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Old 10-14-2002, 03:11 PM   #15
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Argosy stuff

Hi all - interesting stuff, the "mystery Argosy's" Leigh, I couldn't tell if you found a owners manual yet - you can order a Argosy manual (not an Airstream one) from "Secretorial Services" listed on the Airstream web site (under FAQ's). Just mention it is a Argosy manual, not Airstream with your VIN. I got a nice copy of mine from them - with a picture of an old 70's series pntiac sedan pulling my 26 ft.

Regarding the pictures - Leigh - I'm not sure what computer you are using, but I had a heck of my time using my Mac to load pictures. I scaled down the pic sizes, tried different formats, hit my head against the monitor -without luck! It wasn't until I switched from Internet Explorer to Netscape that I was able to upload SOME of the pictures. Keep trying!
P.S. - The handle will be in the mail Tuesday - I forgot that Columbus day was a mail holiday.
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Old 10-14-2002, 03:28 PM   #16
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Argosy Minuet 22' and 24" (1979?)

Greetings Leigh!

While most of the Argosy is Aluminum, the front and rear domes are galvanized steel stampings. I have heard rumors of some Argosys having all aluminum exteriors, but those that I have seen have the galvanized steel stampings on the domes.

My understanding is that the same products used to care for automotive finishes can be used with the Argosy finish. I am planning on a compounding job on mine first thing in the Spring to even out the paint sheen as much as possible followed by a high quality wax - - probably two coats. I usually use DuPont products from my nearby automotive specialty retailer. My plan is to have my unit repainted in 2004 using the original colonial white and coppertone paint treatment - - I believe the Ditzler codes for these paints have been posted on the VAC list several times so should be in the archives at Tom Patterson's site.

There are several data plates on mine. There is a DOT data plate on the front panel immediately behind the propane tanks at the front. There are also two data plates on the rear bumper compartment cover - - regarding environmental and electrical issues. There is also a data plate on the "A" frame hitch that has production data if my memory serves.

Kevin
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Old 10-16-2002, 10:39 AM   #17
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Texas Minuet

My data plate is riveted on the lower front of the unit and it has the "Minuet" tag @ the center band on both sides. I did spray it silver with a charcoal lower but may paint it back the original cream color or an off-white, I have not used it much in the summer but I am concerned about it getting too hot. This is Texas after all and the surface gets pretty hot to the touch. The metallic was also tricky to paint as I did shoot it myself in the driveway so it does have a few flaws. I need to get hooked up with the necessary stuff to get some pics posted. I found my Minuet at a consignment lot which also sold new SOB trailers. I had my wife with me at the time and could tell that the sales guy was using the derelict row where my Argosy was sitting as the good ole "bait and switch" routine, it was working on her but I knew what I wanted. I had those "square trailers" before. Believe me I did seriousy think about my choice about 3 months ago in the midst of a seemingly endless restore. I want to keep the original decor as much as possible but my wife is being a little difficult on the subject, the orangey and brown upholstery is excellant though I did have to replace the orange laminate as the old countertop was broken by the cooktop. More later?
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Old 11-06-2002, 01:54 PM   #18
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24foot "Minuet 7.3"

Could it be the trailer I just purchased --my first-- is one of the mystery models which overlander64 and others have been asking about?

*what I've got here is an Argosy Minuet 7.3 as indicated in large original letters on the cream-colored trailer;

*the private individual I got it from advertised it as 24 feet long, but I haven't actually measured it yet, nor come to think of it would I know HOW to measure it (from bumper to propane tanks?? from rear window to front window?)

***Please tell me how I might get a copy of the original owners manual for this or similar airstreams. I'm starting from scratch in figuring out how to do the most basic things. Like how to start the heater; hey it's getting cold here on the banks of the Merrimack!!

*have any copies of airstream manuals been posted on the web? did Airstream deliver manuals when these wonderful contraptions were purchased originally?

-Carl
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Old 11-06-2002, 02:21 PM   #19
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Minuet (I have 1980org owners man.)

Hey!!

