Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-14-2016, 10:53 AM   #1
New Member
 
1972 Argosy 20
fayetteville , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 4
Where to start?!

Hello everyone I'm starting my first renovation. I bought this beauty for $100 off a retired couple that made a huge upgrade.
It's a 1972 Argosy 20'

My question is where should I start in my reno?
Interior or exterior first?

Any tips for either? IE paint stripping, re-plumbing, rewiring?

Should I do a total gut of the interior?

I don't have a shop to work out of. All of the work will be done right where it sits in the photo.

Are there any really good links to Argosy renovations from beginning to end?
__________________

__________________
C-Birdsong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2016, 11:07 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
cameront120's Avatar
 
1972 25' Tradewind
North Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,422
Images: 23
Go to this section of the forum and note the "sticky" at the top of the page. It has links to all of the major renovations that have been documented on this site.

General Repair Forum - Airstream Forums

That might be the place to start and read everything you can about renovating an Airstream/Argosy. Along with this, you'll need to assess your trailer to determine what extent of repairs are needed.
__________________

__________________
Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
cameront120 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2016, 02:19 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
drboyd's Avatar

 
1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,428
You got an awesome deal, seems like to me.

I'll suggest that the first thing to do is to figure out what you're going to use it for. If it's gonna be a chicken coop, it may not need anything. (Humor alert!) IF you're gonna live in it for 50 years, that's another issue.

Start with the safety points first. Tires, brakes, lights, hitch, bars etc etc. If you have any money left after that stuff, start cleaning.

And whatever you do, PROTECT those curved front windows. I understand they're super expensive.
__________________
"Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely?" - E.C. Bentley, Trent's Last Case
drboyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2016, 02:29 PM   #4
3 Rivet Member
 
2015 28' International
Ofallon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 248
Novice here, never renovated one. But as a mechanical and aerospace engineer .....

I would start with a structural assessment. Skins, frames, axle, wheels, brakes. Years of life might have caused issues due to corrosion or just normal wear and tear. When you're confident you have a solid, safe structure to build on, then you can press on to internal systems, elect, plumbing and furniture.
__________________
mpsgolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2016, 08:49 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,122
Welcome to all things Airstream. (And next of kin Argosy). That trailer will have many needs for sure, most of them do. But you have the chance to give it a second life.

From what I read and understand, a full restoration will likely cost in the $15 to $20K range just in parts like tires, axles, brakes, bearings, frame repair, subfloor replacement, plumbing, electrical, appliances, cabinetry, upholstery, etc, etc. So plan the budget. And the labor hours to complete the work may be 1300 or more. Pay yourself $10 and hour, or $13k in labor. It is easy to see how professional restorations end up costing $60k or more as overhead rates are factored in.

It will take a lot of calendar time to rebuild the thing, so don't plan on using it in a month or two. But when it is done right, it may be worth 20k judging from what I see in Airstream Classifieds.

The good folks in these Air Forums have done everything you will need to do. And they are happy to answer questions. This is a great resource for you.

Make it fun...

David
__________________
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2016, 07:45 AM   #6
New Member
 
1972 Argosy 20
fayetteville , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 4
Thanks! The first thing I did was totally replace the whole break assembly with all new parts. Then rewired the the towing harness.
__________________
C-Birdsong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2016, 06:19 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,122
Very good start. Trailer light wiring can be a problem, at least it was for me. The wire color conventions have changed over the years. Maybe you hooked up your tow vehicle 7 pin and verified all trailer light, brake, and charge functions are working.

And new brake assemblies makes sense. I went with the self adjusting ones as I figured it might keep the shoes closer to the drums, but I still check them out yearly. Maybe you inspected and packed the bearings while you were at it.

With the drums off, you can assess the condition of your "dura torq" axles. The typical starting angle of the swing arm is 22 degrees downward with the trailer in on jack stands. The typical life of the rubber torsion rod axles is about 30 years. The rubber gets hard and takes a set, especially if the trailer has sat parked for a number of years. If the swing arms tend toward horizontal when on jack stands, or the swing arms don't move much when the trailer is on the ground, then new axles are needed soon.

Many of the Air Forums participants call this the "slippery slope" where one project can lead to many more. The next thing you know you will be taking the shell off the frame and doing what's called the "full monte" restoration.

