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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
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!