I don't know if I can be much help but I to just bought my first A/S it's a Caravelle from 1980. I have the orginal owners man. and it says that it also show for Minuet, international Agrosy, and Excella II. I can check somethings for you if you would like. I'm not sure how different your 79 is from the 80 model. Let me know what you need and I can possibly scann some of the pages for you.

Cara
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Old 11-06-2002, 03:12 PM   #20
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Argosy Minuet 22' and 24' (1979?)

Greetings Carl!

One sure way to verify the size of your Minuet (at least according to Airstream/Argosy) is to check the serial number. If it is a 24', it should look something like this:

24D9V####

The first two digits represent the length, the next the bed configuration - - yours might be a "T" for a twin rather than a "D" for double. The "9" represents the last digit of the model year, and the "V" represents the Versailles, OH production plant. The last four digits represent the sequential production number.

You may be among the first list members with a 24' Minuet - - possibly the only list member possessing one. Another good indicator of its status as a 24' is the presence of tandem axles - - according to my factory literature the tandem axles were standard on the 24' Minuet.

Technically, Airstream/Argosy as well as all travel trailers are measured from the tip of the ball socket to the trailing edge of the rear bumper. Determining rounding methods used by Airstream on the other hand isn't as consistent. My '64 Overlander measures 26' 8" and is classed as a 26' trailer. My '78 Minute 6.0 Metre measures 19' 3" and is classed a 20' trailer - - there is some pattern regarding even and odd trailer lengths for advertising purposes, but I can't remember precisely what that was.

There are several methods for locating owner's and service manuals. Copies of these manuals can be ordered from Secretarial Services at:

You can get photocopies of owners manual (1964+) and service manuals (1972-1986) from:

Helen Davis Secretarial Services PO Box 484 Sidney, OH 45365 (937)492-8885

Prices are about $33 and $70 respectively. After 1986 the Owners Manuals included available service information.

The information above was obtained from the Vintage Airstream Club web site.

E-Bay is often a good source for the actual original manuals, but be prepared for prices about double that of the photo copies from secretarial services.

The original owner of your trailer would have been supplied with a copy of the Owner's Manual as well as an envelope containing the various manuals for installed accessories such as the range, refrigerator, furnace, water heater (if not included in the OM), air conditioner, awnings, etc. There also would have been a number of papers with warranty and related information. I purchased my Minuet from the original owner, who had it special ordered, so have most all of the original information with the exception of the purchase invoice and special order information.

One suggestion that I might make is that if you don't know how long it has been since the LP appliances were used, you might want to have an RV propane appliance service technician inspect them and check the system. When I took my '78 Minuet in after purchase, the propane tanks that I had planned to use with the trailer (this plan was the result of not wanting to convert the Minuet's existing tanks to OPD since my 4 year old tanks had OPDs already) had been sitting unused in my carport for almost 2 years - - in that time the propane had become contaminated and the service technician told me that I could have seriously damaged my propane appliances had I connected those propane tanks - - the aggravating thing to that situation was that purging the tanks and evacuating the contaminants cost nearly as much as similar steel replacement tanks. The heat exchanger on these furnaces can also be a problem point due to age if not use - - the usual caveat with an unfamiliar trailer is to have the furnace checked out before trying to put it into service.

Kevin
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Old 11-06-2002, 04:20 PM   #21
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Thank you Cara and Kevin for a warm welcome!!!

Cara: I grew up in Illinois; the little college town of Wheaton which back then was surrounded by corn fields but now is engulfed in concrete and upscale malls and franchise food joints --urban/suburban sprawl 25 mi west of the Loop. Are you in the Chicago area? [By the way, a few years ago I met and old German guy, retired but working as janitor in a Lutheran church, who as young man had purchased an 80 acre farm which he worked for many years with a mule and plow and which he sold eventually for many millions of dollars; it was in area now called Oakbrook, IL.]
It's extr. helpful to know that Excella II and Caravelle are related models; this will help with web searches. Very kind of you to offer to copy stuff; I'll let you know; mucho grat..

