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Old 04-10-2008, 10:32 AM   #1
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'63 trotter popping interior ceiling rivets

Why are the rivets on the ceiling of our '63 Globetrotter popping out? I, rather, 'she who must be obeyed' spotted the holes after our last trip. They are in the seam where the nose piece meets the flatter panels forward of the vent. Also, where do I get the tan/ivory colored (?) rivets to replace them?
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:43 AM   #2
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On my trailer exterior rivets were popping out because the body was flexing too much due to a rotten floor and broken welds in the frame. At least that's what I blamed it on, and after fixing it all up no more rivets have come out. I hope that's not your problem!
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:49 AM   #3
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Check your axle too...if it hasn't been replaced, it should be.

It is 45 years old after all ~

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Old 04-11-2008, 09:26 AM   #4
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I have not only missing & black ring rivets but interior staunchion damage at the ceiling - I found an outrigger twisted up like a pretzel under the banana wrap, with other outriggers rusted through at belly pan contact areas and one of the solid wheel well outriggers tack welds snapped from frame and hanging. It's just too easy for people to cover up damage by replacing the wrap section since it's outta-sight outta-mind. I cringe at the thought of my AS flying like a Dukes of Hazard scene from jumping a curb or eating a tree stump out boondocking but I'm sure it happens to the best of them.

If you have loose anchors the shell will flex but know the movement will be transmitted elsewhere - loose & missing rivets over the entrance door can be caused by flex started at the wheel wells even on the opposite side. etc... ancient axles (if you have torsion axles) and out of balance running gear hammer oscillations through the flexible frame and shell that will find the weak spots.
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:33 AM   #5
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It's also caused by wheel imbalance.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input, even though you guys are scaring me to death.

Now a bit of history about us and this particular trailer. We owned it almost 25 years ago. I bought it back last year, for twice what I sold it for in '83. Walking into it again after nearly 25 years was an eerie experience. When I looked at the left handed plumbing repairs under the sink, I knew only guy who could have done that, me. We figured it was fate, karma, whatever and now we own it again.
After reading the posts I started looking around. The axles are border line, they have still a bit of angle to them. I know the floor is good, but there is one very small place under the front window, less than 4" square that could be replaced. I have had the belly open from the back to the axles, I saw rust but nothing loose, broken through or twisted. There is a small crack in the aluminum over door that has been there a while. I can not see any distortion in the ribs but then again I don't know what to look for.
Now for a question. I am using 1000 lb bars on my hitch, they are stiff. The hitch does ride a bit high compared to the truck and trailer. I have tried to adjust it, but it is either too high or too low. Could the bars be causing the problem? How about having them snatched up too tight, or too loose?

Pending what you guys say next, I guess want to tackle the easy things, wheel balancing is first.
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:26 PM   #7
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ChicknKathy........can you post a pic or two of side views of your Airstream? There are quite a few folks here on the forum that will tell you what they think of the axles just by looking at the pics. Give it a try.
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:34 PM   #8
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thanks, just side views? nothing from under, not that I like crawling under the trailer, but if it might help. I'll post the pics tomorrow.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:26 PM   #9
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You should not be using 1,000 pound bars on a trailer that small. I hope you have not installed too stiff springs on that back of the Tundra. You also may be running too high a tire pressure in the Airstream and the back of the Tundra which have made the ride too hard and is abusing the Airstream. The missing rivets could also just be wearing out from the movement over these 45 years of being pulled down the road. You will note I also have a 63 and I have noticed a rivet popping now and then over the 22 years I have owned it.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:48 PM   #10
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thanks, just side views? nothing from under, not that I like crawling under the trailer, but if it might help. I'll post the pics tomorrow.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:56 PM   #11
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dwightdi - I really like your suggestions as opposed to the other great ideas presented. In fact, I did increase tire pressure on both the truck and trailer before the last trip. I thought more was better, maybe not. I am going to bleed the tires down on both.
I will post pics of the tires to get ideas about the axle.
Thx
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:14 AM   #12
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Tire pressure too high!

My guess is that your tire pressure is too high in the trailer. That will cause rivet pop and other damage quicker than anything. Drop the pressure to what is recommnded for the trailer. Proper tires?
This may be easier than you think.
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:18 PM   #13
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thanks Anniedog. I will adjust the pressure for a trip next week. The tires are correct, I didn't have the popped rivets on three trips prior to this last one - when increased tire pressure - Our next trip will our acting debut with 'Ed' the trotter as the star of the show. Maybe that should be a new thread. How we made money with our Airstream.
Thx again
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicknKathy
Also, where do I get the tan/ivory colored (?) rivets to replace them?
I'm pretty sure they're regular rivets but were painted with the zolatone wall paint.
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