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Old 08-22-2004, 05:50 PM   #1
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Airstream vs. Argosy. Same? Different?

i want to buy an airstream trailer! Bad! The problem is that i am poor and can't afford one. Argosy trailers seem to be a little less expensive. Are they manufactured by airstrem, and is there any major differences between them? thanks.
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Old 08-22-2004, 06:03 PM   #2
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You can find much (and I do mean much!) info re: Argosy trailers by going to the forum button (above) then scroll down to the forum by kind of trailer and click on Argosy. It can depend on the Argosy. We have an Argosy MINUET - 22 ft. which is somewhat of a rarety for the Argosy line. There were 20', 22' and 24' only manufactured for a short time in the late 70's. Anyway, the Argosy forum (or any of the forums on a particular type of AS) is good info to digest before jumping in. Good Luck.
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Old 08-22-2004, 06:52 PM   #3
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Airstream vs. Argosy. Same? Different?

Greetings ob1coby!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ob1coby
i want to buy an airstream trailer! Bad! The problem is that i am poor and can't afford one. Argosy trailers seem to be a little less expensive. Are they manufactured by airstrem, and is there any major differences between them? thanks.
Yes, Argosy was a division of Airstream and was was manufactured in Versailles, Ohio. The Argosy line was introduced in 1972 and continued with the "classic" Airstream/Argosy shape through the 1979 model year. Beginnning in the 1980 model year, according to the information that I have been able to find, Argosy became the test-bed for the bonded fiberglass flat-sided coaches that are sometimes referred to as "square-Argosy"/"square-Stream".

The only major structural difference in the 1972-1979 Argosy and Airstream coaches is in the front and rear endcaps (domes). While the Airstream utilized aluminum segments for these structures, the Argosy line used a single-piece of galvanized steel. Beyond the endcaps/domes, the actual structures were very similar. The level of standard equipment was generally less in the Argosy, and certain features were unique to one line or the other - - in fact, several features were tested in the Argosy before being offered in the Airsteam. So far as appliances that were installed, the brands utilized and often even the models of the appliances were similar for coaches of similar size and configuration.

The deep-wrap wing windows were first utilized by Argosy and didn't become a feature on Airstream coaches until sometime in the 1980s. The motorhome, and bonded fiberglass sidewall "square" coaches were both products of Argosy first and then Airstream.

The Minuet series was an example of an "experiment" that didn't migrate to the Airstream line. The coaches were only 7' wide rather than the 7' 8" of the standard coaches. Some of the weight saving features of the Minuet series did make it into other Airstream products, but it does appear that the aluminum composite floors were a feature unique to the Minuet 6.0 Metre coaches - - and not every one of them received the composite floors according to an Argosy assembly line worker. Another area where Argosy coaches had a unique feature was in floorplans - - in both 22' and 24', Argosy offered the "Rear Door Model" where the entry door was placed behind the axle rather than ahead of the axles as was typical for Argosy as well as Airstream products - - this created a rather unusual set of floorplans for these coaches.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 08-22-2004, 11:29 PM   #4
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Kevin seems to have given you all the history to get you started.
Just to let you know, I have restored a 16' 1963 Bambi, a 24' Argosy, a 22' Argosy and I am now working on restoring a 20', (6 Metre), Minuet.
I have also worked on several other Airstreams and a couple of Argosys. My entire family owns and uses these trailers. As a matter of fact, my brother-in-law now owns my late father's 1973 31' Airstream. He bought it brand new in Nov. of 1972. With the proper maintenance these trailers can remain trouble-free for years. I repeat, WITH THE PROPER MAINTENANCE.
Keep in mind that even though the Argosys are less expensive that you will still have to invest time, money and sweat into any trailer you purchase. An Argosy may take the same refrigerator as an Airstream. That means that if you have to repair or replace it, it will cost you same amount of money and work to install or repair it.
I am willing to bet that as you see the older Airstreams get sucked up by collectors the price of the Argosys will increase. It is the simple fact of supply vs. demand; fewer vintage Airstreams means bigger price tags; bigger prices tags means that the Argosys become more appealing; Argosys become more appealing and there will be fewer Argosys; price goes up. Think about it; you are contemplating an Argosy for the same reason.
I got my Minuet because it has a really cool aluminum floor! I show it off to everyone! Some are amazed, others are bewildered as to why I am showing them the floor of my trailer!
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Old 08-23-2004, 01:06 PM   #5
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Long quote not necessary

thanks everyone for all the great info! are the stainless steel endcaps the reason that argosys are painted?
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Old 08-23-2004, 03:31 PM   #6
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Airstream vs. Argosy. Same? Different?

Greetings ob1coby!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ob1coby
thanks everyone for all the great info! are the stainless steel endcaps the reason that argosys are painted?
Yes, the galvanized endcaps are one of the primary reasons that Argosys were painted. I suspect that disginuishing the brand from Airstream was also another reason for painting Argosy coaches.

Kevin
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Old 08-23-2004, 10:21 PM   #7
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As Kevin pointed out, the endcaps are galvanized steel.
I am going to get pictures of my little works of art, (Bambi, 24' Argosy, 22'Argosy and the Minuet), as soon as I get home from the road this weekend.
Please do some research on either the Airstreams or the Argosys. One good site that shows several Argosys is: http://www.argosytrailer.com
This shows a lot of good shots and some of the history of the trailer.
Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Lou
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Old 08-23-2004, 10:41 PM   #8
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Painted Argosy

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64
Greetings ob1coby!



Yes, the galvanized endcaps are one of the primary reasons that Argosys were painted. I suspect that disginuishing the brand from Airstream was also another reason for painting Argosy coaches.

Kevin
The Argosy was painted because they needed a uniform color and to protect the galvanized steel. (The galv is a sacrificial coating that extends the life of the steel substrait that will eventially be lost and the steel will rust through.) Check my well galvanized mailbox that has been out in the Oregon rains for 36 years and my neighbors rusted mail box that has been out about 12 years--quality pays (I got lucky). Aluminum paints really do not match the "Aluminum" color of a true "Airstream". However when I was at the "Statue of Liberty Rally" in NYC in 1997 (this was before the Argosy trailer was accepted by the gods of the WBCCI) there was an Argosy with offical "Airstream" name plaques that was painted a very well matched color from a distance, but when I spotted the one piece end caps and a closer inspection, I could tell the difference. I mention this because most people will not take the time to tell the difference. To me you as good as gold. BTW there were some Pinnicle motor homes that were made by Airstream at the Airstream plant and could by strict deffinition qualify to belong to the WBCCI owners club. If I were rich I would get one and test the WBCCI bylaws for admissibility.
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Old 08-23-2004, 10:53 PM   #9
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It does go without saying that the the galvanized steel did need painting. However, owning as many of these trailers as I have they would not be Argosys if they were not painted.
I have an old newspaper article that has quoted an Arogsy, Inc. employee that the paint was for marketing as well. The source had said that a lot of time had gone into what colors to paint the Argosy in order to distinguish it from the Airstream and other manufacturers, all of this had to be accomplished as well as appealing to a family-oriented market.
My father helped sell Airstreams for Kolbe Trailer Sales here in Michigan back in the 70's. He felt that he would not be able to help them with the Argosy as he was not in the age range that they needed selling that trailer.
They are sturdy trailers and I wold not swap mine for anything, (except maybe a 1993 or 1992 21' Sovereign)! :-)
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