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Old 12-11-2011, 09:55 PM   #1
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1972 23' Safari
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1979 Argosy

Hi,
I am new to the Forum and am looking at buying an Airstream in the next couple of weeks. Looking over this forum has stopped me from buying a couple of over priced junkers, but now I've seen a couple of AS that seems like they might be a better deal.
I am headed to Del Rio with the Guard, and while I'd enjoy doing some cosmetic overhaul, I don't have the time or skill to do a major overhaul. I'm going to need to be living in it while I'm making it pretty and I think I have found a couple of good candidates.
One is a 1979 Argosy. It's 19' 2700lbs. They said it has got new water heater, new fridge etc and is liveable. It's listed at $6900 Here's the link. 1979 Airstream Argosy Travel Trailer Has anyone seen this one IRL or have an opinion on whether this is a good price or seems high?
The other one that seems like a good buy, and they sent me a very detailed list of what had been done to it is a 1972 24' shiny trailer listed at $3999 Airstream Trailer 1972 - 24ft
I think the 19' would be easier to tow, but the 24' would be more liveable on a long term basis. (I'll be in it fulltime for at least 8 months)

Anybody got an opinions on if one length is better than the other, or which one seems like a better buy? It seems like smaller ones are worth more money...

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:10 PM   #2
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I doubt if you would notice a big difference in the towing of these two, provided the axles are good on both. I paid $6500 for a 28 foot 1979 argosy, 6 years ago. If you want to polish the 24, and fix it up, the price will go up.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:14 AM   #3
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So you are planning to live in this trailer in Del Rio? Do you have a shady or covered spot secured down there? It will be a challenge to keep the trailer cool in a Del Rio summer, though with a little trailer it's easier if you have a big AC unit. The Argosy will have an advantage there, though you can add a coating like Ceramiflex (I think that's one of the brand names) to the silver trailers for some of that heat reflection.

Our trailer is a 24' Argosy. There's plenty of room in it most of the time, but it feels small if we have the bigger dog with us (and she's not giant, just manages to be underfoot.

Unless you're looking at a very marginal tow vehicle, I agree with fordfarmer that you probably won't notice a huge difference in how these 2 trailers you're looking it tow. Single-axle trailers are rumored to be a little trickier to back up, because they respond quicker to steering inputs. That's TOTAL hearsay, I've never towed a single-axle Airstream.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:22 AM   #4
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The 72 Airstream will have no gray water tank, if that makes any difference to you.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:57 AM   #5
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There's at least 1000 pounds more weight in the Airstream and it does make a difference in towing over the Argosy. The double axle tows more smoothly and the 24 foot is a nice size that can be heated and cooled. The extra room is good, but if you are working in the day time it isn't that big a benefit. (I've lived in a 24' AS and in a 6 Meter Minuet. For one person, the Minuet worked well for me.) If you resell, I think the Argosy has the advantage here because it can be towed with Frontiers and Tacomas. Both trailers are at a price that may be the tops for them for a number of years to come. (Don't expect to do a fix and flip to make money.)
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:30 AM   #6
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Thanks for all your replies. I'm not quite 5' tall, so I'm not too worried about living in 19'. I'll still be going home to my square house on weekends, so I don't think I'll get cabin fever.
While the Argosy is more expensive, it's a couple of years newer, and it's got those big panoramic windows, which to me personally are worth at least an extra $1k. Some people might not find it find it a big deal, but I really like windows....
I'm going to drive up to Austin this afternoon to look at the Argosy.
If its not all they claimed it to be, then I guess I'll look at the Houston one too.
Again, thanks for all the comments.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:52 PM   #7
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Greetings shrimptank!

Welcome to the Forums!

While I don't think that it would make a huge difference, the Argosy in the photo appears to be a 6.7 Metre Minuet. The clue is the window ahead of the entry door which the 6.0 Metre Minuet does not possess. My 6.0 Metre Minuet is in the photo below:



The 6.7 Metre (22') Minuet would have a 2,725 pound dry weight with a dry hitch weight of 280 pounds.

It is highly unlikely that the coach in the photo is anything other than a Minuet as a 22-foot Argosy would have tandem axles. The single axle trailer will react to driver steering inputs more quickly than a tandem axle, but it is something that can quickly be learned from a towing skills standpoint.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin

