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Old 09-23-2017, 07:23 AM   #1
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1995 30' Excella
Harper Woods , Michigan
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are pop-rivets considered self-sealing?

Hello, while investigating a leak in the back end of the 94 28' Excella, I found a hole with no rivet in it at the very end of the awning rail. Looking down the length of the trailer, I see a long line of pop-rivets along the awning rail that have holes in the center. Shouldn't these holes be filled, or do the rivets seal upon installation? Also, I see a few with the stem poking up about 1/4". The PO reported that several years back, the entire left side had been replaced at a dealer after rubbing a tree branch ($11k cost), and I'm wondering if was done correctly, and just how bad things might be along the floor-to-wall junction.

So, should I use Capt Tolley's crack sealer in the rivet hole(s), or sikaflex 221? And by the way, there are lichens growing on the roof. What would be the best way to remove them?
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:33 AM   #2
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Pop rivets are not self sealing cover the holes with caulking .
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:43 AM   #3
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There are closed end pop rivets available that are sealed. You just need a dab of vulkum in the hole before inserting. We used them on our belt trim when we reattached it. It's very hard to tell the difference once they're installed.

Kay
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Minno View Post
There are closed end pop rivets available that are sealed. You just need a dab of vulkum in the hole before inserting. We used them on our belt trim when we reattached it. It's very hard to tell the difference once they're installed.

Kay
Thanks. And I'll dab them with some caulk.
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:22 AM   #5
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The rivets available from Airstream have a sealing washer and are designed to be smooth on top after installation. For the right finish look, you would need a "rivet cutter" unless you are really good with a "Dremel"

Using hardware store pop rivets will not seal reliably and will show a hole in the middle of the rivet when done.


Andrew
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by awiegel View Post
The rivets available from Airstream have a sealing washer and are designed to be smooth on top after installation. For the right finish look, you would need a "rivet cutter" unless you are really good with a "Dremel"

Using hardware store pop rivets will not seal reliably and will show a hole in the middle of the rivet when done.


Andrew
It's not my intention to redo the dealer's work. I just need to know if the the work done by the dealer is a permanent leakproof repair, or do I need to 'refresh' the sealing. I'm thinking of applying Eternabond.
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:08 PM   #7
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Repairs should not have been made with POP Rivets... they are not structural strength... they should have used the olympic or cherry max brand blind rivets and shaved them after pulling them ... you can't get 'em at the big box stores... you have to go to the aircraft supply stores and get them their... along with the tooling you need to pull and shave 'em ....

I would be asking questions as to structural intergerty from the PO... and who did the work.. ask them why they didn't use the right ones... Pop rivets will eventually work lose... again... under loading and vibration... they are at best a weak rivet...

We work on Aircraft.. and our airstream... has lots of good parts holding it togeather ... I am sure the factory will nod about the soft pop rivets being used .. if that is what your saying... they are... with holes in the middle... and missing stems... Sealing them will keep the water out.. but... when the two pieces of sheet metal move... they will raise their ugly heads again and start leaking...
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GM Airstream View Post
Repairs should not have been made with POP Rivets... they are not structural strength... they should have used the olympic or cherry max brand blind rivets and shaved them after pulling them ... you can't get 'em at the big box stores... you have to go to the aircraft supply stores and get them their... along with the tooling you need to pull and shave 'em ....

I would be asking questions as to structural intergerty from the PO... and who did the work.. ask them why they didn't use the right ones... Pop rivets will eventually work lose... again... under loading and vibration... they are at best a weak rivet...

We work on Aircraft.. and our airstream... has lots of good parts holding it togeather ... I am sure the factory will nod about the soft pop rivets being used .. if that is what your saying... they are... with holes in the middle... and missing stems... Sealing them will keep the water out.. but... when the two pieces of sheet metal move... they will raise their ugly heads again and start leaking...
Well, that sounds ominous. Maybe i'll get up there and take pic. I'll ask the PO how long ago the work was done. It was paid by an insurance company, so I wonder if they would be interested too.

So the next question is, "What to do?" For now, maybe I should consider a continuous length of Eternabond or 3M Extreme tape to cover it all.
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