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Old 04-11-2005, 12:34 PM   #1
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For what it's worth....

Well everyone, I have finished the last BIG project on my Minuet.
I finished my A/C installation yesterday and now I can putz around with stupid little things on the trailer.
After all of my work and all of the new parts I have decided that it is time to insure it "for what it's worth".
The problem I am having is trying to figure out what it's worth. I figured that bringing this question to the community at large would help me solve my dilemma.
I am going to list what I have done to the trailer and I would like to know your HONEST opinions as to what you feel the trailer would sell on the open market. I want to insure it for a reasonable amount. Nothing too high and nothing too low.

This is a 1977 Argosy 6 Metre Minuet. The one with the aluminum floor.

Here is what I have done to it:
New 3-way Dometic fridge
New Atwood LP water heater
New Shurflo water pump
New CPVC and PEX plumbing
Newer Suburban furnace with auto-light
New flourescent Thin-Lites throughout
New bathroom faucets
New dump valves
New OPD valves on 20# Worthington tanks
New auto-changeover LP regulator
New 65 amp InteliPower with Charge Wizard
New finish on all of the bathroom plastic
New Magic Chef stove/oven
New H&H Barker power jack
New 13.5kBTU Carrier A/C with heat option
Original but like new ZipDee awning
New BAL T-Type stabilizing jacks
New tires
New shocks
New carpet
Recently reupholstered
New Grote-style LED clearance lights all around
New LED 1157 bulbs in taillights
The outside paint is rough but that is the only thing that is left to be done. It still looks presentable though.
I am just looking for a ballpark idea of how much I should insure my "project". I do not want to pay too much and get little in return if something should happen to it.
Thanks for your insight! I value all of your opinions!
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:14 PM   #2
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For what it's worth....

Greeting Lou!

You are at about the same point with your Minuet that I am at with mine. The major differences being that I have a new axle and a new three-piece front window rock guard -- but I still have the original refrigerator, range, and light fixtures and my coach has yet to be equipped with an awning. I currently have it insured with a stated value of $7,500, and plan to increase that to between $10,000 and $15,000 once the new paint and awning installations have been completed (in about two or three years).

Good luck with your research!

Kevin
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:39 PM   #3
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Lou;
Maybe one way to come up with a dollar amount or value, would be to seach E-Bay and find out what one like yours sells for. In other words, what would you have to pay to get one like yours.
I was once selling a vintage Harley Davidson but found out that what people were offering was not enough for me to buy another one like mine, so I just kept my old "Panhead". Good luck.
Ernie
'58 Traveler, 18ft.
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:55 PM   #4
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Man, If I was insuring it I'd be looking at a value of 15k or so! Nice work!!!
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:56 PM   #5
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Up Up and Away goes the Value.

Lou

Janet and I have done a lot of what you have done to yours.
Less Heater, Fridge, and lights. We have also done the Axle, couter top and table. (Take a look at Janets' photos) We have valued ours at $13K because we have been offered as much.
Another thought to consider is as the price of fuel goes up, so should the value of a lighter trailer that can be towed by a small V6.
Just a thought.
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:19 AM   #6
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argosy ready to sell

Lou, are you ready to sell her now.. just kidding when are we going to see some photo's ... P.M. me I need to talk to you about something..
Dan.
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Old 04-14-2005, 08:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
Lou

Janet and I have done a lot of what you have done to yours.
Less Heater, Fridge, and lights. We have also done the Axle, couter top and table. (Take a look at Janets' photos) We have valued ours at $13K because we have been offered as much.
Another thought to consider is as the price of fuel goes up, so should the value of a lighter trailer that can be towed by a small V6.
Just a thought.
I was thinking the same thing.
I have had it sitting in my driveway for the past year. Right out front in front of my attached garage. I have noticed an increasing amount of unsolicited offers to buy her.
This could be because I have installed the power jack, cleaned up the Worthington tanks and made the front look prettier.
BTW, I will have my new James P Ambruso drapes soon! I can't wait. It is close to the last piece of the puzzle!
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Old 04-14-2005, 10:02 AM   #8
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Value is in the Eye of the Beholder

Sounds like the full deal - and she must be pretty inside now too.

I'm no expert on pricing - and the only real marketable pricing schematic available is "price vs condition" document on the Vintage Airstream site. And I am not sure if that has been adjusted according to "demand" or "availability".

We valued our GT based on that document along with an Airstream Dealers endorsement letter- to verify certain things were original airstream productions.

