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Old 07-11-2005, 01:47 PM   #1
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Angry Inspect before you buy

I have found some problems with my airstream long after I already bought it. Appears that the original owner has had all of the top rear segments replaced along with the lower RS segment and maybe the entire lower RS skin. All were replaced with Olympic rivets. It doesnít appear they did a good job. There is some buckling or denting on the top rear were the two curved segments met. Also it looks as though they used an angle grinderr to remove the original rivets on the RS.

Right now I have an uneasy felling of nausea and stupidity. I canít believe I missed this. The pictures donít convey rely how much this sucks. I feel as though my trailer has been raped. But real question is are the Olympic rivets just as good as buck rivets when replaced on such a large scale? What should I do? Should I continue with my restoration project like nothing has happed? Or should I replace the floor fix the door and polish the skin and sell it to some unsuspecting idiot like my self and try to recoup my losses? I guess it not that bad as I only paid $1500 for it. Just a total loss of 7 months of my life. What should I do HELP!!


http://thetrailercompany.com/traile...er/IMG_0224.jpg
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:04 PM   #2
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Not exactly sure what we are looking at with your pictures??

Sorry to hear you are dissappointed - but that looks to be a mid 70's or early 80's and if you picked it up for $1500.00 then that probably would have been my first signal as to hmmmm what underlying problems do we have here.

Then again if you had the opportunity to see the damage before hand - and it was a fairly easy fix - meaning that the ribs were good but the dents or scratches in the skin were bad enough to replace - then I am sure you would have felt better.

Also if you are fixing a floor on that early a model then it has had some abuse to it for sure - neglect in maintenance or just plain neglect - leaving windows open not sealing vents etc to let water in.

If you have all working systems and she is looking pretty good except for style of rivets for 1500 then you are well ahead of a lot of others who have paid 2500+ for their shells.

While on the subject of rivets - is there a riveting 101 thread anywhere that explains what all the terminology is - like buck rivets compared to olympic? You can buck a rivet and bucking rivets but I never here Oly a rivet does the word buck have a dual meaning when refering to rivets??? Sorry to stray from your thread but I honestly could not tell the difference in the rivets that were showing in your pictures.
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:30 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your dillema. Do the panel seams leak?

Our Airstream has had the two upper front street corner panels repaired, and I didn't even notice until I went to polish the trailer that the seams had Olympic rivits. AFIK, if installed properly, it shouldn't make any difference. The Olympics have a slightly different shape on them though, which is a bit of pita when cleaning off polish residue around them.
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:37 PM   #4
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Olympic rivets are the recommended rivet for repair and replace, from what I can tell. And I agree, for what you paid, I don't see what is wrong. Actually, some of those "dents" that I can see, happen from road wear, and, I bet when Andy at Inland RV weighs in, unbalanced running gear. In other words, it's the vibration and wear of 34 years of the road have done some of this wrinkling.

BTW, who removed the clear coat? You or the PO?
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Old 07-11-2005, 03:01 PM   #5
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Well thanks for the help. Now that I have calmed down it seems that its not as bad as it seems. I descoverd the problem while removing the clear coat and roof paint. I dont know what to do about the angle grinded skin though. It seams pretty deep.
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Old 07-11-2005, 03:26 PM   #6
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If it's the one in picture #4, near the marker light, and if it doesn't leak, I'd leave it. Our trailer has lots of little scrapes etc, and most people call them "character" marks. After all, it's 30+ years old, who knows what adventures the trailer has been on. If only they could talk...
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Old 07-11-2005, 04:26 PM   #7
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There is only a minor difference between olympic rivets and bucked rivets. The olympic rivets 'clamp' the two sheets together, like a nut on a bolt. On the other hand, the buck rivets clamp and also expand to fill the hole.

So buck rivets can do a litle better sealing, if the holes are slightly irregular.

Maybe that is why some olympic rivets are sold with gaskets?

Oh, and buck rivets are a lot cheaper.
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Old 07-11-2005, 04:41 PM   #8
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$1500 for a straight shell, even with Olympic rivets is not bad. Upon close inspection, I found that my Overlander had a bunch of them on one side of the coach, indicating a removal/replacement of a 12' piece of skin.

