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Old 05-23-2013, 03:35 PM   #1
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1972 Argosy 22
Rochester , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Fairly New 1972 22' Argosy Owner

Hi, my name is Chris. I've been lurking on these forums for quite some time and took the step to actually post for the first time about my 22 footer 1972 Argosy. Her name is "The Bubble", and dang if she isn't fun!
My husband and I bought her a year ago from a post on Craig's list in Western Washington. We had no idea what we were doing or what to look for, so thankfully, we ended up with a pretty nice little rig.
Got her for a great deal, just $1700. All systems were working, all appliances plus air work except for the oven, although the burners work fine. Hope we can figure that one out, but in the mean time, we have a toaster oven packed away in the ample storage closets if we ever need it. So far we haven't.
We did do quite a bit of work on The Bubble, but thankfully, my husband is super handy and has done almost everything by himself. The one exception is the original upholstry was beyond horrible. Not that I'm against retro orange and yellow, but it seriously stunk and when I tried laundering it, it discentigrated. I tried to reupholster it myself, but wow, not a good outcome. I finally conviced my husband that the cost of professional reupholstering was better than a crazy wife.
What we have done so far:
New upholstry on both gouchos
Gutted everything out and tore out the non-original smelly carpet and added a floating vinyl plank wood look floor.
Replaces all plumbing with PEX lines.
New tires, packed bearings, and baby moon hubcaps (so cute)
Rope and pole Marti Awning
SCRUBBED the living crap out of it!
I think we have a total of $1500 invested on top of the purchase price, so about $3200 now.
I have the floor plan with a goucho up front and on the side, with kitchen across from that (original yellow counter tops and sink).
I still cannot believe how much storage is in these things!
I do have some questions, we are still a "work in progress" although we are using her and enjoying her very much.

1. We need some kind of converter so that the electrical plugs work when we are not hooked up. We have whatever is original. I'm sure my husband knows what this contraption is called, but I do not. Any ideas?
2. My dear daughter backed into the Bubble, and now we have a kid dent in the front left quarterpannel area. I'm still not over this...Does this mean a new skin or can this be taken care of at a garage? She does need to be repainted eventually.

I look forward to hearing any imput, can't wait to get her finished up, enjoying the process so far. I have a whole set of before and after pictures that I will get uploaded when I'm not at work. (seriously, I'm on break!!lol) Does anyone else have a '72 22' Argosy out there?

Thanks!
Chris
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:48 PM   #2
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1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
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Item 1: What you're talking about is an inverter. On a 22' trailer it might be easier just to get an inverter that has a couple of 120v outlets on the case of the inverter and use those when you need to power 120v AC devices from your battery power. Keep in mind that your vintage trailer has only 1 battery (unless you've modified it) so you won't be able to run high-power devices.

The "original" thing you have in your electrical system is the Univolt converter/charger and you should upgrade it. Your batteries will thank you for it with longer lives!

Item 2: It depends. If this dent isn't causing any leaks, you can just leave it. You can possibly reduce it somewhat with a dent puller, but aluminum is much less forgiving than steel. Panel replacement is pricey and/or lots of work.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:02 PM   #3
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1972 Argosy 22
Rochester , Washington
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Thanks for the quick responce and info! So, with the Argosy, is it just the top end caps that are steel? The lower part is still aluminum? I would assume it is, since she barely tapped it and it made a pretty noticable dent. THANKFULLY, that goreous wrap around window is SAFE.
We are going to try a dent puller, but there is a kink, so we will probably just end up living with that for the time being.

We do only have one battery, but we also now have a pretty decent generator. Haven't gone out since we got it, so I'm not sure if the electric will work while the genderator is on. I guess that is another question. The only thing we would really want to use is maybe a plug in radio. We have that awesome AC adapter incorporated into the light/mirror in the bathroom that we plug our tiny dvd player in on occasion. But basically, we like to leave all that behind when we are out in the woods.

I'll look into getting that inverter with the 120v outlets.

Oh, another question, should we even try to use the heater? It is original, and although we have had it running in the past, it is super hard to light, and I think I remember something about a recall and to not use it. We have a Little Buddy (oh, that is the other thing we'd like to plug in for the fan). It heats things up great. And I have a co2/fire alarm. I get worried about that sort of thing.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:18 PM   #4
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Good to have a co2 detector but generator, where do you plan on putting that? A new furnace isn't that expensive and a delight when you set the thermostat and enjoy the automatic warmth below the front and side bed if using them as well as heating under the bath floor to warm the tanks so they don't freeze or crack from expansion. I dropped a new one in my 22 and loved it, 2 wires and the propane connection.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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Yes, most Argosy trailers (and motorhomes) have steel upper endcaps and the rest of the skin is aluminum. There are reportedly a few Argosy trailers with fiberglass endcaps, but I've never put a magnet to one of those, all the ones I've checked have been steel.

Any modern generator (say 1000 watts or higher) should charge the batteries and run lights, and let you run the fan on the Little Buddy. As a general rule, you'll need 3000w or more of generator capacity to run the air conditioner. You can get to that with one big generator or 2 smaller ones running in parallel (that generally requires a matched set of same model/same manufacturer).

