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Old 04-26-2019, 09:58 PM   #1
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2015 31' Classic
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Wichita , Kansas
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Classic or Argosy?

Hi,
Iím fairly new to the Airstream motorhome world and I was hoping to get some clarification.
I read one thread that stated that Classics are 1981 and later.
Since my motorhome says Airstream on it ( 1979) and not Argosy I assumed it was a Classic.
Itís also painted like the Argosy motorhomes are but the front looks like the classic...
So what do I have?
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:23 PM   #2
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1977 20' Argosy 20
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1978 was the last year for Argosy motorhome production. The first year for the Airstream motorhomes was 1979. 1979 was a somewhat of a transition period for Airstream Motorhomes. Some were painted and some were silver aluminum.
From your photos, your end caps appear to be the one piece galvanized steel ones instead of the multi piece aluminum end caps. Hence the painted finish. They were however sold as Airstream motorhomes.

I can see in the photo that rust is forming around the lights on the front end caps. Very typical for the steel end caps. The light housing is cast aluminum and the cap surface is galvanized steel. The light housing was installed and then the paint applied. With time rust forms. It can be cleaned up and resolved.

You have an early Classic Airstream Motorhome that has many similarities with the 77 and 78 Argosy but was sold new as an Airstream.

Gregg
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Old 04-27-2019, 04:33 AM   #3
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Strictly speaking.....

As Gregg said, 1979 were the first Airstream motorhomes and were either Excella or International models.

1981 were the first Classic models (ie the model name was Classic).

BUT generally speaking all the aluminum bodies motorhome (Argosy or Airstream) are regarded as classics so often there is a confusion in terms either talking about a Classic (model) vs classic (type).
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:34 AM   #4
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What you have is simply this.....

We have discovered at a few meets, that there can be totally different ways to build an Airstream motorhome, and yet be the same on the outside. For example, I have a 1983 310 turbo diesel; and my friend a 1985 325 turbo diesel; you would assume, same front end, same engine, should be almost the same when you drop the hood..........not even close; his rad is horizontal, mine vertical, just to say the least of the changes.

Airstream it seemed built these coaches with whatever parts they had on hand. If they ran out of a part and a bean counter found a cheaper part, (even if it was drastically different), they would switch over and use that part. They also used whatever parts they had until they were all gone; so for example, you could have a 1985 diesel coach with a 6BD1A block, or a 6BD1T block.

So in summary......you have an Airstream motorhome that used up Argosy parts that Airstream still had on hand. If Airstream ran out of galvanized end caps as your was completed, the next coach would have got the aluminum end caps and be called an Excella.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:59 PM   #5
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2015 31' Classic
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Wichita , Kansas
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Thanks for all the input.
It can get confusing when it comes to the different models if there is nothing but Airstream on the body as a designation.
So if the factory used up existing parts til they were gone before using parts for the next model, does that explain why NOS parts and spares for these motorhomes can be so difficult to come by as far as body parts are concerned?
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongwayRob View Post
Thanks for all the input.
It can get confusing when it comes to the different models if there is nothing but Airstream on the body as a designation.
So if the factory used up existing parts til they were gone before using parts for the next model, does that explain why NOS parts and spares for these motorhomes can be so difficult to come by as far as body parts are concerned?
Parts for the gas engines are not a problem; the diesels can be hard to get some parts for; the body parts, it depends, some are unobtainium, like front end sheet metal, and certain lower body stuff like front and rear facia's; spare tire covers are tough to come by as well; but glass can be gotten, along with the fuzzy schlegel and other mouldings.
There are a multitude of LED replacements for every light on your coach; replacement slides for compartment drawers are easily gotten.....

You sometimes have to be creative and think outside the box; for example, could you find a replacement galvanized end cap for your coach? Maybe, maybe not, but you could replace the rear cap with an aluminum segmented Airstream replacement...

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:33 AM   #7
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Sidney , Ohio
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Seems we are long lost brothers! Happy to finally see another painted Airstream, I hope the summer has been kind to you.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:57 PM   #8
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Good to see another painted Airstream

Thanks for the reply!
Itís good to see a fellow painted Airstream!
Maybe you can help me. Iím trying to figure out how the factory spare tire is mounted in the rear. Iíd like to get back to a hitch and spare tire mount instead of a custom tire mount in the hitch socket that now is rusted together for all eternity...
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:29 AM   #9
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1975 24' Argosy 24
Boise , Idaho
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On our 24 Twin it took couple of hours of beating and a little swearing to get the singer out. I used plasma cutter to to remove the receiver and welded in a replacement. The old stinger is a great anvil now it is a beast.

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If I can't fix it it isn't broke it is junk

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Old 09-28-2019, 10:40 AM   #10
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2015 31' Classic
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Wichita , Kansas
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Thanks for those pics of the trailer hitch receiver. That will help a lot! Were you able to weld in a plate for a spare tire as well?
Anyway, I’d love to see some interior pics of you are willing. We’re trying to decide how to go on Remodeling the inside...

Thanks,
Rob
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