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Old 08-24-2011, 12:46 PM   #1
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1977 Argosy 20
Spring , Texas
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Smile Door Handle, Aluminum Flooring.

First of all, I am a newbe so don't assume I know anything, and you will be Correct!

Just purchased a 1977 20' Argosy -- Original manual !

A) Door handle is all original, but the tumblers have a little wear. I was thinking of replacing the entire handle \ lock mechanism. Went to an RV place and he has generics in stock for $50.00 --- and said they were all the same (the ones he had were heavy and appeared to be well built). I though I would replace the whole thing, but reading the post it seems that it is more complicated than that (don't understand why) ---- Are the post trying to keep it original (wasn't my intent) or do the new replacement handles not work !

B) It has aluminum floors (almost sure) -- there is a horizonal high spot close to the furnice --- (not real bad -- didn't even notice it before I bought it). Thought I might buy some of th 1/4 bamboo flooring and install, and thoughts --- sure would hate to have to tear the floor out and put a new one in, but I do want it to be structurally sound.

Thanks guys, know nothing as Schultz would say, but I WILL learn fast.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:00 PM   #2
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1976 Argosy 28
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More Texas Argonauts... welcome!

I'm guessing your Argosy is an Argosy Minuet if it has the aluminum floor. I think that's a rare thing! I've read that it has a tendency to sag a little in the unsupported areas, so perhaps the "high spot" you've found it directly above a frame member. This is just supposition, however, I have no experience with the aluminum-floored trailers.

The issue with the aftermarket door handles when installing on a 70s trailer is that the new handle is smaller, with a big "filler" panel on the hinge side of the mechanism. It looks different, in other words, and isn't quite a direct replacement. You can probably replace just the lock cylinder on your existing one if everything else is working properly, or you might also consider the deadbolt mod like the previous owner of my trailer installed. The deadbolt mechanism is actually installed in the wall of the trailer, and the bolt throws into the door rather than the more common arrangement where the bolt throws from the door into the frame. I never lock the 1975-vintage door latch mechanism, just the deadbolt.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:45 AM   #3
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First the floor: With the aluminum floor it is almost a requirement that you put in a laminate floor as it spreads the load of people walking over a wider area and keeps the aluminum floor from developing those hills and valleys. The aluminum is structurally sound but does not have the 'spring' that plywood does and deforms, hence the discontinuance of its use in the Argosy. Laminate is easy to do with simple tools and a decent saber saw.

Second, the door lock. The original style is no longer made and examples from salvage tend to be very expensive. See Inland RV for coverage of replacement of the door lock set for details as they have it worked out for you. If the original works well as far as keeping the door shut, but the lock tumblers are worn, replace the tumblers. I think the idea of a deadbolt is also a good one to be sure the door is secure. Since the door opens into the air stream when traveling it will be a real problem if it opens at 50 - 60 mph.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:50 AM   #4
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1977 Argosy 20
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Aluminum Floor & Door Lock Repair.

Thanks for the replies guys!! Real informative! Based on the information I received I intend on taking the following action (If I should consider modifying my plan, or if there are additional considerations, please advise.


A) I am going to keep my original handle and lock (and not use the lock to prevent further wear). I would like to install a supplimental "Dead Bolt" in the body of the trailer (rather than in the door) --- doors seem to be expensive and hard to repair. The bolt would extend into the door. I GUESS (dangerous word) I can purchase a dead bolt for an RV at a convenient supplier.

B) FLOORING: I intend on putting a bamboo floating floor over the aluminum sub base --- without modifying the sub structure. The bamboo is very tough stuff, and should distribut the weight (saving the aluminum subsurface.

If I should reconsider these approaches, please advise. Thanks again
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:30 PM   #5
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The deadbolt (at least the one installed in my trailer) is a conventional residential one, with the bolt cut down to a thinner section to more easily fit in the door. I can take pictures this weekend if you like, but the trailer isn't parked at my house. I searched a bit and found references to other people installing similar deadbolts, but no detailed photos.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:22 PM   #6
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1964 26' Overlander
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Also having lock problems

I would love to see those pictures.

I have a 64 Overlander. The handset was inexpertly replaced and the inner door frame bent. I'm not sure that makes a difference because the door is also bent.

I don't have the keys for any of the locks. I got one make for the back panel and was charged $25. If I have to do that for all the locks I'm going to be broke soon!

Since the handset is already a residential lock, can I replace it easily? Ditto the deadbolt. How much thinner does it have to be?
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:12 PM   #7
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JSand322
Look at my posts, I recently installed a deadbolt in the body of my trailer. I used a standard deadbolt purchased at the local hardware store.
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