Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-18-2013, 11:57 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
Oak Ln , New Jersey
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 14
Possible Free Argosy trailer

I was offered an older Argosy trailer the other day, basically all I have to do is make the 200 mile drive and bring it home. Its been sitting idle since 1979 in a barn, they used it as both a place to sleep and a cargo hauler while traveling with a horse show.
The interior is nearly all gone, the heater has been removed and the whole riveted over. The bathroom is still intact, as is the rear sleeping area. The front area is wide open with a fold out bed in place. One front corner window is cracked, and someone made crude looking plywood fender skirts for it. The paint is peeling off all lower surfaces.

I'm looking for something similar that looks vintage, I'm not all that concerned with it being all original, just so its water tight. It will never be used out of reach of electric power so I'd install electric heat, refrigerator, and cook top. The plumbing will be quarantined to the rear section, bathroom shower, head, and sink only.
Supposedly the floor is rock solid and its never leaked, but I've not seen it in a few years. Its been parked under a lean too next to a barn in PA for the past 30+ years. He did say the rear 'pan' got torn loose years ago but he still has it, he said its a section of sheetmetal that was under the rear end of the thing below the rear bumper. It got caught on the sewer hook up where it was last parked.

I have zero experience with these.
Is there anything I should look for on one of these?
I believe its a 22' long model, its got dual axles, and a single entry door up near the right front.

I looked online but found none that were identical to this one, either the door was different, or the window location varied, or the length didn't match this one. I believe its a 1974 model but I haven't seen the title in hand yet to be sure.

Are these worth bringing back?
From the phone pics a buddy took of it, it looks to be in fair condition with no dents but he said the lower body panels seemed loose all around the edges. He said he could pull them in and out with his foot.

How does the body attach to the frame on these? Are there any links to one apart?
__________________

__________________
freeisforme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 12:09 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
Free is always good, but hard to say what you will be actually getting until you get there. Also hard to say what will need to be done.

You will need new tires to transport it at a minimum, and probably some magnetic lights unless the umbilical cord is still ok and the lights work. Then there are the brakes to consider.

There is a huge amount of stored information on this site about most everything Airstream and Argosy. A bit of looking around will give you much to ponder.
__________________

__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 01:23 AM   #3
1 Rivet Member
 
Oak Ln , New Jersey
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 14
I've got access to a huge flat bed I can haul it home on.
My main concerns are all the issues I've been reading about on frame separation, rust, bad axles, and floor rot. I have little doubt that this trailer has never had any work done to it, they bought it and used it once or twice a year for a few years and parked it where it sits now. It never did camping duty at any camp grounds, it just served as a portable tack shed for their show horses. The interior is basically empty other than the floor and bathroom. They had a fold out bed in the front, and a cot in the middle if needed, nothing else. They didn't need heat, it does have air, and they had a standard electric refridgerator that ran off shore power when needed. There is no converter, no 12v anything in the trailer. The modifications are fine with me, I'd be doing the same basic thing and have no need for it to be self powered in anyway.
My concerns now I guess are whether or not it survived the past 30 years sitting on a dirt floor under a lean too in PA. The axles don't bother me as much as the prospect of the frame being rusted.
Do these suffer from any galvanic corrosion issues due to the use of steel and aluminum together?


The part that bothers me the most is that my buddy up there said that the body seemed loose on the frame, he could pull the lower edges in and out by hand all around.
After looking at several restoration threads here, the only thing that I see that would cause that is rusted frame outriggers. If the frame is that bad, its not worth the hassle. I'd be better off just finding one in better shape. The goal is to have a trailer that serves as both a place to stay on occasion at various swap meets and shows, and one that serves as storage in the off season.
__________________
freeisforme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 06:38 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Roadrunner's Avatar
 
1978 29' Ambassador
1974 25' Tradewind
1974 27' Overlander
Indiana , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 669
Blog Entries: 7
Inspector?

If you look on the forum, you will find many individuals across the country willing to take a look at your trailer prior to purchase. I have done this for individuals from out of the area looking at trailers located near me. Most are experienced to the point of observing problems before you inherit them. Sight unseen, free or not, can be a big disappointment if you get a trailer only to have it sit on your yard taking up space. A rusted frame might be difficult to see (except where exposed) unless you drop the belly pan. There could be a good reason why it is free...Good luck!