I think it's hard to find a 30 year old Airstream that hasn't had some repair somewhere. To me, structural and system integrity outweigh perfect skin any day of the week. That said, it's best to avoid large dents! (I say this after my lovely, cute as a button, 2 year old daughter took a rock to our Overlander door and scratched large circles in it!)

As much as I'd like to have a shiny, polished Airstream in my yard, I'm not sure I need a glistening aluminum idol to lose sleep over everytime it gets scratched or dented.

I hope my purchase/restoration was for the memories we'll have together, travelling the country with a camper that was built to travel, not my sense of well being (pride, really) from striving for perfection. (I struggle with perspective too.)

I think you're doing fine, but you might want to have a look underneath if you haven't already. (Or maybe you shouldn't.)

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Old 07-11-2005, 04:55 PM   #9
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I just realized I made a typo in the name of the thread.
"Inspect before you buy" not "Ipect before you buy"

Is "Inpect" even a word?
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Old 07-11-2005, 05:10 PM   #10
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Unhappy Inspect

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcdougald
I just realized I made a typo in the name of the thread.
"Inspect before you buy" not "Ipect before you buy"

Is "Inpect" even a word?
I own a 20 foot Argosy travel trailer and I have just started repairing and restoring it. What do I need to inspect to make sure that there is no structural damage or rust??
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Old 07-11-2005, 05:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcdougald
I just realized I made a typo in the name of the thread.
"Inspect before you buy" not "Ipect before you buy"

Is "Inpect" even a word?
Fixed typo - no charge....

Whitt... welcome to the forums. earlier advice is good. Wheels, tires, bearings... be sure you can tow safely. Visit the argosy subforum and read through the adventrues of other argosy owners. WE love our Argosys.
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Old 07-11-2005, 07:47 PM   #12
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Inspect before you buy

Greetings Whitt495!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitt495
I own a 20 foot Argosy travel trailer and I have just started repairing and restoring it. What do I need to inspect to make sure that there is no structural damage or rust??
Depending upon which of the two 20' Argosy coaches you have, you may have one less potential headache. If yours is the Minuet 6.0 Metre (often titled as Argosy 20) it likely will have a composite aluminum floor rather than the more traditional plywood. The biggest difference between the two coaches is the width -- standard Argosy 20 is 7' 8" while the Minuet is 7' -- the Minuets also usually had model badges inserted in the beltline trim. After 1977, the first year for the Minuet 6.0 Metre, there was only one 20' model -- the Minuet 6.0 Metre.

There haven't been many reports of frame rust issues with the Argosy 20 or Minuet 6.0 Metre coaches, but the inspection would include all exposed frame sections in the area of the bumper and A-Frame hitch -- in addition, a rubber mallet can be used to tap along the frame rails while listening for loose material -- excessive noise (rattling) can indicate rust spalling and the potential for damage.

Rust on the endcaps should be readily apparent as the surface is prepped for paint.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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Old 07-11-2005, 09:23 PM   #13
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Maybe not cheaper...

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
There is only a minor difference between olympic rivets and bucked rivets. The olympic rivets 'clamp' the two sheets together, like a nut on a bolt. On the other hand, the buck rivets clamp and also expand to fill the hole.

<snip>

Oh, and buck rivets are a lot cheaper.
Another big difference...you have to be able to get to both sides of the panel to install a bucked rivet, which usually means removing interior panels and possibly cabinets & appliances. Huge expense of time, disruption & money...if the interior is not already removed as in a floor up re-do. And most don't have the equipment need to buck rivets, whereas Olympics can be installed by a layperson with a hand tool.

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Old 07-11-2005, 11:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzaChop
$1500 for a straight shell, even with Olympic rivets is not bad. Upon close inspection, I found that my Overlander had a bunch of them on one side of the coach, indicating a removal/replacement of a 12' piece of skin.

I think it's hard to find a 30 year old Airstream that hasn't had some repair somewhere.
I agree FWIW.
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