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Old 05-01-2007, 07:21 PM   #1
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1975 22' Argosy 22
Harlan , Kentucky
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Argosy question

I have a question concerning my Argosy. I won this Argosy 22 ft. on Ebay last month. We drove a very long way to buy this Argosy. There are alot of good things about it but the seller neglected to be honest on everything. It looked great in the pictures. Please never trust pictures.I could tell the trailer needed some things done but what bothered me the worst when I got home was finding signs of a squirral because I kept finding acorns? etc...I would rather have that then mice. I wore a mask and gloves and cleaned for a good week top to bottom. There was not a whole lot but enough to bother me. I would never have purchased it if I new it had left over stuff in it. He even left some hidden traps in it. How strange is that. If I was selling something I would clean it up for the new owner. I left the man a negative and he said he had never heard of a rat proof trailer. Buy a trap. This man was not going to do anymore than he had too. All he wanted was the money fast and to go home. I wish I had walked away but I was tired from the drive and had already paid a deposit that I knew I would lose. This was a bad Ebay experience for me and he had all positives. I will never buy anything again unless I go and look at it first. My question is even though it is clean now and there was not alot could there be more hidden in the bellypan etc... I can't stand the thought. The Argosy has great potential but I can't stand the thought of anything else hidden in there. I wish I had just spent extra $$$$ and got one ready to go. Thanks.
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Old 05-01-2007, 07:54 PM   #2
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Hello Denise -- Sorry to hear about your disappointment. I have had a '74 Argosy for 3 years that has taken some major work and I won't be camping in it this year (okay, I really haven't worked on it for a year either). Unless purchased in a restored condition, it is hard to imagine a 30+ year old trailer that wouldn't need a lot of major work. There may be the rare Airstream or Argosy stored inside all its life that is ready to go. I haven't seen one yet. Almost all other brands of RVs would have been a sad pile of sawdust and plastic behind somebody's shed by now.

There are disappointing discoveries in rescuing any Airstream. It can be a long road. After some assessment you can decide whether to unload this (potentially for a loss). But I can say 22' Argosy trailers in any condition are in some demand and somebody will undertake the job. Axles, new tires, replacing subfloor somewhere, replacing the Univolt, reinvigorating the plumbing, some welding, painting ... the list goes on and on. Some serious skills will be needed but it can be done in a long sequence of steps -- 2 years is a fair average. Rodents or chipmunks can make a heckuva mess -- it's a frequent topic here on the Forums. My father in law got some free butternuts once and we found the shells scattered throughout his garage and outbuildings for years afterward.

You've done well to bare your soul here. We could help guide you through some assessment to help you decide how you wish to proceed. Wishing you the best,
Bob
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Old 05-01-2007, 08:10 PM   #3
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1975 22' Argosy 22
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Argosy

Thanks. I am unsure what I will do with the Argosy at this point. I have it at a RV dealer right now having all the systems checked, new air conditioner and other work that I have asked them to do. They told me they were pleased with it so far. All the appliances work etc... I was even offered 4000 for the Argosy the day I took it to them before they even really looked at it good. Upon getting it home I have someone lined up to redo all the cushions and to paint it and remove some dents. I will have thousands more in it when I am done. I guess for 3900 I should not have expected a new Argosy I hope I know what I'm doing putting all this money in it
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:15 PM   #4
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I'm a little unsure of what you mean by "stuff". Are you worried that there are critters living in the Argosy still? I have a 78 Argosy that I wouldn't trade for a new Airstream. It had things wrong with it, but after 28 years it was still road worthy. I seriously doubt there is anything living in the belly pan. I doubt that any critters are still living in a trailer that is being worked on or used. Remember those little fellows are more afraid of us than we should be of them. Usually they leave if they can, but they can leave a smell behind. Clean it up good, buy some fabreeze and enjoy. Sounds like you got a good deal and perhaps the seller honestly didn't think there was anything to be overly concerned with in this old trailer. Read the forum and you will quickly see that many of us have bought trailers in far most desparate shape than what you are describing. One I believe had a cow living in it before he towed it home. Most had critters of some sort making the old trailer their home. You have a great piece of American craftmanship, get out and enjoy.
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Old 05-02-2007, 05:18 AM   #5
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1975 22' Argosy 22
Harlan , Kentucky
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Argosy

