Originally Posted by crazeevw
Wondering if I'm even in the right place. Got a suprise this past week, when I noticed that the lower awning support arm's rivet had broken off.
No idea where to even start with this problem. Of course, there are two bolts going into the skin where the ribs are, but the one area where it's riveted to the skin has broken completely in two.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly welcomed
From what I can see this is what I would do.
1. Remove awning arm to take weight off of it and make it accessible.
2. Remove the screws (they are stainless on my trailer) and remove the bracket, I would clean it off and drill out the rivet head if it was stuck in the bracket.
3. I would then determine if I could grind down the protruding broken rivet to get it flat, and then would drill out the remaining part with the correct size bit. I would either use a dremel tool or, if I was feeling confident, I would use a grinder. I would also determine if the screw holes were stripped.
3a. If the rivet can be removed cleanly, leaving the original hole, AND the screw holes were not stripped I would then replace the unit right were it is with the same size, or slightly larger screws, and replace the rivet with a large rivet, after sealing under it, then I would seal around it.
3b. If the screw holes were stripped and / or the rivet hole was in bad shape, and a larger rivet and / or screw would not work I would access the possibility of shifting the braket down or up half an inch. If it's similar to my trailer then the screws will be through the rib, therefor I would NOT move it right or left, just up or down. I would then drill pilot holes for the screws and a hole for the rivet, seal and replace. The rivet is most likely just secured to the skin, that's why it's not a screw, I would make sure to use a rivet on the skin, not a screw.
4. I would also look into the reason this happened. There could be a number of reasons, but the sideways pull on the awning isn't a good thing. It should only be up and down shear weight.