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Old 07-08-2020, 02:50 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Cumming , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 22
New Rebuild - 1976 Argosy 24'

Well we finally pulled the trigger, and picked up a 1976 Argosy to join the family! The trailer has was gutted by the previous owners, and I was looking to get your perspective on a build order so we know what to tackle. There is no wiring, plumbing lines, connections or anything. (I'll post some pictures in a bit)

What's been done:
  • Two new axles and shocks
  • Frame welded, cleaned and coated
  • Inner skins taken off, insulation cleaned out

What I assume I need to do:

Check for leaks and seal outside/inside well
Replace seals around doors and windows
Replace A/C and run lines
Run plumbing lines to where I anticipate it will be needed
Add water heater
Gray tank/Black tank (if we don't do composting toilet)
New subfloor (shell on attempt)
Add electrical and run wires
Add 12 volt/Battery setup
Put insulation and reattach inner skins

I know there is a lot more, but what would you say I tackle first? Or first three?

Appreciate your insight - we are looking forward to getting it in shape for our family. Gonna build bunks for our 5 kids!

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Old 07-08-2020, 07:39 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,938
Images: 1
Hi and welcome to the vintage Airstream hobby. There is quite an Argosy following here and folks would be willing to offer advice and consultation during your renovation.

So where to start? You certainly have thought of some of the needs the trailer has. You can certainly inspect the frame to insure the welds are sound, the axles are square, the paint is good and anything structural that was done.

You have to prepare a through floor layout so you know what goes where. How to make 7 sleeping surfaces. Where will you all sit and eat? Kitchen sink, stove, fridge and cabinets. The bath is critical too so you know where the toilet and sink will go.

With that layout, now you can plan the waste water tanks and fresh water tank locations. How will your mount them in the frame, how will you drain them?

The subfloor must be high on the list. It is a critical structural component of the trailer. It will be a bear to install with the body on, but it can be done. Read up on it here in the Forums.

You are embarking on a 1500 hour construction job. It will be fun as well as challenging. Here is a photo of an Argosy I met at a campground. Nice trailer.

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WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:

Link to our 1976 Renovation Project:
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Old 07-08-2020, 11:00 PM   #3
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1978 Argosy 30
Auburn , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 14
Images: 1
Hello Orange. I think David covered most of your questions. This site can guide you with details along the way.
Your trailer is by default a couple of steps ahead of mine. Post a picture so we can see what you are working with.
Sounds like you got plenty of hands to help with your project.

Dave also
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Old 07-12-2020, 05:54 AM   #4
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Eric 26 Argo's Avatar
Knoxville , TN
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 162
Sounds like you have a pretty good plan. I would move the AC install until after the interior skins are installed. They add to the structural stability of the shell.

Trying to sleep 7 in a 24' Airstream is a bold move. And until recently I would have said can't be done, but Airstream is offering a front bunk option on the 2021 Flying Cloud.
At around the 20 minute mark Patrick shows the front bunk.
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:44 AM   #5
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1975 Argosy 26
Omaha , Nebraska
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 4
I will be watching closely what you do! .
Just bought a 1975 Argosy 26' - we are a few steps behind you.
Good luck with all things renovation and please post any thoughts, tips and photos!
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:51 AM   #6
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1960 33' Custom
Farmington , MO
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 44
Congrats on your purchase!

As someone up to my elbows in rodent feces while gutting one of these, let me compliment you on your wisdom of buying one ready to rebuild!
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Old Yesterday, 11:32 AM   #7
2 Rivet Member
Cumming , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by Krek View Post
Congrats on your purchase!

As someone up to my elbows in rodent feces while gutting one of these, let me compliment you on your wisdom of buying one ready to rebuild!
Well right now it is so HOT. I can't spend much time in there at all. I've almost talked myself into building some gantries and trying to take the shell off, but then I may just not have the time or patience to do it that way.

There seems to be a lot of rivet heads that have busted off some of the seams, and someone replaced them years ago with rusted screws. I need to take those off. We are also figuring out the plumbing stuff so I can purchase the tanks before we solve the subfloor. It's kinda a chicken and egg thing. I can't move around in there without a solid subfloor, and I can't do the subfloor without the plumbing. I think we are going to put a black tank in there, but not the traditional "over the floor" variety that it came with in 1976. So I need to see what's possible for the frame indentation in the rear to support both grey and black tanks.

I also don't have a cover to work on the trailer, so I need to build a pole barn in my very limited space. Oh and I may work on sealing the outside, because there are some LEAKS.

We won't have a propane supply to the fridge, so i may try to figure out how to close the vent above the old fridge. It's leaking there... so rather than seal and keep it, what would you do?

Oh, and there are days i just want to sell it and buy a new one, but what's the fun in that!?
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Old Yesterday, 09:06 PM   #8
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1960 33' Custom
Farmington , MO
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 44
There’s no fun in that!

Much more fun straddling the frame while sweating in the sweltering heat and humidity longing for the day we have floors to stand on, lol.

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