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Old 01-12-2023, 01:27 PM   #1
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2015 23' Flying Cloud
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Riveting problem (minor)

Hi
I climbed into the trailer the other day and noticed that one of the rivet flanges/heads had come off the overhead near the door and was laying on the floor. (2015 23FB Flying Cloud). Should I be worried? Is this something easy to repair? My first instinct was to get a drop of Krazy glue and stick it back up there, but that's not a good solution. The overhead seems to be solid and in place. I don't like the fact the rivet head is missing, I still have the piece, what are my options?
Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2023, 02:25 PM   #2
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Replace the rivet. Not difficult but the first time you do it is a little scary. Helps to have stop collar on the drill bit.

Here is a complete rivet kit.
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Old 01-13-2023, 11:36 AM   #3
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Riveting -- a little scary.

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Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
Replace the rivet. Not difficult but the first time you do it is a little scary. Helps to have stop collar on the drill bit.

Here is a complete rivet kit.

I have a pop-rivet tool what size Rivets (length) should I use? Also, the size of drill bit (looks like a small diameter) and how deep do I need to drill? Sorry, I am a real newbie at this Air Stream owning, so I have only a small clue....
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Old 01-13-2023, 12:02 PM   #4
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Popped rivets can be easily replaced by drilling out the rivet and replacing, as you likely know. Drill out the rivet with missing head using a drill bit the size of the shaft still in the hole (assuming you don't know how big a drill to use. Number 30 drill seems to work for most rivets on the AS. Be careful not to go too deep with the drill...it will be easy to pull out once you get the bit inside the shaft or hole. The left over shaft will come loose easily with the drill and you can then replace with the new rivet. The new rivet will snap off when it fills the hole. Since these are pop rivets, you may have a little rough edge, but easy to file off if you want. These Youtubes should help you; both Olympic for outside and poprivets inside. Not rocket science...





https://airstreamsupplycompany.com/story/rivet-guide/

https://support.airstream.com/hc/en-...nt-information
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Old 01-13-2023, 01:15 PM   #5
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This is common, I'll bet there are more missing on the inside as well. No problem, though. Use 1/8" rivets, you likely won't have to drill the missing ones out. Just place the rivet in the hole and squeeze your rivet gun. The second squeeze will likely be the one to pop. Keep a firm grip, though - the gun will try to jump to the side and if you don't hold firmly, you may make a small mark on the skin.

The Airstream tech I talked to said it is unlikely you'll have to replace the ones that you put in.

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Old 01-13-2023, 01:41 PM   #6
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I had lost a couple.
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Old 01-13-2023, 05:10 PM   #7
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We average a popped rivet every 2000 miles. Depending on the quality of the roads you traverse YMMV. Shreveport I-20 count on one or two through city.

Put a little pressure on the back of the rivet tool with lefty as you pump the trigger with righty.

Search online for the chart of rivets Airstream uses. There are three drill bit sizes. I gave up trying to keep it straight so now each bag of rivets contains a drill bit sized for the rivets in the bag.

As mentioned previously, go just deep enough to drill out the old rivet. It is not very deep. Youíll know when itís clear enough for a new rivet.

Then take a tour of the trailerís rivets. You may find more popped.
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Old 01-14-2023, 10:42 AM   #8
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Popped rivets can be caused by having your tire PSI too high

Several posts/opinions about what tire pressure to run with your tires, but be aware that running your tires at MAX psi can contribute to popped rivets, broken hinges and broken latches. Popped rivets can happen anyway due to the movement of the aluminum panels traveling down the road...but as an old Navy Aircraft Airframes guy, I replaced many rivets on all types of aircraft- shore based and also on carriers. Popped rivets are not a big deal, assuming you don't have them all the time. Broken latches and broken hinges and frequent popped rivets can be a sign your PSI on your tires is too high...just be aware.
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Old 01-15-2023, 12:06 PM   #9
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Riveting and so on...

Thanks all for the information, I feel like I can do this now and not poke a hole through my roof.
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Old 01-29-2023, 10:26 AM   #10
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Rivits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delcarr View Post
Hi
I climbed into the trailer the other day and noticed that one of the rivet flanges/heads had come off the overhead near the door and was laying on the floor. (2015 23FB Flying Cloud). Should I be worried? Is this something easy to repair? My first instinct was to get a drop of Krazy glue and stick it back up there, but that's not a good solution. The overhead seems to be solid and in place. I don't like the fact the rivet head is missing, I still have the piece, what are my options?
Thanks!
I can only offer something to avoid popped pop rivets. When you set up, after you have leveled the Airstream, lower your stabilizers just to the ground, then a slight pressure to the ground. If you go too far, you will twist the Airstream, then on to the next stabilizer. If you go too far it will also contort the Airstream body, and with the other two, the same. This twist in the body will not necessarily be visible but it doesn't take much. This can and will cause the rivets to blow.
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Old 01-29-2023, 12:10 PM   #11
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If* Airstream Andy was still around there would be an educational post on running gear balancing - the brake drum / wheel / tire balanced as a complete assembly, the heaviest sides of each put 120 degrees apart before adding balance weights on the rims… near the door could be a sloppy install but it is a flex point, but look around and behind cabinets etc. for rivet flanges showing a grey shadow against the liner, they are feeling motion instead of being clamped.

Out of balance running gear with harmonic shimmey & shake will eat liner pop rivets.
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Old 01-29-2023, 01:05 PM   #12
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rivet tool

Hi, not to take away business, but $150 is a bit pricey for a rivet tool. I ordered rivets from airstream or woodland airstream supply and the rivet gun from amazon. Never really needed the swiveling head gun. Get a good selection of rivets to keep on hand. Originally I got the Marson rivet kit, but my wife didn't like the rivets included. They were not the correct spec., she worked logistics for the Air Force in Civil Service and after checking the specs on the marson rivets, they were different than the airstream rivets.

https://www.amazon.com/Marson-39000-...s%2C112&sr=8-3

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Old 01-29-2023, 02:06 PM   #13
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As Airstreams have become newer the rivet spacing has been increasing. If you look at older Airstreams, the exterior rivet spacing was around 3 inches on the stringers and frames, and around 1.250 on the sheet seems. The interior skin rivet spacing has also increased as the trailers get newer. It is my humble opinion, that as the trailers get newer the shells are losing their strength in both compression and torsion. This reduction in the rivet count is what is causing all of these popped rivets as fewer rivets are caring more load, so the rivets start failing.

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Old 01-29-2023, 07:46 PM   #14
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I can confirm what Aerowood said. On my previous Airstream (2020 25 Foot Flying Could) I had 1 rivet that kept popping out while towing. I finally placed 2 rivets on each side evenly spaced and that solved the problem. It never popped out again.
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