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Old 09-11-2020, 07:22 PM   #1
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Popped First Rivet

Well, on my 4th trip since purchasing the 2020 Bambi 20’ in early June. First three trips were 3-6 day type trips for skill building. This trip will hopefully last up to 50 days. Just finished second day of driving from NC heading to “out West” and after arriving in Cape Girardeau, MO from Sieverville, TN I found a rivet head on the floor of the Bambi. From in the curve of the roof above the refridge. Some of the interstate and state highway sections had some rough spots for sure.

Is one’s first popped rivet a “badge of honor” of sorts? Or a bad omen so early in a trip. BTW, I’ve not yet purchased a rivet gun and rivets. Really did not expect rivets popping so soon.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by smsasf View Post
Well, on my 4th trip since purchasing the 2020 Bambi 20’ in early June. First three trips were 3-6 day type trips for skill building. This trip will hopefully last up to 50 days. Just finished second day of driving from NC heading to “out West” and after arriving in Cape Girardeau, MO from Sieverville, TN I found a rivet head on the floor of the Bambi. From in the curve of the roof above the refridge. Some of the interstate and state highway sections had some rough spots for sure.

Is one’s first popped rivet a “badge of honor” of sorts? Or a bad omen so early in a trip. BTW, I’ve not yet purchased a rivet gun and rivets. Really did not expect rivets popping so soon.
I think it happens to everyone sooner or later. When I think of how rough some of the roads are I find it amazing that there are not more of them missing. I've lost and replaced two in the ceiling of my 2018 27' GT after more than 10,000 miles, which isn't too bad IMHO.

BTW the Airstream Life Store sells the rivet puller and rivets. A good tool to have in your box.
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Old 09-12-2020, 05:52 AM   #3
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Welcome Aboard👍

Finding an empty hole is sometimes a better indicator, especially on a newer trailer. 👍
We found a LOT of construction 'stuff' in remote spaces when 'Clousplitter' was new.🥴

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Old 09-12-2020, 07:45 AM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Rivets popping on your Airstream is proof positive that your Airstream is not relegated to a very expensive piece of yard art.

We have been Airstreaming for a long time, and can not count the number of interior rivets that we have replaced. Lucy has her own rivet gun that she carries with her at all times. During her Alaska trip last summer, her rivets were popping so often that we had to resort to using little Post-it notes to mark the missing rivet spots so that we could easily find them later on.

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Old 09-12-2020, 08:45 AM   #5
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I wonder if anyone has experimented with increasing the number of rivets? Based on the spacing of the interior rivets, they are not intended to be structural, but merely used to hold the panels in place. Perhaps increasing the number of rivets in a problem location could help, or it might just shift the problem to another location. For what it is worth in about 8,000 miles of towing including some very rough roads we have only lost one rivet so far.
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:42 AM   #6
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In my experience, the replaced rivets do not fail again.

Just be careful when using your pop riveter - the tip will try to slide on the final pull, and will scratch your panel unless you are prepared.

No biggie, anyway. Pat
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Old 09-12-2020, 10:07 AM   #7
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We had a couple in our ceiling pop. Had them replaced under warranty.
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Old 09-13-2020, 10:18 AM   #8
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More are going to pop. Get a nice pop rivet gun from your local big box and some 1/8" aluminum rivets.

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Old 09-13-2020, 06:41 PM   #9
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We have a Classic with the vinyl covered ceiling and mouse fur walls. God only knows how many rivets have popped without our knowledge...
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Old 09-13-2020, 06:53 PM   #10
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It’s funny. We had a lot of rivets pop in our 2017 23D. We now have a 2020 28RBT. In about 7000 mi of towing we have yet to see the first rivet pop, but I’m ready for it. ��

Get a rivet gun, preferably one with a swivel head to reach difficult areas.

You might want to look at your tire pressure you’re running. Look at the load charts for your tires. You might want to reduce a little to see if you can get a softer ride.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:08 PM   #11
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Maybe I’m a bit warped, but I get a little satisfaction when installing a pop rivet.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:11 PM   #12
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Reducing tire pressure definitely helps. I broke two rivets in first few months after purchase when running 80 psi. Reduced to 55 psi and went until last week with no broken rivets. Replaced two today after traveling from California to South Carolina, mostly on I-40. Every state seems to maintain the first 10 miles of interstate to give you that false feeling they have good roads, then it quickly goes to crap.
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Old 09-13-2020, 10:41 PM   #13
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In my experience, the replaced rivets do not fail again.

