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Old 07-14-2005, 07:31 PM   #1
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"86" 29' Argosy?

I am going to look at a 86'' 29' Argosy. I'm not that sure what I am going see. I don't know anything about these TT's. First of all I am new to the camper market (apporximately 1 month). I don't know that much about them. What I do know is I want an Airstream. I don't know the differance between the two. I would like to start there. Second I have a need to know about axles, tires etc... I come from the houseboating lifestyle so I have a working knowlege of the 12V DC and 120V AC electrical, black, gray and fresh water systems. Any help would be appreciated. Thank You, Gary Simon
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:40 PM   #2
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Hi Gary,
Welcome to the boards...The 86 model Argosy is not the rounded top "Airstream" style it is what was referred to as the "Squarestream" Check out THIS link for a lot of pictures of Argosys. The two main differences between Argsoys and Airstreams...Argosys are painted and typically the interior appointments are supposedly not as luxurious as the Airstreams. There are a multitude of Argosy owners on here and they will be glad to ask specfic questions. The general information on axles, appliances and the like are pretty much the same for the Argosy and the Airstream. Use the search function at the top of the page, enter a broad term like "axle replacement" and be prepared to read for the next week or two

Aaron
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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Like an Airstream, only different...

Gary-

Welcome, and good luck with your search.. Buying into Airstream or Argosy will gain you a new buch of friends, lots of technical help and advice (not always the same..) and an opportunity to enjoy interesting travels..

First, the difference is basically that Argosy was brand built by Airstream at nearby factory in Ohio intended to be differentiated as lower cost and slightly lower quality levels.. The rounded "End Caps" at ends of Argosy's were stamped steel, while Airstreams were strips of curved aluminum, and thus Airstreams are bare metal, and Argosy's were painted. Most were light tan, many are now white, or tan, or even silver paint...

There's an "Argosy" sub forum here, and lots of interesting threads to review.. The 29' was the largest Argosy made, and may require a serious truck to pull it home... There are a number of different floorplans (center bath, rear baths, center twin beds, double beds etc..) so you should see a few to be sure you like the layout..

Axles (twin) are rubber torsion units with swing axles on each side.. If they slant up from pivot, they need to be replaced ($1K each..). Brakes are electric and may be worn (rubbing or cracked or linings missing) or totally inop.. The magnets pick up electric current and move the shoes in response to signals from the brake controller mounted in the truck or tow vehicle..

Tires should be less than 5 years old for active towing, and Goodyear Marathon's are a favorite... Regular automobile radials aren't appropriate..
Many fun stories here of people trying to tow home trailer and having multiple blow-outs of old cracked tires within first few miles...

Use "Search" above for Argosy forum, and any particular search term you want to follow up..

John McG
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:23 PM   #4
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Aaron, Thanks for the info and the link. Now I know what an Argosy looks like. Very much appreciated, Gary
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:27 PM   #5
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John, Thanks, very useful information about the axles and brakes. I believe I am going enjoy this site. You guys are great. Thank you, Gary
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:40 PM   #6
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Gary,

With a handle like Duramax, what kind of tow vehicle do you have?

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:50 PM   #7
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I have an 04, 2500HD Chevrolet 4x4 crewcab, w/ the duramax and allison transmission. I like it... the truck and the forum. Thank you, Gary
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:58 PM   #8
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"86" 29' Argosy?

Greetings Gary!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duramax
I am going to look at a 86'' 29' Argosy. I'm not that sure what I am going see. I don't know anything about these TT's. First of all I am new to the camper market (apporximately 1 month). I don't know that much about them. What I do know is I want an Airstream. I don't know the differance between the two. I would like to start there. Second I have a need to know about axles, tires etc... I come from the houseboating lifestyle so I have a working knowlege of the 12V DC and 120V AC electrical, black, gray and fresh water systems. Any help would be appreciated. Thank You, Gary Simon
The sqaure Argosy is something that I have been trying to learn more about, and recently acquired showroom literature that provides the following:

There were 10 Argosy floorplans offered for the "square" coaches that included:
  • 27' Side Bath Model -- twin or double bed floorplans with an optional side lounge available.
  • 29' Side Bath Model -- Available in twin or double bed floorplan.
  • 32' Side Bath Model -- Available in twin or double bade floorplan. Optional side lounge floorplan availalbe as was a rear entry door option (double-door coach).
  • 33' Front Kitchen Model -- Available in twin or double bed floorplan wiht optional rear entry door (double-door coach).

