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Old 07-02-2002, 11:29 AM   #1
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getting behind the walls...

How do you do it? there is a very neat looking wall covering on my 73 safari, and I can't see how to go about removing it to get behind the walls in the event that I need to run a wire somewhere.

One thing that may have to be done right away is tail light replacement. I'm having some tail light trouble that goes beyond a burned out bulb...havent' determined the source of the trouble yet, but the entire tail lights that are affected might need to be replaced, (there's some corrosion in there...might be time) which from what I can see, will require the removal of the square assembly that just magically appears to stick to the outside of the trailer. I'm thinking that it must be bolted or screwed from the inside, which will require access from the inside walls. The street-side is behind the shower (ugh), and the curb-side is in the closet....but still, there's a nice, neat "headliner" type covering that I don't want to wreck. How do I access these???
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Old 07-03-2002, 04:33 AM   #2
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Lightbulb Behind walls..

Almost all of the A/S interior can be removed by carefully drilling out the rivets. Naturally, you may have to move the bed, cabinet..what have you out of the way first. Check your owners manual for some insights. At least in mine, it has given more info then I've ever needed. But, thanks goodness it there...just in case.
ciao
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Old 07-03-2002, 09:09 AM   #3
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What I'm looking at doesn't look like "rivets". There's a vinyl-like material covering the walls, with these tiny little grommet-thingy's. reminds me of an older car's headliner. I should take a picture and post it.

My owner's manual doesn't say a thing about it. Perhaps the service manual does....I don't have one of those yet. I need to call A/S and get one......
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Old 07-10-2002, 10:57 PM   #4
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Smile A/S

That might be a good time to ask them the same question while on the fone with them..
Just to be safe.
ciao
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Old 07-11-2002, 08:07 AM   #5
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Thanks, I got it figured out now....those are rivets. (I am "rivet-challenged...never dealt with them before). As for the tail lights, I think I got the answer to that, too.
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Old 07-11-2002, 08:27 AM   #6
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I was quite rivet challenged before owning an Airsteam myself. After our Mystic Springs Rally I have no problem drilling out and replacing rivets...there are photos posted here of some of PeterH's techniques....very smooth!!
Its those pop rivets that look like grommets, while Olympic rivets have the shaved smooth rounded appearance when done.
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Old 07-11-2002, 08:36 AM   #7
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Talking rivets

Chuck, I know that feeling.
Rivets are drilled out using a drill bit that fits the inside hole of the rivets. What I do, (this seems to work just fine) is drill until you feel the bit sudden 'give'. Then, I changed the drill bit for a slightly larger bit to drill out the rivet casing. It's just a matter of pushing the rivet casing inward at this point. (You want to clear the hole of the old one.)
I'm sure that the new rivets can be obtained from A/S, or InLand RV. Touch em up with matching paint afterwards. Once you do a few, you'll find it fun~!~
ciao
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Old 07-11-2002, 09:19 AM   #8
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yes, I need to re-visit those pages. Ok, so I understand now what "pop-rivets" are. But my dad was describing another type of rivet that requires the rivet-er to be able to access the back side of the materials being fastend, and using something called a "backer plate". (apparently, aircraft skins are fastened this way). I'm wondering if this is how A/S skins are fastened this way....doesn't seem like it would be effective for replacing panels sections, as you'd have to tear out the inside skin as well. From what I saw on this site on that subject, it appears that the "olympic" rivets are used. We found some on my coach, where I think a window was replaced, and the remnants of the center shaft is visible. I showed the old man the picture on inlandrv's site of "olympic rivets", and he said that those look like "cherry rivets". So I'm wondering.....are all a/s skins fastened with this type of rivet at the factory, or is this only used when a replacement is necessary?
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Old 07-11-2002, 09:40 AM   #9
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Smile ref:

Chuck..I haven't as of yet replaced a outer skin per se but, I betcha there's someone on this forum who has. They'd be the 'expert' to ask fer sure. I've done the belly skin before and, from what I saw it was just plain ole pop rivets. The outer skin's rivets are shaved to get that rounded look.(Is this what your father was referrin to as 'Cherry'?) The method that, you refer to as using a back plate is, in my opinion, not what I envision A/S using on the outer skin. I may well be wrong abt that. WISHED I HAD LOOKED CLOSER WHILE AT THE FACTORY..You can be sure that, my next visit close to the end of this month..I will~!~!
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Old 07-11-2002, 09:45 AM   #10
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When the trailers and classic motor homes were manufactured the exterior skins were "Buck" riveted into place. This required two workers. One on the outside to hold it in place, and one on the inside to flatten the end. The Olympics (Or cherry as your dad calls them) are used for repairs and can be finished to look just like the original rivets. The benefit to the Olympic rivets is that you do not have to remove the insides of the trailer to use them. Also some would say that the Olympics are stronger that the buck rivet because of the way they flatten out, they have more "grip" contact. There is a special tool required to finish the Olympic rivets but you can do a passable job with a dremel tool and a bit of patience.
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Old 07-11-2002, 09:53 AM   #11
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Ok...sounds like the old man was right. this special tool: is that the "rivet shaver" that I've seen referenced? which dremel attachment would you use to get the same result?

The olympic rivets that we saw around the front window were smaller than the ones holding the skins together, but I bet they're available in different sizes (?).
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Old 07-11-2002, 10:01 AM   #12
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ref

Chuck, to be honest with you..speaking for myself, I'd stick with the rivet shaver that you hear everyone talking abt. It the results that count and, I just feel it's better to use the proven method the first time around.(At the very least what you might end up doing is..re-riveting again or, at the worst is messing up the skin...yuck)
Oh fer sure, you know they come in different sizes. It's just that the larger ones are shaved. I believe this was done more for water sealing and, good looks just happened...lol
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Old 07-11-2002, 12:09 PM   #13
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How many engines?

Hate to mention it Vern, but it takes 2 PBYs to have 4 engines.

http://www.catalina.demon.nl/
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Old 07-11-2002, 01:06 PM   #14
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ref:

John, you right abt that.
thanks again
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