Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-12-2012, 06:59 PM   #1
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
Bridgewater , Connecticut
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1
Red face Why are the Argosy models painted?

I am new to this site and am considering purchasing an Airstream. Does anyone know why the vintage Argosy trailers and motorhomes are painted? Can the paint be removed to show the Aluminum finish?
__________________

__________________
DianeGem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2012, 07:07 PM   #2
3 Rivet Member
 
t7389sg's Avatar
 
1991 35' Airstream 350
Laurel , Maryland
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 222
Images: 2
I think it is because the upper two end caps are one piece steel instead of multiple tapered aluminum panels. If you try to polish it all the end caps will look different because they are not aluminum. Plus they would rust. Argosy's are cool.
__________________

__________________
t7389sg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2012, 07:11 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,348
At one time I considered polishing my Argosy but then decided I didn't like the looks of the aluminum being polished and the end caps being painted silver. Just doesn't look right to me.

The sky's the limit as to what color scheme you can paint an Argosy. Mine will be painted one of these days I just don't know what color scheme I will use on it yet.

Check out Fred's Airstream Archives. Lots of good information and pictures on his site.

Good luck in your search!

Brad
__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2012, 07:56 PM   #4
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
Why are the Argosy models painted?

Greetings DianeGem!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreams and Argosys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeGem View Post
I am new to this site and am considering purchasing an Airstream. Does anyone know why the vintage Argosy trailers and motorhomes are painted? Can the paint be removed to show the Aluminum finish?
There are a number of factors that likely influenced the decision to paint the exterior of the Argosy coaches:
  • The Argosy was introduced as a less costly entry point into the world of Airstream RVs.
    • Painting was one way to distinguish the Argosy from the more expensive Airstream products with natural/polished finish.
    • This also offered another means to distinguish the Argosy travel trailers from the Airstreams which were eligible for membership in the WBCCI (Wally Byam Caravan Club International). It wouldn't be until the early 1990s when the Argosy travel trailers would be granted admission to the WBCCI.
  • As has been stated earlier, the galvanized steel endcaps can't be polished and need to be protected with a coat of paint. Some have polished their Argosy travel trailers and painted the endcaps metallic silver . . . but there is always a notable difference between the two surfaces.
  • The Argosy line was the test bed for ideas that Airstream was considering for introduction into the traditional Airstream coaches, and the Argosy line permitted Airstream with the opportunity to gauge public reaction to a "painted" Airstream. Some other features pioneered on the Argosy were:
    • Panoramic windows installed in the front of all coaches and in the rear of those coaches with rear bedrooms.
    • Composite Aluminum Floors in Minuet 6.0 Metre and 6.7 Metre coaches (not all Minuets of either size had Composite Aluminum floors but they were found in many 6.0 Metre coaches and a few 6.7 Metre coaches).
    • Narrower coach width . . . 7.0' wide on Minuets with 7' 8" on the standard Argosy travel trailers. Airstream carried on with this narrower body for one year after the Argosy travel trailers were discontinued . . . the 1980 Airstream Caravelle (20', 22', 24') coaches were patterened after the Minuets.
    • The motorhome was first offered in the Argosy line then migrated to the Airstream brand as Argosy production was being discontinued.
    • The Minuets utilized acrylic rather than glass for the side windows . . . something that was not tried elsewhere in the Airstream or Argosy lines.
  • As a mid-priced coach, the Argosy travel trailers also had a lower level of stadard equipment, but quality appliances and components were still utilized.
  • It has been speculated, but there isn't any direct evidence to support the supposition that imperfect aluminum sheets that wouldn't have been acceptable for Airstream construction may have been utilized in building the Argosy coaches.
Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin

P.S.: One of the hazards of polishing an Argosy beyond the existence of the galvanized steel endcaps is the possibility of uncovering panels that have been repaired with standard automotive practices (such as bondo or other plastic fillers). The painted finish on an Argosy permits less expensive repairs to be made short of the panel replacement that is required to make most body repairs on an Airstream.
__________________
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 10-12-2012, 09:09 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
From Kevin Allen's post: "It has been speculated, but there isn't any direct evidence to support the supposition that imperfect aluminum sheets that wouldn't have been acceptable for Airstream construction may have been utilized in building the Argosy coaches."

