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Old 06-03-2012, 09:03 AM   #15
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1995 34' Excella
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I am really glad that you got it. Welcome to the forums, your life will be forever changed.

You are probably in need of axles. It is not really a safety issue, it just makes it ride rough. My 66 TW needs axles also, but it obviously does not ride too rough because nothing seems to move too much inside and no sheared rivits (from the rough ride). New axles and brakes are on my Airstream Wish list along with Fantastic fans.

I sold a 24 ft Argosy two years ago that was original, but needed a complete makeover for $3,500.

Dan
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:53 AM   #16
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
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Originally Posted by Wingnut1269 View Post
Is this a major safety issue that I need to be concerned with? Like, what do they do when they are bad? This is my first ever camper and I almost blew a gasket when I lost that tire last night. LoL Are the axles supposed to be straight across, or do they have a slight arch up? And, finally, where would I get replacements?
Not so much safety as long term damage to the trailer in the form of a rough ride. Look underneath the trailer at the axle arms that come out of the back of the wheel, they should be level or pointed slightly downward, it they point up definitely bad. You can order axles from a variety of places, but being on the East Coast I would suggest Colin Hyde. The axles do have a bow upwards. The biggest problem with the older trailers is that the rubber rods inside wear out, and sitting static is the worst thing in the world for an Airstream. They are meant to be towed.

Aaron
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:43 AM   #17
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1972 Argosy 22
Kitty Hawk , North Carolina
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Wow....you guys weren't kidding....I DID get a good deal....that one that just sold on Ebay for just over 3 Gs? Holy smokes!

So....I went to change that tire today...and I did it the easy/lazy way with one of those wheel chock lift things you drive up onto. When I drove up onto it, the back axle did not drop like you guys suggested....so, I guess Axles are in my future. I went to a site called Inland something or other and they have them, but there are options and all that I guess I have to investigate further. I'm hoping these are affordable....as I'm a disabled vet on limited income. I can't find a ballpark price anywhere....without having to call someone.

As far as the color....it has to change. I want to take the layers off, which I guess I will do by blasting it....and I found a pic of one with the original colors....the lt beige top and met brown lower....with the orange strip....I LOVE THAT! (if that's the colors shown here, anyway.... http://www.airforums.com/forums/f349...2-a-87061.html)
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:06 AM   #18
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Dear Wingnut

DO NOT BLAST any paint off of anything but the frame!!!!! The body is ALUMINUM, and your endcaps are either steel or fiberglass depending on the year. You'll damage and dent the aluminum. Use a chemical stripper - start looking at "full monte" threads via Search for brands, etc.

New axles are probably in your future, but on this coast Colin Hyde is your "go to" guy. Inland Andy is out on the west coast - and generally is a bit more costly than east coast sources. You're in Kitty Hawk man, Colin Hyde and Out of Doors Mart are your friends in the neighborhood.
Your axles are probably toast, but it could just be bad shocks. Out of Doors Mart can get you the correct horizontal ones.

What you need to do first is sit down and PLAN. Do your tasks in the right order or you could end up having to tear out something and redo it just because you failed to plan your steps logically. It would be a shame to paint, then decide you want to replace an old water heater with a new one that will require modifying the access door!

