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Old 09-21-2014, 02:17 PM   #1
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Check your belly pan for gaps!

We bought a riveting tool the other day and proceeded to rivet closed all of the openings between the banana wrap and underbelly pan on our 2014 Eddie Bauer. There were several mouse sized holes that are no longer there!

I highly recommend that all AS owners perform this little bit of preventive maintenance at least once a year. We just finished "deconstructing" a 1972 Overlander for a renovation at Colin Hyde's and were shocked at the amount of rodent infestation in that trailer. We are determined to protect our trailer from such a fate. Don't be intimidated by the appearance of the rivet tool. It's very easy to use.
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Old 09-21-2014, 03:09 PM   #2
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Good advice Bob. Fall weather has them looking for a winter home. If they get in our Airstream I hope they packed their bags and suntan lotion, they're going for a long road trip south in 19 days.
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Old 09-21-2014, 03:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Good advice Bob. Fall weather has them looking for a winter home. If they get in our Airstream I hope they packed their bags and suntan lotion, they're going for a long road trip south in 19 days.
Have a great rip and a wonderful winter, Doug.

Any stowaways in our trailer will have to wait for 11/11 to get a free trip down south, first stop: Lafayette LA for some good eating and good music!

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Old 09-21-2014, 04:33 PM   #4
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Here is a picture of the "after." I was surprised at how few rivets Airstream uses and how many of them had already let go. Our trailer has about 6,000 miles of towing on it. I added some extra rivets for good measure.
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Old 09-23-2014, 05:25 PM   #5
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A recent inspection of the rivets holding on the sheet metal belly pans on our AS revealed that about 5 of them had failed on the back section and 2 had failed on the front section causing the belly pans to hang down and flap in the wind. It's not an area of the trailer where I spend a lot of time (fortunately). A quick trip to the big box store for heavy duty rivets and galvanized fender washers (needed because the rivet openings in the belly pan were larger than the heads on the rivets) and the job was done. This was really a very easy repair. I replaced all of the rivets on the rear section under the assumption that if so many had already failed, the others weren't probably too far from going. The front panel didn't need nearly as much work as there are lots of additional connectors for the LP fuel line brackets that double as belly pan connectors. But, I gave everything a good inspection while I was in the neighborhood. I suspect my repair will last longer than the originals on our 2001 Safari. Now I've added regular inspections of the underside to my other preventative maintenance chores.
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nomad518 View Post
A recent inspection of the rivets holding on the sheet metal belly pans on our AS revealed that about 5 of them had failed on the back section and 2 had failed on the front section causing the belly pans to hang down and flap in the wind. It's not an area of the trailer where I spend a lot of time (fortunately). A quick trip to the big box store for heavy duty rivets and galvanized fender washers (needed because the rivet openings in the belly pan were larger than the heads on the rivets) and the job was done. This was really a very easy repair. I replaced all of the rivets on the rear section under the assumption that if so many had already failed, the others weren't probably too far from going. The front panel didn't need nearly as much work as there are lots of additional connectors for the LP fuel line brackets that double as belly pan connectors. But, I gave everything a good inspection while I was in the neighborhood. I suspect my repair will last longer than the originals on our 2001 Safari. Now I've added regular inspections of the underside to my other preventative maintenance chores.
I am finding that owning an Airstream (probably true of all RV's) is like owning a second home. Never a shortage of "honey do's!" At least these provide another legitimate excuse to buy some new tools.

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Old 09-23-2014, 06:32 PM   #7
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Bob, you're right there! I didn't own a rivet tool before I bought the AS. Now I find I'm looking for more places to use it. Also gave me a reason to buy a torque wrench (for the lug nuts). For some reason, I never had one of those either.
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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Bob, you're right there! I didn't own a rivet tool before I bought the AS. Now I find I'm looking for more places to use it. Also gave me a reason to buy a torque wrench (for the lug nuts). For some reason, I never had one of those either.
Nomad518, if you are looking for more tools/gadgets, check out the Sewer Solution, I use mine all the time and love it!!

Sewer Solution - YouTube
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:38 PM   #9
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Have a great rip and a wonderful winter, Doug.

Any stowaways in our trailer will have to wait for 11/11 to get a free trip down south, first stop: Lafayette LA for some good eating and good music!


A FANTASTIC place to eat that's visible from I-10 (exit 96 I think) is Fezzo's. Trust me, you WON'T regret the stop!


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Old 09-23-2014, 06:57 PM   #10
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Geez... at least you were not hauling a Stihl chainsaw to cut the blow down timber on a Forest Service road! A rivet tool would be a lot more convenient to haul around.

Our 2014 had one section of aluminum underbelly that had enough gap to draw in dirt and dust, so I took a tube of silicone and used half of it to seal it up. I, like yourself, went from the front to the back of the trailer looking for those gaps. Nothing else.

Do you have a "concealed rivet gun" permit?
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:02 PM   #11
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Geez... at least you were not hauling a Stihl chainsaw to cut the blow down timber on a Forest Service road! A rivet tool would be a lot more convenient to haul around.

Our 2014 had one section of aluminum underbelly that had enough gap to draw in dirt and dust, so I took a tube of silicone and used half of it to seal it up. I, like yourself, went from the front to the back of the trailer looking for those gaps. Nothing else.

Do you have a "concealed rivet gun" permit?
Open carry, Ray!
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:22 PM   #12
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My 73 gets mice every year. I have gone around and tried everything and my wife has found some stuff that stinks and the original downy sheets. My 73 is kept in a barn so I put mice poison all around the outside of the trailer, not inside. It keeps them down but I always get a few. I am bringing my trailer home this fall because when I keep it at home in the back yard I don't get any mice. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.


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Old 09-24-2014, 06:56 AM   #13
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My 73 gets mice every year. I have gone around and tried everything and my wife has found some stuff that stinks and the original downy sheets. My 73 is kept in a barn so I put mice poison all around the outside of the trailer, not inside. It keeps them down but I always get a few. I am bringing my trailer home this fall because when I keep it at home in the back yard I don't get any mice. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.


Brian
Brian, There are lots of strategies for discouraging mice from setting up shop in your trailer during periods of non-use. They include: dryer sheets, peppermint oil, balsam fir needles (in a bag of course) and so on. If you are interested in checking them out use the forum's search function. Mice can do terrible and irreparable damage to your trailer. I just finished deconstructing a friend's 1972 Overlander and let me tell you it was mouse city in there! The only hope for that trailer is a complete gut and frame off restoration which is what he is doing. Bob
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:13 AM   #14
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question for AnnArborBob

Hello! I see that you own a 2014 Eddie Bauer. I would like to pick your brain about this model. (sorry to jump into your discussion with a different topic but I didn't know how else to contact you - I am new to this website and not sure exactly how it all works).

I am new to the Airstream/RV world and am wondering if this is good model for first time owner?
I see you have much experience with RV's and wonder if you like this model in comparison with others you have owned?
Thanks, Stannie
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