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Old 04-28-2010, 05:29 PM   #1
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Argosy Market Value difference to Airstream cousin

Hi Folks, I really like Argosies and have an interest in finding one in nice shape around 24’ here in the southern Oregon area. By that I mean within 700 miles or so. As a curiosity, I have not been able to determine how Argosy coach’s value is in the market place to similar size Air Stream coaches. Could someone tell me if they are comparable or is there a difference in their selling price? Thanks Tony
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:37 PM   #2
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About 8 to 10 years ago we were on the prowl for a 22' Argosy. We looked at 4 or 5 early 70's models. Most were in reasonably good condition and were priced around 3 to 4 thousand dollars.

Then we noticed the 73, 23' Airstream for sale. It too was in reasonable condition but was priced just over $6,000.

There may be other opinions or experiences. Lots of variable too.
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:07 PM   #3
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There's a nice looking one on craigslist here in Battle Ground, in fact I drive by it every day. They are asking $12k for it, it's a bit bigger than you're looking for - 29ft. What it's worth is up to you. It all depends on condition and size and what else you can find. Personally, I like the Argosys - they had all the best features of Airstreams before Airstreams got them.
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:15 PM   #4
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Argosy vs. Airstream

Tony S, At the time they (Argosy trailers) were built the reason for making a "painted Airstream" was to put out a lower cost trailer using aluminum panels that were in less than acceptable condition (light flaws or scratches) than those used on Airstream trailers. Because they (Argosy trailers) were painted these flaws were not an issue. The Argosy trailer line was also used as a "guinea pig" trailer to test out new materials (1 piece steel end caps etc.) and new designs such as front and rear wrap-a-round Panoramic and vista view windows and interior materials (all aluminum floors)! Since the base price was always lower than a "True" Airstream trailer it just follows that the resale values would normally be lower than a comparable Airstream model. Many of the Argosy trailers I have seen are just as comfortable as a "Real Airstream" and some actually have nicer appointments in interiors than their A/S Kin. It's really all in what you are comfortable with. I'm sure your Argosy choice will make you happy and welcomed in to any Airstream rally or group! Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:37 PM   #5
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I have seen pic of the 29' in Battleground. A little big for us. Too bad, my daughter lives up there in Ridgefield Wa. would make life easier. I do a 1000 mile craigs list search daily and if I would admit it twice a day. I know often a super deal is gone morning to the evening. I seen a few of interest in distant lands in the classifieds.

Ed I can't say for sure but as it stands now if I could wave a magic wand and get the trailer I want a late 70's 24' Argosy in super shape could be it. I think they are very right for us. For now, I don't know if a shiny silver beauty is too flashy for me. But a square box leaves me major cold. I just was in three new Lance trailer for grins and giggles hours ago. Logically maybe the way to go dollar for dollar for a rank and file guy with limited funds .

I will say I do like Safari and Tradewinds too. Tony
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:48 PM   #6
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Just a couple observations. The silver Airstreams have a timeless look and are hard to date at a casual glance. The painted Argosy trailers are all 30 to 40 years old now and their paint-ed-ness gives away their age. There is also the "stigma" of owning the step sister rather than the "real" thing. For some it's more fun to have someone say, "Oh, you have and Airstream!" than "Hey, whatcha got there?" These things tend to make the Argosy worth less.

Other than the steel end caps and the paint it's hard to say there is a difference between the two - if from the same era. If they are the same year it is possible the Argosy has features not on the Airstream such as the wrap around windows. If they had made only one Argosy and one Airstream equipped the same, I would be inclined to view the Argosy as a better value based on ease of upkeep. Painting beats polishing.

I have not kept any notes but just watching the classifieds and ebay sales it feels to me that comparable AS's bring from 25 to 50% more than Argosy trailers.

Roger
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:54 PM   #7
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It was the curved front window and the interesting open concept Argosy interiors that really got our attention in the beginning. Plus the fact I was an Automotive painter so has some ideas about a special paint job for an Argosy.
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:44 PM   #8
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The painted Argosy trailers are all 30 to 40 years old now and their paint-ed-ness gives away their age. There is also the "stigma" of owning the step sister rather than the "real" thing. Roger
See if the pictures in this thread help you see the Argosy's painted potential. Post 14 shows a silver painted Argosy and there are other posts of differing colors.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...ighlight=paint

You might also consider Al Whisman's MIB paint job that matches his TV.

Search Results - Photo Gallery

I don't look at the Argosy line as a step-sister or something less than a silver Airstream. If you really want to be heckled and cajoled by your peers then pull into a rally in an Avion (trust me I know ). They laugh until they see the interior but I don't let them in until I have finished the sympathy beers they usually offer me in an attempt to make me feel better.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:40 PM   #9
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Got to say, I like the painted trailer. I don't want to spend hours polishing the trailer to a mirror finish (not that all AS owners do that, but still...) Anyway, since they ran out of defective panels rather early in the Argosy run, you could always strip and polish an Argosy, after painting the end caps silver to match.

