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Old 11-10-2014, 09:37 PM   #1
Argosy Adveture
stevenc's Avatar
1977 Argosy 22
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 9
All Argosy Opinions Appreciated

Hello all. I've been lurking here for a few months, but tomorrow I'm going to look at a 1978 Argosy 26' trailer for potential purchase, so it's probably time to speak up. I've pasted the link to the CL ad below. Any and all opinions appreciated. Obviously you can't know much about the trailer without seeing it, but I'd also like any helpful information on things to look for (and look out for) during the initial inspection, particularly for the Argosy line. I've looked at some "cleaner" models that are in great shape, but I am in the market for a bit of a project trailer hopefully with a bit of a return, but I am not looking to strip it out and start again with a total disaster trailer. Thanks for your help! And if this particular trailer doesn't work out, it will be another, and soon!

1978 Airstream Argosy

Also, planning to tow this with a 2014 Jeep GC 4x2 EcoDiesel. Any thoughts on that set up are appreciated as well. Thanks again!

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Old 11-11-2014, 12:18 PM   #2
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1973 Argosy 24
Kitchener , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 885
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Considering the age you will probably need new axles. The rubber torsion bar suspension hardens up with age. Be sure that the towing specs on that Jeep are up to the task. Weight distribution hitch will be a must.

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Old 11-11-2014, 12:25 PM   #3
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1966 22' Safari
Weatherford , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,484
Access hatch cover missing streetside rear. Does owner have the cover? Has the hatch been left open to collect rainwater and rot the floor.

Biggest thing to watch for is rotten flooring. Take an icepick or awl with you and poke around, especially at the edges of the floor.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:12 PM   #4
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,639
Curious what's going on with the rear end of the trailer above the bumper-trunk. Something isn't right there - maybe the cover's bent down into the trunk area.

Having owned an Argosy, I'd be wary by "a bit of return." These are wonderful trailers, but even when fixed up, they don't command the same $$ as their shiny silver brothers.

To that end, make sure the paint is good. Repainting one of these costs a lot of $$. As said above, I also wonder if the vinyl tile is hiding any floor rot.

I've towed my 23' with a Jeep GC EcoDiesel; this trailer is longer but weighs several hundred pounds less. Based on that experience, I would want a ProPride/Hensley "fancy" hitch when towing something longer than my trailer with the short-wheelbase Jeep. Power won't be a problem. At all.

Good luck!
Now: 2007 Safari SE 23' "Anne" towed by 2011 Dodge Durango "Herman"
Before: Argosy Minuet and T@B, towed by various Honda Odysseys
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:48 PM   #5
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,981
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I agree, that drooping-looking area around the rear bumper set off my alarms.

Personally, if it was an investment, I'd look for an Airstream. They just bring in bigger dollars, and people love the shine. I like the Argosys, I think their design is much better with the big wrap around windows, but they are like a 'best kept secret'. Airstreams get all the glory.

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Old 11-11-2014, 04:33 PM   #6
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1976 Argosy 28
Eckville, Lacombe County , Alberta
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 447
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Only a small thing to add to whats been said, but the oven door is taped. Not particularly good curtains, thats likely a mid six hundred dollar fix. ensure the appliances work as they need to.
The one thing I read AFTER I bought ours was to buy the best condition unit you can afford. So add the budget you are setting into the price you want to pay and go look again. These trailer ALWAYS cost more (to renovate) than you think they will. As for resale, I went to look at a 26ft the Guy was selling for $2800. He came down to $2k. I passed. I saw it a few weeks later for $6500 in a different Town and all that was done was Laminate and the missing drivers front curved window replaced with plexi. The new seller was asking $6500 the $4200 and the last I saw it was still for sale at $3200.
Of course, you might be luckier than that person, but I think Stephanies advice is the way to go if you are likely to want to turn it.

A wise man once told me he wanted to stay fit enough to run a marathon on his hundredth birthday. Another said he wanted to be shot by a jealous husband on his, I'm with the latter. God bless you Richard.

