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Old 11-24-2002, 12:04 PM   #1
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'78 Argosy Interior Skin

I am looking for some advice on how to go about replacing the interior skin on a 16 mitre Argosy...in particular, the dome ends where there are no 'ribs'.

Another item on my wish list is to find a replacement rear taillight set.

Finally, I am restoring this trailer to use as a mobile coffee cart, and I don't plan on using the Univolt apperatus...instead, I am looking for a good deal on a used generator which will supply up to 7 or 8 kilowatts of power...any sources on this?

Thanks for any information anyone has on this...

Doug
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Old 11-24-2002, 12:57 PM   #2
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Check this for some ideas about your inner cap. The guy is good, his work is awesome.

Dealer finder. A listing from Airstream for all their dealers. Don't know exactly what tail light parts you are looking for, or if they will be available from Airstream. You can also try this link from Vintage Airstream.com

Arizona RV Salvage has used generators.

John
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Old 11-24-2002, 01:28 PM   #3
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'78 Argosy Interior Skin

RE: Tail Lights

Greetings CoffeeGuy!

Are you looking for the entire tail light unit or just the lenses? The lenses are currently avialable from the parts department at you nearest Airstream dealer. The whole units may also be available, but I haven't checked on that issue. I recently purchased replacement lenses for all exterior lights on my '78 Minuet from my Airstream dealer - - all were currently available and some had to be ordered. I purchased mine from Ace Fogdall RV in Cedar Falls, Iowa - - they have a web presence at:

Ace Fogdall RV, Cedar Falls, Iowa

This dealership is very Vintage Friendly, and everyone has been very helpful when I have needed parts or repairs on both my '64 Overlander International, and my '78 Argosy Minuet 6.0.

RE: Interior Dome Trim

If your primary concern with the front dome is discoloration, it is possible to restore or refurbish without a great deal of trouble. Arlene Fowler of Fowler Interiors in Symsonia, Kentucky does a beautiful job restoring/refurbishing these parts. I will be taking my Minuet to her the end of this week for restoration/refurbishment of the entire interior.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 11-24-2002, 09:57 PM   #4
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John & Kevin...

Hey, thanks for the links. This quick response stuff is pretty darn cool! Don't know what I was thinking Kevin, my Argosy is a 6 mitre just like yours...only it's the dinette version. Liking this so much, I want to get an Airstream for travel. I found this Argosy on e-bay, and had to drive all the way to Oak Harbor on Whidby Island (north of Seattle) to pick it up. It was in pretty poor shape when I got it...not much better yet...but I didn't want to pay a premium for something I was going to gut anyway to turn into a coffee bar.
Thanks a bunch for the information...hope to see you more on the boards here.

Best regards,
Doug
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Old 11-25-2002, 04:39 PM   #5
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?????

I just have to ask this - was the person you bought your trailer from named Jim? We had called about a 78 Argosy on Whidby Is. the end of Aug/first of Sept. and "Jim" said he had not sold his but had someone who was trying to find a way to get it. He kept our name and #, but we never heard back and then found our "Mini" thru an auction. Interesting that you say it was in bad shape, cause "Jim" said it looked good (of course, who knows what "good" means). Yours may not be the same trailer, but so coincidental that there would be 2 1978 Argosy trailers for sale on a somewhat small island out of Seattle!!! Good Luck with your venture. Leigh
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Old 11-25-2002, 07:14 PM   #6
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Actually his name WAS Jim...last name MacIndoe or something like it. Not sure what his gig is...but I was not pleased that the price shot up at the end of the auction on e-bay. I really felt that there was some shenannegans going on, but went through with the deal because of the deposit I had agreed to give him prior to the trip. I picked up the trailer from him on Feb. 9 of this year. I believe this is the same dude, and I would advise you to be very careful of dealing with him.

My intent was to gut the trailer, but I kind of thought it would be nice to have taken it on the road with the kids before doing so. I had no idea until I got up to Whidby Island that the condition of the trailer would have prevented me from doing that. Just a royal mess.

Thanks for the good words...

Doug
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Old 11-25-2002, 07:50 PM   #7
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Just to put your mind somewhat at ease Coffeeguy, ebay auctions often jump up a bunch at the end. I don't know anything about "Jim", but usually it is innocent. Bidders just wait until the last minute to bid, hoping that "nobody else found their item" and they can sneak in under the wire. They think they can "get it" at the last minute for cheap by being the last one to bid before time runs out. Whether this is right or wrong, the main way to prevent "paying too much" for an item is to never bid more than you are actually willing to pay for an item and still remain satisfied with your purchase as a win-win deal.

I suspect that sometimes people put in an artificially high amount for an item just to "win it, at all cost". That's fine if you gotta have it & someone else doesn't do the same thing....who knows, that may have been what happened with the now infamous $585 jack plate.

In my opinion, the biggest thing to watch out for is ebay seller's feedback rating...if they have a high percentage of negative feedback or very few transactions, that's when I start to worry!

Okay, okay, I'll get off my ebay soap box now... just keep in mind, it's always "buyer beware" on ebay...

Shari

P.S. Good luck on turning it into a coffee cart...I always thought that would be way cool!
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Old 11-26-2002, 11:20 AM   #8
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Interesting!!

Whew, Doug sounds like you went thru alot, but hopefully your idea for the coffee hut will more than make up for it. I hope you will stick around here and post some pics for us to see!!

