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Old 10-31-2016, 04:34 PM   #1
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Rivet replacement ?

After our first season with our Bambi we have lost 4 inside rivets on the curved section of the ceiling, popped the heads, is this a common problem ? is this easily fixed, ?, should I fix it now or wait until I get close to the end of the warranty, fall of 2017?
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Old 10-31-2016, 04:38 PM   #2
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Yes it's common and easily fixed with easily available aluminum pop rivets and a rivet gun. Get them at any hardware store.

If you're having your dealer do the repair, wait until your'e closer to the end of warranty in case there are other issues. That will save a trip to the dealer.
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. I was at the dealer today (Colonial) to winterize and they replaced the rivets...no problem.
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:44 PM   #4
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I too am intimidated about using a rivet gun. Below I have copied and pasted an aid from the airstream.com official site for a gun, shaver, and different size rivets. So I am confused about going to a hardware store and what size and etc. This kit from airstream is $350.00 bucks.

The Official Airstream Rivet Kit contains everything you need to get started. It contains a Marson Klick-Turn Swivel Head Rivet tool with 4 nose pieces (3/16″, 5/32″, 1/8″, 3/32″) and an assortment of rivets including at least 25 each of the following: Olympic Rivets (exterior repair rivet – shaver included for proper installation), 1/4″ head diameter rivet with 3/8″ length and with 1/2″ length for interior rivet replacements, and underbelly rivets with two different head sizes. Also includes drill bits, #10, #21 and #30.
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Old 01-26-2017, 12:31 AM   #5
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If you can get a model number or spec for the rivets you need, a store like Fastenal (www.fastenal.com) should be able to get you rivets much less expensively than Airstream. Rivets generally have a diameter, a grip range (thickness of material it is expected to hold together), a head size and type, and a body and mandrel material. There are a few rivet types, some being more waterproof or better at one thing or another, but just getting all that info from Airstream and bringing it to a specialty fastener store should save you plenty of money depending on how many rivets you expect to need. I'm facing a partial to full gut job on mine, so I've been slowly working to spec out what I'll need so I'll have them on hand.
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Old 01-27-2017, 01:11 PM   #6
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I bought the kit from JC several years ago when I was in for service. The guys had just finished a training session for dealers' techs, so they took me into the back and me install & shave a couple of Olympic rivets. From time to time I've had to replace interior rivets. While I never needed to replace an Olympic rivet on my AS, I did on two wide-body 34-ft AS's camped near me where rivets on the front plate has come off due to the torquing of the AS body. Vintage Trailer Supply has the component parts as well - from them I bought the tool needed to drill out an Olympic or bucked rivet.
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Old 01-27-2017, 01:23 PM   #7
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No, no need to spend $350. Go to Lowe's and get a rivet gun kit for $25.

http://www.ourflyingcloud.com/2016/1...t-gun-kit.html
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Old 01-30-2017, 05:17 PM   #8
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Black Magic, I see your reference to interior rivets and to Olympic rivets. Help me understand the terminology, please. I assume others reading this might have the same question.
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Old 01-30-2017, 06:32 PM   #9
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Interior rivets are pop rivets Olympic rivets are used on the outside as a replacement for the buck rivets . They install like a pop rivet but you need to trin off the shank when finished .
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodfox45 View Post
Interior rivets are pop rivets Olympic rivets are used on the outside as a replacement for the buck rivets . They install like a pop rivet but you need to trim off the shank when finished .
That's correct. Both the pop rivet and the Olympic rivets are blind rivets - in that you only work with and see one side - buck rivets require access to both sides. The pop-rivet uses a "nail head" to pull it tight and the resulting bulge holds it tight, but it is not as strong as a buck rivet. The Olympic rivet opens up inside like a molly bolt with three arms which makes it a much stronger rivet than the ordinary pop rivet, almost as strong as a buck rivet. However, in order to have a nicer finish (no hole like a pop rivet), the shank is cut back and then trimmed with a shaver to make it look just like a buck rivet. The shaver, which fits into the chuck of a hand drill, is an expensive tool, costing about $250.
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Old 02-01-2017, 02:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlkershaw View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. I was at the dealer today (Colonial) to winterize and they replaced the rivets...no problem.
This is totally a personal opinion because I know nothing about popped rivets.

Fixing those or any future problems right away was/is the smart thing to do and here's why.

Get the rivets and any future issues fixed right away so the issue can be "retested" to see if the problem returns. This way your unit is still under warranty and it can be documented as a chronic problem.
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:22 AM   #12
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Are the Olympic rivets suitable to attach an entire panel to the frame? Will they hold the panel as well as buck rivets?

Thanks for all the wisdom.

Michael
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Old 08-21-2017, 12:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mistermike View Post
Are the Olympic rivets suitable to attach an entire panel to the frame? Will they hold the panel as well as buck rivets?

Thanks for all the wisdom.

Michael
Yes, they will.

When JC installed two trays to hold the new size 4D batteries in my AS, they had to remove the old battery boxes. This left two square holes in the front plate, which they closed up by replacing front plate (that's the panel behind the propane tanks) using Olympic rivets.
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