Bob
Indiana, PA

TAC PA-5
WBCCI 4871
__________________
Roadrunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 08:01 AM   #5
3 Rivet Member
 
panheaddale's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1968 30' Sovereign
Vintage Kin Owner
somewhere , Tennessee
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 211
If it's FREE what is to worry? It is only 3.5 hours ( You said 200 miles?) Drive up look at it if it is not worth taking drive back home and the worst you have wasted is 1 day. If you want I will be glad to drive up from TN and take it for FREE. It would be worth it just for the free parts or scrap if it is that bad.
__________________
panheaddale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 09:46 AM   #6
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,401
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
If it's a 22' trailer that's been mostly covered for 30 years, don't worry about rear end separation. Each of the short length and the mostly-covered would likely preclude that. Sitting still and mostly covered has likely kept the frame in decent shape as well, though if the insulation in the belly pan DID get wet it could rust just sitting there, but to do any significant damage the insulation would have had to STAY wet for a while.

If it was assembled properly, galvanic corrosion isn't a huge issue because the plywood subfloor is what connects the steel frame to the aluminum shell for the most part. By "lower edges" your buddy may be talking about the belly pan/banana wrap pieces... those don't really have anything to do with the structure. They're for keeping the underside a little more dry and making the trailer "look right." I think it's worth taking a look at, if you decide it's too much work to deal with, you got a nice day trip out of it.
__________________
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 01:20 PM   #7
1 Rivet Member
 
Oak Ln , New Jersey
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 14
Belly pan? Insulation? Sounds like its likely to be full of mice or worse?

The area where the heater was is open to the bottom, the side is covered with a riveted panel but he said you can see the ground when you look down past the inner edge of the body. There's no sign of any frame there, just a cut out in the floor where the heater used to be. That area is at the bottom of a closet with shelves now, the bottom of the closet is all that blocks off that hole.

Free won't be free after the drive there and back at about 8 mpg in the truck.

How much does one of these way? My buddy said its super light, he can lift the tongue and wheel it around by hand.
How are these measured? My buddy says the box is 20 1/2' long on the outside and 8' wide.
What are my options to fix or fill in the one broken corner window? Apparently its just Plexigass but from the few pics I've seen those are compound curves.
__________________
freeisforme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 06:17 PM   #8
Bex
4 Rivet Member
 
1976 Argosy 28
Eckville, Lacombe County , Alberta
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 447
Send a message via Skype™ to Bex
I think I would be tempted to bring it home anyway (assuming there is ample room for it) and then determine IF I want to do the work. If I didnt want to do the work then I think I would look for one thats in better condition, buy it and use whatever is on this one (mainly the windows) as spares. Of course it also assumes the windows (excluding the one) are all good and so too the panels, which can also be salvaged for future use. For all the work you will need to do it needs to be free because you can get one in reasonable camping ready condition I would think for $5k and up and its a certainty you will need to spend that as a minimum.

Bex
__________________
TAC AB-1

A wise man once told me he wanted to stay fit enough to run a marathon on his hundredth birthday. Another said he wanted to be shot by a jealous husband on his, I'm with the latter. God bless you Richard.

Carpet Cleaning is what I do, it's not who I am.
Bex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
One of my Airstreams was free with a flaky title. The frame is iffy enough that it would warrant a full body off frame restoration, however I don't think it is worth doing the work on. However I gladly took it. It is currently being used to store parts from the one I am working on. When that one gets done, the free one will get stabilized under a shelter somewhere on our property as a guest cottage. If nothing else it is worth a few hundred dollars for scrap value.

Aaron
__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Possible Free Argosy trailer

Greetings freeisforme!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Argosys!

