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Old 06-26-2003, 10:01 PM   #1
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Posts: 20,193
Help for new owner - 1972 Argosy 20

Hi, all.
We are the proud new owners of a 1972 Argosy 20'. Unfortunately, it has been stored for 10+ YEARS, and is in dire need of help. Since this is my first Airstream/Argosy I am a little bewildered by a few of the things I have found in this coach (my previous camper was a tent camper), so any direction you could give me would be gladly welcomed.
I have a couple of questions that I am sure pertain to this trailer, and some I am sure are for all "fancier" trailers.
First, this trailer seems to have two couches, instead of a dinette. This looks factory, as the upholstery matches on both of them, and the both seem to pull out into twin beds, one across the front, and one down the left (street) side, across from the galley. The question is: where do you eat?
The second question is, where is the city water connection? I have found the fresh water tank and water pump, the tank takes up almost all the space under the front couch, with a fill on the front outside wall, near the hitch, but nowhere to hook up city water.
Last question for this time, did these trailers come originally with carpet, or a vinyl floor covering, or could they have come either way? Mine currently has bare playwood, with some vinyl under the sink inside a galley cupboard, but it also has a tannish-colored carpet in the main closet floor.
I am also living on the edge, tow vehicle-wise, using a Ford Ranger to drag this thing around. The initial trip home was uneventful, although very nerve-wracking, considering the original 1972 Michelin tires (at least the PO told me they were, and I have no reason to doubt her).
My other questions will come later, I don't want to write a large novel.
Thanks for any help/info.
Terry
(in Florida)
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:42 PM   #2
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1959 22' Caravanner
Atlanta , Georgia
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Welcome to the forums!
There are a couple folks here with simular vintage and models.
you have what is known as a "Goucho" It's a Couch that functions as a bed and a dinnette. Depending on how your unit is set up there should be a fold up table against the wall or a free standing table to put in front of the the foward couch.


As for the water....Ours is a little different and not sure I can help you there. We have a fill on the front and a connection on the breast plate under the front for city. Ours uses a air over water pressure system. No water pump at all. It has a pressure vessle for a water tank. When it runs low on pressure you run a air pump to get it back up. They stopped that long before your unit was built.

The Argosy line was built extra light. Airstreams had gained weight over the years. Those were built to allow smaller vehicles a option. Your trailer could be managed by most more powerful 6 cylinder vehicles. Our 59 Caravanner 22' is under 3k empty. A 70's 22' was pushing 5k empty. Yours is probaly closer to 3k.

Good luck with it. I'm sure you will get better answers soon. This place is pretty busy durring the day.
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:44 PM   #3
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Help for new owner

Greetings Terry!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreaming! Your trailer is the predecessor of the Minuets that would be introduced in 1977. These little Argosys can prove to have many little interesting quirks - - one that we have found with the Minuets is a rivited aluminum composite flooring - - no rot, but poses difficulties if you want something other than carpeting.

Quote:
First, this trailer seems to have two couches, instead of a dinette. This looks factory, as the upholstery matches on both of them, and the both seem to pull out into twin beds, one across the front, and one down the left (street) side, across from the galley.
What you have is a model called the "Twin Lounge" this allowed for an open floorplan that belies the small size of the coach. The coach was also available with a Dinette, but traditionally, Airstream products often had this arrangement in the smaller trailers through the 1970s.

Quote:
The question is: where do you eat?
If you look beside the lounge across the front of the trailer along the curbside wall, you will likely find a "Credenza Table" - - it is a one- or two-leaf table that folds up against the wall. To open the table, grasp the lower edge and gently (but firmly) pull toward lounge - - then when catch releases pull table rearward (it will extend into the entry door opening) - - when the trailing edge clears the edge of the loung, lift the table up and extend its support leg - - then slide the table back into position in front of the lounge.