So here's a partial list in a semi-decent order.
  • Leaks - check, find and stop so no other repairs get damaged. If you need new window gaskets AND plan to repaint you can temporarily seal the windows & roof vents - aluminum tape perhaps - and replace them as part of finishing the paint job.
  • FRAME - gotta drop the belly pan and take a look at the frame and floor from the bottom up. If the frame looks good except for surface rust you got VERY lucky. If on the other hand it looks like swiss cheese you might end up building a new frame, or at least doing some major patching (and all of that nice hardwood inside was just covering a problem)
  • Subfloor - the frame, subfloor and body form a system that support each other - rotten floor means frame and floor separation. Shell not secured to the floor is also a big problem. Subfloor rotted from leaks - ACK!
  • Electrical system - you never know what has been "fixed" badly, or in a 30-40 year old trailer really needs to be upgraded just on general principles. Many old converters can boil batteries, and newer ones charge them much better. An 8 track player - might be replaced by something a little more current.
  • Propane system - they have to run outside of the belly pan, under the trailer - and sometimes they get pinched or damaged. Propane leaks are serious outside, deadly inside. The regulator can also be bad, and again, previous owners do stuff that is just insane! Like take out an oven, and just fold and crimp the line instead of taking it OUT and capping the pipe at the junction with the main line.
  • Propane appliances - refrigerator, water heater, furnace, oven and stovetop. All can have issues, and you can get spiders or other gunk in the lines, filters, etc. Get serious handholding before you take these systems on yourself!
  • Plumbing system - toilet leaks, black tanks and tank valves are the worst part, but your water pump and pipes may have leaks or badly repaired work that needs to be done over, plus you might want to update your faucets too. Filters of course often clog up and need to be cleaned.
  • Roof vents, fans, air conditioners, etc. These can be considered to be part of the leak repair job, or plumbing, or as individual tasks
  • Interior design
  • Exterior finishing
  • Running Gear & lights
  • Towing gear & stabilizer jacks
I think you've got a good one, and hopefully the less visable parts have been well maintained, but make sure you find out so you have fewer ugly discoveries.

Paula
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:46 AM   #19
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1972 Argosy 22
Kitty Hawk , North Carolina
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Wow, Paula...thank you so much for that. The paint is bugging me, I wish it was higher on the checklist. I can't believe you sat there and typed all that out for 'just me'. It is MUCH appreciated. I bought it in your neck of the woods....in Suffolk. I'm going through the paperwork that he gave me and I have meticulous records. All the way back to the original service instructions, owner's ID card, registration cert, the thank you letter from Argosy, and much more. The guy I bought it from is a 30yr mechanic for the state, and his attention to detail is unbelievable. He cried when I was hooking up to it....only selling it because he upgraded larger to accommodate his family. Oh, and thanks for the tip on blasting it. I thought that would have been easier, but when I was looking for belly pan information, I found a guy that tried to soda blast his and it was all wavy and warped. I'm assuming the end caps are steel since there is a little line of rust forming on the edges of the small chips. I would love to lower the belly pan and clean and undercoat everything....I'm just nervous it's too much of a job for me. The pan looks good, but the exposed metal around the axles has a bunch of surface rust.

Here's a few things I know so far......
-The toilet is brand new. He said the other one seemed to disintegrate from the sun.
-The water tank up front was removed when they rebuilt the bed. I still have the tank.
-They rebuilt the side sofa and made it shorter than the original one. I believe the furnace was located in the part they shortened, so, the furnace doesn't exist on mine.
-I have a 1 year old receipt from where he had the plumbing & propane gone over, leak tested, and repaired. He also had the water heater and appliances cleaned, lit, and tested. To the tune of over $800.
-He said these don't have gray tanks? It only has a black tank? When camping with my parents as a kid, we had both in our newer campers....I guess I just have to be creative with dumping it out and cleaning.
-The electric has been upgraded and a new breaker panel and inverter installed.
-The previous owner replaced the AC cover and the weatherstripping from Inland. He spent a BUNCH of money with them.
-I am 6'2", 350, and when I walk on the floors, they feel like concrete. There is a minor squeak in the bathroom floor, so I guess I can focus back there.


That is all for right now...I have a few errands to run.....I am going to be leaning on you guys a lot, I think. I'm totally stoked about this thing. Even when I was limping home on 3 wheels yesterday, at 20 mph, people were still slowing and taking pictures of it while DRIVING! It's crazy the attention it got in just a 2 hour drive.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:04 PM   #20
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More an issue with shaking the interior and shell to pieced due to a rough ride. Not really something to put off IMO. Axles to have an arch to them. That's how the alignment (camber) is set.

The rubber torsion rods are what gets old brittle and/or shredded over time.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:41 PM   #21
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingnut1269 View Post
Wow....you guys weren't kidding....I DID get a good deal....that one that just sold on Ebay for just over 3 Gs? Holy smokes!

