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Old 07-12-2014, 08:21 AM   #1
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Blind rivets or normal rivets, should I fight progressive?

So we had the dreaded tire seperation (see attached photos)... LT 16" are already on order .... But my question here is about rivets, which I know nothing about.... Damage is bad from the tread kicking the crap out of the belly and side panel, but not as bad as I would have expected... Underbelly and banana wrap on passenger side is crushed, gas lines there pretty messed up, and the panel in question is the sheet on the lower passenger side that runs most the length of the camper. That panel was gouged up bad needs to be replaced. Progressive told me they want to use blind rivets (type that are inserted from outside) so they don't have to dismantle the interior. I know Airstream uses full rivets for a reason, but I know knotting about the benefit of full rivets vs blind rivets for structural integrity and strength...

So, is it not a big deal that they want to use blind rivets? You can see it will be a lot of rivets and I understand they want to save $$ and not dismantle the interior. They have assured me we will not be able to tell the difference, but how about the long haul? This camper is going in our will, any advice?

Thanks,

-Tavis
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:03 AM   #2
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Yes, definitely, solid, bucked rivets are better than blind rivets. That being said, there is a big difference between building a trailer from scratch and trying to repair one that is already assembled. Even the factory uses blind rivets to replace panels and segments. The big question is whether the size of the panel makes any difference. My suggestion would be to contact the factory and ask them what they would do, and for the cost difference in using blind vs bucked rivets (pretending that you are paying for it yourself). At least your insurance company isn't proposing just putting a patch over the damaged part of the segment.

I thought I saw that you were in Puerto Rico--a bigger concern might be finding a repair shop that has expertise in Airstreams--maybe the less they tear your trailer apart, the better.

good luck!


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Old 07-12-2014, 09:03 AM   #3
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I'm no riveter, but I play one on the forums.... The vintage Airstreams used buck (solid) rivets and the new Airstreams use pop rivets, aka blind rivets. The pop rivets used to join the panels together are Olympic pop rivets, which have a shavable rivet head. Once installed, the rivet head is shaved to give it the appearence of a solid head. You should be fine as long as they are using Olympic rivets.

I would be more concerned about who is doing the work and whether they are experienced with Airstream panel replacement.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:21 AM   #4
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The Mothership uses Olympic rivets in this type of repair. I had my trailer repaired there. It is fine after almost 3 years.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:24 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies. Let me clarify, we are stationed in Puerto Rico with my job, we are from Florida and the Airstream is at North Trail RV in Fort Myers.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:27 AM   #6
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It doesn't appear that any of the damage from your blow-out is structural. The belly pan and banana wrap are just covering up the frame to keep it out of the elements. You will be fine with pop rivets for the belly pan. They make large headed pop rivets for belly pan use.

The factory doesn't use pop rivets or olympic rivets for the structure of the trailer. Buck rivets are used....I was just there at Alumapalooza & watched them in action :-)
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:59 AM   #7
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There really is no structural damage other then the cross member outrigger on the back side of the wheel well. What they are going to replace is the entire lower vertical side panel (shiny aluminum with tire marks) and want to use blind rivets on that so they don't have to dismantle the interior. That is what I am concerned about. Thanks again for all the replies.


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Old 07-12-2014, 11:07 AM   #8
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Olympics should be used on the panels if they are replaced.


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Old 07-12-2014, 11:16 AM   #9
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Forgive my ignorance, are olympic rivets full rivets or blind?


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Old 07-12-2014, 11:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TavnAsh View Post
Forgive my ignorance, are olympic rivets full rivets or blind?


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They are considered a blind rivet.

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Old 07-12-2014, 11:28 AM   #11
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Great!! Thanks again for the replies sounds like the repair should be fine then!


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