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Old 09-18-2015, 01:35 PM   #1
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Defective Interior Rivets in 2013 Flying Cloud?

Greetings,

First post, so here goes. My wife and I bought a new 2013 FC 25FB 2 years ago. Upon retirement from the military earlier this summer, we hit the road on 16 July and have been out ever since.

I have now replaced several interior rivets that have broken off while in transit. While I was at Jackson Center at the factory in July, I picked up some rivets (that are indeed of better quality than the ones in my FC) and spoke to one of the techs. He indicated that "a couple years ago, we had some bad rivets". I went on my way and fixed the ones that had broken.

Fast forward 6 weeks, and I just fixed another. I also have one that will require removing the cabinet over the sink to repair, a job I do not look forward to.

So, I come to the vast knowledge of the forum members for help. First, is there a recall or any recourse by Airstream to repair/replace defective rivets? Also, what can I do to minimize the little rascals from popping off?

Thanks,
John
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:05 PM   #2
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Having had Airstreams since 1978 or so, all I can say is that rivets shear off now, and always have. Old or new, Airstreams move as they go down the road, they twist and flex. You can find rivets poped or loose at any time. Just put a new one in and don't worry or it will drive you nuts. It is part of owning an Airstream.
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:19 PM   #3
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Are you getting more rivets shear off near the axles? If so, you need tires balanced or Centramatic balancers. Are you pulling with a truck with heavy springs? Are you using load bars that are too stiff for your trailer? All these things can cause rivets to shear and a few will shear over time from normal wear and tear. Are you running 80lbs in tires when you could lower that to maybe 50 psi with better tires?

Perry
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:35 PM   #4
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Rivets have been replaced from front to rear. No pattern. Tires are stock Goodyear Marathons at 65 PSI. Load bars are 800 lbs (I believe).

Understood on normal wear and tear, it was really the comment the AS tech made when I was a JC that caught me off guard.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:02 PM   #5
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The rivets are doing exactly what they're designed to do. When stress is put on the joint the rivet breaks. Popped rivets are common and are no big deal. Think of some of the roads you've been on - or maybe you're lucky and only drive perfectly smooth roads. Don't sweat popped rivets.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:06 PM   #6
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My 2015 Bunk is already missing at least half a dozen so far. I have had to wood glue and Loctite most all of the fasteners. I'll have the rivets replaced next time in the dealer.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:08 PM   #7
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Suggestion, give Jackson Center a call and talk to them about the issue. They may be willing to work with you on it.
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:03 PM   #8
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We have the same problem with our 2007 25' FB with a few near the rear door popping. The one above the kitchen cabinet is a real pain to get to. The cabinet is very heavy and very difficult to align the screws when replacing it after doing the rivet if you don't reduce the weight. Make sure you remove the cabinet doors and the kitchen exhaust fan hood to reduce the weight and have a friend help you support the cabinet in place while you try to get the mounting screws back into their respective holes in the trailer. It is a two person job! Good luck.
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:11 PM   #9
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What do you need to replace rivets?
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:13 PM   #10
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I don't really think that sheared rivets are normal. Yes, it happens, but it's not de jure.

Might want to make sure you're not getting excess wiggle of the Airstream while underway. A bunch of folks use Centramatics wheel balancers to make sure all's well downstairs while you're driving.


Lynn
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:47 PM   #11
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Would it be wrong to drill new rivet holes inside the cabinet that you can get to without removing said cabinet? As long as its out of sight would it matter that the rivets don't line up to the factory drill pattern?
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Old 09-19-2015, 02:48 PM   #12
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This is funny....
In the 150000 I have logged on my Classic 34 in the last 4 years, I have popped 3 rivets, the same one in the bathroom. It's really odd as there are many in the reinforcing strip between the vanity and shower. I suspect the hole is bigger in the cosmetic sheet of aluminum and there is some wiggle there.
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Old 09-19-2015, 03:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLGeek View Post
Rivets have been replaced from front to rear. No pattern. Tires are stock Goodyear Marathons at 65 PSI. Load bars are 800 lbs (I believe).

Understood on normal wear and tear, it was really the comment the AS tech made when I was a JC that caught me off guard.
I was also having a bit of a problem with popped rivets. I was also using 800 lb load bars with a Ford F-250 4WD. I read a post by Inland Andy saying that with the stiff suspension on the TV 800 lbs was too much. He suggested changing to 600 lb bars which I did. Popped rivet problem has been solved for 5 or six years now. Airstream tows just as nicely even in high crosswinds.

Ed
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Old 09-19-2015, 05:09 PM   #14
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There are thousands of rivets in an Airstream interior, a few missing is no big deal, just leave the hard ones out.
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