As this document does not cover the "Argosy" (even though their popularity seems to be increasing in the last couple of years as well - probably due to this site and activity on e-bay.)

all depending on opinion this is - when comparing the two trailers - shinny or painted, layouts are similar - but the Args do seem to have a lot more storage and the definate appeal of the larger front windows. But then they still have to compete with the 40+ year prior history of Airstreams. But then you have the uniqueness in that they were only made a short time - and the more this gets out the more value they will have - ie. Like Annie and Marvins new one - 10th off the line - is like "First Editions" in stamp collecting - they are worth more.

But value is perceived by the "collector" and not necessarily to the general public and consequently the insurance company. So they rely on the value of "replacement" and they would look at source pricing - Airstream "unpainted" of same size and eminities and then deduct the yearly depreciation set by the travel trailer industry (which is - I have no clue) Then probably compare going rate differences between painted and unpainted producted on a public forum like e-bay which right now shows about a 35% lower price for a comparable size Argosy to an Airstream. With this in mind.....

I would probably look at the list price of the Safari and International Trim Package - and average them out between the 19-22 ft size as yours fits in the middle. Factor in a lean $500/year depreciation ($14,000 off the price [2005-1977]) So in rounded figures if you have decked our your minuet at the Safari Trim package level I would put a value of around $14700.00 But if you go over the top and deck it out at the International Level then bump it up to $18,300.

The above would be comparing to a new vehicle - but if your insurance company compares to used then the "Price vs Condition" document may be the route to go - but without the 35% drop in price when comparing Airstream to Argosy as the special features in both trailers would probably offset each other. With that said - you would look at the range set between $11,000 to $15,000.

But at the end of the day...for those going all out to try and make a buck replacing "working" appliances with new ones - is sort of like those needless "house additions" that does not bring in the ROI you will be looking for. But for most of us it is a passion and convenience so the difference in new appliances and percieved loss of ROI is returned through use and enjoyment.

...and then there are the people out there who pick up a trailer for nothing throw some cleaning products at it and set the price for 3-4 times it's value - sending all values out of wack.

(hence the saying the rich get richer and the poor get poorer!)

Good luck with your valuing - it is always fun to try and put a FMV to an item.
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Old 04-14-2005, 10:17 AM   #9
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Lou, we've done much of the same work -- and many other things as well -- to Vintage Thunder. Our parts list is up over $12,000 and we have yet to paint!

The re-sale value for Argosy trailers is not well established. They seem to be undervalued in the market compared to equivalent Airstreams, and also I find that 70s and 80s models currently are good values on the used market.

Having said that, I think a large part of the re-sale value will be based on the visual appeal. If the trailer LOOKS like you dumped thousands of dollars into it, you have a good chance of getting that back on re-sale.

For insurance purposes, I would insure it for the approximate value of what you have into it. That's what you would lose if it were totalled. We have Vintage Thunder insured for $10k presently, although I believe market value is quite a bit higher (or will be, once we have it painted). I will raise this value as needed to keep up with our investment, rather than trying to guess the ultimate market value.

The bigger problem will be getting any reasonable level of coverage. You may have to shop around. Insurers tend to have problems with 30-year old "campers" that are valued above $2000 by their owners. They'll probably want pictures and/or documentation to prove the value. You may also have to request a "stated value" policy to get what you want.

-- RL
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Old 04-14-2005, 10:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
Sounds like the full deal - and she must be pretty inside now too.

I'm no expert on pricing - and the only real marketable pricing schematic available is "price vs condition" document on the Vintage Airstream site. And I am not sure if that has been adjusted according to "demand" or "availability".

We valued our GT based on that document along with an Airstream Dealers endorsement letter- to verify certain things were original airstream productions.

As this document does not cover the "Argosy" (even though their popularity seems to be increasing in the last couple of years as well - probably due to this site and activity on e-bay.)

all depending on opinion this is - when comparing the two trailers - shinny or painted, layouts are similar - but the Args do seem to have a lot more storage and the definate appeal of the larger front windows. But then they still have to compete with the 40+ year prior history of Airstreams. But then you have the uniqueness in that they were only made a short time - and the more this gets out the more value they will have - ie. Like Annie and Marvins new one - 10th off the line - is like "First Editions" in stamp collecting - they are worth more.

But value is perceived by the "collector" and not necessarily to the general public and consequently the insurance company. So they rely on the value of "replacement" and they would look at source pricing - Airstream "unpainted" of same size and eminities and then deduct the yearly depreciation set by the travel trailer industry (which is - I have no clue) Then probably compare going rate differences between painted and unpainted producted on a public forum like e-bay which right now shows about a 35% lower price for a comparable size Argosy to an Airstream. With this in mind.....

