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Old 07-19-2022, 10:05 AM   #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: 5,703
FRONT Storage Compartment FBQ Buck Rivets

Why would a Neanderthal use Lath Screws and not Pop or Buck Rivets?

I had to build hundreds of feet of storage shelves of 1"x12"x10 linear Feet lumber.

Carpenters prefer nails. Over time they back out by themselves if not coated. Excellent job security.

I prefer screws to hold lumber shelves together... fine thread and coarse thread. Yes... not conventional as Neanderthals are still evolving among Human Beans who know it all. Hammers are old style. Hand power tools are Neanderthal today.

Well... when we moved... I took out my hand power drill / phillips screw driver bit and removed the (2.5 to 3 inch) Screws to reuse and did it in minutes, versus hours of trying to pull nails out of the lumber without splitting any boards. Today, lumber is very expensive and to reuse the shelving and the screws was well worth any extra expense.

Paid for three Airstreams in the process... well, maybe the Sales Tax for better tires over the years.

I do not fault Any Human Bean for wanting to keep his Airstream all Airstream rivets and all. They are made to fail so not to damage the aluminum skin under stress? Also gives you the impression you need to sell your current Airstream and get one that is not popping rivets, yet on the Dealer's Lot.

My objective is to upgrade the hardware to hold everything together. Even when the 'upgrade' is visible to the 'trained eye'. Most would not see my Lath Screw upgrades. Even I have to look to find them.

The curves inside many Airstreams are not perfect arches. Romans perfected the Arch... not Airstream Jackson Center.

Sad but true...

The cabinets for sure are not designed by Romans or Airstream. Poorly fitting the curves, if at all. Look. Plastic to hide it all is cheaper than... perfection.

Where not perfect, there is compression and extension... something has to give... it is the Pop Rivet. By popping, self destruction of modest means... the interior skin is less likely to TEAR or INDENT. This is why most prefer the Pop'n Rivet. Stress reduced... but then... was it a weak rivet or the skin and frame is moving? Time will tell... while traveling, of course.

Parked, the Airstream is very stable. I am listening for popping rivets. Boring work, but the wife thinks I am busy cleaning the garage.

I will have a cool Beer and watch the trailer while in the RV Garage. Looks better after the second Beer. I cannot hold my liquor very well. Even I look better reflecting on the aluminum panels.

Rivets are often found on the floor, while the trailer is Parked. Amazing?

Heat while stored outside, could create expansion in hot sunny days and cold weather the aluminum contracts. The aluminum skin is like a mini chain saw cutting rivets? Just a Theory of Popping Rivets I just made up.

Lath Screws are best for Off the Grid Boondockers as the trailer rocks left and right. Weak rivets will show themselves during the first year of use. When a new owner uses his trailer the most... I discovered, by doing in myself... three Airstreams repeated.

The Front Compartment is different. It uses Buck Rivets. On the Front Indents these actually break and the Head falls off... decapitated head... like the French Revolution. And on the Front Bed Models... more than one.

This is when Lath Screws and aluminum strip metal works to secure this area, below the hinge they will fail, as discovered in my 27FBQ model. I found that the skin is barely as thick as a manila envelope with a folded letter... To firm it up, aluminum bar, as I photographed in some previous lost thread, I used Lath Screws that are stainless steel, threaded to hold and aggressive. The head looks like an upgraded buck rivet with a phillips head... to snug up if needed, or remove easily.

You cannot seem them unless you bend over and look. I forget they are there, myself. So far this has held everything secure. One Indent that split and the other just an Indent.

Does the process work? Well... give it a few years to test it out.

No... the stainless steel Latch Screw is not stealing electrons from the Aluminum and making the trailer Rot while you own it. This is High School chemistry. I am beyond that... Airstream Chemistry and Upgrades.

If your Storage Compartment does not align, is coming loose... study it. Get into the interior and locate the weak area. Go to Lowes where they have iron and aluminum strips of stiff metal and 90 degree aluminum. Think. Examine and then Screw it with Lath Screws. At least:

YOU DID SOMETHING AND CAN QUIT WORRYING.

Did you fall asleep while reading this? Then, you have no problem to worry about.

Take a Nap.
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