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Old 06-25-2013, 02:45 PM   #1
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1986 25' Sovereign
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Remove and rivet or seal?

The bottom rub rail, over the bumper, has this huge 12" long section that has separated from the body of the trailer about 1/4". I'm assuming where I show the arrows are where rivets once were but have since pulled through the rail. This seems like too big a gap to use my protrem but I fear removing the rail just for this section as the rest of the rail will only need parbond for the teeny gaps.
What do you think?
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:02 PM   #2
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can't really see from the photos what you mean but i would seal and rivet it back, you could always go up a rivet size or use olympics.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:09 PM   #3
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That rail covers the intersection of the fixed part of the bumper trunk cover and the rear panels of the skin, and is a place where water can get to the rear subfloor. I thought I had photos from when it was removed, but it turns out I just have photos of the bubbles coming up during the leak test.

Considering the "always covered" nature of your trailer, it might be worth the extra effort to remove the rail and seal the seam between the bumper trunk and the skin as well as sealing to keep water from going behind the rail after you re-install it. As you can see from the bubbles, that rail can hide stuff.



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Old 06-26-2013, 05:38 AM   #4
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ah i see, very dangerous place (bad design) you really want to seal that up nice and tight.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:53 AM   #5
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yes I understand the dangers of leaving that exposed and know that replacing the rivets is the right thing to do but wasn't sure if I wasn't going to end up creating new problems by doing that. In the past I have taken stuff apart only to end up 'breaking' what wasn't broken...you know...if it ain't broke don't fix it.

But also I now understand there may have been some misunderstanding as to where/how i'm talking about sealing...with the aluminum rail in tact or behind the aluminum rail. initially I was only speaking of with the rail in tact but I see that DKB... is speaking of behind the aluminum rail first and then reinstalling and re-riveting the rail then do a final sealing.

so here's the other/new thought...do you think my po added spare tire rack could be the cause of the rivet failure there? I wonder because there are no other places than the back rail that have disengaged like that. here's a photo of the tire rack and the blue arrow shows the 'trouble' area. it appears as if 4/5 rivets have popped in the one area and then another 1 or 2 to the left of that area at the vertical seam.

if I do remove the aluminum rail what size & style rivets will I need on hand?
thanks
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:27 PM   #6
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I have had my rub rail and belt line rails off and first I would take the spare off. It's not a good place for extra weight. In my case under the rub rail there are buck rivets that are structural and they would get replaced with Olympic rivets but I think it looks like your rail just needs to be re riveted in that particular area with standard 1/8 or 3/16 pop rivets. Then the gap between the bottom of the rub rail and the bumper storage I would use Vulkem and par bond for the top smaller gap. I love your trailer! Does it have the aluminum floor instead of plywood?
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:47 PM   #7
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247stream,
I would suggest removing (drill out pop rivets) the rub rail back to a joint in the rub rail (you can leave one end attached). That way, you're not redoing the whole thing but you can look behind the rub rail to see if there is any problem with the bucked rivets that hold on the lower skin to the bottom aluminum extrusion that holds the sub floor. If the bucked rivets are OK and everything else looks OK, you can get some 5/32" pop rivets (3/8" - 1/2" grip length available at many Ace Hardware or Home Depot Stores) and drill out the rub rail with a 5/32 or better yet a #20 or #21 bit. then reinstall the rub rail and put some caulk (Vulkem now TremPro) over the pop rivet heads.

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Old 07-04-2013, 12:07 AM   #8
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My bad, Steve is correct. 5/32 rivets for the rail.

Rob
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:09 AM   #9
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I took the rub rail off and used Trempro on the joint underneath, then reinstalled the rub rail and used the Trempro on the top side of the rub rail. It's not that big of a deal to take it off and re-install.
I do think you are probably stressing your frame/bumper assembly by having that spare riding on it.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:16 AM   #10
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Rivets

Also remember to use only all aluminum rivets. Make sure that the shank is aluminum (not steel) as well as the rivet body. This will keep you from future issues with dissimilar metal corrosion and rivet failure. Ed
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:55 AM   #11
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thanks everyone. so here's the plan. first, remove spare tire (now I have ammo against husband for removal haha). next, the gap is large enough for me to see what the riveting & seam beneath looks like so with careful prodding and cleaning out of the gap I'll determine if I need to remove the whole metal railing (not just the insert) and re-seal what is beneath. If, as I suspect, it looks like the seam seal is still good then i'll just re-rivet the detached portion and do a final seal of the rail. I already have my trempro and parrbond ready to use so I just need to get rivets.

(I know it's impossible to see pin holes where water may still leak behind the railing but I think that's less likely than creating new issues by drilling out all the rivets to seal the seam beneath and that's a chance I'm willing to take IF all looks well in the section that has been exposed.)
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:04 AM   #12
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oh and no, the floor is not aluminum. I thought that was only on minuets?

thanks again everyone.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:27 AM   #13
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This is all very helpful as we are experiencing a similar problem with the rear floor of our 80 International. We have removed all of the nasty carpet and rotten sub floor, sealed all of the windows and rear lights, but still have a tiny bit of water seeping in from the bumper. I'll check to see if we have Tempro to seal, and then will re-rivet with Olympics. Thank you all so much - I am anxious to get our floor re-installed!
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:10 AM   #14
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Seal the joint

Drill out the rivets; remove the trim all around the trailer; seal the joint--I used Sikka; reinstall the trim; seal the rivets; install new vinyl insert; seal the trim with a thin line of Sikka; job complete.
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