Airstream Central - Info for Airstream Owners -
Rockguard Installation
Janet H
Janet lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and one neurotic Border Collie. 
By Janet H
Published on 07/10/2007

Step by step instructions to modify and install a three piece rockguard on an Argosy Minuet.  A do-it-yourself guide to an important job!

Modifyand install center section

Cam-Lock lock installation:

When installing these you must keep in mind two things:

Don't break the glass.

Install them so they will cause the wing to be pulled tightly against the window frame.

With the wing installed on the hinge have your helper pull the wing around the window frame. (make sure you compress the wing sealing gasket some what. Your call as to how much).

Hold the Cam-Lock anchors in place and mark them for drilling.

Drill and pop rivet into position.

Place Cam-Lock screw thru the mounting tab on the wing and install the capture washer on the screws.

Close wing and turn the Cam-Lock screw 1/2 turn Clock Wise to lock.

Center Section

If you are installing the Rock guard on a full size trailer no modification of the center section should be required. On a Minuet you will have to shorten it by about 8".

Shortening the center section:

Study the figures well before you start, take a good look at the construction of the guard you have in hand. You will be removing about 8 inches in width. (about 4" on each side of the top and bottom rails only.) The hinge is pop riveted onto the frame so you will also have to shorten it and you will have to reuse the holes the factory drilled.

Note: There are many ways cut these Miter joints. You can use a Hacksaw, you can use a Chop Saw, or you could bring it to a glass shop and have them cut it for you. I used a Chop Saw with and Aluminum cutting blade. Works great but be very careful. Safety first.

Lay the Center Section over the top of the Side Guard and center it carefully. Mark the distance between the Side Guards on the top and bottom rails of the Center Section.

Once you have your marks, measure 1/4" toward the center. You will shorten the top and bottom rails by 1/4" on each side, this gives you clearance for operation of the Center Section once installed. Note: These marks are the outside corners of the miter cut you will make.

Disassemble the Center Section

The sides will be reused full length, try not to damage the Miter cuts on the sides during disassembly.

Remove the guard sealing gasket from the frame, also try and remove rubber spline  If you can't get the spline out at this time don't worry about it - it will come out later.

Drill out the pop rivets which hold the hinge to the frame. Place the hinge aside.

Drill out the pop rivets on one side of the center strap between the top and bottom rails.

Drill out the pop rivets on the top and bottom rails, which capture the internal corner brace of the frame.

Once all four corners are drilled, gently tap the sides from the top and bottom rails, it may become necessary to pry them out.
Be careful to not damage the miter cuts on the sidepieces.

Cut and reassemble the Center Section

Locate and cut 45 deg. miter cuts at the marks you made on the top and bottom rails. Note: These are the outside corner of the miter cut.

Find the length of the glass channel on the top rail and transfer that to the Plexiglas minus 1/16" for expansion. Cut you Plexiglas to size. I used a trim saw with a carbide blade to make this cut, it worked fine for me. Go very slowly on the cut and you should be fine.

Gently tap one side of the frame onto the top and bottom rails.

Insert the Plexiglas into the frame and tap the other side into place.

On the inside of the top and bottom rails drill a hole, which will capture the internal corner brace. {I offset the hole from the original position of the hole in the corner brace, I figured it would be stronger that way.} Then pop rivet in place.

Install the rubber spline pushing it in with a screwdriver. 

Install the center strap using the original pop rivet holes.

Position the frame so that you can gain access to the hinge mounting holes. Place the hinge over the original holes and mark how far you will have to shorten the hinge on each side. I cut about an inch for each side.

Cut the hinge to length and reinstall it using the original mounting holes.

Reinstall the guard gasket, you will have to recut the corner miters because it is now shorter. Use a good pair of side cutters, match the original cuts and it will be fine.

Your center section is now reassembled and ready to install on the trailer.

Side Guard (Wing) Installation
Hinge installation: (perform steps for each side)

On my Minuet I did not like the position of the holes pre-drilled in the hinges. I felt that by moving the holes I would lessen my chances of breaking the curved glass. As it turns out the new hole position works better because the anchor screws are now into a more solid location. Also with this positioning, the wing fits tighter to the trailer and I did not have to bend the hardware brackets installed on the wing.

Figure shows detail of the new holes and shows how the pivot side of the hinge is flush to the frame.

This shows the hinge position on the frame

I finally decided on this position for the Rock guard after consultations with my helper.  We positioned the bottom of the Rock guard flush with the trim belt of the trailer.

Put on the hinges

Assemble the hinges on the wings {Hinge Pin UP} (tape if necessary) put the rock guard wing into position and have your helper hold it in place.

Align the bottom of the Rock Guard with the trim belt. double check the hinge position should be flush on the frame. Step back and look at the position from about 10 feet away from the trailer.

If all looks good, check the trim belt position then the hinge position again. Mark the position of the top and bottom hinges. Mark the top and bottoms of each hinge.

Remove the hinges from the wings. Put the hinge into the position you marked. Mark and drill holes.

Use SS screws provided with a small dab of Vulkem. Repeat for next hinge.

Place wing on the hinges should go on without much trouble or binding.

Complete installation
The end is in sight!

Position the center section and have your helper hold it in place.

Check the positioning of the section and step back  - take a good look.

Once you are convinced that it is in position, drill a pop rivet hole thru the center middle of the hinge and trailer while holding the section in place. Recheck your position. Vulkem the hole and pop rivet it only if you are happy with the position.

Recheck the position, if satisfied, pop rivet the hinge ever six inches or so.

Position, drill and pop rivet the holding arms for the center section (See Figs 5 & 6) make sure they are mounted far enough to the outside in order to clear the center window when it is raised.

Position the center section Hood Hold Down rubber straps and pop rivet them into place. 

Install the rubber Hood Hold Down locking points


Argosy Minuet owners: reposition the Argosy badge on the front dome and reinstall using pop rivets.

Remove the protective paper from the Plexiglas.

Test center section for operation, Open/Close, and locked open.

Step back and enjoy your work.

Getting started
This appears to be a daunting task but with a little patience and help you can do it, we did it in less than 5 1/2 hours. The methods I used worked for me and I make no claims and give no warranties that this will work for you. Be careful and work slowly, paying attention to what you are doing. Safety first! "No job is so important that we can't take the time to do it safely".

Tools needed:

Power Drill [preferably cordless]
Assortment of drill bits
Pop Rivet Gun
Large assortment of pop rivets  (Standard Aluminum, not Olympics shave head rivets)
Various screwdrivers [+ and - tips]
Hacksaw [fine tooth blade] (See note 1)
Marking pencil [standard #2 lead]
Tube of Vulkem
Side cutters

Open your boxes from Airstream and inspect the contents, you should have:
Street side and curbside wing guards
Center section guard (with attached hinge and lifting arms)
Bag full of hardware witch should contain
4 hinges, 2 ea. left , 2 ea. right
4 ea Cam-Lock anchors in rubber mount
4 ea. Cam-Lock locking screws
4 ea. Cam-Lock capture washers for the screws
2 ea. Rubber Hood Hold Downs for center section
2 ea. Catch for Rubber Hood Hold Down
a bunch of pop rivets
a bunch of stainless screws
Become familiar with the parts look them over for damage, mine had a cracked side guard I did not see until the paper was removed from the window.

People needed: 1 ea. Good helper. You'll need help from time to time, positioning parts as you mount them. 

If you own an Argosy Minuet: you will need to drill out the four pop rivets from the Argosy badge mounted on the front dome. You will have to relocate it in a later step.