We were lucky, I think, regarding our "Mini". At the same time we had contacted "Jim" we were in contact with several other trailer owners. My husband really likes the big windows on the Argosys and it happened that I found a guy listing another 78 Argosy as an auction at the same time we had contacted "Jim". The difference with David's auction(the PO of our Mini), was it was a reverse auction. He started the bid high and each day with no offer, it went down. The day we made our bid (late in the evening) at midnight (actually considered the next day for bidding)3 other bids came in (they would have gotten it for $100. less than we paid. We feel very happy with what we paid, our trailer is in great shape (you can view pics) and we have discovered thru this site that we have a somewhat unusual trailer in that most are 6.0 metre, but ours is 6.7 (22').
Anyway, it just shows that there are good outcomes with auctions and trailers, so if you decide to go for one for recreation (and I think you will love it), don't let the one deal overshadow the rest. Have fun on your re-creation. POST THOSE PICS
Leigh
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Old 11-26-2002, 06:35 PM   #9
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InsideOut...
Thanks for the input...it DOES ease my mind a bit to hear you say that price escallation is not uncommon. I think the condition of the trailer was more of a bother to me. As for the coffee cart...there is an Airstream somewhere that is operating as a roadside cafe...somewhere in Colorado I believe. I saw a pic posted on one of the Airstream websites.

COArgosy78...

Nice trailer! I like the way it looks painted beige. I spent some time stripping the paint off the lower portion of the trailer...wanted to get some of the aluminum out in the open and show it off a bit...but I'm not too keen on having to polish that out all the time. I'm thinking long and hard about painting it 'latte beige' !! LOL

Hope to see you all at a rally someday....

Doug
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Old 11-27-2002, 09:10 PM   #10
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Welcome Coffeeguy,

You found one of the best places to get ideas on how to fix up your new trailer. The other is at www.tompatterson.com. He now has a google search function that runs off his main page and only searches his site, which contains the history of the VACList, more easily remembered as the Vintage Airstream Club List. I find the new search utility much easier to use than the old one. In my opinion it is the best.

You can also sign up to the VACList. I think that info is on his site too.

When stripping paint you do know the end caps are galvanized steel. Some folk are liking the look of painting the aluminum color, I think Rustoleum has the paint. Beige is the original color.

Mine is a "77 6 Metre Minuet with an aluminum floor. I finally called Charlie Burke today, and he said it could well be an original. Always fun with these things. I told Charlie about Leigh's 6.7 Metre Minuet , and he seemed surprised, with the three street side windows and all. Still one heck of a find Leigh.

Not sure what you can do about the plastic interior endcaps. Is there enough left to fiberglass the thing up? That plastic has yellowed on most all Argosy's from what I understand.

Keep us posted, and post some pics.

JimW (Not the Jim you bought it from. )
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Old 11-28-2002, 11:03 AM   #11
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Thanks for the greetings barbwire!

I did not know about the steel endcaps when I first bid on the trailer on ebay, but learned of them as bidding progressed, and I found myself searching for information on the web. As you know, the lack of ribbing on the interior of the end caps makes it a bit challenging to create an alternative to the OEM formed skins...I'm considering using epoxy to cement a few ribs in place, and then do a patchwork of pie-shaped pieces like on the real deal. Maybe I could spot weld some t-nuts in place to anchor some ribs or spacers, waddya think ? Left to my own devices, I would apply the most complicated and difficult solution to what a fellow streamer may have already devised a simple solution. Replacement of the original endcaps is necessary due to the fact that I hastily ripped out the existing skin, intending to do the interior in stainless after seeing an Airstream rebuilt into a professional chef's kitchen on Inland RV's website (don't have the link at this time).

The exterior of my Argosy was painted grey by a PO to resemble the more traditional airstreams. Having sat unattended in a damp environment for some time, there was mold and other issues. I thought that having a two-tone effect...shiney aluminum from the midsection down, painted up top...to give somewhat of an espresso machine appearance to the trailer, but after seeing the pics of Leigh's 6.7 Mitre and other Argosys...I am thinking that a 'latte tan' or a 'cafe au lait beige' would look just as nice...or nicer...and not require the maintenance of having the exposed aluminum.

I am intrigued by the aluminum floor you speak of, as I'm considering using aluminum diamond plate for the flooring on mine.

Anyway, thanks for the help Jim...it is much appreciated!

Doug
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Old 11-28-2002, 01:04 PM   #12
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To weld nuts on the steel you need to strip the galvanizing. They can't be spot welded because you will need to get to both sides of the panel with the welder and you can't do that. If you do go this way make sure that you don't go too deep with the bolt and distort the cap.

The picture is of my Argosy motor home. I don't know if this will help, but I will give you a quick rundown on what I am doing, maybe it will give you a few ideas.

Along with the cap both of the corners are compound curves. The white is fiberglass reinforced plastic, it is flexible enough to fit the curves. The corners are aluminum because the frp would not fit here. It could have all been aluminum, but will be upholstered and frp is a lot cheaper.

Above the plasitc I am going to put storage. This will be supported from beneath and completely independent of the cap. No worry about fitting compound curves. If you can work some way to do the same sort of thing and support if from below it will save the headache of the curves and how to fasten everything to the cap.

John
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Old 11-28-2002, 07:49 PM   #13
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I think you're right...the whole situation can be avoided by using the area for overhead storage! I think that's the winner!
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Old 11-30-2002, 10:03 AM   #14
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Hey John...

Where does one shop for the frp you mention in your last post? Also, what thickness works well?
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