Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-13-2007, 12:32 PM   #1
Rivet Master
boatdoc's Avatar
1973 Argosy 26
Norristown , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 644
Images: 1
The quest for a new stainless steel frame

As most of you know I have been fabricating a stainless steel frame for my 26' Argosy. The project goes as follows:

Frame is constructed with double 2” X 3” stainless steel tubing of 0.90” wall thickness. The two tubes are tack welded to each other on both sides. The top cross members are 1.25” square tubing 0.110” thickness. Lower and Center cross members are 1” X 2” rectangular tubing 0.60”. Outriggers top portion are same as Lower and Center cross members with 1” X 2” X ½” wide and 0.90” thick, which were heat formed to a banana wrap shape. The back end utility box is made of stainless as well.

The new frame is resting on the old steel frame with the head mounting plate in place. New coupler has been welded onto the tongue, and new holder for propane tanks was constructed out of aluminum plate of Ό” thickness. Just forward of this plate under the hinged cross member is the trailer electrical junction box. All ends of tubing are closed off to prevent critter entry. All sections of tubing have 1/8” drain holes. 3/8” galvanized safety chains are attached to the frame via ½” stainless steel rod bent into a U shape which is welded to the underside of the frame. Thin wall stainless steel conduit encases both the trailer and house wiring.

Two new axles are affixed to the side of the Ό” stainless steel mounting plates. Axles are 5,000 Lbs with 3,500 Lbs suspension. Brakes are electric and 12” diameter with 1 Ύ” inner bearing and 1 Ό” outer bearing. All through frame wiring goes through a welded in stainless steel tubing where they cross the frame. New stainless steel fender wells are solidly welded into shape sealing any moisture from entering the trailer. 15” galvanized rims with mounted D Load range Maxxis tires.

Double folding step affixed into stainless steel rails with release lock in place, this area is made water proof to the interior of the trailer frame.

Please note a jack pocket just under the fender between the tires. This jacking point pocket is made of 2” X 2” stainless steel tubing capped off on top and solidly welded to the axle mounting plate. This will prevent possible bottle jack slippage when lifting the trailer. Same leveling jack pockets were welded in at each corner of the trailer frame to accommodate leveling jacks.

½” aluminum coated plywood was used to fabricate the floor of the trailer. Each section is joined via H Shape aluminum molding with 3M 5200 sealer. Outer edges of Plywood floor are heavily sealed with Git-Rot epoxy. Not the new installed jack. Plywood floor to fender area are sealed with 5200 as well. All contact areas of plywood to frame has a 0.90” thickness by 2” wide Mastic tape insulating the contact area and sealing possible moisture entry.

1” X 2” strips of rigid urethane foam are glued to the underside of the aluminum floor this will provide and air space between the plywood floor and Prodex insulation.

Prodex insulation was glued into place onto the urethane strips. All edges have been sealed with 5200 sealer making it into a vapor barrier all plumbing will run under the Prodex and above the belly pan. All outer edges of the plywood which were treated with Git-Rot are encapsulated with ½” aluminum C channel and sealed in with 5200 making it totally water proof.

Rear bumper was formed from two 316 stainless steel 1½” round tubing and joined with 3” wide 3/16“ thickness plate. We are waiting for a machine shop to cut 2 Ύ” round holes closely spaced throughout the joining plate. More information and pictures will follow as the restoration progresses. Thank You “Boatdoc”
Attached Images

boatdoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 12:40 PM   #2
USN/LAPD Retired
Safari-Rick's Avatar
2005 25' Safari
North Las Vegas , United States
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 850
All I can say is WOW !!

One heck of an undertaking.

Safari-Rick )

2007 Dodge Ram Quadcab 6.7L Diesel w/jakebrake

"Better to have more then you need, then need more then you have because you don't have enough!"
AIR #: 8129
Safari-Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 12:50 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
S C Streamer's Avatar
1964 17' Bambi II
Santa Cruz , California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 319
Images: 13

Your work is absoulutly beautiful, you are a true artist.

I would have never thought that I'd say that when talking about a trailer frame!

1964 17' Bambi II
2005 Dodge 2500 PowerWagon -5.7 Hemi
WBCCI #4207
AIR #11485

"you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" ~bob dylan
S C Streamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 01:00 PM   #4
Airstreamin and luvin it
Commercial Member
Devoman's Avatar

2005 25' Safari
Northwest Panhandle , The Sunshine State/WBCCI 6637
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,524
Images: 2

Now that is what I call motivation.I cant wait to see what you have next when you get the shell on.I bet this thing is gonna be fully loaded with all the neatest gadgets.
It just cant get any better than that.

Devoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 01:22 PM   #5
klattu's Avatar
1972 Argosy 24
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Heart of Dixie , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,646
Images: 834
In the year Twenty Zero Seven

Future historians that come accross your project will think they have found some type of time capsule.

