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Old 08-14-2014, 08:33 PM   #1
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Rust on the end cap rivet line - deal killer?

I'm still hunting for my trailer. One of the trailers that I have been searching for is an Argosy 20 or 22 footer.

Lately I've been casting a wider net, and have found a number of them. Of the ones I have found, many have rust on the galvanized end caps, likely surface rust, but also have pronounced rust/corrosion lines where the end caps are riveted to the aluminum bodies.

I understand that there can be a reaction between the metal of the end caps and the aluminum body. I wonder if the rust that I am seeing in pictures is a reflection of that corrosion, or of the end caps really rusting at this joint and the possibility of the joint failing.

Many of these trailers I'm mentioning are a few to many hours drive away from my home. I'm worried that the rust on the end caps also is a sign that water is entering there, and that the floors on the ends may be rotted (and therefore a big project to fix).

I've got a moisture meter and an ice pick in my inspection kit, but frankly don't want to waste a weekend day if the rust line is a sign of greater water damage and a difficult repair to the skin.

So what do you all think?

For reference, attached below is a photo of one I received earlier this evening. I note the hanging light will be a separate point of entry for water, as will the lack of a cover for the cooktop vent.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:23 PM   #2
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I think I'd worry more about the lack of a cover over the stove vent than the rust lines around the cap. Water falls into the coach and it can rust appliances and rot the floor. The rust lines around the cap have to be inspected up close and personal to see if they are serious or just something that can be cleaned up, stabilized, and painted.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:27 PM   #3
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Aluminum rust??????
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:30 PM   #4
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Argosy end caps are steel.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:45 AM   #5
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Your budget will make quite a difference to the condition of course.
Many folks are looking for the bargain of the year and indeed, some find it. One sold close to me a few weeks ago in the size you are looking at. Looked like it had just come out the dealership and was offered at 4250. It could also have been a scam but did have a local number attached to it. The point is. Check your budget. If all you are looking at in your price range is trailers like your posted example then its unlikely you are going to find one that does not need some work. The ones that are in reasonable condition and priced reasonably always sell, quickly. So you need cash in hand and jump on them.
I looked at a 26ft recently. The Guy wanted 2k for it and if I had wanted two (almost new) awnings I would have bought it just for them. It needed a replacement front wrap window, new flooring and plumbing, window gaskets all around, bug nets, and general clean up. It was re-posted a few days later for 7k. Window repaired and laminate laid down. Its still listed but the price is now $3950. Still a bunch of work to do (I would think) but I doubt the new seller did anything to the replace the rotted floor.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:59 AM   #6
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I wouldn't call it a deal breaker unless the aluminum was also crumbly in the area. In a galvanic reaction the aluminum degrades into a chalky dust. If you see no signs of that then it is only rust and it can be cleaned up and encapsulated with some form of paint treatment.
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:10 PM   #7
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On the stove vent question, where would that have the most impact rusting out the vent and blower, or is there an issue with water getting to the floor and rotting it out ?
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:40 AM   #8
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The big deal is water rotting out the floor.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:55 AM   #9
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And rusting the stove and furnace and turning the cabinets into junk... Don't ask how I know.
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