P.S.: Something to be aware of -- there is a remote chance that th coach might have composite aluminum floors -- some, but far from all 6.7 Metre Minuets had aluminum composite floors which means you escape from the dreaded floor rot - - but you then have to accept a limitation to either carpet or laminate floor coverings.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:04 AM   #8
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When I got up there the first thing I noticed was the Minuet label. It really was very cute, it just needed some personality. It was very blah inside. Which is funny, because that's exactly what I was looking for. Something I could add my own pizzazz to. I like the fact I'll probably be able to tow it with my jeep as well as my blazer, which I wouldn't be able to do with the 24' Airstream. However, I'm not loving the 2 couch L shaped layout. I know I could turn one into a full time bed no problem, but I'm worried I may prefer the layout and extra 4 ft on the airstream much better. It has an end couch, the kitchen, then twin beds and bath. If it was just camping I would totally get the Argosy, but living in it full time for up to 18 months, I may really need those extra few feet...
Aaaah, it's too hard! They're both so perfect.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:18 PM   #9
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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Greetings shrimptank!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimptank View Post
When I got up there the first thing I noticed was the Minuet label. It really was very cute, it just needed some personality. It was very blah inside. Which is funny, because that's exactly what I was looking for. Something I could add my own pizzazz to. I like the fact I'll probably be able to tow it with my jeep as well as my blazer, which I wouldn't be able to do with the 24' Airstream. However, I'm not loving the 2 couch L shaped layout. I know I could turn one into a full time bed no problem, but I'm worried I may prefer the layout and extra 4 ft on the airstream much better. It has an end couch, the kitchen, then twin beds and bath. If it was just camping I would totally get the Argosy, but living in it full time for up to 18 months, I may really need those extra few feet...
Aaaah, it's too hard! They're both so perfect.
I have coaches with each to the two floorplans that you are describing. During the past several years, I have spent as much as eight contiguous weeks in the Minuet and as much as six months in the Overlander. The extra separation between the main living area and bathroom was the biggest plus that I noted between the two floorplans (remember that my Minuet is 2-feet shorther than the one that you are considering) with the plus going to the center bedroom of the Overlander. From a sleeping comfort standpoint, the center twin has narrower beds, but much more comfortable mattresses (I had custom made matresses manufactured for my Overlander that are equivalent to what I have in my home). The pull-out lounge makes a significantly larger bed (in terms of width) than the center twins, but its comfort can be lacking depending upon the quality and quantity of foam utilized in the lounge cushoins. Since I was single an traveling alone when I had my long-term experiences with both coaches, I didn't find either highly objectionable from comfort or use perspectives . . . but if I were traveling with a partner, the additional room (particularly in the area of the bathroom) of the 24-foot to 26-foot coach would definitely move it to the "winner" column for anything more than three months of contiuous use.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin

P.S.: If you wish to maintain the lighter weight of the Minuet yet have the center twin floorplan, it is possible as the Minuet 7.3 Metre (24-foot) is available with that floorplan. The 1979 Minuet floorplans are illustrated in the page found below:

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Old 12-13-2011, 10:02 PM   #10
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The one I'm looking at is exactly like the smallest one in that diagram, except it has a front goucho instead of the dinette.
I'm loving looking at people's pics of their Argosy's. It gives me hope that I could make her pretty inside. I think my biggest negative toward her was she was so dark inside, like a dungeon. I think I'm going to head to Houston tomorrow though to see the other one. The Argosy has a dry bath, which is nice. I believe the 24' Safari has one of those centre showers which makes for a messy wet bath. I much prefer the ones that have the little tub area... Oh well, I guess I could always rip it out and reconfigure it if it really bothered me...
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:16 PM   #11
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The Argosy is about a block from where I store my AS so I've driven by it a couple of times in the last 3 weeks or so. I've never stopped and looked at it. This weekend I've got to go back to the AS and can stop by and take more pics for you if you'd like.

Lynn
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:47 PM   #12
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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Greetings shrimptank!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimptank View Post
The one I'm looking at is exactly like the smallest one in that diagram, except it has a front goucho instead of the dinette.
The dinette was optional on the Minuets at approximately $50.00 premium over the standard front lounge. When compared to the shorter Airstreams of the era, it is more common to find a Minuet with the dinetted than it is to find a similar sized Airstream with the dinette. The front lounge tends to open up the floorplan making for a greater feeling of spaciousness.

The front three-piece rock guard reduces interior illumination substantiall, particularly on an overcast day . . . in full sun, the effect isn't as great. Opening the center section also can reduce the filtration of natural light to a degree . . . when parked for long periods of time, it would be possible to remove the side panels and the additional light might become excessive. It is difficult to tell from the photos of the coach, but the side windows may have some clouding/hazing which isn't unusual with a Minuet since the side windows are acrylic (for weight savings) rather than glass . . . . polishing the acrylic (aircraft window polish/glaze works well) can significantly improve the clarity of the windows and make for more natural light transfer.

One of the remarks that most make when observing either of the two shorter Minuets is how light and airy the interior feels . . . so I suspect that a combination of clouded side windows and the front rock guards may be making the interior seem a bit darker than it actually can be under more ideal circumstances.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin

P.S.: The extra-dark side-window tint also is going to make the interior of the coach much darker than it was designed. As produced by the factory, all windows were non-tinted, and the interior was very bright and airy. With the dark tinting on all of the windows, I can understand why the coach could seem very dismal inside.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:12 AM   #13
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Well, I wanted to want the Argosy, but something just didn't feel right... So I went to Houston last night to see the Airstream, thinking at least if she's crap, I'll feel good about the Argosy....
Well, I stepped into the Airstream and I immediately loved her. There was a definite separation of living room and sleeping area, but still open enough to feel airy. Her downside over the Argosy is the wet bath, but I can deal with it.
She's also way too heavy for me, but I'm not dragging her all over, just the once to Del Rio and then back again in a year. My BF told me to get the bigger one if I want and he'd take her down for me if my Blazer wouldn't pull it.
The Airstream is costing me $3500, and while she needs some interior work, I do feel good I got all that extra living space and I saved $2500.... I may not get it back again, but at least I'm going to be comfortable for the year.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:52 AM   #14
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Oh, the $3500 you'll likely get back if/when you sell it. It's the money you'll put in between now and then that's you need to consider as rent/maintenance. It pays to repair and upgrade our trailers within reason, but a big part of the payoff is in usability and enjoyment while we own and camp (or live) in them, rather than a big bump in resale.

A nice '72 Tradewind with a good shell, floor and frame, all systems working well, maintenance up to date and usable axles is probably worth $7k or so. It will probably cost you more than an extra $3500 to get to that point, but you'll get to use the trailer in the bargain.
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