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Old 07-21-2021, 03:07 PM   #1
Rivet Master
Ray Eklund's Avatar
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,706
Popped Rivets: Lath Screws

We were camped in Wyoming where the daytime temperatures are Hot from the Sun, but the air is Cool. This is hard to explain to those who do not live at higher elevations and low humidity. Using the awning will cut the solar heat considerably... but once the Sun sets... on go the long sleeved shirts.

I am sitting at the table in our International and heard something drop onto the floor. A popped rivet just decided to pop out and fall. Those I usually find are just the flat rivet head you see exposed laying on the floor. Another 'popped rivet'.

After three Airstreams... the usual suspects and the usual positions on the curved sections popping a rivet. This rivet looked like a Dentist extracted it.

My Airstreams were pampered in a RV Garage. I would suspect those outside in 110F Summers and 19F Winters will pop more than a rivet or two... just thinking. Which is straining what software I have to just manage to prevent typos...

I want to FIX the problem, not just insert another rivet to possibly pop, again. My solution is simple, as I am a simple minded Neanderthal that enjoys watching Human Beans worry about what others may think. Even if they think about what to do and what is proper but... if a hammer will not fix it, go on and have another beer.

Not me. Out comes my battery hand drill with lots of torque and an appropriate... Lath Screw:

"Lath Screws. Teks Lath Screws provide secure metal-to-metal and metal-to-wood fastening with strong holding power, without the need to pre-drill. Self-tapping threads ensure strong holding power while the zinc plated finish protects the job's appearance."

I am not restoring Airstream #000001, nor #79,842 or whatever the current 2019 may be in the range of serials. If a rivet pops for the multitude of reasons I have read on the Forum... Then I am GUILTY. From rough roads to 16 inch Michelin E Rated Tires... and MORE. Whoooo Heeee. The list is long and my trailer pops a rivet... not a second chance.

I will not mentions the Fresh Water, Clothing, Food in pantry, Food in our fantatic Dometic Refer on Propane of course... and a mechanic's dream set of heavy tools, sockets, breaker bars, torque bar, bolts, more screws and two Hats. One says Wyoming and the second says Cowboys. If these terms were Wyoming Cowboys, the University Football Team name.. you paid Double for one for a licensed offical hat.

I bought two for the same price of one official hat. I am frugal. Made sense to me. Like these Lath Screws.

I have noted that the CURVED sections are the most likely places. I also noted something more interesting.

I need to have two Lath Screw lengths. A 1/2 inch and a 3/4 inch.

IF the inside aluminum riveted skin is FLUSH to the interior frame that everything attaches... why do I need a longer Lath Screw to contact the metal frame to secure my Lath Screw to it? I say there is a bit of Handmade Variances to each and every Airstream. They are not perfectly formed and shaped.

When I have a popped rivet... I try the 1/2 inch first. If it does not reach the inner frame... out comes the 3/4 inch and it catches metal and snugs up tight.

The Head of the Lath Screw has the properties I cut and pasted earlier. They do the job for me. No rivet equipment for me. This is not a Picasso painting I am touching up. This is my War Wagon to go where No Human Bean with most Airstreams want to GO, ever. I do it on purpose. I like to find the weak spots in my trailers. I do not find many... but pop rivets are my least concern.

My Number ONE issue are the Cabinet Hinges are poorly selected to hang onto anything they are attached. I have had to replace these latches with Piano Hinges on the sink doors on the 23, 25 and this week the 27 footer. They will not need any screws tightened... if my previous repairs follow through to this latest Airstream I am going to put the screws to it, if necessary.

Anyone else use anything other than pop rivets. My 27 foot has aluminum and someone had said the new models use steel shafts, or something like that. I am using a STEEL SHAFT and it is threaded. It works and I do not want pop rivets to drop into my soup bowel while eating...

I buy the full carton of 260 1/2 inch and 200 3/4 inch. I give out free samples when on the road... well, off the road more often... but we do get onto asphalt like most Human Beans. These will last for decades... maybe even longer.

No problem. But the interior skin may not be fitted SNUG like you would expect. The cabinets sure are not cut well to fit the curve... but that would be an additional New Thread.

No... these do not tear, rip or mutilate the interior SKIN and damage anything. Just my reputation, which is of very little value as it is at the present time in this Thread. My opinion is like having something smelly in the trailer and both in the trailer are blaming the other.

I am not forcing the Lath Screw to come out to the exterior, which those kind of rivets have never been an issue. I watched at Jackson Center. I do not have that skill to BEAT them into submission. They two working together do it well.

I am into the mini pop rivet replacement with something more powerful.

Comments? Alternatives other than Pop Rivets? Don't care... good for you!

(Read: Interior Popped Rivet Replacement by MAJORDB first... 4-14-2016 First to understand the terminology.)
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Human Bean
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:15 AM   #2
pmclemore's Avatar

2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,177

I have not often been in such exotic places as you, so we may have some differences. I have found that the rivets I have replaced have not needed to be replaced again.

This is consistent with the reply I got from an Airstream tech at the last alumina rally I attended at Jackson Center.

Travel on. Pat
Somebody, please, point me to the road.

AIR 3987
WBCCI 4596
pmclemore is offline   Reply With Quote

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