Keith: well here we go,

* the serial numb is 24T9B####

* so it wasn't built in Verseilles Ohio; then where/what the heck is "B"? Beloxie? Berlin? Birmingham? Boston? Beverly? Burbank? Battle Creek? Brooklyn? Boulder? Bear Lake? Battavia? Buffalo?

*thanks esp. for the caution about propane issues; I tried getting the gas to work the fridg after running down the battery running it on electric (thinking that since I had 120 v coming from my house that the fridg would know enough not to use the 12volt. Hey, can I get this trailer to be charging up the 12volt battery using house current??

*tandem means two axels and four wheels, right? Do the frames of these gismo's last a long time or will this thing break in half first time I hit a big Massachusetts pothole? Can I replace the shocks ( I think I see four shocks) without killing myself or should I have a mechanic do this?

*amazing that the orig. cream-colored finish and the iron-on orange stripes and lettering are in such good shape! Why don't they cars out of this aluminum stuff?

*thanks for all the info. ; much appreciated!

-Carl
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Old 11-06-2002, 07:29 PM   #22
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Argosy Minuet 22' and 24' (1979?)

Greetings Carl!

I am a native Northern Illinoisan as well. Kankakee was my home until my family moved to Anna, IL when I was in high school. I am now a teacher in Mercer County, IL near Rock Island.

The "B" in your serial number is a curiosity. I can't link it to anything that I have read about Airstream or Argosy - - but the interesting part is the 24T - - confirms that there were 24' Minuets produced - - I was beginning to wonder as I don't think that I have ever seen anything other than the 6.0 Metre Minuets at the last five International Rallys.

It sounds like the power plug for the Univolt is unplugged, or its circuit breaker may be turned off if your battery isn't receiving any charge while hooked up to 120 volt. The Univolt is plugged into a standard 120 volt electrical outlet and this plug may have somehow gotten disconnected. There are also fuses on the univolt that may need to be replaced. My best guess as to where the Univolt would be located in your Minuet is in either the bathroom wardrobe or under the streetside bed. It is also possible that a previous owner may have wired in a disconnect switch somewhere in the trailer.

Unless the refrigerator is a replacement, I wouldn't anticipate that it would have a 12-volt option. In the 1979 literature that I have there is no mention of a 3-way refrigerator option, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it might not have been an option added after the literature was published. Or a later aftermarket replacement.

I haven't heard anything regarding any issues about the durability of the frames on Minuets, but yours is the first 24' unit that I have heard about. Typically, the only frame related issues with Airstream products relate to the problems with larger (26' and longer) trailers of the late 1960s to late 1970s where separation, droop and other issues could develop due to deferred maintenance. There is always the possibility of rust damage when a rig has been operated on salt-covered roads in the winter or exposed to salt air along the coast for extended periods of time.

The Minuet like all other Airstreams and Argosys of the period came from the factory with Henschen DuraTorque axles that include a shock absorber at each wheel. These shocks are a common replacement item and are rather specific to Airstream/Argosy due to their horizontal mounting. I have had the shocks on both my Overlander and Minuet replaced in the last 12-months utilizing the shocks sold through Airstream dealers. There has been a tremendous amount of discussion lately about replacing these axles when they fail - - Inland RV has a complete page detailing how to inspect your axles. I had my dealer replace shocks and inspect axles on both of my units as I don't have the patience to deal with such repairs.

You can check the axle inspection information at:

http://inlandrv.com/articles/dura-torque-axle-92001.htm

I know from what I have learned about my '64 Overlander that it will need new axles very shortly - - less than 2 years. My Minuet is several years away at least according to the measurements during the current inspection. I can't complain too much about my Overlander needing axles as it must have in excess of 150,000 miles on its chasis and I suspect more like 250,000 miles.

The paint that is most likely to fail on virtually any Argosy product is that found on either the front or rear domes - - the galvanized steel doesn't seem to hold paint as well as the aluminum. You are fortunate to have the original bronze trim inserts - - mine have been replaced with Airstream blue strips somewhere along the line.