Just be careful when using your pop riveter - the tip will try to slide on the final pull, and will scratch your panel unless you are prepared.

No biggie, anyway. Pat


Good advice. I’m going to use some masking tape the next time I replace a pop rivet. Hopefully that will prevent scratches. This wasn’t a concern with the vinyl-clad walls of our old trailer.
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:51 AM   #14
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You'll also want to carry a cordless drill and a 1/8" drill bit. Sometimes just the head falls off but the body of the rivet remains stuck inside. Those have to be drilled out. Replace with 1/8" diameter aluminum rivets. Though I have used stainless steel rivets in a couple cabinets to permanently deal with repeat offenders.
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Old 09-14-2020, 06:21 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by StuartsDad View Post
Reducing tire pressure definitely helps. I broke two rivets in first few months after purchase when running 80 psi. Reduced to 55 psi and went until last week with no broken rivets. Replaced two today after traveling from California to South Carolina, mostly on I-40. Every state seems to maintain the first 10 miles of interstate to give you that false feeling they have good roads, then it quickly goes to crap.
X2!!!!
So many dealers and even a conversation with some Jackson Center personell preach the 80psi message. Goodyear and other tire manufacturers give us load/rate charts to guide us in our quest of RV travel. 80 psi will leave a Bambi bouncing like a basketball, and quite possibly can leave your cabinetry in the floor rather than just rivet heads.
https://www.goodyearrvtires.com/pdfs/rv_inflation.pdf
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Old 09-14-2020, 06:50 AM   #16
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^


?????... the lower the pressure the more heat, the more heat the more chance of tire failure.
Our experience since '87.... no problems running at 8psi below sidewall pressure. 3 sets of GYM's and one set of GYE.
Even if we were popping rivets, thats better than tire failure & panel replacement.
Most interior damage can be traced to poor construction practices and or an overaggressive lash-up, (over rated WD and stiff TV suspension.)

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Old 09-14-2020, 08:38 AM   #17
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^


?????... the lower the pressure the more heat, the more heat the more chance of tire failure.
Our experience since '87.... no problems running at 8psi below sidewall pressure. 3 sets of GYM's and one set of GYE.
Even if we were popping rivets, thats better than tire failure & panel replacement.
Most interior damage can be traced to poor construction practices and or an overaggressive lash-up, (over rated WD and stiff TV suspension.)

TETO... "I'm a confirmed beginner in just about everything that other folks are expert in...."
RLC

Bob
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Oh my gosh! My TPMS must be messed up- 63 psi in all 4 GYE mounted on 31 Classic Limited, weighed last month. 200 miles yesterday- max tire temp 93 degrees, max tire pressure increase up to 74 psi. Accordibg to Goodyear and their engineeri g, tire pressure is optimum (optimum for tire profile, shoulder flex, minimum deterioration- says their website) for my weight. I hope they are the experts, my safety is riding on their opinions.
My last post on this
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:07 AM   #18
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Higher TP is even more important on a three axle AS...no matter the weight.🤔

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Old 09-14-2020, 03:52 PM   #19
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What length of interior pop rivets

I am OP and I found another rivet head, but yet to find the holeit popped from. I am travelling but stopped at Walmart and bought only rivet gun they had and an assortment of rivets. Watched videos and see it is simple. BUT, the Bambi 2020 owners manual has 2 columns unter interior rivets and the difference in the two columns is in regards to Grip Range and Length Under Head. Grip range appears to be 1/4” to 5/16” for one part number and 3/8” to 1/2” for other part number. And the corresponding Length Under Head is 29/64” and 41/64” (although all these numbers are written in decimal points, not in x/x”).

The manula does not say which length I should use for my model. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-14-2020, 04:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smsasf View Post
I am OP and I found another rivet head, but yet to find the holeit popped from. I am travelling but stopped at Walmart and bought only rivet gun they had and an assortment of rivets. Watched videos and see it is simple. BUT, the Bambi 2020 owners manual has 2 columns unter interior rivets and the difference in the two columns is in regards to Grip Range and Length Under Head. Grip range appears to be 1/4” to 5/16” for one part number and 3/8” to 1/2” for other part number. And the corresponding Length Under Head is 29/64” and 41/64” (although all these numbers are written in decimal points, not in x/x”).

The manula does not say which length I should use for my model. Any thoughts?
Good chance that Walmart rivets are not correct. If you really want to do this yourself, better to research the right rivet and get them from a source recommended here. But the more important point is the rivet involved here merely attaches the interior skin. There are others holding it in place. There is no great urgency to replace the rivet.
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