Belly pan? Insulation? Sounds like its likely to be full of mice or worse?[/quote]

It is quite possible that rodents may have found the bellypan a good home, but several things that you have posted cause me to believe that most (if not all) of the bellypan is not on the trailer. If the ground can be seen where the duct to the holding tanks went through the floor, there isn't any bellypan in that location. When you indicated that a friend observed that the side panels could be moved with his foot, it sounds to me as if the banana wraps (the curved panels that connect the exterior sidewall to the bellypan) may have been ripped loose when the bellypan was pulled off of the trailer. The missing bellypan and loose banana wraps aren't a huge issue as it means that the frame can be more readily accessed to determine its condition as well as the condition of the floor itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeisforme View Post
The area where the heater was is open to the bottom, the side is covered with a riveted panel but he said you can see the ground when you look down past the inner edge of the body. There's no sign of any frame there, just a cut out in the floor where the heater used to be. That area is at the bottom of a closet with shelves now, the bottom of the closet is all that blocks off that hole.
The main frame rails on an Argosy or Airstream trailer are actually between 6 and 8 inches from the streetside and curbside edges. There are frame members that extend from the frame to the edge of the body called outriggers, and these outriggers support the outer perimeter of the floor. Seeing the ground between the edge of the wall and the floor isn't good . . . there is a problem of some sort . . . if it is a round hole for the duct that goes to the holding tanks then that is factory. Where the original Dometic gas/electric refrigerator was located, you will find a square or rectangular hole through both the floor and bellypan that was placed at the factory to provide the "chimney" effect necessary to vent combustion gasses from the refrigerator as well as heat when it was in operation . . . even if the bellypan is in place, you could see the ground through this "screened" opening. The closet with shelves that you mention may have been the location of the original refrigerator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeisforme View Post
Free won't be free after the drive there and back at about 8 mpg in the truck.
If you have severe misgivings, it might be better to plan an inspection trip utilizing your daily commute vehicle, and then plan a trip to retrieve the trailer if your decision is to go forward. This plan would allow you to assess just what you would need to bring along to make the retrieval easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeisforme View Post
How much does one of these way? My buddy said its super light, he can lift the tongue and wheel it around by hand.
How are these measured? My buddy says the box is 20 1/2' long on the outside and 8' wide.


The image above has data for both Argosy 22 and Argosy 24 models. While the weights did vary some from one year to the next, the variance wasn't great so this data can provide you with at least something of a guideline.

Argosy 22 -- 3.360 pounds with a hitch weight of 560 pounds
Argosy 24 -- 3,670 pounds with a hitch weight of 560 pounds

Since the trailer is mostly "gutted", both overall and hitch weight should be somewhat less than the basic factory figures.

First generation Argosy (1972-1979) travel trailers were measured from the front edge of the coupler (hitch) to the rear edge of the rear bumper. The trailers were typically either just a bit shorter or a bit longer than the stated length as the factory rounded the length to and even foot measurement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeisforme View Post
It sounds like the unit is either an Argosy 22 or an Argosy 24.
What are my options to fix or fill in the one broken corner window? Apparently its just Plexigass but from the few pics I've seen those are compound curves.
The broken Panoramic (Deep-Wrap-Wing Window) is a problem. A brand new replacement window can be sourced from Airstream, but it will be Solar Gray Tinted rather than the clear glass that Argosy utilized (be prepared as the window alone is likely to cost more than $750.) Plexiglass isn't a good option as it will flex while being towed creating leak problems. If a glass replacement isn't to be used, the usual recommendation is to utilize Lexan that has greater resistance to UV degradation with greater strength to prevent flexing while towing thus preventing leaks.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 08:32 PM   #11
1 Rivet Member
 
Oak Ln , New Jersey
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 14
If I go get it it can't bring it here til it gets a paint job. I don't think the pink/olive and white peeling paint scheme would go over too well with the neighbors here. Its got a pink top, olive green sides, with an off white lower. The pink upper paint isn't peeling but the white and green are peeling down to bare aluminum giving it a scaly look.

My buddy said that when he pulled on the lower body panels, the whole wall moves in and out as if it wasn't attached to a frame. Yet he said from the inside nothing moves at all. He said all the curved under skirting is off, stacked up inside. Its starting to sound to me like the outer skin may have somehow come loose from the structure? Does anyone have a close up pic of how the outer skin attaches to the framework? How do I get to the inside of the walls?
__________________
freeisforme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 08:53 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
BIGED52's Avatar
 
1967 22' Safari
MILAN , Illinois
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,889
exterior panels

The exterior panels sound as if someone was in the process of removing them. The curved sections are called banana wraps and if saved they were most likely planned to be re-installed. The interior panel skins are separate from the exterior panels and that is why the seem solid. If The exterior panels are loose then someone has removed rivets to cause this. That can be repaired easily while doing your other repairs... No biggy! The paint can also be easily remove if it is standard house type paint. By the time your neighbors see it you can be in the process of removing it to bare metal. Ed
__________________
1967 Safari Twin "Landshark" w/International trim package
1999 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT
FORUMS MEMBER SINCE 12/16/2004AIR#7110
"My tire was thumping, I thought it was flat. When I looked at the tire, I noticed your CAT!" Burma Shave
BIGED52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2013, 09:40 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
Oak Ln , New Jersey
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post




The image above has data for both Argosy 22 and Argosy 24 models. While the weights did vary some from one year to the next, the variance wasn't great so this data can provide you with at least something of a guideline.

