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Old 11-15-2005, 10:30 PM   #1
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Airstream or Argosy?

I have a shiny silver '79 Airstream rv- or at least I think I do. It has Airstream badges, says Airstream on the title, and came with an airstream manual, BUT- it has steel roof end caps, like an Argosy. Now that I am selling it, the buyer is concerned that it is really an Argosy in disguise, based mostly on a very widely quoted article by Charlie Burke that says no Airstream was made with steel endcaps. However, in these archives, I find several people who have seen '79 steel capped airstream rv's, but assumed they were fake name badges, based on the same "common knowledge".
'79 is the year Beatrice foods took over both Argosy and Airstream, and I think my RV is one of a few Airstreams made that year with steel endcaps. Can anyone shed any light on this question?
Many thanks,
susan
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:32 PM   #2
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Is the Serial/vin availalble?
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:49 PM   #3
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I thought Beatrice bought Airstream earlier in the '70's and sold it to Thor around 1979.
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:51 PM   #4
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Yes, I have the VIN- M28B9X2053 does that make a difference?
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:53 PM   #5
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I am not an expert on '70 Aistreams and Argosies, and I will never say never, but I have never () heard of a steel end capped Airstream. I have, however, seen Argosies painted silver. Since the badges and paint are readily available, I'll vote that it is most likely that you have a rebadged Argosy. Perhaps someone with '70's expertise will chime in.

As for Beatrice Foods, I beleive they bought Aistream in about 1969 and then sold Aistream to Thor in about 1980, so 1979 falls at the end of their tenure as owner, not the beginning.

I'll also agree with Janet that the VIN or serial number may help clear up what you actually have. Also there were some differences between Aistreams and Argosies as far as window arrangments and interior details are concerned, so some interior and exterior photo's may also have shed some light on the mystery.
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Old 11-15-2005, 11:02 PM   #6
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Of course you are right Minnie- Beatrice took over earlier. My RV is not painted- it is shiny aluminum. Yes, I know it is rare, but I think it is authentic (it would be pretty hard, and illegal, to change the title from argosy to airstream). As I said, I think that some of the airstreams people are assuming have incorrect name badges because they have steel end caps, actually have the original and correct name badges, regardless of the Charlie Burke article.
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Old 11-15-2005, 11:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merryecho
Yes, I have the VIN- M28B9X2053 does that make a difference?
Merryecho,

Yes, it makes a difference, that serial number is nowhere close to my 1979 23 Safari which is I23-D9J-2766.

I=international trim
23=length
D=rear bath, double bed
9=1979 year
J=Jackson Center
2766=production number sequence

This site decodes the serial numbers: http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p...pre1980vin.pdf
but it is no help on the letters in yours except the B which would be a center bath double bed, is it?

Bill
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Old 11-15-2005, 11:31 PM   #8
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I'm not so sure Bill
Quote:
that serial number is nowhere close to my 1979 23 Safari
M = not sure?
28 =
length
B = not sure, could mean bunks?
9 =
1979 year
X = placeholder?
2053 =
production number sequence

I think it could have been a proto-type or something...

Anybody have a 1979 Argosy VIN# for comparison? It may not match anymore than it does to an Airstream model.

Shari
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Old 11-15-2005, 11:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merryecho
Yes, I have the VIN- M28B9X2053 does that make a difference?
This doesn't exactly fit the VIN information that is posted in the Vintage Airstream Photo Archives here, but it is close to the format used by Airstream on both Airstream and Argosy trailers. I partially decode it as follows:

M - This position means Model for Airstreams? Perhaps it means "Argosy" in this case, as I doubt "it means "Minuet" (at least I don't think there were any 28' Minuets)
28 - 28' length (Note: There were 28' Argosies, but only 27' & 29' Airstreams in 1979)
B - Center Bath, Rear Double Bed
9 - 1979
X - Unknown - Argosies usually/always have a "V" in this location
2053 - The serial number - probably the 53rd built in 1979

How close does my interpretation come to the details of your trailer?

I guess one final thought would be that it is some sort of "experimental" Airstream. Perhaps there are some 70's Airstream or Argosy experts out there that could shed further light on this mystery.
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Old 11-15-2005, 11:34 PM   #10
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Looks like we're on similar tracks Joe

BTW Merry - Are the steel end caps painted? If so, beige, silver or ???

Do you have any pictures? May have some other clues...

Shari
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Old 11-15-2005, 11:57 PM   #11
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Windows...

I'd love to see a pic! What kind of windows do you have? The Argosy 28 (rare bird in itself) from what I remember had both front and rear wrap around windows. I'm not sure what year the Airstreams starting using the wrap arounds.

One other clue, what does the wheels look like? Argosy's of this vintage frequently had white spoke rims (of course, if they were replaced, this doesn't help either).

Does it have any type of striping on the outside?
Can you post a pic?
Marc
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Old 11-16-2005, 12:04 AM   #12
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I am having trouble trying to post a picture- for clarification, this is an RV, not a trailer. Nothing is painted- wheels or steel.
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Old 11-16-2005, 12:16 AM   #13
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I'm confused..
Is this a motorhome - with an engine and steering wheel?
Or a travel trailer - that has to be towed
Or a camper that fits on the back of a pick up truck
Or something else entirely?

and... I had a lot of trouble reading the numbers on my trailer - the ID plate was really worn and the numbers on my title were a little wrong..Are you reading the numbers on the title or off the ID plate riveted to trailer?
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Old 11-16-2005, 12:40 AM   #14
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Gees! This is the motor home he listed for sale in May '04;
http://www.airforums.com/forum...-rv-11441.html

merryecho, trailers and motor homes are both RV's (Recreational Vehicles).
Your '79 was the first production year of the aluminum skinned Airstream motor homes. They had galvanized steel panels front and rear.
Gees! You had us stumped by not mentioning that it is a moho.
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