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Old 01-13-2007, 12:32 PM   #1
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1973 Argosy 26
Norristown , Pennsylvania
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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”
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:40 PM   #2
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2005 25' Safari
North Las Vegas , United States
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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
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:50 PM   #3
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1964 17' Bambi II
Santa Cruz , California
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Posts: 319
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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
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Old 01-13-2007, 01:00 PM   #4
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2005 25' Safari
Northwest Panhandle , The Sunshine State/WBCCI 6637
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,524
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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.

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Old 01-13-2007, 01:22 PM   #5
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1972 Argosy 24
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Heart of Dixie , Alabama
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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"
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Old 01-13-2007, 02:01 PM   #6
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
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Posts: 2,881

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
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Old 01-13-2007, 03:12 PM   #7
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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
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Old 01-13-2007, 03:21 PM   #8
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1977 31' Sovereign
Riverhead , New York
Join Date: Aug 2006
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It looks like its from Directors Boat builders in City Island..........
'77 Sovereign Intl 31' CB
WBCCI R2 Rep VAC 11411 Metro NY VP

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Old 01-13-2007, 05:13 PM   #9
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2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
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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.
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Old 01-13-2007, 05:45 PM   #10
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1972 27' Overlander
Longmont , Colorado
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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
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Old 01-13-2007, 05:50 PM   #11
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2003 22' International CCD
Kiln , Mississippi
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Ok, I have only one thing to say:


Nice Work
Michael & Tina with Layla and Preston BZ
The family has grown.
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Old 01-13-2007, 09:16 PM   #12
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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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
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:02 PM   #13
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1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
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Im on board as well with, GREAT fabrication and accomplishment !!!

Scott of scottanliy
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:24 AM   #14
Rivet Master
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1973 Argosy 26
Norristown , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 644
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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"

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