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Old 02-23-2013, 11:27 PM   #15
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1973 Argosy 24
Houston , Texas
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I also created a sketch of what I think I want to do for a floor plan.

High points of the sketch:
- Queen size bed in the rear with basement storage. Probably gas shocks or something else to lift the bed to get under it. Not sure on that... could just be tilt and prop with a stick too.
- Closet on the curb side. Need to think on this. There is a window there.. so it might wind up being some drawers and overhead storage. No big deal, I don't need hanging space to be honest.
- Shower incorporates a seat over the wheel well. The idea is to have a 32x36 shower. Toilet is next to it. Shaving would be done in the shower and hand washing would be done in the "kitchen" sink.
- Fridge stays put. Microwave goes above it. More storage above that.
- Oven (or cooktop) and sink are in basically the same spot... however they flip sides. This consolidates the plumbing. Might make for some interesting vent work on the roof. I think it will work okay.
- Water heater and space heater stay where they are.
- Front is remade into a booth seat based on restaurant dimensions. Features a 45x30 table with a 6 inch drop leaf. This makes for a nice table for having a couple of visitors.
- More storage under the seats of the booth.

The trailer is intended to support one couple, no kids, and entertain one other couple.

Water tanks would be located under the floor between axles. Probably Fresh, Gray, and Black from front to rear. I'm looking at 40 gallon fresh and 40 gallon gray, and 25 to 35 gallon black. Looking at macerating the black. Might also consider a 40 gallon mixed tank.

I have owned a couple of sailboats in the past and my last camper was a truck camper. I'm comfortable with the bed and bath access/dimensions.

The twin bed is too small for two adults to sleep in it. And frankly, if you are going camping with someone.... well you need to be able to be cozy.

I may put the inverter and a pair of sealed batteries under the front seat. Not sure on that yet.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:25 AM   #16
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I've been following your thread with interest as I'm going to look at a "76" Argosy 24 this week. It has already been partially gutted and I suspect will end up looking similar to your Argosy. Are you intending to replace the inside skins with new naked aluminum? What are your plans with the frame? I believe you said you are going to lift the shell? Will you also remove the upper skins and remove the insulation? I've heard that Argosy's have less chance to leak because of the outside paint. It will be interesting to see what you find if you do remove the overhead skins. Thanks for the great documentation...

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Old 02-24-2013, 04:29 PM   #17
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Impressive lot of work. I've done a partial Arogosy, a total Scotty and a total Avalair, almost done. In all of them, do you get the same feeling I did, that is, they were all made to look good out of the show room, not designed to last, even though many do? Also, just a few caring design changes, would have made them to last indefinitely, that is water flows downhill, design them that way! but, then we wouldn't be having all this fun!
Good luck and keep up the pics, I never took enough.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:08 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Roadrunner View Post
I've been following your thread with interest as I'm going to look at a "76" Argosy 24 this week. It has already been partially gutted and I suspect will end up looking similar to your Argosy. Are you intending to replace the inside skins with new naked aluminum? What are your plans with the frame? I believe you said you are going to lift the shell? Will you also remove the upper skins and remove the insulation? I've heard that Argosy's have less chance to leak because of the outside paint. It will be interesting to see what you find if you do remove the overhead skins. Thanks for the great documentation...

Bob
Indiana, PA
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WBCCI 4871
Hi Bob,
I plan to put the interior skin back mostly intact. Although I really appreciate the Airstream look I think the polishing is too much for me personally to keep up with. lol.

So far I haven't found anything really striking on the interior as far as leaks. It looks like the following things may have leaked:
- Awning attachment points. (they used dissimilar metals)
- Air Conditioner mount
- Front windows
- Shower.
- Around the door.

I would encourage you to download some of the pictures and take them with you if you think you might have similar problems. Overall, I think the Airstream is well built, but suffers from the same things every other RV does.... it's built as cheaply as possible for it's design. Airstream is well built though.

My goal at this point is to get to the "aluminum tent" phase as quickly as possible.

I didn't make much progress today. My back is sore from yesterday and I'm unable to locate my dremel. I ordered a Black and Decker RTX tool from Amazon.

Speaking of Amazon - they sell 1/8" "jobber" drill bits under the champion brand that are extremely durable and cheap. I have yet to break one drilling out hundreds of rivets.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:13 PM   #19
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The last post was typed around 3pm and I forgot to submit... lol. Went and took a much needed nap.

After dinner I went out and put in some time on the Aluminum Sin.

