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Old 04-25-2012, 08:45 AM   #1
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1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Dry Fork , West Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 12
1979 Minuet 6.0 repaint bodywork


I bought a 1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 about a year ago. I am attempting to fix up and use as a traveling companion / office / guest room for our West Virginia home. I have completed the systems repairs and everything is working.

I have completed the paint removal and am alarmed by the flex in the panels. Is there a flexible bondo type of material that will smooth the surface to prep for painting?

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Old 04-25-2012, 09:03 AM   #2
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1975 Argosy 24
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
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No, you really aren't going to be able to use filler. You're dealing essentially with aircraft panels, not automotive, so you have to accept some "character" in the panels as they take dings over time. If there's really nasty damage, you might want to replace a panel, but part of the appeal of vintage is "patina" right?

How much work was the paint removal? Did you use chemical or mechanical means? Someday we might paint our Argosy, but that's kinda low on the list at the moment. I think this year's upgrades will be stabilizers and a generator.


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Old 04-25-2012, 09:28 AM   #3
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I recall that Colin Hyde discussed that you could use Bondo on an Argosy on the VAP podcast, but not sure if that is just on the end caps or anywhere. I think that with the right primer, a thin bit is doable.

Come to think of it, another restoration shop said Bondo was a possibility for a fix, but my few dents are very minor.

Is the Bondo to fill in a dent or just to smooth out and stiffen? The flexible panels are normal - I have the same trailer with the same trait. I would only use it for a dent.

Now: 2007 Safari SE 23' "Anne" towed by 2011 Dodge Durango "Herman"
Before: Argosy Minuet and T@B, towed by various Honda Odysseys
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:43 PM   #4
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1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Dry Fork , West Virginia
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1979 Argosy minuet 6 metre

Thank you so for the reassurance. We are newbies at this game; just found it - liked it and then it followed us home.

The dents are not Huge. The big ones are on the front before the door and a series of scratch dents high and to the left of the rear window. If I can figure out how to post a .mov video I can show it better. The trailer is now at a truck paint shop in South Carolina.

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Old 04-25-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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1972 Argosy 22
1976 Argosy 28
Commerce , Texas
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Possibilities are unlimited. Just refinished the outside of mine. Had small dents in several places. You can bond the aluminum. Good luck. Cannot wait to see finished product.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:08 PM   #6
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1962 19' Globetrotter
1963 19' Globetrotter
1961 19' Globetrotter
Wheat Ridge , Colorado
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I would replace the panel with the very large dent forward or the door! The aluminum is clearly stretched beyond the ability to fill. The oil can effect of aluminum with a dent this large will sheerly pop out any bondo down the road and you will end up with crakes and chipping. Bondo will work fine and small bumps and dings, rule of thumb is not to go over 1/8 thick over 1 sq. foot. I would also remove all external parts like rear lights, door hardware, none riveted moldings and paint separate!
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:47 AM   #7
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1976 Argosy 28
Eckville, Lacombe County , Alberta
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Would that large one on front not pull into a bit better shape with a suction cup? I did a couple on ours, not quite as large as that but large enough. Worth spending 10 bucks or less on the cup (IMHO)


A wise man once told me he wanted to stay fit enough to run a marathon on his hundredth birthday. Another said he wanted to be shot by a jealous husband on his, I'm with the latter. God bless you Richard.

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Old 04-26-2012, 02:24 PM   #8
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1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Dry Fork , West Virginia
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The paint removal was done by a friend in SC who is in the business of restoring VW campers. Will find out more about what he used. He said the paint came off with surprising ease.

Thanks for the encouragement.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:55 PM   #9
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1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Dry Fork , West Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 12
Update on the dent removal prep for painting

Thank you all for the great advice. We have decided to fill in the dents on the back (better picture below) as they are in a area of less flex and are smaller.

Airstream advises that the right front panel is obsolete. We have decided to "embrace the character" of the trailer and have directed the shop to work the dent with suction cups and try to restore the metal's memory. If pulling the dent out does not work, we are currently planning to proceed with the primer and painting.

The company painting the trailer is a very experienced restoration outfit and they have the capability to fabricate a replacement panel. We have requested an estimate on this work. The replacement panel would be attached externally with rivets and tools supplied by airstream. Because the new panel would be placed over the old one. The trailer would not care if it was over a painted dent or an unpainted one.

We are excited to get into the trailer and go adventuring; so may decide to do it later (or not at all)
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