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Old 12-14-2011, 05:39 AM   #1
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Original Argosy Paint

I just purchased my first Argosy (I'm a LONGtime airstream owner, since I was 16) I've see solid beige as well as two tone paint with a darker beige on the bottom and the normal color above the mid beltline. I'm making a gues the very early years where two tone and the later ones were not? but it's just a guess.
Does anyone know the orignal colors for the beige and the dark brown for the lower banana wrap/bumper and hitch. I"m lucky that mine has the original beige painted spoked wheels with orange pinstripes and plastic ARGOSY brown center caps.
Thanks
Dan
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:47 AM   #2
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Out-of-Doors Mart can send you a color chart with the different paints used over the years.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:25 PM   #3
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Original Argosy Paint

Greetings DFDureiko!

Welcome to the world of Vintage Argosy ownership!

Airstream has a spreadsheet with modern equivalents to the original paint colors on our Argosy coaches posted on this link. If your coach happens to be a 1978, the banana wraps and frame elements were originally painted a metallic copper color that until recently was very difficult to find . . . then about five years ago the Chevrolet Colorado debuted a very similar color then very recently, Dodge debuted a color that is very near an exact match.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:32 PM   #4
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72,3, and 4 Argosy's were two toned bodies, 75 changed to one color body paint only.

I searched until I found rattle can paint which I was happy with, close but not perfect. It is amazing how good it looks, and how well it holds up. I am not an all original freak, other than my 71 Caravel.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:06 AM   #5
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72,3, and 4 Argosy's were two toned bodies, 75 changed to one color body paint only.

I searched until I found rattle can paint which I was happy with, close but not perfect. It is amazing how good it looks, and how well it holds up. I am not an all original freak, other than my 71 Caravel.
Oy! You there! No fair keeping it to yourself. What brand and color? My patchy '75 wants to know!
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info! what's the difference between Imron an Centari? I remember my father painting his obviously aluminum Piper Commache with Imron....but that was the early 70's......
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:03 PM   #7
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Oy! You there! No fair keeping it to yourself. What brand and color? My patchy '75 wants to know!
Oops, was afraid someone would ask that very question. The problem is that I am at my winter home in Arizona, and the paint and Argosy's are in Idaho.

That said, from memory, the rattle can paint I have had great success with, end caps and window frames, and all upper surfaces (on the 74, 20') was Krylon Dover White gloss. At one time it was available at Wally world, but no longer. It can be had at ACE hardware stores, or they will order it for you as it is stocked in their warehouse system (I know that as a friend owns an ACE store). I used a Krylon primer (rust red) and many thin coats of the Dover White over that, until I was satisfied with the thickness, coverage, and gloss. Along the way you will learn how to put just the right amount of paint on per coat to get the coverage you want and the surface you like. Do not paint unless the surfaces and paint can is above 60F. Also do not paint above 85 F, and only on low humidity days.

I have done all 4 end caps on the 74 and 75, the door on both, the front window and all other window frames and front and rear curved side panels above the rub rail with that paint. BTW, removal of the old paint on the upper steel end caps, to the base metal or base coating (on the 75) was done first with a razor blade scraper and a lot of toil.

I located a very good Rustoleum color for the tan bottom, but cannot tell you the color now, as I cannot remember it and don't have access to the cans until I return home.

I don't care for the original banana wrap colors on the Argosy, so have used a dark metallic gray on them, which looks handsome. I also used that on the bumper, bumper box, and the tongue. You can pick out one you like at any store.

New blue belt line plastic looks fantastic and is inexpensive from Inland RV or ODM. If you want some other color than the blue (and the ugly 70's orange is not available I don't believe) you can cut thin long strips of plastic countertop which will slip right into the groove in the trim from one end. That way you can have any color you want, and countertop plastic is available in a huge array of colors, even Faux stainless steel. BTW, that technique can be used inside on the countertop edging, or you can use vertical venetian blind slat material inside, again available in a large selection of colors and textures at a window covering store.

Ask a question, get a pagent. Sorry, I get carried away.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:32 AM   #8
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Ask a question, get a pagent. Sorry, I get carried away.
Hey, it's all good stuff. Now I need to find a warm, dry day. I guess I'll paint a test sheet to see if Dover White is a good match for my '75 paint.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:38 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info! what's the difference between Imron an Centari? I remember my father painting his obviously aluminum Piper Commache with Imron....but that was the early 70's......
Imron is one of the best longest lasting paints, they paint airplanes with that stuff. Centari will fade in 5yrs. The industrial grade imron is the best deal I have found. When spraying imron do not breathe any of the fumes.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by idroba

I searched until I found rattle can paint which I was happy with, close but not perfect.
Sounds like a lot of cans (and $$) to paint an Argosy compared to some of the marine paint methods (Boatdoc's) I've read about.
What made you take this route? Was there a reason you didn't use a chemical paint remover on the end caps? Did you have any rusting there to deal with?

It's all work ahead of me.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:32 AM   #11
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Sounds like a lot of cans (and $$) to paint an Argosy compared to some of the marine paint methods (Boatdoc's) I've read about.
What made you take this route? Was there a reason you didn't use a chemical paint remover on the end caps? Did you have any rusting there to deal with?

It's all work ahead of me.
Compared to the cost of having it professionally done, the rattle can system worked well for me. You can buy 20 rattle cans for $100 and I know how to use them vs. the learning curve on another system. I also can repair it at any time by myself. Mind you now, the paint is good, but not the quality of an automotive finish. But I was not looking for that "quality" of finish. I use my trailers a lot, and like them to be working units, not showcase pieces.

Ten years ago I striped an Argosy Minuet down to bare metal with chemical paint remover, semi polished it, and painted the upper steel end caps with Aluminum paint. I made a "fake Airstream" out of it. Never again! I hated the striping process, the mess, the chemical smells and all of the clean up issues. When the question of paint came up on my current Argosy's I also did not want to repaint the entire units, only portions, mostly the upper end caps and window frames, and doors. The chemical paint removers like to splatter and flow where you do not want them, causing damage to paint I wished to keep. So, I did a mechanical removal process, scraping and some limited sanding. Still tough and time consuming, but I like it better than paint removers. I did not have rust to deal with on my steel end caps, everything I have worked on were Western rigs, with very few rust issues on the upper caps.

I forgot to mention, when using rattle cans to paint, get a snap on trigger spray unit at Wal Mart to hold the can and allow you to operatel the spray nozzle with your hand, rather than a single finger. Much better results, less hand wear and tear and only about a $3 item.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:01 PM   #12
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I also need touch-up more than a whole repaint right now, because a) I'm not ready to pay for a repaint and b) there are a couple of things I still need to do that might result in scratched paint... scratching touched-up old paint will make me MUCH less angry than scratching brand-new shiny paint!

I assume my trailer was stored for most of its life with the street side exposed to more sunlight than the curbside... this is nice for me when I'm approaching the door, but I do notice when I'm on the street side of the trailer. I just want to even that out a big, and fill in the little nicks where bare aluminum shows through. I agree with idroba, my trailer is for camping in, not for showing off.
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