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Old 11-17-2023, 04:52 PM   #1
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Malibu , California
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Olympic vs Buck Rivets for upcoming repair in Jackson Center

Hey folks,

I have a service appointment in December in Jackson Center and they will replace:
  • two upper front panels (above windows, by the logo)
  • two rear upper panels (around the camera)
  • right lower side panel (between door and awning arm)

This is due to major dents. My side panel was replaced a year ago by Airstream Orange County, and they did such a terrible job with the Olympic rivets that even the Progressive insurance adjuster said it needs to be re-done. We are talking about a 2021 Globetrotter 27FB.

Jackson Center told me they can get the trailer ready in two weeks if they use Olympic rivets, and said they can make them look almost like the original buck rivets. I told them about my experience with Airstream OC and he assured me that when they install Olympic rivets you can only see the difference from up close.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, the insurance is Ok to pay either but it will be a huge job as every piece of furniture needs to come out.

Thank you all.
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Old 11-17-2023, 05:41 PM   #2
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Bucking rivets requires access to the back (inside) side of the outer skin. For most if not all panels, that would require removing the inner skin which would be an expensive procedure. It is likely that Jackson Center would not be willing to take that step.

Properly done Olympic rivets are, as they have told you, only recognizable from very, very close up.

Tim
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Old 11-17-2023, 05:48 PM   #3
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I'd be concerned the interior would suffer damage coming out and and going back in with a buck rivet job.

I have a rivet shaver and have installed a few Olympic rivets. I felt like I did a pretty good job. You have to get really close to the rivet and look pretty hard to see where the stem was. I would figure an expert at JC would do an outstanding job shaving rivets.
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Old 11-19-2023, 11:25 PM   #4
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There are two types of Olympics. The ones Airstream sells and uses at JC are much harder than the much cheaper ones most dealers use and sell. It will likely be just fine if the mothership is doing the work. That said, if insurance is paying, and AS is willing to do buck, I’d go buck.
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Old 11-20-2023, 07:22 AM   #5
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I'd go for the Olympic Rivet repair. Tearing the interior apart and trusting that it would be reinstalled without problems down the road takes a lot of faith. You won't notice the Olympic Rivets done at the Jackson Center facility. It's your best bet!
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Old 11-27-2023, 12:58 PM   #6
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Thank you folks.

Does anyone have images of how Olympic rivets look like, especially on the highly visible parts like the front and end caps, when installed by AS JC?

I agree I'd rather go the fast-repair route but the job done by Airstream Orange County is so horrific and one can tell from far away that the panel was replaced.
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:13 PM   #7
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almost undetectable if done right

I had to replace the entire front wrap on my basecamp. I did it myself, reinforcing the framing and deleting unnecessary venting along the way. Considered buck riveting, but--as others have said--I was worried about getting the kitchen out without doing damage to either the cabinetry or the trailer. VHB tape is on all of the framing--that bond alone will keep the panels in place. I am seriously OCD--I made sure all of the rivets were perfectly spaced and the lines were straight as an arrow. I am a novice on shaving the rivets and mine would be hard to distinguish--I'm positive that the pros at JC would leave an almost undetectable repair. Sorry about the crappy pic--travelling for work. I can take better close ups when I get home. Hopefully the botched job didn't turn your framing to swiss cheese--regardless, JC will get you correct again........
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMHM View Post
Thank you folks.

Does anyone have images of how Olympic rivets look like, especially on the highly visible parts like the front and end caps, when installed by AS JC?

I agree I'd rather go the fast-repair route but the job done by Airstream Orange County is so horrific and one can tell from far away that the panel was replaced.
Attached are some better pics--The rivets in the door are the buck rivets. The rivets tying the panel into the door are olympic rivets--pre and post shaving. This was my first time doing this type of repair. I would think that JC could make them look perfect......
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Old 11-28-2023, 06:46 AM   #9
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Cheaper, faster, better. If you can get 2 out of 3 that’s how it will be done. If getting to the back of the rivet wasn’t too hard I would buck it. I suspect bucked is better/cheaper when you can get to the back side without much effort.
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Old 11-28-2023, 03:33 PM   #10
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We were sideswiped this summer and had the entire left side panel (almost 20') replaced. Our technician advised, as you have heard here) that a buck rivet job wasn't practical due to having to have access to the inside. He used olympic rivets, and I really can't tell the difference...looks like new.
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Old 11-28-2023, 04:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slimpockets View Post
Cheaper, faster, better. If you can get 2 out of 3 thatís how it will be done. If getting to the back of the rivet wasnít too hard I would buck it. I suspect bucked is better/cheaper when you can get to the back side without much effort.
Yes, Olympic rivets are much more expensive than solid rivets, but this is more than offset by avoiding the cost of labour to remove furniture and the inner skin .
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Old 11-29-2023, 01:25 PM   #12
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So Airstream Jackson Center just sent me photos of a trailer they have in the shop right now. Similar to 916WI's post, it seems like the Olympic rivets look the same, but they dont "dent" the aluminum as the buck rivets do.

It's a shame as that actually creates the beautiful 'handmade' effect of the trailer.

Why do you think that happens? See photos below:
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Old 11-29-2023, 02:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMHM View Post
So Airstream Jackson Center just sent me photos of a trailer they have in the shop right now. Similar to 916WI's post, it seems like the Olympic rivets look the same, but they dont "dent" the aluminum as the buck rivets do.

It's a shame as that actually creates the beautiful 'handmade' effect of the trailer.

Why do you think that happens? See photos below:
Bucked rivets are installed with a lot of force - the back of the solid rivet mushrooms out when "bucked" which is why there is a diver around each one - they ARE handmade...each one takes two people to install and they are inconsistently beautiful. Here's our "practice sheet" of bucked rivets:

Front:

Back:

Olympic rivets disperse the grip more as they use three 'legs' to hold everything together. They can be installed with less pressure (and by one person) than Bucked rivets. They don't dimple the aluminum because there is not as much concentrated force to install them. If you look at the 'Back' picture (bottom right corner)...you will see a not very good picture of the back of an Olympic Rivet.

Here is the best picture I can find of the back of Olympics:



From the front, when properly shaved - the rivet heads look very similar.

Shari
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Old 12-03-2023, 10:17 AM   #14
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InsideOut:Wow! Excellent explanation and demonstration of the riveting process. It's simply amazing to me what can be learned on this forum! Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2023, 10:20 AM   #15
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Rivets

When our 2021 had ft end warranty work the panel under the window in back of the Propane Cover I let JC use Olympic rivets as it mostly outta sight outta mind and they are stronger.

When I had a opps from a pot hole hit and it dented our right rear upper radius panel i had JC remove the rear bedroom interior and factory buck rivets were used. I'm to OCD to look at the difference of both style rivets next to each other. It took longer was double the cost i did not turn that into insurance.
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Old 12-03-2023, 11:37 AM   #16
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Done both

I prefer the less disruptive path as opposed to buck riveting. Easy decision for me. Good fortune to you!
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Old 12-03-2023, 04:02 PM   #17
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We were at JC earlier this year and during our scheduled maintenance our technician found we had front end separation. The repair to install supports required the removal and replacement of the front storage hatch of our 21GT27FBQ. They used Olympic rivets and the works looks near perfect./orginal. Only on very close inspection can you tell these are Olympic blind rivets. I could not imagine the work needed if they were to do buck rivets. All the front bed, and frame taken out the removal of the whole front interior sheet aluminum to get to the repair. No Thank Im.fine with the work JC did.
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