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Old 06-27-2007, 11:21 AM   #1
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1991 25' Airstream 250
Oxford , Oxfordshire
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Motorhome - sensible advice required please!

Hi guys,

So, my search for a classic Motorhome gathers apace. I intend to import to the UK and will be buying a sub 25 ft unit because UK cities and country roads ain't suited to anything larger, plus, the missus hasn't yet fully clocked what 25ft represents and this will be a challenge in itself. This means I hope to get an Argosy 20 or 24 or Airstream 250 or Excella 24 (rare - I know). However, here are some of my must understand questions before I purchase - I do hope you can help:

1) Seatbelts: I know there is some info on this topic. However, I must have child seatbelts in the UK. Therefore, can anyone tell me definitively whether they can be fitted on the models above? Also, do any of the models above have front facing bench seats which could have them fitted?

2) Maintenance: Maintenance in the UK is going to be difficult and expensive. I have found someone who can help out. However, i hope to do much myself. Does anyone have a view on whether I am better to go for an Airstream or an Argosy e.g. which is easier to maintain, what about availability of parts etc? Expense to fit them etc? Also, should I stock up on some basic maintenance items when I pick it up form the US?

3) Floor layout and height of unit: does anyone have a PDF or could they might scan and send to me of the floorlayouts of above units?
I hope to get the rear bedroom version but not sure whether they only came with side settee? Also, the height. I hope to keep it garaged because the weather is crap in the UK.

Thanks in advance!

Nick
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:54 AM   #2
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Nick, I can't help answer any of your questions but I wanted to wish you luck in your search. I too am searching for the same type of Airstream or Argosy motorhome and they are rarer than "hens teeth"!

If you find two, please let me know! I am interested!
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:23 PM   #3
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1990 25' Airstream 250
Altoona , Georgia
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Freds motorhome site

Do a search for Fred's and you will find a lot of the information you are looking for including a 250 for sale
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Old 06-30-2007, 02:42 AM   #4
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1974 Argosy 24
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Nick, welcome to the UK airstream/argosy enthusiasts. we are currently importing a 26ft Argosy for much the same reasons as you, however we are experienced mechanics and can tell you that the maintenance costs are not going to frighten anyone, parts are easily available due to good old GMC's policy of not changing a design until absolutely necessary. Even if you have to send to the states for them, service is usually top-notch and they arrive quickly (we ordered once on a Thursday afternoon and the part arrived at 10am Monday- can't get a part from Dagenham that quick!) Layout of your motorhome will depend on the model you choose, but most of the ones we have seen have a dinette arrangement which means two of the bench seats are forward facing, fitting seat belts to these should not be a problem. The things I would make sure to do before shipping it back would be to put it into a good truck workshop and have all the water hoses, fanbelts, water pump and thermostat changed. They will not cost a lot but will save you a mint if any of them decide to give up.
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Old 06-30-2007, 03:08 AM   #5
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Thanks Fozzies - do you have a view on improving MPG? I'm toying with the idea of buying a high mileage unit and getting a new diesel put in in the US. Alternatively, I might go for the LPG conversion in the UK. Apparently, you can't take LPG on the Channel Tunnel so this would limit me to ferries for Continental travel.

I reckon I might do about 3000 miles p.a. and would hope to hold on to it for at least 10 years until the children grow up and won't want to be seen dead with me or a motorhome...........of course, they will change their mind 5 years later when they want to go to the festivals with their mates!
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Old 06-30-2007, 02:59 PM   #6
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1974 Argosy 24
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I spent the last 15 years working on diesels and did many conversions, including a GMC dayvan which had a 350 gas(petrol) engine, which we changed for a 6.5 litre diesel. It was a great engine and returned around 25mpg, but being right inside the cab, as with the moho, and even though we put sound insulation in, it was still unacceptably noisy on a long run. What we have decided to do is go for all the easy tune ups, such as new headers, new carb, electric fan instead of viscous, fit overdrive unit, maybe change axle ratio, electronic ignition, even the small things like tyre pressures, clean air filter and good quality engine oil will help. If you get a high mileage vehicle, you should remove the heads and lap in the valves, drop the sump and change the piston rings (if the bores are ok), at the end of the day it is a big vehicle and you can't expect it to do the same mpg as a car. It may not be worth the expense to convert to lpg if you are not doing the mileage. On the plus side, owning a classic motorhome gives you the advantage of cheaper insurance, we just got a quote for £180 pa fully comp. You get free entry to classic car shows too.
Also a friend of ours told us Sea France will take mohos really cheap if you book ahead, we haven't checked this yet but he paid £70 for a return a few weeks ago.
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:49 PM   #7
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Hey fozzies, OVERDRIVE?? did you get it here (UK) or import from the gearbox people that do the under/overdrive.

I too am tossing up about LPG. Having the facilities and now to fit it myself will help to justify the cost, but compare the mileage and intended mileage it is borderline, My last trip brought in 13.1MPG and I haven't fitted the electric fans yet or the headers (still trying to source the rest!). the only place to fit the tanks on the 310 is in-between the rear chassis members but it will mean moving the air receiver to one side - not really a problem - but the rear levelling jacks would need to be brought forward nearer the axle. that is my preference as if the jacks are slightly out of level, ....the door wont shut!

By-the-way; Mary, 310 and I will be in the Brecon's going on to the FOL in Exeter end of August. It would be great to meet up
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:25 PM   #8
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Boom Sounds, the questions are great. I wish you luck in your quest. Check floor plans at Fred's site Fred's Airstream Archives - Airstream and Argosy Travel Trailers and MotorHomes .

Both Airstream and Argosy Moho's of the vintage you're looking at are P30 Cheverolet chassis. All but the very minor few have 454 V-8 7.4 liter motors.

Resonable economy can be had from stock units with addition of headers, electric fans, and overdrive.

GearVendors over here use Laycock over/underdrive units. Aren't they built over there?

I agree with replacing the "consumables" here before shipping. Even having the headers done makes sense too. Just let the Mrs. look after the decorating and fitting out when you get it home.

Keep your eye on the classifieds here and on Fred's site. You never know when you'll find the perfect coach.
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Old 07-09-2007, 11:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Alan
Do a search for Fred's and you will find a lot of the information you are looking for including a 250 for sale
Thanks for the lead on Fred's. It is good site and I'm following up on a coach right now!
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
GearVendors over here use Laycock over/underdrive units. Aren't they built over there?
The Laycock design is borrowed (with permision) from the founding company located in the UK) but Gear Vedors is US. Worth every penny though, I love mine!
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