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Old 08-23-2014, 10:36 PM   #1
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Help a newbie! Popped rivets on interior roof and side...

Newbie here...I just traveled across the us in my new 2014 19' Flying Cloud. Upon arrival, I found 2 rivets on the floor inside the AS (not the whole rivet more like the head that got sheared off). Should I be concerned? Is this normal? We have had some light rain here in Teton and haven't seen any sign of water in the AS, but I assume rivets from the interior are not going directly to the outside shell of the AS...true?

In general, looking for guidance on how common this is, if it's a big deal, how to get fixed, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:46 PM   #2
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Airstreams are built to flex. If you get enough flexing, you're bound to find some popped rivets. Interior rivets do not go though the outer shell...and visa versa. The rivets you found inside probably hold interior skins together or cabinets to wall, etc. The question is how much is too much? If you are getting that much shaking, rattling and rolling going on, then you have to ask about your running gear, tire pressure, road conditions, tow vehicle, hitch system....all can be factors when it comes to beating up your Airstream...
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:03 PM   #3
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It is not uncommon. As said, popped rivets come from stress that can be caused by a number of things...including bad roads. I wouldn't worry too much about it unless you have a lot of rivets popping in a row or if they repeatedly pop in a given area. If that happens I'd have the matter looked into. A random one here and there is normal and expected.

If you are still under warranty they can be replaced by a service center ... and get their opinion of whether there is a deeper issue. If so, it can likely be dealt with under warranty.

We bought a rivet gun and replace our own rivets when they occasionally pop. It take some practice so get used to it using a tin can or such so when it's time to do the real thing you are ready. You'll need to drill out the shank of the rivet that popped, then put a new rivet in its place.

An additional note: We added Centramatics to our wheels ... They are in-motion self-balancing discs that you place betwen the wheel and the drum...and the don't cost that much for single axle trailer. They reduced the number and frequency of popped rivets for us.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TBRich View Post
It is not uncommon. As said, popped rivets come from stress that can be caused by a number of things...including bad roads. I wouldn't worry too much about it unless you have a lot of rivets popping in a row or if they repeatedly pop in a given area. If that happens I'd have the matter looked into. A random one here and there is normal and expected.

If you are still under warranty they can be replaced by a service center ... and get their opinion of whether there is a deeper issue. If so, it can likely be dealt with under warranty.

We bought a rivet gun and replace our own rivets when they occasionally pop. It take some practice so get used to it using a tin can or such so when it's time to do the real thing you are ready. You'll need to drill out the shank of the rivet that popped, then put a new rivet in its place.

Arnoldjeff, TB is right on. A couple on your new trailer--normal. Get your rivet gun at HD and 1/8 th and the next size larger 3/16 inch aluminum pop rivets for repairs. I think your inside are 1/8 th inch.--3/8 inch long. You will probably find the shank is already gone, if not, tap out with a small punch or drill out. Insert rivet, Press your gun hard against the skin and squeeze a new one in place. You're done.


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Old 08-24-2014, 01:31 PM   #5
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JC sells a rivet kit (with or without the shaver) that has a good riveting tool and a supply of the various rivets used on an AS. I bought one a couple of years ago and have the occasional use for it.

TBRich also mentions the Centramatics - I had those installed as well. Vibration as well as flexing can cause rivets to shear. Driving along the highway at 60 mph with out-of-balance wheels will cause rivets to shear, drawers to open and a plethora of issues. At $50 per wheel, Centramatics are highly recommended. I even have them on my TV. They balance the entire assembly: wheels, tires, brake drums/disks dynamically.
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:46 PM   #6
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Call tech support at Jackson Center and ask them to send you a supply of rivets (as you have popped a couple in the interior. They will. Also ask them if they would send you a couple of small scraps of aluminum for you to drill and practice.

Get your own rivet gun at Lowes or HD, and go for it. You'd be surprised at how easy they are to replace.

Now, be observant and try to keep a mental record of future popped rivets. If they occur frequently, you more than likely have something going on with your towing setup, and it needs adjustment.

Good luck!
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:59 PM   #7
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I purchased my '06 in '09 and noticed a popped rivet right away. When I had it in to the local dealer for some regular maintenance the tech went over it lightly, caulked around the rear window and replaced the rivet at no charge.

I had a pop rivet tool and the proper sized aluminum rivets at home. It wasn't long before I found a few more missing rivets so I got pretty good at drilling out the old and replacing them. I changed out the original Goodyear Marathons and replaced them with Maxxis, made sure they were balanced and readjusted my WD hitch. When people say to get a rivet gun, I have a feeling they mean to get a good pop rivet tool. The tech suggest this and the rivets I have replaced look identical to the original. The interior rivets are completely different from the exterior ones.

I haven't had a popped rivet since other than the one I found after I jacked up the trailer to replace a flat tire. Airstreams do flex but only to a point. I think of the rivets like the canaries in the coal mines. When you find a few laying around dead on your floor you need to pay attention.
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Arnoldjeff View Post
Newbie here...I just traveled across the us in my new 2014 19' Flying Cloud. Upon arrival, I found 2 rivets on the floor inside the AS (not the whole rivet more like the head that got sheared off). Should I be concerned? Is this normal? We have had some light rain here in Teton and haven't seen any sign of water in the AS, but I assume rivets from the interior are not going directly to the outside shell of the AS...true?

In general, looking for guidance on how common this is, if it's a big deal, how to get fixed, etc.

Thanks!
Got to ask, did you find the holes they might of come from? If no holes they might of been just trash left over from the construction process. My new to me 2006 Safari LS 23 is several years old now and I am finding all kinds of build trash behind the cabinets and pull outs.
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