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Old 11-11-2014, 05:25 PM   #7
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1978 Argosy 24
MooreHaven , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 75
I 3rd the comment that things dont look right around the rear bumper,and that is an area where it is very common for these rear bath models to have serious floor rot & frame rusted out.If it passes close scrutinity in that area the rest of it looks pretty good.If the axles have not been replaced it will need new ones for sure if you are planning to tow it any distance.Do a search for "how to test axles" on this forum.If original axles there will be a metal tag attached to the front of the axle beam with a production date on it,probably rusty so take a piece of coarse sandpaper to make it readable.Tires may have really good tread and be unsafe to to use, all tires have a date code moulded into the sidewall,read on Tire how to decode the tire date code,this is really important as a blowout usually does serious serious damage to the body & wheelwell. Im sure others will write in with things i have missed!
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:08 PM   #8
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1966 17' Caravel
Currently Looking...
Las Cruces , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 526
I don't see the 'missing hatch cover' referred to earlier but I do see a dark cover on the water heater. There is a lot right with this trailer: clean inside and out, looks like a straight body from the photos. Plan on axle replacement (and tires probably). The lack of a cover on the rear compartment means you need to really check the bath area for rot. Look for signs of water leakage in the kitchen area as the vent pipes are sealed with gaskets that need frequent replacement.

As for making a little bit on it if you decide to sell, don't plan on it. Others have covered the reasons for this. The flip side is that you aren't going to find an Airstream in comparable shape for this kind of money unless you are very lucky.
1966 Airstream Caravel
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:20 PM   #9
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Posts: 5,706
Something does not look right with the bumper area. This area is very prone to leaks and floor and frame rot. The price is a bit high for an Argosy assuming it is structurally sound which is doubtful. If you have the rear end separation and rot that is suspected in a trailer of this age you could spend several months and double your investment. If the trailer was perfect it would not be over $10k. In this condition, I would say $5000 or less assuming nothing major. If it has floor and frame rot the values goes down from there. I have seen sound trailers go for half what they are asking. Most trailers for this age will have problems unless that have had constant maintenance or have been kept inside or are west coast finds.

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Old 11-11-2014, 06:34 PM   #10
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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It isn't the missing trunk cover that causes the rear floor rot. It is the narrow strip behind the piano hinge for the trunk cover. Water runs back under the skin and out on the floor. Thus the rot. Any water running into the trunk area is below the floor and probably would run out of the belly pan at some point.
Being a current owner off an Argosy 26'. I will agree that they don't have the resale value of an A$. The were built to the same design standard and in many cases used for prototype designs.
If the coach has a good paint job. The maintenance of the skin will require far less hours than an A$.
Many components of the Argosy are interchangeable with an A$. Stove, refers, water heaters, furnaces etc..
Restoration of either coach is a high dollar venture. In most cases you will not recover that money when you sell.
I did not try to justify the money spent on our coach. Otherwise the changes/improvements I have made would not have been done. I made the changes to suit our desires and needs.
In that process I have an intimate knowledge of how things work on this coach.
That knowledge has saved me the trouble of having to take the unit to a dealer or RV tech. Dealing with service by others can be expensive as well as a major headache. As some here on the forum can attest to.
It doesn't take long to blow thru $1K when you take a coach in for service or repairs.
If and when I do have a problem with the coach. I know where to find the guy who can fix it. I also know where to find the guy who screwed it up.
Hope this helps.

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Old 11-12-2014, 10:23 AM   #11
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2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
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I think what is missing at the back is the floor!
It appears to have major rear end rot and floor/shell separation.
It also sorta looks like someone stepped on the bumper storage cover and caved it in.
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Old 11-12-2014, 01:21 PM   #12
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1976 Argosy 28
Eckville, Lacombe County , Alberta
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 447
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I agree with m.hony. Actually, looking a bit more closely, the lid to the storage is missing and I think what we are seeing is the part that slides between the channel and frame. Its been pulled out. As such, there is no way it would not let water into the rear. There will be wood and frame rot there I suspect.
Problem is, sellers rarely understand those issues, or if they do, they hope the buyer has not been on here to get the advice.

A wise man once told me he wanted to stay fit enough to run a marathon on his hundredth birthday. Another said he wanted to be shot by a jealous husband on his, I'm with the latter. God bless you Richard.

Carpet Cleaning is what I do, it's not who I am.
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:38 PM   #13
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1997 30' Excella
1961 26' Overlander
1954 22' Flying Cloud
1981 28' Airstream 280
San Antonio , Texas
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What you are seeing is the front channel of the storage compartment. For whatever reason it has been pulled out. There is a piece of aluminum that attaches to this vertically to form the front of the storage compartment. The valve handle comes through the "bulkhead"

Whatever the cause it certainly bears closer scrutiny in this area to see if there are problems.
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:00 PM   #14
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1980 24' Caravelle
corpus christi , Texas
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That trailer has been listed for months and at one time I think the ad said it was in Rockport TX.

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