Kevin
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Old 11-07-2002, 11:09 AM   #23
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Minuet 24 Hello and Welcome

I am getting dizzy with all the Argosy postings lately!! It is a blast to hear about all and know we will be able to help each other over many a "bump".

We had no idea when we first got our 6.7 Argosy that it was any different than any other. Learned from being here and talking to others. We too still have original paint job with "6.7 metre" in orange on side. The middle and lower channeling (overlander 64 calls it bronze) is pretty much gone on ours (dried up and falling out) and the PO painted the channel and the ARGOSY letters at top front and back of trailer blue. We hope to clean that up and put in new stripping material but I dont know if they still make the original bronze color or if we will have to take blue. Sounds like if Keith's trailer has had blue added, that might be all that is available??!

Keith
I was seriously wondering. You have corrected/considered a number of major/minor items on your Argosy. Could you be tempted to post a list of all you have accomplished or are considering for the future, so far? It would help me considerably to have something like that to refer to about parts of our trailer we are not familiar with that might need work or might save us expense if we know about it soon enough. Having it all in one place could be a real timesaver. Would that be hard? Please!!

Gotta go for now. Leigh
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Old 11-07-2002, 11:12 AM   #24
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Ssorrry

Kevin

I have the worst time with names!! Sorry!!! Hope this didn't mess up my chance at a list Leigh
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Old 11-07-2002, 02:53 PM   #25
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Argosy Minuet 22' and 24' (1979?)

Greetings Leigh!

No problem with the name confusion - - happens all of the time - - I was always Calvin to one of my neighbors - - and Mark to my neighborhood gorcer.

I have am really just getting a good start on restoring/refurbishing myMinuet, and am basing much of what is being done on experiences with my '64 Overlander. The list almost seems more extensive than the work.

1. The first, and biggest project thus far has been getting all of the propane appliances operational. This required replacing the water heater, new gas control and thermocouple on the furnace, and a new 120-volt element for the Dometic refrigerator. The original Worthington aluminum propane tanks were out-of-date and needed OPD upgrades so they are awaiting both services at my regular Airstream dealer's shop. The original LP gas regulator and hoses were worn out so the entire unit was replaced with the Airstream recommended regulator with the modern OPD type hoses for easier connections.

2. The next project was to get the electrical side of the equation working. This included a new lock assembly for the battery compartment as well as a new battery and tray. With that taken care of, the Univolt decided to expire so a new replacement Univolt was installed by my Airstream dealer. Verified that the wiring is present for installation of an air conditioner which will take place late Winter/early Spring. Verified that all interior and exterior 120-volt and 12-volt accessories and lights were properly functioning.

3. Purchased a complete set of replacement lenses for the tail lights, running lights, and entry light. I learned this from experience - - when the replacement lenses were avialable in 1995 my Overlander didn't need them - - when I needed them last year, they were no longer available. My dealer was able to get replacement lenses for every one of the exterior lights on my Minuet.

4. The water supply system has been checked out on both the demand and city connection sides to verify that all components are functioning correctly, and necessary repairs have been made - - only three leaks were found due to freeze damage at some time in the past.

5. A rebuild kit was installed in the black water tank dump valve to insure its continued proper operation.

6. A Reese friction sway control was installed on the trailer for those times when it is towed behind my Cadillac.

7. The brakes, bearings and drums are in the process of being inspected/repaired for the second time (started experiencing problems after 1,000 miles of towing and less than 75 days from the first process). New Good Year Marathon ST trailer tires were installed - - Load Range C in the factory recommended size for the Minuet. The wheel-tire assembly was balanced, but I haven't been able to locate anyone who balances the wheel/tire/drum assembly near either my homebase in the Illinois Quad Cities or my family home in Southern Illinois. New shock absorbers were also installed at this time.

8. The trailer's umbilical cord had to be replaced as it was too short to reach the trailer connector on my Cadillac and the trailer connector also needed replacement - - the new cable has a molded-in connector. The break-away switch was replace as well since it was not functioning properly and was very rusty.

