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Old 04-22-2004, 09:45 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by j54mark
Which raises another interesting question: Why don't we ever hear about steel/aluminum corrosion from electrolysis on Argosy end caps?

Mark
But we do! The reason that almost all Argosy's have rust at the edges of the end caps is the electrolytic corrosion that occurs between the steel and the aluminum. The steel seems to lose the battle here. The corrosion is normally not enough to cause a catastrophic failure, but it can become unsightly.
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Old 04-22-2004, 09:47 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by R&SZinser
Airstream (or Thor) should bring back the Argosy line as the test bed for new and upgraded technologies.
in addition to the upgrades for frame & rot-proof floors, I'd love to see an airstream made of Carbon Fiber. No more Dents, easily painted, strong and light weight.
I'm also at a loss why the industry doesn't allow access hatches to the holding tanks. You should be able to remove a section of floor and unscrew a leak-proof access hatch to facilitate cleaning of the holding tanks and fresh water tank.
Another innovation would be installed macerator pumps and modern drain hoses. (no more stinky-slinky).
Lastly, why not use radient heat in stead of a forced air furnace. The heater could be electric or propane.

Roy
All wonderful points. A carbon fiber Airstream would be amazing, strength-wise and visually. Imagine that deep silvery gray with a high polish on it, the thin pinstripes of carbon filament running horizontally down the length of it, and perhaps moving the wheels as far out as possible, with flared wheel wells... that would look stunning rolling down the highway, as dynamic and strange as the old Hawley-Bolus's must've looked to someone in an old Model T back in the 30's.

The modern draining systems, new access panels to clean and maintain every inch of the trailer yourself, alternate heating (I'm going with radiant under-floor heat myself and ditching a space-hogging furnace) are all great ideas for Airstream to look into very seriously.

Airstream is a small company in a world of big SOB brands, and much like Apple vs. Microsoft, these small companies can turn on a dime, change direction and bring out fantastic new products much easier than the behemoths of the industry. The CCD only need be the beginning - while CCD is representative of a new interior "look," Jackson Center needs to innovate under the hood with better materials and new solutions to old problems. It doesn't mean they have to give up what makes 'em famous... remember, no changes - only improvements.
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Old 04-22-2004, 09:58 AM   #31
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Great ideas for a redesign and customization. I'll use some of them for sure. How could baffles be retrofitted for fresh water tanks. I would think one of the custom tank places would make one with baffles on order. I would think baffles would reduce the strain on the tank and its' attachments if one moved the tank under the belly.

How about this. Combination grey fresh tank using a bladder for the fresh inside the grey. Save space, could have larger fresh tank. As you use the fresh water is just flows back to the other side of the tank.

Don't think I'll try that one. Leave to the professional tinkers.

I was talking to a metal guy at Electric Boat and he would use a Stainless Steel frame. Titanium is VERY expensive. Only the Gov can afford it.
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:01 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R&SZinser
Airstream (or Thor) should bring back the Argosy line as the test bed for new and upgraded technologies.
I heard something at a rally this weekend form a WBCCI member that was one of the founders of the Argosy club. When the Argosy first came out they were not allowed in the WBCCI so they stared their own club. Anyhow he said that the reason that the Argosy product was discontinued was due to the fact that they were outselling the Airstream models of the time. This did not make Airstream happy, so they stopped production.

Fact or fiction, I don't know. He was there then.

I would think with all the lines that Thor owns that some of the innovations that are in their other products would find their way into the Airstreams. Maybe they do and we don't see it. It would be cool if they brought back the Argosy name as an entry level trailer that was at a price point comparable to most Box trailers, but not as nicely equipped as a full blown Airstream. Kinda like a Safari Lite Could be a test bed, and also would lend itself to trying radical new designs, or reviving old ones. I am really drawn to the rear door Argosy trailers. They have my curiosity peaked.
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:09 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychpw
How about this. Combination grey fresh tank using a bladder for the fresh inside the grey. Save space, could have larger fresh tank. As you use the fresh water is just flows back to the other side of the tank.

Don't think I'll try that one. Leave to the professional tinkers.

I was talking to a metal guy at Electric Boat and he would use a Stainless Steel frame. Titanium is VERY expensive. Only the Gov can afford it.
I don't think I would want a combination fresh/grey water tank, one little leak...
Another disadvantage to titanium, it is VERY heavy, although also very flexible.
A grey water tank behind the axle, or between the first two axles, would also be a good thing, weight distribution-wise. Again between the frame rails, and of course, the black tank bringing up the rear. I don't have the plumbing specs of the new ones here, they may already be doing this, but I think someone would have said so by now if they were.
Terry
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:16 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64
I heard something at a rally this weekend form a WBCCI member that was one of the founders of the Argosy club. When the Argosy first came out they were not allowed in the WBCCI so they stared their own club. Anyhow he said that the reason that the Argosy product was discontinued was due to the fact that they were outselling the Airstream models of the time. This did not make Airstream happy, so they stopped production.

Fact or fiction, I don't know. He was there then.

