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Old 04-24-2007, 12:29 PM   #1
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Red face '73 Argosy 24ft Plumbing Schematic??

Hi!! I have a 73 Argosy 24ft and when I hooked the water to it-- it spurted from virtually everywhere!!! I guess the pipes froze, expanded and burst! We tried the welding thing and weren't successful. I was thinking about wraping the pipes with "x-treme tape". I was wondering how to find a schematic of the pipes??? Thanks!!!!
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:00 PM   #2
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I don't know where you could get a schematic, but it is not too difficult to figure out where the pipes are. They usually run along one side from the tank to the water heater, then to the bath and around the end to the kitchen, all above the floor except for waste pipes. Get a supply of pex pipe, a bunch of fittings that form a connection by pressing the pipe on (Watts fittings???), and replace the pipes that are there. The pex will be more frost resistant than copper and easier to repair should there be breaks. You can get adapters to go from pex to copper if there are sections that are still sound. If there are breaks behind the toilet or shower, you will have to take those areas apart to get at the pipes. IMHO, wrapping with any kind of tape is a bad idea.
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:04 PM   #3
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Hello suz272000 -- and welcome to the forums! Plumbing runs along the roadside of your Argosy. Unscrew the thin plywood under the roadside twin bed (if your model is a twin). The plumbing runs fore and aft just inboard of the roadside wheel well. My '74 is all copper and it's vulnerable as #*@(*&@% to freezing. Pex is the way to go. Fancy expensive tools are required to attach some of the fittings, but The VAP (Vintage Airstream Podcast) has mentioned easier to attach fittings -- and they've been very leak-free for them. I know it's mentioned several times from approx episodes 29-34. Sea-Tech fittings -- see the VAP sponsors here.

It should be said that the shower mixer valve is also supposed to be one of the more freeze-sensitive components. Taking bathrooms apart is hard -- but you'll have a honey of an easy-to-tow Airstream when you get it all up and running!
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:01 PM   #4
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As an aside, I bought pex and fittings from Lowes. I also got a hose cutter - about $6 or $8 - so I could cut square ends. The fittings I bought were made by Watts, I believe. You measure twice, cut once, and slide the fitting onto the end of the pex making sure that it bottoms. I was amazed, but it doesn't leak. The older pex fittings that required a $200 tool to install are not what you want. They use a ring that has to be tightened to very close specs and it isn't worth the trouble when you can just slip one of the new fittings on and be sure it is solid.

As for the bath, get your trusty drill with 1/8" bit and a phillips #2 screw driver. Don't take it apart unless you know there is reason to do so - bad shower valve, broken pipe, etc. Take the nose insert out of the aluminum trim and drill out the rivets, back out the screws. The shower valve mount is usually one piece and comes out reasonably easily.It only gets nasty if there are lines under the shower tub.The tub comes out with some drilling of rivets and freeing the drain from below. For that, the under skin needs to come off the back. None of this is hard, just time consuming. When you get done, reassemble and order new nose insert (the plastic cover on the aluminum strips) from Oasis RV so you can make the shower area look really good again.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:04 PM   #5
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argosy 72

Thanks for the question and the replys. I recently bought a 72 Argosy with frozen pipe leaks everywhere! I am determined to fix it and the suggestions were a tremndous help. Thanks again.

mac
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:26 PM   #6
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i have 76 argosy. New fiber glass tubing cost me aboout $1,000. I watched them do it. If you are small in stature just cut the old copper in pieces ad remove them. you will soon find where they go and just replace with the new pressure fittings and plastic. It did not look that hard. This of courfse assumes you are able to fit under the cupboards on the water heater side.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:54 AM   #7
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Cool PEX Piping

I recently started to remove the shower to replace a faulty mixing valve. I strongly suggest you replace any copper piping with 1/2" Pex pipe. The fittings I used were Apollo PEX fittings purchased from Lowes. They are plastic screw on fittings that are assembled without any tools other than your fingers and maybe channel lock pliers. If you get a leak during installation, they can be taken apart and reassembled without purchasing new ones. PEX piping is a dream to use since it is bendable and in many cases can be configured around corners, etc. without the use of 90 degree elbows. I suggest the use of colored piping , blue for cold water and red for hot water. It makes future repairs, inspections, etc., incredibly easy. PS never use less than 1/2" pipe for distribution.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:50 PM   #8
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I am just digging into my 1974 24' Argosy, rear door model. I pulled all of the copper, will replace all with PEX. This is a complete front end rebuid, so new cabinets, new water heater etc. I am trying to leave the bath pretty much alone except for the new plumbing. my question is on the shower valve. do I have to pop the fiberglass off in order to get to the plumbing? To do that it looks like removing the toilet too, which I will do anyway. I was just hoping for an easier fix onthe shower valve. Any clarification would be appreciated. TW
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:06 PM   #9
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my advice is to not remove your shower valve unless it is broken. If it leaks, find a way to fix it without removing the valve, etc.

To answer your first question is YES. You will have to remove the toilet and plastic cowling piece that form the shower surround and hides the mixing valve behind the plastic. To remove the plastic, you first need to pull out the 1" cover piece that hides the rivets. It usually is very brittle and will probably break. Fortunately you can buy a replacement piece from Vintage Trailers. The shower cowling is also brittle by now so be very gentle!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you go to replace the shower valve, you will find that particular valve is not made. The closest substitution requires a 90 degree brass fitting to turn the corner to the water pipe. The clearance is very tight and i had to machine a elbow to fit and to put a lot of sealant to make it work. The problem if I remember correctly, is the older system uses a 90 degree male fitting while the new mixing valve requires a female fitting. The female fitting is about 3/8" longer causing the problem.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:39 PM   #10
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Thanks B-man. I think I will folow that advice and hope for no leaks. I'll sweat a fitting on to the copper that will allow me to hook up the PEX. If it leaks in the future, then I'll dive in. tw
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:08 PM   #11
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Pex is great!

You can get fittings for the PEX tubing called "Flair It" online. They require no special tools. I've posted pics on my Blog on what I did. I did not route the pipes in front of the tub and toilet because I did not want fittings hidden there. I pushed the PEX tubing, both hot and cold lines around the outside perimeter of the tub, it just slid around there like it was supposed to. All of my fittings are visable and easily checked for leaks, of which I've had none.
I agree with not removing the shower valve, new cartridges are available and you can get fittings to adapt to the 2 copper lines.
I'm not sure if your bath is the same setup as mine but you can tell by the photos of the toilet and the tub to the left.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:54 AM   #12
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Thanks TGT, nice job on your redo. My 24 footer is a bit different in the bath, no tub just a shower, but all else is the same. Turns out that after a bit more inspection, the fiberglass has been removed, and one of the 20 patches to the copper are behind the wall. they used screws to repalce it, so I won't have to drill out the rivets. But it is looking more likely that in order to sleep well at night I am going to pull that thing and take the pex to the source, or at least extend the copper to the point that I can add a fitting. Reading about the plastic 90's not fitting would lead me to the copper extension route. At some point I will post some pictures too. tw
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