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Old 11-30-2015, 08:13 PM   #1
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Found a gutted Argosy 26'

I am considering the purchase of a gutted 26' Argosy. I had always thought I would find a trailer that was intact, yet needed a full restoration. My hope was to be able to learn how to put it back together while I was taking it apart. As a result I will be unable to follow plumbing, electric and propane layouts. The cabinets are also missing, so no opportunity to use them as templates. I am accomplished at all types of home DIY projects. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether I am over thinking having the trailer be intact vs. gutted.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:31 PM   #2
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I depends whether you want to recreate the original interior. Without any origional parts for template this will be extremely hard. If it were me I'd probably not try and instead build my own modern custom interior, probably generally following the original layout.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:35 PM   #3
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My plan would be build my own custom interior even if i had the original interior parts. Just thought it may be easier to do if I could see how it was all put together.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:59 PM   #4
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True. Maybe you can peek at some new Airstreams if there's a dealer near you.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:33 PM   #5
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Short563 - What year Argosy ? We are about to start Demo on our 1975 26' Argosy (Rear Bath). We will be significantly changing the floorplan. I might be able to help you out with dimensions/etc....
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:25 AM   #6
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Floor plan mods

Hello DDOK - I am looking at a 1975! I am also considering changes to the floor plan. I like the way the 26U Safari floor plan looks. If I proceed with the purchase I would certainly appreciate your help with dimensions. The green lines show where I want the windows. The red lines show the current windows that need to be moved.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:56 AM   #7
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Just a heads up: Moving windows and moving bathrooms are both very difficult in Argosy/Airstream trailers. I hope you are prepared for a huge number of hours of work and a lot of $$. I seriously doubt that the end result will be worth it.

I am sure that at this point you think it is a good project, but way too many of these become discouragement after a while. That said, I wish you the very best on your work.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:29 AM   #8
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What idroba said times 2! It always sounds great in the planning stage, enthusiasm wanes when the job presents problems you had not dreamed of. Was the Argosy you are looking at a victim of terminal renovation-itis already?

You might be better off looking for the layout you want even though it seems more expensive now. If you really get into renovating a shell, the expenses will likely exceed the cost of buying what you want that needs little work.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:44 AM   #9
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Funny you should say that. I was looking at the pictures of the two trailers and realized all that work is really to have a queen bed rather than two twins. So I agree with you! However, the trailer I am looking at does not have any of the bathroom fixtures which also seems like a lot of work to replace if having to create from scratch. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:31 AM   #10
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I author the Northern Illinois WBCCI website. I can put a wanted ad on it for free. We have a number of members who are ageing out of the traveling lifestyle and may have trailers available. I PMed you. Give me your contact information and I will make it happen.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:45 AM   #11
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The problem with the bathroom restore or move is the location of the holding tanks and how to get the waste to them where they are now vs. the original location. The original Argosy probably had an above floor black water tank and a below floor gray water tank. To relocate the bathroom, you probably will need to have a custom above floor black water tank made, then fabricate a way for it to be drained on the opposite side of the trailer at the rear. Sounds easy, but it is not. And getting the waste to the gray water tank, again most likely at the rear, from the new sink and shower locations is not a trivial matter. Remember you need to have the tanks vented too, which in the original layout happened in the closets, but now you wish an open plan with a big bed back there.

You also need to think carefully about weight distribution of your new plan vs. the original one.

I am not trying to be a wet blanket here, I only want to head off finding some of these thing out later, when you really get into the project.
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:26 AM   #12
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To all who have chimed in so far - I welcome and appreciate all of your thoughts!
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:27 AM   #13
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Why did the seller give up on the project ??

Are you in need of a pass time?

Is the frame shot?

Do you like Airstreams more than you like camping?

Do you have enough money to finish the project?

Do you have a place to continue working on the trailer when it is cold or rainy?

Is working on a stick house the same as working on an Airstream ?

Can one man compete with the efficiency of an experienced mass production manufacturer?

These are mostly loaded questions. Here are some opinions

#1 You most likely won't recoup the time and money you put into it
#2 It could take years
#3 If the frame is rusty, and you are rebuilding the shell to move windows, you are basically manufacturing an entire trailer.
#4 Most everything on a trailer that age is close to needing replacement.
#5 Even if you are a good mechanic, plumber, electrician, and carpenter…You will be doing many tasks that you have never done before.

That being said…If you already owned a functional trailer, wanted to keep busy, and had disposable funds….then it might make sense
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:28 AM   #14
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I changed my 74 Argosy 28' from a rear bath to a rear queen.
When I was planning the layout the plumbing, electrical, tanks could all be moved. I did not want to move windows and could not move wheel wells. I also left the refrigerator and stove close to original so I didn't have to move the vent holes.
I had two gary and black tank vents through the roof. Because I moved the bath to the center I only needed one so I patched the other.
I am at my max of adding pictures so you will have to look at what I have in my profile.
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