Welcome to the Forums!
Originally Posted by ZAYmech
Ran across an old Argosy in northern NY that needs help but is quite reasonably priced. Requesting some expert opinions from someone in the know. It was made 12/72, dual wheel, about 22 feet. Needs lots of work and has been sitting for years. Owner got it as a debt payment and knows nothing about it. Upon my initial inspections, it needs paint, awning, tires, curtains, bunk cushions, flooring cover, door weatherstrip and probably lots more. Has a few dents around- particularly in the lower corners. The battery cover and shelf are shot. With everything covered with aluminum it is difficult to see the frame and floor. Has a plywood floor that is solid though. The floorplan is rear bath, mid bunks on each side and a dinette in the front. It doesn't appear to have been abused and I see no signs of rodent favors. Have seen no mildew, smells OK. Cabinetry and hardware are good and original. The decor is 70"s flavor. Yeah-- and it has no registration-- and I'm researching the possibilities for it. Owner wants $800 or whatever it'll take to get it out of her yard. My questions are: Am I getting into a never-ending project? Tell me how to check axles. Will this increase in value so that I would be able to recoup some investment. Need to do something with the interior decor-- Have any of you folks updated them? Should I strip the paint and polish the aluminum? I'd like to learn more about these guys. Thanks for the help folks.
The price is at or near rock bottom, but it sounds as if it wouldn't be too difficult to spend $5,000 on the interior as well as $5,000 on the exterior if you aren't an avid do-it-yourselfer. I suspect that based upon your description the coach is an Argosy 24 or larger as the center twin arrangement wasn't typically used on the Argosy 22. You can check my photo album for scans from several Argosy brochures that display typical floorplans along with empty weights - - Overlander64 - - Photo Gallery at Airstreamphotos.com
Points of concern would be:
1.) Lack of transferrable title/registration - - at least where I live that is a red flag that carries with it a tremendous amount of redtape with various government agencies followed by expenditures of significant amounts of currency.
2.) Axles would definitely be a consideration. You can find information about inspecting DuraTorque axles on the page Inspecting DuraTorque Axles
. Based upon your description, I would consider the probability of the need to replace axles - - probably around $2,200 to $2,500 if installed by a dealer (I just had this project completed on my single axle Minuet).
3.) Aluminum bodied vehicles can be problematic for repainting operations. I have had quotes from professional body shops familiar with aluminum finishing and the estimated cost has worked out to about $125 per linear foot on my Minuet - - just marginally less costly than the professional polish and Plasticoat on my '64 Overlander. Polishing often isn't practical as the front and rear domes are galvanized steel rather than aluminum as on an Airstream.
4.) Another potential for a big expense is the refrigerator. A replacement Dometic or Norcold RV refrigerator would likely run about $1,000 to $1,250 for one professionally installed. The water heater would be another potential for expense - - often around $700 with professional installation.
You might try utilizing the Vintage Airstream Price vs. Condition
page on R. J. Dial's website. While it is primarily addressing Airstreams, the same issues apply to Argosys - - the final value of an Argosy is typically about 20% lower than a similar Airstream (at least in my area) - - the exception would be for "AS FOUND" condition as these values seem to apply rather uniformly to both Airstreams and Argosys of similar Vintage.
If you are ready for a project that could be at times challenging, it sounds like the coach in question MAY have some potential.
Good luck with your investigation and inspection!