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Old 12-21-2008, 12:44 PM   #1
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Question Difference of weight between Argosy & Airstream

I was looking at some old sales information about the Argosy 76/77. The 22 models were 34-3700 pounds and the 24' were 3610 pounds total weight. That is about 1,000 pounds lighter than the same airstreams. How did they remove the weight?
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
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Took out the excess profits?

(just kidding!)
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:58 PM   #3
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For a start I believe the Argosy is narrower than the Airstream. Plus they were sold as a lower cost, less lavishly equipped trailer.

If the appointments and accessories were lighter and the body was lighter then the running gear could be lighter too.

The advantages of simplicity and light weight.

What amazes me is how heavy the newer trailers are. But they are wider than the old ones and contain luxuries undreamed of in the 60s. Plus I think the designers assume everyone has a 3 ton 400HP SUV to pull them with so why worry about keeping weight down.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:03 PM   #4
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The weight is really not that far off. In 76 the Safari 23' was around 3400 and the 25' Trade Wind was around 4200. I am not sure what the listed dry weight was for the Argosy models.
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Old 12-21-2008, 03:13 PM   #5
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I was looking at some old sales information about the Argosy 76/77. The 22 models were 34-3700 pounds and the 24' were 3610 pounds total weight. That is about 1,000 pounds lighter than the same airstreams. How did they remove the weight?
We own a 77 20' Minuet and a 24' rear door. The Argosys were lighter due to the interior cabinetry. The cabinets ware made of aluminum skins not wood or particle board. The frames and shells are the same except for the end caps with are steel.The Minuet is narrower by 6" but the 24' is the same width as the older standard body trailer. I believe the wide body came out in the late 90's.
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Old 12-21-2008, 06:29 PM   #6
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I also had a '77 Minuet for a short time that had plexiglas windows rather than glass. As Gary said, all of the furniture framing was lightweight aluminum rather than wood, and rather than using plywood or veneer, they used thin aluminum sheeting covered by wood-look contact paper. Some Minuets even had a composite aluminum honeycomb floor.

Argosy was the test bed for ideas before they got used on the silver trailers. That way, Airstream could figure out what worked and what didn't without compromising their flagship product.

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Old 12-21-2008, 07:43 PM   #7
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thanks for the insight. The use of aluminum cabinentry seems to reduce weight but not structural regidity. What do people think of the cabinetry?
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:58 PM   #8
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thanks for the insight. The use of aluminum cabinentry seems to reduce weight but not structural regidity. What do people think of the cabinetry?
To raise a fire storm I like aluminum cabinets much better than particle board cabinets and less than quality all wood cabinets. I have yet to see quality cabinets in any trailer but ones installed by owners.
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:30 PM   #9
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Besides aluminum cabinet, and door frames.........

The Argosy panels and surfaces of the dinette , gaucho and walls are made with 1/4 inch ply ( something ) covered in fake ( vinyl? ) wood. I have been replacing mine with real 1/2 inch wood ply where possible. The dinette was especially flimsy.
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:43 PM   #10
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"Plus I think the designers assume everyone has a 3 ton 400HP SUV to pull them with "

---

Uh oh mines's only 390
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:39 PM   #11
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The Argosy panels and surfaces of the dinette , gaucho and walls are made with 1/4 inch ply ( something ) covered in fake ( vinyl? ) wood. I have been replacing mine with real 1/2 inch wood ply where possible. The dinette was especially flimsy.
I think it depends on the model and year. In our minuet there are no wood surfaces. It's all aluminum (some vinyl clad). Heck, even the floor is aluminum.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:21 AM   #12
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I like the aluminum cabinetry in the Minuets. My only complaint is that Argosy wasn't always careful about having things at right angles and cut to correct size. Working with the metal is reasonably easy, however, so some of the shortcuts can be redone 'to spec'. I think it would be a good idea for those with aluminum floored Minuets to put in some kind of synthetic wood floor to distribute the load over the floor. Aluminum floors tend to dish over time. They don't spring back as plywood does.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:41 AM   #13
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The gospel according to my owner's manual, my '76 26 foot is 3830 bare boned, and 6200 GVWR.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:46 PM   #14
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I am looking at a 74 24' model in CA. I'll tell you how it turns out. frankly I am going forward to towing 1,000 pounds less. The particle board in my airstream is so dark. I am getting tired of it.
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