Be sure to hide interesting things as you assemble.

May be 100s of years...

"This is the way 21st century humans traveled between isolation zones"
klattu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 02:01 PM   #6
Rivet Master
Aerowood's Avatar

1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,684

I really like the stacked frame rails, they should stiffen up the the frame considerably. Are your outriggers tapered down to the original frame height so your corner banana wraps still fit, or are you making new? looks like a very well equipped shop. I wish we had the welding equipment you have access to. I am envious
Aerowood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 03:12 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
bobchevy89's Avatar
1977 24' Argosy 24
Inverness , Florida
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 264
Thumbs up Nice Frame

wonderful job there boatdoc .would be nice if airstream built all models that way.just think of the longevity of all models that were built that way.many probably have been scrapped because of frame that out board motor in the first picture a newer version of a fantastic fan? nice job well done..
just want to camp happy
bobchevy89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 03:21 PM   #8
Silver Mist
LI Pets's Avatar
1977 31' Sovereign
Riverhead , New York
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,008
Images: 28

It looks like its from Directors Boat builders in City Island..........
'77 Sovereign Intl 31' CB
WBCCI R2 Rep VAC 11411 Metro NY VP

LI Pets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 05:13 PM   #9
Rivet Master
Fyrzowt's Avatar
2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
Nice work, I'm impressed!
Be careful, when you get to the interior work, Doorgunner will be contacting you about doing some carbon fiber work.
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 05:45 PM   #10
Rivet Master
tphan's Avatar
1972 27' Overlander
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 951

boatdoc- you have just re-set the standard for shell-off restorations so high that I think it will be a long time before anyone else takes it to a more beautiful, functional level- this is a project I want to follow!!! Nice work!! What are your plans for shell/interior renovation, if any?? -tim
tphan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 05:50 PM   #11
Rivet Master
clancy_boy's Avatar
2003 22' International CCD
Kiln , Mississippi
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,780
Images: 8
Ok, I have only one thing to say:


Nice Work
Michael & Tina with Layla and Preston BZ
The family has grown.
clancy_boy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 09:16 PM   #12
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,326
Originally Posted by Safari-Rick
All I can say is WOW !!

One heck of an undertaking.

Safari-Rick )
I was thinking a bit more of a holy s.....

What a job...I wish I had those skills. Totally unreal. Wish you were my neighbor! We'd rebuild Airstreams and Argosies for a living.
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2007, 10:02 PM   #13
Rivet Master
1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,352
Im on board as well with, GREAT fabrication and accomplishment !!!

Scott of scottanliy
scottanlily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2007, 01:24 AM   #14
Rivet Master
boatdoc's Avatar
1973 Argosy 26
Norristown , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 644
Images: 1
Arrow Quest for Stainless Steel Frame

Originally Posted by Devoman
Now that is what I call motivation.I cant wait to see what you have next when you get the shell on.I bet this thing is gonna be fully loaded with all the neatest gadgets.

Because of my business workload, we will attempt to move the shell in two weeks, from the stockyard into the shop by setting it on top of the new frame. Roof vents and lover row of interior skins will be removed to brace the ribs with 2x3's thus eliminating possibility of shell collapse. Pipe will then be inserted full length of the trailer. Chain hoists will lift the shell with the help of the pipe, which will allow us to remove the old floor. The C channel trim which retains the floor will be transfered to the new floor. Presently the new floor is attached to the frame but not on to the outriggers, so the trim can be slipped over the edge of the new floor. Floor being 1/2" with added edge encapsulating C channel of 1/16 thickness becomes 5/8". This leaves me about 1/8" gap to seal, with 3M 5200 adhesive. Once th shell is in place it will be bolted to each outrigger with 1/4-20 SS bolts and nylocks.

From that point, rest of the inner skins will be cataloged and removed. All of the fiber insulation and old wiring removed, three 1/2" x 2" rigid Styrofoam strips will be glued onto inside of the outer skin which will provide a glue points for the Prodex. This will provide 1/2" air space between outside skin and insulation. All wiring will run on top of the Prodex. All edges of Prodex will be sealed with 3M 5200 to create moisture barrier. Thanks for your kind comments. "Boatdoc"

boatdoc is offline   Reply With Quote

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stainless steel corrosion Dave-O Stoves, Ovens & Microwaves 21 04-05-2014 06:30 PM
Oval Window Frame Replacement MikeMikeMI Windows & Screens 8 12-30-2007 10:49 AM
Stainless steel wool and mice barbwire All Argosy Trailers 14 12-02-2002 10:01 PM
stainless steel wheel simulators Larry Brown General Motorhome Topics 11 11-26-2002 08:10 PM
The QUEST for 20-25 Miles Per Gallon Mr Jody Hudson Tow Vehicles 32 08-04-2002 05:16 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:17 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.