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Old 06-28-2020, 07:29 PM   #1
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Making it shorter?

Or longer for that matter.

Once gutted, how much difference is there in the frame/body of a 20/24/28 footer? Can the Argosy be shortened or lengthened or do they have different wheel bases?

I'd like to find a 20 footer to ground up re-do but I'm not above welding and riveting to make a 26er a 20 footer.. if that's all there is to the body.

cheers.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:48 AM   #2
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Or longer for that matter.

Once gutted, how much difference is there in the frame/body of a 20/24/28 footer? Can the Argosy be shortened or lengthened or do they have different wheel bases?

I'd like to find a 20 footer to ground up re-do but I'm not above welding and riveting to make a 26er a 20 footer.. if that's all there is to the body.

cheers.
Different wheel bases for each model.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:47 AM   #3
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If I was removing a body I would be starting with a modern chassis and making the body fit.....

Something like a nice FUSO Canter hybrid
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:00 PM   #4
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Swapping to a new chassis would solve a lot of problems but would create new ones, like paying rent and buying food

bkahler, do you know what the wheelbases are for the various models? Judging from photos, the 24 looks like a 20 with an extra 4 hanging off the back.
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:32 PM   #5
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Short answer: No.

Slightly longer answer: yes, if you do the math.

Long answer: Of course any moron with a Saws-All and welder can chop and modify a frame, but will it be safe and stable? If you you are fuzzy about terms like gross vehicle weight, tongue weight (in case of a trailer), datum, fulcrum, movement, station, arm and CG, you might want to do some research to ensure the vehicle you modify can brake safely without fishtailing, turn without wanting to roll, and be balanced in all dimensions so it doesn't result in premature or uneven tire and or suspension wear (including your tow vehicle, in case of a TT) and tracks straight.

Assuming you know all this already, then why not? You might even be able to improve on the original. It is also likely you may find some corrosion or other problems that need fixed, given how old these are.

I would just caution you to not to try to do this on the cheap, as all you will accomplish is to trash an increasingly rare and valuable classic. There is no such thing as a "cheap" Argosy/Airstream, just as there is no such thing as a "cheap" British sports car. Don't be like the guy that hangs a residential air-conditioner in a piece of plywood screwed to the outside of a trailer, unless that is truly the best you can do.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:03 PM   #6
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Far from a moron with a saws-all trying to do it on the cheap but I hear what your saying.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bagarre View Post
Swapping to a new chassis would solve a lot of problems but would create new ones, like paying rent and buying food

bkahler, do you know what the wheelbases are for the various models? Judging from photos, the 24 looks like a 20 with an extra 4 hanging off the back.


If you look closely even 20fters are different lengths......
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:23 AM   #8
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If you look closely even 20fters are different lengths......
Yep, my 74 20' Argosy has a slightly shorter wheel base than a 77 20' Argosy.

About the only way I know of to find the wheel base numbers is to go to a website like Rockauto and start comparing years models. In various sections you'll find wheel base info listed. Finding the information is kind of hit and miss.

I have a 24' and two different 20's sitting on my property that I can measure.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:31 AM   #9
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Thanks.

If the 24 has a longer wheelbase than the 20, the mod would be much more involved. Frame rails, drive shaft, tank locations to name a few.
Someone in the Facebook group mentioned the 24 is about 600 pounds heavier than the 20 and GVWR is 1,500 lbs higher for the 24. That implies the 24 likely has different suspension parts as well.

In that case, starting with a newer chassis would be simpler and would provide a cleaner result.
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:12 AM   #10
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Thanks.

If the 24 has a longer wheelbase than the 20, the mod would be much more involved. Frame rails, drive shaft, tank locations to name a few.
Someone in the Facebook group mentioned the 24 is about 600 pounds heavier than the 20 and GVWR is 1,500 lbs higher for the 24. That implies the 24 likely has different suspension parts as well.

In that case, starting with a newer chassis would be simpler and would provide a cleaner result.
When I bought Bella, the body, frame and chassis were already separated. In order to bring her from Florida to Boston, I had the three parts re-connected. I had no option as I intended shipping her to UK, so the chassis/engine/body had to match (to get her registered)......I have regretted that decision ever since, and at some point in the future the body will again be removed and she will be re, re-built.

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