Argosy 22 -- 3.360 pounds with a hitch weight of 560 pounds
Argosy 24 -- 3,670 pounds with a hitch weight of 560 pounds

Since the trailer is mostly "gutted", both overall and hitch weight should be somewhat less than the basic factory figures.

First generation Argosy (1972-1979) travel trailers were measured from the front edge of the coupler (hitch) to the rear edge of the rear bumper. The trailers were typically either just a bit shorter or a bit longer than the stated length as the factory rounded the length to and even foot measurement.



The broken Panoramic (Deep-Wrap-Wing Window) is a problem. A brand new replacement window can be sourced from Airstream, but it will be Solar Gray Tinted rather than the clear glass that Argosy utilized (be prepared as the window alone is likely to cost more than $750.) Plexiglass isn't a good option as it will flex while being towed creating leak problems. If a glass replacement isn't to be used, the usual recommendation is to utilize Lexan that has greater resistance to UV degradation with greater strength to prevent flexing while towing thus preventing leaks.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
Judging by the pics above, its probably a 24' like the one in the bottom right of the flier above. The two vertical dividers and bunk are still there.

The floor cut out is square and at the edge of the floor, the riveted patch is about 24" tall by maybe 15" wide. You can see the ground past the lower edge of the patch panel. The cut out is just rearward of the second wing widow on the road side. all forward cabinets are gone with no trace of them showing at all.

I can see the rea bumper is intact. Theres an added on panel on the rear under the tail lights that looks added but its buck riveted in place.

The toilet is a tank type toilet that looks like a home toilet but its all plastic. The shower looks original. There's no sign of any plumbing up front.
My buddy said he tried poking the floor all over with a pocket knife and couldn't find any soft spots.
He also said the tongue weight is less than 60lbs, tops. Hes going there again tomorrow to air up the tires and to take it to get it weighed where he works, that will give me a better idea of what I'll need to tow it home with. He's going to keep it at his place till I get up there.
__________________
freeisforme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2013, 08:18 PM   #14
1 Rivet Member
 
Oak Ln , New Jersey
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 14
I got a call from my buddy today, he's got the Argosy at his place now. He skyped me some views of the thing. There is no tank for the toilet, the toilet is mounted atop a large pipe that goes straight down. He said the original owner told him he would just dig a pit and back over it.
The lower skirting and trim I see on other pics is off this one, the body ends with a straight edge. If he pulls on the sides, the outer skin near the wheels will pull out about 5" or so. It don't look like any rivets are missing. The body side molding is gone, but the aluminum strip is still there. Both front corner windows are home made out of 1/4" plexiglass cut in 2" strips and sealed with clear silicone. The inside is bare except the curb side bunk, rear bathroom, and cabinet across from the bunk. It looks like they shelved what was a left side bunk. Its below that area just behind the left wheel well that has the rectangular cut out in the floor. He said he can feel the frame rail about 8" inboard of the cutout. The body itself has a panel riveted on the inside of the cutout with buck rivets.
There are small cabinets over both sides just behind the wheel areas. The toilet is white plastic, it has a rear tank with a float like a home toilet but it flushes with a gate valve at the bottom of the bowl. My buddy said it looks like it may have come from a boat or bus? There is no tank underneath, but there is a pan or cover of some type that spans the frame rails but don't go to the outer edges.

What are the inner supports or ribs made of? I'm assuming that since the rivets are bucked the skin has to be attached to something flat and not into square tubing?

From what he showed me on Skype from his iPad the interior panels look untouched.

The tires are dry rotted but they apparently hold air. The tongue latch is missing, he had to tow it with a pintle/ball combo hitch to keep it on the ball.
__________________

__________________
freeisforme is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.