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Old 10-16-2002, 05:23 PM   #1
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Question confused Argosy newbie

what exactly is the differance between an airstream and an argosy? (other than some paint and a name plate)

i have caught bits and pieces here and there, but wonder if there is a good Argosy faq out there somewhere (or a patient Argosy afficianado) that would be able to fill me in.

I ask because i figured they were white because they were fibreglass, and i didnt need to know any more than that. now i seem to be getting that they are, at least mostly, aluminum.

would someone please set me on the right track.
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Old 10-16-2002, 05:42 PM   #2
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I thought they had aluminum sides and steel endcaps but maybe I'm wrong. Don Reason's website gives the history of the Airstream trailers including the Argosy as well as the "Squarestream" Airstream. It was informative for me. I have the article at home with his website and if someone has not given it to you by the time I get back on, I will send it to you.
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Old 10-16-2002, 06:07 PM   #3
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From a functional point of view, and speaking in generalities, an Argosy will have steel, rather than aluminum endcaps, fewer creature comforts, and overall less interior trim than an Airstream of the same year.

Personally, I think that they have a spare, lean look to the interior that I like.

If you are looking at a particular Argosy, or even a particular model year range, you might do well to post that information and get some of the experts to tell you what the differences are for that particular Argosy.

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Old 10-16-2002, 10:35 PM   #4
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Confused Argosy Newbie

Greetings Dave, and welcome to the world of Vintage Airstreams and Argosys. An Argosy orinially sparked my interest in acquiring an Airstream or Argosy for myself. Since that time, I have been discovering a number of nuances of the Argosy line.

It seems that during the 1970s and 1980s Argosy became a test vehicle for ideas that might one day be applied to Airstreams. For instance, the motorhome began in the Argosy line before it was introduced in its Airstream clothing. Then there were the trials with the bonded fiberglass sidewalls that were a peek at the coming "square stream" trailers. I think my favorite nuance was the Minuet.

I acquired a Minuet in August of this year, and have discovered a whole new world of nuances. For instance the Minuet line had a floor width of 7.0 feet while the rest of the Argosy line had a floor width of 7 feet 8 inches. The Minuet seems to have been introduced as a 1978, and the 1978 owner's manual lists the only Minuet as a 6.0 Metre (20'). In another thread on this site, we have identified two 6.7 Metre (22') Minuets with 1978 VINs. Then in 1979, the factory showroom literature lits Minuets starting with a 20' single axle, followed by a 22' single axle, and the largest being a 24' tandem axle.

There a numerous other uniquely Argosys out there such as a 24' model with a rear (curbside) door - - one of the few Airstream (trailer) products not to have its door very near the front of the coach.

Kevin
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Old 10-16-2002, 11:46 PM   #5
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Question

what kind of creature comforts were ommitted--did they skimp on components, or just omit bells and whistles?
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Old 10-17-2002, 08:42 AM   #6
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Dave Cole

Dave,
The site was www.calldon.com for history of Airstream/Argosy. Don still has questions about some of the history but it gives a general overview.
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Old 10-18-2002, 10:33 PM   #7
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I think the end caps on my '72 28' Argosy are aluminum. It was the first year made. The interior is almost the same as the same year A/S. The kitchen layout is some what different.
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Old 10-19-2002, 03:05 AM   #8
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Lightbulb Just for grins

ED

Quote:
I think the end caps on my '72 28' Argosy are aluminum.
You might take a magnet to your end caps to prove if that's true. I've heard that the differences in cap end: the Argosy's were steel and, the A/S brand were aluminum.
This also explain why the Argosy were painted. After hearing all the grips abt bare aluminum, polishing, etc...Sounds to me like "painting" is a better choice. After all, we bought these A/S for "fun and use".
ciao
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Old 10-19-2002, 06:33 AM   #9
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Wink

That's funny, I though that we bought the A/S to gripe about bare aluminum, polishing, etc.
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Old 10-19-2002, 08:42 AM   #10
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wondering about this....In the old days, it was common for metal-skinned airplanes (alluminum) to be polished and not painted, and I was under the impression that this was because paint didn't stick to alluminum very well. This changed in the 50's. I'm assuming because of some development in paint chemistry. But still, even today, it is ungodly expensive to paint an airplane. The paint that "sticks" to alluminum is very expensive. (its around 5 grand, give or take, to paint a typical 4-seater.).

I'm thinking that perhaps AS's were originally not painted to save cost, and it became a "trade-mark". But I'm wondering if re-painting an old argosy is really as expensive as an airplane of similar size.....that would make it just as much of a problem as dealing w/ the shiny alluminum finish on the ASs. Although I suppose even expensive paint is easier to maintain and holds up better than clear-coat.
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Old 10-19-2002, 09:00 AM   #11
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Lightbulb Pain?

Good point about saving cost. (for the factory) I'd be willing to bet that the paint might even help seal the trailer.~ There's two locations that I know of that will paint A/S and, the nice thing abt it..you almost can't tell em apart from bareskin. From what I understand, most paint jobs could last upward of 20 years..(Point to ponder)
The two locations that I'm aware of: Inland RV and, the GMCCOOP in FL.
just my 2cents worth..
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Old 10-19-2002, 11:00 AM   #12
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I painted my Argosy from the middle stripe up and roof with kool-seal. From the stripe down I used an outside aluminum siding paint and had it mixed to match the original color. I got the paint at Lowes.

The trailor used to leak water and hard to A/C, but not now. You need at least 4 coats of kool-seal and 2 coats of the bottom paint. I used a roller and looks good. My pixs will be posted soon.

The good thing about it is you can retouch at any time. My paint job is 5 years old.

It doesn't look like a car finish but serves its purpose. You can drill out the rivits of the logo's and replace with sheet metal screws.

The pics are on now.
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Old 12-06-2002, 01:24 PM   #13
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I have both a 73 26' Argosy and a '99 25 ft Safari.
I checked both with the magnet and found only the Argosy had a steel end-cap at both ends. On mine this was the single piece metal covering that went around the corner from the roof to near the window and sides.
On the Safari, and other aluminum capped trailers there will be several pieces at each end going up to the roof.
I guess it must be difficult to make alluminum accept a compound curve. The single steel piece must be a lot cheaper to make though.
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Old 01-18-2003, 02:04 AM   #14
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Re: Just for grins

Quote:
Originally posted by 53FlyingCloud
ED


You might take a magnet to your end caps to prove if that's true. I've heard that the differences in cap end: the Argosy's were steel and, the A/S brand were aluminum.
This also explain why the Argosy were painted. After hearing all the grips abt bare aluminum, polishing, etc...Sounds to me like "painting" is a better choice. After all, we bought these A/S for "fun and use".
ciao
Actually, one of the primary reasons for the beginning of the Argosy line was to use blemished aluminum pieces...by painting them. They couldn't be used on an Airstream with scratches and blemishes. Over the years, they used the Argosy line for experimenting with different concepts. The Classic motorhome began first as an Argosy Motorhome.

I always liked the interior of the Argosy line. The Argosy ran from around 1973 to around 1979 and ended because of the second fuel crunch. The square Argosys of 1986-1988 were not related to the earlier Argosy line except in paint color!
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