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Old 03-10-2009, 06:26 AM   #1
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1980 22' Caravelle
1975 20' Argosy 20
woking , surrey
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upgrading airstream with argosy front window

Let me start out with explainging that I am very new to this forum and airstreams. I have just started a quest for a trailer, but as I am in Europe I have only limited choice (sizewise) for what would be legally accepted on the road and is still towable by our mundane disco3. Added to that is our family size: 3 young kids. So I am trying to find a 22 or 24 foot minuet/caravelle or possibly even a 74' 22 or 77' 24 argosy with rear door option (has a lower hitch weight). I think the caravelle will still be the best trailer to go for (as I believe it to be the lowest weight) BUT I have really started to like the "wrap around" window feature of the argosy's, only installed in the airstreams years later.

To cut a long story short: Would it be relatively easy to retrofit a 22 or 24 caravelle (as if I am ever going to find one!!? and than with a dinette in front, talking about sheep with more than 4 legs) with a wrap around window from a minuet (if I can source one, another big IF)?

thx

Wiebe
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by turfclubroad View Post
Let me start out with explainging that I am very new to this forum and airstreams. I have just started a quest for a trailer, but as I am in Europe I have only limited choice (sizewise) for what would be legally accepted on the road and is still towable by our mundane disco3. Added to that is our family size: 3 young kids. So I am trying to find a 22 or 24 foot minuet/caravelle or possibly even a 74' 22 or 77' 24 argosy with rear door option (has a lower hitch weight). I think the caravelle will still be the best trailer to go for (as I believe it to be the lowest weight) BUT I have really started to like the "wrap around" window feature of the argosy's, only installed in the airstreams years later.

To cut a long story short: Would it be relatively easy to retrofit a 22 or 24 caravelle (as if I am ever going to find one!!? and than with a dinette in front, talking about sheep with more than 4 legs) with a wrap around window from a minuet (if I can source one, another big IF)?

thx

Wiebe
Finding exactly the trailer you want, may be a huge task.

My post is to let you know that you cannot easily add a wrap window (40 inches wide) to a trailer that did not have one.

There is a metal framing that you cannot see within the shell, that offers the strength to accomodate that window.

Without that framing, the wrap window may break.

Andy
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:04 AM   #3
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Completely empty rear door Minuets have such light tongue weight that they can be an unstable tow for the design axle position. Think of throwing an arrow tail first -- it will want to switch ends as it travels. Load a Minuet for travel and it will move closer to the desired 11-13% of gross trailer weight on the tongue. This negates some of the light tongue weight advantage.

Minuets were the narrowest Airstreams ever made at about 7' 6" wide. I could stand to be corrected but a Minuet pano window would not fit a Caravel for that reason.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:30 AM   #4
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1980 22' Caravelle
1975 20' Argosy 20
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Completely empty rear door Minuets have such light tongue weight that they can be an unstable tow for the design axle position. .
I did not realise that some minuets were also built with rear door option, non of the floorplans I have seen suggested that.

regards

wiebe
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:52 AM   #5
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1980 Caravelles and 1979 Argosies are nearly identical

Gang,

I believe this is a non-issue. As nearly as I can tell the 1980 Caravelles are nearly identical to the 1979 Argosies except for their all-aluminum shells. They already have the wrap-around front window. I just went out and measured ours (1980 22 ft Caravelle) and it's six feet wide.

As I understand it they stopped making Argosies in 1979 and used the last of the Argosy frames to build the Caravelles. Supposedly the Caravelles, being narrower and lighter than other Airstream models, were made for export and overseas caravans, but I have heard arguments both for and against that.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:58 AM   #6
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Amend previous post

Oops! I just happened to come across a photo of an Argosy Six Metre and I see that their wrap-around window does wrap around the full width of the trailer, which the front window in our Caravelle does not. This is compensated for in the Caravelle by adding two rectangular fixed windows in the front, however. That does necessitate the rear-hinged "suicide door", however, so one does have to make sure it's deadbolted shut before going on the road.

Cheers,
Nuvi
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