So....I went to change that tire today...and I did it the easy/lazy way with one of those wheel chock lift things you drive up onto. When I drove up onto it, the back axle did not drop like you guys suggested....so, I guess Axles are in my future. I went to a site called Inland something or other and they have them, but there are options and all that I guess I have to investigate further. I'm hoping these are affordable....as I'm a disabled vet on limited income. I can't find a ballpark price anywhere....without having to call someone.

As far as the color....it has to change. I want to take the layers off, which I guess I will do by blasting it....and I found a pic of one with the original colors....the lt beige top and met brown lower....with the orange strip....I LOVE THAT! (if that's the colors shown here, anyway.... http://www.airforums.com/forums/f349...2-a-87061.html)
Let me know if you want/need help with the axles when the time comes...I NEED a vacation to the OBX area. and yes I am serious!

Colin is on the East Coast and I would think you might save on shipping.

I would not suggest blasting unless you can find a very soft media, the side and roof panels are relatively thin aluminum sheets, end caps are most likely galvanized steel, possibly fiberglass.

No there won't typically be gray tanks on a 1972, you can get one of the wheeled blue containers or hope there are a lot of thirsty raccoons around your campsite.

What are your sub floors? Some of the Argosys had composite aluminum.

Orange insert is still available, I saw a huge roll of it the last time I was in Out of Doors Mart up near Greensboro.

Aaron
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:06 PM   #22
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If you plan to travel with the trailer then axles are in your future. If it will be parked for any significant time while you're fixing it up. Wait on the axles. If it is going to sit for 2 years on new axles, it will shorten the life of the axles.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:46 PM   #23
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Let me know if you want/need help with the axles when the time comes...I NEED a vacation to the OBX area. and yes I am serious!
Aaron.....I am camper amateur here. LoL If you know what you are doing....I have a new hotel room in my driveway.....you're welcome anytime!! I would love to drop the belly pan and take a look....clean stuff up....and undercoat. I have to get out there and see if there's numbers on the axles or whatever.....I don't know. Kind of flying by the seat of my pants here. I want to make sure I do everything right, but, being inexperienced, I'm only armed with common sense. LoL For now, I'm still dealing with the tire fiasco from the other day. I need to get another tire and get it on there. Then I need to fix the metal that got chopped up when the tire shredded. Then, I just want to go camping. The axles didn't have a drop to them when I jacked up the trailer on Sunday....but, now that they had a workout being driven 30 miles with only 3 wheels, they DO have the drop. Could I get lucky and clean everything up and lube it real good? Maybe even replace the shocks?

PS...I got the message....I won't be blasting. I did find a post on here about some stuff called Hydrostrip....but it's discontinued.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:01 AM   #24
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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I would bet the axles are shot. Call Colin for pricing, but IIRC ball park is going to be ~$1600 or so a pair which includes new brakes. I don't recall seeing any numbers or plates on the axles. I think you order them either by dimension or by the serial number on the trailer. A call or email to Colin should clear that up. FWIW give him a bit of time, he was off at a big rally last week and is probably trying to catch up.

I am by no means an Airstream expert, but I have done/still do restoration work on just about anything. I am in the process of rebuilding the holding tank area on my 1975, I had about 40# of rust flakes back there that I believe is what was left of the frames...

Aaron
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:53 AM   #25
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The VIN number plate on my '74 Argosy is just above the water fill door on the front left side of the rig. The axle ratings are listed. When I replaced the axles just a few months ago I noticed the old axles had name plates with the weight ratings and mfg date.
I can give you the specs on my new Axis axles. Then you could check them against your mounting plate dimensions.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:26 AM   #26
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Smacked with a little does of reality this morning. Finally got to show it to the family.....and it's too small. I wanted SO bad for this to work out, I guess I wanted it too bad and I was blinded from reality. Not sure what the future holds for my new friend.....but we may need to sell her and step into something a little bigger.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:14 PM   #27
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