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Old 08-13-2003, 11:32 PM   #1
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1977 Airstream Argosy 20' $14,900

It's for sale on eBay for a "buy it now" price of $14,900 ... is this a good price? 82,000 miles with a rebuilt transmission, from the pictures it looks like it's in pretty good shape.

How can you determine a fair sale price for RV's? Does Kelley Blue Book (and other similar ones) track used motorhomes and trailers?

I'm still in a "window shopping" mode ... so if someone feels compelled to buy it, I won't be offended. I'm just trying to get a good idea of what a used Airstream would go for.

Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2003, 12:46 AM   #2
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You be the judge...

My sister sold her 31' 1977 ten days ago for $8,000. Hers included a full solar system with inverter, new refrigerator, and new air conditioner. It was fully refurbished inside, with a rear queen and the lightest color wood available in 1977.
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Old 08-14-2003, 01:16 AM   #3
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WOW!!!

Thanks Edie for an eye opener. $14,900 for a 20' with what looks like a mostly original interior does seem a bit pricey.

I don't suppose your sister has another 31' for sale?!?

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Old 08-14-2003, 08:13 AM   #4
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Keep in mind that the small ones are more sought after & therefore more valuable & this one is a real shorty. In this case bigger isn't better

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Old 08-14-2003, 08:29 AM   #5
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Apples and Oranges

The 20' Argosy is a Motorhome, the 77 31' is a trailer. There is no comparison in values.
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:38 AM   #6
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What leads you to believe its a trailer

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Old 08-14-2003, 08:41 AM   #7
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The fact that they didn't make a '77 31' Motorhome
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:43 AM   #8
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In 77 there were no Airstream Motothomes, Argosy was it. The ones that were available maxed out at 28 feet.

The comparison was, I belive, to say that the price is always going to vary based on model, features, condition, etc.
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:45 AM   #9
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I apologize for making anyone feel misled. Brett hit the nail on the head in his comment...

Quote:
The comparison was, I belive, to say that the price is always going to vary based on model, features, condition, etc.
True story: My sister knows a man who paid $10,000 for a koi. He put the fish in his multi-acre pond. The fish started swimming away. A bird of prey was flying over, and dove for lunch. The fish turned out to be expensive bird food. In any case, I don't think there is such a thing as a single fish worth $10K. It's a personal value system.

Something I didn't put in the thread is that two months ago we purchased a 1978 28' Argosy MH on eBay ourselves. Our winning bid was significantly less than $14K. (BTW, we purchased a 1965 Safari the same day for $1,500)

Additionally, we have our 1976 28' Argosy MH currently for sale and listed on this forum with an asking price of $9,800.

'76 Argosy MH listing

It's a good price if you feel comfortable paying it and the owner feels comfortable accepting it. Is it exactly what you're looking for? If so, go for it.

We ended up putting more than our purchase price in repairs as we drove our '78 home cross country a month ago. We are still happy with our purchase. We love the layout, it's our 5th Airstream product and we feel confident we'll have it for years.

The layout in the '76 doesn't quite work for us. It's a perfect layout for some friends we have in WBCCI. They have the same layout in their AS MH, and love it. It's all a matter of personal taste and how you value the item.

Ultimately, a "Fair Price" for older AS products is determined by what the seller will accept and the buyer will pay.
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:47 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone!

Thank you Hart, pepe and Brett! Being a newbie I still have a lot to learn. Does anyone have the scoop on the Argosy's? I had read on another site that the motorhomes are just Argosy's with Airstream badging. Were they still made by Airstream? Why were they painted? Can the paint be sanded off, or is that inadvisable? How have the Argosy motorhomes been as far as reliability goes?

Thanks again to everyone in helping to educate me further on Airstream!

Xak
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Old 08-14-2003, 02:13 PM   #11
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Xak

I personally think that part of the popularity with the small trailers right now is because they are towable with an SUV. And the old little AS trailers have a lot of open space in them.

I've been in a couple of smaller motorhomes. I love the look of them from the outside. I think they are the cutest motorhomes on the road. But for my taste, the 20' MH lacks a lot because you lose so much of the interior space to the driving seats and equipment. It feels really crowded. So for me, the smaller is better doesn't necessarily apply to the MHs.

Also, after purchasing our '78 28' MH in June we put a new engine in it. Then we had transmission repair done and the dash air system fixed.

We spent a total of $11,000 between purchase and repairs. We're still $4,000 ahead of the asking price for this eBay listing.

The best thing you can do is look at as many ads as you can find and become familiar with selling prices. If you are interested in motorhomes, check out Fred's site (1985air345) and become familiar with sizes and layouts. Be as educated as you can be and make a good decision for yourself.

Fred's Airstream Archives

BTW, I think the Argosy/Airstream badging is the other way around. An Argosy is an Airstream with an Argosy badge. Airstream used the Argosy line as a test bed for new ideas. If the ideas were successful in the Argosy line they were implemented in the Airstreams.

I've also heard that Airstream used the Argosies to get rid of imperfect aluminum. If a sheet of aluminum was visually imperfect but structurally intact it could be used on an Argosy. Since it was painted, the imperfection would not show.

At the time, you could not join WBCCI with an Argosy. That has since changed, and Argosy owners are welcomed with open arms.
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:04 PM   #12
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For someone that wants a smaller Airstream type motorhome the choices are few, and the market is very tight. There are the Argosy 20' like the one on EBAY a very rare item, an the 79 Airstream 24' which looks like the other classics. These too are few and far in between.
Prices for the 24' range 15-20,000 based on my two years of price tracking, and for the Argosy 20...well I have only seen one other for sale in the past two years.
The smaller ones have the advantage of manueverability, and are certainll cool to look at, but you don't get much livable space until you get to a 27' or larger.
The 20' also ispowered by a 350 Chevy engine as i recall which is probably not a bad thing, but I sure like my 454.
The market has been upward and brisk on anything under 31', not knocking the 345, but I have seen many more for sale than any other model.
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:13 PM   #13
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20' Argosy is a 454 cu. in.

The Argosy on Ebay is a 454. That is what makes it so rare and desireable by some.
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:41 PM   #14
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Floorplan

I looked at a few 20 footers before I bought my 28'. The floorplan is very limiting, as Alan said. The beds are actually sofa sleepers that can become somewhat uncomfortable if used often. My 28' has two twin beds and the sofa sleeper in the living room. My two boys sleep in the twins, and I use the sofa. When they are gone and I decide to start RVing full time, I will sell my 28' for something a little longer and wider, possibly diesel. I hope it's an A/S. But after restoring the one I currently have, I won't want to do it again, so you guys out there, fix 'em up so I'll have a good choice in about 10-12 years!
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