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Old 01-27-2019, 10:26 PM   #1
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1976 Argosy 28
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Advice needed

Hi I am new to the forum and I am looking at a '74 24ft Argosy 3000km away so no site visit from me. The trailer had a tree fall on it last year and has broke the bathroom window and mirror, torn the upper right rear panel away from the rivets and has torn (literally) the bathroom roof vent out as well as un pictured roof damage. It is original on the inside and I have no one to check out the running gear to see if it safe to tow home. Is this trailer going to be more work to repair than it's worth? where would I find new body panels to replace the damaged ones? and can a DIYer replace these panels or do I find a repair shop that can?
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:06 PM   #2
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Advice needed

Greetings alberta paso!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreams and Argosys!

From your description, it sounds like the rear galvanized steel endcap is damaged and would likely require replacement -- a major undertaking and it is highly unlikely that a new replacement could be located. Depending upon the extent of the damage, an auto body shop may be able to repair the existing endcap. The interior endcap is likely damaged to the extent that repairs would be quite difficult and finding a replacement could be difficult -- so the likely solution would be to form fanned panels of aluminum to take its place. You may also find that ribs would need to be replaced. Making these repairs would likely require, at a minimum, removing the rear bathroom furniture/fixtures to facilitate repairs.


Patching a puncture in the roof would be more direct and less involved so long as it didn't include a dent as well as the puncture. The key to the repair would be to utilize well sealed patch panel with sealed rivets. The same would be true of replacing the roof vent. It would be rather straight forward provided the roof wasn't dented when the vent was damaged -- you might get by with simply replacing the cover -- or you could upgrade to a Fantastic Vent as many do when replacing the original vents.


Replacing the rear window would only pose a problem if the frame is damaged in any way. The window is readily available flat glass (I believe tempered, but am not certain) that a full-service glass shop could likely cut and install into your frame. If the frame is damaged, locating the replacement could be time consuming as I am not sure as to whether this type window is available from Airstream any longer.

If the original axles haven't been replaced, you can anticipate that they will need replacement. Unless the current owner can provide proof of age for the tires, it would be prudent to install new tires before towing the distance you would be embarking upon. Servicing the bearings and checking the electric trailer brakes would also be highly advisable prior to embarking upon a trip of the distance you mention. You can tow the trailer with axles that are essentially worn out, it is, however, advisable to limit your towing speed and try to slow down for rough road sections, rail crossings, etc.


Whether the coach is worth restoring is a question that only you can answer, but some considerations would include:
  • Beyond the damage mentioned, has water infiltrated through the opening adding to the destruction?
  • Is there significant rot in the floors?
  • Do you plan an entire gut remodel or do you want to restore?
  • If you don't plan to have body repairs handled by a professional, do you have skills need to perform the aluminum/galvanized steel repairs?
  • What level of perfection do you want in the final product? A higher degree of perfection will be easier to achieve with a coach having little or no body damage.


The coach that you describe would be a MAJOR project, but there have been others on the Forum who have completed similar challenges.


Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:19 PM   #3
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Overlander
Thanks for the reply. The axel/brake thing I was pretty sure they would be iffy towing that far so I have been looking for hauling quotes. I did find an experienced airstream repair shop 1.5hrs from the trailers current location but they are too busy to go out to quote the work at this time and with not having complete pics it is pointless for me to ask as well though it would be nice to seal the exterior damage before shipping. We are luck enough to have an AS dealership close by (who knew) and they have said that I can order some of the body parts from them.

If we take this on plan is to do a full restore on the coach as the floor plan is what we like.
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:30 PM   #4
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If they are not paying you to take it.......RUN
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
If they are not paying you to take it.......RUN

Unfortunately, this is the correct answer. Unless you are getting a *crazy* deal (less than $1,000), I would recommend looking elsewhere. Even if you are looking for a "project," this one sounds like trouble, especially with the distance to factor in.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:18 PM   #6
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Like Overlander64 has said, this is a MAJOR project just to repair the damage. If you have to pay to have this done, the costs will be more than the trailer is worth. Then, you have to look at the common problems with a unit of this age. The items that will probably have to be replaced are: Fridge, A/C, hot water heater, converter, water pump, all window and door gaskets, flooring, vent covers, axles complete and tires. These are the problems that you can easily see, and as previously mentioned, things like the floor, waste and water tanks, underbelly, wiring, gas lines, and water lines are things that you have to dig to find out if working and serviceable. This could be a gem, but more than likely a money pit that you will never recoup your costs, even if you do all the repairs yourself. Been there/done that, and my 1976 was a learning experience and costly project. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Chris
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:28 PM   #7
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There is a 1974 Argosy 26' for sale on Kijiji in Calgary. Did you look at it? There are membeers from this site in the area that could look at it with you. A lot closer and you could see what you are getting into!! Chris
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:33 PM   #8
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The Argosy you are describing sound like a total loss that shouldn't be pulled 30 kilometers little lone 3000. As pointed out by several others the steel end cap would likely have to be replaced which would mean replacing at least 5 panels at about a $500 each plus shipping of about an equal amount. So you are already looking at over $5000 dollars on top of the other repairs and replacements.

Walk away would be my advice. There are others out there keep searching and you will find what you want.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:16 PM   #9
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I agree. Walk away . . . . . .

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Old 01-30-2019, 08:42 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone I guess I am going to continue looking and watching the forum
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