Thanks juel I feel alot better than I did about it. You are probably right since it is not just sitting outside and never used the little critters hopefully have long gone. The man that owned it had some traps set and even a sticky type trap when I cleaned it but I never saw a sign of an actual critter except for the traps and leftover droppings and acorns that was only under the cabinets etc... not out in the open camper. The man may have thought nothing about this. He said he used it for only a hunting retreat once a year for the past several years. I don't think he was worried about it being pretty or clean inside. That is my goal to make the Argosy look as new as possible again. I really like to see people caring about these vintage airstreams and argosy's and taking the steps needed to care for them. Should I have the bellypan removed and cleaned out?? I would rather not. I was having someone just try and patch a few very tiny holes and one of the pieces seemes just a little loose. Thanks a bunch
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:22 AM   #6
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Denise, I did not remove the belly pan on mine. My Argosy seems to have spent its whole life in New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. Very dry country. I had an Airstream repair man go over mine and he checked out all the systems, put on new shocks, new connector and did some brake work. He pronounced it safe and did not think there was any real reason to fool with the belly pan, so I was happy with that.I've had this trailer for about three years now and so far it has never let me down. Well....there was the air conditioner death in the middle of my second camping trip, but I got the new Carrier. I've done lots of upgrades that I wanted for comfort and convenience, but nothing the old boy made me do. I can't tell you what a joy this Argosy has been for me and how much I have loved camping in him by the lake. Also I won't tell you how much money I have spent on my new toy. My choice and I've never regreted a penny of it.
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:09 AM   #7
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Money Well Spent

Denise, All the money you spend on the Argosy will be better spent than on a (plain white box trailer). Don't seem to see too many of the older trailers from the 70's on the road these days (except for the Winnebago motorhomes) and of course our silver cousins, the Avions, Silver Streaks, Streamlines, etc. I have had a mouse to get into the tiniest of holes in my trailer over the winter. It seems at the beginning of each camping season, I find at least a few "droppings". Hopefully you are not too discouraged about the seller and the situation. I have found many sellers that "honestly" didn't think there was anything wrong with the item they were selling. There is a difference of opinion on this matter. I had a thread last fall on the perception of an Airstream trailer. I got my 6.7 metre Argosy Minuet from eBay and it was in better shape than I expected when I saw it (after) winning the bid.
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:22 AM   #8
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Denise, a few years ago I purchased an Argosy trailer that eventually became the Airstream Life project trailer Vintage Thunder, and is now owned by another forums member. It was very, very dirty, grungy and smelly when I got it, but with a lot of elbow grease, and a lot of money, it is now a beautiful trailer that turns heads wherever it goes. It had been used to store horse tack, and old Christmas decorations, for years.
With any luck, the current owner will jump in here with photos and descriptions, but here is a before and after photo. Vintage Thunder is the trailer sitting outside the barn in the left photo:
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:55 AM   #9
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Hi Denise! Welcome to the forums and Argosy ownership. I suppose owning a classic is like childbirth, you'll soon forget the pains and enjoy getting to know your new baby. My only concern with your belly pan is that the "critters" have rearranged or stolen your insulation so if you are doing any cool season camping you may want the insulation reinstalled. When I replaced some of my floor I found that the insulation was all balled up and soaking wet as well, but I haven't removed the entire belly pan yet.

Oh , and please post pictures

Best wishes,

Steve
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:49 AM   #10
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1975 22' Argosy 22
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Hi All,
Love the comments. I have been discouraged but am seeing some hope. I paid 3900 for this trailer not counting all the work the RV dealer is going to do. I have seen several Argosy's on ebay that go for up to 10,000 in very nice condition especially the Minuets. When I purchased this one I did not know there was a difference with the minuets or I might have waited and bought one of those. When we saw the Argosy for the first time in person it did not look near as good as the pictures but I thought I need to buy this trailer and fix it up or it is eventually going to fall apart. It was stored outside and very seldom used. The man who owned it had owned it for 7 years and said he only used it once a year when he went hunting. Does anyone know what might cause a very slight dip in the floor? There is a slight dip at the bathroom entrance, although it does feel very solid. The man had put new vinyl down recently he said he did not like the original shag carpet. Thanks.
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:54 AM   #11
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3900 is fair for a small argosy is not so great shape. They are fairly rare and small trailers are highly desirable. Take your time and fix it up. You don't have to do it all at once and you should enjoy camping in it for years.

The dip in floor could be caused by leaks that have caused the wood to rot but in every argosy I've been in from this period, there is a springy place just in front of the toilet with an identical spot up front. There is no cross member here in the frame (no support underneath).
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
The dip in floor could be caused by leaks that have caused the wood to rot but in every argosy I've been in from this period, there is a springy place just in front of the toilet with an identical spot up front. There is no cross member here in the frame (no support underneath).
The spot with no cross member in the front is where the under floor water tank would go in an Airstream. The water tank is in the very front of an Argosy, on top of the floor. The spot in the rear is where the black tank would go in an Airstream, the black tank is above the floor in an Argosy, directly under the toilet.
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:09 AM   #13
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1975 22' Argosy 22
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How do you check to see if the floor has rotted in a specific place. It has new vinyl. Would that need to be pulled up to check for rot? Can there be rot even when the floor feels very solid? Thanks.
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:17 AM   #14
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1975 22' Argosy 22
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Sorry I meant to ask about the axles too. Someone told me you do not have to worry about the axles but I have read many things online that say have them checked. We have had it on the road around 13 hours since owning it and it pulled great. I read somewhere that the argosys axles 1974 and older wore out faster?? How do you visually check to see if there still good? Also just curious how much would it take to get an argosy to look as good as Vintage Thunder. Its gorgeous!
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