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Old 07-31-2003, 09:26 PM   #1
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Painting an Argosy

Has anyone actually polished an Argosy? I'm in the process of stripping my '74 24', and I hate the thought of covering all that aluminum right back up.

I know I'll have to paint the end caps, and I'll leave the roof coated. The rest of the bodywork is a real mixed bag, though. Much of it looks good enough to clearcoat now. Some small areas have been sanded, and some panels appear to be made of a different grade or alloy of aluminum. It's pretty obvious that this body was never intended to be left bare.

Should I just cover the inconsistencies with a new coat of paint? And how much more work will polishing be than painting? Is the alloy on the Argosies one that will polish acceptably? I wouldn't want a mirror finish, just uniformly shiny.

In a quandary,
Bob McKeown

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Old 07-31-2003, 10:05 PM   #2
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paint or strip?

I've heard a lot of people talk about doing it and have even seen one in the stripped stage but never the finished product. You will always have to deal with the galvanized steel endcaps no matter what you do. I had painted mine silver but if I had the chance to do it again I would have gone back the original color.


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Old 08-01-2003, 04:42 AM   #3
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I saw a beaut a few months back. The person painted the Arogsy near the same color as original, except they did it with metallic paint kind of like the color found on the Chevy Silverado. It looked very, very sharp and if I had an Argosy, that is exactly what I would do!
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Old 08-01-2003, 05:07 AM   #4
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If you are serious about polishing it I would hit some of the different areas and see how they came out. Painting it is a whole lot of work, I can't imagine polishing it would be any worse. It took 8 long days of painting and sanding, probably about the same as it would take to polish. If you paint the end caps and center roof panel, it will get even easier.

BTW, how much luck did you have finding an accelerator cable? Mine is getting sticky, I took it out and it is OK now, but I looked hard and came up empty.

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Old 08-01-2003, 05:15 AM   #5
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I think the original paint color is quite eye catching and that is what I would put on it. The metalic paint that Silvertwinkie mentioned would be a really neat touch.

I have painted a number of aluminum gliders and painting aluminum is a chore, but I think trying to polish panels that were not intended to be polished and then matching paint on the end caps would be a lot harder.
John W. Irwin
2005 Classic 28 "Sabre-Dog III"
2013 Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison LTZ
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Old 08-26-2003, 01:32 PM   #6
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if i were ever to paint mine, i'd probably try to match the look of the airstream funeral coach. very classy.
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Old 08-27-2003, 06:33 AM   #7
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Are you sure you want it silver?

HI Bob!

We are the proud owners of a Minuet. At first I thought it would be neat to polish the exterior - guess I was hoping for a more "Airstream" look.....but we've grown attatched to the paint for many reasons. Here's what you'll be giving up:

-Arguments with people who insist that "that thing couldn't be an Airstream. It says right there Argosy"

-The neverending question....."So why is that thing white? Shouldn't it be silver?" And "Why did you paint it?"


- And lastly, the many people who slow down and stare as they drive by our home or campsite & don't say anything - most likely thinking any of the above questions as they do.

And the more stupid questions people ask ( I say "stupid" with tongue in cheek.......these are the exact questions I asked when we found our little treasure) the more we get to talk about our favorite possession. And the more I am reminded how unusual and rare she is. We like being different - lucky for us - we're too cheap to be anything else.

I like Eric's idea to paint it the original color with some shimmer... I'm not trying to discourage you. I'm curious to see how it turns out polished. Maybe once I see the finished product I'd insist on the same.

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Old 08-27-2003, 12:56 PM   #8
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I had mine painted at Maco and they did a great job on it. I wanted to go back to the original color so I call Airstream and got the color code for my 77. The only problem I had was that back in the seventies they used lead in the paint, so that would have changed the hue of the color. The guy at Maco said I know what would come very close. It was from GM and he opened the paint sample book and before he could even point it out I picked the same one.

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Old 08-27-2003, 06:52 PM   #9
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We decided that if we repaint our Argosy, we'll probably go with an ivory pearl or a white pearl.

Audi had a beautiful pearl white in the 90's. I'd like that best, but could go with the Cadillac pearl as well.
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Old 09-03-2003, 12:15 PM   #10
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Ball park $$$$$

What would be a ball park $ amount of a paint job per foot ????
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Old 09-03-2003, 01:02 PM   #11
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Use the Audi pearl white, it is richer than the Cadillac (that's what I used). These are really big and need the darker heavier pearl, especially in the bright sun.

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Old 09-03-2003, 01:03 PM   #12
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Based on a nice color coat/clear coat that is going to last. I have it estimated at 300 per foot on a 28 foot model.


John, I also understand that you can pay more money and have more of the pearlizing additive put in if you want to spend the $$.
Brett G
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1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 09-03-2003, 01:25 PM   #13
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gee, I guess paying 100/ft for someone to polish isnt' such a bad deal afterall. Then again, I bet the paint will stay nice-looking longer, and can be touched up by any body shop.
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Old 09-03-2003, 01:40 PM   #14
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I spent an hour in the paint shop looking at colors. I knew I wanted a pearl white body, but was trying to decide the colors for the stripes. I should have gone to a car lot and looked at the Audi and Cadillac, they didn't look much different under fluorescent lights on 1" sq. chips. If I could do it again I would have another 1/2" light blue stripe on the outside, but that is not a big deal. But I really wish I could go back and redo the pearl without sanding and masking everything again. I think about it every time I see an Audi. And I do wonder if they weren't stingy on the pearl when they mixed it.


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