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Old 05-08-2010, 11:28 AM   #1
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1973 Argosy 24
Berkeley , California
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Novice with a dumb question - using sheet metal on an Argosy

Hi...novice here and new to the group. I have a '73 Argosy we will use and an art studio in the back yard. Previous owner had gutted the interior and used plywood panels to cover access panels to the outside (under sink, etc.)

I have patched these and other holes (including holes in the roof where the pipes used to vent) using galvanized sheet metal purchased from my local hardware store, silicone, and pop rivets (both alum and steel.)

When bragging about how well this went to my father he told me mixing sheet metal and aluminum in a no-no. Doh! Do I need to re-do everything?

When I look for info about corrosion I get all kinds of answers but no timeframe ... will this start to leak in five years or fifty? This is not a true restoration, I won't be using the trailer as a camper and I'm probably going to have this thing for no more than ten years.

Suggestions and/or browbeating welcome.

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Old 05-08-2010, 11:36 AM   #2
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Common Sense , Texas
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First, welcome to the forum. I will agree with your father that it is not a good idea to mix types of metals because of galvanic corrosion, but will not forecast how long it will last. It will vary depending on temperature, humidity, and if there is any current flowing thru the metal as in a ground system.

If it were mine, I'd redo the patches with aluminum sheet, which you can get from the same hardware store as aluminum valley tin.


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Old 05-08-2010, 12:29 PM   #3
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The domed endcaps of your Argosy are galvanized steel mated to aluminum panels. I think the trick is to keep them isolated/insulated from each other. You will also get replies about never ever ever using silicone sealer on aluminum." Silicone sealer seams to stick to painted surfaces just fine.
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Old 05-08-2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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1979 Argosy 27
1969 21' Globetrotter
1953 25' Cruiser
Front Royal , Virginia
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I have heard the same this about dissimilar metals reacting. That is why I took off the TV antenna from the roof. However, it was up there for 30 years and I saw no reaction. My awning has metal screws and no reaction yet. And the dome on our Argosies are made of galvanized steel attached with rivets directly to the aluminum. I took all the paint off mine and see exactly how it is attached.

So just to muddy the waters.. the correct way is to change it to aluminum. However, if your dont worry about resale and just want to plug the holes I would say hit it with some spray paint and have a beer.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:29 AM   #5
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1973 Argosy 24
Berkeley , California
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Thumbs up Thanks for the input

Hey guys...thanks for your input. I especially like Nick6930's answer and took that advice!

I will leave the existing patches as-is, but anything new will get aluminum sheeting. I'll keep an eye on this and will get back guys if things start to disintegrate.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:42 AM   #6
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What a neat project, I'll bet that will make a lovely studio.

I'd say if you see any deterioration it will be worth your time to fix it right. These trailers really hold some resale value because they generally last so long with out showing much signs of deterioration. While you may not care about resale value now, someday you could, and a bit of work along the way to preserve it might be wise. I know I have had many times where I thought I would not care about the value of something when I was done with it (I'll just run the wheels off it, I'd say) and then when it came time to sell I found myself wishing I'd done different.


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