Pop Rivets on Underneath Bottom Back Panel release
Thanks to a Alumapalooza seminar last May which asked us owners to get under our trailers and look for missing pop rivets. On Monday I took my creeper to the storage area where I keep my 2006, 25' Safari SS. Thankfully, I have a cement floor where the use of a creeper is possible. I found, on the bottom underneath back aluminum panel, rivets that had pulled loose across the entire back row, leaving a loose panel hanging down about 1-1/2". Truth is, the panel was riveted too close to the edge when considering the distance from this back row of rivets to the row of the closest rivets about four foot away. The weight and vibration in the rear would allow this poorly riveted panel to come loose. Here is a picture of the separation. The first picture (0320, upside down) is looking below the back bumper towards the front showing the dropped down panel. The second picture (0327, upside down) shows a rivet head pulled loose. The entire back row of rivets were the same way. The third picture (0336, also upside down) shows how I supported the panel with a 8'-2 x 4 held up with a bottle jack, about 3' from the released rivets. The fourth (0331, also upside down) shows another 2 x 6 support held up with a floor jack about 2" from the released rivets.
I drilled out all the bad rivets with a 3/16" drill bit, drilled new holes further from the edge of the sheet and inserted 1/8 x 3/16 aluminum rivets and also put new rivets where the bad rivets were but with a large aluminum washer. As an added note, the tail end of the rivet is inside the rear drain tube storage compartment, next to the front edge.
The panel is now solid and will hold up for a long time. I bring this to the AirForum in case someone else may have had a similar problem or may find this in the future. Sorry about the pictures; first time I have tried to add a picture. How do I correct this picture problem in the future???