The basic specifications included:

Argosy 27
GVWR = 7,300 pounds
Empty Hitch Weight = 550 pounds
Dry (Empty) Weight = 5,100 pounds
Vehicle Length = 27' 4"
Argosy 29
GVWR = 7,300 pounds
Empty Hitch Weight = 600 pounds
Dry (Empty) Weight = 5,400 pounds
Vehicle Length = 29' 5"
Argosy 32
GVWR = 7,300 pounds
Empty Hitch Weight = 600 pounds
Dry (Empty) Weight = 5,600 pounds
Vehicle Length = 32' 2"
Argosy 33
GVWR = 8,500 pounds
Empty Hitch Weight = 700 pounds
Dry (Empty) Weight = 6,100 pounds
Vehicle Length = 33' 3"
It is highly probable that the gross hitch weight would approach 13% to 15% of the GVW of the coach with careful loading of personal possessions.

Drum brakes were utilized on all coaches with 10" on all coaches except the 33' which received 12" drums. The standard Dometic refrigerator for all coaches was an 6 cubic foot gas/electric model. A 6-gallon water heater with manual pilot was standard across the line. The cabinetry featured hardwood doors and drawer faces that were finished in a dark cherry stain.

Options included a TV antenna, two TV outlets within the coach (typically one in living area and one in sleeping area), and Cable TV preparation package. A 6 gallon water heater with electronic ignition was also offered as an option. The buyer could also choose an 8 cubic foot Dometic gas/electric refrigerator as an upgrade fromt he standard 6 cubic foot model.

Good luck with your investigation and inspection!

Kevin
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:25 PM   #9
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Kevin, Thank you for the specs. I do know this Argosy does have two entrys. They have told me it is a 29'. I am looking forward to seeing it. Do you have any idea the value of an 86 model 29' in average condition? Gary
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:48 PM   #10
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"86" 29' Argosy?

Greetings Gary!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duramax
Kevin, Thank you for the specs. I do know this Argosy does have two entrys. They have told me it is a 29'. I am looking forward to seeing it. Do you have any idea the value of an 86 model 29' in average condition? Gary
I have seen very minimal information about values on the "square" Argosy coaches -- there has actually been very little posted about them here on this Forum or on any of the other lists that I am aware of at this time. There also was very little written about the coaches when they were new -- I keep checking for articles contemporary to when the coaches were in production, but have found little to date.

Value will be highly dependent upon condition. Unlike the typical "aircraft" construction of traditional Airstream and Argosy coaches, the "square" coaches add the potential of roof problems (my understanding is that they utilized some variation of the rubber roofs used on many current "box" type coaches); and a second issue that I have read about is that failure of the bonded panel sidewall construction can be difficult (expensive) to repair if water damage has been permitted to develop. I have only seen one "square" Argosy offered for sale this year, and it was a very nice 27' that had an asking price of $6,200 -- I wasn't insterested in acquiring another coach and have not heard whether that coach found a new owner, and if so what the actual sales price might have been.

My inclination would be to expect the value to be on the low-side of a comparable "aircraft" style Argosy and quite a bit less than a comparable "aircraft" style Airstream, but I don't have a good feeling for what that price differential might be in today's market. The "square" coaches don't have a strong following (at present), and weren't particularly popular when new - - but their comparative uniqueness may spell greater interest as time goes on --- there was very minimal interest in the "aircraft" style Argosys ten years ago. If you haven't already found R. J. Dial's website, you might want to check the Price Vs. Condition page for some guidelines on areas that need inspection -- despite the differences, most concerns remain the same, plus the two additional issues for the "square" coaches.

Good luck with your research and inspection!

Kevin
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Old 07-15-2005, 12:22 PM   #11
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Kevin, Thank you again very helpful information. Gary Simon
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Old 07-31-2005, 10:46 AM   #12
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What's the best electric brake controller? I have a 2001 F250 Supercab long bed, pulling a 28" Safari Slide out
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:28 AM   #13
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Hi Logron and welcome to the forums. If you use the search tool located on the blue bar near the top of your screenand search fro brake controller, you will find numerous discussions about the topic. Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2005, 03:43 PM   #14
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Cool Did you buy it?

Hey Duramax, Stinky Twinky here, Did you buy the squarestream? I own a 1974 28' Argosy ( I have the 53rd argosy built) and love it. I have 4 dry rotted tires and have yet to have a blow out. I think that is because they have good air pressure and are extremely close in pressure.

If you find that the TT you are looking at has dryrotted tires ask them to replace them for their asking price. Just remember the only way to ensure you do not have a blowout (well minimize your chances) is to closely monitor your tire pressure and make sure they all remain within a LB or 2 of each other.

I drove an Eighteen Wheeler for 5 years, and the biggest killer of tires is mis-inflation of a tandem set of tires. I found that if one tire has more pressure than the other "POP".

So, back to my story, I have been driving around on 4 dryrotted tires for 4 months now, and I am affraid to change them because they hold air so well, and don't seem to want to cause trouble. The old addage fits here if it ain't broke fix it till it is (er rather if it ain't broke don't fix it).

I have gained a lot of knowledge here on these forums, and you will too, just keep reading and enjoy. If I can help you in any way I will.
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