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Old 12-27-2003, 03:58 PM   #1
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75 Argosy - Possible purchase

I have a chance to buy a 75 Argosy which I think is 28'. It seems to be in average condition but I don't really know what works or doesn't. The owners have died and a relative is selling it. They can't find the title but I don't think that's a problem since the plates are current for my state. Everything is there but shows some wear and tear since it is almost thirty years old. It's not banged up but does need a paint job. I can get this for $500. or less. My question is; is it worth it?, are parts, like brakes and bearings available? How about parts for appliances? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-27-2003, 04:09 PM   #2
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It is worth it !!!!! if you do not Buy it let me know I'll buy it .........
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Old 12-27-2003, 04:19 PM   #3
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Race,

Sounds like a good deal.

Here's a break down of perceived expenses:
  • Complete axle/brake set $2000 (two axles)
  • Tires $300
  • Paint $1000
  • New stove and refer $800
  • Plumbing and electrical work $300
  • Misc $500
  • One heck of a great shakedown trip $300

So, you come out with a pretty much fully restored Argosy for around $6000. That's not bad at all. A good condition SOB (some other brand) would run you at least 8k or 9k and you would likely need to do some work to it also.

Scott
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Old 12-27-2003, 06:18 PM   #4
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I'll add my 2 cents to it, if you don't want it, we will take it.
Marie
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Old 12-27-2003, 07:15 PM   #5
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WOW! Sounds like a good deal. A couple more questions; I'm a retired mechanic and body shop man. I can do all my own repairs including painting. The tires are fairly new. The stove looks servicable but the fridge is a little grubby. Is this a propane operated fridge? Where would I get parts such as brakes shocks, etc.
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Old 12-27-2003, 07:21 PM   #6
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1975 Argosy 28

Greetings Race 606!

Welcome to the Forums!

The 1975 Argosy you have found is from the third year of production. It shares a good deal in common with Airstreams of similar vintages and reapair/refurbishing is quite feasible. If you are thinking of costs for professional restoration services, you can anticipate some of the following as typical replacements on a '75 coach:

New 6 gallon water heater $500 to $600 with installation.
New Suburban furnace $500 to $600 with installation.
New Dometic RV refrigerator $1,000 to $1,500 with installation (depending upon size needed).
New air conditioning unit $675 to $975 with installation (depending upon size and brand chosen).
New Thetford toilet $250 to $375 with installation (depending upon model needed).
New water pump $125 to $225 with installation (depending upon brand and model chosen).
New Univolt or similar power converter $200 to $500 with installation (depending upon brand and model chosen).
New coach battery $100 with installation.
New Dura Torque axles with installation $2,500 with installation (may be higher depending upon motor freight delivery charges).
New tires with balancing $500 (set of four Marathons).
Painting - - my local estimates from quality independent body shops has run between $120 and $150 per linear foot including painting to the original two-tone standard used in 1978.
New OPD valves for existing aluminum LP tanks and recertification approximately $75.00 per pair (may be slightly higher or lower depending upon size - - my 20 pound tanks were $75.00 for the pair this past spring).

Will the coach that you are looking at need all of the above - - it would be highly unlikely in my experience. It will likely, however, need several of the items. My '78 Minuet needed a new water pump, air conditioner, Univolt, battery, water heater, toilet, axle, tires, brakes, bearings, black water tank repairs, new thermostat for refrigerator, new electric element for refrigerator, new 30 AMP electric supply cord, thorough cleaning and minor repairs for Suburban furnace, and thorough cleaning for refrigerator burner. On the other hand, my '64 Overlander needed a new refrigerator, furnace, air conditioner, water heater, Univolt, battery, water pump, water tank, breaker box, new 30 AMP power supply cable, and new LP tanks (it had been separated from is Worthington Aluminum tanks prior to my purchase), and new break away switch.

The price at which the trailer is being offered is such that you could easily justify rather significant expenditures for repairs/refurbishing/restoration. I paid about twice that amount for my Minuet and several times that amount for my '64 Overlander. To get an idea about general values for vintage rigs, try consulting the link below:

Vintage Airstreams Price VS Condition

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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Old 12-27-2003, 07:21 PM   #7
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www.inlandrv.com lots of stuff also do a search on this site for info regarding specifics.
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Old 12-27-2003, 07:35 PM   #8
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Greetings Race 606!

Quote:
Is this a propane operated fridge? Where would I get parts such as brakes shocks, etc.
If the refrigerator is the original Dometic unit, it is likely a two-way LP Gas/110 VAC. There is a remote possibility that it might be a three-way as it is my understanding that it was a "special order option" at some point during the 1970s into the 1980s. When I replaced the non-original refrigerator in my Overlander, I opted to go with a Dometic 3-way that adds 12-volt operation while traveling - - it is the second such refrigerator that I have owned and when my Minuet needs a new refrigerator it will have a Dometic 3-Way as well.

Brake components are likely to be standard fare. I believe the ones on my coach were Kelsey Hayes, but I have heard reports of Dexter brand components being utilized as well. Before diving into brakes, it would be wise to verify the condition of the axles as it would likely be cheaper in the long-run to replace the entire axle/brake assemblies if the axles are in need of replacement. Check the link below regarding determining axle condition:

Inspecting Dura Torque Axles

I made the mistake of having my brakes rebuilt only to learn six months later that the axle needed replacement on my Minuet. The additional labor to transfer the new brake components to the new axle actually ended up nearly exceeding the cost of a new axle with all new brake components.

The shocks are not of a standard design, and should be purchased from an Airstream dealer or Airstream Parts Distributor. The shocks are typically mounted horizontally rather than vertically so there are differences in valving, etc.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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Old 12-27-2003, 08:29 PM   #9
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With all due respect, the price seems to me to be incredulous.
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Old 12-27-2003, 09:31 PM   #10
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Well I'll tell you what, I'll sell it to you for $1,500.
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Old 12-27-2003, 10:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Will the coach that you are looking at need all of the above - - it would be highly unlikely in my experience. It will likely, however, need several of the items.


Kevin has that right. But you need to be ready to consider all the systems that make up an Airstream -- and an Argosy is exactly that.

This all depends on what you feel your time is worth. Your interests and abilities need to be considered in whether you want to bring this Argosy up to safe and full operation. These projects are progressive and there is much info already out there in the 'Search' function of this website. Many, many participants of airstreamforums are willing to add to that.

It is being handed to you at this price. Your experience with your available time allocations, local help, plus that available on this forum will all have to add up to a workable solution for you. There are options of newer trailers that may meet your needs with less bother. Time is a cost and probably the best suggestion is to get on the road with the most practical solution.

So get to camping with... whatever you want, and as soon as you want. How you get there depends on a good look inward. More money could end up costing you less in the long run. Best wishes in your choice!
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Old 12-28-2003, 08:04 AM   #12
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I'll sell it to you for $1,500.

I'll Buy it .....P.M. Me with info...
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Old 12-28-2003, 09:00 AM   #13
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I would want to be sure the relatives have the right to sell you the unit. You wouldn't want some distant relative to reclaim it once you had it renovated.
When a deal seems too good to be true...........

Hart
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Old 12-28-2003, 10:03 AM   #14
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The party that has this has it registered in his name. It is registered as a homemade trailer. This can be done in NJ and the DMV assigns it a serial number. He told me he got it from a campground where it had been for 10 yrs. it was on blocks and had a skirt around the bottom. He said everything works and he had taken it to NY state last year. He said it just needs a little TLC, just minor stuff. I am going to give it a through inspection.
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