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Old 05-19-2019, 10:58 AM   #1
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1977 Argosy 24
Austin , Texas
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1977 Argosy 24 twin bed - Reno time

Hey all, first of all I'd like to say how great this forum is and the astronomical wealth of information is mind boggling. I have been bouncing around these forums for a month or so just reading everyone's opinions. Thanks for all your help from guys who post and from the many readers that don't.

I recently got an 77 Argy 24 from my neighbor, I have never owned an RV or even camped in one anywhere, so I figured why not just right into a semi-full gut and remodel! When I was buying it on the fly the guy asked if I wanted to check it out some more... I said no need amigo, I have no idea what I am looking at to begin with! I have been reading various threads about bit and parts as I go and decided I may as well make a thread myself to just compile any issues I have as I go. I will post pictures of where it started and the progress as I have gone so far. I am new to forum writing so if this I should choppy my apologies...

I am pretty handy so I figured I would clean up what I could, fix what needed fixing, and keep what was useable on this little job... then my wife saw it... Turns out a full interior gutting was what I was going to be doing. She wanted it all gone, new AC... new everything... I am not panicking or anything, I actually like doing this kind of work on the weekends, but it is a little more involved the my 81 club car golf cart restoration... lol.

Anyhow, as I have read so many times in here, we started removing stuff from the interior and shocker... holes in the floor around the fresh water tank, under the water heater, and in the head. No biggie, removed the front sheet and cut a new one out of plywood notching around the frame bolts, same with the water heater area. Then there is the head in the rear... couldn't get the toilet off, decided to go with a composting one, and took a Saws-all to that plastic hunk of junk. Knowing I wasn't going to be needing the black water tank anymore and seeing how it was clogging up half the area (and severely restricting my access to the rotted wood along the back), I cut the PVC in the bumper for it and managed to pull it out without destroying it.

We have had a few heavy rains since I got it home and have noticed the thing was leaking like colender. I decided to go over all the main seems with 3M UV4000 adhesive/sealan, that shut down the vast majority of the water coming in. I also used Capt Tolleys on all the vertical seems and wherever I thought it would wick in. I'd like to throw a shout out to the factory for filling the floor with pink panther so when it did get wet it would hold the water up against all the metal for maximum rust and rotting effect!

I will post my issues/questions/requested insight in the next posts as I go. I look forward to hearing from you guys and see if we can get this thing done with minimal impact to my wallet... and yes, I am try to avoid lifting the shell off the trailer... I have a job and a family so if there is a way to do something that isn't half a** but will fix the issue... I am all ears!
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:07 AM   #2
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1977 Argosy 24
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Paint

Cleaned, primed, and used a pretty nasty oil bases enamel on the front and rear steel ends... it was like painting with Elmers glue, so I hope it holds up. White? Don't think so... that is Swiss Coffee
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:19 AM   #3
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1977 Argosy 24
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Gutting in progress

Managed to convince the wife to keep the awesome airplane style overhead storage... thank god. And we will be using the original twin bed frames in their original locations over the wheel wells. I am guessing the original Dometic fridge works, but it is going. I am hoping to get a new 110/24v one that could possibly run off of a solar option, but from what I gather that is a stretch for the dark hours. Gas stove is gone, don't see us cooking any turkeys in the camper, so I am going to try for a single induction burner in a new counter? Any thoughts on that? Maybe get a toaster oven for the road and use that's if needed.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:28 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forums and Argosy ownership.

We’ve decided to remove the stove/oven as well and replace with an induction cooktop. I’m thinking i will add a slide out gas set of burners as we offer cook outside with a portable grill hooked up to one of the tanks anyway.

Hopefully you’ve kept as many interior partitions as possible for use later as templates.

Vitofrigo makes a 12v/110 frig but they are expensive.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:40 AM   #5
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1977 Argosy 24
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Floors

Rotted floor sheets in the front and back removed, rust cleaned out, and obtrusions removed. Front plywood sheet cut and fits the spot fine with bolt notches cut out so it slides in to place with no issues. Rear plywood is turning out to be a different animal... got everything cleaned up but the gap seems to be too small for the correct size plywood to fit into the gap. It is pretty badly rusted along the middle C channel, the main R&L frames have some rust but are holding up fine from what I can tell. I have bounced on the rear bumper numerous times and can detect no flexing or deformations. I have a buddy who owns a trailer shop and is going to replace the Axels and I think I will weld some angle iron in some structural spots. Now that the black water tank is removed, I think I will need to weld an angle iron piece right across the middle of the grey tank Tom support the floor.

