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Old 07-22-2010, 07:11 PM   #1
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
Dothan , 36301
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Argosy 1978 6.7 Metre Minuet experts out there?

We have bought a gutted 1978 6.7 Minuet because we liked the windows.

Ok I know that is silly to do such a thing but we happen to like a lot of windows in a trailer and we like vintage, in our area there are no trailers like this and this one happened to be gutted. One day my husband told me he wanted to show me a cute trailer that someone was gutting out and fixing it up. As we passed by I said, "Oh my that is what we need, how cute, LOOK AT THE WINDOWS, how lucky they are to have that!" We drove past it many times and then one day there was a for sale sign! We backed up the car in about 2 seconds and jumped out and got the number off the trailer. The owner bought it to kinda fix it up and put it on a lake to use for a small fishing camp. He couldn't take the 100 degree heat and gave up on it so he put a for sale sign. We looked inside and around it and bought it the same day. So ok, we did not think it through BUT, we do have imagination and hopefully the stamina to do this and it has beautiful windows!

My husband said for me to search the forums and save as much information as you can. He is really good with building thing, I am very handy to assist, yes, I can build, lay brick etc. etc. but we have never owned a trailer.
We are very fortunate that we have the owners manual, nothing in it but the owners manual. I have gathered that is a rare thing for this model. Acutally the owners manual has 6.0 but not 6.7
We have finished ripping out the bunk bed thing that they built in it for the fishing camp and now we are really down to nothing.
We are going to remove the new floor that the owner put in to make sure he checked the frame first then build it back. We want to rewire it since he removed the 12 volt system by snipping off the 12 volt wires. The airconditioner was working he said but then it smelled like it had a leak. Ok so we are either out of our minds or we really have a diamond in the quick sand.
Need opinions, anyone that has rebuilt one of these from the gutted out stage? Mainly electrical and taking off the interior walls to check the wiring? The electrical box is still intack but he cut the end of the long black wire that goes into the box and added a small extension cord plug in the end of it. Something tells us this is not a good thing.
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:24 PM   #2
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There are many threads on this forum where trailers have been rebuild from the ground up. My 1954 Liner thread is one, as is Uwe's Overlander, to name two.

Good luck, you are probably going to have to remove the interior skin and rewire and reinsulate.

Bill
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:37 PM   #3
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
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Thanks Bill, Do you have photos of your project? We will take your advice about the wiring.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:56 PM   #4
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hi neighbor

We hope that you will be able to come to one our rallies soon. Even if it is just to visit and look. We have lots of fun and you are pretty close by. We are in LaGrange.

Red to red is a good guess. The other is most likely a ground wire, which can be connected under one of the mounting screws between the light and the body.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:22 AM   #5
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Greetings Pop & GG!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Minuet ownership.

I don't have experience with a gut and remodel on a Minuet, but I can make a few observations that may help as you chart your project.
  • When you remove the floor covering, you may find that the coach has composite aluminum floors (some, but far from all 6.7 Metre Minuets had the composite aluminum floors). If this is the case, it is best to leave these undisturbed. If the floor panels are sagging, the usual practice is to add brading from below. With the composite aluminum floors, it is necessary that the floor covering be able to cover the floor attaching hardware - - which usually means either carpeting with pad or laminate flooring with quiet step cushioned underlayment.
  • The original interior cabinetry was vinyl-clad aluminum so the cabinetry was very light. This may pose some problems in your remodel as there was very minimal additional carrying capacity designed into the Minuets. The original dry weight (no fluids, optional equipment, or personal belongings on board) was 2,725 pounds with a hitch weight of 280 pounds. I don't have my specification sheets handy, but I believe that the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for the coach was 3,500 pounds (the actual GVWR should be on a plaque located on the front panel behind the streetside LP tank). To keep from overloading the axle and the coach's chassis, it will be necessary to carefully monitor the weight of materials utilized in the cabinetry and built-in furniture. Many Minuet owners have replaced the original axle with one having a 500 pound greater GVWR rating to provide a little surplus capacity so that the axle shouldn't be overloaded.
  • You will also want to be careful with those side windows. The side windows are (or were from the factory) acrylic and can be scratched or discolored if care isn't exercised in selecting cleaning products. Window cleaners containing Amonia should not be used on the acrylic windows. Plain water and Vinegar is one of the safest cleaning products to utilize. To remove hazing and scratches, the same products utilized on acrylic windows in aircraft - - I usually order my acrylic window cleaning products from Aircraft Spruce Company - - NOVUS Plastic Polish #1 -- NOVUS Plastic Polish #2 -- NOVUS Plastic Polish #3.
  • It sounds like you will also need a new 30-amp RV shore power cord. In the original installation, the shore power cord was stored in the rear bumper storage compartment, and was permanently installed with the cord passing through the rear corner of the lower body and up to the breaker box. The exposed portion of the cord was aproximately 20 feet.
Good luck with your Minuet!

Kevin
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:53 AM   #6
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
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Kevin, Wow, what a lot of good advice! Thanks for mentioning the weight issue. I have been concerned about this and wondering what to do.
The front and back windows are glass but the side are the plastic and are kinda frosted due to age. The one good thing is we have only seen two small leaks, one from one of the small windows and we repaired that and one from the bathroom exhaust and we fixed that.
The previous owner put down a thick wood flooring and we are concerned about that. We are going to remove it and see what is under it and go from there. I do have much concern about this floor. I feel when we get it "Fixed" the rest should be easier.
We both cannot get our head wrapped around this wiring. Just wondering if it all looks ok should we still replace it or leave it? Thanks again for the great info.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:54 AM   #7
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It's not silly at all to buy the trailer because of the windows. Frankly, I'm a bit envious, even though my Minuet 6.0 has (only) 2 big street side windows. If I had to replace mine, I'd seek out a 6.7 with the aluminium floor.

