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Old 11-20-2005, 10:48 AM   #1
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Popped rivets, repair and prevention

I have a couple rivets that have given up and I have a couple questions. First, how normal is this,normal ageing and wear and tear? or does it mean there is a serrious structural problem? Second, do I just drill out the old rivets and replace or is the fix for this more involved? Finally, was this a problem that some sort of routine maintaince would have prevented? I have attached an image for all you rivet wizards to interpet.




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Old 11-20-2005, 10:55 AM   #2
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Rivets in my view are a normal maintenance item - they will pop from time to time - its a simple matter of replacing them with the same size/type.

Running gear and where you take the trailer can effect this, first make sure your running gear is balanced - so there is no vibration at speed. If you use the trailer on rough roads, there is not whole lot you can do other than keep the rivets replaced.

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Old 11-20-2005, 11:41 AM   #3
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The amount of black rivet residual which is in the area indicates you have relative movement between parts and wear. If you continue to use the trailer in this way the rivets will wear out or break. You either are enjoying yourself too much going down rough roads or have a vibration in the running gear. You have to look under the unit to see if there is some structual weakeness in the frame that is causing the frame of the trailer to work too much. Old frames can develop fatique fractures or corrosion that will weaken them and cause the trailer to move around too much. It is against most state laws but having someone (like yourself) in the trailer as it goes down a "normal" road for you at speed may open you eyes to what is going on in the trailer.
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Old 11-20-2005, 12:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
The amount of black rivet residual which is in the area indicates you have relative movement between parts and wear.
I wish I had thought to look for this when I bought the trailer. First thing I did when I purchases the trailer in August was to replace the axles, shocks, and tires so I have no way of knowing if the problem was taken care of by this work or not. My sense of things is that there isnt to much bouncing as I drove over 200 miles with the shampoo bottle sitting on a counter in the rear bath on the way home with it, but that and the fact that things generally stay where I put them is the only evidence I have. Now that I think of it the gouch in front tends to let itself down on longer tows...........
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Old 11-23-2005, 01:42 PM   #5
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I always have rivets popping out all over the place. This isn't normal? My AR is a 75 and has had almost everything replaced, but the axiles and shocks. Is that my problem?
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Old 11-23-2005, 02:51 PM   #6
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How are you using the trailer? I don't think rivets popping all over the place is normal....If so your wheels are way out of balance or you going over some very rough roads....

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Old 11-23-2005, 03:07 PM   #7
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In older coaches I've noticed a lot of sheared rivets in the interior skin, but not so much so in the exterior skin. I've heard that because aluminum will expand and contract with temperature changes, this will put strain on these rivets (interior) more so even than the exterior rivets.

It makes perfect sense that over time some of these will shear. If they did not and the aluminum was expanding and contracting with temperature fluctuations, I imagine you would wind up with some bends or creases in the interior skin, or at least stretched out rivet holes...
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Old 11-23-2005, 03:53 PM   #8
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maybe it is just me. but, anyone else notice most rivet and screw failures are near the center of the trailer?

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Old 11-23-2005, 04:51 PM   #9
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Hmm - most of the failures I've seen are in the ends....

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Old 11-23-2005, 08:19 PM   #10
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Mine are in the middle
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Old 11-23-2005, 08:39 PM   #11
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Most of mine are amidships too, except for the ones obviously related to the sheared bolts issues at the front.

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Old 11-23-2005, 08:40 PM   #12
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That looks like wear and tear. Time for some maintenance. We have popped a couple of rivets when we Bottomed out pulling out from a fueling depot. Sometimes you just can't help how steep the exits are and there is no turning around. Just push in the broken rivet, put sealent on a new rivet and pop it in, then shave it. Exterior of course.
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Old 11-23-2005, 10:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
Hmm - most of the failures I've seen are in the ends....
All mine have been in the interior and at the front right end (if you are facing toward the tow vehicle). And mine was a 2005 manuf in Feb 05.
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Old 11-24-2005, 12:07 PM   #14
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I have a question about rivets... some of the rivets holding the interior of my trailer together are domed (like the ones on the outside) and they're painted with the zolatone. I'm sure they're original. Then... there's some rivets holding interior panels up that look like little volcanoes; they have a hole in the middle. But they're also painted with zolatone, making me think they're original also. What's up with them?
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