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Old 09-30-2011, 12:19 AM   #1
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24' Argosy Prototype / Coffee Shop conversion candidate?

This is a trailer that is currently owned by my uncle. He bought it quite a few years ago from someone who said that it was built by Argosy as a prototype.

It has four wheels and the front two steer with a special steering mechanism. It was never finished out inside with cabnetry, plumbing, etc. It has the basic wallcovering inside with a light or two wired in. It is being used mainly for storage at this point in time.

We are looking at buying it with the idea of turning it into a mobile coffee shop. Not really sure what issues will arise, things to check for, etc. As we don't have alot of experience working with these trailers.

We welcome all thoughts comments questions about all of the above.
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:06 AM   #2
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That poor thing looks rough! I wonder what's the deal with having 4 wheels? I think before I made a move on it or started cutting into it for a coffee shop I'd do some research to try and figure out what it was a prototype of. It's a unique beast, that's for sure!
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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very interesting. i hope someone knows something about this one.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:05 PM   #4
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My dad said that it actually pulls fairly nice.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:33 PM   #5
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So it's like flat-towing a vehicle that follows automatically? (you mentioned a "steering mechanism" for the front wheels.

Either you have to do something special with the hitch for backing, or it's some sort of nightmare.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:36 PM   #6
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That is so unique. Somehow I would hate to have it radically modified to a coffee shop, but that is my opinion. Would love to see it finished out as a travel trailer though. The steering mechanism it must have would be fun to see. Please rescue it (or sell it to me...lol)
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:49 PM   #7
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It's definitely unique with that farm wagon type wheel base. Can you get a vin number?
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:49 PM   #8
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I saw one of those about 10 years ago. It was for sale and came with videos from the factory, showing how it handeled. It was also empty and looks like it was just used for testing purposes. I guess it never went into general production but showes how the Argosy line was used as a test for many features.
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:34 AM   #9
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Interesting that it doesn't seem to have any windows or vents of any kind, which would indicate it never had a kitchen or plumbing, or perhaps wasn't even intended for occupancy! Does it even have a window in the back?
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:31 PM   #10
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Yeah, I think it is probably the one that you saw however many years ago. I think he bought it on ebay. I think it was a design that airstream was testing. Apparently they decided against putting into production.

It is basically an empty box like a gutted trailer, except it never had anything in it. So really what ever you do with it will be modifying it. Even to camp in it you would want to cut more windows. It does not and to my knowledge never had any cabinetry, plumbing, and only has maybe 2 lights inside. It only has the standard front and rear windows no side windows. I know one of the front windows needs replaced. I assume it would be the same as another Argosy it's era?

I talked to my dad this weekend (he has pulled it before), he said that it pulls like a dream, very steady and due to it's hitch system does not need sway bars. He said that it does back OK but there is a technique to it if you want to call it that. I'm not sure if you can see in the photo but it hitches to two hitch balls. From what he said the mechanisms are kind of like what steers a regular car.

Looking under it you see frame and then plywood? I'm not really sure what regular Argosy's were fitted with an outer skin of some kind? I know it also has a tear in one outside panel that would need to be fixed, a dent or two, and maybe some flooring near the window that's out? Also would want an air conditioner.

And of course it would need a complete plumbing and electrical system. I guess that would probably be both a benefit and disadvantage here?

From what I understand if you mod a regular trailer for a food business you have to be careful to balance the weight correctly. I would assume here that should be less of an issue?
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:40 PM   #11
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Is there a year or a VIN on the trailer? I'd like to know the year if possible. Is there a year on the title? Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:31 PM   #12
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Year model

I do not own the trailer. However, my uncle says it's 1976. The title is probaly stored in a "safe place"....
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:44 PM   #13
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It looks to me like it would be backed just like an aircraft. All backing actions are done in reverse of what common sense would call for. Actually very easy to do once you get the hang of it.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:14 PM   #14
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Thanks. That is truly a one of a kind prototype trailer! I'd be tempted to take it to one of the Airstream restoration shops (or even Airstream) and have it made into an RV. It should tow like a dream. The hitch weight would be next to nothing!

The "flat-towed Argosy"?

I guess leveling it would be tricky!
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