All I wanted to do on mine was replace the old, broken toilet in the back. I discovered a foot square hole in the floor around the toilet. This lead to replacing the subfloor in the bath, adding a new black tank and might as well add a gray water tank, might as well inspect the rest of the subfloor by removing the belly pan, might as well replumb the whole trailer, might as well replace that old furnace, etc, etc... A slippery slope to an empty checking account for sure.

But it is fun.

David
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1311 Floor Bath.jpg
Views:	49
Size:	289.2 KB
ID:	255850  
__________________
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2016, 09:18 AM   #8
New Member
 
1972 Argosy 20
fayetteville , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 4
Haha! Thanks David.
Yeah I cleaned and repacked the bearings while I was in there. I plan on ripping out everything inside anyway because there us a fair amount of rotten wood from plumbing leaks. She's in pretty good shape considering the price I paid for her. My issues are how much original stuff am I going to need to hold onto because parts are so hard to find. I'm not much of a fabricator but I am a good mechanic and craftsman..
One issue I have come across is my interior rivets don't seem to be pulling flush. Is there a specific size that's recommended?
__________________
C-Birdsong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2016, 10:11 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
The 20' Argosy is one of the nicest sizes and floor plans. I would caution you not to do a gut job and then run out of energy and interest, leaving the project undone.

First fix the technical issues such as brakes and lights. Then fix all exterior leaks. Leave the axles for later, they can wait a long time. The floor is your biggest issue, you will need to assess if the rot and damage is bad enough to require a total floor replacement. If it is, you are in for a very big project, which will usually require total interior removal and lifting the shell off the frame.

I would urge you to label and photograph all parts you remove from the interior so you know where they go back, and how they are attached to each other and assembled. This is one area that causes a lot of jobs to fail, the parts are not identified and the task of re assembly is so daunting that you lose interest.

On Rivets not pulling tight: Almost all of the Airstream interior rivets are standard aluminum pop rivets, 1/8" in diameter. However they come in various "grip range" and if you get ones that are too long, they most likely will Pop the mandrel early and be too loose. So, short rivets for say two pieces of aluminum sheet, long ones only if the total depth of the assembly is thicker.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2016, 02:31 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Hittenstiehl's Avatar

 
1965 24' Tradewind
1962 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3,038
Images: 9
Congrats on your acquisition.

Your plan of attack depends how you will plan to use it.

If you want to avoid further interior damage from leaks getting it sealed up from the elements is nice.

If you want to camp in it while this reno drags out get it roadworthy and safe with wheels, brakes, bearings, hitch etc.

You can always camp in a nicely gutted Aluminum tent.

Those who have no intention of camping in it till the renovation is done save the roadworthy stuff for after the interior is complete.
__________________

Hittenstiehl
Hittenstiehl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2016, 02:44 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
OklaOverland's Avatar
 
1963 26' Overlander
Tulsa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 49
Images: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Birdsong View Post
Haha! Thanks David.
Yeah I cleaned and repacked the bearings while I was in there. I plan on ripping out everything inside anyway because there us a fair amount of rotten wood from plumbing leaks. She's in pretty good shape considering the price I paid for her. My issues are how much original stuff am I going to need to hold onto because parts are so hard to find. I'm not much of a fabricator but I am a good mechanic and craftsman..
One issue I have come across is my interior rivets don't seem to be pulling flush. Is there a specific size that's recommended?

I did what you did first. I rebuilt everything that made it safe to tow and now I'm into a full she'll off restoration.

If you have a garage (or in my case a relatives garage) where you can store things I would keep everything you can. Even if you can't fix it you can use it as a templet.

For the rivers I've just been uses a metal drill bit and trying my best to stop when the head gives way.

Hope some of that helps and best of luck.
__________________
See my progress on Instagram @MonicaTheAirstream
OklaOverland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2016, 12:08 PM   #12
New Member
 
1972 Argosy 20
fayetteville , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 4
Shorter rivets worked perfectly! Thanks!
__________________

__________________
C-Birdsong is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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
My RV will start using the Aux Start but not with the chassis battery mcm9970 Land Yacht/Legacy Motorhomes 7 05-19-2013 08:47 PM
Help!! Engine Won't Start!! eraffety Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 41 07-05-2006 08:01 PM
Start of restoration '77 Argosy 20ft barbwire All Argosy Trailers 18 08-15-2004 07:42 PM
Aaaargh!!! Motorhome won't start!!!! AGAIN!!! eraffety General Motorhome Topics 14 01-19-2003 07:40 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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