I found that a sawzall and dremel multi-purpose tool were the best tool for bolts and elevator bolts in particular.

Pictures are posted to Flickr - 1973 Argosy Elevator Bolt Removal - a set on Flickr

Handy tips:
- Watch your blade depth carefully. I didn't have any issues here.
- Use the multi tool to "carve" wood if you have trouble getting the blade in.
- If your blade starts to dull, use a pair of shears to carefully cut off the dull end of the blade. Most of the time I find that I only wear out the end of the sawzall blade. I found that I can trim the blade down to get more sharp teeth at the end and improve the lifespan of my blades.

Btw, this is one of the harder projects I've used my Harbor Freight CAT set on (Cheap A** Tool Set) lol. I've been really impressed with battery life and performance. Very similar to my other tools at a fraction of the cost.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:27 AM   #20
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My wife got me a Rockwell Sonic Crafter 2 for Christmas. Think something like this with metal cutting blade would work? Might give better angle of attack than sawzall.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:45 PM   #21
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My wife got me a Rockwell Sonic Crafter 2 for Christmas. Think something like this with metal cutting blade would work? Might give better angle of attack than sawzall.
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Bob
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I have the dremel version... it's great on anything but metal... even with the over priced "metal" blade. To be sure it gouges aluminum... but it's true talent is in wood... it carves rotten and semi-rotted wood like a hot knife in warm butter.

The sawzall did a better job on rusted bolts from mechanic's hell.

Now I just need to get to Home Depot for some lumber so I can brace and lift the shell. Then comes the fun part of raising the shell to clear the wheel wells and figuring out how to fetch the frame out from under the shell.

I'm thinking about just lowering the frame down to some furniture dollies and pulling it out. lol. I have some steel beams for another project that I can put the shell on. If it can sit on 2x4's it will be fine on 4x4 10ga steel tube. In the meanwhile I have the axles out... so it's perfect timing to work on the frame.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:55 PM   #22
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Okay, so I admit part of the allure of this Argosy was that it promised not to be as much work as all the completely gutted Airstreams I looked at. For one thing, paint doesn't have to be worshipped with a buffer.

It was supposed to be a simple project... or at least that was the lie I told my friends. A little flooring here, a new built-in bed there, some shelf liner, a microwave...we'd be on the road in no time.

HA! If only such lies could come true. I supposed having a 1500 s/f "garage" with 10' eaves gives away my tendency to collect tools - even if I only use them once or twice. That probably makes me a shoe-in for owning anything Airstream.

So I put her up on 8 jack stands and liberated the 38 year old axles. New axles are on order.

I did some minor surgery to look under the shower.... not pretty.... I have some very minor floor rot near the front door. The kind that screams out for a puddle of West System epoxy to make it all feel better (and solid).

The tail is worrisome though. As best I can tell the floor under the shower is a lost cause and aqua-express appears to be a feature that was installed on the rear of my Argosy.

So I am at a cross roads. My belly pan looks like someone took a 3/8" circle saw to the rivets. To be sure there are a few holding it up there, but by and large they are all corroded away. I'm not sure what happened. There is some surface rust on almost everything I can see frame wise. No big deal, and not entirely unexpected.

I *really* wanted to avoid re-manufacturing the trailer. Confession - while I do enjoy working on it, I wanted to camp in it... not under it.

One road leads to project hell where I do a shell off and probably don't camp for over a year.

The other road involves dropping the belly pan (which really has seen better decades) and deconstructing the bathroom to get at the rear 4 feet of floor. I really think the rear 3 or 4 feet is the part that needs replacing.

The part under the frankenvolt (univolt) is fine... the parts under the kitchen etc are fine. It's the curb side behind the wheel well and under the shower that appears to be the worst.

I had planned on replacing the black tank, adding a grey tank, and redoing the plumbing anyway.... so I'm not too far off.

The insulation is in far better shape than I expected. What I have seen has it's share of spider webs, dust, and nasties*. However it's still pink and has a little fluff in it.... nothing I'd really want to touch, but not as bad as one might imagine.

So my dilemna is how to tell if I need to do a shell off or if I can get by with replacing the bathroom floor that is rotted. The bulk of it is solid, it seems like the shower itself had a leak for a while... or the trunk seam stored it's water under the shower. Can't really tell til I dig out the rest of the bathroom.

Picture One has a good picture of the rivets in the bellypan.

It looks like the bellypan is one long piece of aluminum and that it covers the banana wraps that cover the edges. The bellypan doesn't seem to be on there very well and it would make more sense to replace it with sections anyhow.

