Not All Rivets are Created Equal » Bowlus Blog

Not All Rivets are Created Equal

Not All Rivets are Created Equal

A rivet is rivet, right? Not at all. There are two kinds of rivets in the RV world. The best is the high quality, aircraft grade rivet made from a strong aluminum alloy. The second is a rivet made from a much cheaper, softer, less substantial aluminum. We bet you can guess which type of rivet we chose for the assembly of our Bowlus travel trailers.

At Bowlus, we use a monocoque construction when hand-crafting our luxury RVs, the same technique used by aircraft manufacturers. What that means is that the weight of the RV is supported by its skin, rather than a typical steel frame like you’ll find in every other RV on the market. The shell of a Bowlus is structural, just like an eggshell. For that reason, the rivets we use must also be structural.

You can spot a high quality rivet by the small dimple in the center of the head. The softer rivets used by others in the industry can only be used in non-structural applications because they simply are not as strong. We also space each of the 5,000 rivets we use just one inch apart, adding to the overall strength of the construction. Other brands are more widely spaced; because they’re not structural, spacing doesn’t matter.

Why should you care? Because it makes the shell of the Bowlus incredibly strong and resistant to dents and damage. In ten years, we’ve had no owner-reported hail damage and we’ve even seen in a light collision the panels can “bounce back” into their original shape. Our monocoque construction technique also means that there’s significantly less opportunity for weather-related water damage with a Bowlus.

We know that attention to detail matters when you build a high quality, best-in-class performance vehicle like the Bowlus. We take every aspect of construction seriously – down to the last rivet– to ensure that we deliver a safe, luxurious RV experience that offers performance, comfort, and durability.