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Old 08-15-2004, 08:43 AM   #1
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26 foot

Ihope this is not a double post,if it is I apoligize am new to this.
Anyway, I found a 77 or 78 26 foot Argosy yesterday with the following problems:
AC does not work
no frig
needs new material interier
needs new tires
antenna does not work
needs new paint job
needs new water lines
Asking $1800.00 Need option from someone if this is FMP.
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Old 08-15-2004, 09:30 AM   #2
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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26 foot

Greetings Flewelen!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flewelen
Ihope this is not a double post,if it is I apoligize am new to this.
Anyway, I found a 77 or 78 26 foot Argosy yesterday with the following problems:
AC does not work
no frig
needs new material interier
needs new tires
antenna does not work
needs new paint job
needs new water lines
Asking $1800.00 Need option from someone if this is FMP.
You are looking at some major expenses, but the price MAY be within reason. I have had many of the same projects completed on my coaches, and if you have to hire the work out you will be looking at the following for some "ballpark costs":

1.) New air conditioner with installation about $750.00 - - possibly a few dollars higher if you choose to go with one having a drain pan that allows you to utilize the built-in drain system.

2.) Replacement Dometic RV refrigerator (assuming that cabinetry doesn't require repair) about $1,000 installed.

3.) New foam cushions, upholstery, drapes, floorcoverings $3,000 to $5,500 depending upon fabric/floor covering chosen.

4.) Antenna repair (likely nylon rotor gear) about $100; if replacement is necessary about $200 for a "batwing" antenna with signal booster.

5.) Professional repaint with proper preparation of aluminum as well as galvanized steel components $125 to $175 per linear foot. I haven't had my Miuet repainted as of yet, but the paint job will be just as costly as the polish and Plasticoat on my Overlander, but the consensus is that a paint job will outlast the polish/Plasticoat on an Airstream by many years.

6.) Water line replacement can be highly variable, but a total professional replacement of all water supply lines could easily run $1,000+. I have been fortunate to have little water line trouble so have only had to have repairs where there was minor freeze or stress damage to the plumbing.

7.) New tires $400 to $525 depending upon brand chosen, and general popularity of ST tires in your locality. My local Good Year dealer stocks Marathons, and offers very good pricing, but when I lived in Southwest Wisconsin, my Good Year dealer didn't stock Marathons so they were a special-order item with a correspondingly higher price.

What you didn't mention was the condion of the axles. Based upon the experiences of many owners, including myself, I would be highly suspicious of their condition. Axle replacement when done by a technician using Henschen DuraTorques could easily approach (or possibly exceed) $2,500 for a tandem axle coach. The single axle for my '78 Minuet was around $1,000 installed by my regular Airstream dealer. If you haven't checked the axles, there is a good explanation of the process on the Inland RV website at:

DuraTorque Axle Inspection

Typically, for any of the above projects that you plan as a "do-it-yourself" project could likely save from 25% to 60%. I am not a do-it-yourselfer, so trust my repair work to professionals - - even with the additional expense, my Vintage coaches have been an economical entry into the Airstream way of life.

If the coach is actually an Argosy 26, is should be a 1977 model; if, however, it is a 1978 is is more likely to be an Argosy 27 - - the coaches are likely the same length with just a change in whether the advertised length was rounded up or down from the actual mesaurement. The scan attached below is of the 1977 Argosy 26 page from the sales brochure:



Realistically, you can expect an Argosy 26 with options and fully loaded for a vacation to tip the scales with a gross weight of from 5,500 pounds to 6,100 pounds with a gross hitch weight between 650 and 750 pounds. The Argosy 26, much like my '64 Overlander, is a coach that is quite comfortable for an extended vacation (I even full-timed in mine for several months), yet is very maneuverable.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 08-15-2004, 09:48 AM   #3
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For some airstreaming is as much about working on them in the backyard as uning them. After all that'a how Wally got started in the life. Course some have one to work on and one to use "until".
You need to be realistic about what you what to do with it and where you want to do it. Occasional full hook up campsite doesn't require a thousand dollar fridge. The 89 Dollar AC one will serve you fine, or a cooler. May not even need an LPG system. There are inexpensive electric heaters and if your favorite campground has a nice shower house and facilities you don't need those either. The advantage of a trailer that needs alot is you aren't paying for stuff you aren't going to use or are going to replace.
Course if you want to be in self contained, $$$.
If you cann't or aren't interested in doing the work yourself then get the best condition (in terms of what you want in it ) you can afford. What are you going to pull it with?
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Old 08-15-2004, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
There are inexpensive electric heaters and if your favorite campground has a nice shower house and facilities you don't need those either. The advantage of a trailer that needs alot is you aren't paying for stuff you aren't going to use or are going to replace.
Since you are going to have to replace the A/C in this unit anyway, if you get it, spring for the heat strip option, it is about $70.00 extra, mine was installed free with the A/C install. You get two problems solved for one money. The only downside is you won't have a furnace if you don't have full elec hookups, but a new furnace is $400 and up, plus install.
Terry
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Old 08-15-2004, 03:54 PM   #5
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Ok, now you considered this coach because it was inexpensive...Otherwise you wouldn't be asking us about it at all, so I'm going to give you the frugal trailer outfitting guide:
You can get an electric fridge, like a dorm fridge for about $100. Not pretty, but it does keep stuff cold and makes ice(well, freezes ice). Check Lowes, WalMart, Sears, Avanti seems to be name on them.
You don't need AC, unless you camp in the south during June - August. If you can live with out it, skip it for right now.
New interior? Is the camper gutted, missing cabinets, or are the cloth items missing or unusuable? You could make curtains cheap, and get cushions real cheap at discount stores. We have a bunch of "floor pillows" as my wife calls them for seating. We use an inflatable air bed, queen size, that we got from REI for $60. Luv it, way more comfortable than the Airstream bedding it came with.
Tires, you need them, don't skimp there.
Paint, how bad? Pitting, scratches and minor flaking or major peeling? Kevin knows about this and I don't.

Now, water lines. You can't do without them unless you don't use any water, so those will need to be fixed and fixed right. Cost for do it yourself, about $200 in supplies and tools, plus about 3-4 good weekends on it. But, here's the interesting thing--I bet a plumber could redo a whole coach with Pex in about 2-3 hours and for that you'd pay around $300-$400. That would be worth it.

Interesting is what you haven't said: Does it have an awning, does the water heater and stove work, is there any floor damage from leaks.

If the rest of the coach is in good shape, I say go for it, it's a pretty good deal, as long as the paint isn't past the point of no return. You can always save $50 aweek for a year to pay for a new paint job.

John
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Old 08-15-2004, 03:57 PM   #6
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If this unit has an original Armstrong AC there can be minor things wrong that will cause it to not function. These minor things are not expensive to fix.

What should really be the deciding factor is can you fix it yourself? Most of the stuff you listed can be done by someone not afraid to dive in and do the work. If you can do it yourself, then the total investment will be sensible.
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