If you buy an inverter, think for a while about your needs. Most of the attractively-priced ones are "modified sine wave" output, which is not suitable for lots of modern electronics like my CPAP machine and many flat-screen TVs, DVD players, etc. You pay more for pure-sine inverters, but you often get a better, more efficient device in the bargain.

As far as your trailer is concerned, the AC is probably the only device that requires 120V power anytime you want to use it. All the lights and built-in fans and the water pump are 12v DC, the refrigerator and water heater will run fine on propane (if you have the original style the trailer came with when new). Extra lamps, radios, computers, hair dryers, microwaves, etc. may use 120V but can also be left back at the house that doesn't have wheels as far as I care.

A radio with a 12v adapter and 12v chargers for things like cell phones and iPads are probably cheaper than a good inverter and may be a more efficient use of your battery capacity.

The original Suburban furnaces are cranky things, to be sure. New ones are available that are smaller and more efficient, and there's lots of info on the forums about upgrading to new. The original ones had a dangerous flaw, and many of them have been retrofitted with a fix for this flaw during old recall campaigns, but to be sure you have the fix you have to get the furnace out, and by that time if you can afford it you're probably better off with a new one.

I have a combined CO/smoke detector, and my only complaint is that it has a burning hunger for 9V batteries. It's a good thing to have in a small enclosed space with propane appliances.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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1972 Argosy 22
Rochester , Washington
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We plan on having the generator sit out under our awning. The hubs has already hooked it up to the trailer to test it and it works, just wan't sure about how it worked as far as making the plug ins inside work. Can you tell me what kind and where you got your furnace? Whenever I go into those RV places, I feel like a fool when they ask me what I'm looking for and the words "thingy majig" come up more than 3 times in any given conversation.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:16 PM   #7
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1972 Argosy 22
Rochester , Washington
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Thanks for letting me know what the inver types are called! Just wait until I tell my hubby we need a pure-sine inverter.
We are lucky enough to have all the original propane/electric appliances and they work like a dream either way. Except for that oven. Hoping the conectors just need cleaned out, but like I said before, I don't miss it. Not like I'm planning on baking a cake or a turkey when I'm out in the wilderness. I'mmore a hot dog on stick over the fire type of girl, and my dogs love it when they fall off on accident.
Great idea about keeping extra 9volt batteries on hand.
Thanks for all the input!
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:30 PM   #8
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1972 Argosy 22
Rochester , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcamedies View Post
Good to have a co2 detector but generator, where do you plan on putting that? A new furnace isn't that expensive and a delight when you set the thermostat and enjoy the automatic warmth below the front and side bed if using them as well as heating under the bath floor to warm the tanks so they don't freeze or crack from expansion. I dropped a new one in my 22 and loved it, 2 wires and the propane connection.
Just saw your blog post on your funace, so I now have that info! Great Blogs!
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:24 PM   #9
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Fairly New 1972 22' Argosy Owner

Greetings rkittyreed!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Argosy ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkittyreed View Post
We are lucky enough to have all the original propane/electric appliances and they work like a dream either way. Except for that oven. Hoping the conectors just need cleaned out, but like I said before, I don't miss it. Not like I'm planning on baking a cake or a turkey when I'm out in the wilderness.
You might want to check carefully under your stovetop for a valve that may need to be turned on for your oven to be functional. On some ranges utilized in Airstreams/Argosys, there is also a valve under the range/oven (typically accessed through the cabinet below the oven) that also needs to be open for the oven to work. While some of the orifices may need to be cleaned (pilot and/or burner), my suspicion is that the problem may lie in a gas valve that needs to be opened.

Good luck with your first year, first generation Argosy!

Kevin
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:58 PM   #10
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1972 Argosy 22
Rochester , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
Greetings rkittyreed!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Argosy ownership!



You might want to check carefully under your stovetop for a valve that may need to be turned on for your oven to be functional. On some ranges utilized in Airstreams/Argosys, there is also a valve under the range/oven (typically accessed through the cabinet below the oven) that also needs to be open for the oven to work. While some of the orifices may need to be cleaned (pilot and/or burner), my suspicion is that the problem may lie in a gas valve that needs to be opened.

Good luck with your first year, first generation Argosy!

Kevin
Oh my goodness, that is awesome! I'll check for that tonight! Why did I wait so long to post here?
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:57 AM   #11
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CO devil

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkittyreed View Post
We plan on having the generator sit out under our awning. The hubs has already hooked it up to the trailer to test it and it works, just wan't sure about how it worked as far as making the plug ins inside work. Can you tell me what kind and where you got your furnace? Whenever I go into those RV places, I feel like a fool when they ask me what I'm looking for and the words "thingy majig" come up more than 3 times in any given conversation.

Depending on which way the exhaust is blowing and the wind you may fill your rig with nasty CO (odorless fumes) with the awning out, just letting my FJ Cruiser idle when hooking up made the readings go up in my Argosy. Just google Suburban furnaces, you'll need the model number. I got a deal on mine but that store may be out of them now. "Thingy majig" is a perfectly good term like "whatchamacallit", or "hoogybob"
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