The next process that is on the agend for this Winter is an Interior treatment by Fowler Interiors that will include the following:

1. New premium foam and upholstery on both gauchos with matching pillow shams for each gaucho, new drapes and mini-blinds for the windows, and new Congoleum Industrial Grade sheet vinyl floor coverings.

2. The front interior dome is scheduled for a decorative painting technique that will duplicate the original wall finish. Arlene Fowler is quite an artist, and when she finishes it is nearly impossible to tell where the refinishing of these panels take place.

3. The cabinetry will be cleaned, refinished and repaired as necessary. The current plan is to repair the tambour cabinet doors if possible, but replacement may become necessary as two of the doors have sections that have warped for lack of a better explanation. The countertop is in mint condition as are both the kitchen sinks and the bathroom vanity as well as the shower so they will simply be cleaned, and polished.

4. A new double-finished drape will be installed between the bathroom and coach interior to replace the original door which is missing.

5. I am considering having the Fowler's duplicate the credenza table in solid oak as it would be a very attractive alternative to the particle board covered with formica - - there isn't a terrible difference in weight - - they replaced my dining table top in the Overlander with solid oak, and the weight was actually only about 22 ounces more than the original Fomica over particle board top (the legs and trim were restored as well on the original drop-leaf mechanism).

Prior to leaving for International next Spring, I plan to have the following tasks completed:

1. Installation of new Air Conditioner, amplified television antenna and satellite receiver wiring package, and new manual tongue jack.

2. Reinstall original gray water tank. I am trying to avoid having to carry a large blue tote tank as gray water handling capacity is required for the International Rally in Vermont as well as the Statue of Liberty Rally in New Jersey.

3. Install spare tire mount somewhere on trailer - - there simply is not room in the trunk of the Cadillac to carry both a full-sized spare for the car as well as the trailer. I am leaning toward the behind the propane tanks mounting - - it may not be the factory solution for this model, but it was for Airstreams during the '60s and it has the advantage of keeping the tire accessible. Would like to mount the tire on a rear-bumper carrier, but am afraid that it would cause an undesirable situation with trailer balance not to mention violating the caveat about never attaching any accessories to the rear bumper.

4. Install modified rock guard. I may have to do a little coaxing to convince the service manager at the dealership where my repairs are handled to get this job done.

5. Permanently install a CB radio with whip antenna (will probably mount antenna on rear bumper). The plan is for the CB to be installed in the bathroom wardrobe as it would be convenient for the necessary electrical wiring as well as for the antenna. A CB is a near necessity if you paln on attending larger rallys where most communication is via the CB.

My final project just prior to departing for the International Rally in Vermont will be to compound and wax the exterior of the trailer. If time permits, I will be repainting the rear bumper and hitch assemblies.

My intent is to get at least two years use out of the trailer before I begin the exterior restoration which will include:

1. Repairing two small dents above the rear bumper and straightening the bumper.

2. Repairing a softball sized dent in the front wrap and a small dent just above the curbside of the "A" frame hitch.

3. Install new Zip Dee awning on curbside.

4. Installation of AM-FM-CD stereo system with exterior antenna.

5. Repaint trailer in its original factory color scheme.

6. Restore and re-install both Argosy nameplates.

Kevin
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Old 11-08-2002, 10:58 AM   #26
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What took you so long!!

Hey, just kidding Kevin. I would call you a peach if you were from Georgia.

Your list will be a great reference for us. I know outside paint is mentioned in a thread, but can't remember if anything definitive was said as to brand or type. Do you know if AS sells the original paint? or are you going to the factory to do it?

Also interested in the interior paint job to be done on your front dome area. We have a couple of surface cracks (one in front dome area and one back in shower area). Not sure if they can be treated like a crack in house using filler and sanding then painting? Do you know?

I guess we are going to bite the bullet and purchase manuals from Sec. Serv. Never heard anything from our PO as to those. Is one more important than other? I would think serv. manual would give all details as to wiring, plumbing, etc.

Well, got to go check out other threads. See ya there. Leigh
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Old 11-08-2002, 01:34 PM   #27
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Argosy Minuet 22' and 24' (1979?)