I would probably look at the list price of the Safari and International Trim Package - and average them out between the 19-22 ft size as yours fits in the middle. Factor in a lean $500/year depreciation ($14,000 off the price [2005-1977]) So in rounded figures if you have decked our your minuet at the Safari Trim package level I would put a value of around $14700.00 But if you go over the top and deck it out at the International Level then bump it up to $18,300.

The above would be comparing to a new vehicle - but if your insurance company compares to used then the "Price vs Condition" document may be the route to go - but without the 35% drop in price when comparing Airstream to Argosy as the special features in both trailers would probably offset each other. With that said - you would look at the range set between $11,000 to $15,000.

But at the end of the day...for those going all out to try and make a buck replacing "working" appliances with new ones - is sort of like those needless "house additions" that does not bring in the ROI you will be looking for. But for most of us it is a passion and convenience so the difference in new appliances and percieved loss of ROI is returned through use and enjoyment.

...and then there are the people out there who pick up a trailer for nothing throw some cleaning products at it and set the price for 3-4 times it's value - sending all values out of wack.

(hence the saying the rich get richer and the poor get poorer!)

Good luck with your valuing - it is always fun to try and put a FMV to an item.
Thanks for the insight.
I know that I will never recoup any ROI for the amount of time I have put into the traler.
I just want to make sure that if something happens to it, that I can start all over again without losing my shirt in the process, (again).
It is starting to look like I have put thousands of dollars into it. With my frugal abilities and my custom fabrication it is starting to look like an updated 1977 Minuet. This is what I was shooting for in the first place. I did not want to gut it and make it my own personal work of art. I wanted a Minuet that, if it were made today, would look and feel like it should, only that it would have 2005 technology.
I want to make sure that all of my hard work does not go **POOF**.
You have been a great help.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
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Old 04-14-2005, 11:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rluhr
Lou, we've done much of the same work -- and many other things as well -- to Vintage Thunder. Our parts list is up over $12,000 and we have yet to paint!

The re-sale value for Argosy trailers is not well established. They seem to be undervalued in the market compared to equivalent Airstreams, and also I find that 70s and 80s models currently are good values on the used market.

Having said that, I think a large part of the re-sale value will be based on the visual appeal. If the trailer LOOKS like you dumped thousands of dollars into it, you have a good chance of getting that back on re-sale.

For insurance purposes, I would insure it for the approximate value of what you have into it. That's what you would lose if it were totalled. We have Vintage Thunder insured for $10k presently, although I believe market value is quite a bit higher (or will be, once we have it painted). I will raise this value as needed to keep up with our investment, rather than trying to guess the ultimate market value.

The bigger problem will be getting any reasonable level of coverage. You may have to shop around. Insurers tend to have problems with 30-year old "campers" that are valued above $2000 by their owners. They'll probably want pictures and/or documentation to prove the value. You may also have to request a "stated value" policy to get what you want.

-- RL
Once I paint it this summer it will look like a brand new Minuet. Inside and out.
I will have to post some pictures of the work I have done. It is amazing!
The reason I am shopping for insurance is that my AAA agent did not want to touch it with a ten foot pole.
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Old 04-14-2005, 11:02 AM   #12
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I think we are going to see an increase in the popularity of the Minuets in the near future.
Smaller Airstreams are getting harder to come by and we all know how much those go for.
I will tell you what... I would swap that Minuet for an early 80's to mid 90's 21 foot A/S anyday!
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Old 04-14-2005, 11:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by aztlanco
Lou;
Maybe one way to come up with a dollar amount or value, would be to seach E-Bay and find out what one like yours sells for. In other words, what would you have to pay to get one like yours.
I was once selling a vintage Harley Davidson but found out that what people were offering was not enough for me to buy another one like mine, so I just kept my old "Panhead". Good luck.
Ernie
'58 Traveler, 18ft.
I did some research on eBay a couple of times in the past three or four years.
I saw a 1973 Argosy 20 that was not as nice as my Minuet, (not even close), that went for $8,300. The seller left positive feedback the buyer so he must have "ponied-up" with the cabbage. That trailer had a residential A/C that you had to stick in the bathroom window! (YUCK!)
I would have to say that my Minuet would go for $8-9k on eBay. Maybe more if the auction gets frenzied.
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