So questions... would rust cause the gap to shrink? Is the actual body sagging a bit and causing it to shrink (no sign of dimpling in the otter skin and looks straight as an arrow)? Do I use liquid nails to affix the new plywood or metal screws... or screws on the frame and glue in the front channel?

The shims you see are the correct size plywood that I managed to wedge into the gap using a screwdriver to force the metal sheets on the bottom down. There are parts that I can't get to budge and no chance the wood will slide is as far as I can tell... anyone know a trick or fix to get them in... without taking the body off the fram?
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:51 AM   #6
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Thanks My3sonsdad,
Sounds like I'm not out to lunch with the oven removal and induction cooktop. I will look into the vitfrigo! My dubious plan is to retrofit the gas line coming up for the fridge (which will no longer be needed) into a grill connection just aft of the door outside. That way I can do burgers outside without lugging around an extra tank.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:57 AM   #7
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1975 Argosy 26
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There are multiple threads that have done a shell on floor replacement, but most if not all involve removing the lower interior skins, removing the existing bolts in the C channel and sliding in new plywood sheets from the exterior sides.
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:10 PM   #8
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Bath

This is a wide angle of the bath area...
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:16 PM   #9
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My3sonsdad,
Sliding the floor in from the outside sounds like a nightmare to me... I'm hoping for a less invasive option if one exsist... lol maybe instead of 1 solid sheet I can do 3 sections or something. Getting the inner skin off in the bath only is doable and remove the bolts, but I'm not 100% sure that is the issue. Unless doing that would allow me to pry the shell up just a hair and slide the new plywood into place?
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:05 PM   #10
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The floor is an integral part of the structure of an AS (frame, floor, shell). Plenty of people have “patched” the floors using multiple segments of plywood spliced underneath at the seams with supporting 2x4s or at the frame members. I’ve done a temporary patch this way, but ultimately if you’re going to the trouble of doing so much work on top of it, you really don’t want to do it twice.

From your pictures it looks as though the entire front & rear sections have been removed which make them a candidate for sliding in whole sheets at the ends.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:22 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replys, all help is apreciated. I read a few of the shell-on threads since you mentioned it and was wondering if the Argosys are the same as the air streams, and from year to year as well. From what I can tell there is an aluminimum strip that sits on the large C channel frame member (rusty hole covered one in the shim picture) that extends out past wall and attaches the angled bumper cover. Looking from the inside, there is a thin steel strip sitting right on top of that and sits a little farther away from the inside. I think the steel must bend up at some point because no outside light can be seen in that gap, which the wood sits in. Above that I assume is the bottom of the aluminum shell. So would I remove the inner skin, cut all the bolts along the back, jack up the shell just a little, and slide the new sheet in from the side? Is there no skin or trim hanging down on the side that would stop that from happening? I assume it can't be slid in from the back because of that steel sheet that the wood sits on... on that note, i guess it would be possible to slid it from the inside if I did all those steps?
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:38 PM   #12
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In both the front and rear there is a hold down plate and the channel along the rear is a U channel vs C channel. Sliding the sheet in place from the inside is a challenge as the sheet segment gets larger. You will need to remove the lower belt trim and possibly the top rivets of the “banana wrap. The shell slides down over the outside edge of the plywood but doesn’t usually extend its full thickness.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:29 PM   #13
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As my son and I tackled the floor of our '76 Argosy twenty-eight footer Central Bath unit, we decided the best way for us was to divide each 4x8 sheet of plywood down one of the main beams that run from front to back.

This allowed the maximum support and easiest install. We then screwed each piece into metal. Do not forget to screw through the 'C' channel and plywood floor to secure everything together.

Good luck and hope to see you at an Airstream/Argosy gathering!

Chris
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:42 PM   #14
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Thanks News,
Did you guys do a shell-on floor replacement? the rear area is where I am running into trouble, the gap is a bit smaller then the new correct size plywood. For the rotted spots under the h2o heater and furnace I cut a square back to mid beam for support...
Side question for my clarity, "C" channel is what the frame is made of and is vertices, and "U" channel is aluminum and is what the shell sits on? Kind of like a footer for the ribs? Thanks for the replys
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