   #5
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Tire pressure also has an effect on the trailer. If it is too high you will get the rivet problem, as well as the tire pressure on the tow vehicle, and incorrect WD hitch setup.
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:15 AM   #6
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Nope

Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Hmmm, doesn't a 1965 have leaf springs?

What tires are on the trailer? Pressure?
What hitch are you using and how much WD applied?
Torsion axles for sure.
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:56 AM   #7
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The good news is that interior rivets are easy to repair. I do agree that you should identify the cause of the issue (vibration due to rough ride?), but a pop rivet gun is about $9 and a pack of 100 aluminum (make sure you use aluminum!) rivets is around $5.
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:12 AM   #8
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Torsion axles for sure.
Well, my lack of "vintage" expertise is showing. Thanks. If the axle(s) are original, then I would certainly look to 55 year old rubber as the most prominent suspect.
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:05 PM   #9
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Broken Rivets

Welcome to AirForums.

Nice that such a wonderful Tradewind with a great history of travel by your great grandfather is now yours to continue traveling.

Yup as others have said, you need new axles and replace the popped rivets.

Dan
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:59 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone! Axles and shocks is already on the to do list, so good news there. By the look of them they've never been replaced.
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:54 AM   #11
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When we drug our 91 Excella home after buying it out of state I found several rivets on the floor from that trip, it got a revamp including new axles, tires and shocks and since has lost only a couple of rivets with a few thousand miles towing.
They are the same ones each time though and must be under a bit more stress.
Our 2011 Bambi had a couple missing too and nothing to worry about.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:15 AM   #12
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I think a lot of problems are from tires that are out of balance or brake drums are out of balance. I saw a lot of rivet damage in my 81 Excella II near the axles. I replaced rivets and have not had any problems since. I think one of the PO's ran it with really out of balance tires. I would balance the tires and maybe consider Centramatic wheel balancers. If you have spring axles, then keep them. I am not a big fan of rubber spring axles. Car type radials can also improve the ride over trailer tires. I like stuff that can be maintained not replaced.


Perry
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:20 AM   #13
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You are correct. The original tires probably had C or D range tires with 45 psi max pressure. Some folks are running trailer tires with much higher pressures. Pressure is an air spring and the more air the stiffer the ride and the more the little stuff rattles your trailer. This is stuff that springs can't respond to.



Perry



Quote:
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Tire pressure also has an effect on the trailer. If it is too high you will get the rivet problem, as well as the tire pressure on the tow vehicle, and incorrect WD hitch setup.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I think a lot of problems are from tires that are out of balance or brake drums are out of balance.

On my first few trips I didn't realize how much tires and shocks would affect vibration. I had a bad tire at one point, and I had a lot of things in drawers turn to powder (seriously). Imagine putting an orbital sander in a drawer with a bunch of gadgets and leaving it on for 12 hours. That's exactly what it was like.


I also stupidly listened to an RV dealer who once told me the shocks on an Airstream are almost completely worthless (he actually talked me out of replacing my VERY OBVIOUSLY WORN OUT ones when he packed the bearings). I now know he was super wrong.


I just replaced all four shocks and all four tires (load range E) on the 25' Tradewind as we are headed for the Grand Canyon tomorrow!
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minno View Post
Have you replaced the axles? The rubber on them hardens over time, and gives the trailer a harder ride.

Kay
^
X2

I had many a popped rivet on our 63 Safari caused by bad axles.

If most of the tire is hidden by the wheel well you need a new axle.
Bad...like this.
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