Years ago, when camping in Ohio, I ran into a man who had worked for Airstream. He said that they took damaged panels or sheets of Aluminum from the AS factory and used them, because they could body fill and paint them, at the Argosy facility.

Years later, i striped the paint from an Argosy and found many, but not all, of the panels had scratches and some even holes which had been skimmed over with body filler and then painted. I did my best to polish it with the facilities I had at the time, and it didn't turn out too bad, but the panels were certainly not just high quality ones which had been painted. So, what the guy had told me was born out by what I found.

Having had several Argosy's over the years, I would also say that the build quality was somewhat variable. I don't think the Argosy factory had the skilled workers that the Airstream factory had. One minor example: I struggled for years with the curtains on my '74, 20' Argosy. I could never get them to track right. I finally figured out the issue. At the factory they put the bottom curtain tract/couch cushion support out of level by 1 1/4" over the length of 72". It didn't look bad but made for funny curtain and rear couch cushion support.

On another Argosy I had, the closet door in the bathroom was put in with the hinge on the wrong side, making access to the Univolt converter/charger in the roadside rear lower part of the closet virtually impossible. Since the doors are the same I was able to take it off, turn it over and re mount it properly.

BTW, I love my Argosy and please don't take the above information to indicate they were inferior trailers. Just a somewhat lower line, like Chevy vs. Buick of the same era.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2012, 09:22 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
adore's Avatar
 
1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Mont-Laurier , Québec
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 70
Images: 6
I have owned both... A Classic Airstream and two Argosys...

I have owned both... a Classic Airstream and two Argosys... and I have found a lot easier to take care of the finish of my Argosys than my Classic (Aluminium) Airstream. Regarding the interior and the equipment, I don't find much differences between the two... I am proud of my little Argosy Minuet... :-)
__________________
adore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2012, 10:26 PM   #7
Don't forget your cat nap
 
Ag&Au's Avatar
 
Port Orchard , Washington
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,464
Images: 1
I am about to utter blasphemy, so forgive me in advance. I actually wish Airstreams were all painted white. I believe the maintenance would be easier. For my taste, I would find them better looking. They would be cooler in the sun. However that said, I am sure if I painted ours, its value would plummet. So unless everyone signs a go white pact, I'm stuck with a silver trailer.

Ken
__________________
Ag&Au is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 07:28 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
r carl's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Lin , Ne
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,056
Did Argosy trailers come from the factory in different colors?
__________________
r carl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 08:12 AM   #9
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
ViewRVs's Avatar
 
1977 20' Argosy 20
Charleston , West Virginia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,226
Images: 9
Send a message via Yahoo to ViewRVs
I have some pictures of the galvanized steel caps in my blog on the Argosy Galvanized Caps.
__________________
Fred H.
1977 Argosy 20' Motorhome
Fred's Airstream Archives @ ViewRVs.com
ViewRVs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 12:34 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
Why are the Argosy models painted?

Greetings r carl!

Quote:
Originally Posted by r carl View Post
Did Argosy trailers come from the factory in different colors?
Throughout the years of production for the first generation Argosy travel trailers there were changes in colors as well as how the two-toning was handled. The earliest coaches were painted a two-tone light tan over dark tan with the belt-line molding separating the colors. The next variation was a light tan over a medium brown on the banana wraps. This treatment was followed by a similar light tan over a burnt-orange/copper color paint on the banana wraps (as well as bumper and hitch), the final variation utilized in 1979 was a colonial white coach with color-keyed striping relating to the interior color (orange, spring green, blue, etc.). I suspect that a determined special order customer could have persuaded the factory to paint the coach in other than the standard colors for the model year if the price was right . . . I am not aware of such a situation actually presenting itself.

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
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 06:27 PM.


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.