I would think with all the lines that Thor owns that some of the innovations that are in their other products would find their way into the Airstreams. Maybe they do and we don't see it. It would be cool if they brought back the Argosy name as an entry level trailer that was at a price point comparable to most Box trailers, but not as nicely equipped as a full blown Airstream. Kinda like a Safari Lite Could be a test bed, and also would lend itself to trying radical new designs, or reviving old ones. I am really drawn to the rear door Argosy trailers. They have my curiosity peaked.
My experience with other hobbies rears its ugly head here, why not revive Argosy as a limited-production, limited availability coach? Only build one for every four Airstreams built, or some number like that? That way, they would be guaranteed not to outsell Airstream, thay would have a low-cost alternative, and a test bed for future products, like, maybe, a hybrid unit, with a fold-out in the end for larger families that want an Airstream but have too many kids/not enough cash for the real thing. Sleeps six instead of four.
Terry
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:34 AM   #35
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I agree with the basic comments on this thread, but I do feel that even if an Argosy line were to show up again, I would say that it should keep the look an feel of an Airstream without making it into one of those psydo type pop ups.

I like the idea of the Argosy line as the entry level product, but given how they can barely keep up making Airstreams right now, I can't see it happening any time soon.

Eric
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:58 AM   #36
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Having worked for Land Rover North America for anumber of years and actually built ( not restored) a Series 111 88" station Wagon from the ground up. I know what I would do as an airstream engineer. Land Rovers are built in a similar fashion to Airstreams. It's kind of a semi-production method.There might be a short wheel base soft top coming down the line followed by a long wheel based hard top in a different color, followed by something completely different. The were put together using a customer or dealer build order. There were literally hundreds of variations and options that could be specifed. There were no robots involved on the line, everything was assembled by hand.Up until about the late 80's early 90's there wre no robotics in the factory. When I built mine I did everything that I could think of to improve the build while remaining original.

1. galvanize the frame!!!

2. use another material besides plywood as the sub-floor. There are new decking materials that are pretty much impervious to water and rot.

3. stainless steel fasteners through out the body and frame.

4.someone else suggested baffels in the water tank. designed so that it would still drain properly.

5.belly panels that are removeable and easy to replace.

6.classic style windows on all models

7.better insulation.

8.barriers between metals of different types

9.eaiser access to wiring

10.NO particle board or contact paper with a wood design on cabinets. On even the least expensive models!

11.Up grades in cabinets , carpet, sheet goods, counter tops. plumbing fixtures.and lighting.

12. Better quality control

These are just a few things from someone who doesn't even own an Airstream yet. There are probably many many more from people who own or have owned a number of Airstreams over the years. Hope no one is offened by my suggestions as a non owner and newbe. There's always room for improvement for most eveything. Oh, one more thing: locktight on any fasteners that tend to vibrate loose.
Jack
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Old 04-22-2004, 11:12 AM   #37
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1. In the 25' Classic/Safari remove the stove/oven and use a 2 burner cooktop and convection over underneath. Use a single bowl 25" sink. Counter space! I did it, and it works.

2. I would be far more interested in a bedroom slide than a lounge area slide. I recognize there are weight and balance issues.

3. Front credenzas tend to be used almost exclusively for the tv, both to sit on and store. Take advantage of LCD screens to reduce the size of these large cabinets and open up floor space.

Mark
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Old 04-22-2004, 11:17 AM   #38
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Chuck said, above, " But it seems to me that the restoration projects that we all read about here are the result of some PO that didn't tend to maintenance. "

I wish this were confirmed by my experience, but I've been to a wreckers yard several times over the past 4 years and inspected the frames of about five wrecked Airstreams, where the wreck exposed the frame. There was serious structural corrosion of all the frames at the rear end. For ultimate longevity, maintenance of an Airstream should probably include regular removal of the belly pan, de-rusting and coating the frame, and spraying suitable fluid inside the box sections. Otherwise, they are being invisibly destroyed. Once every five years might be a good starting point. Normal maintenance would not prevent this, as the water is sprayed up from the road, and into the belly pan. Nick.
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Old 04-22-2004, 11:29 AM   #39
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Question Nervous

Gentlemen,

You are all making me very nervous about the frame issue. I had some rust that I dealt with up front, but now I'm curious to look at the rear too. I have an 85 Limited that came from Arizona. I'll let you all know.

Rob
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Old 04-22-2004, 11:46 AM   #40
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What about a new design of the hitch? A good engineer I'm sure could start from scratch and design something better than the Ball & Receiver set-up... Integrated weight distribution: No more drilling the frame or bolting on fastners? Multi-link anti-sway? My dual-cam Reese HD set up works great but I'm sure an integrated system would be superior to an add on.

The idea for engineered materials in lieu of the plywood floor is pure genius!

I would love to see a really efficient insulation package as standard. Cooler in Summer - Warmer in winter!
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Old 04-22-2004, 11:59 AM   #41
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They should revert back to older designs and weight issues- lighter and stronger materials with a retro look. I opted for older trailers because the new ones of the same size were 1000# more- plus the materials are not what I personally prefer.
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Old 04-22-2004, 12:07 PM   #42
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Particle board vs. wood cabinets... weight vs. cost. I've had the '50s, 60s and 70s vintage trailers with the wood cabinetry and now the '80s & '90s vintage as well. The earlier trailers used plain faced veniered ply for the cabinetry; it was fairly light weight. I still haven't figured out the later '70s vintage where they switched to the vinyl-clad cabinetry, but I think it contribued to making the '70s vintage trailers heavier than their predecessors. I can tell you that the five-piece cabinet doors of the '80s and '90s are substantially heavier than the single-piece doors of the '50s and '60s. I believe that the framing of the newer cabinetry is also heavier in some areas, but the newer cabinets are beautiful.

The '40s pipe frame trailers, although very lightweight with aluminum cabinetry, look pretty sterile and stark in comparison!

Do you suppose that there is some miracle moulded stuff out there that would be acceptable looking, and strong, but 1/3 the weight of wood?

Roger
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