Airstream Argosy Renovation: The Rub Rail Secret

Airsteam Argosy Renovation

So you had an idea to renovate a Airstream Argosy. You worked hard, you spent countless hours researching all the “how to’s” and trying to find those vintage parts. You wanted it to be original but unique at the same time. But when it was all said and done, there was one more piece of the puzzle that drove you crazy. OR, you just dismissed it and said “done”. The Trim Band dilemma and what to do with it. We are talking about the 1″ insert that came in Orange, Blue and Black that went around your Argosy.

The “Rub Rail” or “Trim Band” in most 1970 models of the Airstream Argosy’s were the piece that went around the entire Airstream and hid the connection between the two pieces of Aluminum in the middle. It also had a bottom piece that hid the seal or connection between the banna wraps and the bottom piece of aluminum. Confused? Totally understand.

The “Rub Rail” for the sake of argument (on our 28 foot Arogsy) is the middle piece that hides the two pieces of Aluminum that connects on the outside. The Rub Rail is one inch wide that originally came with a plastic colored insert. (see photo)

The insert usually 50 feet in length came was a vinyl colored insert that although gave a little pizzazz to the Argosy, didn’t last long as she aged. Sun pretty much destroyed the insert and after years of pizzazz it fell out and disengaged. We felt like leaving the Rub Rail without color was ok. But we also felt that it needed something other that just the silver aluminum with exposed rivets after 3 years of hard work. Then we found a secret.

Airstream Argosy Renovation
our new insert for the Arogsy Rub Rail

We found a 50 foot role of Heavy Duty 1″ Insert that fit perfectly in our Rub Rail for $17.00 and it’s black. Just like one of the original colors. We found it (believe it or not) in Quartzsite, AZ while attending the RV Show. But it actually was found when we saw another Argosy that was pretty beat up and not being renovated. We couldn’t believe that a Rub Rail Insert on an 75 Argosy was still in excellent shape. Well, after asking some questions, and getting the low down on how they inserted it, we found where they bought it. It’s actually for 5th Wheels. And it’s the Molding for the top roofs and slideouts. You can buy it on Amazon right HERE: RV Designer E569, Heavy Duty Vinyl Insert Trim, 1 inch Wide, 50 foot Roll, Black on AMAZON

Airsteam Argosy Renovation
Just pinch the rubber insert in the middle and push it in

It took a whole 30 minutes in the middle of the Arizona desert to install rubber inserts for our Rub Rail and finally have the original look to our Airstream Argosy.

Airstream Argosy Rub Rail Insert

We put this trim on using some 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant 4000 UV, PN05280, White, 3 oz Tube (waterproof) to make sure we had a good bond and it wouldn’t fly off. So far, so good. You can also buy that on AMAZON HERE

We did this while boondocking in the Arizona Desert. Took all but 30 minutes to install and now we have a little “Pizzazz” on our Airstream Argosy (Lucy)

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