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Old 01-29-2018, 10:06 PM   #1
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1976 Argosy 28
Clarksville , Tennessee
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A new redux

I looked back at the date I acquired my Argosy trailer. 5-ish years ago. Time to get this project moving.

I dropped the belly pan past the axles a few years back, to inspect the holding tanks and frame. the tanks were holding up (waste gates were promptly replaced) but the rearmost cross member was all but gone. Did some subfloor repairs back there,up front, by the door, rewired some light switches and exterior lights, installed DuraCeramic in the kitchen & lounge area, and a nice floating laminate in the bathroom, hall & bedroom.

The furnace was shot. AC worked (nice and cold) for a spell, then the bearings went out on the blower motor. Water heater was a wash. 8 track player worked.

Then it sat there.

For a few years.

A few weeks ago I blew the dust off of it (more like pressure washed the mildew off the exterior) and that's where this project begins.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:19 PM   #2
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1976 Argosy 28
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From the frame inspection day I knew this was going to be a full monty project.
HOLY CRAP! I've read thread after thread after thread here and it takes TIME, lots of time. And money, and work, and... You know what's involved if you've done it or at least read a few of the detailed start-to-finishes.

Where are we at? Last week, I grabbed up the drill, extra drill bits, the impact driver and started the interior disassembly process. I took the wife's camera along to record video of the process.

End of day one: interior stuff dismantled. The toilet is still mounted and I couldn't readily locate my drain wrench for shower base removal.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:32 PM   #3
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1976 Argosy 28
Clarksville , Tennessee
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Today I freed up some time after a bit of automotive troubleshooting and maintenance and went back at it.

All lights, light switches, wall plugs, fans, etc. were disconnected. Plastic gets quite brittle after 40 years. Univolt and the old, loud, but still functional water pump disconnected.

All burnable wood burnt, save a few curved wall panels for a template.

I have all of this interior aluminum extrusion that needs to go somewhere. I'll not be reusing it and if there is a good home out there that comes across this post and needs it, PM me. I'm not selling it. It's in good condition. I'm giving it away.

Thanks for stopping by. Good night.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:17 AM   #4
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If you go back with same floor plan it shouldn't be that bad. I made a few frame/floor/shell/bellypan improvements and changed the floor plan from a rear bath to center bath and added new tanks to sit under the floor in the frame. Not everything in your camper needs to be replaced. Take it from someone who has replaced everything. Most floors are just rotted in a few places and don't necessarily need the whole floor replaced. Much of the wiring is still good and can be spliced onto. The frame will need to repaired but it may not be all that bad. Best wishes and happy remodeling! Post some pics. We all love them!
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:10 PM   #5
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1976 Argosy 28
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Today:
I removed all of the extruded metal out of the Argosy, put my PPE on and went to work. Removal of the interior top/center aluminum was interesting, but in no way difficult. All street side interior skins are off, curb side shoulder height and up removed, and all exposed insulation bagged. The skin under the back pano and flat windows were removed. I had a substantial amount of rot back there, but was half-heartedly repaired at some point in the past. I checked out the c-channel down there, since I have read multiple accounts on the forum of folks needing to replace it due to corrosion. Mine seem good. The steel plate back/down there has a fair coat of rust on it. All in all good progress.

I spent a little bit walking around, looking at the wire runs, how the coach is assembled, noted there was a drain for the air conditioner, which was never connected. An educational experience nevertheless. I did notice the factory sealed up all lap joints on the inside of the exterior skin fairly well.

Yep, I know... pictures.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:48 PM   #6
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1976 Argosy 28
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Matt, I follow what you're saying. The layout is changing, so the electrical will also. I'm also going to run dedicated grounds for all 12 volt lights. I don't like the current setup of ground-through-shell. The plumbing also gets re-run to different locations. I plan on checking out the holding tanks again here soon for deterioration. The subfloor is getting swapped out for something a lot less wood. I need to check around town and down in Nashville for a supplier of that stuff Aerowood and/or Malconium put down instead of plywood. There's options out there, I do not want to repair or replace the subfloor after this. I weld for a living, so I can repair the frame or build a new one without worries.