My thought on adding weight: if you build or use heavier cabinets than what came with the trailer (which is almost a certainity given that the originals were vinyl-clad aluminium), you might want to add some more cross-members to the frame.

This sounds bad. But if you take off the belly pan - which you'll probably have to do in a full restoration anyway - you can weld in additional steel.

I mention this because the Minuets had lightweight frames with crossmembers spaced every four feet, rather than the two feet in other Argosys/Airstreams of the same era. Two of the five crossmembers in my trailer had actually broken loose. Adding other crossmembers also helps remedy floor sag, not uncommon if you have the aluminium-composite floor. I also got an upgraded-weight axle as Kevin recommends.

Given the relatively low weight capacity of these trailers, a "thick" wood floor seems like a bad idea. It's not a bad idea (especially if you have the aluminium floor) to have a floating laminate floor, but that's going to be lighter than almost any thicker hardwood flooring.

Electrical-wise, what actually works in your trailer? Is there an outside shore plug? Are the outlets energized if you're plugged in?

Tom
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:26 PM   #8
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
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Tom, we were told that he welded some braces to the floor, also that the electrical works and that the airconditioner did work but he smelled a leak. Saying this, we want to see what he welded and get rid of the wood flooring. As far as the electrical, we have only had this one week and we actually have not plugged it in due to lack of time and 100 degree heat. We are planning on figuring all this out as we go with the help of the forum and all you nice people with this good advice. He snipped off the 12 volt wires, that makes it complicated. It has a long large black wire coming out of the breaker box but he snipped the end of this off and tied in a regular plug. We have been afraid to plug the thing in. Any advice here would be appreciated. You all are so great with info and advice. Thanks, Donna
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:08 PM   #9
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Greetings Pop & GG!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pop&GG View Post
It has a long large black wire coming out of the breaker box but he snipped the end of this off and tied in a regular plug. We have been afraid to plug the thing in. Any advice here would be appreciated. You all are so great with info and advice. Thanks, Donna
It sounds like you will also need a new 30-amp RV shore power cord. That thick black wire is your coach's 30 AMP shore power cord, and it should exit the body near the floor and enter the trunk behind the rear bumper. In the original installation, the shore power cord was stored in the rear bumper storage compartment, and was permanently installed with the cord passing through the rear corner of the lower body and up to the breaker box. The exposed portion of the cord was aproximately 20 feet.

Good luck with your Minuet!

Kevin
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pop&GG View Post
Thanks Bill, Do you have photos of your project? We will take your advice about the wiring.
Here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f334...ner-17291.html

Bill
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:47 PM   #11
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
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Kevin, that cord that you sent in the link is the same one that I mentioned only the plug in was cut off. Thanks for the link, the price is not as bad as I thought it would be.

Bill, thanks for sending the pictures, oh my, you give us courage to tackle anything now. Your poor neighbors! Out in the front lawn? You must not live in a neighborhood association . We don't either and ours is parked in the front of the house and off to the side. I thought about decorating it around it like a campground with our kangaroo lights and everything.
Thanks for the photos, I must keep up with your posts and see how it is going. As soon as I can figure out how to post pictures I am going to post our new project. Thanks again, Donna
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:01 PM   #12
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
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Tom, your idea about the floating laminate flooring is a good suggestion. My question is what goes on top of the frame beams? We have no aluminum flooring only aluminum under the floor frame (bottom skin?) Anyway there is two layers of wood which we have lifted off part of to see what was under. So now we have a frame, aluminum under and nothing on top. Should we put thin plywood, foam underlay then floating laminate? Any ideas here?
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:34 PM   #13
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Greetings Pop & GG!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pop&GG View Post
Tom, your idea about the floating laminate flooring is a good suggestion. My question is what goes on top of the frame beams? We have no aluminum flooring only aluminum under the floor frame (bottom skin?) Anyway there is two layers of wood which we have lifted off part of to see what was under. So now we have a frame, aluminum under and nothing on top. Should we put thin plywood, foam underlay then floating laminate? Any ideas here?
I am afraid that you have created a rather big job for yourself. From your description, your Minuet is one of the 6.7 Metre Minuets that came with a plywood floor. Argosy and Airstream trailers are both of a construction called semi-monocoque - - a structure where the floor provides much of the structural strength of the coach - - basically the construction process starts out with the frame to which the floor is attached and the belly pan is then attached -- then the frame assembly is uprighted and the body is attached to the floor utilizina either "C" or "U" aluminum channel.

In replacing the floor that has been removed, any remaining bits and pieces of the floor under the body will need to be removed. Removing the lower interior panels will help with this part of the process. It is at this point where you make the choice of separating the body from the frame to install the new plywood - - or "section the plywood and wedge it under wall so that the body may be reattached to the floor. The banana wraps will also need to be removed so that you can access the exterior edge of the floor as the replacement takes place. I have only had to have small rotted sections of the floor replaced in my Airstream so you will receive a better, more detailed description from someone who has done a total floor replacement.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:05 PM   #14
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I have a 1979 6.7 Minuet and love it!
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