What should I be looking at to decide shell on/off?
Hi,

I am a newbie and am officially freaked out by this post. I am a fan of the Argosy and planned on looking at one this weekend 200 miles from me. Like you, I figured that the Argosy is not as much work as the Airstream. I am a woman (not good at anything requiring tools other than hanging curtain rods) and I thought I could buy one for me and my mom and not expect any major problems. Now I'm not so sure. I am officially reconsidering the trek to look at the Argosy this weekend.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:32 PM   #23
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Hi,

I am a newbie and am officially freaked out by this post. I am a fan of the Argosy and planned on looking at one this weekend 200 miles from me. Like you, I figured that the Argosy is not as much work as the Airstream. I am a woman (not good at anything requiring tools other than hanging curtain rods) and I thought I could buy one for me and my mom and not expect any major problems. Now I'm not so sure. I am officially reconsidering the trek to look at the Argosy this weekend.
Take a deep breath.

Some trailers are ready to camp, some need a little work, some need a lot and some need to be completely restored.

Unless you have good reason to believe that the Argosy you're going to look at this weekend is a disaster, go and look at it. Take a copy of the Trailer Inspection Checklist with you, and look honestly at the trailer you're inspecting. Don't let the new-to-you-toy effect blind you, but don't assume that every trailer is a basket case either.

It's important to be skeptical, it'll save you lots of time and money, but there are good trailers out there. I bought our Argosy and did a lot of camping before I addressed a few fairly big issues, and I could have ignored a couple of those for a lot longer if I weren't so obsessive-compulsive.

Happy hunting!
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:21 PM   #24
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Take a deep breath.

Some trailers are ready to camp, some need a little work, some need a lot and some need to be completely restored.

Unless you have good reason to believe that the Argosy you're going to look at this weekend is a disaster, go and look at it. Take a copy of the Trailer Inspection Checklist with you, and look honestly at the trailer you're inspecting. Don't let the new-to-you-toy effect blind you, but don't assume that every trailer is a basket case either.

It's important to be skeptical, it'll save you lots of time and money, but there are good trailers out there. I bought our Argosy and did a lot of camping before I addressed a few fairly big issues, and I could have ignored a couple of those for a lot longer if I weren't so obsessive-compulsive.

Happy hunting!
Thanks so much for the pep talk. I'm actually feeling better I followed your link and printed out the inspection checklist. My head is officially back in the game!
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:32 PM   #25
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Do you plan on traveling with your Mom? Or just living in the trailer?
As mentioned above. There is a whole list of things that can wait. Depending on the useage. You may not have to do anything like a shell off job.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:53 PM   #26
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Do you plan on traveling with your Mom? Or just living in the trailer?
As mentioned above. There is a whole list of things that can wait. Depending on the useage. You may not have to do anything like a shell off job.
Mom and I plan on traveling in the trailer. I live in Los Angeles but have rental property in Texas. So, I'd like to take the trailer back and forth to these locations. Plus, I want my mom to be able to take the trailer to the beach while I'm at work. I haven't vacationed in an RV since 1983 so I'm really a newbie!!!
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:12 PM   #27
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Do you know what size the trailer is? Is it a Minuet? What year?
If it is earlier than a '74. It won't have a grey water holding tank. Unless a PO installed one.
Is it set up to be towed by a modern TV? Meaning. Will all of the lights and brakes work? You haven't mentioned how you will get it home.
If the Argosy has it's original paint job. It could look pretty ugly. Don't know if you are into ugly.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:32 PM   #28
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Do you know what size the trailer is? Is it a Minuet? What year?
If it is earlier than a '74. It won't have a grey water holding tank. Unless a PO installed one.
Is it set up to be towed by a modern TV? Meaning. Will all of the lights and brakes work? You haven't mentioned how you will get it home.
If the Argosy has it's original paint job. It could look pretty ugly. Don't know if you are into ugly.
The trailer is listed as a 26' from 1973.
Here is the description:

"Has full kitchen with all original appliances. Fridge is gas /electric. Has furnace and new gas hot water heater. Full bathroom. 50 gal holding tank. Two 50lb gas tanks. Was painted when I purchased, but all aluminum underneath in good shape.

What are the ramifications of having no gray water tank? I plan to tow with a 2003 Tahoe (BTW I've never towed before.) The seller towes with a Silverado.
Oh, the paint job is newer but pretty bad. I have no idea about lights, brakes working...I'll have to ask the seller.
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