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Old 03-23-2016, 09:37 AM   #1
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1974 Argosy 22
Huntingdon , Pennsylvania
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Solid Steel Front Frame Members

Greetings,
We have a 74 Argosy 22 trailer. The shell is now off and the frame is going to the shop for repairs. I noticed at the front of the frame three rather large heavy rectangular solid steel members welded across/into the frame.

Are these members there to counter balance just the frame? Or are they there to counter balance the trailer setup as it came from the factory? Or some of both?

I have the question because the trailer will be not be as it left the factory when it gets put back together. Over all it will more akin to one open living space with minimal items inside.

Any enlightenment is appreciated.
~d
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:41 PM   #2
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1986 25' Sovereign
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Post a picture if you can. The front of a trailer has to handle the two stress and torque of he axles. Mine is beefier in the front.
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:14 PM   #3
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1975 Argosy 26
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My 75 Argosy 26 Frame is much, much beefier in front, and I had an extra layer of plywood upfront (It was designed so one layer set under the other for the first 2 feet or so).

--DD
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:34 AM   #4
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1974 Argosy 22
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Ours does not look any beefier or did it have xtra plywood. I was surprised also to see two 2x4's running the length of the frame which help supported the plywood. I'll get a picture or two next week. Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:46 AM   #5
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1975 Argosy 28
Springville , Alabama
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The 2x4 are standard for the mid 70's argosy. I like the 2x4 stringers it was must easier to attach the subfloor in the center. Don't stress about the wood. My subfloor was shot but the stringers looked great. I replaced them because I want all new material.
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:32 PM   #6
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1974 Argosy 22
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Finally have the images of the weights on the front of the frame. What was their purpose? The rear of the trailer had a bathroom, converting to a full bed and storage for our daughter's on the road stuff. Do they need to stay there?
Thanks.
~d


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Old 04-27-2016, 09:35 PM   #7
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1986 25' Sovereign
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Steel weighs 3 pounds per 10 cubic inches.
That would be 1200 pounds by my estimate if it is solid.
Certainly looks homemade, not square, electrical wires running over it, on an angle...

You can find frame images on thread here, that seems to be a odd one, given it would be a lot of weight held by to C channels.

steve
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:04 PM   #8
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It looks like the steel is definitely being used for ballast and nothing else (structural rigidity/strength/connection/etc.). A design practice that should be followed on "bumper-pull" trailers is to have 10 to 15% of the weight on the tongue (free-standing, not considering the effects of a weight distributing hitch) for towing and handling stability. If the bathroom or other installed equipment biases the center of gravity too far aft, ballast must be added to the front to shift the CG forward if there is no other means to do so.

I'm not suggesting that you must leave the dead weight of the steel ballast in. But you do need to redistribute things to shift the CG forward as required.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:51 AM   #9
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Thanks for weight estimates and weight distribution specifications.

It would seem to me that balancing for a good tongue weight and center of gravity by correct distribution of what is carried inside would be the better way and not have the heavy steel members. And being rid of the "ballast" gives the added benefit of not having 1200 xtra pounds to pull along.

I have looked at multiple frame images and can not find one with this "ballast" up front. Has anyone ever seen such "ballast" used before?

Thanks.
~d
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:52 AM   #10
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I wonder who/when how someone was made mad enough to warrant the revenge hiding of a boat anchor under the floor..

OR: I bet the trailer would be really, really stable in anything short of a tornado...
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Old 04-28-2016, 11:23 AM   #11
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I've never seen that either- I have a 28 ft and had a 24 ft argosy! Neither had weights on the front. I'd say ditch them!
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:43 AM   #12
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1974 Argosy 22
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Thanks everyone for your comments and insights. Maybe a previous owner had a lighter/shorter tow vehicle and needed that xtra weight to help stabilize the trailer.

I am going to remove them.

~d
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:37 PM   #13
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Estimate: 28" x 14" x 3" = 333 pounds of steel @ 490~500 pounds per cubic foot.

With low scrap prices these days that's $11.65 but worth six to eight times that just reselling.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:53 PM   #14
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Front frame members

Just a guess...

The steel area that has been red-circled in the photos appears to be the sheet metal box into which the spare tire is partially recessed. That looks very similar to the situation on my '77 Int'l.

On each side of the A-frame is a rectangle of steel plate that is welded at an angle in between the A-frame and the main frame rail. It appears that this rectangle is a gusset of sorts to take the bending loads from the A-frame and transfer them to the main frame rails. I haven't had the belly pan off of my A/S to check it out, but my heavy-duty dump trailer has the same arrangement.
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