Greetigs Leigh!

Your peach comment gave me quite a chuckle. A dear friend in Wisconsin likes to call me Peaches because I always bring a bushel of tree-ripe Southern Illinois Peaches to our Fall reunion - - and also usually make 6 quarts of my home-made French Vanilla Peach Ice Cream with home-made peach compote topping.

Quote:
I know outside paint is mentioned in a thread, but can't remember if anything definitive was said as to brand or type. Do you know if AS sells the original paint? or are you going to the factory to do it?
I belive that the exterior paint codes that have been mentioned are for Ditzler paints- - I suspect, but don't have confirmation that there may have been slight differences in the paint color/formula depending upon year. I am afraid that I haven't been paying close attention as when that was a topic of discussion on the VAC list, I was only casually considering purchasing an Argosy. I talked to the owner of the body shop where I plan to have the paint job completed, and he basically said that with any of the major manufacturer's paint codes he could match the paint with the products that he normally uses. I am sure that the codes are available in Tom Patterson Archives.

I can't believe that I happened to have a copy of a message from Charlie Burke with the following information:


The original colors were provided by Lilly Industrial Coatings. In 1988 Airstream published a list of Dupont Centari substitute numbers. Based on that list the Argosy colors through 1977 were:

Upper--Light Beige 44534-A
Lower--Metallic Brown 44721-AM

Charlie


Quote:
Also interested in the interior paint job to be done on your front dome area. We have a couple of surface cracks (one in front dome area and one back in shower area). Not sure if they can be treated like a crack in house using filler and sanding then painting? Do you know?
I haven't checked to see if Argosy follows the Airstream lead with either fiberglass or plastic interior domes, but I believe the repair process would be similar. A small hole is drilled at each end of the crack (is supposed to keep the crack from reappearing and spreading), and then is filled with an "automotive" type filler appropriate to the material in the dome. Mine doesn't appear to have any cracks, but it has turned a disgusting shade of nicotine yellow while the rest of the coach's interior is pristine off-white. When I spoke to Arlene Fowler, she reassured me that this was typical and would pose no problems - - in fact when I visited her facility she was working on a '78 Airstream with the same problem and the result of the restoration was fabulous.

Quote:
I guess we are going to bite the bullet and purchase manuals from Sec. Serv. Never heard anything from our PO as to those. Is one more important than other? I would think serv. manual would give all details as to wiring, plumbing, etc.
I haven't splurged on a service manual yet, as I generally have most of my maintenance performed by my Airstream dealer. I have been considering one just to have it available if I am out on the road and need to have a Brand X dealer perform emergency repairs. The owner's manual, at least on my '78 is general to the entire Argosy line with very minimal information specific to the Minuet - - the envelope of specialized manuals for the appliances is exceptionally useful - - I believe that mine included manuals for the Dometic Refrigerator, the furnace, and possibly the water heater (I haven't looked recently so am not entirely certain). The information in the owner's manual is more day-to-day operational information rather than maintenance and repair. It is even more vague about some things like where the water pump and Univolt are located than the first Airstream Owner's manual that came with my '64 Overlander. When ordering a manual (whether Owner's or Service) from Secretarial Services, I would suggest being certain that they know that you need one for an Argosy Minuet 22' - - my '78 manual only has information for the regular Argosy line and the 6.0 Metre (20') Minuet.

Good luck in your quest for information!

Kevin
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Old 12-07-2002, 03:59 PM   #28
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Images: 4
photos of 24' Minuet

I've posted four photos of the possibly rare Argosy Minuet discussed above. Not that you had any doubts, Kevin et al, but I think these photos should be proof that Airstream made at least one of these tandam axle Minuets.

If any of you by the way want a photo of a specific part of this wonderful old beast, just let me know, and I'll fire up the coolpix for you.

The furnace will run, but only once at a time, so to speak. I have to relight the pilot every time it gets cold, which at this time of year can be fairly often!

Question: should the zippity dodah awning (no offence) never be allowed to carry snow/ice, or can it tolerate a ton or two??

-Carl
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