I also think a clean Argosy with a nice paint job can look very contemporary - even more so than an Airstream with a patina. That front wrap, and a set of smoked window guards, updates the trailer a lot. Vintage Thunder, a well-known 24' Argosy painted blue-green, looks fabulous. (I'll probably repaint mine Ford platnium tri-coat white or some other shiny white.)

From my shopping, I agree that there is about a 25% price difference between, say, a late 70s Safari vs a 22' Argosy. I think it is easier to get more of the cost of a renovation out of an Airstream than an Argosy. But I know I have less money in my renovated trailer than I would have to pay for a decent 60s Caravel, and I have a bigger trailer that weighs the same - there is functional value, and "value" value, I guess.

I just dumped a pile of money into my Argosy. I'm not in a hurry to upgrade. But if I do move up, a renovated 22' or 24' Argosy is really high on my list (maybe even a rear door model.) They're light, airy with all the windows, and unique.

So, to sum up, wait for and buy the one you want. (BTW, I think that Avions rock. If I could find one of the unobtainium 23' side bath trailers...)

Tom
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:59 PM   #10
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a renovated 22' or 24' Argosy is really high on my list (maybe even a rear door model.) They're light, airy with all the windows, and unique.

Tom
Tom, we almost bought a 22' rear door Argosy. The open layout was just great. Even today I think it is one of my favorites.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:37 PM   #11
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I have many pics of Argosies that are great to look at and inspiring. You did touch on a point that parallels how I felt about all the improvements and additions I put into my house. I am glad I did them and would not change that but I do know that if my house was in a hot city or artsy town, each dollar for the same improvement would of added more value. It seems, as you say, the restoration/upgrade of an Airstream would return arguably more than an Argosy. But I wouldn't let that bother me too much. I suspect it is only on the margins. Also as you said, there is value and value.

I wouldn't laugh at an Avion or a Silver Streak. They are nice in there own way including being able to put something on the bumper without problems. Also is replacing the floor a whole easier thing?

Tony
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:10 AM   #12
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Argosy Market Value difference to Airstream cousin

There is another option within the Argosy camp, and that is the Minuet series that spanned 1977 through 1979. The 6.0 an 6.7 metre coaches tend to be more highly valued with a price differential of about 10% to 15%. The larger 7.3 metre Minuet is comparativel rare, and I haven't been able to note any consistency in the pricing of units that have been offered for sale.

With the 6.0 meter and 6.7 metre, there is one feature found on a portion of these coaches that can offer some peace of mind. Most but not all 6.0 metre Minuets had aluminum composite floors while some but far from all of the 6.7 metre coaches had the aluminum composite floors.

Kevin
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:33 AM   #13
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Personally, I don't feel there is any stigma towards argosys, but argosy owners might get some heckling I don't hear with my silver Airstream. On the other hand they probably don't get the peer pressure to polish like I do My own feelings is that they are great little trailers, bright and open inside with the big windows in front, great floorplans (I also loved the rear-door models I have been in), and as nice as an Airstream in every way.

When I looked for my Airstream I spent 6 months watching ads, missing out on trailers that sold before I could call, and looking at hunks of junk that hadn't sold yet for good reason. My lucky break was placing a wanted ad in the Oregonian. The morning it ran I got a call from a gentleman in Woodburn who wanted to sell his Caravel and hadn't advertised it anywhere. We were down there shaking his hand and making the deal within an hour!

If I were to seriously look for a trailer again, I would be sure to check with the local units of the WBCCI. Their trailers are usually well cared for and not only is there always someone upgrading or retiring, but they tend to know what is going on around the NW and where you might find one for sale. Putting a wanted ad in the unit newsletters, if available, would probably be an excellent move.

Good luck!
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:23 PM   #14
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Stephanie

I think that is great advice about contacting local units of WBCCI. It is just the well cared for trailers that I am after. It is good to hear placing a wanted ad worked for you. I felt it could set me up for over priced pricing. When I do my rounds of the classified I look at how long has been a member and how active the sellers has been before placing the add. When buying old tools the forum members who were well known wouldn't tarnish their good reputation with bad behavior. There is a Safari on ebay now that I called on when it was on Craig's list. The guy didn't lie but a few question and the new water heater ended up, he said, being an electric only from Home Depo. There was some other red flags too. He was asking $8500. no extra charge for the dents. At least there was clear title. I would hate to drive several hundred miles to find such things out. I must admit to being addicted to the search although I will double my efforts when I double my savings although I would buy the right trailer now. I hope not to let the fever cloud my mind. Anyway thanks again for the great advice all around.
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