One step at a time.

I read through your thread the other day. Interested in the ceramic paint thermal break idea. After the frame and subfloor work, I'll pick some up and test it on some scrap interior aluminum (not reusing the old interior skins) and see what kind of results present themselves.
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:22 PM   #7
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1976 Argosy 28
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A few months back, some hooligans broke out the back window in the Argosy (the flat one, not the panoramic ones). I drilled out the rivets that hold the mitered corners of the frame together, but it is seized together. A quick look down inside the aluminum frame, I see a rusted L bracket that those rivets also went through.

Liberal amounts of Kroil, PB, WD40, Propane torch to heat the area...nada.

What am I missing here? How can I get this frame apart? I could not find an account of anyone struggling with these frames like I seem to be. Any help or advice is welcomed and appreciated.

The photo on the left is what the each corner looks like before drilling the rivets, the right pic is after.
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:33 PM   #8
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It looks welded together but upon further review they are covered with tremco polyurethane caulk which does not come off except by mechanical means. Which means they are almost welded together. Clamp it down and try a rubber mallet. If your replacing with lexan, you may be able to flex or bend it to fit.
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Old 02-04-2018, 02:45 PM   #9
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Thank you, Matt, for the advice. I'll give it a shot with the mallet. I planned on taking the frame, once apart and cleaned, to a local glass company to get a replacement cut. I've read a lot here about lexan discoloration, scratches, and other uv damage over time. I do not have any personal experience with lexan in an outdoor environment, so I will just put glass back in.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:02 PM   #10
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1976 Argosy 28
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The day before yesterday, I finished up removing the curb side interior skins (photo 1), insulation and plastic end caps. The front end cap was the only challenging piece to remove, due to the wires running through it. There was no insulation underneath/ between the wheel well covers. I pulled up the two rearmost subfloor pieces to get a few photos of the damage for y'all. Two of the now exposed outriggers see some cancer (photo 3), the rear-most crossmember apparently needs replacing (photo 2), and some deterioration of the frame rails on both sides needs a good game plan (photos 4 & 5). All of the c channel/ u channel around the perimeter looks great.

I need to move the Argosy to an area a bit more level before I build the gantrys and pull the shell. It is currently mostly level front to rear, but lists 10 degrees to street side.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:48 PM   #11
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1976 Argosy 28
Clarksville , Tennessee
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Some photos of water damage up front: Underneath where the fresh water tank resided (Photos 1,2 & 3). By the water pump (Photo 4).

I don't know what type or name of this sealant the factory used (Photo 5). Pictured here, it sealed behind the fridge. Not pictured in this post, it is on every seam inside of the exterior skin and coating every wire exiting the skin. Tough stuff. It doesn't seem to have deteriorated at all. Any idea what brand it might be, and is anyone using it now days?
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:00 PM   #12
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1973 Argosy 24
Grafton , Ohio
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Argosy Project

Lots of progess there,keep up the good work. I believe the orignal seam sealer was Vulkem, not sure if they still make that stuff anymore, 3 years ago I replaced
several exterior panels on my 1973 argosy, I used Trempro 635 from Vintage Trailer Supply. So far no leaks after about 5000 road miles hope this helps.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:13 PM   #13
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This looks like the average 40 year rehab as far a deterioration goes. Your frame is not that bad. Your course of action depends on your level of perfection and budget.

A. Weld on new angle on the frame, replace the damaged outriggers and weld on a new cross member

B. Build or have someone build a new frame.

You can also use sikaflex 221. Both sikaflex and trempro are polyurethane caulks. I like the sikaflex better. It tends to harden a bit more. I use both.

Keep up the good work.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:48 AM   #14
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It amazes me how airstream experimented on our argosy's in the 70's. Mine is a year older-75 28 footer. My frame had 2 2x4s that ran the length of trailer for center support. Yours are metal. Mine also has fiberglass endcaps. Are yours galvanized steel or the fiberglass? I wish there was a way to post my entire thread on the argosy section instead of the floor and frame section. I look forward to following your build.
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