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Old 11-22-2007, 08:00 PM   #1
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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Argosy MH rear suspension

On the early Argosy Motorhomes Airstream did not use rear air suspension systems. However somewhere along the line the Argosy's did get upgraded by Airstream with rear air suspension. What I'd like to know is what changes did Airstream make in order to install the rear air suspension and could a 1974 be "retro" fitted with rear air suspension?

As an alternative Air Lift sells rear air bags for the P30 chassis that I'm sure will work.

If someone could post pictures of an Argosy with factory rear air suspension I'd sure like to see them

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 11-22-2007, 09:06 PM   #2
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Yeah me too I would like that on my "75/26'er" It seems to me the back rides low.

Doug
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:01 AM   #3
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argosy MH rear suspension

Hi DOUG from wayne in CANADA had computer problems ,drop me a line. Now on to rear-ends .Well I do not know why one could not upgrade to a 7 to 10 ton gm or chevrolet rear end ,one with the two speed axle. I for one have also ben contemplating ,,on changing an ARGOSY over to a clark 5 speed standard and using a hydraulic clutch. ????? There must be some mechanically minded young men out here somewhere
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:53 PM   #4
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Hi Brad & Doug. You're looking for pictures from a 1978 Agrosy. My '77 has the leaf springs. Yes, it rides a bit rougher but it is mechanically simple and will tow more. The later air bag rear suspension also needs an onboard compressor, I think.
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:44 PM   #5
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Hi Brad

The problem with Leaf springs on the earlier Argosy Motorhomes was that they were far lighter than the chassis capacity so the leafs road very hard.

We weighed one once and I seem to remember the rear axle was 3500 pounds under it's load capacity. Airstream used several air rides over the years but by far the smoothest was one manufactured by JETCO in Iowa. I am not sure if they are still around or not but this is the phone number I have for them (800)332-3117. The Jet Air Ride as it was called used bags about 3 times the size of the other brands which meant they ran with much less pressure. As well the bags connected to a 10 Gallon reservoir tank with 3/4 lines so the volume of the tank became part of the cushioning. This was only used on the 90-92 30' Classic Motorhomes but the P30 Chassis is essentially the same so I am pretty sure it would fit the Argosy.

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Old 10-09-2008, 09:13 PM   #6
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I have a 78 with the first year air bag system. I can get you a paper reprint of the service manual I have. basically they fabricated it as a solid trailing arm suspension with 2 bags and a cross member that keeps it form going off line. If you have the fabrication capabilities it is a nice ride, much better than my 76 had with leaf spring....
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by thenewkid64 View Post
I have a 78 with the first year air bag system. I can get you a paper reprint of the service manual I have. basically they fabricated it as a solid trailing arm suspension with 2 bags and a cross member that keeps it form going off line. If you have the fabrication capabilities it is a nice ride, much better than my 76 had with leaf spring....
Brett,

I would love to have a paper reprint of the service manual. I definitely have the fabrication capabilities. Now time, thats a different matter!

Thanks,

Brad
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:53 PM   #8
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I would love to have a paper reprint of the service manual. I definitely have the fabrication capabilities. Now time, thats a different matter!
Hope this gets you started; the springs were the result of a recall.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:09 PM   #9
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Argosy MH rear suspension

The only thing you forgot to tell us was the price of this type of conversion. Me I would like a softer ride and not cost a fortune so i went to my friendly spring and muffler shop so happens he does heavy trucks ,when i told him what the scoop was.This is what he told me. Take the leaf springs down take them all apart clean them all up and cut strips of fiberglass screening to go between the springs. HE advised which springs of the pack to leave out..Coat each spring with greese lay down the screening put the next spring on top lay down more greese and lay down another strip of screening when finished bind the springs together and wrap them with electricall tape.When finshed take the whole mess back to his shop and install air bag assist or air schocks just like in my Cadillac as a mater of fact he told me i could use the schrader valves and the 12 volt pump from another cadillac just like the one i own. Set the trigger at whatever level you wish to have or do it manually with an air pressure gauage on the dash. Now that soulds to simple and the cost is around 200 bucks plus a little love care and time and this time of year we have lots of that?????By the way gang i am still searching for a 24 or 26 footer with side bath and twin rear beds. Wayner
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:17 PM   #10
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hey brad my 76 28" argosy has airbags with seperate air valves which is nice ride but from what i heard the springs are your best option specialy if you hall stuff will try to get a pic to you.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:18 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies, somehow I missed replying several months ago .

Mike, it looks like the air bag suspension on the later Argosy's is the same as whats on our 84 310 Motorhome. Retrofitting something like that would be a lot of work unless I found someone parting out a Motorhome.

Wayner, I've heard of a similar process for leaf springs only without the fiberglass cloth. Also instead of using electrical tape people make leather sheaths to enclose the springs. American and English cars in the 30's & 40's did use grease and leather coverings to improve the ride. Thanks for reminding me about this possibility!

RV-N, I tend to agree after all that I've read. Springs are probably the best choice.

What I will probably end up doing is something along the lines of what Wayner suggested which is disassembling the springs, cleaning and greasing and then making some kind of leather covering to keep out water and grit. I'll then add air assist bags to help with the ride and load carrying capability. We will be hauling a 31' Airstream trailer with this 20' Argosy motorhome so doing it right is pretty important!

Brad
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