Quote:
The second question is, where is the city water connection?
Assuming that a previous owner has not changed the plumbing, you will find your city water entrance at the rear of the coach. Most Vintage coaches (Mid 1960s through at least the 1970s) have the fresh water city connection located on the streetside bumper bracket.

Quote:
Last question for this time, did these trailers come originally with carpet, or a vinyl floor covering, or could they have come either way? Mine currently has bare playwood, with some vinyl under the sink inside a galley cupboard, but it also has a tannish-colored carpet in the main closet floor.
While I haven't seen the showroom literature for the first-year 1972/73 series, Argosy followed the lead of similar Airstreams of the period. The coaches usually had wall-to-wall carpeting. The factory, however, was typically willing to work with a customer who might special order a coach with something other than carpeting as a floor covering. By the time my Minuet was produced, it seemed like most of the coaches had burnt orange or harvest gold carpeting.

Your Ford Ranger, depending upon your intended usage, might not be so far off in terms of the necessary tow rig. The GVWR of the Minuets in the 6 Metre length (19' 3") is either 3,000 or 3,250 pounds - - my literature isn't handy so I'm not absolutely certain. The '72 20' would likely be only marginally heavier as it would be a bit longer as well as about 8" wider.

Good luck with your new acquisition!

Kevin
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 06-27-2003, 09:05 AM   #4
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1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
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Quote:
A 70's 22' was pushing 5k empty
Just wanted to say that my '73 23' Safari has an empty weight of 3500lbs, and a gvw of 5500.
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Old 06-27-2003, 02:51 PM   #5
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Cool

Ya-hoo...another 72!! I was feeling a bit lonely. The beds actually fold out to about full size with the addition of the piece of foam that you should find behind the backrest (stored). It folds flat to complete the full size bed...at least I think two adults could squish together on them. And hopefully the table is still there!
Ours has carpet (not original) but I have seen pictures of folks putting in Pergo and I like it.....
Good luck,
Janice
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Old 06-30-2003, 07:06 PM   #6
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Thanks for the info

Hi, again.
Thanks for the help about my 1972 20'. I have looked, and my table is not there, but the rail it fit into still is. The couches do open up to make a bed somewhere between a twin and a double, I found the little cushions still with the original upholstery on them, part of which matches the upholstery on the rest of the cushions. I suppose two people could sleep on one if they were VERY friendly.
My GVWR tag calls for 3100 lbs MT, and a gross of 4500 lbs. My Ranger is rated at 3500 max, I guess we had better travel light...
Are there any sources to get replacement material for the awning? After 32 years, mine came apart like a wet paper bag when I tried to open it.
Thanks again.
Terry
(in Florida)
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Old 06-30-2003, 07:27 PM   #7
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Help for new owner

Greetings Terry!

The manufacturer of your awning is probably still around so the awning material including a roller-tube, if needed, should still be available.

Before getting into the replacement of the material it would be advisable to identify the manufacturer of the awning. If it is anything other than Zip Dee, you will likely find that the only replacement parts that are available will be the fabric and roller-tube. Carefree of Colorado and A & E both once made awnings for Airstream products but neither support the arms and specialized attachment parts for Vintage Airstreams. If you find that the awning is not Zip Dee, I would suggest carefully examining all of the hardware to be sure that it is still servicable before investing in new material. I invested nearly the cost of a new Zip Dee in trying to restore the A & E Travel Awn 5000 on my Overlander before giving up and buying a new Zip Dee.

You can identify a Zip Dee by the profile of its arms. The arms on a Zip Dee are nearly square and as graceful as any that you will run across. Both the A & E and Carefree of Colorado will have a much wider rectangular aluminum arm.

You can learn more about Zip Dee Awnings at:

Zip Dee Awnings

Good luck with your awning!

Kevin
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 07-02-2003, 09:12 PM   #8
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
A&E/Dometic Awning

Well, mine says "A&E, Div. of Dometic, Inc.".
Looks like I am looking to look for an awning.
Thanks for the info.
Terry
(in Florida)
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